Stratford Town told to pick up their Southern Premier Central campaign after FA Cup heroics
AFTER the highs of playing in the FA Cup first round for the very first time in their history, Stratford Town have now been told to start picking up their league form by head coach Paul Davis.
Sunday’s 5-1 defeat to Shrewsbury Town at the Arden Garages Stadium brought an end to the Bards’ magical cup run, which has really captured the imagination of the town and also shown just what this team can do.
Now, though, it’s time to put that behind them and Davis wants to see his side “string some wins together” in the Southern Premier Central.
Because of the cup run, Davis’ charges have played the fewest league games so far (11) and the head coach believes 13th-placed Stratford are in a “sticky position”.
“We’re four games behind most teams, so we’re in a position where if we win those games in hand we can be in or on the edge of the play-offs,” he said.
“If we lose all four, then we’re going to be mid-table but drifting towards a relegation battle. We’re in a really sticky position where we need to start stringing some wins together, not just one.”
With the FA Cup run over, Davis added there are no more distractions to stop the Bards from performing at their best to climb up the table to be where they want to be come the season’s end.
“The huddle on the pitch on Sunday was to say well done, but it was also to stress we’ve got to carry our cup run into the league,” he said.
“I heard it after the Boston game. I heard the players say those exact words, but we didn’t. The Shrewsbury game was still looming, so now we’ve got no excuse, no excuse whatsoever.
“The players now have to carry this and I have to carry this into the league as well. We have to be at it, we have to pick up and if we want days like Sunday in May for the play-offs, we’ve got to start winning some games.”
Next up for the Bards is a trip to ninth-placed Alvechurch this Saturday (3pm kick-off). Ian Long’s Church have lost just one of their last seven league games, a run of form which has propelled them to the outskirts of the play-off positions.
Then on Tuesday, Davis’ men are on the road to fifth-bottom Barwell (7.45pm kick-off).
The Canaries have not won a league game since 19th October, a 1-0 victory at AFC Rushden & Diamonds, and are outside the relegation zone by virtue of goal difference.