Midland Floodlit League, Premier South
Worcester City 1-4 Stratford Town
Report by Bryan Hale
STRATFORD Town stormed to the MFYL Premier Division South Championship with three games still to play and they did so in style with a thumping win against Worcester City at the Dell Stadium on Monday evening.
Two first-half strikes meant they already had one hand on the trophy at the interval and two further goals either side of a consolation effort from Worcester made it a night to remember for Darren Timms and his exuberant and talented squad.
Knowing that a win would secure the title Town pushed forward straight from the kick-off and Worcester keeper Sean Dayus was soon in action, saving from both Tommy Harrington and Bradley West in the opening 15 minutes.
It wasn’t all one way with Joe Clarke going close for Worcester, but Town continued to press and went ahead in the 23rd minute when West latched onto a pinpoint through ball from Harrington to surge through the Worcester defence and fire beyond Dayus.
Worcester responded with Town keeper Ryan Woodward forced into a couple of smart saves while a shot from Matt Patrick-Rivers came back off the post before Town doubled their lead five minutes before half time.
A neat passing move involving skipper Josh Aspinall-Smyth, Sacha Everard and Caine Elliott ended with West threading the ball thorough to Harrington, who coolly steered it past the advancing Dayus and put the title tantalisingly close.
Dayus saved with his legs to prevent Town going three up early in the second half, but a third Town goal was only delayed and on 65 minutes Tyricke Richards-Burke squared the ball across from the right and Harrington put the result of the game and the destination of the championship beyond doubt with a typically assured close range finish.
Patrick-Rivers pulled one back for Worcester with 20 minutes to go, but soon after Harry Hartin made it 4-1 with the best goal of the evening as he curled a sumptuous free kick into the top corner from 30 yards out.
From then on all the pressure was off and Town were able to see the game out until the final whistle when the celebrations could really begin.