STRATFORD Town Youth’s 100 per cent record this season was ended by Rugby Borough Juniors at Kilsby Lane on Monday evening, but a much-improved second half performance against the MFYL Premier Division South table toppers almost saw Darren Timms’ side snatch a point right at the end, writes Bryan Hale.
Rugby went on the attack straight from the kick off and took the lead after only 15 minutes with a well struck 20-yard free-kick.
With Town struggling to get into the game the Juniors then went two up ten minutes later when the pacy Rugby striker seized on a wayward Town pass to surge forward and fire into the bottom corner.
But at last Town found their rhythm and in the closing minutes of the half both Bradley West and Harry Hartin had decent efforts saved by the Rugby keeper.
And it was Town who looked the sharper of the two sides after the break with substitutes Rob Lord and Jack Ballinger making an instant impact, and it was Ballinger who soon pulled a goal back with a composed finish after being played in by the hard working Ross Quartermaine.
With James Pomeroy and West causing the Rugby defence plenty of problems an equaliser looked on the cards, but then a long ball over the top caught Town out at the back and the Rugby striker ran on to slot past Ryan Woodward.
Town responded and Caine Elliott gave them a glimmer of hope with five minutes to go as he hit a tremendous 25 yarder which flew past the keeper, but Rugby held on to clinch the win.
Next up for Town is their FA Youth Cup first qualifying round tie at the Arden Garages Stadium against Haughmond, which is likely to be played on Thursday, 20th September, but this date is still subject to confirmation.