CARL Adams wants Stratford Town to prove last weekend’s defeat at Kettering Town was only a blip as he rallies the squad for the busy Christmas period.
Town suffered their first defeat in six Evo-Stik Southern Premier matches with a 2-0 loss to the title-chasing Poppies.
Manager Adams could have no complaints after Kettering scored early and late in the match at Latimer Park and Stratford struggled to create many chances.
It was a reminder about the need for consistency and concentration in every minute of every game.
After Tuesday’s match at Basingstoke Town was postponed due to a frozen pitch, 15th-placed Town will look to bounce back when they welcome Biggleswade Town to the MoodChimp Stadium on Saturday.
“We’ve had a good run and everybody hopes to get the consistency week to week,” said Adams. “For me, we’ve only had three or four bad performances in 20-odd games.
“Most of the games we’ve lost have been against top teams. The likes of King’s Lynn, Hereford and Kettering are not just too strong for us, they are too strong for everybody in this league.
“We will lose games but the test for me is always how we bounce back. It’s about learning and improving.”
On Saturday, Town were on the back foot inside the first four minutes when Kettering struck.
Matt Stevens forced the ball into the net from a Ben Toseland corner, although Town keeper Louis Connor was convinced he had been fouled.
The Poppies, who had won eight of their previous nine league games, had a clear edge in possession as Gary Stohrer’s effort was well saved and Lindon Meikle fired wide before Rene Howe had a header ruled out just before half time.
Town defenders Andy Gallinagh and Loyiso Recci needed to be at their best to stem the tide as Stohrer and Howe continued to threaten.
Town’s Justin Marsden had a fierce shot well saved by Poppies keeper Paul White with five minutes to play but any anxiety in the home fans was ended on 88 minutes when they made it 2-0.
Howe collected a loose ball inside the area and slammed home past Connor.
Midfielder Will Grocott had to be substituted at Kettering and will face a fitness test ahead of the clash with 13th-placed Biggleswade.