Stone Old Alleynians 1-0 Black Country Rangers
Alleynians recorded their fourth straight win, with a comfortable one-nil victory at home to Black Country Rangers, thanks to a Cameron Sinclair strike.
The midfielder netted midway through the second half, following a pinpoint pass from substitute Carl Dibden to give his side the lead, one which the Old Boys never looked like squandering.
Having not played for three weeks, manager Matt Smith was impressed with the quality of his side’s performance: “We were excellent, especially in the second half, that’s probably our best half of football this season, we completely dominated and everyone played their part.” he said.
“It was a great win today, especially with it being the first game in a few weeks, it makes it four wins in a row and has moved us into the top half.”
“What’s pleasing as well is that ten of the twelve players we used are actually Old Alleynians from Stone, which is uncommon these days for teams to have so many local players at our level.” Added Smith.
With the threat of heavy rain in the afternoon, kick-off was brought forward half an hour to try and protect an already heavy pitch, but that did not prevent an entertaining start to the game.
The first chance to the visitors; with Stone goalkeeper Matt Burslem forced into a reflex save to deny Arren Weston’s left footed strike.
Ben Lewis had the host’s best chance, when he latched on to a Cameron Sinclair pass but was unable to beat Sherdon Martinez in the Black Country goal.
Weston should have opened the scoring for the visitors when he found himself one-on-one with Burslem, but the keeper saved well and the retreating defenders managed to clear for a corner, from which Nick Haynes headed narrowly over.
Sinclair came close to breaking the deadlock early in the second half, but found Martinez in good form once more, as the keeper tipped his shot past the post for a corner.
But it was Sinclair who did finally open the scoring. Carl Dibden picked the ball up on the left hand side, and his switch pass beat the Black Country back line, providing the right-winger with an easy finish.
Dibden himself came close to doubling the lead when he found himself space in the box, but the frontman, enthused by his earlier assist, looked to square the ball rather than shooting himself.
Confusion in the Alleynians defence gave the visitors their best chance back into the game. A mix up between Adam Heath and Ian Whalley allowed Chadd Birch to go through but he was unable to find a way past Matt Burslem.
Ollie Davies could have made sure of the points for Alleynians when he linked up with Danny Heard, but the left back’s shot was tipped onto the post by Martinez, before Heard’s shot went inches wide of the far post from the resulting corner.
Stone OA: Burslem, Bigham, Heath, Whalley, Davies, Sinclair, Askey (c), Wilson, Lewis, Chilvers(Dibden), Heard