Gregory calls Weymouth defeat a wake-up call for Stratford Town

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Richard Gregory leaves their field following his red card against Weymouth. Photo: Mark Williamson

SKIPPER Richard Gregory has urged Stratford Town to use last Saturday’s heavy defeat to Weymouth as a “wake-up call”.

Heading into the game off the back of a 3-0 victory over Frome, spirits were high as they prepared to take on one of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division’s big guns.

But Town were completely overwhelmed by a clinical Terras side, who cantered to a 5-0 victory at the DCS Stadium.

Chris Shephard and Sam Jordan both helped themselves to a brace, while Dan Smith got the other on a bleak afternoon for Carl Adams’ men.

“It was a bad day,” said the Town skipper, who was sent off in the closing stages of the game for kicking out at Weymouth defender Stephane Zubar.

“We obviously didn’t play well and I saw this result coming for a while, to be honest.

“But it might not be a bad thing. It should give us a bit of a wake-up call and make us realise we’ve got to be at our very best when we’re playing sides like Weymouth.

“We’re still a young squad though and as a team we will learn from games like this.”

Gregory’s red card completed Town’s miserable day, the striker kicking out in frustration with Town trailing 5-0.

The striker later admitted his reaction was ‘stupid’ and as punishment he will now miss Town’s next three games against Cambridge City, Redditch United and Dunstable Town.

Gregory added: “For the first time in a long time I got really frustrated.

“I’ll be first to admit it was silly from me. I reacted stupidly and kicked out. It wasn’t anything malicious, but if they referee sees you kicking out then you’re gone.

“The game was already lost, so it wasn’t as if I’d let the team down, but now I’m going to miss the next three games, which is really disappointing.

“I’ve just got to make sure I train well over the next couple of weeks and hopefully get back into the team.”

Dior Angus is also suspended for the Cambridge game and Town’s lack of striking options may see Jamie Sheldon moved into a more forward role against the Lilywhites.

Young midfielder Donnell Benjamin is also likely to feature, after signing on a three-month loan deal from Vanarama National League side Solihull Moors.