Bilston Town 2-1 Stone Old Alleynians

A late Carl Dibden strike was not enough to salvage a point for the Old Boys as they went down two-one away at Bilston Town.

Stone Manager Matt Smith was left surprised by the result: “I really wasn’t expecting a defeat going into the game, and I don’t think they really looked like they had done enough to win it either.”

“We did lack our usual quality. And we missed some really good chances in both halves, that would have changed the game, but I’m still coming away from the game scratching my head a bit.” Said Smith.

Carl Dibden's goal was not enough to inspire a comeback
Carl Dibden’s goal was not enough to inspire a comeback

A game that lacked any incident in the opening half an hour suddenly sprung into life when Bilston’s Liam Wilkinson and David Arrowsmith linked up to force a good save from Matt Burslem.

The visitors then responded with a chance of their own, when Sam Wilson was put clean through, but managed to put the ball wide of the target as the keeper closed in on him.

Sam Wilson's despair as he misses chance to open scoring
Sam Wilson’s despair as he misses chance to open scoring

Adam Hill put the home side in front, when he was afforded too much space to advance into the Stone half before unleashing a shot from 25 yards that flew past Burslem.

But Matt Thomas almost brought parity to the score-line on the brink of half time, when he broke clear of the Bilston defence before cutting back onto his left foot, but the host’s keeper was equal to his effort.

The home side extended their lead mid way through the second half. Front man Arrowsmith looked like he had wasted the opportunity when good play down the right wing set him up, but Ian Whalley made an excellent goal line clearance to turn the ball behind for a corner. But from the resulting set piece Alex Haynes lost his marker to score a simple tap in at the far post.

Bilston's Alex Haynes extends their lead
Bilston’s Alex Haynes extends their lead

And the hosts then had a goal disallowed when Hill was adjudged to have unfairly kicked the ball out of Burslem’s hands, when the ball broke free in the Old Boys box.

Alleynians were then given a lifeline as Danny Heard sent Dibden clear, and the substitute kept his composure to roll the ball under the Bilston keeper.

But despite good pressure and a number of half chances from Heard and Thomas, the Old Boys were unable to find the equaliser.

Stone OA: Burslem, Bigham (Taylor), Heath, Whalley, Davies, Askey, Wilson, Griffiths (c) (Dibden), Thomas, Lewis (Sinclair), Heard