MATCH REPORT: City 1; Stourbridge 2

City crashed out of the FA Trophy after a narrow 2-1 defeat to Southern Premier Central side Stourbridge FC in the second qualifying round replay.

Rob Wilson’s second-half penalty cancelled out Anthony Dwyer’s early opener, but a sucker punch from Bradley Birch secured the victory for the visitors after Tom Turton’s dismissal.

After a cagey start to the game, the first chance fell to City. Kieran Feeney collected the ball on the right and cut onto his left foot, but his shot was put over the bar.

Just moments later, the visitors broke the deadlock. Out of nowhere, Stourbridge forward Dwyer unleashed a rocket from 25-yards out which left City keeper, Sam Ashton helpless.

City looked to respond quickly to the setback as a lovely over-thetop ball from Niall Cowperthwaite was brought down expertly by Jack Armer whose shot was well saved from Stourbridge keeper, James Wren.

A long throw from Sam Bailey caused havoc in the visitors’ box. The ball bobbled to David Norris whose shot looked to have put City level but a brilliant block by the Stourbridge defender kept the away side in front.

Just after the half-hour mark, a huge brawl broke out involving both dugouts after an off-the-ball incident. Referee, Tom Elliot halted the match for five minutes and consequently sent Stourbridge’s manager Ian Long and Dollies manager Mark Fell to the stands.

Both teams were flying into challenges after the bust-up with Stourbridge’s Turton receiving his first yellow card for a late challenge on Wilson.

The Dollies could’ve been level going into half-time. Aninviting ball in from Sam Bailey evaded a City player but a deflection off a Stourbridge defender nearly found the bottom corner.

The Glassboys came out of the blocks quickly in the second forty-five with the threatening Dwyer having the first chance of the second-half. He blazed a shot high and wide after good initial play from the number 10.

The visitors were in search of a second and it nearly came when a Will Grocott free-kick picked out Jordan Williams, but his glancing header was easily dealt with by Ashton.

Stourbridge kept striving forward for that all illusive second goal but it wasn’t coming. Bradley Birch was next to try his luck but his long range effort went wide.

This sparked City into life and a good spell of possession was rewarded with a penalty. After a City player was adjudged to be fouled in the box, Wilson made no mistake from the spot, equalising for Fell’s men.

However, the City faithful were stunned. Just seven minutes later when substitute Andre Landell played a hopeful ball across the six-yard box which found Birch at the back post who made no mistake for the away side.

It then went from ecstasy to agony for the visitors. A cynical foul from Turton on David Norris was enough for him to receive his second yellow. The Glassboys down to 10-men for the remainder of the game.

Stourbridge were frustrating City as their robust backline limited the home side to minimal chances.

Substitute Paul Dawson made an impact for the Dollies when he came on. After moving the ball onto his left foot, he struck a fierce shot which looked like it was heading for the top corner, but it was deflected agonisingly wide.

In the dying embers of the game, a huge chance went begging for City. After a final push at the Stourbridge defence, Matty Williams turned his man in the 18-yard box but his outstretched shot flew over the crossbar.

Overall it was disappointing day for City as their 11 game unbeaten run came to an end. Focuses now turn to the Northern Premier League where the Dollies face FC United of Manchester on Saturday, who sit 13th in the division.

 

Dolly Blues: Ashton; Fensome, Steel, Williams; Sam Bailey(Carlsey 63), Cowperthwaite, Wills (Charlie Bailey 76), Wilson, Armer; Feeney (Dawson 76), Norris.

Unused Substitutes: Povey, Hudson.

 

Stourbridge FC: Wren; Ezewele, Green, Williams, Brown(Carter 72); Tonks, Birch, Turton, Grocott; Dwyer, Lloyd (Landell 16), (Bellis 79’).

Unused Substitutes: Price, Nicholls, Cook.

 

Attendance: 241.

Referee: Tom Elliot.

 

Match Report from Ben Rooth.