'Best experience in football' as FC Stratford make first ever cup final
JON Hill reflected on ‘my best experience in football’ after guiding FC Stratford into their first-ever final.
Goals from Matt Reed and Jake Collins sealed a 2-0 upset win at Midland League Division One top ten side Coton Green on Tuesday night to earn Stratford’s place in the Birmingham FA Midweek Floodlit Cup final against either Dudley Town or Wednesfield.
Striker Reed collected Ben Cook’s pass to send a looping shot into the net for the opener on seven minutes and Joe Sykes forced a defensive mistake to allow Jake Collins to fire in a second on 67 minutes.
Boss Hill was delighted to see how his youngsters – with the team having an average age of just 20 – stepped up to the task.
“I’ve never seen us put on such a good performance,” he told the Herald. “That was as complete a performance from front to back as you could wish to see. It was my best experience in football.
“To reach a cup final with this team, with it being so young, is such a proud moment for the club.”
Hill now wants FC to push into the Hellenic League Division One play-offs, starting with Saturday’s home game against Milton United.
“We need to take this momentum into the rest of the season and the aim now is to try to sneak into the play-offs,” he added.
Stratford sit ninth in the table, seven points behind fifth-placed Shortwood with five games in hand, after last Saturday’s 6-1 win at Bourton Rovers.
Hill’s side were 5-0 up inside 20 minutes, thanks to goals from Ben Cook (2), Jaylan Wildbore (2), and Reed, and Dan Atkins added a stoppage-time sixth.