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Baillie says fans can play 'massive part' in Stratford Town's play-off push

Stratford Town boss Thomas Baillie. Photo: Steve Wood.
Stratford Town boss Thomas Baillie. Photo: Steve Wood.

THOMAS Baillie says the new year’s resolution for football fanatics across the town should be to get down to the Arden Garages Stadium to give Stratford Town the support they need in their play-off charge.

The Blues ended 2018 with back-to-back home games in the Evo-Stik South Premier Central, with a combined total of more than 1,000 fans turning out to watch both fixtures.

A 406-strong crowd witnessed the 2-1 victory over Banbury United on Boxing Day while 620 watched on as Town held league leaders Stourbridge to a 0-0 draw last Saturday.

Town are back at home this Saturday when they play host to Alvechurch and Baillie hopes more and more fans pile in through the turnstiles to see Stratford continue their play-off chase.

Baillie’s men currently sit fifth in the league standings by virtue of goal difference, but have two games in hand on fourth-placed Biggleswade Town – who they drew 0-0 with on New Year’s Day – and third-placed King’s Lynn Town.

“When I joined, if I had told people we would be in fifth position at this stage of the season with games in hand on teams above us, they would have snapped my hands off,” said Baillie.

“It would be great to see the fans keep turning out as one of the hardest things for clubs at this level is attracting a fan base and keeping them there.

"This is probably the best Stratford Town side fans will have ever seen and hopefully they keep coming back.

“To hear everyone singing and chanting makes a massive difference and the loud atmosphere makes the players go that extra yard.

“The fans have a massive part to play as they inspire the lads.”

Town have already met Alvechurch four times this season but this will be the first league encounter.

Church got the better of Stratford 1-0 in the FA Cup back in September before the Blues secured a 4-2 victory at Lye Meadow in mid-October to progress in the CSS League Cup.

Two weeks after that, both sides played out a 1-1 draw in the FA Trophy before Town won the replay 3-0 three days later.

“I never want to play them again,” joked Baillie.

“We have had some good battles so far and hopefully Saturday’s game will bring out the best in both sides.”

After Alvechurch, Town are back at the Arden Garages Stadium on Tuesday night when they entertain Kettering Town in the CSS League Cup quarter-finals.

However, Baillie stressed he is taking one game at a time.

“I haven’t even thought what I am going to do on Tuesday,” he added.

“There will be some changes but we are focused on the Alvechurch game first.”

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed the injury which forced Chris Cox off at half-time in the 2-1 victory over Banbury United on Boxing Day was a broken foot.

He is likely to be out for four weeks.

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