Stourbridge hold the league leaders
By Simon King
A dogged and determined display
A dogged and determined display from a depleted Stourbridge side saw them thoroughly deserve a share of the points with league leaders Worcester City. Tom Hunt was pulled from team during the warm up due to injury and James Fletcher took a knock within the first 10 minutes meaning he couldn't carry on.
Worcester started brightly as we expected with crisp passing and clever movements but we restricted them to one shot from 30 yards which Oliver Cooper was equal to. Just before the break a good ball over the top fell between Tom Trevis and Oli Cooper and the excellent striker lobbed the advancing keeper. We spoke about staying together as a unit and not pressing needlessly as individuals. We felt we just needed to stay in the game and we looked a threat from set pieces.
An improved second quarter saw the boys keep a better shape and discipline as Tom Trevis, Hayden Reeves and Liam Hurle stopped any attacking threats and Callum Swain held the ball up well with little support. Joe Collingridge only called into action once with a tame effort. 1-0 half time. We asked the boys to play with a little more confidence and freedom. Defensively we were sound but just needed to add more threat in wide areas.
Debutant Lewis Allen was switched to the right side where he looked a much greater threat. Kyle Peters moved further forward and Charlie Morris came on at left back. The boys took control of the game in the 3rd period. James Welch, Daniel Harvey and Amari Richards started to dominate the ball and we countered well in wide areas and the boys started to show their quality in possession. A number of quick moves saw good crosses with Swainy going close. On 52 minutes we got an equaliser. A corner found Hayden Reeves who on the 3rd attempt did really well to guide the ball into the far corner. We continued to pass with real purpose as Worcester become more and more frustrated.
The final quarter saw our opponents throw themselves forward desperate to score again. The lads defended brilliantly from front to back. Swainy forcing play one way, wide players tracking back, the central 3 pressing and dropping as required and the back line dealt with clever movements by covering and supporting each other. Lewis Allen, Tom Trevis, Hayden Reeves all putting in brave blocks when required.
Terrific team performance today lads. Your attitude and application to the game was spot on. We need to carry this forward for the remaining 10 matches and who knows where it will lead.