Gifford leads way with hat-trick as FC Stratford extend winning run
JAMIE Gifford netted a hat-trick to help FC Stratford make it nine wins out of nine games this season after a 6-0 success at Castle Vale Town.
The victory lifts Dave Poulson’s men into second place in the Midland League Division Three table, three points behind GNP Sports, who have played a game more but also have a 100 per cent winning league record.
Stratford led 2-0 at half-time at basement side Castle Vale, with Gifford firing home the first after battling work by Dan Stokes and then Stokes adding No 2 after Nick Cox headed on a Gifford cross.
Tom Parnaby headed home a third before Stokes set up Gifford for another cracking finish.
Tom Daccus and Gifford combined from keeper Nick Holt’s clearance for Gifford to complete his treble and Stokes notched his second to complete a half-dozen from Cox’s pass.
Shipston Excelsior have moved into the top four after a 2-1 win against Inkberrow made it three wins in a row.
Top scorer James Drinkwater and Joe Godson were on target for Steve Hedderman’s men, with Sean Parrish replying.
There was disappointment, though, for Alcester Town as their six-match unbeaten run was ended by a 4-1 defeat at higher league Coton Green in the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup.
Wil Beach netted for Danny Janes’ side but Adam Goodby (2), Liam Arrowsmith and Sam Jones sent Coton Green through to the second round.
Studley moved to the top of the Midland League Division One table, thanks to a 2-0 win at Stafford Town.
But the Bees didn’t get the breakthrough until the 82nd minute.
Gareth Evans headed home the opener before Karl King added a second in the 15th minute of injury time - the game being held up after Stafford keeper Jamie Elkes was knocked unconscious by a free-kick.
Studley now have a one-point lead over Walsall Wood, who were held 0-0 at Nuneaton Griff, but who have a game in hand.
Racing Club Warwick also recorded a home win, with a 3-2 success against Uttoxeter Town.
Warwick fell behind but Ryan Billington levelled from Luke Church’s assist on 25 minutes to make it 1-1 at half-time.
Martin Slevin slotted home from a penalty three minutes into the second period and Church made it 3-1 after Slevin turned provider.