Lancaster City 1-2 Stourbridge
Lancaster City crashed out of the FA Trophy after a narrow 2-1 defeat to Southern Premier Central side Stourbridge FC in the second qualifying round replay.
Rob Wilson’s second-half penalty cancelled out Anthony Dwyer’s early opener, but a sucker punch from Bradley Birch secured the victory for the visitors after Tom Turton’s dismissal.
After a cagey start to the game, the first chance fell to City – Kieran Feeney collected the ball on the right and cut onto his left foot, but his shot was put over the bar.
Just moments later, the visitors broke the deadlock.
Out of nowhere, Stourbridge forward Dwyer unleashed a rocket from 25-yards out which left City keeper Sam Ashton helpless.
The Dolly Blues looked to respond quickly when a lovely over-the-top ball from Niall Cowperthwaite was brought down expertly by Jack Armer, whose shot was well saved from Stourbridge keeper James Wren.
A long throw from Sam Bailey then caused havoc in the visitors’ box and the ball bobbled to David Norris but a brilliant block by the Stourbridge defender kept the away side in front.
Just after the half-hour mark a huge brawl broke out involving both dugouts after an off-the-ball incident.
Referee Tom Elliot halted the match for five minutes and consequently sent Stourbridge’s manager Ian Long and City manager Mark Fell to the stands.
Both teams were flying into challenges after the bust-up with Stourbridge’s Turton receiving his first yellow card for a late challenge on Wilson.
The Dollies could’ve been level going into half-time when an inviting ball in from Sam Bailey evaded a City player but a deflection off a Stourbridge defender nearly found the bottom corner.
The Glassboys came out of the blocks quickly in the second 45 with the threatening Dwyer having the first chance but he blazed a shot high and wide after good initial play from the number 10.
The visitors were in search of a second and it nearly came when a Will Grocott free-kick picked out Jordan Williams, but his glancing header was easily dealt with by Ashton.
Bradley Birch was next to try his luck but his long-range effort went wide.
This sparked City into life and a good spell of possession was rewarded with a penalty and Wilson made no mistake from the spot, equalising for Fell’s men.
However, seven minutes later Stourbridge substitute Andre Landell played a hopeful ball across the six-yard box which found Birch at the back post who made no mistake for the away side.
It then went from ecstasy to agony for the visitors when a cynical foul from Turton on Norris was enough for him to receive his second yellow as the Glassboys were down to 10-men for the remainder of the game.
Stourbridge were frustrating City as their robust backline limited the home side to minimal chances.
Substitute Paul Dawson made an impact for the Dollies when he came on. After moving the ball on to his left foot, he struck a fierce shot which looked like it was heading for the top corner, but it was deflected agonisingly wide.
In the dying embers of the game, a huge chance went begging for City – after a final push at the Stourbridge defence, Matty Williams turned his man in the 18-yard box but his outstretched shot flew over the crossbar.