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Much-changed FC Stratford produce another cup upset



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Ashley Wilkes netted for FC Stratford. Photo: Mark Williamson
Ashley Wilkes netted for FC Stratford. Photo: Mark Williamson

FOOTBALL

THERE seems to be no stopping goal-hungry FC Stratford as they swept aside higher league Gornal Athletic 6-1 in a Birmingham Vase upset on Saturday.

Dave Poulson’s Midland League Division Three side recorded an eighth win in eight matches this season, despite falling behind to their West Midlands League Division One visitors in the county competition.

Poulson had promised beforehand to test out his squad and he was as good as his word with six changes to the XI which dumped Chelmsley Town out of the Coventry Evening Telegraph Cup last week.

And while it might have taken time to get used to each other, Stratford soon recovered from conceding first to lead 3-1 at half-time.

Dan Stokes levelled after some neat interplay and then Stokes was felled inside the penalty area and Ash Wilkes lashed in the resulting spot-kick.

Nick Cox added the hosts’ third after Tom Dyke flicked on a corner from Freddy Murphy.

It got worse for Gornal early in the second period when their skipper was sent off, having picked up a yellow and then argued with the referee to pick up a second for dissent.

Jamie Gifford’s incisive play then sent Wilkes free on goal and he duly finished for 4-1 before Gifford combined with Cox after Stokes’ initial break and Cox notched his second of the game.

Tom Daccus wrapped up the win, converting the chance after Tom Parnaby escaped the offside trap and crossed into the box.

Alcester Town continued their improving run with a 3-0 win at home to Continental Star.

Now unbeaten in six games, Danny Janes’ side have moved into third place in the Midland League, Division Three standings.

The Town goalscorers were Keiran Downey, Ellis Kalach and Jimmy Ward.

Shipston Excelsior made it back-to-back home wins after a 2-1 victory against Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons at London Road, thanks to goals from Craig Robins and Nick Shurmer.

Steve Hedderman’s side now occupy fifth place in the table.

Meanwhile, in Midland League, Division One, Racing Club Warwick produced a riproaring comeback from 3-1 down and with only ten men to get a point at home to Lichfield City.

Lichfield raced into a 2-0 lead after 17 minutes through two goals from Ben Lund before Racers full-back Jack Taylor was red-card.

Richard Powell pulled a goal back for the hosts on 26 minutes after good work by Ryan Billington, only for City to get a third through Josh Hanson on the stroke of half-time.

The Racers, though, were not yet finished and Luke Church cut the deficit in first-half stoppage time from another Billington assist and then Alex Price set up Martin Slevin to bag the winner in the 82nd minute.

Studley also fell behind in their home game against Ilkeston but roared back for a 3-1 win to remain second in the table.

Montel Gibson put Ilkeston ahead but Chris Cowley struck twice for the Bees, either side of an Andy Nicol penalty, while the Robins also had Martin Lench red-carded ten minutes into the second period.

Don't miss Thursday's Herald for reports and reaction.



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