Match Report by KEVIN HAND, Photographs by GRANTY
Stourbridge 3 Stratford 1 HT (1-0)
Monday 13 August 2019 7.45pm BetVictor Southern League PDC at the War Memorial Athletic Ground.
• As flies to wanton boys
There was a strong sense of déjà vu as I read my report from 12 months ago (13/08/19) when the Town boys were outplayed by the Glassboys of Stourbridge. 3-0 the score that evening with an impressive home performance against an underpowered Town outfit. Will Grocott started for Stratford that evening with Jordan Williams and Mike Taylor coming on as substitutes. Tonight they all featured for Stourbridge!
For Stratford Ivor Lawton was injured so James Hancocks started in midfield and Mitchell Glover replaced Callum Ball. Tom Fishwick skippered for the evening. The early exchanges saw Stourbridge pressing and Town well disciplined in containing the threat from the flanks of Mills and Cooke. The first real opportunity came on 14 minutes when Mills outpaced Vann on the right before firing wastefully wide. On 19 minutes Town nearly went ahead when a long Lewis Wilson throw bounced up invitingly for Shariff and keeper Wren scrambled the resultant header clear.
On 26 minutes Stourbridge opened the scoring. Mills once again got to the byline and his teasing cross was turned in by a delighted Grocott from less than 6 yards. Stourbridge continued to dominate and ‘stato’ Rod Abrahams reported the home side winning the shot count 11-2 as half time approached.
A half time substitute for Stratford was Wreh for Hancocks with Wilson dropping into midfield. The game was up for the visitors by the hour. First Mills got to the byline again and teed up Andre Landell. Vann was quickly withdrawn as Wilson now moved to right wing back. On 63 minutes a Grocott corner was powered home by Jordan Brown leaping above a statuesque Town defence .
There was still time for a number of intriguing sub plots. On 67 minutes following a Town corner a Stourbridge defender was adjudged to have handled the ball. Much confusion followed but Shariff was sure in his execution of the penalty. Late on Wreh looked to have reduced the deficit further but the goal was ruled out for offside.
In between Morrison was red-carded for a very poor challenge on Kieran Cooke with a brief scuffle to follow. So it was very much a case again of a footballing lesson from an experienced and skillful Stourbridge side boasting the uber-cool Jordan Williams at the heart of their defence. Fishwick and Shariff battled throughout but it was once again flies and wanton boys………………..
• As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods (King Lear Act 4 Scene 1)
Town Man of the Match Nabil Shariff
Saturday 17 August 3.00pm King’s Langley (H) PDC