THOMAS Baillie hailed his “fantastic” team as Stratford Town cruised into second qualifying round of the Buildbase FA Trophy with a resounding 3-0 success over Alvechurch on Tuesday.
A Mike Taylor brace and a penalty from Wilson Carvalho sealed Town’s progress in a one-sided contest at the Arden Garages Stadium.
All three goals arrived in a blistering first half display and Baillie felt the result could have been even more emphatic, such was Stratford’s dominance on the night.
“I’m delighted with the result,” beamed Town’s head of football.
“Our first half performance was fantastic and we could easily have scored more than the three we did get.
“In the second half, it was a case of making sure we didn’t concede. It was all about game management for us and we did that very, very well.
“It was a totally different game to Saturday’s. The pitch made a big difference for us on Tuesday as it suited our style of play and we were able to get the ball down and play our quick moving and passing game, which we found difficult to do at their place.”
Tuesday’s win extended an undefeated run in all competitions to nine matches, which is in stark contrast to the start of the season, when Town mustered just one win from their opening seven fixtures.
“People are starting to sit up and take a bit of notice of what we are achieving here, with good comments from other clubs too,” Baillie said.
“What pleases me is it’s basically with the same squad from earlier in the season.
“At the start of the season we had one win in seven, now we are unbeaten in nine, which just shows how far we’ve come.”
Taylor’s double made it ten goals in 12 starts for the striker and Baillie feels the squad’s excellent team spirit is a key reason for Taylor’s hot run of scoring form.
“Mike Taylor’s in fine form and he’s probably running around high fiving everyone in town at the moment,” said Baillie.
“I’m told we are getting more out of him than in previous seasons. He’s very happy and that’s probably because our changing room is a very good place to be at the moment.
“We have cut the squad down from 25 or so to 16 to 18 and as a result they’ve all got to know each other — that’s so important.”
Town return to Southern League Premier Central action on Saturday when they visit 17th-placed St Ives Town.