Stratford Town told they must start 'walking the walk' by Gavin Hurren after disappointing defeat at Barwell
Barwell 2-1 Stratford Town
Southern Premier Central
BOSS Gavin Hurren believes there’s too much talking and not enough walking after Stratford Town slipped to a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Barwell on Saturday, reports Stuart Morse.
Beck-Ray Enoru opened the scoring for the Leicestershire hosts after just two minutes and while the Bards held lots of possession for the rest of the half, they lacked penetration and went into the break behind.
Clearly words had been said at half-time as Stratford came out the better side and in the 65th minute they got back on level terms through Andre Wright’s crisp finish from outside the area.
However, two minutes later the home side bagged the decisive goal of the game as slack marking allowed Brady Hickey to loop a header over goalkeeper Louis Beresford.
Defeat was the Bards’ sixth in their last seven outings and it’s a run of form which has seen them drop to 18th in the table, just a point outside the relegation zone.
Hurren admitted both he and the rest of the management team are being held accountable for the poor results but stressed the players have to stop making “unacceptable” mistakes.
“We fully deserved the equaliser and when we did score, again we were the better team,” he said.
“But once again when you get yourself back in the game and you look like you will keep on going forward, that defending is once again unacceptable.
“There was just one of their men in the box when they scored and four of ours, it’s just not good enough and it’s disappointing because to everyone that works at the football club and to the fans that come and support, it’s getting frustrating now.
“We’ve got to be held accountable and as a manager I’m being held accountable but the players have look at themselves.”
He added: “We say it every week, whoever wins back-to-back [games will climb the league and it’s still really, really close but we can’t keep doing what we’re doing.
“You talk the talk and walk the walk, and there’s too much talking and we need to start walking it because it’s not good enough.”
Stratford made three changes to the side that lost 2-1 to Hitchin Town in midweek.
Beresford replaced Luke Bell in goal, Dan Vann returned from injury meaning Jack Turner was moved to centre-back in place of the injured Paul McCone and Dexter Walters was chosen to partner Wright up front, with Jack Storer taking a substitute role.
The game started in calamitous fashion with a meaningless through ball leaving Beresford in two minds on the edge of the box and this indecision gave the speedy Enoru time to nip the ball past the stricken goalkeeper and run the ball into an empty net.
Stratford had lost of possession from there on in but there was little forthcoming from all their intricate midfield play. Beresford redeemed himself at the end of the first half when Enoru raced through one-on-one and he tipped his save onto the post.
There seemed a better urgency to attack after the break and an overlap by Taylor Morrison in the opening minute provided Stratford’s first opportunity that was hacked clear by the home side.
The recently introduced Storer had a great chance that went just wide and again got on the end of a great interchange between Ashley Sammons and Dan Lafferty only for his effort to go over.
Wright then brought the Bards level in the 65th minute with a crisp shot from outside the box.
The Bards switched off, though, and the home side went in front again inside two minutes when slack marking at the back post allowed Barwell skipper Hickey head home.
Stratford regrouped and put a lot of pressure on the home side but chances for Sammons, Lafferty, Storer and Wright could not find the net as the Bards slipped to defeat.
BARWELL: Andrew Wycherley, Micah Edwards, Deen Master, Roger Lee, Kyle Rowley, Sidney Kerr, Beck-Ray Enoru, Melis Bushaj, Jahvan Davidson-Miller (Tiago Nassunculo 75), Brady Hickey (Jack Deakin 53). Unused subs: George Ward, Marcus Palmer.
STRATFORD TOWN: Louis Beresford, Dan Vann (Jamie Molyneux 85), Taylor Morrison, Ashley Sammons, Jack Turner, James O’Neill, Sam Wilding (Josh Hawker 61), Dan Lafferty, Andre Wright, Will Grocott, Dexter Walters (Jack Storer 60). Unused subs: Liam O’Brien, Patrick Zito.
REFEREE: Ashley Clarke