Stourbridge 5, Nantwich 3
STOURBRIDGE bounced back to winning ways as a Luke Benbow hat-trick helped them to victory at Amblecote tonight.
The final 5-3 scoreline fails to reflect the home side's dominance over opponents Nantwich Town. Only defensive errors kept the stubborn visitors in the contest.
Keen to make up for Saturday's away defeat against Workington, it was the Glassboys that were quickest out of the blocks.
A quick-fire Benbow brace blitzed the visitors and put Stour well in control with just 15 minutes on the clock.
His first came after nine minutes when he turned well on the edge of the box and curled a brilliant effort in off the far post.
He then bagged a second when powerfully meeting a Kyle Haynes cross from the right to head past helpless keeper Terry Smith.
The home side continued to come forward and confirmed their dominance when Kayelden Brown's fine solo effort put them 3-0 up just after the half hour mark.
He picked up the ball half way inside the Nantwich half, drove towards goal and fired into the bottom left hand corner.
However, with half time approaching, the visitors were handed a lifeline in the contest when Chris Knight misjudged a bouncing ball. Steve Lewis pounced on the mistake and slotted past the advancing Dean Coleman to make 3-1 at the break.
The second half continued with Stourbridge looking to threaten at every opportunity.
They pulled further away from Nantwich when Will Richards rose to meet a corner in the 57th minute. His initial effort was saved by Smith before Chris Knight made amends for his earlier mistake by reacting quickest to fire home the rebound.
However, Nantwich wouldn't go away and got a goal back just six minutes later. After some frantic Glassboys' defending, Harry Clayton found the back of the net after Andy White's long-range shot came back off the post with Coleman stranded.
The game then had to be delayed for ten minutes on the 67th minute mark after the assistant referee pulled a muscle.
A replacement was found from the stands to run the line for the rest of the half.
It was Gary Hackett's men that once again started the better of the two sides following the delay.
Benbow completed his brilliant hat-trick by firing home in devastating fashion after beating the off-side trap to get in behind the Nantwich defence.
Just as the Stour faithful thought they could relax, Nantwich took advantage of another mistake to once more reduce the home side's lead to two.
Jordan Johnson latched onto a poor clearance from kepper Coleman to lob the ball into an empty net.
However, Stourbridge negotiated the 15 minutes of added time to claim a much-needed and well-deserved three points.
Stourbridge: Coleman, Benbow (Rock 90), Knight, Ramsey-Dickson, Richards, Harris (Fitzpatrick 90), Haynes (Smikle 65), Broadhurst (c), Brown, Billingham, Canavan.
Unused subs: Morgan-Parker, Francis.
Nantwich: Smith, Lycett, White, M Jones (c), A Jones, Wilson, Clayton, Pepper (Meaney 55), Johnson, Blake, Lewis (Brammall 55).
Unused subs: Dowling, Callaghan, Green.