Stourbridge 0-0 Lancaster City
Two strong defences came head-to-head at the War Memorial Athletic Ground on Saturday in an end-to-end game that created surprisingly few chances.
The match up at Stourbridge was played under some welcome Autumn sunshine in front of a near 1,000 strong crowd, although the action on the pitch didn’t quite live up to the occasion.
The hosts, despite battering the Dolly Blues early in the first half, failed to capitalise when on top and nearly allowed Phil Brown’s side to snatch all the points in added time.
The opening half hour saw nearly constant pressure from the Glassboys and after a few long-range efforts missed the target they should have gone ahead after 23 minutes. Following a series of corners Leon Broadhurst had the opportunity to convert a rebound from close range but his shot on the turn struck the post.
Josh Powell then made a pair of vital saves to keep the hosts out, including a fantastic reaction save to parry away former City defender Jack Duggan’s header.
Ryan Winder made a goal-line clearance before Tom Tonk’s curling effort was tipped wide of the post by Powell as the Dolly Blues defended valiantly.
Gavin Clark, after a heavy collision with Duggan on the counter, was replaced by Joshua Westwood before a half-time break that couldn’t come soon enough.
The second half saw better spells of pressure from City without making too many in-roads.
Duggan himself was substituted due to injury which unsettled the Stourbridge backline as a few shots from range missed the target.
The Dollies’ defence meanwhile was resolute and solid in a classic Lancaster City performance at the back and ensured a clean sheet to set up a chance to win the game.
The final two chances fell to the Dolly Blues as the clock wound down.
With two minutes remaining Sam Bailey scuffed a shot into the side netting from a wide angle before the chance of the game on 92 minutes.
Scott Harries’ cross-shot flew across goal and hit Oliver Wood but the ball rebounded kindly away from the open goal and into the grateful arms of ‘keeper Matt Gould.
The Dolly Blues next host fourth in the table Witton Albion at Giant Axe on Tuesday night.
Star Man: Josh Powell - Immense display from the young stopper.