Cruel defeat for Glassboys
By Simon King
Stourbridge punished for not being clinical
Stourbridge were punished for not being clinical. A quite brilliant and dominant first half display should have seen the lads 4-0 up. On a horrendous pitch the boys played some great football moving the ball with purpose and quality. James Welch
was back to his best dominating midfield and delivering a number of terrific set pieces. Lewis Allen and Kyle Peters
were running the Middleton fullbacks ragged and James Fletcher
and Callum Swain
showed dominance in their hold up play linking up well.
We were pressing so well with Charlie Morris and Will Bishop stepping in and then supporting attacks and Tom Hunt and Tom Trevis dealing with the long ball and clipping lovely balls forward into good areas. On 10 minutes we took the lead when Jimmys corner was thundered home by Tom Hunt into the top corner. We had 5 more corners in the first period with Callum Swain
and Lewis Allen both going close. Kyle Peters
set up a great chance for James Fletcher
on 18 minutes as a terrific move saw Kyle twist the full back and cut back with the goal gaping Fletch side footed wide.
Second period started where we finished with Daniel Harvey and skipper Welch winning headers and spreading play wide. Lewis Allen had the measure of the left back drawing fouls and whipping a number of crosses with Swain heading just wide. Kyle went on another dribble and created an exact replica of Fletchers earlier chance. This time Callum Swain
should have doubled the lead but a great block from the Middleton CB meant another corner. Middleton had a couple of quick lads up top but the back four showed excellent shape and cover for each other. 1-0 half time and we spoke about needing to be more clinical but to keep playing the same way (width).
Amari Richards replaced Fletch as Swainy moved further forwards and Liam Hurle for Will Bishop. The first 10 minutes we continued to be excellent and Swainy went through again. This time a delay in getting the shot away meant a block when 8 yards out. Some great defending on the line saw a certain goal for Dan Harvey
denied as the CB headed away. Then skipper James Welch
needed treatment which seemed to throw us and was maybe a turning point. On 52 minutes our opponents broke away and put a ball across our box. Charlie Morris unfortunately sliced the ball and the wind carried it over a stranded Oli Cooper. A gut wrencher especially for Charlie who had his best game to date. This seemed to rock the boys as we were scrappy for the rest of period losing shape and focus. Middleton somehow scored a second when for the first time in the game we let them pass the ball for more than 3 passes and the ball ended up in the net just before the hour mark.
We made a number of changes and now needed to chase the game but we lacked quality in the final period. The exception being Lewis Allen who continued to be a real threat and showed good game intelligence. We still had a number of half chances and won numerous free kicks in very dangerous positions and corners but the execution was now poor. In our desire to get the equaliser we got hit on the break. Tom Trevis who had another solid performance was left chasing 1 v 1 and fouled his player in the box. Middleton missed the spot kick and the boys went again but it just wasn't meant to be.
It's not often that opposition staff apologise to you for stealing the points. This is scant consolation as this result was a real sickener for everyone today. We have to be better in front of goal and more ruthless. We should have had the game finished by half time.
The positives are that we played some fantastic stuff for 50 minutes in poor conditions and you were a joy to watch with your passing, movement and decision making. If we can carry on with that level and add the goals our play deserves then we will pick up a lot of wins.