Cup hopes hit by the weather

01/02 Updated: 09/02 09:08

HOLDERS Stratford Town saw their defence of Midland Alliance Polymac Services League Cup frustrated by the weather on Tuesday night.

Town travelled to neighbours Studley for a quarter-final clash which was postponed by the match referee just 35 minutes before kick-off.

The Beehive pitch passed a precautionary inspection at 4pm and was still fit for play when the referee arrived at 6.30pm.

But the cloud cover lifted which led to temperatures plummeting and the tie was called off. No new date has been arranged as yet.

Meanwhile, keeper Richard Morris turned from hero to villian as Town crashed to a disappointing 2-1 Baker Joiner Midland Alliance defeat against Bridgnorth Town at the DCS Stadium on Saturday.

Town were leading by Martin Thompson's first half goal when Morris, who had saved an early penalty, was sent off on the hour and lowly Bridgnorth, who arrived without a win in seven games, took full advantage to record a shock victory.

The visitors should have taken the lead as early as the second minute when Ricky Baker was harshly adjudged to have handled in the area but Morris superbly saved the resulting spot-kick from Jason Pike.

Slow-starting Town were struggling to get into their stride and Morris made a smart saves to deny Luke Evans who wasted a golden chance by blasting over the bar when well placed shortly after.

Evans unleashed another powerful effort which Morris could only parry with Mark Faulds on hand to complete the clearance.

Stratford conjured up their first meaningful effort in the 28th minute when Thompson beat visiting keeper Chris Cook to Danny Haynes' cross but his header flew wide.

Stratford opened the scoring six minutes before the break when a cross from Haynes fell kindly to the feet of Thompson who fired home from close range.

Bridgnorth were given a helping hand when Morris effortlessly gathered a free kick but then needlessly clashed with defender Richard Golding who made the most of the situation by going down easily.

It left the referee no alternative but to brandish a red card to Morris and point to the spot.

Manager Morton Titterton was forced to bring off young striker Jamie Molyneux and send on youth team keeper Sam Brady but Bridgnorth equalised when Pike confidently converted the spot-kick.

The visitors made the most of their numertical advantage by grabbing the winner 12 minutes from time when Tom Whitney cleverly flicked on Pike's cross and Golding pounced from close range.

Town battled gamely in the closing stages but an equaliser never really looked like materialising.

Stratford, who remain 13th in the table, entertain 11th placed Boldmere St Michaels this Saturday (3pm) before playing host to Ellesmere Ranggers on Tuesday (7.45pm).

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