Will Grocott scores wonder goal as Stratford Town progress in League Cup
A WILL Grocott wonder goal was the highlight of Town’s emphatic 4-2 success over Alvechurch in an all-action CSS League Challenge Cup first round tie on Tuesday night, writes Bryan Hale.
Kicking down the tricky Lye Meadow slope, the Church were first to threaten when Ross Oulton gave away a free-kick in the seventh minute a couple of yards outside the penalty area to pick up the evening’s only yellow card.
It was hit firmly enough by Mark Smith but was straight at Town keeper Richard Walton who held it at the second attempt as Aaron Lloyd closed in on the rebound.
But three minutes later Town opened the scoring when Mike Taylor’s persistence in the penalty area led to the ball falling kindly to Lewis Wilson 15 yards out and he drilled it beyond Church keeper Paul Evans into the far corner.
Town were looking sharp, but were caught out when the Church equalised on 23 minutes. Right back Josh Ezewele was allowed to reach the byline and pull the ball back to Ben Cassidy who turned it past Walton from close in.
This gave the Church the momentum to pile forward and they took the lead in the 32nd minute when Mitch Botfield dribbled across the Town penalty area from the left before swivelling to steer the ball past Walton.
But in a typically topsy turvy cup tie Town were back level on 41 minutes when the Church failed to deal properly with a Grocott corner and Taylor stabbed home the loose ball from a couple of yards out.
And it got even better for Town almost immediately with the spectacular strike from Grocott. Virtually on the halfway line, he spotted Evans off his line and his exquisite lob sailed over the stranded keeper and dropped behind him into the net.
Town almost went further ahead in the early minutes of the second half with Evans stretching backwards to grab a Jordan Williams header from another Grocott corner followed by Grocott - who maybe had a point to prove after only being on the substitutes' bench at Kings Lynn - surging through the middle to slip the ball to Taylor, who fired disappointingly wide.
Town were now very much on top, and on 74 minutes their place in the next round was secured when a flowing Town move ended with a simple tap-in for Wilson Carvalho.
Stratford Town: Richard Walton,, Chris Cox, Kieren Westwood, Jimmy Fry (c) (Albi Skendi 68), Jordan Williams, Jamie McAteer, Lewis Wilson (Wilson Carvalho 68), Ross Oulton (Claudio Dias 63), Mike Taylor, Will Grocott, Kynan Isaac. Subs not used: Guillaume Taty, James Behan.
Alvechurch: Paul Evans, Josh Ezewele (Paul Henley 64), Taylor Morrison, Tom Turton (c), Kyle Morrison, Mark Smith, Ben Stokes, Mitch Botfield (Ayden Vaughan 64), Aaron Lloyd (Ben Tilbury 79), Ben Cassidy, Kieran Cook. Subs not used: Dan O’Callaghan, Matt Sargeant.