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1st Team - Match centre

Stratford Town
Sat 2 Mar 15:00 - The Evo-Stik South - Premier Division Central Full time Attendance 203

Town draw a Blank at Barwell


Town pick up a point in a dour affair at Barwell

Match Report by Kevin Hand, Photographs by Granty

* Let us make an honourable retreat

There was a sense that this was a ‘must win’ fixture for Town if they were to remain in play-off contention. In the event a draw and results elsewhere meant they retain 5th position still with everything to play for.

Barwell v Stratford Town Photos by Granty
12 photos

There was a strong sense of anticipation about the return of “The Beast’ only matched by the disappointment on the realisation that he was starting on the ‘bench.’ Mikey Taylor scored in the 2-1 victory at the Arden Garages’ Stadium back in December, as did Jamie McAteer who was also surprisingly ‘benched.’ Shariff was also rested as Kian Williams came in on the right. Skendi and Lewis Wilson were at the centre of defence with Jordan Williams in a familiar 5-4-1 formation.

Town had the advantage of a slight slope and the wind behind in the first half on a bumpy pitch. Over a dull 90 minutes neither side ever mastered these conditions and as the game progressed it became increasingly tetchy. The officials did not distinguish themselves and both sets of fans had reason to ‘gripe’ at some baffling and inconsistent decisions.

Possession was evenly shared in the first half with defences dominating and the two mid-field lacking the guile to give the front players anything other than scraps to battle for. On 13 minutes an Oulton free kick was headed goal-ward by Creaney resulting in an easy save for keeper, Liam Castle. Stratford’s best chance came on 19 minutes. Town’s best player, Kynan Isaac, strode forward on the left and his fierce drive struck the upright before rebounding to safety.

For Barwell Danny Dirkin brought out a good save from Laurence Bilboe on 29 minutes. And just as the half was ending the impressive Henry Eze was nearly on the end of a free kick that flashed across the Town area.

It seemed nothing was learned from the first 45 minutes as both sides ‘pummelled’ the ball forward, often from keeper to keeper. Substitutions were made, 7 yellow cards issued (Barwell 3, Town 4) but there few, if any, moments of quality. Barwell thought they had scored on 67 minutes directly from distant free kick on the right. It was promptly ruled out with none on the terraces sure why? Was there an ‘offside’ or perhaps ‘a push?’ It was that kind of game!

Sometimes you have to remind yourself that with cup games many of the players are approaching 40 games for the season. Fatigue, both mental and physical, is now apparent with a noticeable lack of on-field cohesion and togetherness. AFC Rushden and Diamonds will provide a stern test next week and a goal wouldn’t come amiss. Come on Town!

* Let us make an honourable retreat. As You Like It Act 3 Scene 2

Attendance: 203

Next up:

Saturday 09 March AFC Rushden and Diamonds (H) 3.00pm EvoStik PDC

Get the team together and play Fantasy League

Kynan Isaac

Player of the Match

Kynan Isaac

Videos and photos


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90:00 +5:00 Player of the Match
Kynan Isaac is awarded player of the match for Stratford Town
73:00 Sub Off
Kynan Isaac is substituted off for Stratford Town
73:00 Sub On
Nabil Shariff is substituted on for Stratford Town
70:00 Yellow Card
Jordan Williams is yellow carded for Stratford Town
66:00 Yellow Card
James Fry is yellow carded for Stratford Town
65:00 Yellow Card
Albi Skendi is yellow carded for Stratford Town
60:00 Sub Off
Kian Williams is substituted off for Stratford Town
60:00 Sub On
Mikey Taylor is substituted on for Stratford Town
58:00 Yellow Card
Kynan Isaac is yellow carded for Stratford Town
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Barwell
  • Stratford Town
  • 0
  • Kynan Isaac Yellow Card 58:00'
  • Kian Williams Sub Off 60:00'
  • Mikey Taylor Sub On 60:00'
  • Albi Skendi Yellow Card 65:00'
  • James Fry Yellow Card 66:00'
  • Jordan Williams Yellow Card 70:00'
  • Kynan Isaac Sub Off 73:00'
  • Nabil Shariff Sub On 73:00'

Team selection

Bilboe, Laurence Bilboe, Laurence
Cox, Chris Cox, Chris
Skendi, Albi Skendi, Albi
Carvalho, Wilson Carvalho, Wilson
Williams, Jordan Williams, Jordan
Isaac, Kynan Isaac, Kynan
Williams, Kian Williams, Kian
Fry, James Fry, James
Wilson, Lewis Wilson, Lewis
Creaney, Dan Creaney, Dan
Oulton, Ross Oulton, Ross
Stratford Town

League round up

Other Premier Division Central results

AFC Rushden & Diamonds
Needham Market
St Ives Town
Royston Town
Hitchin Town
Rushall Olympic
King's Lynn Town
Kettering Town
St Neots Town
Halesowen Town

League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Kettering Town 42 94
2. King's Lynn Town 42 80
3. Stourbridge 42 78
4. Alvechurch 42 73
5. Stratford Town 42 72
6. Coalville Town 42 67
7. Biggleswade Town 42 66

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