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Wednesday 19 December 2012 Updated: 19/12 17:24
Coleshill Town 0 Stratford Town 1
LEADERS Town continued their relentless march towards the Baker Joiner Midland Alliance title by moving 14 points clear at the top of the table following a hard fought success at lowly Coleshill on Saturday.
Tyrone Fagan proved the hero by converting a penalty midway through the second half to give Stratford a fourth straight victory which pulled them well clear of their championship rivals who were all left inactive due to waterlogged pitches.
Both sides struggled to come to terms with a difficult surface but, yet again, Stratford produced a gutsy display which enabled manager Carl Adams to emerge triumphant against his former club.
The visitors almost got off to a dream start as Aaron Forde released Fagan but keeper Paul Hathaway was swiftly off his line to snuff out the danger.
At the other end former Stratford striker James Travis was off target from a cross by Darius Darkin who followed up with a well struck shot which former Coleshill keeper Chris Jay comfortably saved.
Clear cut openings were at a premium but Mark Faulds fashioned a chance by neatly combining with Tony Robinson but his effort flew over the bar, while Joe Halsall fired a shot on the turn inches wide.
Stratford thought they had broken the deadlock ten minutes before the break when Simeon Tulloch headed home Ricky Baker's cross but the effort was disallowed as the ball had gone out of play during the build up.
The visitors were quickly into their stride at the start of the second half with Halsall having a powerful 20-yard effort superbly tipped over the bar by Hathaway.
Tom Busby was denied at the other end by Jay who followed up with a marvellous full length save to thwart the same player.
The deadlock was eventually broken in the 67th minute when Tony Robinson was brought down in the area by Sam Wilson and Fagan confidently converted the resulting penalty.
Coleshill hit back and it required another outstanding save from Jay to prevent Chris Lloyd grabbing an instant equaliser with a well struck shot.
Town, looking to seal victory, went close when Tony Robinson volleyed an inviting cross from Baker inches wide of the post, while Jamie Molyneux ended a fine run by shooting just the wrong side of the post.
But Coleshill nearly snatched an equaliser deep into stoppage time through Lloyd who unleashed a thunderous 25-yard shot which was acrobatically tipped over the bar by Jay much to the relief of his team-mates and the travelling supporters.
Stratford begin the second half of their league campaign by entertaining Gornal Athletic at the DCS Stadium this Saturday (3pm). The Black Country visitors, who are still in the FA Vase, are currently eighth in the table but could move within two points of Town if they win all seven of their games in hand.
Town then face a trip to Coventry Sphinx on Wednesday (Boxing Day, 3pm).
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