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Town Youth downed by Alvechurch in eight-goal thriller


Midland Floodlit Youth League, Premier South

Stratford Town 3-5 Alvechurch

Report by Bryan Hale

TITLE-CHASING Town Youth went down to only their second defeat of the season in the MFYL Premier Division South as Alvechurch turned the form book upside down with a thoroughly deserved success at the Arden Garages Stadium on Thursday night.

Darren Timms’ side are still in pole position in the table but their two upcoming matches against second-placed Gloucester City now take on added importance. Town are four points ahead and have played one game less, but that advantage could easily be eroded if the results of those games go against them.

Town made a bright start against the Church, with Tommy Harrington and James Pomeroy both having decent efforts well saved by keeper Dan Handley.

And it was against the run of play when they fell behind in the ninth minute when Remy Gordon escaped down the left touchline to whip in a low cross which was drilled past Town keeper Ryan Woodward into the bottom corner by the unmarked Leo Glenn.

Town fought back to equalise just four minutes later, with Pomeroy supplying the finish from a Toby Scott cross and everything seemed to be going to plan when they went ahead on 20 minutes when Harrington crossed from the right and Tyricke Richards-Burke fired home from virtually on the penalty spot.

But Handley kept Church in the game with a couple more smart saves from Harrington and Bradley West and they levelled it all up again on the half-hour mark when Caine Elliott’s underhit back pass allowed Dylan Hadley to nip in and slot the ball past the stranded Woodward.

And it was the Church who began to take control of the game after half-time, with the impressive Ben Cassidy causing the Town defence plenty of problems with his pace and persistence.

On the hour mark he cut in from the left to hit a low drive which Woodward kept out with his outstretched left leg, and he put the Church back in front on 68 minutes when he chased a long ball down the inside left channel and lobbed it over the advancing keeper into the empty net.

Five minutes later the Church went 4-2 up and inevitably it was Cassidy who was involved as he surged into the penalty where he was upended by Sacha Everard and picked himself up to thump the spot-kick past Woodward with the minimum of fuss.

Town tried hard to respond and pulled one back in the 79th minute. A well-struck Elliott shot was turned behind by Handley and when the resulting corner wasn’t properly cleared, West pounced on the loose ball to blast it into the net and give Town a glimmer of hope.

But with Isevan Prospa standing out in the centre of Church’s backline, their only real chance of an equaliser came with three minutes left when Harry Hartin’s free-kick from the edge of the penalty area rebounded away off the Church wall.

Immediately up the other end Church broke way to seal the win and complete a miserable evening for Town, with Hadley adding his second and the Church’s fifth.

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