22nd Nov, 2017

Adams: We’re ready for big tests

Stratford Editorial 9th Nov, 2017 Updated: 9th Nov, 2017

CARL ADAMS insists Stratford Town will be 100 per cent focused on two huge games in four days – with the chance to create history and then star in front of the biggest crowd at the MoodChimp Stadium this season.

Town will be seeking to reach the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy for the first time when they travel to Northern Premier top ten side Lancaster City on Saturday.

Providing there is no replay, Stratford are then scheduled to meet Hereford in the Southern Premier on Tuesday at the MoodChimp, with the Bulls expected to bring 500-600 fans.

Having rested half a dozen key players for the midweek League Cup defeat at Redditch United, Adams will have skipper Jimmy Fry, Andy Gallinagh, Liam Francis, Will Grocott, Mike Taylor and Ben Stephens all in contention for this weekend’s trip to the Giant Axe.

The Town boss is fully aware of the task against a Lancaster side who have yet to lose on home soil this season.

“They have probably got the best home record in the league,” said Adams. “They are unbeaten at home and they are going well. They are big, strong and rugged – a typical Northern Premier side.

“It’s going to be a tough ask but it’s nothing to fear. We rested players against Redditch to give ourselves the best chance to go and get a result on Saturday.”

Adams used the League Cup tie at Redditch to shuffle his squad and he handed debuts to FC Stratford pair Dean Poulson and Dan Stokes. Both started the game at the Trico and Adams says he will keep an eye on their progress.

“It was a chance to have a look at them and they didn’t let themselves down at all,” said Adams.

“Tuesday was a good opportunity to look at a few players and gives minutes on the pitch to a few. I know it finished 3-0 but I don’t think that reflected the game. The difference was they finished off their chances but one was a penalty and one was a free kick.

“The most important thing was that we came through with no injuries and now we will be ready for two huge games against Lancaster and then Hereford.”

Redditch grabbed a 15th-minute lead in Tuesday’s cup tie, with Zaqib Hussain pouncing when defender Christian Tudorache dallied on the ball.

Orrin Pendley made it 2-0 on the stroke of half time with a looping header from a free kick from Pauly Apostolopoulos and Spencer Weir-Daley tucked home a third from the penalty spot ten minutes into the second half.

On Saturday, Town had been comfortable 3-1 winners against Bishop’s Stortford at the MoodChimp, with goals from Grocott, Eli Bako and Stephens.

Grocott fired home the first from a penalty on 34 minutes after Justin Marsden had been fouled and two goals in five minutes midway through the second period settled the points.

Bako bundled home on 70 minutes after Loyiso Recci had nodded a Grocott corner into the danger area and then Stephens collected a Grocott pass to finish for 3-0 before Callum Taylor replied for the visitors late on.

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