CARL ADAMS is determined their New Year’s Day defeat will not derail Stratford Town’s charge towards the Southern Premier top ten.
A 2-0 Boxing Day victory at Redditch United – courtesy of two goals from Ben Stephens – meant Town ended 2017 in a remarkable tenth place.
But they dropped to 13th after a last-gasp 3-2 defeat to Banbury United – only their second loss at the MoodChimp Stadium this season – and boss Adams is confident they can bounce back when they travel to St Neots Town, who are the new occupiers of tenth place, two points ahead of Stratford.
Adams was philosophical after the New Year’s Day defeat.
Town had led through Stephens’ 16th goal of the season on 18 minutes after good play by Eli Bako and Justin Marsden, then fell 2-1 behind after Tom Winters and Ricky Johnson netted either side of half time.
Mike Taylor equalised with a sweetly-timed volley from Will Grocott’s free kick just after the hour mark but the Puritans snatched an 82nd-minute decider when defender Loyiso Recci missed a long free kick and Leam Howards slotted home.
There was still time for Taylor to smash another ferocious strike against the upright.
“It was a tight affair,” said Adams. “There was not a lot in it and it was a pity that it was won due to Loyiso’s mistake on an afternoon when he had again put in an immense effort.
“But it shows how far we have come when we went into this game confident of getting a positive result and in the end it was only the width of the post which stopped us getting a point.
“We now look forwards to St Neots at the weekend. Justin Marsden came off against Banbury but should be OK for that one, as should Andy Gallinagh and Dan Summerfield, but on the downside both Lee Thomas and Mike Taylor will be missing through suspension.”
After the trip to St Neots, Stratford can expect a bumper crowd at the MoodChimp on Tuesday when they welcome promotion-chasers Hereford before Weymouth are the visitors a week on Saturday.