FOOTBALL - Stratford Town denied at the death by Coalville - The Stratford Observer

FOOTBALL - Stratford Town denied at the death by Coalville

Stratford Editorial 18th Mar, 2024 Updated: 21st Mar, 2024   0

STRATFORD Town conceded at the death to draw 1-1 away at Coalville Town and miss the chance to move back into the play-off places.

Benjamin Hart’s 97th-minute goal rescued a point for the home side after Dan Lafferty opened the scoring 10 minutes from time at the Mander Cruickshank Solicitors Stadium.

And the result means Stratford sit sixth in the Southern League Premier Central table, level on points with Leamington who currently occupy the final play-off spot.

The Bards were without key players Callum Ebanks, Jack Storer and Charlie Williams while Troy Smikle-James made his first Stratford appearance from the bench.

A much-changed Stratford side made a slow start as Bards goalkeeper Callum Smith impressed again between the sticks to keep Coalville at bay.

The visitors grew into the game as Chris Hussey’s volley sailed over the crossbar from Andre Landell’s lay off.

And Stratford went close to the opener shortly before half time as Lafferty’s shot came back off the post after he collected Landell’s pass and ran through unchallenged in the box.

The Bards spurned another glorious chance on the hour mark when Hussey’s shot from a tight angle hit the post and rebounded into the path of Lafferty who fired wide.

Stratford eventually took the lead on 80 minutes as Lafferty beat the offside trap before coolly finishing past Paul White from a tight angle.

However, Coalville equalised with virtually the last kick of the game as Hart finished from close range after the visitors failed to clear their lines in a crowded penalty area.

The leveller came after the additional five minutes had elapsed with Hussey shown a yellow card for questioning the referee as to why an extra two minutes were played.

Stratford are next in action at home to Long Eaton United on Saturday, March 23 with kick-off at 3pm at the Arden Garages Stadium.


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