Southern League Premier Division Central
St Ives Town
Jimmy Fry 30, Ashley Sammons 41, Will Grocott 88, Enoch Andoh 90+3
Injuries make defeat to Stratford a bit of a Shakespearean tragedy for St Ives Town
- Credit: DUNCAN LAMONT
St Ives Town saw their unbeaten start to the season come to an end in emphatic fashion as they lost at home to Stratford Town.
The visitors to Westwood Road returned home with a 4-0 win under their belts and although the score wasn't necessarily a true reflection, manager Ricky Marheineke was left with a few headaches, most notably because of injuries.
It was a different story at the start of the game as the treatment room waved goodbye to skipper Robbie Parker, fit to start after a first 45 minutes in months in the win over Stourbridge seven days earlier.
There was a debut too for Prudence Anaele but by three minutes of the second half, they had lost Brett Solkhon and the star of Ives early season to date, Brett Fairlamb, both limping out of the game to join the already extensive queue for the treatment table.
The first goal of the day arrived on 30 minutes and it was a cracker.
A quick break by the Bards put the ball at the feet of Ahmed Obeng on the edge of the box. His shot was blocked by Solkhon and Ives did the same when the rebound fell to Jaanai Gordon.
However, this time the ball looped up into the air, allowing Jimmy Fry to arrow a volley from 25 yards into the top corner.
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Liam Cross should have equalised three minutes later but he rolled his shot both past the keeper and the post.
And four minutes before the break Ives gifted Stratford a second, Anaele losing possession to Jack Self and Sammons knocking in Gordon's low driven cross.
The final action of the first half saw Nabil Shariff fail to hit the target from eight yards out with a free header and the first action of the second period was the end of the game for Fairlamb, Solkhon having failed to appear after the break.
A succession of corners almost dragged Ives back into it though, Obeng having to clear off the line, but after that they were restricted to efforts from distance, mostly from Ed Hottor.
Dylan Williams screwed a free-kick wide with four minutes to go and then to rub salt into the many Ives wounds, Will Grocott made it three on 88 minutes, finishing off a quick break by Enoch Andoh despite an excellent goal-line clearance from Eniola Agemoh-Davies.
And Andoh then went on to add a fourth, gleefully rolling the ball into an empty net after Owen James was allowed to run straight through the heart of Ives back-line.
But with their next game at Biggleswade Town tomorrow (Monday), time is not on St Ives' side as they look to patch up their crippled squad.
St Ives Town: White, Flanagan, Toseland, Hottor, Solkhon (Agemoh-Davies 46), Anaele, Cross (Robbins 76), Parker (capt), Shariff, Williams, Fairlamb (Seymour-Shove 49).