The Waders returned from the Midlands with no points to show for their efforts at Stratford on Saturday, writes David Whiteman.
On a cold, still and bright afternoon, it was Stratford who started the game the stronger with Ben Stephens running the midfield and Mike Taylor proving to be a handful up front.
Liam Gooch saved well from Stephens and centre back Loyiso Recci was just wide with a fierce shot from distance. Other shots were blocked and Taylor shot just over the bar.
After 20 minutes on the back foot, the Waders came more into the game. Nathan Hicks had a shot blocked, Morgan Penfold headed over a George Bailey cross and Connor Hall and Gavin Hoyte both headed just wide.
Stratford’s only efforts of note after their bright start were two further shots from Recci, both of which were saved well by Gooch. By this stage, it was Hall running the midfield and just before the interval he had a shot saved and a good header which hit the bar.
At the beginning of the second half, George Bailey was put through by Morgan Penfold but, with only the keeper to beat, missed the target. This was unfortunate for George, as the youngster is always trying to make things happen in the opposition half.
On 58 minutes came the decisive moment. A shot from Stephens was parried on to the bar by Liam Gooch and Taylor was quickest to react to the loose ball and bundled it over the line.
Apart from Taylor hitting the bar, the Waders had the better of the chances after the goal and in injury time Tony Burnett just failed to reach the ball. There was still time for a goalbound shot from Robbie Parker to be blocked.
Waders deserved something out of the game, but it was not to be.
On Saturday they host Banbury, before Bishop’s Stortford visit on Boxing Day - both kick off at 3pm.