2020/21 season


After the 2019/20 season was ended prematurely in March due to Covid with crowds being unable to attend, debates were had throughout the leagues whether teams should be promoted or relegated on their current record points per game. In the end it was decided that only non-league teams in the National League would be promoted without any relegation therefore The Bards would face the same teams as they had the previous season with a delayed start to the middle of September going straight into the league games.

Attending the games, Covid protocols had to be followed – reduced capacity, wearing of marks indoors, social distancing laid out in the terraces and temperature checks and segregation at certain grounds. With higher levels of football still being unable to accommodate fans or reducing capacity, it was hoped more fans would trickle down to our level. Town went for a win / lose in all games, so it was advised not to choose us if we appeared on the pools coupon! Paul Davis was again in charge aided by Dale Belford who brought in Tye as goalkeeper.


Bards first game was at home to Kings Langley who were near a play-off spot when the season ended in 2020/21 and were unbeaten since Boxing Day. There were debuts for Tye Belford who played throughout the ‘season’, Ken Feyi, Ashley Sammons and Sam Muggleton with James Fry rejoining the club from Tamworth alongside Jamie Curtis, George Heaven, George Kaziboni, and Enoch Endoh, and ever-present duo Jordan Williams and Will Grocott. Despite going a goal down in the 65th minute to a breakaway goal, Bards quickly replied through substitute Kynan Isaac scrambling the ball home from a corner. The game briefly overheated and opened up with Town winning a penalty from another corner that Grocott hammered home to win the tough game 2-1

Bards then went to Bromsgrove in the FA Cup and won a 2-1 thriller, Grocott again scoring both goals after Stourbridge went ahead by half time. The winner came in the 87th minute with Grocott again hammering home

Bards then went to Needham Market without a win there and were hammed 4-2 on a very cold, very windy and very wet afternoon in Suffolk. Reece Flanagan and Alex Henshall came into the side. Needham Market went into a 4-0 lead. Town did rally late on with Curtis scoring on 74 minutes and substitute Rheiss McClean opening his account for Town on 88 minutes.

The Bards ended the month with a fine 3-1 win on Alvechurch‘s sloping pitch. Isaac and Vann came into the side. Town controlled this game from 25 minutes following three sumptuous Town strikes in eighteen minutes through Liam Howards, Will Grocot and Ashley Sammons ‘thunderbolt’ strike which left the entire crowd applauding in appreciation. Alvechurch had made the game level though a penalty. The game became a bit ‘tetchy’ and just before half time, the Alvechurch keeper clattered Howards who came in for some rough treatment well outside the area as he advanced towards the goal but stayed on. The second half never matched the drama or quality of the first.

At the end of the month, Town were in 6th with “Will Grocott being an inspiration for Town as captain in these opening fixtures ably assisted, as he is, by some shrewd and experienced campaigners including the reassuring presence of keeper, Tyrell Belford”


n the 2nd Qualifying round of the FA Cup, Town went to Nuneaton and there was little to choose between these evenly matched sides in a gritty encounter played in driving rain but goals late in each half saw Nuneaton go 2-0 up but Jordan Williams popped up with a last-minute headed consolation goal. Pacy winger Callum Powell started his first game for Stratford played the rest of the season! Nuneaton included Shamsi and Dias and their 2nd goal came from future Bards player Leroy Lita with 7 to go.

After beating previously unbeaten Stourbridge 2-1 in midweek, Town rose to the heady heights of 2nd in the table. Town’s first came from a Grocott penalty after handball in the area. Stourbridge equalised on the hour but a thumping shot from Jordan Williams 12 yards out won the game after 70 minutes in a great night of football which saw Stourbridge hot the post in the last minute.

Off to Hednesford next and with around 30 fans in the away seats being temperature checked on entry, the game started in teaming rain against a team who had started the season badly and parted company with their manager days before. After half an hour it was stalemate, 5 minutes later Town were 3-0 down after ‘defensive mayhem’. The tireless Powell squeezed a near post shot in around the hour mark and the Town started to dominate play as Hednesford looked to hold on. In injury time an Andoh header pulled it back to 3-2 to set up the game for a grand finale and had a corner in the last minute. Going all out for the point, Belford came out from his goal to the Hednesford area, the ball was cleared and with 1 at the back and Belford haring back, the ball was walked into the next for 4-2 after a pulsating 2nd half.

Town then looked to extend their unbeaten home start against Hitchin Town. Former home favourite Harry White returned up front and the subs bench named debutant Will Dawes (a season later, Will was the fans player of the season earning himself a move to Yeovil Town for a 5-figure transfer fee). There was an explosive start to the game as Town nearly lost a goal and a player in the opening minute when a simple through ball was missed by the defence resulting in Belford bringing the Hitchin attacker down. Fearing a red card, Belford received a yellow and saved the resulting penalty. Hitchin though went into a 2-0 lead (including Town conceding another goal from their own corner) by half time but Town scored form their own corner with a header from Heaven midway through the 2nd half. Hitchin went down to 10 with 5 to go after an off the ball incident but held firm. Keeper Belford was awarded man of the match so it’s a good job he stayed on the pitch after the first minute!

Considering the Town had only 4 away league games all season, it was a bit tough to have to travel to Suffolk twice including Lowestoft which is the furthest away! Apparently, 50 mph gusts were experienced from the handful of spectators that attended. The side with an unbeaten home run stretching back to last season v. the side that had yet to take a point from the opposition ended as not expected on paper with a 3-2 win for the Town in another thriller. We’re informed only 2 Town players played in the same game in March – the penultimate game of that season. Once again Jordan Williams was on the scoresheet scoring twice sandwiched in-between The Town conceding another penalty that was converted to make the score 2-1 at half time. With the scores 2-2 going into injury time, Callum Powell scored the winner and The Town held on for another 4 minutes and moved up to 5th

A local derby with Redditch followed level on points with The Town. Town produced a blistering start in front of a season’s high crowd of 530 and raced into a 2-goal lead through Powell’s header and Sammons fierce drive from a clever free kick routine. Both National League bound wide players Callum Powell (now with Southend) and Will Dawes (Southend) were tearing Redditch apart and Heaven and Williams solid at the back to keep it to 2-0 at half time. Some poor defending (again) saw Redditch pull one back after 63. Town though were fairly in control and hit the post towards the end and saw out a 2-1 victory. Town moved to 3rd in the table – what could stop us now?

Next up was the FA Trophy a home game to Kidsgrove (step 4 Northern Premier League side) and although a step below, we can struggle v teams from that league. There were already rumours circulating around the ground that announcements from the government would be made later that night putting more restrictions on the population which may affect non-league clubs so we wondered whether this would be the last game before an enforced break for a few months. Kidsgrove were well organised and adopted a high pressing game to stop the Town playing out from the back. The strong breeze aided Kidsgrove’s first goal from 30 yards after only 4 minutes and a trophy shock was on particularly when a 2nd was scored in the 10th minute via a header from a free kick. Kidsgrove’s game management of disrupting play, contesting decisions and doubling up on Town’s dangermen was causing frustration both on and off the pitch which wasn’t helped by crosses not finding their men. Kidsgrove extended their lead after 67 minutes through a penalty and it was game over with only a Sammons effort towards the end resulting in the game finishing 3-1. A thoroughly disappointing result after much expectation and it was off home to tune into the latest Government’s Coronavirus Conference.


The season was officially ended on 19th March 2021, with the last matches being played on Wednesday 4th November 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. All results were expunged. The Bards were in 3rd spot when the season came to an end after just 8 games with 5 wins and 3 defeats scoring 17 goals and conceding 16.

Alvechurch 3-1242
Hednesford Town 2-4479
Kings Langley2-1285
Needham Market2-4232
Redditch Utd2-1530
FRY J710