FOOTBALL: BRAKES’ FA Trophy run came to an end on Saturday after Stourbridge edged to a one-goal win at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium.
The visitors fielded three former Brakes men in Matty Dodd, Stuart Pierpoint and Leon Broadhurst as Gary Hackett’s men made a quick start to Saturday’s game.
Despite this, it was Leamington that threatened first when Connor Gudgar forced a corner – from which Stourbridge keeper Matt Gould had to push a swerving Kieran Dunbar delivery out from under his crossbar.
When it was played back in Jack Edwards nodded back across goal to seemingly present Jamie Hood with a tap in, but between them Gould and Aris Christophorou somehow managed to keep the ball out.
There was precious little in terms of entertainment in the first half an hour, Stourbridge led possession as the rain eased off.
Broadhurst saw a shot deflect out for a throw while another wild first time effort just before half time ended up in the hedge on the North Bank as the visitors struggled to break down a well organised Leamington defence.
Kaine Felix and Tom Tonks exchanged yellow cards as the game petered out towards the interval.
There was little to warm the crowd, but this changed three minutes into the second half, for the sizeable visiting contingent at least, as Dodd nodded in a right wing corner – Tony Breeden just unable to keep it out as the ball went in off his palm and the inside of the post.
Stourbridge could’ve doubled their advantage moments later when Luke Shearer picked up possession midway through his own half.
His low cross found Aaron Forde who only had to direct his shot either side of Breeden to score, but the Brakes skipper produced a great stop with his legs to deny him.
The pressure continued as the rain began to fall once more, Brakes’ defence blocking several shots as the Glassboys looked for second goal.
Junior English stabbed an effort at Gould as Leamington forged their first attack of the half as Paul Holleran brought on Colby Bishop and Ahmed Obeng.
Bishop saw an early shot blocked before Gudgar curled a free kick over the bar.
It was Leamington’s turn to be frustrated in the closing stages, but they never came close to breaching the Stourbridge defence.
Manager Paul Holleran said: “There’s no disputing Stourbridge are the cup kings in the midlands.
“I watched them beat Bradford Park Avenue in the last round so I knew what was coming.
“They were very good, but I thought we dealt with them really well in the first half.
“We didn’t start the second half well though, we were sloppy, and they’ve won two headers in our box and we didn’t deal with the set play.”
Leamington: Tony Breeden ©, Richard Taundry, Connor Gudger, Joe Magunda (17 Ahmed Obeng, 71), Jamie Hood, Junior English, Kieran Dunbar, Joe Clarke, Kurtis Revan (14 Colby Bishop, 63), Jack Edwards (12 Callum Gittings, 79 ), Kaine Felix.
Stourbridge: Matt Gould, Darryl Westlake, Aris Christophorou, Tom Tonks, Stuart Pierpoint ©, Aaron Forde, Matt Dodd (14 Brandon Hague, 78), Leon Broadhurst, Kyle Perry, Luke Shearer (12 Josh Cooke, 90+3), Josh Green.
Picture: Sally Ellis.