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Heartbreak for Stourbridge FC after play-off final loss - Report and pictures

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[gallery] There were tears as Stourbridge fell at the final hurdle in their quest for National League football with a 1-0 play-off final defeat at Spennymoor.

The Glassboys had flattered to deceive in the final third until the last knockings when Luke Benbow and then Kennedy Digie forced top-class saves from home keeper Dan Lowson, writes Andy Mitchell.

But there could be no denying the hosts deserved to win with inspirational Stour stopper Matt Gould thwarting striker Glen Taylor time and again.

Visiting boss Gary Hackett made one change from the XI that started the extra-time victory over Nantwich Town in Monday's semi-final with Kayelden Brown replacing Shrewsbury Town loanee Ethan Jones.

Town utilised the slope well during the opening exchanges, pressurising Stourbridge without mustering any clear-cut chances.

Giant defender James Curtis thumped wide with a far-post header before Taylor's shot on the swivel from a driven low Andrew Johnson centre curled over the near angle of post and bar.

Spennymoor continued to impose themselves with Taylor found on the edge of the box to cut inside and fire a low bobbling shot narrowly wide after 18 minutes.

The pressure built and Taylor continued to cause problems, forcing a first save from Gould with a crisp effort across goal having cut back on to his left foot with his header from the corner that followed flicked over as Stour started to creak.

It came as no surprise when the hosts finally went in front with a sublime effort from Robbie Ramshaw, who allowed a low ball down the left to roll across him before steering around the exposed Gould from the corner of the box, despite the visitors appealing for a handball in the build up.

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The onslaught abated for a while and Stourbridge had their first shot from the kick-off of the second half but Luke Benbow's cheeky effort was well off target.

A high ball almost gave Stour the break they craved with Jordan Archer challenging Lowson and the loose ball broke for Benbow to loft a bicycle kick narrowly wide of the far post.

Tonks then drove over from the edge of the box as the match opened up with Shane Henry seizing upon an error by Stuart Pierpoint to blast wide at the other end.

Benbow and Tonks had efforts blocked just past the hour and Stour forced a series of corners during their best spell of the game before Gould produced more heroics to swat away a Taylor header from Henry's cross with 12 minutes left.

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Gould then somehow parried Taylor's header from three yards with Stour's efforts going forward summed up by their first shot on target, a tame 25-yard effort by Darryl Westlake that trickled harmlessly into Lowson's arms.

But home hearts were in mouths when Benbow's fierce free-kick was pushed around the post and in the chaos from the corner, Digie's close-range blast was turned around the upright by another classy Lowson stop.

Gould went up for one late surge but resolute Spennymoor hacked clear and that was that.

Teams

Spennymoor: Lowson, Griffiths, Mason, Chandler, Tait, Curtis, Ramshaw, Henry, Taylor, Armstrong (Dowson, 62), Johnson (Anderson, 86). Unused subs: Baldwin, Watson, Fisher.

Stourbridge: Gould, Preston (Jones, 59), Westlake, Tonks, Digie, Pierpoint, Dodd (Canavan, 84), Broadhurst, Benbow, Brown (Birch, 78), Archer. Unused subs: Green, Jeavons.

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