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Thursday 06 December 2012 Updated: 06/12 10:37
Highgate United 1 Stratford Town 2
BATTLING Town stepped up their Baker Joiner Midland Alliance title bid by completing the double over lowly Highgate with a hard fought success at Tythe Barn Lane on Tuesday night.
Town, who are now nine points clear at the top of the table, displayed an attribute all champions need which is the ability to grind out victories without playing at their best.
Both sides struggled to adapt to some tricky conditions on a frosty surface and Highgate were first to threaten after 15 minutes when Dan Pitt’s cross found Junior Bennett whose effort was superbly saved by Chris Jay at full stretch.
Town hit back with Richard Robinson releasing Tyrone Fagan who slipped the ball past advancing keeper Niall Gilbride only for it to go wide of the post.
Clear cut chances were few and far between althoguh Ton Robinson hgad a well struck 30-yard free kick turned over the bar by Gilbride and Joe Halsall had a header blocked from the resulting corner.
Town opened the scoring six minutes after the break through Tony Robinson who was on hand to head home from close range after Fagan flicked on a free kick from Aaron Forde.
The joy proved short-lived as Highgate equalised within four minutes as Andy Fraher escaped his marker to head home Jake Brown’s far post corner.
It took a smart save from Jay to prevent Trevor Edwards firing Highgate ahead but it was Town who regained the lead in the 67th minute when Tony Robinson released Halsall who clinically beat the advancing Gilbride.
New signing Rico Taylor, who has joined the club from Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division outfit Bedworth United, replaced Mark Faulds and, with virtually his first touch, delivered a dangerous cross which Tony Robinson volleyed wide.
The success exacted revenge for an earlier league cup defeat and extended Town’s unbeaten away record to 11 games.
Town entertain Heather St Johns at the DCS Stadium this Saturday (3pm).
STRATFORD AC duo Anna Gamle and Rory Dwyer
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