Stourbridge 8 Banbury United 1
Banbury in defensive horror show at Amblecote, conceding eight goals in a league game for the first time since November 1983
Any hopes Banbury might have had that Saturday's victory over Chippenham signalled the start of a revival were dismissed ruthlessly tonight by one of the division's promotion favourites, as Stourbridge hit eight goals.
United got off to the worst of starts when poor defending allowed Drew Canavan to fire home from the edge of the area after just two minutes. This set the tone for the evening with the Banbury defence already looking very vulnerable.
There was a chance for Ricky Johnson on 17 minutes when he picked up a poor clearance and managed to bring the ball down to the edge of the Stourbridge penalty area but the opportunity was wasted as his shot went wide.
Just three minutes later and United were 2-0 down when a long range effort from Sean Geddes found the bottom right hand corner of Tom Cross's net.
The 32nd minute saw a Stourbridge free kick from the left pumped into a crowded penalty area and though Jack Ashton got this head to the ball, he only succeeded in deflecting it past Cross to make it 3-0.
Stourbridge were now rampant against a Banbury defence that were now all over the place and it took a couple of good saves by Cross to keep the score to 3-0 at half time.
The second half didn't begin any better for Banbury. Cross had to be sharp to come out and dive at the feet of a Stourbridge forward after just seconds to deny the home side but they only had a further few seconds to wait to make it 4-0 through Sam Rock. Paul McCone then scored for Stourbridge on 58 minutes to make it 5-0.
United pulled a goal back on 74 minutes. They were awarded a free kick in a central position, a few yards outside the penalty area. Brazilian substitute Igor Coronado stepped up and superbly struck the ball into the top right hand corner of Lewis Solly's net.
Conceding a goal seemed to wake Stourbridge up as Sam Rock waltzed through the United defence to make it 6-1 less than 90 seconds after Banbury had scored. Two minutes later Stuart Hendrie had scored a seventh for Stourbridge and then Rock completed his hat-trick in the 82nd minute, Stourbridge's third goal in the space of six minutes.
The final couple of minutes of the game finally saw some action in the Stourbridge penalty area. Substitute Adam Fry had a good effort on goal which brought out a superb save from Solly at the expense of a corner and then from the resultant flag-kick, the keeper did exceptionally well to tip a header from Ricky Johnson over the bar.
It was remarkable that the exact same starting eleven that had shown so much promise in beating Chippenham on Saturday should produce such a shambles of a performance. The only consolation for United is that they do not now have a game until Saturday week and hopefully there is time to bring some more experienced players at this level of football into the side and time to work on gelling the side together in training sessions.
Stourbridge: Lewis Solly, Sam Rock, Sam Smith, Paul McCone, Sean Geddes (Stuart Hendrie 66), Nathan Bennett, Jamie Oliver, Leon Broadhurst (Tom Turton 59), Luke Benbow (Aaron Griffiths 75), Ben Billingham, Drew Canavan. Subs (not used): Paul Lloyd, James Dyson.
Banbury United: Tom Cross, Luke Cray, Ryan Howell, Warren Plowright (Eric Kusi 67), Jack Ashton (Adam Fry 46), James Sage, Ben Polk, Dan Lawlor, Ricky Johnson, Aaron Woodley (Igor Coronado 37), Adeyinka Talabi. Subs (not used): Queson Lunzitisa, Conor Collins.