Promotion hopes put to test on New Year
Stourbridge will hope a dramatic end to 2019 will serve their promotion push well at the start of 2020.
The Glassboys ended the calendar year by coming from behind to beat Southern Central Premier play-off rivals Biggleswade Town 2-1 thanks to an 86th-minute bicycle kick from Andre Landell.
That gave them back-to-back wins in the space of three days, having also beaten Redditch United on Boxing Day, to keep them right in the mix for the top five – despite holding as many as five games in hand over the teams above them.
They open 2020 with a short trip to second-placed Bromsgrove Sporting tomorrow (3pm) – with a big crowd and a cracking New Year’s Day atmosphere expected. “We went down there in the FA Cup and won – and we took about 400 supporters to the game,” said boss Ian Long, whose side are eight points behind tomorrow’s hosts, but have five games in hand. “I hope there will be a good crowd there again and they give us the same backing they did in the FA Cup.
“We are expecting a really tough tough game, but we are looking forward to it.
“If we can take something from the Bromsgrove game then it will stand us in good stead with the games in hand we’ve got.”
Reflecting on a Christmas return of six points from a possible six, Long added: “It was important we took a good points haul – the Biggleswade game was like playing on a big cow pat, but I think we deserved it over the 90 minutes.
“Fair play to the lads – they have come from behind and shown good character again.”
Elsewhere in the Southern Central Premier tomorrow, Rushall Olympic will hope to enhance their own play-off ambitions when they visit Stratford Town, while Hednesford Town host leaders Tamworth at Keys Park.
Teenage midfielder Mitchell Glover goes into the squad for the match after signing from Stratford.
Halesowen Town host Bedworth United in Southern One Central. The Yeltz are seven points behind leaders Corby Town with three games in hand.
Stafford Rangers will attempt to claw themselves away from the foot of the Northern Premier when they host Mickleover Sports, while Chasetown will hope to ease their own relegation worries when they take on Loughborough Dynamo at the Scholars Ground.
Kidderminster Harriers visit Hereford in National League North. They start the match 15th, a point ahead of the Bulls.