Business as usual for Stratton
Long Stratton 2, Bungay Town 0THE sign went back up outside Manor Road at 4.15pm and it read 'business as usual', a sixth win in seven games cemented Stratton's place in the top three and it was the perfect performance to warm the biggest crowd of the season.
Long Stratton 2, Bungay Town 0
THE sign went back up outside Manor Road at 4.15pm and it read 'business as usual', a sixth win in seven games cemented Stratton's place in the top three and it was the perfect performance to warm the biggest crowd of the season.
Stratton were forced into a reshuffle before kick-off with Sam Giacomelli falling ill. David Storey starting at right-back and Mark Whitmore partnering Kaine Challen in centre defence.
The first half was an even affair, a couple of penalty shouts turned down and Shaun Flint seeing a few half chances go begging. Stratton looked much better after the break and their untouchable work-rate saw them gain the upper hand for the majority of the 45 minutes.
A few tackles not for the fainthearted cranked up the heat and Stratton began to knock on the Black Dogs door with Adam Solley seeing a header flash just over.
Just before the hour Ben Cussons was upended in the box and he stepped up to tuck away the spot kick, soon after James Barnes fed Cussons who fired home to seal the win, the roar around Manor Road lifted the roof.
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Stratton looked likely to extend their lead, Robinson seeing an effort blaze over the skateboard park end stand. Bungay meanwhile could find no way through Stratton's tireless midfield and anything aerial was met by the dominant Kaine Challen.
Another excellent victory and a timely reminder to all our supporters and critics alike of everything that is good about this side, work-rate, relentless desire and a character to go on and win games.
Stratton Motor Company MoM: Kaine Challen
Sheringham Reserves 3, Long Stratton Reserves 0
This was a much-improved performance from Stratton Reserves even though the scoreline does not reflect this, especially with the last-minute call-off from captain Jimmy Dale through illness.
A harsh penalty awarded against Stratton's keeper Adam Welstead in the fifth minute was always going to make it difficult against the second-placed team.
A second yellow and sending off against JJ McClusky on 50 minutes just made things harder. For the first 30 minutes Stratton played reasonable football but lacked some belief and an injury to Welstead made it impossible for him to carry on and Harley Hamill substituted.
However, the final part of the first half (with both Paul Folkard and Shaun Moss making the Sheringham keeper make two excellent saves) provided a much better all-round team performance and much optimism for the second half.
Unfortunately being reduced to 10 men after five minutes of the half again asked questions of players and team spirit.
On 60 minutes Dale Wallis had to come off injured and was substituted by Richard Leather for his first run out this season.
With everyone raising their game and young keeper Hamill making some good saves Sheringham were made to work for their points but scored a second in the 72nd minute and a scrappy third from a corner on 85 minutes.
MoM: Jonny Saunders.