Stourbridge 1, Halesowen 0

HOLDERS Stourbridge booked their place in the semi-final of the Birmingham Senior Cup with a narrow victory over rivals Halesowen Town.

The Glassboys maintained their defence of the cup as they secured a 1-0 win thanks Luke Benbow’s only goal of the game.

Stour were quickly onto the front foot in the derby and worked a couple of early efforts as Aaron Hayden headed a corner wide before Greg Mills curled a shot just over the bar.

A third effort arrived on five minutes as Luke Benbow blazed over Platt’s bar from a narrow angle after another move down the left flank.

They came even closer to opening the scoring on 10 minutes after Thompson-Brown robbed Enock Ekongo but saw his shot pushed out by Platt. Benbow pounced on the rebound but was denied by a brilliant block from Jack Rea.

The Yeltz settled into the clash after 15 minutes and enjoyed more possession for the first time after that early pressure from the Glassboys.

They worked their first effort on 19 minutes as Andre Wright fired a free-kick well over from 25 yards.

The contest quickly became an even affair after that early flurry and chances soon dried up.

Stour finally started to have more joy on the half hour mark as Platt had to deny Benbow from close range after he’d crept in at the near post.

Darryl Westlake then dragged another effort wide after a neat run down right channel as the game remain goalless.

Stour finally broke the deadlock on 36 minutes when Mills found an unmarked Benbow in the area. The forward chested down the cross and provided the finish beyond Platt.

In contrast, the Yeltz just couldn’t find a way to test Maher before the break as their rare moves forward soon broke down.

The second half remained a flat affair and followed a similar pattern for the Yeltz as any build-up play the visitors did muster again faltered too easily.

Stour looked content to just manage their narrow advantage early on as both goalkeepers remained untroubled.

When the next chance did arrive it came from the home side on 57 minutes as Benbow tested Platt with a dipping free-kick from the left angle of the penalty area. Bilal Yafai headed the resulting corner over the bar.

Still it was Stour that did the pressing as Benbow’s low effort was gathered by Platt after good work down the right flank by Brad Birch.

Halesowen still couldn’t find a way to test Maher as Ekongo blazed over from range as the clash entered the final 15 minutes.

Stour nearly sealed it on 77 minutes but Ekongo got back in time to prevent Benbow getting his shot away after he’d been freed in area.

While Stour couldn’t but the game to bed, Hales still couldn’t trouble Maher as the contest petered out in the closing stages.

Stourbridge: Maher, Hayden, Brown, Westlake, Pierpoint (c), Birch, Powell (Anderson 61), Yafai (Broadhurst 78), Benbow (Christophorou 84), Thompson-Brown, Mills.

Unused subs: McCone, Forde.

Halesowen: Platt, Ekongo, Weir, Mendez-Jones, Morris, Murphy, Rea (c), Akubuine (Lawton 66), Wright, Hughes (Kelly 66), Gilpin (Dallow 81).

Unused subs: Wheatley, Ward.

Att: 495.