CARL ADAMS says the disappointments of the last week will only make Stratford Town stronger for the rest of their debut Southern League Premier Division season.
A 95th-minute equaliser gave Slough Town a 1-1 draw at the DCS Stadium on Saturday before two late goals gave hosts Merthyr Town a flattering 3-0 scoreline to hand Town their first defeat of the season on Tuesday.
Boss Adams says there were lessons to be learned from both games but admits he is more than happy with a record of two wins, one draw and one defeat from their first four games at Step Three football.
“The step-up in standard is evident,” said Adams. “We are facing teams who are a lot quicker, a lot sharper and a lot stronger than we did in the South & West Division last season.
“But I’m over the moon with the start we’ve made. We’ve done extremely well.
“Although we lost at Merthyr, we gave a good account of ourselves against one of the teams that will be right at the top of the league.”
Adams regards Merthyr as one of the title favourites and they face another of the big-spending contenders on Saturday when Town visit St Neots Town, who smashed six goals past another promoted side, Bedworth United, in midweek.
Stratford will be forced into two defensive changes, with Aaron Stringfellow starting a three-match ban following his opening day red card at Hitchin and Marcel Simpson away at a wedding.
Sam Adkins and Emmitt Delfouneso are set to come into the line-up. Defender Guy Clark is still a month away from fitness after his summer foot operation.