Shenstone Pathfinders 0-2 Stone Old Alleynians

Stone Old Alleynians restarted their promotion push with a hard-fought two-goal victory away at Shenstone.

The Old Boys made sure that there was no hangover from their midweek cup semi-final win thanks to second half goals from Adam Tomkinson and Sam Wilson.

With manager Matt Smith happy in the way that his side went about the game.

“It was a difficult game, they were very defensive and the pitch and weather didn’t help us, but we managed the game well once we got in front to ensure we got the win.” said Smith.

“It was an important win having not played in the league for a few weeks. We have to keep the pressure on the teams above us by winning our games if we want to get promoted. But it’s been a great week with two cup wins and three points in the league.” He added.

The Old Boys started the game positively, dominating the early possession despite playing into a strong wind. But it was the hosts who had the first chance, when a free kick dropped in the box, and a Shenstone shot ricocheted off a number of players before being clutched gratefully by Lewis Paglia.

Paglia scrambles to turn the ball behind
Paglia scrambles to turn the ball behind

Paglia had to be alert soon after when a long free kick was played into the box, and nearly crept into the far corner before the stopper turned it around the post. And then a mishit cross appeared to be heading goalwards before Paglia tipped it over the bar.

Despite controlling the opening period, Alleynians failed to trouble the Shenstone goal. But this changed early in the second half when a surging run and shot from skipper Paul Griffiths, had to be turned behind.

And it was shortly after that when the deadlock was broken. Winger Adam Tomkinson picked up a loose ball on the left side of the box, left-back Dale Taylor’s overlapping run drew the attentions of the Shenstone defenders, allowing Tomkinson to jink inside the box and finish powerfully via the crossbar.

Goalscorer Sam Wilson making a surging run
Goalscorer Sam Wilson making a surging run

Sam Wilson then doubled the lead with his second of the season. The young midfielder, seized upon a loose ball in the middle of the park, before drilling the ball low into the corner of the net from twenty-five yards.

Learning their lessons from recent weeks, the Old Boys saw out the remainder of the game without drama, although there was still time for substitute Sam Hodgkinson to be denied by a strong save from the Shenstone keeper.

Stone OA: Paglia, B Thorley, Askey, Whalley, Taylor, Griffiths (c), Wilson, Thomas (Hodgkinson), Tomkinson (Sinclair), D Heard, Dibden (Matthews)

Next Fixture: v Worcester Raiders (A) 4/4/15