Mac attack sees Town grab dramatic victory
By Andy Chilton
The Blues show great character to storm back from behind to steal all 3 points against the Canaries
Match Report by KEVIN HAND, Match Stats ROD ABRAHAMS, Photographs by GRANTY
Stratford Town v Barwell Saturday 08 December, 2018 3.00 pm
at the Arden Garages Stadium, EvoStik Premier Central Division.
* The Gods are just……………..
Stratford 2 Barwell 1 (HT 0-1)
With heavy rain during the week there was concern that the pitch wouldn’t be fit for this game. Town volunteers ensured the match was played on a decent surface. A buffeting wind from the golf course end and squally showers meant it would never be a classic. However, there was drama aplenty and a gritty and characterful conclusion to report on for Town fans.
Town kicked off in the teeth of a swirling wind and it was Barwell who was first to threaten. On 3 minutes Ross Oulton conceded a free kick on the edge of the area. Bradey Hickey’s fierce drive was tipped over by Ross Etheridge. And, although Barwell had the better of the opening exchanges, Town responded on 8 minutes. A neat one-two between Taylor and Cox played the latter in from the right and his cross was diverted for a corner.
It was Barwell who took the lead on 15 minutes. With Town stretched forward Robert Morgan drove into the heart of the defence. Alex Tomkinson found himself in acres of space on the left and when the ball reached him he converted with a minimum of fuss.
Stratford nearly restored parity on 23 minutes. Carvalho found space on the left and his cross was headed narrowly wide by Lewis Wilson. Etheridge was not to be seriously threatened in the rest of the half with Town having 3 decent chances.
Twice Grocott found Taylor in good positions. First Taylor slipped in the act of shooting just 6 yards out; next he was crowded out when played clean through. On the stroke of half time Carvalho was fouled on the edge of the area left. Grocott’s free kick caused chaos with the ball hacked off the line from a Wilson header when a goal looked imminent.
With the wind now in their favour Town dominated much of the second half. The breakthrough came on 67 minutes. Taylor won a corner following some scrappy play. Grocott, Taylor, goal, familiar story.
With Town now in the ascendency the game became fractious and fragmented. There was a feeling that firmer and more decisive management of the game would have helped both sets of players. As it was there 5 were yellow cards and Barwell’s Lee Hildreth received his marching orders late on.
Kynan Isaac began to impress as the game drew to its climax. On 76 minutes raiding down the left his low cross evaded everyone. Minutes later and his shot struck the far post. Barwell’s rare sorties were managed efficiently, as ever, by McAteer and Williams.
With game deep into stoppage time Taylor won a corner on the left. There was another perfect Grocott delivery and McAteer powered his header home to ease Town in front.
This was to be another satisfying afternoon at the Arden Garages Stadium for Town with the team cheered on by a very vocal Under 11 girls’ squad, mascots for the day. Thomas Baillie, Head of Football, praised the character of the team and praised the contribution of Will Grocott in his superb delivery from corners and free kicks. There was much to speculate on with key fixtures in the next few weeks. The Boss confirmed a fully fit squad with everyone wanting to play. Talisman, Albi Skendi, is likely to feature again this week.
Man of the Match – Kynan Isaac
The Gods are just… King Lear Act 5 Scene 3
Match Stats by ROD ABRAHAMS
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Tuesday 11 December 7.45pm Tamworth (H) EvoStik PDC
Saturday 15 December 3.00pm AFC Fylde (A) Buildbase FA Trophy 1st Round Proper