Stourport were looking to get a result yesterday afternoon against AFC Wulfrunians at Walshes Meadow to continue their excellent run of form with only one loss from their last eight matches in the league going into this one. The Swifts have been near the top of the table so far this season and competing for a play off place alongside the likes of Shifnal Town and Lichfield City.
AFC Wulfrunians made a number of notable signings throughout the week in the build up to this weekend’s match which included the signing of Ben Worthington from Bewdley Town to help with scoring goals. The visitors were looking to respond to the 6-0 defeat at home to Wolverhampton Casuals last weekend and get a result to build some momentum in the league.
The atmosphere at the ground prior to kick off was friendly and relaxed with the weather conditions excellent for an autumn game of football. The natural pitch looked fresh and there was a notable turnout of supporters for the match with an attendance of 143. There was a number of Stourport Swifts logos throughout the ground which was a nice feature, and the main stand offered a great view of the pitch.
Starting Line ups
The starting line up for Stourport Swifts included Jamie Emery starting in goal and Ben Jevons leading the team as the skipper from central defence. The formation looked like a 4-2-3-1 with Ben Tilbury leading the line up front as the number nine and being supported by Lee Chilton in the number ten role.
There were four changes from the team that started against Shifnal Town last weekend with Matt Johnson coming into the team and starting in holding midfield.
The starting line up for AFC Wulfrunians featured Tom Hayward starting in goal and Bradley Maslen-Jones captaining the team from central defence. The formation appeared to be a 4-4-2 with a front two of Daniel Munday and Ben Worthington.
There were eight changes from the team that started against Wolverhampton Casuals last weekend with Jack Sang coming into the team and playing on the left wing.
AFC Wulfrunians started the match brightly and put sustained pressure on the Stourport goal in the opening half an hour. Daniel Munday had a chance one on one with Jamie Emery in the fifth minute and had a shot well saved by the Swifts goalkeeper. The visitors were building some momentum throughout the first half and shaded the opening 45 minutes with Stourport gradually growing into the match as it went on.
The link up play from AFC Wulfrunians stood out throughout the first half with Daniel Munday linking up well in the final third and getting into some good positions around the box. Another player who impressed was Jack Sang on the left who was positive on the ball and caused the Stourport defence problems when running at players. The visitors managed to take the lead in the 34th minute with Jack Sang scoring an excellent goal from the left which went into the bottom left corner to give AFC Wulfrunians a deserved lead.
Stourport coped with the pressure well throughout the first half to stay in the match and Jamie Emery and the central defensive partnership of Oscar Barry and Ben Jevons impressed to give the hosts a foothold in the match. The Swifts started to have some notable chances near the end of the first half to equalise with Joe Hanson having a good chance at the back post from an excellent ball into the box by Lee Chilton in the 40th minute.
Daniel Munday also had a good chance to open up a two-goal lead for AFC Wulfrunians in the 42nd minute but shot over the bar from a promising position.
Stourport managed to equalise near the end of the first half which proved to be a crucial moment in the match. Ben Jevons scored from a brilliant header at the back post from a well worked corner to make it 1-1 in the 43rd minute. The hosts showed character to get back into the match and level the scores going into half time.
The second half began with a good chance for Ben Worthington for AFC Wulfrunians in the 46th minute with a shot from the right that was well saved by Jamie Emery. The pattern of the second half involved Stourport gradually growing into the match and the hosts started to build a bit of momentum and get on the ball more than they did in the first half.
The second half was a reverse of the first half with Stourport shading the balance of play in terms of chances and possession, but AFC Wulfrunians coping with it well to limit the clear-cut chances. The central defensive partnership of Bradley Maslen-Jones and Jack Rowley at the back for the visitors worked well and most of the balls into the box were well dealt with and cleared away.
The link up play from Stourport was a bit sharper in the final third than it was in the first half and Lee Chilton and Ben Tilbury showed moments of quality when linking up the play and building attacks. The only chance of note in front of goal for Stourport came in injury time when Lee Chilton flicked the ball towards goal which was instinctively saved by Tom Hayward late on.
Not long after the match finished 1-1 which was a fair result based on the balance of play. Both teams shaded one half of the match and cancelled each other out well to limit the chances in front of goal.
This was an interesting match between two teams that were well set up and showed moments of quality in possession. Both teams showed promise and had players that stood out.
The key player who impressed for Stourport was Ben Jevons who was excellent at the back and lead the team well. He was dominant in the air and constantly managed to head key balls away from danger and clear it when it mattered. Oscar Barry also impressed at the back and got into the right positions to make some key interceptions and break up promising AFC Wulfrunians attacks.
Jamie Emery did a good job in goal and made some crucial saves throughout the first half to keep the team in the match to get the equaliser. Lee Chilton offered the team a bit of quality on the ball and looked dangerous when putting balls into the box. Ben Tilbury looked good in the second half when he got a bit more of the ball and looked threatening when working the ball in the box. The Swifts played well in this match but just lacked that final ball in the final third.
AFC Wulfrunians also played well in this match and showed a lot of promise under new manager Carl Abbott which should be encouraging for Wulfs supporters. Jack Rowley looked really good at the back and got into the right positions to head the ball away from danger and clear it. Curtis Cocking played well from holding midfield and did a good job with breaking up the play and getting on the ball to help the visitors grow into the match.
Jack Sang really impressed on the left and offered a lot of attacking threat and pace for the visitors when building attacks. Daniel Munday also looked good as the number nine and was getting into some good positions around the box.
AFC Wulfrunians played well in this game and created some good chances in front of goal which is a positive. It’s just a case of being a bit more clinical in front of goal which will hopefully come with time.
FT Score: Stourport Swifts 1-1 AFC Wulfrunians
Man of the Match: Ben Jevons (Stourport Swifts)
Match report written by Rhys Beardmore for the Midland Football League
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