Benbow's return boosts Glassboys

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STOURBRIDGE boss Gary Hackett thinks the return of striker Luke Benbow will give his side a massive boost as they look to continue their good start to the season.

Benbow came off the bench against Rushall Olympic on Monday night and is now ready to fight for his place in the side after a lay-off with injury.

Hackett said: "It's great to have Luke Benbow back. When he is fit, he is a match-winner for us.

"He missed the start of the season because we chose not to rush him back. We are hopeful he is now fully recovered from his injury because he could be the difference in a lot of games as the season goes on."

Benbow was unlucky not to make it a goalscoring return when he saw his shot deflect onto the bar in the closing stages of a hard-fought contest against Rushall.

The Glassboys reacted to last Saturday's first loss of the campaign away at King's Lynn by putting in a better display against Rushall at Amblecote.

However, in proved to be a frustrating night for Stourbridge as ten-man Rushall's defensive display held them at bay.

The Glassboys couldn't break the deadlock despite creating a number of chances and having the majority of the play, particularly after Olympic's Carl Parmer was shown a second half red card.

Stour started the stronger of the two sides and created a host of early chances.

The powerful running of Kayelden Brown and Brian Smikle caused Rushall problems from the off.

Brown blazed over after a strong run on the seven minute mark and then wasted perhaps the best chance of the game just three minutes later when Sean Geddes' ball found its way to him just six yards out at the far post.

Towards the end of the first period it was Stour keeper Dean Coleman that was called into action to make sure the scores stayed level.

He tipped a powerful Mark Danks drive from the edge of the area onto the bar after 37 minutes.

The second half saw the Glassboys again on top for long periods as they pushed forward looking to open the scoring.

Their attempts to dominate were made easier when Palmer was given his marching orders just before the hour mark.

He reacted after Stourbridge captain Sean Geddes caught him on the back of the leg as he looked to shield the ball out of play in the corner. The ref had no hesitation to produce the red card after Palmer quickly got to his feet and grabbed the skipper in a headlock.

The Glassboys then pushed forward but were left frustrated as the Rushall defence came out on top.

They limited the hosts to half chances and dealt well with a number of crosses from out wide.

"Rushall was frustrating because we could have been three or four up at half time," said Hackett. "However, you have to praise their defence for the way they dealt with the pressure we put them under.

"That can happen against ten men and we should have been more clinical at times.

"We were below par against King's Lynn so it was a pleasing reaction against Rushall. Even though we didn't win we got our first clean sheet of the season."

The Glassboys will now travel to Workington on Saturday before welcoming Nantwich to the War Memorial Ground on Tuesday night.

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