CARL Dickinson scored his first Stratford Town goal as the Bards ended their 11-game winless run in the league with a 2-0 victory at AFC Rushden and Diamonds.
Dickinson’s opener on 34 minutes proved decisive before Will Grocott sealed the win in the second half at Hayden Road as the Bards tasted victory for the first time since October despite Dan Lafferty’s bizarre red card.
The result means Stratford sit 20th in the Southern League Premier Central table, four points from safety with three games in hand on Kings Langley who sit directly above the drop zone.
Stratford were knocking on the door in the first half and broke the deadlock when Dickinson nodded home from Grocott’s corner.
However, confusion reigned on 58 minutes as Lafferty was shown a second yellow card by the referee despite being nowhere near the play at the time in what appeared to be a case of mistaken identity.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Stratford doubled their lead on 76 minutes when Grocott calmly converted from the penalty spot after Mikey Taylor was brought down by Rushden goalkeeper Dean Snedker.
The Bards held on to secure their first away win of the season as Gavin Hurren’s claimed a much-needed win against the division’s basement club.
Stratford are next in action at home to Ilkeston Town on Saturday, February 4 with kick-off at 3pm at the Arden Garages Stadium.