YOUTH FOOTBALL: Underdogs Stratton pull off cup shock

Stratton U18s 4

Purton U18s 3

IN WHAT was one of the most exciting games seen at Baunton Lane for several years the Under 17/18s of Division Two played a strong first division Purton side in the League Cup quarter finals and won 4-3.

The match started on an icy surface which made playing good football difficult, but Stratton mastered the conditions better than their opponents and controlled the first 30 minutes, deservedly taking the lead through centre forward Archie Day.

Purton quickly equalised through Ross Thorburn as the ball looped over keeper Joe Chapple into the net. Then just before half-time Purton took the lead after a mix-up in the home team's defence which allowed Josh Dibble to score.

Stratton had to make some injury-enforced changes for the second half and were soon under pressure. But the defence was marshalled well by Alex Harding, Alex Binnie, Jesse Cox and Charlie Savage.

Against the run of play, Day managed to conjure an equaliser after good work from Gavin Haselar, but yet again Purton piled forward and quickly regained the lead thanks to an acrobatic goal from Dibble.

With Purton happy to sit on the lead Stratton pushed forward and Scott Reynolds latched on to a through ball, drew the goalkeeper and calmly slotted home to make the score 3-3, sending the match into extra time.

In very heavy underfoot conditions, Stratton’s fitness came to the fore and they were rewarded when MoM Day coolly completed his hat-trick to book their place in the semi final draw.

STRATTON U8s played their first game for a month at home to Croft. Regular scorers Jayden Stratford and Olly Potter both bagged a goal apiece.

STRATTON U14s game at home to King's Stanley was called off by the referee, who deemed the pitch unsafe. However, both teams agreed to play a friendly and the U14 blue team put in a lively performance in a 5-3 defeat.

Louis Jackson used his close control and pace to score after King's Stanley had taken an early lead but the visitors were clinical on the break and went 4-1 ahead midway through the second half.

Stratton came back with two quick goals, Jethro Kingsley firing a free kick through a crowded box into the bottom corner followed by Jack Sheridan's crisp finish.

Stratton continued to push for an equaliser but conceded again on the stroke of full-time.

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