Match preview of the Dabbers play their final game of the regular season as they face Stourbridge.
The Dabbers head into their final game of the regular season knowing they will face at least one more game after they secured a top 5 spot on Thursday. They head to Stourbridge playing for position in the Play Offs, with a win potentially taking them as high as 3rd. With this being the 3rd meeting of the season between the 2 clubs this season, and coupled with the frequent battles between the 2 last season, there is a real sense of familiarity about this fixture. We preview the Dabbers visit to the War Memorial Ground:
Stourbridge v Nantwich Town
Northern Premier League, Premier Division
The War Memorial Ground, Saturday 22nd April, 3:00pm kick off
Entry Prices: Adults £10, Senior Citizens (65 and over) £7, 17-18 year olds £7, 11-16 year olds £3, Under 11s FREE
Departure Time – 11:30am
Prices – Adults £15, U16s £10
A look at the Opposition
The Manager – Gary Hackett
Stourbridge are managed by Gary Hackett. Hackett has been in charge of the Glassboys for well over a decade, first stepping into the management role with the club back in 2003, initially in a joint role. He took sole charge of the team in 2005 and has been there ever since.
Stourbridge have been perennial play off challengers in recent years, although they missed out in the 2 years since switching to the NPL. They have however confirmed their spot in the play offs after a strong 2nd half to the season saw them rise into the top 5. They confirmed their place with a 2-0 win over Rushall Olympic last weekend.
Stour have hit the headlines this season after making it all the way to the 3rd Round Proper. They eliminated the Dabbers in the final qualifying round and made it past higher level opponents in Whitehawk and Northampton before losing to Wycombe Wanderers.
Their home form has been their strength this season, with them picking up 13 of their 24 league wins on their own patch. They also beat both Whitehawk and Northampton at home in the cup, so know how to raise their game for big occasions.
The Stadium – The War Memorial Athletic Ground
Stourbridge play their home games at the War Memorial Ground in the town. They share the surface with the local cricket club. The main stand is all seated and split into 3 sections. At either end are open terracing where supporters can stand. In the middle section, there is a small amount of seats and a number of benches. This is where the clubs seating capacity is located.
To the left of the main stand is covered stepped terrace. At the opposite end is a flat standing area where the club house and changing rooms are located. The fourth side backs onto the cricket pitch and is fenced off, with no standing room.
One To Watch – Luke Benbow
Stourbridge have a balanced team, but their leading man is undoubtedly Luke Benbow. The striker has been a consistent goalscorer at this level for many years, but this year he has elevated his performance to another level. He has 30 goals in the league this season and looks well on course to secure the golden boot award.
He has already netted in both the previous 2 encounters against the Dabbers and will be looking to add to his already impressive total in this game.
Nantwich Town 1-3 Stourbridge, FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round, Saturday 15th October 2016
The 2 sides met for the 2nd time this season in the cup back in October. With a place in the 1st round proper on the line, Stourbridge started the brightest and raced into a 3 goal lead. The Dabbers were awarded a spot kick and Josh Hancock converted to give the home side hope, but Sam Hall was sent off for a 2nd bookable offence immediately afterwards, which killed off any hope of a comeback.
View from the Dressing Room
Phil Parkinson spoke following the game with Halesowen about the trip to Stourbridge: “We want to finish as high as we can. We’re going to Stourbridge to try to win the game, we’re not going to play mind games. We’re going to go and assert ourselves in the proper way. We’ve had some really good games against Stourbridge. We have a mutual respect for each other, the way we go about our business.
They’ve done their homework, but we’ve done our homework on them and I’m sure both teams will want to win the game, they won’t want to give much away. To be perfectly honest and frank, there isn’t much we don’t know about them and there isn’t much they don’t know about us. It’ll just be about which group of players wants to win the game on the day.”« Back to all news