Taylor strikes as Town hit back to claim point
STRATFORD and newly promoted St Ives shared the points in a 1-1 draw at a sun-drenched Pro-Edge Stadium on Saturday, writes Bryan Hale.
Carl Adams' side had an early opportunity to take the lead when Jamie Sheldon broke away down the inside left channel in only the second minute, but instead of shooting he slid the ball inside to Richard Gregory, who was immediately crowded out.
In an even game, Stratford’s next chance didn’t arrive until the 20th minute when after a patient build-up down the left, the ball deflected off a defender into the path of Gregory, whose fiercely-struck drive was turned behind by Saints keeper Ollie Sutton at the foot of his right-hand post.
Josh Dawkin was giving the Stratford defence a testing time down the left with a couple of threatening runs, but the first half looked to be ending goalless until a minute before the break when Jack Higgs floated in a free-kick from the right touchline and Harry O’Malley got the slightest of touches to direct his header past Niall Cooper into the far corner of the net.
Sam Ives twice went close for the Saints in the opening minutes of the second half and they had the better of the possession, but Stratford got back on level terms with 20 minutes remaining.
Guy Clark's cross from the left was missed by Liam McDevitt and volleyed in at close range at the far post by substitute Mike Taylor.
St Ives finished strongly, but a flying save by Cooper from a thunderous Joe Carden effort made sure it stayed all square at the end.
TOWN: Niall Cooper, Jordan Cullinane-Liburd, Guy Clark, Warren Brooks (Edwin Ahenkorah 46), Liam Francis, Emmitt Delfouneso, Simeon Tulloch, Trey Brathwaite (Charlie Evans 80), Richard Gregory (c), Will Grocott, Jamie Sheldon (Mike Taylor 65).