CARL ADAMS warned Stratford Town to expect to face one of the teams likely to be challenging for promotion when they visit St Neots Town tomorrow (Saturday).
St Neots smashed Bedworth 6-0 at the Oval on Tuesday and have already beaten likely promotion rivals Leamington.
St Neots and Town both have seven points, but St Neots lie fifth in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier standings compared to Town’s 10th, because of their superior goal difference.
It will be another tough test for Stratford after they went down 3-0 at Merthyr Town on Tuesday.
Manager Adams said: “I think Merthyr and St Neots look like the sort of teams you have to measure yourselves against when you make the step up.
“I think both of them will up there, with the likes of Leamington and Kettering and Poole.
“That’s the quality you face in the Premier Division.”
Not that Stratford will be fazed by the challenge after two wins, one draw, one defeat from their first four games following promotion.
Adams has been pleased with the performances overall, but the squad is learning.
A 95th minute equaliser cost them a win against Slough last week after Robbie Thompson-Brown gave Stratford a second-minute lead and then Merthyr bagged two goals in the final two minutes to seal a 3-0 win on Tuesday night.
Adams said: “It was a real shame on Saturday – we had more than enough chances to have the game won. We dominated the first half and though they had more possession in the second half they didn’t really threaten. To lose a goal after 95 minutes was a kick in the teeth.
“Going to Merthyr was a tough task but we matched them in the first half. Then they had a ten-minute spell after half-time when they just blew us away. They were really, really special and I can see them being real challengers.
“But they only scored once and we were still in the game. We hit the post twice, had another cleared off the line. Then we got caught by two sucker punches.”
Aaron Stringfellow starts a three-match ban tomorrow after his red card against Hitchin, and fellow defender Marcel Simpson is unavailable to be best man at a wedding.