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Stalybridge Celtic 0 Worcester City 2
8:12pm Sunday 10th February 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
THERE must be times when Worcester City wish they could play all of their games away from St George’s Lane.
During a period when Carl Heeley’s men are stuttering on home soil, they can do little wrong on their travels.
Having left Colwyn Bay and Droylsden with comfortable victories last month, City repeated the feat at Stalybridge Celtic.
As on both those occasions, they were the dominant force for most of a feisty contest at Bower Fold and ran out deserved winners.
The only difference was that it took them until the 81st minute for Danny Glover to break the deadlock with his fifth goal in four games.
Mike Symons, an earlier replacement for Michael Taylor, made the points safe three minutes later with his first goal since the defeat at Chester on December 1.
Watching City produce such performances and subsequently results must be so frustrating for Heeley and his assistant Matt Gardiner.
They must wonder how the same group of players can look so composed on the road yet look like relative strangers at the Lane.
As if to prove the point, Worcester have now won more games away from home than they have in front of their own supporters.
This display was as good as at Droylsden a little under a fortnight ago and against significantly better opposition as well.
It was full of hard work, neat passing, sound defending and good finishing.
City forged the better openings in the first-half, when Lee Ayres planted a header against the bar and Charlie Reece had an effort cleared off the line, and made the most of their chances in the second.
Glyn Thompson was not a spectator either, the keeper being kept on his toes by Jack Laird in the first period and substitute Corey Gregory after the break.
Tom Thorley, who had a second-half free-kick well saved by Alex Cairns, was excellent in midfield, while defensively the visitors stood firm for another clean sheet.
In Glover, they also have a man bang in form.
The striker netted for the 10th time this season and it was arguably his best yet.
Picked out by sub Matt Breeze’s long ball forward, he let the ball drop over his shoulder before smashing it left-footed beyond Cairns.
Symons’ goal may have been in contrast, tucked home from close range following Thorley’s inviting right-wing cross, but it was no less important.
City’s leading scorer had not hit the target for more than two months and this could be just what he needed to get himself going again.
Now all that remains is for Worcester to do the same at the Lane when Solihull Moors visit tonight.