Feckenham 4 FC Stratford 3
Midland League Division Two
THE MILLERS moved on to ten points from their opening five games with a thrilling victory over FC Stratford on Saturday in their first competitive league fixture at the Trico Stadium.
Alex Knight, Kev Ingram, Daniel Williams, Joe Nokes, Billy Garvey, Umit Eminoglu and Ben Ellicott were all absent, but the hosts were able to welcome back midfielder Matt Ennis and wide midfielder Callum Hall following ankle injuries as well as talented youngster Louis McDonald, whilst there was also a familiar face in the dugout as Tom Davies led the team.
The Millers made a bright start, moving the ball well on the slick artificial surface and could have gone ahead within six minutes but George Tolley’s tame effort was routinely saved by Sone before Danny Murphy also headed over from five yards.
Feckenham looked sharp and bright throughout the first half and had another good opportunity moments later when Connor Perry-Holmes picked up the ball on the left-hand side and made a darting run into the area. He cut in on his right foot and got a shot away but dragged his effort just wide.
FC Stratford uncharacteristically lacked quality in possession during the opening exchanges and Feckenham took a deserved lead when the tenacious Jack Cole released Liam Fullerton down the left and a well weighted cross into the box found Tolley whose headed effort cannoned off of the post and back into his path, with Tolley reacting quickest to fire home.
On 25 minutes, the Millers doubled their advantage when Fullerton’s cross was only half cleared by the visitors. Jake Donnelly shook off his marker and from all of 25 yards out exquisitely curled an effort into the far corner, leaving Sone routed to his spot.
FC Stratford were offered a lifeline deep into the first half against the run of play when a free kick from Ash Wilkes on the right caused mayhem in the Millers’ box and was helped in at the back post beyond Young by Tom Parnaby.
Cometh the hour cometh the man as an immediate response was produced by the Millers.
It was that man Perry-Holmes who continued his goalscoring exploits from the previous weekend when a long punt upfield by Ben Welsh was headed on by Fullerton, which in turn found the in-form Perry-Holmes who raced clear before unleashing a snap-shot into the far corner and beyond the reach of Sone.
There were no changes for either side at the interval and Feckenham started the second half brightly as they had an early chance through Murphy as he cut in from the left and got a low shot away, but his effort went straight into Sone’s gloves.
Moments later intricate play between Welsh and Adams released youngster Dan Sutton, who beat his marker with ease before pulling the ball back across the face of goal for Murphy to drive home at the far post.
Danny Janes’ FC Stratford managed to take some of the gloss off of a fine display by the Millers when Ryan Palmer threaded a superb through ball into Tonchev after good work from Poulson in the middle and Tonchez showed composure to finish well.
Deep into additional time, the final action of the game saw Stratford reduce the deficit further when Ryan Reeves headed home unopposed following a Wilkes corner.
Feckenham return to action on Saturday when they visit leaders Solihull United who have won seven of their eight games.