STRATFORD TOWN have been challenged to show they can deal with being earkmarked as one of the in-form teams in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier.
Manager Carl Adams has been delighted with Town’s impressive run which has garnered four wins out of the last five matches.
Town’s best ever Premier Division run continued with a last-gasp 2-1 win at Dorchester Town on Monday night which followed conceding an injury-time equaliser at home to Farnborough in Saturday’s 2-2 draw.
The sequence has pushed Stratford towards the top of the league’s form guide and into 14th place in the table, three points off eighth place, and Adams knows the trip to title-chasing Kettering Town on Saturday will be another test.
It will be one they will relish as Adams returns to a club he served in non-League’s top tier as a player.
“It’s been a good few weeks,” said Adams. “We deserved so much more on Saturday after leading 2-1 until the last kick of the game. On Monday it was our turn to score late on but to go away on a long journey on a Monday night and to come back with a victory showed just how hard the lads are prepared to battle.
“I feel we are now in a league position where we should be. Teams are taking note now of what we’re trying to do and that will bring new challenges so we need to keep raising our standards too.”
Loyiso Recci was the match-winner on Monday, although the hero was goalkeeper Louis Connor with a series of top quality saves.
Dorchester were denied by Connor’s agility and reflexes, with two double saves denying Sam Lanahan and Phil Ormrod and then Antonio Diaz in the first half.
The Dorset side, however, took the lead on 61 minutes when Billy Lowes fired home but it was 1-1 a minute later after Ben Stephens slotted home his 13th goal of the season when home defender Gary Bowles missed Justin Marsden’s cross.
Crucially, Connor came to the rescue one more time to dive to his left and keep out Ed Bastick’s penalty on 84 minutes and in the second minute of stoppage time Recci nodded in a Will Grocott corner for the winner.
The emotions had been the complete opposite on Saturday when Town twice led, only to be denied by a deflected strike with virtually the last of the game
Mike Taylor bagged the opener inside two minutes with a slick spin and finish from the edge of the box and, although Nick Cardini’s free kick levelled matter on 20 minutes, Stephens restored Town’s advantage from Grocott’s corner on 66 minutes.
Stratford had their opportunities to have had the points wrapped up but in the third minute of stoppage time Boro’s 42-year-old striker Jamie Cureton deflected a Josh Huggins effort into the net.
After the trip to second placed Kettering, Stratford are on the road again on Tuesday when they visit Basingstoke Town.