A difficult 6-2 loss to take today after we had competed with top-of-the-table Stroud for long periods of the game. After soaking up pressure for the first ten minutes we so very nearly took the lead after Nathan had dribbled past several players and flicked the ball over the advancing keeper only to see the keeper make a miraculous save. After 20 minutes it was still 0-0 and Stroud realised they had a game on their hands. Their first goal came, as is always the way, when a short was given for a perfectly good tackle. The short whistled in at the vacant right post. Within a couple of minutes a carbon copy short was scored, this time perhaps with a little tickle from a striker. A few minutes later, a third goal from a short, this time a good deflection from just in front of Duncan’s outstretched leg. From being well in the game to 3-0 down was a bitter pill to swallow although it wasn’t one way traffic and we nearly pulled one back when Alex intercepted a pass at the back and fired just past the post. Several shorts of our own in the first half but nothing to show for them. We pressed higher in the second half and were unlucky to concede a fourth. Then came our moment as we converted a short corner exactly as intended, with Alex finishing the move off. We then gifted Stroud their fifth with a loose pass at the back but pulled another back from Doey at a short, who looked as surprised as anyone when his innocuous slap hit the backboard. Stroud completed the scoring with a fine solo effort to underline why they have won every game this season. However, I wonder if any other teams will score four games against Stroud this season. Many nominations for man-of-the-match, including Kian, Nathan and Ross, but the winner was James for tireless running in midfield, solid when defending but dangerous when attacking. Doey’s header near the end cleared his hangover but left a nasty lump on his forehead.