WITH some of their players turning out for a fifth time in a week, taking school and other commitments into account, it was hardly surprising that Stratford Town Youth found it tough going as they slipped to a 4-1 defeat to title-chasing Bromsgrove Sporting at the Victoria Ground on Wednesday evening, writes Bryan Hale.
Regulars Alfie Boylin, Ben Couki, Archie Donaldson and Jamie Ford were all missing, but even so there was little to choose between the two teams until Bromsgrove took the lead just after the quarter-of-an-hour mark with a slick move down the right and a precision finish.
Town responded with Bradley West twice forcing the Bromsgrove keeper into decent saves, followed by a Tyrike Richards-Burke effort coming back off the bar, but Town’s evening was summed up a couple of minutes before half-time.
George Kirby rounded the keeper to slot he ball into the empty net but a Bromsgrove defender appeared from nowhere to clear it off the line, and Town were then caught out by a speedy counter-attack which ended with another crisp finish to put Bromsgrove 2-0 up.
West was again denied by the keeper in the opening minute of the second half and Town had plenty of the possession only for Bromsgrove to use their pace out wide to add two further goals from flowing moves down the wings and clinical close-range strikes.
But Nick Ballinger’s side have tremendous spirit and kept going with West and Richards-Burke both going close before Dan Atkins grabbed a late goal for Town as their seven-game unbeaten run came to an end.