CARL ADAMS believes Stratford Town could be considered to be one of the teams of the year if they can finish their debut season in the Southern Premier top ten.
The Town manager admits it has been a frustrating week, with an 89th-minute goal sending them to a 4-3 defeat at Biggleswade on Saturday and then an 89th-minute deflected equaliser denying them victory against high-flying King’s Lynn Town at the DCS Stadium on Tuesday.
Adams blamed ‘criminal defending’ for Saturday’s turnaround after leading 2-0 but felt Tuesday’s 1-1 draw was cruel after they had created the better chances.
But he highlighted the positives, as Town look to return to winning ways with a trip to Paulton Rovers tomorrow (Saturday) and then a home match against Merthyr Town on Tuesday.
“The results in the last two games have been frustrating because we could be sitting here with six points not one,” said Adams.
“But there are loads of positives, and a few negatives, to work on.
“I still feel we are more than capable of getting a top ten or top 12 place. In my eyes, if we do that, then we can be considered as one of the teams of the year. For any promoted team to come up and finish in the top ten is a fantastic achievement.”
Stratford had taken an 11th-minute lead at Biggleswade, with Richard Gregory slotting home after a good build-up between Emmitt Delfouneso and Tyrone Fagan.
Fagan doubled the lead in injury time from Gregory’s pass but the Waders got back into the game moment later through Ian Rees.
Craig Daniel made it 2-2 on the hour and Inih Effiong put the hosts ahead, only for Dior Angus to level with four minutes left. There was still time, however, for Effiong to race away from a long punt to bag the winner.
On Tuesday, King’s Lynn had plenty of the ball but Stratford had the better chances until they finally went ahead on 85 minutes.
Kieren Westwood collected Mark Magee’s lay-back and fired home from 15 yards.
But Town could not hold on and, after Lee Smith’s free kick was blocked by the Stratford wall, the ball fell to Jack Friend whose fierce shot hit a defender’s knee and flew past young keeper James Cutts.
Adams added: “We can’t see games out at the moment. We’re the nearly men. Conceding late on in games is a concern but I’ve got faith in this group of lads to bounce back.”
With regular No 1 Andy Kemp sidelined with a knee injury, Cutts will keep his place this weekend.
However, wide player Angus joins club skipper Gary Moran on the sidelines with an ankle injury after being hurt in a challenge on Tuesday.