CARL Adams will expect a positive response from his Stratford Town players after a frustrating Southern League Premier defeat at Kings Langley.
Stratford, playing their first game in a fortnight, battled and had chances but two goals from Matt Ball gave the hosts a 2-0 win.
Town will hope they can return to winning ways when they entertain Frome Town on Saturday at the MoodChimp Stadium.
Kings Langley made the most of a tricky, heavy pitch on Saturday with a more direct style, while Stratford’s passing was not quite as effective.
The hosts had the early threat with Josh Coldicott-Stevens’ shot going off target after hitting a team-mate and Kieran Turner fired over, but Town striker Edwin Ahenkorah’s deflected effort clipped the post just before the half hour mark.
The Kingsmen were celebrating on 35 minutes when a couple of defenders slipped trying to clear a Gareth Price cross and Ball slotted home from eight yards.
Ahenkorah threatened an equaliser moments later, but his shot was deflected off target.
Stratford pressed in the second period with Ben Stephens going close and Eli Bako having an effort charged down before Ahenkorah’s effort was scrambled off the line.
However, only a spectacular save from Town No 1 Louis Connor kept out a free kick from former Redditch player Arjun Jung and the visitors grabbed a decisive second in the third minute of added time as Stratford pressed forward.
Turner sped away down the right and found Ball who had time and space to finish with aplomb from 15 yards.
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FC STRATFORD are facing a growing fixture pile-up as they face having to cram two-thirds of the league campaign into three months.
The midweek postponement of their Midland League Division Three fixture at home to Alcester Town meant Dave Poulson’s men have played just three times since December 2.
They will be hoping for better fortune on Saturday when they are due to travel to Leamington Hibernian.
Poulson’s men have played only ten league games from their 30-match programme.
They lie sixth in the table, but are 16 points behind unbeaten leaders GNP Sports with five games in hand and they trail second placed Alcester by five points with a whopping nine matches in hand.
Last weekend’s Les James Challenge Cup second round clash against Hereford side Bartestree, postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, has been pencilled in for Saturday, February 10. The winners will be at home to NKF Burbage.
FC Stratford’s Challenge Vase semi-final against GNP, which has been called off twice, has been rearranged for Tuesday, February 20 at the MoodChimp Stadium.