A request from the Treasurer’s office

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Did you know that, from the last four home friendlies, over the last fortnight, I have now banked approximately £470.00 into the STISA coffers ? This being the proceeds of our successful 50/50 draw and the new meat raffle draw (we are indebted to Paul Collicutt for a donation of well over £100 worth of prime meat for each home match).

As supporters will know, a small band of ticket sellers form a “barrier” between turnstile and pitch-side and this has proved effective in drawing punters – home, away, neutral and first-timers – into parting with their cash ! We have worked hard and tirelessly throughout last season, and recently, to generate a loyal and generous client-base, with whom we enjoy a harmonious rapport…. as well as undertaking friendly, jovial banter !

The dedicated volunteers are not always available every match, and indeed more may be needed for large crowd games. Therefore we are looking to set up a rota of STISA members to swell the profitable fund raising team for a stint of 45-60 minutes before each game, which can include a brief visit to the boardroom “inner sanctum” to relieve occupants of their cash !

We envisage such a rota would only entail assistance being needed every 3-4 games.
Please enlist a.s.a.p to let STISA to continue to enjoy the rewards of a great cash-builder, towards aiding STFC in certain projects. We never pass any cash to STFC directly as we control how our funds are used. We believe that the recent purchase of a mower/roller has improved the playing surface greatly and will generate top class football.

Please see myself (Martin Brookes) or Chris Simpson at any home game or give your name to Jim Connolly or Doug Armstrong. Similarly, if you feel that you can volunteer to help STFC in any way or contribute to STISA on the committee front, please make the appropriate contact. Your time will not be wasted.

Tommy Wright – “We were second best to a very good side”

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” A disappointing performance” was Town boss Tommy Wright’s honest assessment after seeing his side struggle against a slick National League  North Brackley Town.

“I thought we were the second best team to everything all day but saying that we’ve played against a team that have been in the National League North play offs for the last three seasons and also been in two F A Trophy Finals winning one of them as well.

So I’ve got the utmost respect for them as a football club and their manager.  They are a very well drilled side who are probably one of the title favourites for their League this year.  Carl Baker is an exceptional player as he was when in the Championship and League One  but they are all quality performers .

Nevertheless there are some positives to take from the game.  Until the last minute there was only one goal in it, and it was a massive plus that Sam Lomax was outstanding and made some terrific saves particularly late on.

Overall I believe that we’ve had a very good pre-season.  We’ve scored goals and kept clean sheets and showed plenty of resilience today against a  top quality side.

We’ve now got one friendly left against Evesham   The reason we cancelled the Desborough game was to instead have the training sessions to tighten up in a few areas both defensively and offensively and the Evesham game will then be a test to see if they’ve digested it all and are ready for the League season..

The starting line-up for when the League games begin is still not decided.  There’s healthy competition and there’s still a few places up for grabs, but the starting line-up for the Evesham game will be an indication of what it will be for the opening League game,  and it will then be up to the players to impress and show that they deserve to keep the shirt for the following Saturday.”

Town 0 Brackley Town 2 – Read Match Report And Stats Below

                                               BRACKLEY’S CLASS TELLS AS TOWN’S WINNING RUN ENDS

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Stratford Town         –       0
Brackley Town          –       2      –     Dean 5   Holman 90

Report by Bryan Hale

Town’s five match winning run in their pre-season schedule was ended by a quality performance from Brackley Town at the Arden Garages Stadium on Saturday.

The Saints had fought out a goal-less draw with Banbury United a week ago and fielded virtually the same line-up here, but inspired by a Man of the Match display from the former Sky Blue Carl Baker they proved too good for Town as boss Tommy Wright readily admitted afterwards.

And it was soon clear that Town were in for a testing afternoon as Brackley started brightly and went ahead in only the fifth minute. Baker wriggled into the penalty area down the left to see his shot deflected behind and when Shane Byrne floated over the resulting corner the ball fell to Gareth Dean some 15 yards out who promptly fired past the helpless Sam Lomax.

A couple of minutes later Lee Ndlovu should have doubled the Saints lead but couldn’t direct the ball past Lomax from point blank range

Brackley were bossing the possession with Byrne shooting straight at Lomax from 20 yards out followed by a deep Baker cross from the right reaching Jimmy Armson who prodded it past the post.

Luis Morrison and Lewis Wilson both had half chances for Town but it was the Saints who continued their National League North pedigree with ex-Coventry City midfielder Baker showing his class on the ball as the Town defenders struggled to close him down.

Town managed two corners in the closing minutes of the first half, but almost fell two down in the last action before the break when another Byrne right wing corner was headed over by Dan Holman who had replaced the injured Ndlovu on the half hour mark.

And the Saints missed another chance go two up as soon as the second half started when Matt Lowe’s cross from the right reached Armson at the far post who again put it wide.

Town had made three changes at half time, and Brackley followed with four of their own in the 56th minute with Tendai Daire immediately involved heading inches wide and then similarly not far away with a decent effort from distance.

As in the Aston Villa game last week James Hancocks provided Town with an extra attacking threat with his tantalising set piece deliveries and also showed the defensive side of his game with a perfectly timed tackle to snuff out a dangerous run from the speedy Daire.

Byrne then hit a dipping free kick narrowly over and Tom Fishwick blocked a fierce drive from Holman as Brackley maintained their grip on the game before Town made a further five substitutions with ten minutes to go.

Luke Fairlamb had a well struck left footer from the edge of the penalty area pushed away by Lomax at full stretch and the Town keeper then made a tremendous double save in the 89th minute deflecting a Holman shot against the bar and then recovering quickly enough to push away Daire’s follow-up attempt.

But Lomax was beaten in the final minute when he beat away another Daire effort only to Holman to react before anyone else to blast the loose ball into the roof of the net and round off an afternoon when the eventual result was never really in doubt.

STRATFORD : Sam Lomax, Joel Gyasi (Chris Cox 46), Josh Endall, Luis Morrison (Reece Ford 80), Tom Fishwick (Will Davidson 80), Ivor Lawton (Kurtis Revan 80), Lewis Wilson (Chris Wreh 80), Marlon Lukinga (Callum Ball 46), Nabil Shariff (Dylan Parker 80), Liam Hughes (c), Kynan Isaac (James Hancocks 46).

BRACKLEY : Dan Lewis, Ellis Myles, Connor Franklin (Glenn Walker 56), Shane Byrne, Kelvin Langmead, Gareth Dean, Matt Lowe (Luke Fairlamb 56), Jimmy Armson (Tendai Daire 56), Lee Ndlovu (Dan Holman 30), Carl Baker, Shep Murombedzi (Thiery Auldel 56).

Referee      –      Andy Ellis

Assistant Referees         –       Joe Clarke & Ian Croston

Match Stats by Rod Abrahams

    Stratford      Brackley
            6 Goal Attempts            21
            2 On Target             10
            0 Blocked Shots              2
            0 Hit Woodwork              1
            4 Corners Won              9
            5 Crosses into Box              8
         10 Fouls Conceded              8
           3 Off Side             4
          1 Yellow Cards             1
         0 Red Cards            0

 

Leicester Road 0 Town 2 – Read Rod’s Report Below

                                          WREH DOUBLE SEALS ANOTHER WIN FOR TOWN 

Leicester Road       –        0                                                                                                                            Stratford Town      –        2      –     Chris Wreh (2)  54 & 76.

Report by Rod Abrahams

A second half double from Chris Wreh, secured Stratford’s 5th win in the build up to the new season at the Leicester Road Stadium on Tuesday Night.

Stratford had the majority of the possession, but their good build up play was somewhat spoilt by the final ball which was not good enough, as a host of good chances went begging.

The best of the chances in the 1st half fell to Marlon Lukinga as he picked up a Joel Gyasi pass and cut into the box, his shot beat keeper Will Highland but it hit the post and he stab the rebound wide under pressure from the keeper. Lewis Wilson Jinked past a couple of defenders into the box and his shot on the turn looked goal bound, but was well saved by Highland as he tipped it round the post for corner.

A good run by Nabil Shariff created a good chance, however his strike was inches wide from a good position and should have scored just before the break.

The only response from the home team, were a shot from Jordan Burrows which was well wide, and an effort from Matt Langham which was wide of the target.

Town put four subs on at half time Dylan Parker, Chris Cox, Keeper Rowley and Chris Wreh, who was soon in the action. His strike in the 48th minute produced another good save from Highland, but the stopper was beaten 6 minutes later when Wreh picked up a pass from Cox, held off the last defender and slotted the ball past Highland as he came off his line to put Town in front.

Two more efforts from the striker were saved by the keeper, but with 15 minutes left he got his second goal as he converted Dylan Parkers low cross for a simple finish at the near post, from 6yds out.

Stratford’s final substitutions were made with 20 mins left, with Kian Williams, and  Callum Ball coming on. The only threat from Leicester Road in the second stanza came in the last 3 minutes, a Jack Harrison shot was wide and Dom Brennon shit straight at keeper Rowley.

Stratford should be converting more of the chances they make and there must be an improvement in this area. Again James Hancocks sent in several dangerous corners which Town failed to take advantage off. Skipper Kynan Isaac stood out in the first half, and Chris Wreh was the star man of the second period. A good result but could have been by more.

Tommy Wright – “It’s the performance that was most impressive”

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“I’m delighted with the lads” beamed Tommy Wright after seeing his side come out on top against Villa’s Under 23’s on Saturday.   “They’ve won 1-0 against a team that had beaten Tamworth 4-1 earlier in the week and kept another clean sheet so it’s a massive positive for us.

The Tamworth result was brought up in our pre-match team talk and it shows that we are moving in the right direction.  It’s the performance that was most impressive but it’s results that breed confidence and the dressing room is really buzzing now.

Winning is everything even if it’s only a pre-season friendly and it’s a great habit to get into.

And it was particularly pleased  to see Liam Hughes get what turned out to be the winner.  I had him at Darlington last season and he’s someone I appreciate so much as a human being.    He’s come through some tough times but he knows me and he played at Warwick last week scoring a couple of goals.

He really enjoyed it and that’s what he wants to do at this stage of his career.   He officially signed for us before this afternoon’s game as did Luis Morrison and that’s two really good signings for us.

I was also pleased with Dylan Parker today.   He’s a local lad who did tremendously well at youth team level and I know exactly how that feels having been in an identical position at my home town cub Leicester City.

The previous games he’s been played out wide but I wanted to give him a run in his proper position down the middle and he’s done great..

So overall our preparations are going well but Brackley next weekend will be a real test for us.  I know them well from my time at Darlington in National League North, but we are growing in confidence and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Town 1 Aston Villa U 23’s 0 – Match Report Below

HUGHES ON TARGET AS TOWN DOWN THE VILLA

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Stratford Town       –       1       –      Hughes 8
Aston Villa  U 23’s   –      0

An early Liam Hughes strike settled an entertaining game against Villa’s Under 23 side played in front of a bumper Arden Garages stadium crowd of 873 boosted by Jed McCrory’s generous gesture of distributing free tickets to a number of local schools.

A similar Villa line-up had beaten Tamworth 4-1 in midweek so although pre-season form is notoriously unreliable there were plenty of positives for new boss Tommy Wright to take from this result.

Stratford were first to threaten when Chris Cox went on one of his trademark runs down the right in only the third minute to whip over a cross to be met with a bullet header from Hughes which was acrobatically tipped over by Villa keeper Viljami Sinisalo.

Villa responded with Indiana Vassilev having a well struck right footer beaten away by Sam Lomax before Stratford took the lead on eight minutes when the busy Hughes – who had a spell at Darlington under Tommy Wright last season – fired past Sinisalo’s left hand into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area.

With Nabil Shariff looking particularly lively up front Stratford continued to impress but Villa missed a great chance to equalise in the 25th minute when Callum Rowe’s low cross from the left flashed across the face of the goal to reach the stretching Ben Guy at the far post who could only poke it into the side netting.

Both Lewis Wilson and Hughes had half chances to extend Stratford’s lead and it was Wilson who was inches away from doing on 38 minutes with a precision header from a James Hancocks corner which fizzed past the far post with Sinisola well beaten.

But at the other end it was Lomax who kept Stratford’s lead intact three minutes before the break when he got down at the foot of his left hand post to push away a well struck low drive from Michael Tait.

Hughes wasn’t far away with another header early in the second half followed by Colin Odutayo netting for Villa only to find the offside flag already up.

One Stratford and two Villa substitutions had been made at half time and others followed from the hour mark including both keepers but Stratford still seemed to be relatively unruffled.

Villa went closest to a leveller with ten minutes to go when a Jake Doyle-Hayes’ free kick from 20 yards out looked destined for the top corner until it was pushed away by Shaun Rowley taking off to his left but there were no further alarms as Stratford saw the game out in a fair degree of comfort.

STRATFORD : Sam Lomax (Shaun Rowley 62), Chris Cox (Joel Gyasi 46), Henri Wilder (Dan Vann 62), Luis Morrison, Tom Fishwick, James Hancocks, Lewis Wilson, Marlon Lukinga (Morgan Brown 73), Nabil Shariff (Dylan Parker 73), Liam Hughes, Kynan Isaac (c).

ASTON VILLA : Viljami Sinisalo (Jamie Seale 66), Jake Walker (Bradley Burton 66), Callum Rowe, Dominic Revan, Mungo Bridge, Jack Birch, Colin Odutayo, Ben Guy (Jake Doyle-Hayes 46), Dimitri Sea, Michael Tait (Jack Clarke 46), Indiana Vassilev

Referee        –          Grant Taylor

Assistant Referees       –       Lewis Manfield-King & Ben Wilkinson

Attendance      –        873

Match Report by Bryan Hale