Stratford Town Youth end season in frantic fashion

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STRATFORD Town Youth hardly had any time to fully savour their MFYL League Cup triumph on Monday as they still had three Premier Division South games to fit in before the end of the week, writes Bryan Hale.

So two days later an understandably much-changed line-up faced Worcester City at Littleton’s ground and played out a goalless draw, which was the same scoreline as the reverse fixture at the MoodChimp three weeks previously.

Then they had to deal with what must surely be a unique situation of having to play two games on the same evening.

For various reasons, neither fixture between Town and Hereford had taken place during the season, and the MFYL decreed that as they were the only Premier Division South fixtures still outstanding they should both be played at the MoodChimp on Friday, but with the games being reduced to half-an-hour each way.

At 7.30pm, Town began their “home” match against the Bulls who promptly raced into a fifth-minute lead.

Harry Hartin equalised five minutes later and then fired Town ahead on 18 minutes with his 15th goal of the season in all competitions to confirm his position as the team’s leading scorer.

A Hereford own goal gave Town a 3-1 half-time lead, but the Bulls hit back with a second goal early in the second half and as they piled on some late pressure finally made it 3-3 with the last kick of the game.

So to Town’s “away” match, which kicked off at 8.55pm which must be the latest kick-off time of any Town match ever.

Both sides made wholesale changes to their line-ups, but there was certainly no end-of-season feel about it as the game was played at a generous pace and was pretty competitive throughout.

It was though destined to end goalless with Tyrike Richards-Burke going closest for Town with a stinging drive which was beaten away by the Hereford keeper while George Kirby wasn’t far away with a couple of decent efforts.

But when the final whistle went soon after 10pm, Town’s season was at last over, and the two draws on the night meant that they ended on a run of only one defeat in their last 15 games.

Overall, it had been a season with plenty of highs such as putting 14 past Redditch United in a Premier Division South game, winning away at Leamington in the FA Youth Cup and of course triumphing over Stourbridge in the MFYL League Cup.

It was also notable for both Dylan Parker and Dan Purvin, earning dream moves to Walsall and Mansfield Town respectively.

And with most of the current squad still eligible for youth team football next season, the future looks just as bright when it all kicks off again in August.