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Spirited Town urged to put Brakes on leaders

Justin Marsden celebrates after scoring Town's late equaliser against Kings Langley. Photo: Steve Wood
Justin Marsden celebrates after scoring Town's late equaliser against Kings Langley. Photo: Steve Wood

STRIKER Justin Marsden believes Stratford Town proved they have the resilience and spirit to upset title-chasing Leamington in their keenly-anticipated Boxing Day derby (3pm), writes Colin Stoner.

Marsden’s first goal for Town since joining from Bedworth United salvaged a point in Tuesday’s back-from-the-brink 2-2 draw at home to Kings Langley.

Manager Carl Adams described the performance as their poorest of the season, but praised the players’ determination to keep fighting as substitute Marsden netted the equaliser in injury time.

The forward agrees and says such qualities — plus better finishing — will be essential for the visit to the Brakes, who sit seven points clear in top spot.

“It’s always a big game against Leamington, and a great atmosphere because it is a local derby,” said Marsden.

“It would have been nice to have gone into the game with three points from Tuesday’s game to give us some more confidence but I’m confident we can go there and get a result.

“From what I’ve seen in the three games I’ve been here, we can create chances but we’ve been a bit unlucky in front of goal. I think we’ve created more than enough chances to win all three games. But we’ve also shown, especially on Tuesday, that we can dig out a result. Our second-half performance was much better and we showed tremendous spirit in the second half.”

Town, who lost 2-0 to Leamington on August Bank Holiday, have won only once in the last 12 league games but seven of those games have been draws after Stratford have been in winning positions, and they are unbeaten in four league and cup games.

They have eked out a seven-point cushion above the teams in the bottom four places and experienced forward Marsden suggested 17th-placed Town have the ability to push up the table, rather than being sucked into a relegation scrap.

“Since I’ve been here, the boys have shown that we will be alright. We can finish in the top half of the table, no doubt about that,” he added.

Marsden has had an eye for goal through a career which has featured spells at Rugby Town, Nuneaton, AFC Telford, Kettering and Solihull Borough and he did not need asking twice when Adams made an approach.

“It just didn’t work out for me at Bedworth and when the gaffer gave me a call I snapped up the opportunity,” said Marsden.

“It’s a great club, the lads are a good bunch and I couldn’t say no really.”

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