FOOTBALL - Play-off agony for Stratford Town as goal difference denies Bards top-five finish - The Stratford Observer

FOOTBALL - Play-off agony for Stratford Town as goal difference denies Bards top-five finish

Stratford Editorial 29th Apr, 2024 Updated: 29th Apr, 2024   0

STRATFORD Town agonisingly missed out on a play-off place on goal difference despite a 3-2 victory at Royston Town on the final day of the season.

The Bards held off a late Royston fightback after goals from Lewis Wilson, Alex Worley and Tyrell Hamilton put the visitors in command at Garden Walk.

And the result means Stratford finish the Southern League Premier Central season in sixth place, behind Mickleover on goal difference after the latter side were deducted 12 points on the eve of the final game.

Stratford opened the scoring on 34 minutes when Wilson provided an emphatic finish after good work from Dan Lafferty inside the Royston penalty area.

And the visitors doubled their lead on 55 minutes as Worley unleashed a stunning shot from 35-yards out which found the back of the net.

The Bards wrapped up the points on 75 minutes when Hamilton rose highest to head home Chris Hussey’s corner via the aid of the crossbar.

Royston cut the deficit six minutes later as substitute Cain Keller cut inside and produced a neat finish past Bards goalkeeper Callum Smith.

And the home side struck again seven minutes into injury time when Daniel Baulk scored from the penalty spot after Keller drew a foul in the box but it proved too little too late.

Despite the victory, final day wins for Leamington, Redditch United and Mickleover cruelly denied the Bards an end-of-season play-off place.

However, despite their final day disappointment, Stratford enjoyed an excellent 2023/24 campaign and made excellent progress both on and off the pitch.


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