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Stratford Town Youth go top with victory over Worcester City


Stratford Town 4-2 Worcester City

Midland Floodlit Youth League, Premier Division South

Report by Bryan Hale.

STRATFORD Town put last week’s League Cup woes behind them as they stormed to the top of the MFYL Premier Division South table with a stunning win over previous leaders Worcester City at the Arden Garages Stadium on Thursday evening.

Trailing 2-1 at the break, Darren Timms’ side turned the game around with a tremendous second-half performance which saw them run in three goals without reply to give a potentially significant boost to their title aspirations.

Yet it was Worcester who had the early chances to open the scoring with Town keeper Ryan Woodward pulling off a smart save from Jacob Keane’s fiercely struck effort in only the fifth minute and then again doing well to deny Joel Owusu after the striker had bustled his way in from the right.

Town, though, gradually worked their way into the game and took the lead on the half-hour mark when Ben Cook latched on to a long pass to cut in from the left and drill the ball past Worcester keeper Sean Dayus into the far corner.

Worcester then hit back to equalise in the 38th minute, with Owusu shooting home from eight yards out as the offside flag stayed down and three minutes later Tom Allen fired them ahead with an assured finish from the edge of the penalty area.

But Tyrike Richards-Burke gave a glimpse of what was to come in the final minute of the half with a firmly struck shot which was only held by Dayus at the second attempt followed by another which fizzed inches over.

And it was the electric pace of Richards-Burke - who has already attracted interest from League One outfit Walsall - which was to change the game after the restart.

Five minutes into the second-half he surged down the inside left channel only for Dayus to charge out of his goal to block the shot at point-blank range, but Richards-Burke came out on top when he again burst down the left four minutes later.

This time he was ready for Dayus’ challenge and from 20 yards out hit an exquisite lob over the advancing keeper which dipped under the bar and into the net.

Town now had the momentum and Richards-Burke combined with Harry Hartin in the 58th minute to take full advantage of some hesitancy in the Worcester defence to put Town back in front, with Hartin slotting home from inside the six-yard box.

With Worcester struggling to cope as Town continued to push forward, Dayus saved from James Pomeroy at the foot of his left-hand post and then desperately shovelled a long-range Caine Elliott attempt behind at his opposite post while the irrepressible Richards-Burke wasn’t far away with a header from close in.

And on 82 minutes Town effectively made the game safe when Michael Boyd scooted clear from the halfway line and coolly skipped round Dayus to slide the ball into the empty net.

A final Worcester chance fell to Riley Keasey but Sacha Everard was quick to snuff out the danger with a perfectly timed tackle.

In addded time Town nearly added a fifth, with Boyd dribbling through again before being crowded out and Dayus beating away yet another effort from the irrepressible Richards-Burke.

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