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1st Team - Match centre

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Bishop's Stortford
Stratford Town
J Robinson (90')
Full time
B Stephens (26')
Sat 28 Apr 15:00 - The Evo-Stik South - Premier Attendance 307

Town end the season with a draw at Bishop's Stortford

Ben Stephens nets again but a late equaliser steals a curtain closing victory from Town

Match Report and match stats by Rod Abrahams, photographs by Granty

Bishops Stortford 1 Stratford Town 1
Joe Robinson 90+3 Ben Stephens 26

Stratford Town made the long trip to the Prokit Stadium to take on Bishops Stortford in the final game of the season. Towns only other encounter with the Hertfordshire side was in the 2006 FA Cup that Town lost 2-0, but on this occasion it looked like Town would get all 3 points, but again conceding a goal deep into stoppage time gave the Blues a share of the spoils. Town have conceded 19 goals in the last 5 minutes, which has meant a minimum of 15 points dropped, which would have put Stratford on 70 points and 11th in the League, for which would have been their highest ever finish.

Bishop's Stortford vs Stratford Town photos by Granty
20 photos

There were a number of changes in the line up from the previous game. Connor was back in goal after his one match ban, Andy Gallinagh replaced Dan Summerfield who was unavailable and Hancock’s and Recci replaced Luckie and Evans.

The early exchanges were fairly even, a Jamie Cureton header for the Blues was an easy save for Connor, and when Marsden put Taylor in on goal, he was denied by keeper Calum Kitcha, but he should have done better. Ben Stephens tried a cheeky lob that had Kitcha back peddling to save under the bar, and Mark Hughes fired a 25yd effort just over on 15 minutes, Cureton produced a great save from Connor with a close range volley from a George Casey cross.

Edwin Ahenkorah was just wide with a shot from 20yds, and Town took the lead in the 26th minute. Mike Taylor broke clear of the Blues back line with only the keeper to beat, his strike looked goal bound but came back off the bar. Bishops failed to clear the loose ball and Will Grocott crossed to the far post, where Ben Stephens volleyed home from close range at the second attempt for his 25th goal of the season to put Town in front. Just before the break Darren Foxley curled a strike just wide of the post for the Blues.

At the start of the second half it was Stratford who started brightly. Ahenkorah had two efforts, both well saved by home keeper Kitcha, and in the 55th minute Liam Francis was unlucky to see his bullet header come back off the bar from Will Grocotts corner, as the Blues cleared the loose ball. Casey headed wide from a Tom Clifford free kick, and from then on it was Bishops who did most of the attacking, as Town got deeper defending to maintain their lead. Sub Jack Thomas put a free header over from a Foxley free kick, and Connor saved a Cureton shot, the ball ran lose and Foxleys shot was deflected for a corner. Connor saved a Joe Robinson shot which he put round the post, and a deft chip from Cureton landed on top of the net, but from a good position he should have done better, as the game entered 4 minutes of added time.

Again it was Towns nemesis, as with time running down, a corner into the Town box was not cleared, the ball fell to Robinson whose close range volley was beaten out by Conner, only to hit Andy Gallinagh and bounce into the net to give Bishops Stortford a point, much to the disappointment of the Town players.

“How many times this season how we given away a goal in the dying minutes and how many points has it cost us ? “ reflected Carl Adams afterwards. “It’s all down to game management and having the guile, the knowhow and the concentration to see it through right to the final whistle.”

Well another season has come to a close, with Town finishing in 15th place, one spot lower than the last season, and one point less with 55. So it is now a case of who will Stratford be playing next season, when the makeup of the new Midland League at step 3, is announced by the FA in May.

Stratford Town
Connor, Gallinagh, Fry, Hancocks, Francis, Recci, Marsden, (84 Evans), Ahenkorah, (75 Luckie), Taylor, Grocott, Stephens, (79 Bako)

Sub Not Used Dawson

Bishops Stortford.
Kitcha, Casey, Clifford, Hughes, Ekpiteta, Brassington,(55 Thomas), Crowther (55 Robinson), Westcott, Mason, Cureton, Foxley.

Subs not Used, Cruse, Bennett, Lynskyn.

Referee M Morrison.

Assistant Referees R Humphreys, and M Pond.

Attendance 307

Town Man of the Match Liam Francis

Stratford 11 5 0 2 3 5 15 3 2 0
Banbury 16 6 2 0 5 11 8 2 1 0

Stratford Town Yellow Cards Hancocks, Marsden.

Banbury Yellow Cards Westcott

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Key moments

Goal Ben Stephens scores for Stratford Town
Goal Joe Robinson scores for Bishop's Stortford

Videos and photos


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90:00 Goal 1 - 1
Joe Robinson scores for Bishop's Stortford
85:00 Sub Off
Justin Marsden is substituted off for Stratford Town
85:00 Sub On
Charlie Evans is substituted on for Stratford Town
80:00 Sub Off
Ben Stephens is substituted off for Stratford Town
80:00 Sub On
Eli Bako is substituted on for Stratford Town
79:00 Yellow Card
Jordan Wescott is yellow carded for Bishop's Stortford
78:00 Yellow Card
Justin Marsden is yellow carded for Stratford Town
74:00 Sub Off
Edwin Ahenkorah is substituted off for Stratford Town
74:00 Sub On
Jaz Luckie is substituted on for Stratford Town
54:00 Sub Off
Marcus Crowther is substituted off for Bishop's Stortford
54:00 Sub On
Jack Thomas is substituted on for Bishop's Stortford
54:00 Sub Off
Max Brassington is substituted off for Bishop's Stortford
54:00 Sub On
Joe Robinson is substituted on for Bishop's Stortford
End of period 1
45:00 +181:00 Assist
Will Grocott makes an assist for Stratford Town
26:00 Goal 0 - 1
Ben Stephens scores for Stratford Town
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Bishop's Stortford
  • Stratford Town
  • 0
  • Ben Stephens Goal 26:00'
  • Will Grocott Assist 45:00 +181:00'
  • Jack Thomas Sub On 54:00'
  • Marcus Crowther Sub Off 54:00'
  • Max Brassington Sub Off 54:00'
  • Joe Robinson Sub On 54:00'
  • Edwin Ahenkorah Sub Off 74:00'
  • Jaz Luckie Sub On 74:00'
  • Justin Marsden Yellow Card 78:00'
  • Jordan Wescott Yellow Card 79:00'
  • Ben Stephens Sub Off 80:00'
  • Eli Bako Sub On 80:00'
  • Justin Marsden Sub Off 85:00'
  • Charlie Evans Sub On 85:00'
  • Joe Robinson Goal 90:00'

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other Premier results

Basingstoke Town
Kings Langley
Dorchester Town
Chesham United
King's Lynn Town
Frome Town
Kettering Town
Merthyr Town
Redditch United
Slough Town
Royston Town
St Ives Town
St Neots Town

League table

# Team Pl Pts
13. Frome Town 46 61
14. Redditch United 46 55
15. Stratford Town 46 55
16. Biggleswade Town 46 53
17. Merthyr Town 46 53
18. Bishop's Stortford 46 52
19. Dorchester Town 46 51

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