THOMAS BAILLIE hailed a ‘fabulous result for everyone involved with the club’ after Stratford Town won the Southern League Challenge Cup.
But the head of football hopes Tuesday’s 1-0 victory over Cinderford Town, courtesy of Kynan Isaac’s winner, will be the catalyst for more glory in the league.
Baillie said Town would enjoy their success as cup winners, but then quickly focus on securing their place in the Southern Premier Central play-offs.
Stratford, who sit in fifth spot – six points clear of Biggleswade Town – head to Suffolk on Saturday to face Lowestoft Town before meeting Biggleswade in a crunch clash at the Arden Garages Stadium on Easter Monday. They bring the curtain down on the regular season next Saturday at champions Kettering Town.
“Tuesday was a fantastic evening and it’s been great for me to come here and work with some tremendous people, particularly Walks (Steve Walker) and Marshy (Nathan Marsh),” Baillie told the Stratford Town Independent Supporters Association website.
“I don’t think Cinderford ever looked like hurting us apart from a couple of set-pieces and I don’t recall Ross Etheridge having a serious save to make. Although it was still level at half-time, I was always confident we would go on and win and once we got ahead I didn’t feel they would be able to come back.
“I’m not sure what the stats are, but it’s difficult to recall any game where we’ve been ahead and then let a lead slip and that’s all down to our game management.
“It was excellent to have the backing of a large crowd. This club has great potential, but if it is to progress we need attendances of around the 500 mark for every home game.
“Hopefully then the extra fans who were here on Tuesday night will have liked what they saw and come back again as regulars.
“Meantime we now have three vital league games left and we still need points to be certain of a play-off spot. I’m sure we can make it and once in the play-offs we will see what happens and where it takes us.”
Isaac was the cup final hero, netting from close-range in the 61st minute to beat Cinderford at the Arden Garages Stadium.
The woodwork twice denied Town in the early stages as Wilson Carvalho and Dan Creaney both hit the post. However, both players were involved in the decider just past the hour mark.
Creaney’s pass sent Wilson scampering away and his cross was slotted home by Isaac from inside the six-yard box.
On Saturday, goals from Lewis Wilson and Mike Taylor sealed a 2-0 victory at home to Royston Town to tighten Town’s grip on a play-off place.
The opening goal came on 13 minutes. Albi Skendi regaining possession from a corner to find Jimmy Fry and his cross was converted by Wilson.
Fry was again instrumental for Town’s second goal on 53 minutes. After Will Grocott’s free kick was cleared only as far as Fry, the midfielder’s chip was fired home by top-scorer Taylor.
Royston had the chance to make a game of it after being awarded a penalty in the 62nd minute but Town keeper Etheridge dived to his right to save Tom Knowles’ spot-kick.