Blues blown away by 30 minute Glassboys onslaught
"We got bullied in the 1st 30 mins, but we fought back & showed great character, attitude & determination in the 2nd half" - Darren Byfield
Match Report by Kevin Hand, Photographs by Granty
Stourbridge v Stratford Town, Monday 13 August, 2018 7.45pm
Evo-Stik Premier Division Central League at the War Memorial Athletic Ground.
Stourbridge 3 Stratford 0 (3-0 HT)
* As flies to wanton boys…………………
‘Pure West Midlands’ – warm and friendly on the terraces but deadly and decisive on the pitch The Glassboys of Stourbridge proved too much of a handful for a Stratford outfit of strong individual talented but not melded yet as a team.
With captain Jimmy Fry’ celebrating his 100th game for the club Stourbridge kicked off towards the Shed End on a balmy evening. Stourbridge featured ex-Town favourite Rob Thompson-Brown while Stratford made two changes from Saturday. Kynan Isaac replaced Lewis Wilson and James Behan replaced the unavailable Nathan Vaughan in goal.
The opening exchanges gave nothing away but Stratford threatened first. With just 6 minutes gone Will Grocott picked a loose ball just outside the penalty area and fired in a fierce drive. James Wren in the Stourbridge goal tipped over the bar in style.
In the next 25 minutes the game was lost for Stratford. On 8 minutes a left wing corner was expertly swung in by Lee Mills and Aaron Hayden powered his header home. On 17 minutes another Mills cross was lashed home by Leon Broadhurst after it came back off the post. On 31 minutes the provider became finisher as Mills received from Rob Thompson-Brown and finished emphatically.
The truth being Town were out numbered, out manoeuvred and out played on the left leaving wing back Chris Cox dangerously exposed. Town rallied late in the half with Callum Powell threatening and Kieren Westwood thrusting forward.
After the break Carvalho was replaced by Jordan Williams and Mike Taylor and Claudio Dias later joined the fray. Town upped the tempo and Isaac shot wide, Grocott had another shot tipped over and Jordan Williams was close with a header from a corner. Positives for Stratford were the pace of Powell and the sharpness of Taylor. Town keeper, James Behan, having a torrid start on his Stratford debut, made two smart saves late in the game.
This was a strong, athletic and skilful Stourbridge outfit who were a good yard-stick for where Town need to be. After Royston, Lowestoft and Banbury in the next two weeks we’ll be in a better position to assess. The heart and skill is there with the team dynamic yet to be defined.
* As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods (King Lear Act 4 Scene 1)
Town boss Darren Byfield reflected afterwards "Stourbridge are a strong side who will be up there at the end of the season and we got bullied in the first half hour but massive credit to the lads who fought and showed great character, resilience & determination in the 2nd half, we'll regroup at training on Thursday , will learn our lessons and be ready to go again on Saturday."
Next up: Royston (A) Saturday 18 August 3.00pm