Benjamin Milnes hat-trick inspires Tamworth to 4-0 victory over Stratford Town
Stratford Town 0-4 Tamworth
Southern Premier Central
STRATFORD Town have now gone nine games without a win as a Benjamin Milnes hat-trick inspired league leaders Tamworth to a 4-0 victory at the Arden Garages Stadium.
The Lambs got off to a flying start, taking just two minutes and 40 seconds to break the deadlock as a cross from the left was cleared only as far as Milnes whose effort bobbled through several bodies before nestling into the bottom left-hand corner of Liam O’Brien’s goal.
Nine minutes later the visitors doubled their lead. A poor back pass by Taylor Morrison was capitalised on by Kyle Finn who drew out O’Brien before squaring to former Bards loanee Dan Creaney to tap home into an unguarded net for his 25th goal of the campaign.
Stratford saw more of the possession towards the latter stages of the half and it took until the 42nd minute to get their first shot on target, with Will Grocott’s long-range drive going straight at Tamworth goalkeeper Jasbir Singh. Moments later Will Dawes fired just wide from a tight angle as the Bards went into the break 2-0 down.
Gavin Hurren’s men showed some spirit in the second half and Singh needed two bites of the cherry to keep hold of Dan Lafferty’s stinging effort, before getting down smartly to his left-hand side to prevent Dawes’s low, curling effort from creeping into the far corner.
However, five minutes from time the Lambs were awarded a penalty after Eoin McKeown ended up in a heap on the floor and Milnes made no mistake from 12 yards to seal the three points for the table-toppers.
Tamworth were awarded another spot-kick in the 89th minute as Lafferty brought down second-half substitute Adriel George and up stepped Milnes once again to complete his hat-trick, firing high into the top left-hand corner with O’Brien rooted to his spot.
The Bards, who have not won since the 4-2 victory over Needham Market in October, remain in the relegation zone and their first game of 2023 sees them make the trip to Bromsgrove Sporting on Monday, 2nd January.
STRATFORD TOWN: Liam O’Brien, Aksum White, Taylor Morrison, Joshua Hawker (Mikey Taylor 58), Paul McCone, Martin Riley, Dan Lafferty, Jesse Akubuine (Jamie Molyneux 72), Andre Wright, Will Grocott, Will Dawes. Unused subs: Louis Beresford, Dani Lucas.
TAMWORTH: Jasbir Singh, Matthias Curley, Callum Cockerill-Mollett, Gift Mussa, Alexander Collard, Liam Dolman, Kyle Finn, Benjamin Milnes (George Cater 89), Dan Creaney (Ty Deacon 75), Alexander Bradley (Adriel George 82), Eoin McKeown. Unused subs: Benjamin Hart, Jordan Clement.
REFEREE: Alan Cox
MATCH RATING: 3/5