Stourbridge 0, Witton Albion 0

THE Glassboys picked up a point after playing out a goalless encounter with Witton Albion at Amblecote.

Lacklustre Stour looked short of ideas in attack for long spells despite last season's top scorer Luke Benbow being thrown into the starting line up after his return on loan from Solihull.

In the end they had goalkeeper Matt Gould to thank for making sure they took something from a disjointed showing after he made a host a second half saves.

The contest had started quite lively with visitors Witton looking to break quickly.

They had the ball in the net after seven minutes after Tom Owens had robbed Leon Broadurst in midfield and played in forward Will Jones.

Jones lofted the ball over Gould but was quickly denied by the linesman's flag as Stour stepped up.

The Glassboys' first chance feel to Broadhurst on 11 minutes after Luke Shearer's ball from the left but his effort from six yards out was blocked.

Kennedy Digie glanced a header off target on 18 minutes before Jones blazed over for Witton a minute later as both sides battled to get on top.

Stour, however, seemed short of cohesion in their build up play to really trouble their visitors in the first half. With Benbow still working to find full fitness and Kyle Perry with his back to goal, the Glassboys didn't have an option to run in behind the high Witton back line except for perhaps Shearer operating from out wide.

Instead it was Witton that worked the only opening before half time as Owen Dale forced keeper Matt Gould to get down sharply to gather his drive from the edge of the box.

Boss Gary Hackett made a double change at the break as Darryl Westlake and Kennedy Digie made way for Josh Green and Aaron Birch.

It also saw the home side change their system as they looked for better balance.

But it was Witton that carved out the first openings following the break as James Foley fired wide on 49 minutes and Nick Ryan had a far post header saved by Gould moments later.

Foley looked to have a case for a penalty in the build up to his opportunity after getting beyond Pierpoint but the ref was unmoved and allowed him to get his shot away.

Still Gould was the busier keeper though and he was again needed to keep out Steven Tames' low effort after a long throw was flicked into his path.

Stour continued to look toothless in attack with Witton pushing harder for an opener moving beyond the hour mark.

However, chances dried up after the Glassboys' rearguard held strong and it meant the points were still there for the taking heading into the final five minutes.

Still Witton did the pressing but still Gould kept them out when he smothered Foley's shot on 86 minutes after he'd cut in from the left.

Dale the blazed over two minutes later as the clash ended in a goalless stalemate.

Stourbridge: Gould, Christophorou, Westlake (Green 45), McCone (c), Pierpoint, Forde, Digie (Birch 45), Broadhurst, Perry (Cooke 69), Benbow, Shearer.

Unused subs: Cameron, Collingridge.

Witton: Hare, Gardner (c), McKenna, Ryan, Williams, Foley, Dale, Owens, Jones, Haywood, Tames (Evans 90).

Unused subs: Lingouba, Hedley, Hopley, Nield.

Att: 737