SEETHING boss Mark Yates pulled no punches in a brutal assessment of Stourbridge’s “embarrassing” 5-2 friendly defeat at Worcester City.

The Glassboys, fancied by many for a promotion push in Southern League Premier Division Central this season on the back of signing a host of high-profile names, got caught out by the high energy of a side from levels below.

READ MORE: Report and live feed - Worcester City 5 Stourbridge 2


Stourbridge began well enough went ahead when Jason Cowley slid in to convert Montel Gibson’s 15th-minute centre but ponderous defending gave the hosts a lifeline.

The leveller was controversial with Luke English charging down a trailing goalkeeper’s clearance to net despite vociferous appeals for handball.

Chris Sterling then pinched possession off Darryl Knights on the edge of the box four minutes later and lashed inside the near post.

Stourbridge had some territory early in the second half but City substitute Archie Muirhead finished high across goal from the tightest of angles having had an initial shot saved just past the hour and that killed any momentum the visitors had.

Dan Westwood’s penalty was brilliantly saved in the 77th minute but the City hitman glanced in the fourth all too easily from the corner that followed.

Darragh Bustin got one back from close range for Stourbridge but Muirhead rounded off the scoring in style with a weaving run inside from the right before checking back and squeezing inside the near post.

Yates said: “Defensively, we were hopeless all game. They turned us and just got in, we gifted them goals and we have to do better, much better.

“If you are open at the back and don’t defend properly as a team and unit you are inviting teams to do that.

“I thought we started really well, we scored and it was nice to see Montel assist for Jason and then we thought it was going to be too easy.

“We decided to start stroking it around and giving it back to the keeper on a sticky, horrible pitch.

“The first goal was handball, definitely, but it wasn’t given. Then we had five or six passes, got caught in the middle of the park and the ball was in the back of the net again.

“It was just really sloppy defending from everybody, anyone with any defensive responsibility was poor and we have to liven up because we have some tough games coming up in the next couple of weeks and the season starts in three.”

He added: “We still keep trying to play in front of people, thinking we are better than we are so (it was) a wake-up call. We need to start being more proactive, more aggressive and it starts on Tuesday.”