CARL Adams says the summer signing of Andy Gallinagh has allowed skipper Jimmy Fry to flourish in Stratford Town’s unbeaten start to the season.
Town made it six games undefeated with a 4-0 home victory against Newcastle Town in Saturday’s FA Cup first qualifying round tie. The first cup win for Adams as Town boss has set up a clash with neighbours Redditch United a week on Saturday at the MoodChimp Stadium.
Before then, Stratford visit top ten sides King’s Lynn Town on Saturday and then Hereford on Tuesday in the Southern Premier.
Town boss Adams feels the two clashes will be the toughest test yet of Stratford’s form but they will be approach both games with confidence.
Adams has been delighted with the team ethic and the integration of his summer signings, with full back Lee Thomas, who joined from Hinckley AFC, being named player of the month.
He says Town no longer look “lightweight” and he says the know-how of former Hereford, Bath and Cheltenham defender Gallinagh has been one of the catalysts.
“All the new signings have come in and played their part,” said Adams. “I’ve been delighted.
“Gallers has made a big difference particularly. He is an organiser, a voice on the pitch and that’s what we needed. It means Jimmy Fry can push into midfield and provide a voice as well in the centre of the park. We look a solid side now.
“Up front, we’ve got goals as well. Edwin Ahenkorah and Jazz Luckie have been scoring, Mike Taylor is always a handful and could have had more goals as well.
“Now we’ve got Ben Stephens available this weekend as well after his suspension. He’s another player who can unlock defences.
“We’ve had a strong start but the question is can we keep it up? We’ve got two tough games coming up against King’s Lynn and Hereford. They are both going to be up there but we will go into both matches full of confidence.”
Adams admitted the 4-0 scoreline against Newcastle on Saturday ‘flattered’ Town but they took their chances when it mattered.
Luckie opened the scoring three minutes before half time after racing on to Taylor’s header and Will Grocott doubled the lead nine minute into the second period after Lee Thomas’ cross was only partially cleared.
Ahenkorah sealed Town’s progress with a 65th-minute penalty after Luckie had been fouled and then converted goal number four from Luckie’s pass.
It was Town’s first cup win since 2011, when they beat Stafford Rangers, and now they will looking to progress when they meet league rivals Redditch. The sides drew 0-0 at the MoodChimp on Bank Holiday Monday but Town created the better chances.
“I felt we were the better side against Redditch so we will have nothing to fear in the cup,” said Adams. “Being a cup tie, it will be a big game and being a local derby, it will add a bit more spice. Hopefully we will get a good crowd as well.”