We must stop leaking sloppy goals, insists Town boss Byfield

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Nabil Shariff has a shot at goal during Stratford Town's 3-2 defeat to Sutton Coldfield on Tuesday night. Photo: Mark Williamson

THE goals have been flowing for Stratford Town in pre-season, but manager Darren Byfield admits the amount they are conceding at the other end is becoming a cause for concern.

Town have leaked 11 goals in six friendlies, with three coming in the 3-2 defeat at home to Southern League Premier Central rivals Sutton Coldfield at the newly-named Arden Garages Stadium on Tuesday night.

The lack of a settled back line is a major factor in those goals, with Byfield still working on new defensive systems and ideas ahead of the big kick-off on 11th August.

Town’s team against Sutton included a triallist goalkeeper, from West Bromwich Albion, and two triallist defenders and Byfield said: “You have to take into consideration we had a new lad in goal and we had two new guys in the back three.

“We also had a new lad up top and all of them hadn’t trained with us.

“My concern is we have to stop leaking goals. In pre-season, managers look at different players and formation, but the common theme for us in pre-season is conceding goals.

“Yes, we are scoring, but it’s not good if we are conceding at the other end.

“The hardest thing in football is to score goals. We don’t have that problem, so once we sort out the players that are going to come in and are going to be with us, then we’ll stop conceding.

“We’re not in a bad place, but it does irritate me when goals go in.”

The lack of a first-team goalkeeper is becoming more of a concern for Town’s supporters, following the exit of previous No 1 Louis Connor.

“We’ve got a couple in that we’re looking at,” said the Town boss. “It’s something we really need to address.”

Town have just two pre-season games to play, at Worcester on Saturday before they entertain a Leicester City XI on Thursday.