SKIPPER Richard Gregory urged Stratford Town to dust themselves down from their midweek defeat and prove their quality against Basingstoke Town on Saturday.
Both teams will have something to prove at the DCS Stadium in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier contest, with Stratford looking to bounce back from Tuesday’s 4-2 home loss to Redditch United and Basingstoke also desperate for the points after back-to-back defeats.
Gregory described the midweek reverse as ‘disappointing’ and ‘frustrating’. And while they must learn from their errors and correct them, they cannot dwell on them, says the striker.
“We’ve got to dust ourselves off and go again,” said Gregory.
“We’ve got to believe what we’ve got in the dressing room is good enough and we can change it around.
“The next five games are against teams that are expected to be up there. Every game in this league is tough, we know that, but we know we can do better.
“We’ve got to make sure we are tougher to beat. We do believe that going forward we will score enough goals but we’ve got to make sure we are tighter at the back.
“We defended well in pre-season but in the last two games [against St Ives and Redditch] it has gone back to how it was the back end of last season when we just couldn’t win a game.
“We’ve got to make sure that changes quickly. If it doesn’t, we will find ourselves down the wrong end of the table – it’s as simple as that.”
The consolation for Gregory was that he marked his 100th appearance for Stratford on Tuesday with his 67th goal. A smart finish, despite tumbling to the ground, gave Town hope at 2-3, only for Redditch to bag a late fourth.
Gregory, last season’s top scorer, admitted he savoured the moment but that could not disguise the pain at losing.
“I’m happy to get a goal on my 100th appearance but the result was the most important thing and we didn’t get that,” said Gregory.
“When I did score the goal and we got it back to 3-2 I did feel we could go and get something out of the game. It wasn’t to be.
“I’ve enjoyed every one of my 100 games and hopefully I can play another 100 and score another 67 goals. That would be nice.”