STRATFORD Town cannot afford any more ‘hard-luck stories’ as they bid to halt a four-match losing streak, says manager Carl Adams.
The Town boss admits the pressure is on his side to halt a run of four defeats in a row and a winless sequence of seven matches.
Town will return to the DCS Stadium on Saturday to tackle bottom of the table Bideford and then have the chance to book a Birmingham Senior Cup semi-final place when they host Rushall Olympic on Tuesday.
“It’s been a bit of a bit of a hard luck story in the last few weeks but I’m not looking at excuses,” said Adams. “We’ve been on a poor run and we need to get back to winning ways as quickly as possible.
“We’ve got a big week ahead and it could either be a very good week to get us back on track, or a disastrous week.”
Stratford could easily have returned with some reward from trips to promotion-chasing duo Chippenham Town on Saturday and Leamington on Tuesday, only to lose 2-1 and 1-0 respectively.
Adams feels decisions have been going against his side – notably a penalty appeal being waved away on Tuesday night at Leamington after Mark Magee was tripped by Brakes keeper Tony Breeden.
“It was a stonewall penalty but it wasn’t given,” said the Stratford manager. “That’s the way things have been going.
“It’s been a frustrating time in the last month. We’ve been very much in some games, got into winning positions and not got over the line.
“Last Saturday, at Chippenham, I felt we were the better side and I couldn’t believe we didn’t come away with a win.
“Then on Tuesday Leamington came at us like a hurricane in the first half but then we did well in the second half.
“It’s all about fine lines. If we getting hammered 3-0 I’d be worried but it’s been a bit of hard-luck story.
“It’s the same players who were doing so well before Christmas and they can turn it around.”
Town are still without striker Edwin Ahenkorah, whose hamstring injury is set to keep him sidelined for another ten days or so, as well as the unavailable Tyrone Fagan for Saturday’s game.
On Tuesday, Stratford found themselves on the back foot for the first period at Leamington in the first clash between the two Warwickshire sides for ten years.
The Brakes went ahead when Courtney Baker-Richardson headed home from a Sam Austin cross on 32 minutes.
Town keeper Andy Kemp denied Lee Moore from close range and parrying a Baker-Richardson effort and Stratford ended the stronger.
Richard Gregory sent a shot wide after nicking the ball from Breeden 35 yards from goal, Magee’s tumbled under Breeden’s challenge as he prepared to shoot for a strong penalty appeal and then Jack Roberts’ shot was gathered by the keeper.
Last Saturday, Stratford more than matched title-chasing Chippenham.
The hosts took a 12th-minute lead through Jay Malpas before Stratford equalised eight minutes later through Magee’s shot from Kieren Westwood’s chip.
The winner, however, came on 32 minutes from Bluebirds’ top scorer Andy Sandell.