Saturday 3rd October 2015
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hyde United: Jindrich Stanek, James Burke (Ryan Ellison), Lee Neville, Michael Muscat, Shane Killock, Andrew Pearson, Sam Fitton (Jordan Snodin), Spencer Harris, Scott Spencer, Ayrton Bevins, Reece Gray (Liam Davies). Subs not used: Ben Jago, Pete Boyle.
Stourbridge: Solly, Green, Scarr, Tonks, Smikle, Pierpoint, Dodd (Wright), Broadhurst, Hawley, Richards (Harris), Lait (Billingham). Subs Not Used: Penny, Price.
Report by Richard Clark, Stourbridge
The Glassboys continued their fine recent form with a 2-0 Evo-Stik League win on their first visit to Hyde's Ewen Fields Stadium.
There was just one change from the team that started last Monday night’s home game against Grantham Town, with Louis Harris making way for Junior Smikle, who slotted in at left back whilst Leon Broadhurst moved into midfield. There was also a place on the bench for new signing Mark Wright.
The home side opened on the front foot and had the first chance in just the second minute when a through ball found it’s way to Scott Spencer whose first-time lob landed just the right side of Lewis Solly’s left-hand upright from a Stourbridge perspective, but that was to be about as good as it got for Hyde in a first half that Stourbridge controlled for long periods.
On 4 minutes, Broadhurst saw his free kick from just outside the box cannon into the defensive wall, whilst both Matt Dodd and Chris Lait were causing the Hyde defence problems out wide, Lait forcing a block from home right back James Burke as he surged into the area.
And it was Lait who was instrumental in the opening goal on 13 minutes as his tantalising ball in from the left flank was met by Karl Hawley, who looped a header just out of the reach of keeper Jindrich Stanek and into the corner of the net.
Dodd and Hawley combined well on 20 minutes, with the latter’s flighted ball in giving the late-arriving Tom Tonks the chance to send a diving header goalwards. However, Stanek was comfortably equal to it. Stour continued to press and Lait saw his 22nd minute effort deflected wide, whilst from the resulting corners first Hawley had another shot go wide off a defender and then Dodd placed his attempt wide of goal when slightly off balance.
The attacking threat was all coming from the Glassboys at this stage. Hyde were seeing a fair deal of the ball, but were wasteful in possession and could not find a meaningful final ball when they did get close to Solly’s goal.
Justin Richards spurned a chance to double the lead on 27 minutes when Hawley fed him in space, but he screwed his shot wide, and then Dan Scarr headed in at the far post from a Lait corner, only to be penalised, correctly, for climbing all over his marker. Scarr again came close moments later when he fired over the bar as the ball dropped to him from another corner.
For all their dominance, though, the Glassboys could not force a second goal, as Hawley again capitalised on another loose ball, took on his defender, but could only find the side-netting with his shot. And there was a warning for Stourbridge as the half drew to a close when Spencer’s quick free kick was played in to Ayrton Bevins who forced Solly into his only real action of the half.
If there was any doubt as to how Hyde’s management viewed their first half display, it was dispelled when the second half was preceded by the introduction of all three of the Tigers’ substitutes, but initially, at least, it was Stourbridge who continued to make the running. First Broadhurst, then Tonks, saw shots from distance go well wide, whilst in between Dodd saw another goal ruled out, this time for offside.
However, Hyde did begin to find some rhythm, and from their first corner of the game on 54 minutes Shane Killock fired over Solly’s crossbar, and then Kristian Green was forced to head over his own bar from a dangerous floated cross.
Hyde continued to press as the Glassboys dropped a little deeper, with Spencer flashing a shot across goal and wide of the far post to emphasise that the job was far from done as far as the visitors were concerned.
However, Stourbridge weathered the tricky period and threatened again as Smikle broke down the left flank, took on his defender and found Richards with his ball into the box, only for the ex-Sutton man’s shot to go wide via a deflection. That was on 75 minutes, and two minutes later the Glassboys had breathing space in slightly odd circumstances.
Dodd chased a through ball but was beaten to it by substitute Ryan Ellison who touched it back to Stanek. The keeper appeared to have the situation under control but Ellison seemed to panic momentarily as Dodd went past him to close down the keeper, and pulled the Stourbridge man back. Referee Luke Watson immediately pointed to the spot – it was undoubtedly a correct decision, but one that some other referees might have hesitated to give.
Either way, Dodd was not hanging around to debate the issue and picked himself up to stroke the spot kick to Stanek’s left as the keeper went the other way, whilst the disgruntled Ellison came close to talking his way into another yellow card to go with the one he earned for the original offence.
Thereafter, the match was effectively settled, with Hyde very much resigned to their fate and the Glassboys happy to see out time. There was a brief moment of controversy as Richards picked up a booking for a late challenge on Stanek which the home side felt might have warranted stiffer punishment, and then Hyde’s afternoon was summed up as Spencer Harris headed goalwards from a corner with the ball appearing bound for the top corner, only for Bevins to intervene and divert it over the bar.
The final meaningful chance fell to the Glassboys, though, as substitute Ben Billingham’s cross found Hawley attacking the near post, but his flicked shot just crept over the bar.