Stourbridge 4 Ashton United 1
The Glassboys make it two wins in three days to move up to second in the Evo-Stik League Premier Division.
Superb finishing from Stourbridge was the main difference between the teams as the Glassboys overcame Ashton United 4-1 at a very wet War Memorial Ground, extending their home unbeaten League run to nine matches.
Two goals from Kayelden Brown together with strikes from skipper Tom Tonks and Jordan Archer did the damage as Stour climbed to 2nd place in the table, 7 points behind leaders Blyth Spartans.
Gary Hackett was forced into two changes, with Matt Dodd and Jack Duggan both unavailable after collecting injuries on Saturday. Ethan Jones replaced Dodd for his first start, whilst Chris Knight came in for Duggan, who is likely to be absent for a while with a shoulder injury.
Stour got off to the best possible start when on 3 minutes Jones’s low cross was met by Luke Benbow, whose close-range shot was parried by the Ashton keeper Luke Pilling and Brown gratefully prodded home the loose ball.
Ashton tried to respond immediately but a succession of corners were blocked and cleared by the Stour rear-guard. Stour doubled their lead on 32 minutes, when another low cross from Jones was pushed away by the Ashton defence, only for Tonks to fire home first time with a left foot drive from just inside the box for his second goal of the season and the team's 50th league goal of the campaign.
10 minutes later Stour made it 3-0 with Archer running into the box to collect the ball before taking a touch to finish expertly with his right foot from an acute angle on the edge of the 6-yard box to record his 8th goal since joining Stour.
The second half began with Ashton pushing Stour back and getting their reward on 53 minutes when Player/Manager Will Haining hit home on the volley from a right-sided corner.
Ashton continued to try to get back into the game and were close when a free kick was deflected narrowly wide. However shortly after on 71 minutes a 50-yard ball by Stuart Pierpoint was superbly volleyed home on the second bounce by Brown for his 7th goal this season.
Drew Canavan was introduced as sub for Jones soon after to record his 400th First team appearance for Stour, and Heath and Probert also entered the fray before the end replacing Tonks and Brown.
An excellent team performance from Stour in difficult conditions. A lot of credit to Ashton for not giving up and continuing to push the Stourbridge side until the very last.
Attention now turns to Grantham Town this Saturday when the Glassboys will seek revenge for their recent Integro League Cup defeat and look to stop the Gingerbreads' 15-game unbeaten run.
(Match Report by Harry Johnson)