20th Nov, 2019

Stern test for Town in bid to create FA Cup history

Stratford Editorial 28th Sep, 2017

CARL Adams says there would be no better way to erase the pain of midweek defeat than to create history with Stratford Town on Saturday.

The Town manager was hugely frustrated by Tuesday night’s lacklustre 3-1 reverse at home to Chesham United – a first home loss of the season – in the Southern Premier.

However, Stratford need to forget about that display when they head to Scarborough Athletic on Saturday looking to reach the final qualifying round of the FA Cup for the first time.

Town will be making a fourth appearance in the third qualifying round and the previous three have all ended in defeat.

Adams warned his side will need to be at their best to tackle Northern Premier North side Scarborough, who have rattled up eight wins in a row.

The North Yorkshire side, formed out of the remnants of former League club Scarborough, moved into a new stadium with a 3G pitch this summer and expect around 1,200 to watch the game.

“Tuesday was a poor night for us, a poor performance from us, but we have to quickly move on to the FA Cup,” said Adams.

“We have to take our punishment and now quickly focus on what will be a big game for both clubs. We need to prepare as well as we can for what is going to be a very hostile environment, in front of 1,200-1,300 people, and against a side that has won eight games on the trot.

“It’s going to be a tough ask but we have got a good squad and good footballers who look forward to playing on a 3G pitch. We’ll need to keep the ball well and try to frustrate them because they have been banging in the goals.

“But we have got goals in our team as well.”

Fitness check

Town, though, will be sweating on the fitness of forward Edwin Ahenkorah, who has missed the last two matches with a knee problem. He was due to train last night (Thursday) and a decision will be made after he is assessed closer to kick-off.

Adams will have Eli Bako in contention after two subs run-outs against Gosport and Chesham, while midfield marksman Ben Stephens, who was not risked on Tuesday, should be fit.

Town could reflect on a mixed week at the MoodChimp Stadium, having secured their first home league win against Gosport but then slipped to their first Premier Division loss on home soil three days later.

Stratford were in command inside 11 minutes against basement side Gosport as they went on to win 2-0.

Liam Francis bagged the opening goal from Will Grocott’s corner on five minutes and then Grocott slotted home the second to finish a flowing move involved Stephens and Justin Marsden.

On Tuesday, Town produced a stuttering first half display against a threatening Chesham but managed to be goalless, thanks to keeper Louis Connor. He saved a Lewis Toomey penalty and then a follow-up from David Hutton in brilliant fashion and tipped over a Toomey header.

However, when Stratford had midfielder James Hancocks sent off for a second booking within 60 seconds of the restart, Chesham took control.

Guiseppe Iaciofano broke the deadlock on 52 minutes and two goals from Toomey around the hour mark put them 3-0 ahead before Jazz Luckie grabbed a consolation goal after pouncing on a defensive mix-up.

If Town need a Cup replay against Scarborough, it will be played on Tuesday. If there is no replay, Adams’ men will kick off their League Cup campaign on Wednesday with a trip to Evesham United.

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