STRATFORD Town suffered last-minute heartache on Saturday when Tiverton Town substitute Sam Malsom scored with a 25-yard effort to condemn Carl Adams’ side to a 4-3 defeat in the Calor Southern League Division One South & West.
Tiverton were two goals up after just nine minutes through Tom Gardner and Dan Smith, and could have been further ahead but for a fine save from Town keeper Sam Brady who kept out Max Kowal’s effort.
Jamie Sheldon reduced the arrears on 32 minutes only for Kowal to restore Tiverton’s lead six minutes later.
But the returning Joe Halsall, who has been out of action for several weeks after undergoing an operation on a broken nose, scored for Stratford on the stroke of half-time.
In the second-half, Stratford centre-back Dan Parker netted to make it 3-3 and a draw looked on the cards until Malsom’s late winner for the Devon side.
Town manager Adams said: “It’s the same old story. We haven’t made them work hard enough for their goals, and our naivety is costing us dear in every game.
“Had we hung on for the draw it would have been seen as a good result, but that would have glossed over our shortcomings. It’s a very thin line between good and just plain average, and now that we are 10 games into our league programme I need to make some honest assessments and address those areas where we are struggling at the moment.”
Town are back in action tomorrow (Monday), when they play Redditch United at home in the Red Insure League Cup.
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