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Stratford Town slump to 3-1 defeat at Coalville Town in Southern Premier Central opener

Coalville Town 3

McGlinchey 4, Berridge 56 75

Stratford Town 1

Gordon 10

Southern Premier Central

STRATFORD Town were made to pay for their missed chances as they suffered a 3-1 defeat at much fancied Coalville Town on the opening day of the new campaign on Saturday, writes Steve Wood.

Jaanai Gordon celebrates scoring the equaliser for Stratford Town. Photo: Paul Grant / STFC
Jaanai Gordon celebrates scoring the equaliser for Stratford Town. Photo: Paul Grant / STFC

The Bards’s line-up bore little resemblance to the final game of pre-season against Bedford Town the previous week, with the side taking to the pitch at the Mander Cruickshank Solicitors Stadium full of experience and ready to do battle.

Defenders Joe Magunda and Jordan Williams returned to the defence while the impressive Liam O’Brien was back between the sticks.

Following the departures of Ross Oulton and Joe Curtis, there was a welcome place in the starting XI for Jack Self while Ahmed Obeng and new recruit Jaanai Gordon were leading the line

The Bards dominated the early exchanges, but a misplaced pass in the middle of the park allowed Tom McGlinchey to race through, leaving a trail of players in his wake, and score after four minutes.

Davis’s men showed their resilience and the men in orange and navy blue got back on level terms six minutes later when Obeng found Gordon with a delightful pass and the former Banbury United frontman made no mistake.

The Ravens continued to test the visiting defence with high balls, but Magunda and Williams were up to the task, with the former dominating all the aerial duels in a man-of-the-match performance.

Whilst being strong at the back, the Bards struggled to contain the effervescent Luke Shaw who was at the centre of everything for the home side.

The second period was edged by a well organised and strong Ravens side, but the introduction of Will Dawes on the hour mark re-energised the Bards.

There’s no doubting there were fine contributions from the debutants and the never-say-die attitude will prove invaluable as the season progresses, but ultimately the result was determined by the Bards’s inability to find the back of the net from few chances on top of good goalkeeping.

The hosts nosed themselves in front in the 56th minute through Tim Berridge and the lively No. 9 struck again with 15 minutes to go to give Coalville a comfortable two-goal cushion and all but secure the three points for his side.

For the Bards, it was a case of what could have been had the chances created been put away.

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