IT’S an old adage that football is a marathon but a fixture pile-up will leave Stratford Town facing an even more testing run-in.
With Tuesday’s fixture against King’s Lynn Town being postponed, Town face cramming 27 league games and at least one cup-tie into the final four months of the season.
The busy schedule cranks up on Saturday with a trip to Chesham United as Town look before a home match against Merthyr Town on Tuesday, a Boxing Day test against Redditch United at the DCS. Then they open 2016 with a trip to another top-five side Leamington on January 2.
Manager Carl Adams admitted the backlog will stretch the squad, especially with Rob Thompson-Brown joining Redditch United.
But he says the challenge is to maintain the momentum built up from Stratford’s run of three defeats since October.
“We’ve been playing catch-up in the league because of our cup games but now it’s becoming a real worry,” said Adams. “We’ve got 27 league games to play, plus we’re still in the Birmingham Senior Cup.
“Numbers-wise, the squad is OK with 18-19 lads but you just hope you don’t suffer any injuries or suspensions. That could have a big impact.
“The big problem is that some of the arranged games are away, and will be played in midweek when it’s always tougher to do the travelling.
“But it’s going to be a real test. It will be a case of playing games, and resting, rather than having training.”
Adams, however, has faced such a backlog in his managerial career before – and ended up winning the Midland Combination title with Coleshill.
“We were 21 points adrift of Highgate and had six or seven games in hand but we got on a fantastic run and took the title in the last match of the season,” he said.
“When you get so many games, momentum is a big thing…winning or losing games.”
Apart from long-term casualties Kev Charley and Guy Clark, Town will be at full-strength for the trip to Chesham.