Smethwick 1-3 Stone Old Alleynians

Stone Old Alleynians continued their unbeaten start to 2017 with a hard fought victory at a rain-soaked Smethwick. Second-half strikes from Jimmy Lee and Sam Wilson were enough to see off the hosts after Cameron Sinclair had given the Old Boys the lead at the break.

Alleynians manager Matt Smith was left impressed with the manner of his side’s victory: “It was a really good win for us, and the performance was even more pleasing. We controlled the game and looked as dangerous in attack as we have all season. We have got a good a balance to the team and some competition for places now so we are looking for a strong finish to the season.”

The visitors looked threatening from the off on a pitch which would have had farmers fearing for the welfare of their livestock, with Ollie Davies wading down the left before picking out Paul Griffiths with his cross, but the skipper was unable to find his way past Terry Shaw in the Smethwick goal.

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Ian Whalley somehow manages to block Josh Cooke’s (9) effort

Matt Thomas also came close early on when he latched onto Jimmy Lee’s free-kick but was only able to turn his effort wide of the far post.

Lee rattled the woodwork with a fierce drive from the edge of the box after Danny Heard had ploughed his way down the right-hand side, before Carl Dibden stung the palms of Shaw from a free-kick.

Cameron Sinclair put his side ahead when he powered home Lee’s corner on the half-hour mark, but the Old Boys were indebted to a last gasp clearance from Ian Whalley to preserve their lead at the break as the centre-back blocked Josh Cooke’s effort when the striker had the goal at his mercy.

Lee doubled his side’s lead early in the second half when he drilled the ball home from 15 yards after some clever build up play from Alleynians.

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Sam Wilson controlling the ball before scoring Stone’s third goal

However it was the hosts who struck next against the grain when Nehemia Zazi was sent clear of the Stone back line, and the substitute made no mistake in rolling the ball beyond Brandon McEleney to halve the deficit.

The Old Boys made sure of the points through Sam Wilson, who was picked out perfectly by Griffiths and had enough time to bring the ball down and side-step Shaw before rolling the ball home.

Stone OA: McEleney, Hewitt (Heath), Dibden, Whalley, Davies, Griffiths (c), Sinclair, Wilson, Lee (Pope), Thomas (Kay), Heard