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Richards pounces late to break St Neots
10:53pm Tuesday 20th August 2013 in Football
by Nick Pullen
Stourbridge 2, St Neots Town 1
SUPER-SUB Will Richards snatched a dramatic last gasp winner to give the Glassboys a maximum points start to the season.
Richards - who replaced Ryan Rowe deep into second half exchanges - netted a lovely looping header with just seconds remaining.
By that stage, it seemed a 1-1 draw was inevitable when Richards rose unchallenged deep into stoppage time to connect with skipper Leon Broadhurst's right wing cross and bury the ball beyond the reach of St Neots' despairing goalkeeper Danny Heath.
Stourbridge had taken a 28th minute lead through busy Ben Billingham, who left fly with a first time shot that flew into the corner of the net.
It was during this period that Stourbridge should have built a bigger lead.
Twice Luke Benbow turned St Neots central defender Adrian Steer inside out before creating two clear-cut openings, but on both occasions Heath was able to save.
Broadhurst then had a shot stopped on the line by Heath on 24 minutes.
Six minutes earlier, Heath was hopelessly beaten by a thunderous 30 yard drive by Stourbridge talisman Sean Geddes, but the shot thumped against the outside of the post and went clear.
Then right on the stroke of half time, St Neots underlined they were far from out of the game when Ed Adjel was put in the clear, but alert goalkeeper Dean Coleman raced off his line and bravely beat the ball away at the striker's feet.
From the resulting corner, Coleman then kept out a goalbound shot from Joe Benjamin.
The warning wasn't heeded and St Neots duly levelled on 53 minutes, Ryan Sharman smartly flicking home Hilliard's hard driven corner which gave Coleman no chance.
Stourbridge then squandered two glorious chances to put the game out of sight.
Rowe somehow headed wide of an open goal following a defence-splitting cross from Billingham.
Then central defender Henry Eze thumped a long range clearence, which saw Benbow wriggle free with only Heath to beat - but the striker only blazed hopelessly wide.
St Neots always posed a threat on the break, which they did at speed and Stourbridge appeared to have run out of ideas when Richards pounced for his stunning late winner. It was certainly a case of two points saved!
Stourbridge: Coleman; Francis (Lloyd 34), Drake, Eze, Geddes, Nathan Bennett, Fitzpatrick (Washbourne 68), Broadhurst, Benbow, Billingham, Rowe (Richards 75). sub not used Canavan Man of the match: Sean Geddes Attendance 447
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