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1st Team - Match centre

Nantwich Town
Unknown (47' Pen, 50' Pen, 57', 60', 69')
Full time
Unknown (18', 50' Pen, 54')
Sat 22 Apr 15:00 - The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier - Premier Division Attendance 1,312

Stourbridge 4 Nantwich Town 2


The Glassboys came from behind twice to secure a home Play-Off semi-final against Workington on Monday night.

Manager Gary Hackett once again named the same starting eleven that had seen off Frickley Athletic and Rushall Olympic in the previous two matches, but there was one change among the substitutes with Dan Preston replacing Jacob Wedderburn after recovering from illness.

Traditionally, matches between these two teams have been open, entertaining affairs, and with both sides seeking a win to ensure they finished as high as possible in the play-off places this one was expected to be no different.

Stourbridge were first to threaten inside the opening three minutes, as Kayelden Brown’s far post header from a Tom Tonks corner was acrobatically saved by Daniel Gyollai in the Dabbers’ goal, with Joel Stair heading the loose ball behind., and then from the resulting flag kick, Luke Benbow’s back header was claimed by Gyollai under the bar.

The visitors’ first opening did not arrive until 11 minutes in, when the long-limbed Vinny Mukendi rose at the far post to head goalwards, but Matt Gould, who signed a new 12-month contract on the morning of the game, was down smartly to hold on.

Ryan Brooke fired well over from 25 yards three minutes later, as Nantwich began to exert a little control, and their pressure was rewarded with 18 minutes played as Mukendi opened the scoring, guiding Josh Hancock’s left-wing cross beyond Gould for inside the six-yard box.

It could, probably should, have been much worse for Stour just three minutes later, as Andy White got to the by-line and pulled the ball back for Hancock who could only lift his shot over from a very good position. The let-off briefly sparked the Glassboys into life, but Brown could only shoot weakly at Gyollai from the edge of the area.

Brooke was again off target just before the half hour, whilst Benbow found enough space from a Tonks corner at the other end to get a glancing header in but not enough power to ensure its accuracy, and the ball drifted well wide.

Darryl Westlake tried his luck from a long way out, no doubt hoping to repeat his strike against Matlock a few weeks previously, but Gyollai was equal to it, albeit at the second attempt, and then there was another scare for the Glassboys defence as Stuart Pierpoint was robbed by Mukendi who somewhat wastefully lashed his hurried shot wildly off target when he had time to do better.

The first half was probably even in terms of possession and territory, but it was the Dabbers who had shown the greater ability to create openings and they were worthy of their lead. It was a scoreline that would, at that stage, have seen the Glassboys heading off to Spennymoor for a midweek semi-final, and there was palpable anxiety among the majority of the 1,312-strong Amblecote crowd.

Both sides made changes at the break, but it was the introduction by Hackett of Jordan Archer for the injured Brad Birch that bore fruit almost instantly. The new arrival picked up a ball from Benbow two minutes into the half and drove at the heart of the Nantwich defence, luring Stair into an injudicious challenge that had referee Robin Dadley pointing to the spot. A delay whilst Kennedy Digie received treatment for an injury at the other end did nothing to put Benbow off and he confidently sent Gyollai the wrong way from 12 yards.

Stourbridge were back in third place, but parity was only fleeting as the Dabbers led again just seven minutes later. Josh Green was penalised for a foul on Hancock some 25 yards out, and the victim picked himself up to arrow a sumptuous free kick into Gould’s top left-hand corner with the Glassboys keeper powerless despite his full-length dive. Fifth again, and once more Spennymoor beckoned.

This time the wait for another goal was just four minutes, and this time it was a Glassboys free kick that did the trick, with Tonks sending in an in-swinger from the left that was met by the unmarked Pierpoint who headed past Gyollai.

Three more minutes passed, and along came another goal, and now Stourbridge led for the first time. Tonks crossed from the opposite flank this time after a half-cleared corner had been played back out to him, and Brown was first to react to guide his header into the corner.

A series of substitutions broke up the game for a while, as the visitor sought to press the Stour defence, whilst the Glassboys looked to get Benbow and Archer exploiting the gaps that left, and running at defenders wherever possible, and they got their reward on 70 minutes as Benbow got in a cross from the right which Archer met with a lopping header that just found its way inside the far post. It ended a mini-drought for the former Bedworth man, who had not scored since the win at home to Matlock in early March, but it was thoroughly deserved after his impact on the game.

He was less successful three minutes later, however, as Benbow and Brown combined to give him a sight of goal, only for a stumble to prevent him getting in a shot. Benbow then flashed an effort across the face of goal as time ran down with much of tension having dissipated.

A final flurry in stoppage time saw free kicks at either end, with Gould holding on to Tom Peers effort for the Dabbers, and then Benbow missing the target by some distance at the other end. It mattered not, though, as the full time whistle signalled the win that Stourbridge needed to seal that home semi-final.

Key moments

Goal Goal for Nantwich Town
Scored Penalty Penalty scored by Stourbridge
Scored Penalty Penalty scored by Stourbridge
Scored Penalty Penalty scored by Nantwich Town
Goal Goal for Nantwich Town
Goal Goal for Stourbridge
Goal Goal for Stourbridge
Goal Goal for Stourbridge


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90:00 +2:00 Missed Shot
Shot missed for Stourbridge
90:00 +0:44 Saved Shot
Shot saved for Nantwich Town
81:45 Saved Shot
Shot saved for Nantwich Town
79:30 Missed Shot
Shot missed for Stourbridge
76:04 Saved Shot
Shot saved for Stourbridge
74:45 Yellow Card
Yellow card for Nantwich Town
68:28 Goal 5 - 3
Goal for Stourbridge
66:59 Missed Shot
Shot missed for Nantwich Town
59:45 Goal 4 - 3
Goal for Stourbridge
59:23 Saved Shot
Shot saved for Stourbridge
56:55 Goal 3 - 3
Goal for Stourbridge
53:08 Goal 2 - 3
Goal for Nantwich Town
49:26 Scored Penalty 2 - 2
Penalty scored by Nantwich Town
49:14 Scored Penalty 2 - 1
Penalty scored by Stourbridge
46:49 Foul
Foul against Stourbridge
46:41 Scored Penalty 1 - 1
Penalty scored by Stourbridge
End of period 1
43:20 Yellow Card
Yellow card for Stourbridge
40:18 Missed Shot
Shot missed for Nantwich Town
36:20 Saved Shot
Shot saved for Stourbridge
33:27 Foul
Foul against Stourbridge
32:27 Yellow Card
Yellow card for Nantwich Town
32:15 Foul
Foul against Nantwich Town
31:12 Missed Shot
Shot missed for Stourbridge
29:01 Missed Shot
Shot missed for Nantwich Town
23:05 Saved Shot
Shot saved for Stourbridge
22:25 Missed Shot
Shot missed for Nantwich Town
20:54 Missed Shot
Shot missed for Nantwich Town
17:14 Goal 0 - 1
Goal for Nantwich Town
13:34 Missed Shot
Shot missed for Nantwich Town
12:57 Missed Shot
Shot missed for Nantwich Town
10:43 Missed Shot
Shot missed for Nantwich Town
6:07 Foul
Foul against Stourbridge
3:18 Saved Shot
Shot saved for Stourbridge
2:55 Saved Shot
Shot saved for Stourbridge
Start of the game
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As it happened

  • Stourbridge
  • Nantwich Town
  • 0
  • Goal 17:14'
  • Yellow Card 32:27'
  • Yellow Card 43:20'
  • Scored Penalty 46:41'
  • Scored Penalty 49:14'
  • Scored Penalty 49:26'
  • Goal 53:08'
  • Goal 56:55'
  • Goal 59:45'
  • Goal 68:28'
  • Yellow Card 74:45'

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