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Alvechurch cup hopes shattered by Glassboys
10:19am Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in Sport
Alvechurch 0 Stourbridge 2
ALVECHURCH slipped out of the Birmingham Senior Cup against their illustrious near neighbours.
A strong Stourbridge side played down the Lye Meadow slope in the first-half and after Alvechurch had applied some early pressure on the visitors goal without seriously troubling Dean Coleman, the Glassboys went close on eight minutes with Ryan Rowe driving a low 25-yard shot wide of keeper Liam Maher’s right-hand post.
The hosts responded in the 15th minute with Jazz Luckie winning a free-kick just outside the Stourbridge box that Karl Fellows flashed inches over the bar and then eight minutes later a low cross in from the right by Lewis Wright was turned goalwards by Saturday’s hat-trick hero Joe Wright with Coleman diving to push the ball aside.
As the half wore on though, the visitors began to open up the ‘Church defence. A flowing move resulted in Rowe putting Luke Benbow through on goal, but rather than getting a shot away, he tried to round the keeper and Maher made a save at his feet.
Six minutes before the interval Benbow advanced forward before rolling in Ben Billingham as he drove past him on his outside through the right channel area, but Billingham put his low side-foot shot the wrong side of Maher’s left-hand post.
However on 43 minutes persistence paid off with Andre Francis clipping a ball forward into Benbow and he turned back and twisted past his marker before shooting low under the keeper’s body.
Five minutes after the re-start a pass forward from Kalenda saw Benbow back-heel the ball into the path of Billingham, but Maher got safely behind his low drive. Alvechurch responded with Kalenda producing a good tackle on Luckie, but with the danger not over, the ball was delivered from the left towards the far post where Jack O’Donnell hit a rising shot that was saved by Coleman by his left-hand upright.
The Calor Southern League Premier Division side returned on to the attack five minutes later as Billingham fed Drew Canavan down the right and he provided a low centre towards the near post area that Rowe back-heeled and as the ball sat up, Billingham drove his shot wide.
In the 62nd minute Benbow used his pace to accelerate past Scott Smith down the left before cutting into the box, but he shot straight at Maher and then a couple of minutes later Canavan curled a 20-yard free-kick from the left channel area against the inside of Maher’s right-hand post.
As the Glassboys continued to threaten, a low free-kick from Billingham on 67 minutes saw Maher get down well to turn the ball round for a corner, but Stourbridge finally doubled their advantage in the 72nd minute. A Canavan free-kick from the left drew Maher off his line, but he failed to collect the ball, which dropped invitingly for Billingham at the back of the box and he drove home a low shot to give the visitors some breathing space.
Four minutes later a good ball down the left flank by George Washbourne allowed Benbow to get to the by-line and he pulled the ball back to Billingham who miscued his shot wide.
Alvechurch kept plugging away though and with ten minutes left a right-wing corner from O’Donnell was met by Smith, but his header flew off-target.
In time added on at the end, a pass forward from Drake saw Rowe reach the ball ahead of the advancing Maher on the right-hand side of the box and he was brought down by the keeper to win a penalty. Rowe got back up to take the spot-kick with Geddes not involved, however with the last kick of the game, he ballooned his penalty well over the bar.
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