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FC Stratford hold promotion-chasing Worcester Raiders to stalemate

FC STRATFORD put in a determined performance to hold promotion-chasing Worcester Raiders to a 1-1 draw – but they had chances to snatch all three points late on.

High-flying Raiders were quickly out of the blocks in the first half and with the wind behind them, they were causing problems left, right and centre for FC's defence.

Chance after chance went begging for the visitors and somehow both sides went into the break on level terms.

And Raiders were made to pay for their missed opportunities just five minutes after the restart when Zachary Tellyn's in-swinging cross was stabbed home by Odenie Brown from six yards out.

There was no doubting one goal wouldn't be enough for FC to win this match and in the 65th minute Worcester's pressure paid off when Josh Willis was on hand to hammer home the rebound after the initial shot from Isaac Cooper could only be parried by Callum Monaghan.

FC, though, felt aggrieved that a foul on Tellyn just seconds before the equaliser was not given by the match referee.

Despite the setback, FC continued to hold Raiders at bay and when Logan Stoddart was sin-binned with five minutes left, it set up an exciting finish at the Home Guard Club.

As the game entered stoppage time Tellyn found himself clean through on goal but could only drag his shot wide when better placed for a cutback to a team-mate.

Three minutes later the impressive Tellyn saw another shot saved by Ryan Young, with the rebound falling to substitute Jacob Webb whose lobbed effort sailed just over the bar.

FC, though, had to put their bodies on the line to halt one last charge from the Raiders and as the full-time whistle sounded, the reaction from the visitors showed just how damaging a result this was for their chances of winning the league, especially with leaders Studley running out 4-0 winners at Newent Town to extend their advantage at the top.

The draw means joint head coaches Ian Cooksey and Neil Chaundy remain unbeaten at home since taking charge of FC and they'll be hoping to carry this performance into Wednesday's home clash against Cirencester Town Development.

For the full report and reaction from Saturday's game, see this Thursday's Herald.

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