Brave and disciplined display
By Simon King
The lads earned a hard fought point
The lads earned a hard fought point against a sometimes over physical and ill disciplined Hereford. We knew what to expect after our first encounter and missing three of our most physical players some may have wondered if we would struggle. Again like last week we showed how far we have come as we coped and didn't get involved in off the ball incidents that the referee continually failed to see.
Hereford started well moving us side to side as we conceded possession to easily in the opening quarter but it was Stourbridge that could have taken the lead on 10 minutes through James Fletcher
who run through and struck the foot of the post. We made a couple of changes after the opening 20 as Corey took a knock and Lewis was feeling leggy from school athletics meaning both struggled to get going.
had an immediate impact linking with Fletch to win a number of corners and we started to move the ball quicker as we took some control of the game. Oli Hartland got into a couple of good positions as did Jimmy, Swainy and Fletch but the final ball was lacking. at the other end Joe Collingridge had no test as the new back four were solid, organised and sensible in their play.
Half time 0-0 - we asked the wide players to do just that and the fullbacks to be a little braver in support and whilst the passing had improved it still had a way to go.
The third period was mixed as we picked up injuries to Kyle Peters
(calf) after a super tackle to deny a Hereford chance. James Fletcher
(hamstring) and Oli Hartland (groin) also came off. The Hereford shot stopper denied a Callum Swain
header after a brilliant team move but then on 50 minutes we got the breakthrough when another spell of good possession saw James Welch
whip a dangerous cross that was turned into his own net. However within five minutes we let Hereford back in as poor defending resulted in a cheap free kick 20 yards out in the middle of the goal. A good strike left Joe stranded. 1-1 after 60 minutes.
The final period saw us dominate as Hereford became more and more frustrated. Callum Swain
was proving a real nuisance as he mustered a chance from nothing that the keeper somehow hung onto. A terrific Jimmy reverse ball saw Corey go through five minutes later (1 v 1) the keeper made another smart save with his legs this time. We continued to press with the back four dealing with any attack and Dan Harvey
and Jimmy setting up play again. Then for the fourth time this season a Stour striker clear through and hauled down with just the keeper to beat (the inevitable yellow instead of mandatory red was given). Hereford were clinging on with shouts of 'just get a draw' booming and they were determined to do anything as a number of very poor tackles and off the ball moments occurred. The boys were great - didn't rise to the bait but didn't melt with the physicality either.
A good point gained but we should have taken all three again. Much improved on our display earlier in the season when we crumbled and lost 2-1. Well done chaps, tough game ahead next week on the 1st team pitch. Those with injuries rest until Wednesday when we can assess you.