20th Jul, 2017

Town venture into the unknown

Liam Moakes 13th Jul, 2017

STRATFORD Town will make their first ever trip to Royston Town to kick off the 2017/18 Southern League Premier Division season.

The fixtures were released yesterday (Thursday) and Carl Adams’ men will visit the divisional newcomers on Saturday, August 12.

Hertfordshire side Royston dominated the Central Division last season, losing just four times in amassing 102 points.

Stratford, looking ahead to their third season at Step 3, make their first league appearance at the newly-sponsored MoodChimp Stadium on Tuesday, August 15 when old rivals Merthyr Town are the visitors and then St Neots Town are the guests the following Saturday.

Redditch United will provide the August Bank Holiday and Boxing Day opposition, with Banbury United the opponents on New Year’s Day and Easter Monday.

Town began their pre-season build-up last night (Thursday) when they entertained Stafford Rangers at the MoodChimp Stadium and then entertain Rushall Olympic on Saturday before a trip to Boldmere St Michaels on Tuesday (7.30pm).

Adams has been busy revamping his squad, adding George Washbourne, Louis Connor, Andy Gallinagh and Loyiso Recci.

Tricky midfielder Washbourne, a former Town youngster, joins from Hednesford Town and has also featured for Redditch, Evesham United, Chasetown, Sutton Coldfield Town, Stourbridge and Forest Green Rovers.

Goalkeeper Connor has arrived from Rugby Town, having won three player of the season awards at Butlin Road last season, and will take over from Niall Cooper, who has joined Rugby having moved house.

Gallinagh, 32, another who started in Stratford’s youth ranks, will add plenty of experience to the defence, having featured for Cheltenham Town, Hereford, Bath and Worcester.

Defender Recci will be a familiar face to Town supporters, having been part of their side which won back-to-back promotions from the Midland Alliance and Southern League Division One South & West.

In the FA Trophy, Stratford will be at home to Gresley or Bedworth United in the first round qualifying on October 28.

STRATFORD TOWN FIXTURES:

Sat Aug 12 Royston Town A

Tue Aug 15 Merthyr Town H

Sat Aug 19 St. Neots Town H

Sat Aug 26 Weymouth A

Mon Aug 28 Redditch United H

Sat Sep 2 Emirates FA Cup 1Q

Sat Sep 9 King’s Lynn Town A

Tue Sep 12 Hereford A

Sat Sep 16 Emirates FA Cup 2Q

Sat Sep 23 Gosport Borough H

Tue Sep 26 Chesham United H

Sat Sep 30 Dorchester Town A

Sat Oct 7 Hitchin Town A

Tue Oct 10 Kings Langley H

Sat Oct 14 Dunstable Town H

Wed Oct 18 Frome Town A

Sat Oct 21 Royston Town H

Tue Oct 24 Merthyr Town A

Sat Nov 4 Bishops Stortford H

Sat Nov 11 Basingstoke Town A

Tue Nov 14 Hereford H

Sat Nov 18 Tiverton Town A

Sat Nov 25 St. Ives Town H

Tue Nov 28 Chesham United A

Sat Dec 2 Farnborough H

Sat Dec 9 Kettering Town A

Sat Dec 16 Biggleswade Town H

Sat Dec 23 Slough Town A

Tue Dec 26 Redditch United A

Mon Jan 1 Banbury United H

Sat Jan 6 St. Neots Town A

Sat Jan 13 Weymouth H

Sat Jan 20 Hitchin Town H

Sat Jan 27 Kings Langley A

Sat Feb 3 Frome Town H

Sat Feb 10 Dunstable Town A

Sat Feb 17 Dorchester Town H

Sat Feb 24 Gosport Borough A

Sat Mar 3 Tiverton Town H

Sat Mar 10 St. Ives Town A

Sat Mar 17 Kettering Town H

Sat Mar 24 Farnborough A

Sat Mar 31 King’s Lynn Town H

Mon Apr 2 Banbury United A

Sat Apr 7 Slough Town H

Sat Apr 14 Biggleswade Town A

Sat Apr 21 Basingstoke Town H

Sat Apr 28 Bishops Stortford A