Two victories lift Town into top ten

24/04 Updated: 24/04 17:11

STRATFORD Town climbed into the top ten of the Baker-Joiner Midland Alliance following a comfortable 3-0 victory at struggling Atherstone Town on Tuesday night.

The visitors gradually gained control and went ahead after 17 minutes through Mykel Beckley who beat keeper Paul Hathaway with a well placed 25-yard free kick.

Stratford deservedly increased their lead in the 37th minute as Beckley turned provider by neatly setting up James Travis.

Atherstone went close on the stroke of half time but Dave Boal's long range efforts was smartly saved by Richard Morris.

Town virtually wrapped up the points two minutes into the second half when the impressive Chris Murphy was on hand to turn in a low cross from Cameron Jones.

The visitors remained on top and Beckley spurned a golden opportunity by shooting wildly over the bar with just Hathaway to beat, while Murphy should have done better than drag his shot wide from an excellent position.

Town should have added to their tally in the closing stages but Travis saw his header tipped over the bar by Hathaway who then did well to block a powerful angled shot from young substitute Jamie Molyneux.

Town's victory followed another convincing 3-0 success over rock-bottom Willenhall Town at the DCS Stadium on Saturday.

Stratford got off to a flying start by scoring the opening goal after just 38 seconds with James Travis ending a good move by delivering a low cross into the six yard box which was gratefully converted by Chris Murphy.

Michael Hayden teased the Black Country outfit with a string of dangerous crosses into the penalty area and from his first one Mykel Beckley was denied by keeper Liam Flynn before hitting the post with his follow up effort.

Willenhall offered ample evidence of why they are rooted to the foot of the table but front-runner Danico Johnson did pose the home defence a few problems and he had two early efforts saved by Richard Morris.

Town duly doubled their advantage in the 15th minute with Hayden launching a cross to the far post which James Travis headed home despite Flynn getting his hand to the ball.

Hayden, who continued to set up a constant stream of chances with quality crosses, fired inches over the bar either side of Travis and Stuart Herlihgy hitting the woodwork.

The unmarked Beckley headed Travis's cross wide when it looked easier to score but he atoned for the miss by showing some good skill to leave Murphy the simplest of finishes two minutes before the break.

Travis ended a good run with a fierce shot which was tipped over the bar by Flynn after the break but the second half developed into a scrappy affair.

Town will be aiming to maintain their winning run when they visit lowly Coleshill Town this Saturday (3pm).

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