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Saturday 20 October 2007
FA Trophy
1st Qualifying Round
at War Memorial Athletic Ground, Stourbridge.
Trophy logo

Stourbridge badge



Gloucester City

New Tigers Badge: no-one knows why...

HT (0-0)

M.Bellingham (74)
Stourbridge kit
A.Sykes (85 pen)


N.Mustoe ©
© C.Slater
M.Rose Man of the Match
(for 7, 68) M.Jones
(for 9, 88) K.Hadley
A.Sykes (for 8, 80)
(for 3, 35) O.O'Connell
J.Bevan (for 10, 84)
J.Pitcher (for 9, HT)
Stourbridge: M.Brookes (foul tackle 88)
City: M.Richards (foul tackle 82)
Dismissals: Stourbridge: R.Collins (deliberate handball blocking shot 85)

T-Ender City MotM: This wasn't a game where any player sparkled, but Matt Rose at least showed a more combative edge to his play.

grass trim rule

City huffed and puffed to little effect in another uninspiring footballing display at Stourbridge, but can take some comfort that having again fallen behind our Tigers did at least show some grit to equalise and stay in the FA Trophy. Despite a good start our tactical innovations only partly succeeded and our defensive frailties threatened to see our Trophy hopes still-born when former Ch#!tenham striker Mark Bellingham put the home team ahead with just quarter of an hour remaining. Thankfully City exerted enough pressure to force a desperate handball from a defender in the box and Alex Sykes showed ice-cool composure to net our first goal in five games to take the tie to a Wednesday night replay at the New Lawn.

City hit the net at last

At least City did not this time let their heads drop having fallen behind, but the City attack was still misfiring and disjointed as one might expect from a side that can hardly recall their last success in front of goal. When City did get close through Lee Smith the danger was snuffed out by Brookes who crudely flattened the winger inside the box, but the ref wasn't interested. Then, for the first time in what seems an ice age, City were handed a bit of luck by the opposition. Syko had done well since coming on and he kept the ball alive, flicking it inside to Marc Richards who smacked a fierce drive towards the goal only to see it charged down by the outstretched arms of Richard Collins. It was a shot in target and a clear handball inside the area, it was hard to see what the big Stourbridge number four was so angry about, he'd left the ref with an easy decision. If the defender wasn't already getting sent off for blocking a scoring chance his hysteronics made sure of it. Amidst all the turmoil around the ref it still couldn't distract from what an important penalty kick this was for our club on its current run, not only to stay in the Trophy but also to end our terrible goal drought. Alex Sykes looked the calmest person associated with yellow and black, and he used every ounce of his experience to smoothly stroke his spot kick past the keeper as he tumbled the wrong way. A goal - and what relief. Syko headed for the fans, clenching his City badge. It might still not feel like our badge, but right now we need those gestures that show recent weeks have been hurting our players as much as they have hurt us.


grass trim rule
T-Ender Match Snaps
Smith cross Morford at Stourbridge
Smith slides in with an early cross Morford tries to beat his man - and the leaves.
City at Stourbridge
Stourbridge canal festival
Webb tries to force the ball through to sub Jack Pitcher. ...and perhaps we should all have spent our time by the canal

Team Selection:


TBBM Said:


Tactics Board:
Anorak Corner:


T-Ender Verdict

You can make a strong argument that Syko's late penalty more than slightly papered over the cracks, cracks all too apparent to long suffering City fans. We were well dealt with by a Stourbridge side that themselves looked fairly pedestrain and utterly beatable, and in the end were perhaps fortunate to stay in the competition. Sadly we just looked like a side down on our luck and subdued in spirit, even when something worked for us we looked incapable of repeating it. We looked short on ideas and without many players to take an extra touch and try and get the ball under control, never mind weight a pass to a team mate.

That may be a rather gloomy assessment though. There wasn't much to take from the game - but in cup football sometimes it can just be about staying alive and we just managed that. Despite going behind and looking close to complete capitulation we avoided our frequent habit of completely throwing the game away. We did hang in there, and having got the penalty we had at least one player able to keep their head and actually find the net. And if the players are finding it hard to show their passion with crisp clinical football, at least that goal still visibly meant something to some of them. These may be very thin silver glints to some rather ominous looking thunder clouds, but right now we at City need to hang together and hope for better in the future.

Highlights Elsewhere:


Other Match Reports:


Further Reading:

BGB Southern League Premier Results & Website
Stourbridge FC website
FA Trophy competition website

Referee: L.Blackwood (Walsall) City League Pos: n/a City Form: DLDLLL

Ref Watch:

6 - some odd decisions but kept things going and got the pen right. Attendance: 176    
Conditions: bright low autumn sunshine
Lorry Score:
Match Report:
by t-towel

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