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Gavin Hurren hits out as "unacceptable" mistakes as Stratford Town lose at Royston Town

Royston Town 4-2 Stratford Town

Southern Premier Central

GAVIN Hurren says the nature of the goals conceded in the defeat at Royston Town were “unacceptable”, reports Stuart Morse.

Pual McCone was on the scoresheet in the defeat to Royston Town. Photo: Steve Wood & Paul Grant / STFC
Pual McCone was on the scoresheet in the defeat to Royston Town. Photo: Steve Wood & Paul Grant / STFC

The frustrated boss added that only “two or three players” came out of the first half “with any credit”. On a disappointing Saturday afternoon at Garden Walk, the Bards found themselves 2-0 down with just 24 minutes on the clock.

A defensive error – which has been the story of Stratford’s season – allowed Kian Harness to make it 1-0 after four minutes.

The hosts doubled their lead 20 minutes later when Liam O’Brien could only parry Nathan Tshikuna’s shot into the path of Shomari Barnwell who had the simple task of finishing from close range.

With ten minutes of the half to go Stratford pulled one back when Royston failed to deal with Josh Hawker’s corner properly, as an attempted clearance cannoned off Paul McCone into the net.

However, in the second minute of stoppage time Matthew Bateman punished a mistake from defender Hamilton Bunga to restore Royston’s two-goal advantage.

The Bards looked the more lively in the second period and they set up a grandstand finish when Jamie Molyneux finished superbly in the 83rd minute.

Unfortunately for the visitors, their hopes of rescuing a point were dashed when a late breakaway by Connor Furlong sealed the win for the Crows.

Speaking after the match, Hurren said: “Again, we did not start well enough. Again, [we’re making] errors, making mistakes and not defending correctly. If you don’t defend correctly and clear your lines you get punished at this level.

“Once you step over that white line you’ve got to defend better but we’ve come down here and created a lot of chances but it means nothing if you don’t come away with a result. You can’t gift goals like we did, it’s just unacceptable.

“Man to man there were too many battles lost in the first half especially, there were only two or three players in the first half who came out with any credit.

"Second half we were in it and played well but again we make mistakes and get punished.”

He added: “We’ve been saying it for the last so many weeks, we’ve got to get points from somewhere.

"Every game is going to be tough and only us in that dressing room can turn it around.

“There are some positives to come out of the game and as much as I’m disappointed that we’ve lost, there were some good performances and we created quite a few chances – we’ve got to keep working hard.”

The Bards are at home to title-chasing Leiston on Saturday (3pm) and then play-off hopefuls Redditch United on Tuesday (7.45pm)

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