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Church Stretton go top of Mercian League but look to boost strike force
Church Stretton 2 Ketley Bank United 0.
JOE Leask is delighted his Stretton side are top of the table for the first time - but believes the leaders must bolster their strike-force.
A brace from Sean Gough led Stretton a 2-0 win over Ketley Bank but joint-manager Leask thinks they should have won by a much bigger margin.
Former Ludlow ace Aaron Hodge played for Stretton and Leask hopes ex-skipper Ben Jones will soon be returning to their ranks.
Stretton are now unbeaten in eight matches and have a chance to improve their home record against Weston Rhyn in the Mercian League Premier Division this Saturday.
“We were a bit better last Saturday,” said Leask. He added: “Ketley were runners-up last year and had won three on the trot before they played us. Their keeper was man-of-the-match and made brilliant saves from Dan Tolley and Sean Gough.
“Aaron Hodge has been playing at Kington but he didn’t have a game with them and played for us.
“He was with us for pre-season and enjoyed it and he could have scored a hat-trick on another day.
“Aaron enjoyed himself and, hopefully, he will come to play for us when he can.”
Leask added: “Ben Jones, a former captain, has returned to the area - he’s been away travelling for 18 months. He’s expressed an interest in playing.
“We need to strengthen the attacking side of things and we also need some more options in midfield.”
Leask praised Matt Newton and Adam Spellman for their ‘outstanding displays’ for Stretton last Saturday Gough’s diving header put Stretton ahead in the 15th minute after a fine run and cross from twin-brother Aaron.
He sealed Stretton’s success when he slotted in his second goal after the interval “It’s a clean sheet and another three points and it’s nice to get the points on the board,” said Leask.
“We are doing OK - we are nine points better off than we were at this stage last year. It’s the first time that we’ve been top of the table.
“We have Weston Rhyn at home in the league this Saturday and a lot of the other clubs around us are involved in the Shropshire FA Challenge Cup.
“It’s a chance for us to try to put more points on the board and open up an advantage at the top.
“We have had four wins and a draw at home and we want to keep our home record going.”