Stalemate vs The Saints at the Arden
By Andy Chilton
Defences on top as The Blues rise to 3rd spot on the back of a goalless draw
Match Report by KEVIN HAND, Match Stats by ROD ABRAHAMS, Photographs by GRANTY
Stratford Town v St.Ives Town Saturday 02 February, 2019 3.00 pm EvoStik Premier Division Central
Stratford 0 St. Ives 0
Match Sponsored – Stratford Town Patrons
• To the business we love we rise betime…
With Stratford fielding an unchanged team for the 4th successive game the enthusiastic crowd of 285 might have desired a more entertaining spectacle than the one that was dished up. But clear blue skies greeted a good-humoured Saints’ following and everyone was appreciative of the Herculean efforts made by volunteers to ensure the match went ahead. Just five fixtures survived in the EvoStik Premier Division Central League and the draw saw Stratford return to third place.
Two of the meanest defences in the division meant much of the first half action took place in mid-field. Chances were few at either end. The Saints were first to threaten on 12 minutes when stout defending by Jordan Williams prevented a goal-scoring opportunity leading to a corner. Good Town play set up Oulton on 16 minutes but his shot from just outside the area was wide. By the break neither keeper had been seriously troubled.
There was more action in the second period but still defences reigned supreme. Stratford was cut apart down the right on 51 minutes but George Bailey’s shot was easily gathered by Ross Etheridge. Good play by Oulton and Skendi nearly had Lewis Wilson in on 59 minutes but keeper Conway was smartly off his line to avert the danger.
Stratford was then to go on to have the best two chances of the half. On 64 minutes a Ross Oulton shot was deflected onto the St. Ives’ crossbar causing panic in the visitors’ defence. With no-one able to force it home the chance was lost. On 80 minutes substitute Will Grocott found the hard-working Nabil Sharrif deep in the St. Ives’ area only to be denied by a brave dive from keeper Conway.
And so the game meandered to the seemingly inevitable 0-0 conclusion. After the game Manager, Thomas Baillie, talked of the high expectations for the club following a wonderful run of form (7 undefeated in current run) but rued a lack of creativity on the day.
The game was well managed by the match officials in a physical but fair contest. Praise to for the visitors in the bar after the game who sang their hearts out with a rousing rendition of Presley’s ‘The Wonder of You.’ It was a wonder that the game went ahead, so thanks again to Director, Mark Bickley, and team for presenting such a good playing surface.
• To the business that we love we rise betime…. Antony and Cleopatra Act 4 Scene
Man of the Match: Jamie McAteer
Match Stats by ROD ABRAHAMS
|Stratford|| St Ives|
| 8||Goal Attempts|| 11|
| 1||On Target|| 4|
| 0||Blocked Shots|| 0|
| 1||Hit Woodwork|| 0|
| 2||Corners Won|| 3|
| 9||Crosses into Box|| 6|
| 10||Fouls Conceded|| 9|
| 0||Off Side|| 1|
| 1||Yellow Cards|| 1|
| 0||Red Cards|| 0|
Stratford Yellow Cards – Skendi
St Ives Yellow Cards – Coulson
Saturday 09 February 3.00pm Leiston (A) EvoStik PDC
Tuesday 12 February 7.45pm Coalville (H) EvoStil PDC