Redditch United 2 Stourbridge 1
By Richard Clark
Stourbridge's Worcestershire Senior Cup hopes were dashed by a late goal at the Valley, as Redditch progressed to a semi-final against Kidderminster.
With the WSC being played as pre-season tournament this season, the game game both sides their first taste of "competitive" action, even though the regular season is still almost a month away.
Gary Hackett named trialist Akil Grier, formerly with West Bromwich Albion, Halesowen Town and Sutton Coldfield Town, as well as being the holder of three international caps for St Kitts & Nevis, in central midfield, whilst newly-confirmed signing Jamie Insall again started in attack alongside Junior Smikle. Chris Knight was absent, with Dan Scarr slotting into defence alongside Stuart Pierpoint and Leon Broadhurst, whilst other new signings Tom Tonks, Kristian Green and Lee Chilton also started.
The first chance fell to the home side on 5 minutes when some sloppy defending allowed Jordan Cullimaine-Liburd time to fire in a shot from 15 yards that cannoned off the outside of the post.
But it was the Glassboys who opened the scoring after 14 minutes. A reverse pass from Chilton set Drew Canavan clear down the left and his cross picked out the onrushing Insall in the middle who had the simplest task to nod the ball over the line.
The advantage last just three minutes though, as a free kick curled in from the right wing beat everybody and rebounded off the crossbar for Jordan Archer to steer home.
The Glassboys hit back almost immediately at the other end, as Smikle was unlucky to see his stabbed effort just drift past the post but it was Redditch, kicking down the slope, who were beginning to forge the better openings.
Charlie Price had to be alert with 33 minutes on the clock to tip over from a Daniel Dubidat volley, and even more so right on half time to block a free header from a corner. In between those two openings, Leon Broadhurst had a headed chance of his own, but glanced the ball wide as he arrived late at the far post to meet Tonks's long throw.
There was a close shave for the Glassboys on 53 minutes as Broadhurst got back to clear off the line from Archer, whilst Green went close for Stourbridge, his flicked header from another Tonks throw forcing substitute keeper Josh Moreton to claw the ball to safety.
Price was again called into action on the hour to turn a free-kick from Jamey Osbourne round the post after Louis Harris had picked up a yellow card for a late challenge 25 yards from goal.
Again, the action switched straight to the other end where Insall put Smikle in on goal, only for his snap-shot to strike the bar and fall safely for Redditch to clear.
Lait dragged a shot wide after a mazy run on 75 minutes, when he might have laid the ball off to the better-placed Canavan, but in truth the Glassboys were failing to create enough good chances.
And they paid the price with 60 seconds on the clock, and the tie looking set for extra-time. Broadhurst looked to have made a good challenge on the left, but was dispossessed and when the cross was pulled back, substitute Luke Shearer kept his composure to slot the ball past Price and put Redditch through to the semi-final.