Glassboys pass up opportunity to cement play-off place

First published in Sport
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Stourbridge 0, St Albans City 1.

STOURBRIDGE passed up an opportunity to boost their play-off hopes by losing to St Albans City at the Memorial Ground today.

A first half goal for City was enough to give the visitors the points despite a spirited second half showing from The Glassboys following a lacklustre first period.

City started the brighter of the two sides who are both aiming to make the play-offs in the Southern League Premier. They found more space in the middle of the park as Stourbridge failed to impose themselves on the contest.

It was St Albans who worked the first real chance when forward Mark Nwokeji hit the side netting after being played in by a simple ball over the top.

Midfielder Jordan Fitzpatrick had the first major effort for The Glassboys after forcing a save from City keeper Paul Bastock with a low effort from just inside the box.

However, St Albans continued to have slightly more of the play and got a deserved opener after 21 minutes. Sam Corcoran capitalised after home full back Andre Francis dwelt on the ball in the box.

After the goal, the game went scrappy as both sides failed to keep the ball or string more than a couple of passes together.

A lacklustre Stourbridge continued to find it hard to work an opening of note before the break.

An improved performance just after the break saw them create a few chances down the flanks.

Luke Benbow collected a return ball from Ben Billingham but blazed high and wide as Stourbridge pushed for an equaliser near the hour mark.

It was Benbow again who found some space in the box after he met captain Geddes' free kick. But again his effort sailed over.

Visitors City were given a chance to seal the game in the 85th minute when Drew Canavan brought down Comley in the box to give away a penalty.

However, Dean Coleman made the save to keep The Glassboys in the match.

Stourbridge threw on some attacking options and came flooding forward as they looked to get a point in the closing stages. But again they failed to create any clear cut chances in a game where victory would have boosted their play-off hopes.

Despite the loss, The Glassboys remain in fifth spot after sixth-placed Bideford lost at home to Arlsesey Town.

Stourbridge: Coleman, Canavan, Richards, Drake (Washbourne 45), Geddes (c), Fitzpatrick (Knight 63), Francis (Murphy 80), Broadhurst, brown, Billingham, Benbow.

Unused subs: Birch, Tye.

St Albans: Bastock, Gilbert, Chappell, Marwa, Ward, Martin (c), Corcoran, Comley, Nwokeji (Bailey 45), Kaloczi (Henry 57), Green.

Unused subs: Dean, Graham, Hall.

Ref: Mr Ollie Yates (Newcastle-under-Lyme)

Attendance: 477.

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