19th Nov, 2017

Battling Town off to good start

Liam Moakes 16th Aug, 2017

STRATFORD Town came from 2-0 down to salvage a draw against visitors Merthyr Town in the Southern League Premier Division.

Jarrad Wright had given the Welsh visitors a 27th-minute lead on Tuesday night with a bullet header before Scott Tancock made it 2-0 11 minutes later after nodding home at the back post.

Just two minutes later Carl Adams’ side pulled one back when Jazz Luckie converted from Edwin Ahenkorah’s neat pass.

Five minutes into the second half the hosts were level as Ahenkorah drilled home from 20 yards to complete the comeback.

Both sides finished the game with ten men as Ben Stephens (Stratford) and Ian Traylor (Merthyr) were sent for an early shower.

The point for Stratford came after they started their league campaign with a 2-1 victory at newly-promoted Royston Town on Saturday.

A fine save from Louis Connor in the Stratford goal prevented Scott Bridges’ bullet header from finding the net after three minutes.

That proved crucial as the visitors took the lead just two minutes later when an unmarked Stephens ghosted into the box to divert Lee Thomas’ first-time cross into the far corner.

The Hertfordshire hosts piled on the pressure and soon responded as the experienced John Frendo converted a first-time shot from the edge of the area to level the score.

However, after 27 minutes Adams’ side were back in front as Will Grocutt fed the ball into the path of the overlapping Thomas who smashed his effort into the bottom corner to claim a debut goal.

The second period produced plenty of incidents and talking points.

Connor had to pull off a number of fine saves to deny the hosts, who were getting increasingly frustrated at wasted chances.

After 56 minutes the game boiled over as Royston’s Adam Murray was sent off for grabbing Stratford’s Loyiso Recci by the throat.

Recci was also booked in the process before the game looked to be getting out of hand as a further three bookings followed in the space of ten minutes.

With 80 minutes on the clock, Stratford were down to ten men Recci received a second yellow card for preventing a Royston counter-attack.

Despite a lot of pressure from the home side, the impressive Andy Gallinagh and Liam Francis marshalled the Stratford defence to see out the game.

Town host St Neots Town on Saturday.

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