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Stratford Town blow St Ives away with five first-half goals

Ben Stephens celebrates one of his two goals at St Ives. Photo: Steve Wood
Ben Stephens celebrates one of his two goals at St Ives. Photo: Steve Wood

STRATFORD Town ended their five-game losing run in some style as they romped to an emphatic 6-2 victory over St Ives at the ProEdge Stadium on Tuesday night, writes Bryan Hale.

Town effectively wrapped up the points in a storming first half which saw them find the back of the St Ives net five times, each one from a different scorer.

The pattern was set immediately with Stratford going ahead in only the second minute when Mike Taylor’s cross from the left was miscontrolled by the Saints left-back Peter Clark and Charlie Evans pounced to lift the loose ball over the stranded keeper Tim Trebes.

But the lead lasted barely 30 seconds as the Saints attacked straight from the kick off and Peter Clark fired past Louis Connor.

Stratford looked to hit back immediately with Ben Stephens forcing Trebes into a couple of decent saves before they regained the lead in the 17th minute.

Lee Thomas started the move with a neat pass to Stephens who promptly released Edwin Ahenkorah down the inside left channel and he ran on to drill the ball past the advancing Trebes.

As Stratford continued to boss the possession, a sharp Will Grocott effort was beaten away by Trebes before they extended their advantage on 24 minutes when a Grocott free-kick from the left was headed back across goal by Liam Francis at the far post.

Trebes could only push it away and skipper Jimmy Fry reacted quickest to slot the rebound over the line.

And it got even better for Carl Adams’ side with two more goals in five minutes after the half-hour mark.

Firstly, Stephens hit a sublime finish beyond Trebes from just inside the penalty area, and then Taylor outmuscled Lloyd Groves to reach a long ball down the middle and lob it over the helpless Trebes.

Amazingly, the first half scoring still wasn’t finished as four minutes later Thomas conceded a penalty with a clumsy challenge and Tom Knowles thumped the spot-kick past Connor.

But Stratford made it six in the 56th minute with a goal which was all about the sheer class of Grocott and Stephens as they exchanged passes in a confined space near the penalty spot ending with Stephens steering the ball past the bemused Trebes.

From then on, the game inevitably petered out although the Saints to their credit kept going to the end and went close to grabbing a third, only for Connor to pull off decent saves from Knowles and substitute Dubi Ogbonna.

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