After a frustrating period of inactivity due to the weather, Hednesford Town will hope to travel to FA Cup heroes Stratford Town tonight and get their play-off hopes firmly back on track.
The Pitmen in 9th place in the league table and are 12 points behind AFC Rushden & Diamonds who occupy the final play-off place but with three games in hand. With the four clubs above Rushden seemingly out of sight a win at Stratford for us is a must if we are going to put pressure on those above us.
Stratford Town are 13th in the table and with four points fewer than the Pitmen and having played two games more. Stratford are in a similar position in the form table as well, having taken seven points from their last six games. They are 10th in the attendance table with an average of 426. Only four teams have scored fewer than the 34 goals that Stratford have scored this season and with Stratford’s home record being very similar to Hednesford’s away record it could be a very tight game in prospect tonight.
Although a number of former Hednesford players have played for Stratford Town this season, only one remains and that is midfielder Ashley Sammons, who was at Keys Park for a brief spell with Liam McDonald as manager. Also in the Stratford squad is former Premier League striker Leroy Lita, and striker Mikey Taylor, who has terrorised our defence in the recent past for Bromsgrove.
Stratford Town, aptly nicknamed “The Bards” after the birthplace of William Shakespeare, had a fantastic FA Cup run with qualifying round victories over Carlton Town, Nuneaton Borough, Long Eaton United and Boston United, earning them a sold-out televised FA Cup first round tie at home to League One side Shrewsbury Town, where they took an early lead but eventually lost 5-1. Since then, manager Paul Davis has been replaced by former England goalkeeper Tim Flowers. Stratford have actually drawn seven out of their last ten league games and we have drawn four out of last six. Nevertheless, it should be a fantastic game under the lights and one we should all be looking forward to.
Stadium address: The Arden Garages Stadium, Knights Lane, Tiddington, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire CV37 7BZ