Another late goal seals eighth defeat of the season.
There was a sad and cruel inevitability to yet another defeat for a Rams team which, while improving going forward, organisationally continues to demonstrate the resilience of an ice cube in the Sahara. Unless he is of the big strapping dominating type, the announcement of the signing this morning of yet another midfield player will leave most fans scratching their heads in confusion, when it is defence and in particular on the flanks that the problems exist. There is a lack of pace, positional awareness, ability to close down space, interact with the midfield or get forward ( and then back) in support of wide players. These are the failings that afflicted the team in the desperate closing months of last season and little or nothing has been done to correct them this.
And so it was on Tuesday. The Rams were the better team for the main part of the first half and, having equalised with 15 minutes left, looked the more likely team to go on and win. David Kuba-Kuba was outstanding throughout. He could easily have opened the scoring in the first couple of minutes but, having forced his way into the box, delayed a second too long in getting his shot away and was denied by a fine last-ditch tackle. Then, on 25 minutes, his weaving run and pass from the right released Sam Grimshaw whose vicious low cross would have reached Lee Gaskell at the far post except for the flying intervention of the keeper. The Rams were certainly worth a lead at half time but, once Stourbridge realised that there was a freedom free of danger to push up another 20 yards, the flow of the game changed. It took only three minutes of the second half for the visitors to gain the lead from a corner and then, for the next 30 minutes, they threatened to take the game completely away from the Rams, and would have done if not for Grant Shenton tipping a free kick onto the bar and then somehow deflecting the follow up back over it.
And then, on 75 minutes, The Rams’ fortunes appeared to change. Andy Dawson was fouled on the edge of the area and all Lewis Solley could do was palm out Max Harrop’s low free kick around the wall and into the path of Dawson who seemed to take an eternity to tap the ball in. Driven forward by Kuba-Kuba, the Rams pressed forward. His run down the right and cut-back could only be cleared back to Max Harrop. Harrop’s cross was met at the far post by Andy Fitzgerald but his sliding effort squirted across the face of the goal from the inside of the post. Then Solley at full length tipped a 30-yard shot from Alex Meaney onto the outside of the same post. But, as the referee announced five minutes added time, Stourbrdge broke forward and found Drew Canavan in as much space down the left as there was around the home drummer on the terraces. Canavan’s low shot found the bottom corner and piled more misery on team and fans alike.