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21st Jun, 2021

Davis: We can turn this around

Stratford Editorial 11th Dec, 2019

PAUL DAVIS says he has the backing of the Stratford Town hierarchy to turn their fortunes around.

The interim manager had feared his reign could have come to an end after last week’s 5-1 surrender to Barwell but, after further talks with Jed McCrory and the board, he wants to keep pushing to get Town back to winning ways.

Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at home to play-off chasers Bromsgrove Sporting left Town fifth from bottom in Southern Premier Central with only one win in the last 15 league and cup games.

However, Davis saw enough in the performance last weekend to believe they can step up again when they meet Hitchin Town – the team immediately above them in the table – at the Arden Garages Stadium on Saturday.

“As I said before I want to lead this football club and I want to bring back the feelgood factor which we had last season,” Davis told the Stratford Town Independent Supporters Association.

“I had a long conversation with Jed McCrory and the board through the week and they are now fully backing me to get it right.

“We had an honest chat about some players possibly not being up to the required standard and also needing a little bit of a freshening up among the staff, so I made a conscious effort to bring back Nathan Marsh as goalkeeping coach who will also add a touch of joviality to the dressing room.”

Davis felt there was certainly more positivity after a battling display against the league’s top scorers.

Inevitably, two former Town heroes combined for Bromsgrove’s opening goal, with Richard Gregory crossing from the right for Mike Taylor to score on 13 minutes.

Town restored parity five minutes later when man of the match Chris Wreh collected Lewis Wilson’s precise pass and curled a delightful finish into the far corner.

Although Sporting continued to have more of the ball, Stratford defended stoutly until the visitors grabbed the winner on 67 minutes when Jak Hickman steered his corner into the danger area and Leon Broadhurst headed home.

“I felt that we were much better than on Tuesday,” said Davis. “We defended well against the highest scoring team in the league and I’m finding it difficult because some key decisions went against us.

“For their second goal I’m convinced it was a goal kick and not a corner and when it comes across our keeper ends up on the floor but no foul is given.

“Five minutes previously Chris Wreh had been hauled down in the penalty area in front of the linesman who tells me that in their pre-match briefing those decisions are to be taken solely by the referee. So those big moments five minutes apart are where we are. They’re riding high and they get that bit of luck with those decisions whereas we don’t.

“As a result I’ve got a dressing room that’s flat because they feel they’ve given everything and got nothing out of it.

“I’ve just said to the boys that it was much improved and what can’t happen is that we put in these type of performance and then suddenly go back to a Peterborough, Coalville or Barwell.

“We have to build on this and reproduce it against Hitchin. It’s all about expectation. Games like Saturday everyone expects you to be up against it so they go away happy-ish but games against sides like Hitchin we are expected to win and it’s not as easy as that. Hitchin will come here and make it difficult for us and we’ve got to be prepared for them to do that.”

Town, meanwhile, have bid farewell to Ravi Shamsi and Kyle McFarlane. Midfielder Shamsi has been an ever-present after joining from Leamington in October but has now joined league rivals Banbury United for the fourth time in his career.

Striker McFarlane who, like Shamsi, has scored four goals, has returned to parent club York City following his loan spell.

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