Stratford Town 2 Solihull Moors 0
TREY Brathwaite produced a smart finish against his old team-mates to help Stratford Town continue their unbeaten pre-season on Tuesday, writes Colin Stoner.
Brathwaite’s opener, followed by a brave header from Emmitt Delfouneso, put Town 2-0 up at half time at the DCS Stadium.
An excellent defensive display then secured a second clean sheet in succession, a fourth win in a row and a sixth game without defeat for Carl Adams’ men.
Moors fielded four trialists and had 43-year-old keeper Darren Acton between the sticks, but this was about Stratford’s positives, rather than any Moors’ weaknesses.
Acton was certainly not at fault for the goals but Town took them with aplomb.
The opener came on 19 minutes and was down to Brathwaite’s perseverance. When Solihull managed to block Mike Taylor’s low effort, Brathwaite pushed the ball back through the crowd of defenders and then beat Acton to the ball wide on the left before cutting back and slotting home into the far corner for a well taken finish.
As Stratford pressed, Richard Gregory’s attempted lob and shot on the turn were comfortably saved by Acton, while Jamie Sheldon’s thumping shot was parried.
The hosts had an escape on 37 minutes when one of Moors’ trialists, wearing No 3, left the crossbar shuddering with a fierce angled drive, but four minutes later Town had their second.
This goal was all about desire. Sheldon whipped in a corner from the left and defender Delfouneso got across his marker to get a head to the ball and send it flying into the net via the post.
He suffered a whack to the head for his troubles and needed treatment on a cut lip before continuing.
Taylor might have added a third before half time but the second half was more even.
Town looked largely comfortable but Harry White, a one-time Stratford youth-teamer, provided more of a threat for Moors.
Home keeper Niall Cooper was finally called into action on 62 minutes to save from White’s shot and the stopper showed excellent agility late on to push over a free kick from another trialist as the ball threatened to dip under the bar.