Stafford Town 7 Stone Old Alleynians 3

Tuesday 18th October 2011
Stafford Town 7 Stone Old Alleynians 3 (aet)
J. W. Hunt Cup First Round
At: Evans Park
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Admission: £4; Programme: £1
Attendance: 60 (headcount)
Weather: cold, dry
Duration: first-half: 45:31; second-half: 49:51
Extra time (15): first-period: 15:58; second-period: 15:06

A lot for the admission money at Evans Park this evening – a local derby, extra time and ten goals with six scored by Stafford Town’s Sam Agar in a come-from behind victory for the Reds. Visitors Stone Old Alleynians took the lead on three occasions during the 90 minutes and each time Stafford Town got back on level terms through striker Sam Agar. Town raced ahead in extra time with four unanswered goals including three more from Agar and another scored by Craig Hulme.

Tonight was a first for me – the first time I have seen a J. W. Hunt Cup tie! The compeition was named in memory of John William Hunt, the founder of the Chillington Tool Company, who died in 1925. The Molineux Hotel in Wolverhampton hosted the inaugural Hunt Cup meeting when the cup was presented by members of the Hunt family. Short Heath United and Cannon Iron contested the first final at Molineux during the 1926/27 season, won 2-0 by Short Heath. It is a charity competition to raise funds for the sole benefit of the local blind. Stafford Town reached the final in 2010 and this season 32 teams have entered the competition.

Following Saturday 3-2 home win over Cradley Town, Stafford Town (17 points from 11 games) went into this tie in ninth position in the West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division table. Stone Old Alleynians (18 points from 9 games) are also enjoying a good season in WM(R)L Division One and moved up to fifth position with a 2-1 win at Shenstone Pathfinder on Saturday.

On the coldest football night of the season so far, and the first one requiring a coat, Stafford Town (in all red) got the game underway attacking the cricket ground end in the first half.

While both sides created chances, Alleynians keeper Richard Stone was the busier with saves from Tom Smith and a couple to deny Sam Agar.

Alleynians (in black and white striped shirts, black shorts and socks) had red numbers on the back of their shirts – so the help identify players I needed to note that: ‘9 lime green boots and gloves’, ‘2 orange boot heel, cream boots’, '4 captain’, ‘10 tall wearing gloves’, ‘8 sky blue boots’.

The visitors took the lead in the 42nd minute. Daryll Johns broke into the area down the left and got past advancing keeper Andy Heal who got tangled up with his own defender. Johns fired home from a narrow angle and claimed the goal even though defender Jordan Bloor and striker Matthew Wood could have got a touch on the line.

Town equalised in the 58th minute. Smith was brought down by Ben Henderson and Agar hammered home the free-kick from 25 yards out.

However, Alleynians regained the lead in the 68th minute with Johns on target again. James Cresswell burst into the area from the right and fired a low ball towards goal which Johns turned over the line at close range.

Scores were again level within 103 seconds. Agar latched onto a defence-splitting throughball which the visitors appealing for offside and slotted home at close range.

The goal rush continued three minutes later in spectacular fashion. Wood hit a dipping volley from the edge of the area over the leaping Heal and under the bar to put Alleynians ahead for the third time.

Town, keen to avoid an upset on their own turf, equalised for a third time in the 81st minute. Agar got on the end of a long ball down the middle and lifted it over keeper Richard Stone to complete his hat-trick.

Some 5½ minutes of stoppage time failed to produce a winner so extra time.

Stone got the extra 30 minutes underway attacking the south end of Evans Park. But it was Stafford who took the lead for the first time in first period stoppage time. Morgan Hurley cut in from the left, got past defender Adam Cunningham and fed Agar who sidefooted home at close range.

Now attacking the south end, Town extended their lead in the 108th minute. Agar fed Bloor who embarked on a run to the edge of the area before returning the ball for Agar to round Stone and slot into an empty net – now 5-3 to Stafford.

Alleynians weren’t down and Cresswell forced a good block out of Heal and Wood fired over after the loose ball wasn’t cleared.

Agar rounded off a memorable performance with his sixth goal of the night and 22nd goal for Town since joining Town earlier in the season. He exchanged passes with substitute Matt Buckham before firing home at close range past keeper Stone.

A seventh Town goal in the 118th minute rounded off the evening’s entertainment. Mat Dockerty fed Craig Hulme who fired home low from the edge of the area.

Town go into the hat for the second round draw along with Brocton who defeated Wolverhampton Sporting 4-1 at the nearby Old Police Sports Ground.

0-1 Daryll Johns (42)
1-1 Sam Agar (58)
1-2 Daryll Johns (68)
2-2 Sam Agar (69)
2-3 Matthew Wood (72)
3-3 Sam Agar (81)
4-3 Sam Agar (105+1)
5-3 Sam Agar (108)
6-3 Sam Agar (116)
7-3 Craig Hulme (118)