Stone Old Alleynians 1-4 AFC Bridgnorth
Alleynians suffered their first defeat in five games, as they were undone by second placed AFC Bridgnorth at Wellbeing Park. Two late goals from the visitors saw off the hosts, who had played the last hour of the game with ten men, after centre-back Ian Whalley saw red midway through the first half. But the home side were still in the game until the late double secured the points for the Shropshire side.
Manager Matt Smith was left to rue the decisions of the officials: “I thought the officials were poor today, and some of their decisions have killed us today. Playing with ten men for over an hour was always going to be tough, but I thought we adapted well and I am really pleased with the performance. I can’t fault the lads effort, but the result flatters them (Bridgnorth) a little bit.” said Smith.
Tom Grainger pounced on an error in the Stone defence early in the first half to open the scoring. The front-man latched onto a flicked-on goal kick before rounding Matt Burslem.
But the home side were level soon after, clever play between Danny Heard and Adam Heath saw the latter find space on the right-wing, and his deep cross was expertly volleyed home by Alex Kay at the far post.
Kay came close to putting the Old Boys ahead when he went through on goal, but was unable to keep his shot on target.
The visitors then edged themselves back in front when Joe Mitchell rose highest to head home a right-wing free-kick.
Stone’s attempts to restore parity were dealt a blow when they were reduced to ten-men, as Ian Whalley was given a second yellow card just before the half-hour mark.
Alleynians rallied after the break with Kay again coming close, the striker managed to keep his feet after being tripped when going clear, but saw his shot go wide of the goal after being sent through by the impressive Heard.
But their chances of snatching something from the game were ended when substitute Adam Bealey’s shot slipped through the clutches of Burslem, before Cameron Bridgend’s long range effort cannoned into the back of the net off the crossbar.
Stone OA: Burslem, Heath, Dibden, Whalley, Bigham, G Askey, Sinclair (c) (Chilvers), Wilson, Tomkinson (Arnold), Heard, Kay