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Stourbridge FC 2gifHarriers 1 - FA Trophy 1st rd

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Date: 12-12-15 gif Venue: The War Memorial Ground gif att: 902 gif away fans: 500 est
Sad Harriers beaten yet again

gif Report: Phil Lench
Part time Stourbridge did the Cup double over hapless Harriers today in the first round, for us, of this seasons FA Trophy.  Just a few weeks ago they knocked us out of the FA Cup too in a 3-0 victory but at least today it was only 2-1 so that makes it alright then.

No it doesn't!  It makes it shameful.

This once proud club has been bought to it's knees by past shady dealings and poor present day management that have seen us fall slowly from the heights of the Football League, renowned cup fighters and purveyors of attractive football to become a team that doesn't care anymore, a manager who would rather be living in Leeds, a chairman who would rather be a teacher and fourteen hundred fans that are so pissed off with it all they can only boo the team off the pitch, again, and invade the dressing room after the game to tell the players that they don't deserve that red and white shirt on their backs.

Today at Stourbridge we suffered a first half that rarely saw a meaningful foray on their goal to put their dodgy keeper under any kind of pressure and when we finally took the lead early in the second half - Gurjit Singh making a fool of that dodgy keeper - we failed to turn up the pressure and increase our lead but instead gave away two sloppy goals and then promptly vanished from sight.

The blustery conditions didn't help the football but the players didn't help themselves either by not taking that into account and playing the ball on the ground or pressuring the Stourbridge players when they had possession.  Time after time our midfield failed to get anything of note to the front two of Singh and Matt Barnes-Homer while at the back our defence were at sixes and sevens whenever a Stourbridge man came near them.

There were quite a few missed chances by both sides wit the best falling to the Glassboys Karl Hawley minutes before the break when he fired over from the edge of the box.  For us it was just half chances with Singh, Kyle Howkins and Ben Whitfield all contributing.
  HT: 0 - 0
There must have been a bit of lecturing going on in the dressing room at halftime because we came out for the second half with a little more about us.  Ben Whitfield broke free from his marker but just as he was about to shoot at goal the keeper came rushing from goal and blocked his shot.  Whitfield had a second chance just after but this time the keeper, Charlie Price, saved it.

Former Red Justin Richards should have done better with a header that went over the bar but then soon after that came our goal came when an error from Price saw him completely mis-kick the ball straight to Singh who rounded him and put the ball into the empty net.  The Harriers fans were ecstatic and saw victorious revenge in sight.

The lead should have been doubled, and maybe making the game safe, just two minutes later when we surged through again but once the ball reached the edge of the area and to the feet of Matt Barnes-Homer but he blazed it over the bar and then again another two minutes later MBH found himself with the ball at his feet and no idea what to do with it.  Instead of firing in at goal he elected to pass it sideways instead and the ball was cleared away to safety.

Whitfield then had a brilliant chance to increase our lead when his shot was tipped over the bar by Price but whereas the hesitancy of MBH was un-forgiveable then Bens was just hard luck.

We paid heavily for that hesitancy on sixty six minutes when poor defending in the Harriers area allowed Stourbridge three attempts on goal following a free kick on the edge of the Glassboys area.  Ben Billingham took the kick and first Matt Dodd fired in to see it parried away by Dean Snedker to Karl Hawley who hit the post for it to rebound back to the, once again impressive, Chris Lait who fired the ball home at the third time of asking.

That was bad enough but the game then took a turn for the worse when just two minutes later the home side took the lead.  Kelvin Langmead failed to clear a routine header far enough and it fell kindly for Dan Scarr to slot the ball home from close range.  We had thrown away a valuable lead and had lost any interest in getting it back.

We should have had a penalty soon after when Singh surged into the area only to be sent flying.  The referee ignored our calls for a spot kick but didn't ignore the bad tackle by Dino Fazlić a few minutes later when he went it too hard on Tom Tonks in the middle of the park and received a red card that will see him miss out on the next three games against Eastleigh, Cheltenham and Forest Green.

Stourbridge had a third goal ruled out for offside after that but we were past caring by then and just want to see this season end.

No doubt the excuses will come out, some rubbish players will leave the club to be replaced by more rubbish players while decent players like Whitfield, Snedker and Fazlić will see sense and tell the club to stuff it.

What has this once proud club come to?
  FT: 2 - 1

 Goals for Stourbridge: Lait 66, Scarr 68
 Goal for Harriers: Singh 54


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Stourbridge FC  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Price     Snedker  
Green     Hodgkiss  
Scarr gif     Francis-Angol
Tonks   Maxwell gif  
Smikle     Langmead  
Knight     Howkins  
Lait gif     Singh gif  
Dodd     Whitfield  
Hawley gif     Barnes-Homer gif  
Richards     Fazlić
Billingham     McQuilkin gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Canavan     Brown  
Harris     Rowe-Turner gif - 80  
Wright     Jones gif - 74  
Clark gif - 90     Young  
McPike     G Taylor gif - 74  

REFEREE:
Mr R Martin
Somerset




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