COMEBACK kings Stratford Town are closing in on a Southern Premier Central play-off place after enjoying two hugely profitable away days.
Town fought back from a 1-0 half-time deficit to sink fellow play-off hopefuls Coalville Town 2-1 on Saturday thanks to superb second half goals from Will Grocott and Mikey Taylor.
Then, three days later, Thomas Baillie’s men were at it again as they recovered from falling behind to Matthew Blake’s 26th-minute opener to triumph by the same scoreline thanks to Wilson Carvalho’s penalty in first half injury-time and the winner from Taylor just moments into the second half.
The results have left Town sitting pretty in fourth place with seven matches remaining ahead of another crunch clash on Saturday when third-placed King’s Lynn Town – a point above Stratford – are the visitors.
Vitally, Stratford have a six-point cushion over fifth-placed AFC Rushden & Diamonds and a seven-point advantage over Alvechurch who sit just outside the play-off places, although Church do have two games in hand.
One thing is for sure, if Stratford can secure another victory this weekend then it will take a real collapse in form in order for them to finish outside the top five and, if the evidence of the last two games is anything to go by, then Baillie’s troops have little to fear.
After their superb weekend win in Leicestershire, Town made the long trip to Suffolk on Tuesday and a gritty display again brought maximum rewards.
Below-par to this point, Town drew level on the verge of half-time when Shariff was brought down inside the box and Carvalho converted the penalty.
Then, 42 seconds into the second half, Shariff sent over an inviting cross which Taylor glanced across goal and into the far corner to put the visitors ahead.
Carvalho went close to extending the advantage before Shariff fired against the bar on 79 minutes, but two goals proved enough for Town and their fans to head home delighted.