Below par Stour take all 3 points
Skipper given early birthday present
Skipper given early birthday present as James Welch
long range effort squirms through keeper to seal a second away win comeback in a row. A number of changes made with players away gave opportunity to a couple of lads to get a start this week. The game started very slowly with Stourbridge struggling to move either the ball or their feet. Evesham were happy to let us have the ball at the back as they dropped deep on a tight and bobbly pitch. We looked nervous and hesitant and at times clueless as we continued to needlessly give possession away and our opponents threatened on the counter attack.
A few gentle reminders of standards expected and that fullbacks needed to be our outlet due to opposition tactics and central defenders needed to be brave and bring ball out improved things slightly in the second period. Liam Hurle drove out from the back before feeding James Fletcher
who rolled his man on the edge of the area and fired low into the far corner (lovely finish). We looked in control of the game with Jimmy going close but our decision making was still poor as was pass execution. Just before half time Liam was caught out and a break saw us concede a sloppy goal as Tom Trevis desperately tried to recover for his partner he could only slide ball into his own net.
Half time we were much happier with intensity in our play both in attacking and defensive situations but we needed to take better care of the ball. We started well with Callum Swain
in advanced role linking well with Amari and Corey. Then disaster as we conceded after 52 minutes when Charlie and Oli Cooper looked in complete control. Coops had a moment of madness as he needlessly tried to beat the striker and was dispossessed leaving an open goal. The Stourbridge shot stopper made up for it two minutes later when he made a terrific block in a 1 v 1. A number of players went missing but James Welch
and Dan Harvey
kept trying to drive us on in midfield.
The final break we changed formation to a 3-1-2-4 asking wide players to stay really high to support Swainy and Fletch with Oli Hartland and Amari Richards just behind. Jimmy would play as a quarter back with Dan marshalling the new defence. We would aim to play more direct. Almost immediately the skipper picked out Fletch but he just couldn't get the touch. We started to pressure Evesham with corners and crosses. James Fletcher
then scored his second (equally as good as his opener) as Amari flicked on he rifled a bouncing ball into the top corner from 12 yards. 2-2 and game on. We weren't prepared to take a point and 3 minutes later Lewis Nicholls had the goal of his life ruled out for an earlier foul. A goal that would have been worthy of winning any game (not to be today). The boys continued to probe and a nice move down the right saw Oli Hartland catch a sweet one that went straight at the keeper.
With five minutes to go Jimmy got his birthday gift as his 30 yard shot somehow slipped through the Keepers hands. 3-2 we went back to a conventional formation and saw the game out. Some would say we were lucky. I would say you make your own luck. Only one team wanted to win that game today and one team finished bravely. Credit to the lads finishing strongly again. It's not a coincidence that we keep scoring late goals.
Christmas break is upon us - sitting 4th in the league averaging more than 2 points per game. Last 16 of the shield. We have lots to play for over the next four months.
See you Wednesday for a Christmas tournament !!