STRATFORD will be tested when it hosts reigning premier and top of the table Lucknow in round four of East Gippsland football.
After an impressive start to the season where it accounted for season 2012 finalist Lindenow, a slow start cost Stratford dearly last week, going down to Paynesville.
The Swans currently sit in fifth, just percentage outside the top four, and will need to address last week’s slow start if it is to compete with the Magpies.
Stratford was held to just two goals to half-time against the Gulls, and can’t afford to give the Magpies a similar head start this week. The Swans will be looking for a big response from Josh Kiss, who was held goalless last week.
The Magpies were troubled by height in attack last week, with Jesse Beha slotting five second half goals after being switched from defence to almost pinch victory for Lakes Entrance. The Swans will again look to stretch the Magpies defence, with Tye Morrison in good form, while mobile ruckman Kaine Kerton has also been in stellar form and could also spend some time forward.
Stratford will give itself every chance to bounce back into the top four in an even competition, with Lucknow pushed all the way against Lakes Entrance last week.
It was Lucknow’s classy players who stood up when it counted last week, with Brenton Martin, who finished with four majors, David Donchi and Brent Isles keeping cool heads to ensure the Magpies took the points.
Coach Gary Jones will also look to respond after being well held last week against the Seagulls.
LINDENOW and Paynesville will meet in a clash between second and third.
ORBOST-Snowy Rovers will look to hold its spot in the top four when it travels down the highway to meet Lakes Entrance under lights.
YET to record victory, Wy Yung will get some points on the board with the bye this week.
For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.