Stone Old Alleynians 1-2 Ellesmere Rangers
Stone Old Alleynians were unable to capitalise on taking a first-half lead as their visitors Ellesmere Rangers fought back to take all three points from Wellbeing Park.
Jack Tomlinson had headed his side in front when he met Danny Heard’s cross, and had looked set to double the lead as he raced through on goal, but was brought down by a hamstring injury before he could get his shot away.
The hosts could have had a second following Malaki Norford’s surging run down the right-wing, but some last gasp defending saw Ellesmere scramble the ball away.
Brandon McEleny had dealt with a number of crosses into the Stone box, but there was nothing he could do to keep out Christian Oldham’s equaliser on the brink of half-time, the Ellesmere skipper volleying into the top corner.
A resurgent Ellesmere rallied in the second half, and turned their possession into a lead when Karl Bailey found space on the right-hand side of the box, his snap shot caught McEleny off guard and snuck in at the near post.
Matt Thomas came closest to an equaliser for the Old Boys when he manoeuvred himself into some space in the box but dragged his shot wide, whilst Jimmy Lee had shouts for a penalty turned down late on.
Manager Matt Smith felt that his side’s naivety led to their undoing: “We had chances to kill the game before half-time but didn’t and let them get an equaliser which gave them the momentum for the second half, where we were poor, even though we did have a couple of good chances. It was a blow with Jack (Tomlinson) getting injured, he looked really dangerous and was causing them all sorts of problems.”
Stone OA: McEleny, Bolton, Heath, Wilson (c), Davies, Sinclair (Pope), Norford, Lee, Chilvers (Griffiths), Tomlinson (Thomas), Heard