Match Report by KEVIN HAND, Photographs by GRANTY & WOODY
Stratford Town 3 v 1 AFC Rushden and Diamonds (HT 1-0)
Saturday 24 August 2019 3.00pm
BetVictor Southern League PDC at the Arden Garages Stadium.
Stratford 3 Rushden 1
• The two hours’ traffic of our stage
In front of a crowd of 325 on a beautiful late summer’s afternoon this was a revitalised and convincing performance by the Town boys. Diamonds were table-toppers with established and accomplished performers in Liam Dolan and Tom Lorraine in the starting line-up. But it was Stratford who was to shine with excellent performances all over the pitch.
Elliot Taylor replaced Sam Lomax and it was Chris Wreh for Nabil Shariff. Those 2 changes were to prove inspired selections. Add the return of Dan Vann and the excellent Liam Hughes and this was a much improved team performance.
The opening exchanges were typically cautious with neither side dominant and with chances being few and far between. Taylor was authoritative in the Town goal with Wreh proving a real menace up front. It was on 30 minutes when the deadlock was broken. Not for the first time Wreh embarrassed Ashton robbing him on the left edge of the area. Wreh’s shot struck the inside of the far post before finding its way into the net. In this even contest Jack Bowen headed narrowly wide as the half drew to its end.
The second half was barely underway when a clever Callum Ball flick saw Mitchell Glover get the wrong side of his defender before being hauled down. Ball tucked the penalty away neatly. Ball was nearly on the score sheet again on 56 when a low Wreh cross narrowly avoided him. Ball was injured in the fall and was then replaced a few minutes later by Shariff.
Town then took control through Ivor Lawton and Mitchell Glover. It was the latter that set Wreh free on 80 minutes and at 3-0 the game was up for the visitors. Both sides used their full complement of substitutes and, at the death, Diamonds pulled on back. A thumping header - from Sam Johnson according ‘Flash Scores.’ Tommy Wright, Town Manager, mischievously attributed it to Cody Fisher as an own goal!
Chris Wreh was man of the match with Dan Vann and Mitchell Glover not far behind. Linden Dovey was quietly efficient with stellar performances from Lawton, Hughes and Fishwick. With generous drinks’ breaks in both halves and stoppages for injuries a 5.00pm finish meant we fulfilled the Bard’s requirement of a full two hours!
• Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage. Romeo and Juliet Prologue
Match Stats by Rod Abrahams
| Stratford|| Diamonds|
| 15||Goal Attempts|| 11|
| 8||On Target|| 3|
| 0||Blocked Shots|| 0|
| 0||Hit Woodwork|| 0|
| 4||Corners Won|| 2|
| 6||Crosses into Box|| 10|
| 10||Fouls Conceded|| 8|
| 3||Off Side|| 2|
| 1||Yellow Cards|| 0|
| 0||Red Cards|| 0|
Stratford Yellow Cards – Hughes
Diamonds Yellow Cards – None
Man of the Match: Chris Wreh
Monday 26 August (3.00pm) Rushall Olympic (A)
Saturday 31 August (3.00pm) Biggleswade