West Midlands Regional League Premier Division
Stone OA 0-3 Wolverhampton Sporting Community
Despite their industry without the ball, the Old Boys never threatened going forward, and once Sporting opened the scoring after thirty-three minutes it was always going to be a tough ask for Matt Smith’s young side.
“We set-up to try and frustrate them today,” said Smith afterwards. It worked well for half an hour and we restricted them to very few chances. The goal came in disappointing fashion with an unchallenged header, and we never really got ourselves back in the game.”
“Despite this we can take positives from the game. They will be right up there come the end of the season, and our young team competed well at times. Josh Renshaw’s efforts in midfield were particularly impressive.”
The Alleynians defence coped well early on, and Sporting struggled to break down a back-line led by stand-in skipper Ian Whalley. Cameron Bliss made a couple of good stops in the Old Boys goal, and Dick Hewitt cleared an in-swinging corner off the line at the back-post as the hosts soaked up the pressure.
The breakthrough eventually came not long after the half-hour mark, as Sporting’s Hill met a cross from his right winger to send an unchallenged header over Bliss to open the scoring.
The Old Boys lost then lost Hewitt and Tor Mana’o to injury at half-time, but it was more of the same from Sporting as the second period got underway. The visitors’ advantage was eventually doubled when Hill’s strike across goal was met by Dunkley, who fired home from close range.
Dunkley got his second soon after, playing a quick one-two with Habbershaw and rounding off the move with a neat finish. As the game petered out, Sporting were awarded a dubious penalty when Lloyd was felled under pressure in the Old Boys penalty area. The resulting spot-kick was taken by Franco, who blasted against the bar to spare the Old Boys any further blushes.
Stone OA: Bliss, Hewitt (Vogler), Smith, Whalley ©, Taylor, Bull, Renshaw, Dale (Pope), Mana’o (Fellows), Tomkinson, Tomlinson. Subs unused: Mason, Arnold