Goal shy Town fall to late Church winner
By Andy Chilton
The Blues beaten at home for the first time since September 2nd
Match Report by KEVIN HAND, Match Stats by ROD ABRAHAMS, Photos by GRANTY
Stratford Town v Alvechurch Saturday 5 January, 2019 3.00 pm , EvoStik Premier Division Central.
Stratford 0 Alvechurch 1
The match was preceded by a minute’s applause in memory of the passing of GlyNn Hughes, a true friend and supporter of Stratford Town.
* A man for all seasons.
Unbeaten at home since 02 September 2018 Town succumbed to a very late goal from an obdurate ‘Church’ team. It wasn’t pretty and there was little for the neutral to admire. Missing Cox injured, Skeldi (American Odyssey) and Taylor (pastures new} there was a distinct lack of fizz or menace from the Stratford boys. Solid at the back, combative in mid-field there was little cutting edge up front.
Kian Williams was a debutant for Town and he was quick to impress drawing a foul on the right. 9 minutes saw Town’s best effort of the game nearly lead to a goal. Shariff played in Lewis Wilson in the inside left channel and his first time shot was blocked by keeper, Dan Crane’s legs.
The rest of the first half was attritional stuff with Alvechurch shading possession. Once again Town keeper, Matija Sarkic, impressed with his handling and dominance of the area. As the players left the pitch after 45 minutes there was barely a ripple of applause and the stadium atmosphere was very subdued.
Returning after the break Kynaan Isaac was moved forward on the left and Lewis Wilson moved to right wing back. Later Isaac was to move to left wing back as Claudio Dias came on for Cody Fisher. As the crowd urged on the players there was still little to cheer. For Town Shariff found a good position on 64 minutes, controlling a Kian Williams cross only to fire wide. On 88 minutes, following a corner, Dias had a fierce drive from distance deflected wide. For Church, Lee Chilton, twice shot over from good positions.
Just as Man of the Match was being nominated (irony of ironies), Ross Oulton for a whole-hearted performance, he lost the ball in midfield and Josh Ezwhele beat Jordan Williams on the outside. His cross, driven across the 6 yard area, beat everyone except the vigilant Josh March at the far post and he scored with ease.
Harsh on the boys in Blue and Head of Football, Thomas Baillie, could not hide his disappointment. Playing 5 games in 14 days clearly took its toll and it is likely that there will be changes to freshen the squad for the CSS Quarter Final game on Tuesday. Nearly 300 minutes of football and only conceding one goal is excellent but equally worrying is the inability to score in that period of time.
Man of the Match – Ross Oulton
Match sponsor: ABM Catering Solutions
* Man of gentleness and affability. A man for all seasons. Robert Bolt (From his play about Sir Thomas More)
Match Stats by ROD ABRAHAMS
| Stratford|| Alvechurch|
| 11||Goal Attempts|| 6|
| 2||On Target|| 1|
| 0||Blocked Shots|| 1|
| 0||Hit Woodwork|| 0|
| 4||Corners Won|| 2|
| 7||Crosses into Box|| 7|
| 16||Fouls Conceded|| 12|
| 3||Off Side|| 1|