Chesham United 2, Stourbridge 1
By David Lawrence (Write Angle Media)
ONCE again it was play-off agony for the Glassboys as they lost out in the semi-finals at Calor Premier League runners-up Chesham.
A brilliant Kayelden Brown strike had handed them an early lead but the home side clawed their way back and goals from striker pair Drew Roberts and Chris Dillon guided them through to a final against either Cambridge City of St Albans City Town.
Stourbridge, cheered on by a large vocal Black Country following, started the better and had a good chance to open the scoring on 15 minutes when Sean Geddes picked out Kyle Haines on the right but his 20-yard strike flew just wide of the target.
The Glassboys continued to press and took a deserved lead midway through the half when Brown picked up the ball five yards outside the area and let fly with a ferocious effort that found the bottom left-hand corner.
Haines had another shot fly wide before a corner caused problems to Glassboys keeper Dean Coleman who managed to juggle the ball away from dangerman Roberts.
Aside from that, Chesham had failed to trouble the visitors but, on 32 minutes, they were gifted an equaliser.
A through ball seemed straightforward for Coleman to gather but the ball slipped out of his hands and when James Potton squared, Roberts was unmarked in the centre to slot home.
The diminutive striker went close again five minutes later with a curling free-kick that flew just over the Stourbridge crossbar.
The home side finished the half the stronger and they took that superiority into the second period with Dillon, Roberts and Potton keeping the Glassboy’s back four busy.
And it was that trio who combined to grab the winner on 64 minutes. Potton’s high ball into the area was headed on by Roberts and Dillon calmly finished from six yards.
A series of corners forced the visitors to defend in numbers before manager Gary Hackett sent defender Kristian Ramsey-Dickson forward as part of a three-pronged attack alongside Brown and Brian Smikle.
Some neat footwork from Ramsey-Dickson saw him go close on 90 minutes, his effort being deflected for a corner, before the resulting flag-kick was hoofed clear by former Birmingham City defender Darren Purse.
Stourbridge pushed for an equaliser but for the second year running it just wasn’t to be.
Chesham: Gore, Kyriacou, Little, Gordon, Purse, Thomas, Fotheringham, Potton, Dillon, Roberts (Effiong 86), Wilson. Subs (not used): Dodge, Graham Braithwaite, Prosper.
Stourbridge: Coleman, Smikle (Washbourne 82), Knight, Ramsey-Dickson, Geddes, Harris (Richards 72), Haines, Broadhurst, Brown, Billingham, Samsara (Canavan 65). Subs (not used): Fitzpatrick.
Kettle Ref: Mr I Rathbone Att: 728