SUBSTITUTE Reuben Jerome lashed home a second half winner as Warrington Town recorded a second win in three days with a 1-0 triumph over Stourbridge.
It was a feisty encounter, delayed by the Yellows late arrival due to traffic problems on the M6, but an entertaining one at that as high-flying Stourbridge suffered their third straight defeat.
This was a game re-arranged from early January, when Stourbridge grabbed national headlines for their incredible run to the third round of the FA Cup.
The Yellows were out the block quick, particularly considering their arduous journey, and could have took the lead inside three minutes when Connor McCarthy fizzed a shot on the turn just wide.
McCarthy was certainly busy in the opening exchanges as both sides tried to assert their authority, and the on-loan Telford man twice had shots blocked, before Sean Williams’ loose shot was beaten away by the goalkeeper.
Williams was proving quite a threat from set pieces, though the Yellows were just not able to get on the end of them.
Stourbridge finally warmed in to the game from 20 minutes onwards, and a brilliant flick and turn from Kayelden Archer almost resulted in the opening goal, when his volley whistled wide of the far post.
Another set piece was the next source of threat for the Yellows, this time a low shot from James McCarten was spilled by the ‘keeper, but unfortunately for the visitors striker Daniel Hattersley had overrun the rebound.
The game was really being played at a fast paced and going from end to end, but settled down in the final quarter of an hour before half-time.
The only chance of note came when McCarthy got on the shoulder of a defender and then fired first time over the bar when perhaps he could have had another touch.
After the break, the game became a lot more niggly. Fouls on both sides had the 640-strong crowd up in arms for large parts, and the stop-start nature wasn’t conducive to the flowing football seen at times in the first half.
Michael Monaghan was the first to enter the referee’s notebook eight minutes in to the second half after pulling back Ethan Jones in an incident that drew an enraged response from the home dugout.
The Yellows should have took the lead shortly before the hour mark when Billy Smart got free of his man to finally get on the end of another excellent Williams set piece, heading over the bar when he should have done better.
Barely minutes later, Stourbridge came closest to breaking the deadlock when Kayelden Brown’s looping header at the back post left Tony McMillan motionless and came back off the far post.
Despite that, McMillan didn’t have an awful lot to do when it came to shot stopping, indeed the next chance came when Luke Benbow’s free kick fell wide.
Jerome entered proceedings in place of McCarthy on 68 minutes, and within five had made the desired impact.
McMillan’s goal kick was flicked on by Smart, turned round the corner by Monaghan and Jerome was through, and he lashed home confidently as the ‘keeper approached.
Naturally, the Yellows started to sit back and the home side pushed forward, cheered on by the vocal crowd.
A 20-yard free-kick dipped just over the bar, and though Stourbridge had plenty of balls going forward, they just couldn’t find the clear cut opening to break the Yellows resolve.
Paul Carden’s side held on for a very credible win, ahead of Saturday’s visit of Coalville.
Stourbridge: Gould, Green, Westlake, Tonks, Sho-Silva, Pierpoint, Jones (Canavan), Broadhurst, Benbow, Archer, Brown. Unused subs: Birch, Heath, Westwood, McPike.
Warrington Town: McMillan, Carden, Askew, Ventre, McCarten, Gumbs, Williams (Shaw), Smart, Hattersley, McCarthy (Jerome), Monaghan (Codling).
— Thomas Feaheny (@ThomasFeaheny) February 20, 2017
— Liam Watson (@LiamWatson15) February 20, 2017
— Paul H (@Officialpaulh) February 20, 2017
— indie (@indie007sandher) February 20, 2017