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Striker Taylor returns to Town as boss seeks more reinforcements

Correspondent 3rd Nov, 2016 Updated: 3rd Nov, 2016

CARL ADAMS is ready to look for more reinforcements to cope with Stratford Town’s worrying list of injuries having today (Thursday) swooped to re-sign former striker Michael Taylor from Redditch United.

A depleted Town side, missing Kieren Westwood, Dan Summerfield, Jean Kalenda and Barry Fitzharris, bowed out of the FA Trophy on Tuesday night, losing 4-0 at Grantham in the first qualifying round replay.

Stratford had earned a reprieve in Saturday’s first clash at the DCS Stadium, fighting back from 2-0 down with two goals in the final eight minutes from Jamie Sheldon and Richard Gregory.

Town boss Adams had no complaints that Northern Premier side Grantham deserved to progress overall but the games highlighted the need to act to bolster his squad.

“They were the better side over the two games and deserved to go through,” said Adams.

“Being without Dan Summerfield, Kieran Westwood, Jean Kalenda and Barry Fitzharris made it very difficult for us and that’s not just a hard luck story but fact.

“Their second goal was a killer and after that there was only ever going to be one winner, but some of our players are just not strong enough and I will be looking to freshen up the squad with two or three new faces in the coming weeks.

“But it is worth pointing out that including the Grantham replay we have played 21 games and have won, drawn and lost seven each which I feel is an accurate reflection of where we are currently at.”

Kalenda had to be carried off with a twisted knee in the first game, leaving seven minutes of stoppage time for Gregory to level, and with wide defensive players Summerfield and Westwood still struggling, Adams says he needs to act quickly.

“They are going to be long-term injuries,” said Adams. “We’ll miss them.

“We do need to look to bring in players now. I’m doing my homework on a few possible targets but the situation we’re in at the moment isn’t the same as it was a few years ago in the Midland Alliance.

“You can’t just bring anyone in. Any players who come in need to be better than what we’ve got.”

Having a free Saturday will give Town more time, with their scheduled game with Chesham United called off because the latter are in FA Cup first round action.

Stratford then renew their acquaintances with old foes Leamington on Tuesday when the sides meet in the Southern League Cup second round at the DCS.

On-loan Donnell Benjamin, who was not allowed by parent club Solihull Moors to play in the Trophy, should be available.

Adams is set to again have a look at the younger players who impressed in the first round win at Redditch United but bearing in mind the first team’s inactivity this weekend he hinted he would involve several first-teamers as well

For the second season running, Stratford will meet Coventry City in the Birmingham Senior Cup. Town produced an upset last season against the Sky Blues on their way to reaching the semi-finals.

The second round tie at the DCS has been arranged for Monday, December 5.

Meanwhile, the newly-formed Stratford Town Independent Supporters Association will be holding a meeting at the DCS Stadium on Monday at 8pm. For more details, visit the website.

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