STOURBRIDGE clinched a home tie with Manchester-based Curzon Ashton in the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round following their slender 3-2 success over Sutton Coldfield Town this week — but it was close.

It took a last ditch penalty from spot-kick king Sean Geddes to seal the Glassboys passage following a real ding-dong battle.

Nathan Thompson had given Sutton the lead at half time, but Stourbridge stepped up the pace after half time before Ben Billingham turned the game.

Billingham levelled on 66 minutes when he bravely steered the ball home before getting clattered by goalkeeper Lee Evans for his pains.

But Billingham picked himself up and promptly fired his side ahead five minutes later from an expertly placed free kick.

Sutton delivered a late sting in the tail and looked to have taken the game to a replay when Lee Parsons levelled matters again with just four minutes left on the clock.

But in a dramatic stoppage time conclusion, former Halesowen player Scott Lycett handled and was sent off, enabling Geddes to net his eighth penalty of the term.

Glassboys boss Gary Hackett said: “The most important thing is that we won and we’ve got a home draw in the next round, that’s all you can ask for.

“I was pleased with certain areas of our play, but not so pleased with others. That’s been the story of our season so far.

“Curzon Ashton play in Evo-Stik Northern Division One North, which is a level below us, but they are unbeaten this season.

“We shall take the precaution of having them watched, but in the end, it’s down to how we perform”.

Hackett utilised his squad this week when they beat Midland Alliance high fliers Alvechurch 2-0 in the Birmingham Senior Cup courtesy of a couple of goals from Luke Benbow and Billingham.

Hackett gave run-outs to Andre Francis, George Washbourne, Ryan Rowe and Michael Briscoe.

He said: “People shouldn’t under-estimate these games, this was particularly hard and it was good to see some players finally getting 90 minutes under their belts”.

Stourbridge turn their attentions to Southern League Premier duty this Saturday when they entertain in-form Poole Town, who are currently unbeaten in the league this term.

Hackett is mindful his side need to remain among the front-runners and insisted: “It’s a game where we must step up to the mark.”