REPORT - Stourport Swifts 0 Stourbridge 6

REPORT - Stourport Swifts 0 Stourbridge 6

By Nigel Gregg
27 July
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The Glassboys enjoyed a 6 - 0 victory at Stourport Swifts in their penultimate pre-season friendly.

The MFL Premier Division hosts competed well against the Glassboys in the opening half, however Ian Long's side produced a more up-tempo second-half showing that saw them begin to carve open the Worcestershire outfit more often and they added four more goals to the two notched before the interval.

Swifts included ex-Glassboys Drew Canavan, James Timmins and Dominic Richards in their starting eleven with Mark Danks amongst the substitutes.

Stourbridge experimented with a three-man back-line of Ashley Carter, Jordan Williams and Jordaan Brown with Kristian Green and Zac Foster given more license to get forward as wing-backs with Greg Mills operating more centrally than usual. In an attacking sense it worked to some extent, but there were two or three occasions in the first period where the visitors, perhaps understandably, were exposed defensively as Stourport found space and they might have made more of those opportunities.

Play was fast paced, but rather scrappy, in the early stages. In their first real move of note in the 11th minute Foster provided a low cross from the left that was only partially cleared by Swifts before Tom Turton smacked a 20-yard shot over. Two minutes later Mills turned his marker and his cross deflected invitingly into the path of Aaron Lloyd, however his close range shot was blocked for a corner by home custodian Dominic Richards.

Swifts threatened on 17 minutes when a free-kick was lifted forward and a slip by Williams allowed Lewis Platt to fasten on to the ball, however Wren was alert and produced a good blocking save.

Nine minutes later Nick MacPherson rode a challenge before finding Chris Conway and he wriggled his way into the box but Wren spread himself well to save Conway's shot.

On the half-hour mark Stourbridge pressed again with a low 22-yard shot from Mills touched round the post by Richards.

The visitors grabbed the lead with 32 minutes gone when ex-Glassboy James Timmins inadvertently headed into his own net. Mills floated in a teasing cross from the left looking to pick out Lloyd, but a defensive tangle saw Timmins get his head to the ball first, however keeper Richards had also been drawn off his line and ended up in no man's land as Timmins header looped over him and into the empty net.

Within a couple of minutes Stourbridge had a second. Turton delivered in a free-kick and Lloyd, at full stretch, poked the ball low back across the face of the goal for Kristian Green to turn home.

A minute before the interval Mills drilled in a rising shot from the right-hand side of the area that drew a good save from Richards.

HT Stourport 0 Stourbridge 2

The Glassboys made two changes for the start of the second period with Ryan Winwood and Michael McGrath replacing Turton and Kieran Cook.

Within five minutes of the re-start Winwood had added his name to the score-sheet. Good work from Mills on the left-hand side of the box enabled him to dink in a cross that Winwood met on the volley to guide past Richards.

Stourbridge continued to push and went close again in the 52nd minute as Dave Bellis pulled the ball back low from the right-hand side of the box for Green to hit a shot that was deflected for a corner by Ryan Jarvis.

In the 64th minute Lloyd went desperately close to making it four with a crashing shot from 20 yards that bounced down off the underside of the crossbar, but the visitors only had to wait two more minutes to extend their lead further. Bellis slipped the ball into the run of Mills through the left-channel area as Timmins appealed in vain for offside and Mills advanced before making no mistake with his low finish.

Ieaun Crowe drilled a shot wide for the hosts in the 69th minute before Stourbridge were immediately back on the attack with Lloyd shooting over from the edge of the area.

In the 72nd minute Jordan Williams powered home a header from a Mills right-wing flag-kick to make it 5 - 0 and then three minutes later Stourbridge made three further changes with Mike Taylor, Andre Landell and Lewis Archer replacing Lloyd, Mills and Foster as the visitors reverted to a back four for the latter stages of the game.

Nine minutes from time Taylor laid the ball off for Landell to get away a good shot on goal, however Timmins was in the right place to intervene with his head and direct the ball behind, but McGrath's deep right-wing corner was headed back across goal by Brown for Williams to again find the net with a header.

In the final minute Landell struck a speculative 35-yard shot that bounced awkwardly in-front of sub keeper Ryan Smith, who did well to get down to his right to divert the ball round the post.

STOURBRIDGE - Wren, Green, Foster, Carter, Williams, Brown, Bellis, Turton, Lloyd, Cook, Mills

Subs: McGrath (for Cook HT), Winwood (for Turton HT), Taylor (for Lloyd 75 mins), Landell (for Mills 75 mins), Archer (for Foster 75 mins), Price, Tonks (not used)

STOURBRIDGE round their pre-season programme off with a visit to NPL Premier side NANTWICH TOWN next Saturday (3 pm).

A club coach is running, departing from the ground at 11.15 am. To book a place on board, please contact Jim McComish on 07966 568767 (after 5.00pm on weekdays). The fare is £10.

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