8th Dec, 2019

Patience a virtue for Town in play-off hunt

Stratford Editorial 4th Apr, 2019

THOMAS Baillie praised his Stratford Town side for their patience as they moved closer to securing a play-off berth in Southern Premier Central.

Goals from Dan Creaney and Lewis Wilson wrapped up what turned out to be a hard-fought 2-0 win at relegated Bedworth United on Saturday.

It was Stratford’s fourth victory in five matches and head of football Baillie wants his side to maintain the momentum when they welcome Rushall Olympic to the Arden Garages Stadium on Saturday.

The clash with the tenth-placed Pics kicks off a key week of three successive home matches.

On Tuesday, Town will have home advantage in their first ever appearance in the CSS League Cup semi-finals when they meet Lowestoft Town.

The final would then be held the following week against either Cinderford Town or Blackfield & Langley, with the venue to be decided.

Next Saturday (April 13), Stratford entertain Royston Town.

Town occupy fourth spot in the table, seven points clear of AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Biggleswade Town in sixth and seventh place. All the teams have five games to play.

Baillie was pleased with how his side stuck to their task last weekend against a Bedworth side who played with plenty of spirit before Stratford moved up a gear in the second half.

“That’s four wins in our last five games and we are looking good for the play-offs,” the Town boss told the Stratford Town Independent Supporters Association.

“Although already-relegated Bedworth gave us a tough battle, especially in the first half, at half-time we said we would just have to be patient and the goals would come.

“Once we went ahead straight after the restart we could have gone on to score five or six, but we’ve hit the bar and their keeper has pulled off a couple of top-class saves.”

Baillie was also delighted to record another clean sheet, with Ross Etheridge back as No 1 after on-loan Laurence Bilboe was recalled by Rotherham United and then sent to Havant & Waterlooville.

Baillie backed Etheridge to step up to the challenge in the final five games of the regular season.

“Another positive is that we’ve kept a clean sheet and that’s great for Ross Etheridge as he will be our keeper from now on.

“We thought we had Laurence Bilboe for the rest of the season but he was recalled by Rotherham United at 3.30pm on Thursday which gave us no time to bring anyone else in.

“But overall it’s been a good afternoon and I’m as happy as can be!”

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