STRATFORD Town endured a disastrous afternoon away at St Ives Town after the Bards were shown a red card and conceded three penalties in a 5-0 defeat.
The Bards were behind after just five minutes when a clumsy challenge in the box by Josh Endall allowed Dylan Williams to open the scoring from the penalty spot as he sent Liam O’Brien the wrong way.
And Gavin Hurren’s side were dealt a significant blow on 12 minutes when Jack Storer was dismissed for an elbow.
The game was all but over as a contest on 20 minutes when St Ives won another penalty after former Stratford man Gregory Kaziboni was brought down by Endall in the area.
Jonathan Edwards converted the resulting spot kick to double the home side’s lead whilst the struggling Endall was replaced shortly after.
St Ives extended their lead on 48 minutes when former Bards player Nabil Shariff was left unmarked at the near post to easily head home Kaziboni’s cross.
And Shariff grabbed his second of the game on 57 minutes with a clinical finish after his initial effort was saved by O’Brien.
The home side won their third penalty when Kaziboni jinked his way into the area before being brought down by James O’Neill only for O’Brien to make a fine save and push the spot kick over the crossbar.
Shariff completed his hat-trick on 78 minutes after he profited from a goalmouth scramble in the box before a defensive mix-up allowed Stratford the chance to pull a goal back late on.
A tangle between the St Ives goalkeeper and defender allowed substitute Curvin Sanderson-Ellis to steal in only to be tripped by home goalkeeper James Goff when he was about to shoot.
However, to rub salt into the Stratford wounds, Goff saved Will Grocott’s penalty as the Bards sit second bottom in the Southern League Premier Central table.
Stratford are back in action away at Redditch United TONIGHT (Monday, August 15) with kick-off at 7.45pm at the Trico Stadium.