Stourbridge 5, Rushall Olympic 0

STOURBRIDGE started the New Year in style with a resounding 5-0 win over a woeful Rushall Olympic side who were still busy handing out Christmas gifts, writes Nick Pullen.

Although the result looks resounding on paper, Rushall somehow contrived to hand Stourbridge their first four goals on a plate.

A drab first half hour was suddenly brought to life when Rushall central defender Aaron Brown slipped and let in loan signing Kaiman Anderson who calmly rounded goalkeeper Charlie Bannister to slot home.

There was some momentary doubt as the ball appeared to slip through the goal netting which led to referee Robbie Dadley checking the pegs before eventually awarding the goal.

Rushall continued to press the self destruct button when the hapless Brown then needlessly brought down Glassboys striker Luke Benbow in a crowded goalmouth when in full flow and long serving Leon Broadhurst stepped up to convert the resulting penalty after 39 minutes.

The second half was repeatedly punctuated by petty fouls. But from one such infringement, Stourbridge made it 3-0 on 53 minutes when Tom Tonks fired in a touchline free kick which evade everyone as it end up in the back of the net.

Apart from a single header from former Glassboys defender Joe Hull, Stourbridge goalkeeper Matt Gould was never threatened in the first hour.

But once Rushall had gone 3-0 down, they began to push forward with more purpose and forced Gould into a fabulous string of fine saves.

Gould was at his best when turning a 70th minute header from substitute Lewis Archer round the post for a corner, from which he dived full stretch to collect Josh Hawker's teasing cross.

But any prospects of a possible Rushall recovery were well and truly put to bed on 79 minutes with another gift wrapped goal as Matt Dodd's low driven cross again finished up in the back of the net as the hopeless Bannister appeared to be distracted by the presence of Josh Green.

Two minutes later, Stourbridge substitute Luke Shearer made it 5-0 with the best goal of the game, racing down the left flank before letting fly with a fabulous shot which whistled into the top corner of the net from 20 yards out.

Rushall went close on a couple of occasions in the closing stages through substitute Jordan Sangha, one of which was scooped over the crossbar from close range.

But the damage had been done and Stourbnridge should have really made it six in stoppage time when impressive young substitute Jake Evans picked out Benbow with a precision pass.

Benbow duly burst clear, but with only goalkeeper Bannister to beat, the prolific striker, for some reason tried to set up Shearer when he should have gone for goal himself and the chance was lost.

Stourbridge climb to 10th place as a result of this win but they'll never have an easier three points to collect thanks to Rushall's generosity.

Stourbridge: Gould. Christophorou, Westlake, McCone, Pierpoint, Tonks (Evans 82), Dodd, Broadhurst (Duggan 71), Benbow, Anderson (Shearer 75), Green. Subs not used: Cooke, Hawk.

Rushall Olympic: Bannister; Jones (Duke 45), Liburd, Whittall (Archer 67), Hull, Brown, Smikle, Hawker, Brodie, Butterfield (Sangha 45), Waldron. Subs not used: Webb, Wedderburn.

Referee: Robbie Dadley Attendance: 767