FC STRATFORD are determined not to let their first defeat of the Midland League Division Three season dent their push for success.
A missed penalty proved costly as Stratford went down 2-1 at AFC Solihull on Saturday – their first league defeat in eight matches this term.
However, Dave Poulson’s men will look to bounce back on Saturday (1.45pm) when they meet one of their promotion rivals, Bartestree, in the last 16 of the Les James Challenge Cup at the MoodChimp Stadium.
Poulson admits the free-flowing football of earlier in the season had been stymied in recent weeks but he also admitted the quality and performance of the opposition should take credit.
FC Stratford fell behind at Solihull’s Tudor Grange Leisure Centre when a corner was not fully cleared and the ball was volleyed home by former FC Stratford player Andy Matthews past keeper Nick Holt.
Stratford had plenty of possession but struggled to break down a well organised home defence and Solihull, who included former Birmingham City forward Dele Adebola, added a second goal after the interval.
The visitors failed to deal with a punt forward and Matthews again collected the loose ball to smash home.
Stratford responded immediately when Dean Poulson pulled the ball back into the path of Tom Parnaby who slotted home and then they had the chance to level.
Parnaby was flattened as he took a Poulson corner, but Ashley Wilkes’ weak spot-kick was saved.