GARY Hackett is delighted with the way his Stourbridge players are battling their way to vital wins this season.

The Glassboys are in fourth place and just a point off early leaders Witton Albion after securing a hard-fought 2-1 away win at Mickleover Sports on Tuesday night.

Second half goals from Aaron Forde and Jack Duggan saw Stour come from behind after Bradley Grayson had handed the hosts a narrow advantage at the break.

The manager admits his side haven't quite recaptured last season's fluent best just yet but he's more than happy with the battling qualities on show.

He said: "Mickleover are a really good footballing side. They are a little inconsistent but if you catch them at the wrong time they are more than capable of beating anyone.

"We had to improve in the second half but we did that, worked hard to get ourselves in the lead and then could have even score a couple more.

"We felt at half time that if we could press them a little higher up the pitch then we'd have more joy.

"It was a tough game and we're having to work hard because we're not at our best. We're winning games despite that which does bode well. There are still improvements that need to be made but I won't rush to bring in players unless they really do improve us."

Meanwhile, Hackett has backed young forward Brandon Hague to come back stronger after injuring ankle ligaments during Mickleover, The promising striker is facing up to eight weeks on the sidelines after a collision with home keeper Lewis King saw him stretchered off before being taken to hospital.

Hackett said: "It's a big blow. He's been having a big impact off the bench for us.

"We wish him well and a speedy recovery and there is no doubt he'll come back stronger."

The win at Mickleover made it back-to-back league and cup wins after the Glassboys progressed into the third qualifying round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win over St Ives Town last Saturday.

Reliable midfielder Leon Broadhurst netted both goals to make sure his side went through.

They will now face National League North outfit Alfreton Town over the weekend of September 30.

Before then Stour will take on Lancaster Town at home this Saturday (3pm kick-off) and Warrington Town away next Tuesday.

Skipper Stuart Pierpoint could return against Lancaster after missing the Mickleover win with injury.