Dudley Sports 3-4 Stone Old Alleynians
Stone Old Alleynians came away with a muddy three points from their trip to Dudley, surviving a second-half comeback and treacherous playing conditions in the process, to secure their first win since October.
An impressive first-half display saw the Old Boys three-up at the interval, and Manager Matt Smith was delighted with his side’s efforts, despite them conceding two quick goals after half-time to let the home side back into the game.
“It was important for us to get a result today and we thoroughly deserved it, I’m disappointed that we didn’t see the game off properly, but the main thing was that we got three points in a tough away fixture. We need to build on that now in the run up to Christmas” said Smith.
“We could have been four or five up at half-time, and had chances at four-two to kill the game off, but unfortunately we couldn’t get the fifth, then obviously with the late goal we were holding on a bit. ” he added.
The visitors dominated from the off, and made the break through when Alex Kay saw his stinging shot turned behind by Matthew Jones in the Dudley goal. Luke Askey then headed home Cameron Sinclair’s cross from the resulting corner.
The Stone lead was doubled almost immediately when Sinclair sent Kay free down the right wing; he cut the ball back to Sam Wilson on the edge of the box who curled the ball home beyond Jones.
Kay had a great chance to make it three when he was again sent clear, but Jones saved well. There was nothing the keeper could do however when Kay was once more played in by Danny Heard, as the Stone front man rounded him and calmly rolled the ball home.
The home side came close to reducing the deficit shortly before half time when Warren Whitmore got free down the right, but Adam Heath was on hand to clear off the line as Shepherd Machinguata looked set to score from the wide man’s cross.
Dudley gave themselves a lifeline early in the second half when Machinguata played in Brad Welding on the break, and he drilled his left-foot shot beyond the reach of Matt Burslem, low into the bottom corner. And the comeback was really on when Welding was on hand to tap in from close range when Burslem parried Stuart Hillman‘s shot.
But Alleynians restored a two-goal cushion when Askey rose highest to head home Paul Griffiths right-side corner. And Danny Heard went agonisingly close as his header flew inches wide of the goal from another Griffiths corner.
A tense finish ensued when a late Hillman free-kick was poked home by Jason Walters, but the Old Boys held on to earn a well-deserved three points.
Stone OA: Burslem, Heath, Askey, Whalley, Davies, Sinclair, Bainbridge (Thomas), Wilson, Griffiths (c), Heard, Kay