STRATFORD TOWN’S quest for a winning formula has continued with caretaker manager Paul Davis adding EIGHT new players to their squad.
Town handed first starts to two new faces in last weekend’s defeat to Lowestoft Town – with three on the bench – before three more made their debuts in the midweek Birmingham Senior Cup penalty KO to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Goalkeeper Harvey White, becoming a third No 1 in three games after joining on loan from Watford, and midfielder Ravi Shamsi, signed from Leamington, both lined up against Lowestoft in Southern Premier Central.
On the bench were former Birmingham City academy and Fulham player Foday Nabay, French winger Boubakar Traore, from Nuneaton Town and ex-Macclesfield and Torquay midfielder Courtney Richards from Alvechurch.
Richards then made his first start against Wolves on Tuesday, alongside defender Kyle Ambris, snapped up from Tamworth on loan, and Matt Bower, a centre-half on a one-month loan deal from Bath City.
Town have also welcomed back Kian Williams. Winger Williams, a former Stratford player, has returned after a spell with Icelandic side Magni Grenevik.
Stratford have bid farewell to Liam Hughes, who has joined Bradford PA, Yan Ofusu and Kurtis Revan.
Town have no scheduled league game this weekend – planned opponents Royston Town are in the FA Cup – but they have arranged a friendly away to Kettering Town for Davis to run the rule over the players. It will be a mix of first teamers and academy players.
Davis, who replaced the axed Tommy Wright last week, felt Town had been poor in both boxes as they lost 3-0 to Lowestoft at the Arden Garages Stadium. Despite having plenty of chances, Town failed to convert the opportunities and the Suffolk visitors made them pay.
Jake Reed found space to fire home on seven minutes and Malachi Linton sealed the points with further strikes on 67 and 90 minutes.
Stratford, though, were much-improved against Wolves’ youngsters – a mix of their U23s and U18s.
The Molineux kids went ahead on 33 minutes through Bouba Hanne but, after Town striker Nabil Shariff had a penalty saved, Lewis Wilson levelled in the 69th minute.
Hanne restored the Wolves advantage on 83 minutes but sub Chris Wreh made it 2-2 in injury time to send the tie into a penalty shoot-out.
Shariff saw his spot-kick strike the post and Wolves converted all their penalties before Shamsi’s effort was saved by Jamie Partington to send Wolves through.
“The lads have done absolutely everything I’ve asked them to,” Davis told the Stratford Town Independent Supporters Association.
“They followed my instruction and the game plan worked.
“We’ve taken a Premier League team to penalties and I hope the supporters can see that we are now heading in the right direction.”