CARL ADAMS has challenged his Stratford Town players to relish the challenge of tackling three of the Southern Premier’s top six in the next few weeks, rather than fearing it.
Town, who lie 11th in the fledgling table, put their unbeaten start to the test over the Bank Holiday weekend when they head to sixth placed Weymouth on Saturday before entertaining currently fourth placed Redditch United on Monday at the MoodChimp Stadium.
After an FA Cup clash at home to Newcastle Town next Saturday, Adams’ men then meet King’s Lynn, currently one of only three teams with maximum points from three games, before their first ever league clash with Hereford.
“It’s going to be a tough run of games but it’s not one we are going to fear,” said manager Adams.
“It’s a tough league with a lot of good teams. On current form, it’s a daunting run but we seem to do better against the better teams.
“We went to Weymouth last year with nobody giving us a chance but we drew 1-1 and it was one of the highlights of the season.”
Adams has been pleased with an opening sequence of one win and two draws and he felt last weekend’s 1-1 home draw with St Neots Town was a point gained, rather than two dropped.
Stratford had enjoyed a dream start when skipper James Fry hammered home from the edge of the area following a Will Grocott corner on eight minutes.
St Neots were level midway through the first period with a lightning counter-attack finished off by Dion Sembie-Ferris. St Neots also hit the woodwork twice so Adams was satisfied to come away with their unbeaten run intact.
“Going into the St Neots game, I really fancied our chances to get another three points but on the day we were lucky to get a point,” said the boss.
“They were better than us so I was happy with a point. Having said that we had a great chance to go 2-0 up and it could have been a different game.
“I think playing three times in seven days, especially having to play with ten men for two of those games, left us a little bit flat.
“But we have got the squad to make changes. It means we can probably rotate the squad for two games in three days over the Bank Holiday.”
Defender Loyiso Recci will be available to return after suspension for the trip to the Terras but playmaker Ben Stephens misses the next three matches after his red card against Merthyr.
Emmitt Delfouneso is edging closer to fitness having missed the last few months, while George Washbourne is also a week away from a return. Eli Bako, however, needs a few more weeks to recover from an ankle injury sustained in training.