Town 2 South Shields 1

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Mike Taylor struck in the fourth minute of added time to send Town through to the first round proper of the Buildbase F A Trophy for the first time ever.

Earlier the Mariners had taken a first half lead but Town levelled through Wilson Carvalho’s penalty in the 58th minute which also resulted in the Mariners midfielder Nathan Lowe being red carded.

A full report including Thomas Baillie’s post match comments is now available under the First Team Match Reports Section.

Youth Team News

Exempt until the third round because of their Premier Division status Town Youth begin their defence of the MFYL League Cup which they won in a thriller against Stourbridge last season with a home tie against Coventry Sphinx.

The tie has been scheduled for Thursday December 6th with kick off time at the Arden Garages Stadium being 7.45pm.

 

Town Youth 4 Evesham United 0

Town Youth consolidated their grip on second spot in the MFYL Premier Division South table as they completed the seasonal double over local rivals Evesham United at the Arden Garages Stadium on Thursday evening.

In spite of missing a number of regulars Darren Timms’ side put in a determined performance and two goals in each half propelled them to an ultimately comfortable success.

Town went on the attack straight from the kick off and went ahead after just seven minutes when Jack Ballinger’s cross from the left picked out the unmarked Rob Lord who had the simple task of steering the ball past the helpless Evesham keeper Will Phillips.

The Robins looked for an immediate response with Denis Whiteman driving in from the right before hitting his shot straight at Town keeper Ryan Woodward, but although they had plenty of the possession they couldn’t find a way through the Town defence where Josh Aspinall-Smyth was in his usual commanding form.

Jake Cavans came closest to an equaliser on 38 minutes with a header which drifted narrowly wide before Town doubled their lead three minutes later with Harry Hartin’s assured finish from Lewis Tmms’ cross.

And in the final minute of the first half James Pomeroy went tantalisingly close to adding a third as he cut in from the left to drill a shot inches wide of the far post.

But eight minutes after the break Town effectively put the result beyond doubt as they went three up. Tyrike Richards-Burke chased after a long ball down the inside right channel and as Phillips came off his line his attempted clearance rebounded off the Town striker who ran on to fire into the empty net.

Soon after a slick Town passing move set up another chance for Hartin who this time blazed over, but Town were now well on top and made it 4-0 on 82 minutes with a spectacular strike from debutant Ben Cook.

Evesham failed to deal properly with a Town free kick and when the loose ball reached Cook some 20 yards out he celebrated his first Town appearance by lashing it first time into the top corner before Phillips could even move.

League Cup Draw

In the draw for the third round of the CSS League Cup announced today Town have been handed an away tie at  Didcot Town.

The match is scheduled to be played in the week commencing Monday December 3rd.

100 Up For Mike Taylor

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Fans favourite Mike Taylor aka “the Beast” made his 100th Stratford appearance in Tuesday evening’s Birmingham Senior Cup tie against Aston Villa.

Brought to Town by Carl Adams in the summer of 2016 Mike made his debut from the subs bench in the 2106/17 season’s opening game at St Ives. Coming on in the 65th minute with Town 1-0 down he took just five minutes to notch the equaliser, but after only three games he opted to return to Redditch United.

Soon realising it was not the best decision he had ever made he was back at Town by the beginning of November and made his second debut against in a Southern League Cup tie against Leamington. This time he was in the starting line-up and opened the scoring in the19th minute as Town went on to win 4-0.

From then on he was a regular in the team with the highlight being his hat-trick against Cinderford Town as he ended the campaign with 11 goals from 32 appearances

But he struggled to hit the target at the start of last season going without a goal in his first 15 appearances (7 starts and 8 as a sub) until he rediscovered his scoring touch in the home League match against Dunstable Town when he broke his seasonal duck in the 26th minute and then incredibly stormed to the second hat-trick of his Town career before half time.

He went on to clock up 48 appearances (which included 12 from the subs bench) with his 13 goals taking him into second spot in the Town’s goalscoring charts behind a certain Ben Stephens.

But with the Town supporters loving his hustle and bustle in the style of an old fashioned centre forward he has really relished his lone striker role this season with 12 goals already from his 20 games.

All of that suggests that his third Town campaign will be his best yet, and if so no-one will deserve it more than this big hearted number 9.

Penalty Shoot-Out Exit For Town In BSC

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Town had seen off Coventry City in the previous round of the Birmingham Senior Cup via a penalty shoot-out after a goal-less 90 minutes but couldn’t repeat the trick against the Villa in round two.

Again there were no goals in normal time but Villa won the shoot-out 5-4.

A full report including Thomas Baillie’s post match comments is now available under the First Team Match Reports Section.

Needham Market 2 Town 1

Town’s unbeaten 13 game run was ended by a hardworking Needham side who led 2-0 at half time.

Debutant Taylor Morrison pulled one back with a free kick with five minutes to go but Needham held on for the win.

A full report including Thomas Baillie’s post match comments is now available under the First Team Match Reports Section.

Town Youth Exit The BYC After A Shoot-Out

Town Youth   1    Stourbridge   1
(Stourbridge won 4-2 on penalties)

An inspired performance from Stourbridge keeper Peter Hawk, which included saving two Town penalties in the deciding shoot-out before blasting in the winning spot kick himself, propelled the Glassboys into the quarter finals of the Birmingham County Youth Cup following a closely fought second round tie at the Arden Garages Stadium on Thursday evening.

Earlier the sides had been level at 1-1 after 90 minutes with Sacha Everard’s own goal which had given Stourbridge a half time lead being cancelled out when Hawk was left helpless by an attempted clearance from Hayden Reeves.

Town had made the brighter start with Callum Gallagher firing into the side netting inside five minutes and Hawk had to make his first serious save of the evening after only a quarter of an hour getting down well to push out a Caine Elliott free kick at the foot of his right hand post.

Tommy Harrington wasn’t far away with a decent effort from 20 yards out, but the Glassboys came more into the game from the half hour mark.

Both Rio McFarlane and Tyrese Bevan went close and Town keeper Ryan Woodward did well to turn away another Bevan attempt at point blank range.

At the other end Harrington had Town’s best chance yet on 35 minutes but Hawk pulled off another smart save stretching to his right and three minutes later Stourbridge took the lead.

McFarlane’s low drive was deflected behind and when the corner came across Everard and  Reeves went for it together and the ball ricocheted off the luckless Town defender into the net.

Town had the chance of an immediate equaliser but Hawk was quickly off his line to block at Harrington’s feet to keep the Glassboys in front at the break.

Darren Timms sent on Bradley West and Tyrike Richards-Burke to provide additional firepower at the start of the second half but they couldn’t find a way past Hawk.

A run down the right by Richards-Burke ended with his whipped-in cross being cut out by Hawk as before West could reach it, and soon after Richards-Burke beat the offside trap to be one-on-one with Hawk who kept out the shot with his outstretched right leg.

West had a fierce attempt beaten away by the keeper and then had another effort cleared off the line by Reeves as Town continued to pile on the pressure.

By now Harry Hartin was on as well and with 15 minutes to go he drilled over a low cross from the left which Reeves could only divert past Hawk as he tried to clear for the second own goal of the game.

Having at last drawn level Town went all out for the winner but Hawk made an unbelievable save as he pushed over a fiercely struck effort from Jack Ballinger and followed that up with another brave block from West and a further smart save when Ballinger threatened again.

And so it went to penalties. Josh Aspinall-Smyth fired in Town’s first but the Glassboys nosed ahead when Hawk beat out Hartin’s attempt. Town were back in it as Callum Phipps blazed over and Everard levelled it all up, but when Town’s fourth penalty taken by West was pushed away by Hawk plunging to his left it meant that if Stourbridge were successful with their fifth they would be through.

And Hawk then completed his incredible evening by stepping up to blast it past Woodward with the minimum of fuss before disappearing under a scrum of his ecstatic team mates.