STRATFORD Town suffered last-minute heartache when they conceded a stoppage-time goal which condemned them to a 1-0 defeat at home to high-flying Merthyr Town on Saturday.
In a pulsating encounter that had the 295 spectators on the edge of their seats at times, the game appeared to be heading towards a goalless draw when Merthyr substitute Ryan Laville headed home from close range past Town keeper Andy Kemp to steal the points.
Stratford dominated the first-half but crucially were unable to convert any of the several chances that they created. And a very different Merthyr came out in the second-half, which saw them threaten the Stratford goal before scoring that late winner.
The game saw the return to the DCS Stadium of Town manager Carl Adams, who was released from hospital in Taunton on Thursday after suffering a punctured lung and broken ribs in the league game there last week.
Adams was on a watching brief and was encouraged by his side’s performance. “It’s a bit of a sickener to lose to such a late goal,” he said. “But that’s football and I would be more worried if we hadn’t turned in a good performance.
“We were superb at times and could have won the game 4-1 ourselves. It shows just how far we have come when we can give a team like Merthyr a run for their money."
Adams was also full of praise for match referee Joe Clark. He said: “I thought that he was by far the best ref we have had this season. He used common sense and let the game flow which added to the entertainment.”
The Town boss has resumed his recovery from his injury and added: “I’m still struggling to be honest. The ribs are still painful and my lung isn’t working properly yet.”
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