STRATFORD Town showed they could win ugly after completing a first league double of the season against Biggleswade Town, according to assistant manager Paul Eden.
Recent recruit Jamie Spencer bagged his first goal for Town to seal a 1-0 Southern League Premier Division win at home to the Waders to follow a 2-1 success two weeks earlier.
The conditions, with a blustery wind, were hardly conducive to glittering football but Carl Adams’ men showed they could dig in and do what was required. That was a big plus, said Eden.
“It was a good, professional performance in tricky conditions,” he said.
“It was nice to grind out a result as that is something we’ve struggled to do this season.
“A clean sheet is another bonus and defensively I thought we were very solid. Biggleswade never really looked like scoring, while in the second half when we were playing into the wind we always looked a threat on the break.
“These three points are vital, but we still need at least two more wins before we can feel absolutely safe.”
Town head to King’s Lynn Town on Saturday, with Adams’ men occupying 17th place and ten points clear of the bottom four with ten games to play.
Eden said they cannot relax yet but Town want to be looking upwards. They lie five points behind King’s Lynn, who are 13th.
Edwin Ahenkorah is set to make his return to the squad for the first time in two months.
The striker, joint top scorer with the now departed Richard Gregory on 12 goals, has been sidelined since damaging his knee against Chesham United on January 17.
He was in contention last weekend but after talking to physio Joe Perkins it was felt the game had come a week too early.
Adams says the return of Ahenkorah will crank up the fight for attacking places with Spencer and Mike Taylor.
“Having Edwin back is a massive boost,” said Adams. “Edwin is a real goal threat and his record proves that.
“It will also increase competition for places. You look at our bench now and we’ve got quality throughout.”
Defender Dan Summerfield should be fit after a groin strain, while Adams has further choices with Barry Fitzharris and Guy Clark available after suspension and having been on the bench last weekend.
Town, meanwhile, have allowed youngster Charlie Faulkner to depart to Rugby Town on loan.
The teenage midfielder has made 15 appearances this season and the move is designed to give him more game time at Rugby, who are managed by former Town favourite Gary Moran.
Adams stressed Faulkner, who had progressed through the youth ranks, remains an important part of his squad and future plans.
Saturday’s game against Biggleswade was hardly a classic with plenty of endeavour but few clearcut chances.
The match-winning moment came on 12 minutes. Simeon Tulloch, Town’s man of the match, was the instigator, providing the cross from the right and after a melee in the six-yard box Spencer rifled home his first goal since joining from Alvechurch.
Town keeper Niall Cooper was largely untested and the hosts had the best chances to add a second, with Taylor’s lob from Tulloch’s pass dropping just wide and Taylor having another effort blocked before Spencer’s right-footer was scrambled off the line.