Glassboys ease to Banbury victory to keep play-off ambitions on track

First published in Sport

STOURBRIDGE put five past Banbury United at Amblecote today as they maintained their charge to a top five finish.

The Glassboys cruised to a 5-0 victory that now means a draw in the last game of the season away at Hitchin should be enough to earn them a play-off place.

Sixth-placed Hungerford's 3-2 win against Chippenham means the gap between them stays at two points with just one game left to play. However, Stourbridge boast a far superior goal difference.

That goal tally was made all the more impressive after today's comfortable display.

After a pretty even start to the match it was defender Leon Broadhurst that broke the deadlock as he glanced a Sean Geddes corner into the far post on the 10th minute mark.

From that moment on Stourbridge never looked like losing the contest. Banbury did look to break with pace on the counter attack but never managed to threaten the Glassboys' goal.

Though the advantage was only 1-0 it appeared as if the home side had other gears they could go to if needed.

The second goal came from the impressive Kayelden Brown on 40 minutes.

He linked up well with Ben Billingham, chested the ball down and lofted his effort over advancing Banbury keeper Scott Dutton.

The second half couldn't have started any better for Stourbridge. Within a minute of the restart Brown got in behind the defence and smashed a low shot under Dutton to make it 3-0.

It was a goal that killed off Banbury's hopes of getting anything from the game and resulted in Stourbridge comfortably passing the ball around at will.

They then moved further away from the visitors when forward Junior Smikle guided the ball home from a Brown cross. It was a worthy reward for the lively forward's willing running. His runs and link up play with strike-partner Brown caused problems all game.

Ben Billingham, who had a hand in most of the previous goals, then got in on the act himself to make it 5-0 just after the hour mark.

Stourbridge could have added even more to the tally as they looked dangerous with nearly ever attack. Substitute Netan Sansara rattled the bar and Dutton was at full stretch to deny Billingham's curling effort.

In contrast, Banbury failed to work Glassboys keeper Coleman and it was left for the home side to dominate possession and play out the final minutes.

Stourbridge will now travel to Hitchin knowing a place in the Southern League Premier Division play-offs is well within their grasp.

Stourbridge: Coleman, Smikle, Knight, Ramsey-Dickson, Geddes (c) (Fitzpatrick 69), Harris, Haynes, Broadhurst, Brown (Richards 60), Billingham, Canavan (Sansara 60).

Unused subs: Kettle, Washbourne.

Banbury: Dutton, Cray (c), Mullarkey, Collins, Paps, Abrahams, Tappin (Green 58), Obeng (Martin 52), Skendi, Talabi, Dias.

Subs: Hacket, Stafford.

Att: 670

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