A Resurgent Blues power to victory over the Greenbacks
By Andy Chilton
A Mikey Taylor brace & Lewis Wilson strike seals a comprehensive victory for Town
Match Report by KEVIN HAND, Match stats by BRYAN HALE, Photographs by GRANTY
Stratford Town v Bedworth United Saturday 15 September, 2018 3.00pm in the EvoStik Premier Central League at the Arden Garages Stadium.
Stratford 3 Bedworth 1 (1-0) HT
• For this relief much thanks
After a turbulent few days Caretaker Manager, Steve Walker,’ announced himself ‘delighted’ with Town’s performance in a 3-1 victory over local rivals, Bedworth. He felt the margin might have been more with Carvalho hitting the post and Grocott the bar as Town over-ran the Greenbacks.
There was much debate on Town’s formation, 4-5-1 perhaps, but there was general satisfaction at seeing Will Grocott back in the starting eleven and Kieran Westwood at wingback. Chris Cox and Lewis Wilson gave their best performance in a Town shirt so far.
The opening minutes were the usual ‘cagey affair’ but with Grocott and Skendi dominant in midfield it was no surprise when the ‘Boys in Blue’ took the lead on 16 minutes. Cox broke on right, checked back on his left before delivering a perfect cross to Mike Taylor who headed home from 6 yards. 4 minutes later and the score was nearly doubled. Carvalho wriggled his way through the centre of the Bedworth defence and was close to earning a penalty when goalkeeper Daniel Crane seemed to impede him. Carvalho stayed on his feet, rounded the keeper but then shot against the post with the goal gaping.
Town remained dominant and Bedworth never threatened their back line as ex-Greenback, Jamie McAteer, won everything on the ground and in the air. The game was physical but fair and it left its mark on Bedworth defender, Elliot Parrott, who departed the fray on 30 minutes clutching his shoulder.
Taylor continued to theaten but it was Wilson and Albi Skendi who combined at the end of half only for the latter to scoop his shot over the bar.
The second half was barely underway when Carvalho under hit a back pass and substitute, Kai Tonge, seized on it outpaced Westwood and fired across Etherington for the equalizer, stunning the Town crowd. Town immediately upped the pace and it wasn’t long before the lead was restored. From a Grocott free kick the ball was the subject of a bout of head tennis before Lewis Wilson poked it home.
Town continued to dominate and with the Bedworth defence in disarray Grocott fired against the bar on 75 minutes. Just 4 minutes later and Grocott broke left to the byline before pulling the ball back to Taylor who finished certainly, if inelegantly. Taylor was denied a hat trick moments later when Daniel Crane pulled off a smart save. By this time Cox and Wilson had the run of the park down the right and Steve Walker could ring the changes. Hancocks, Ross Oulton and, significantly, Harry Draper were introduced. With nearly his first touch the loanee from Stevenage pounced to send a goal bound shot from just 10 yards only to see Daniel Crane palm it away.
Today we saw a good side on its way to becoming an effective team with discernible shape and purpose and this was much appreciated by the loyal and patient Town fans.
• For this relief much thanks. Hamlet Act 1 Scene 1
• Marston man of the Match – Lewis Wilson
• Next Up; Redditch (H) 3.00pm Saturday 22 September EvoStik Premier
Match Stats by Bryan Hale
| 19||Goal Attempts|| 5|
| 7||On Target|| 3|
| 3||Blocked Shots|| 1|
| 2||Hit Woodwork|| 0|
| 4||Corners Won|| 5|
| 9||Crosses into Box|| 6|
| 8||Fouls Conceded|| 14|
| 3||Off Side|| 2|
| 0||Yellow Cards|| 2|
| 0||Red Cards|| 0|
Stratford Yellow Cards – None
Bedworth Yellow Cards – Rowe & Whitmore