Another hat-trick for Califano…
Stratford-upon-Avon College football team looked to maintain their very impressive start after last week’s 7-2 demolition of Worcester 6th Form College and quickly set about their task in this AoC Sport division 3B match.
Stratford instantly looked the more energetic of the teams. With 2nd year Public Services students Zac Hughes and Josh Chambay returning to the team to shore up the defence, it was clear that Stratford would be a formidable prospect in all departments. Fresh from his three goals the week before, Lewis Califano opened the scoring after just 10 minutes. Freddy Murphy took on the right back and played a through ball to Califano, who used his speed to get in behind the defence and slot the ball past the keeper.
Stratford more or less dominated possession and territory for the rest of the half but despite chances created for Murphy, Max Teckoe, Aaron Windsor and Califano, the HOW keeper was on top form and kept his team in the game. Against the run of play, and with less than 5 minutes to half time, Stratford were made to pay for their wastefulness in front of goal when Ralph Davies pounced upon an error at the back. Despite some excellent scramble defence from Captain George Clayton, Davies drilled the second attempt into the roof of the net.
At half time, coach Richard Pepperell told his players to maintain their composure and increase the communication in the middle. Dan Batchelor replaced Josh Grayson in goal for his first outing of the season and Karabo Motelle replaced Max Teckoe up front.
Despite the pep talk Stratford made the worst possible start to the second half, conceding again from a goalkeeping error. Batchelor fluffed a clearance and sent the ball straight to Bobby Riley on the right wing who controlled and drilled a shot that was still rising as it hit the back of the net.
Stratford responded immediately, setting about the task of collecting all three points with excellent professionalism. Motelle made an instant impact to the match using his size and strength to hold the ball up in the latter third of the pitch and bring the midfield into the game more and more. Width was Stratford’s best method of attack and, just five minutes after going 2-1 down, Motelle put the HOW defence under so much pressure that he won possession on the left hand side and crossed to Califano who hit the top corner from around the penalty spot.
Stratford launched wave after wave of attack in search of the winner and when A-Level student Kallan Gill picked the ball up in an attacking position, he drifted across the HOW defence drawing two defenders out of position. Gill then played a blind pass to release Califano, who once again beat the defender and took the match ball home for the second time in two weeks.
It has to be said that the most impressive part of Stratford’s performance was the last 15 minutes, when, after taking the lead, they refused to give HOW a sniff. On his return Zac Hughes won the man of the match award but Stratford will be hoping Califano can keep his hot streak going.
Next week Stratford entertain Birmingham Met 3 at Stratford Town Football Club.
For more information on Stratford-upon-Avon College’s Football Academy or the Sports courses offered, please visit www.stratford.ac.uk or call the College on 01789266245.
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