SUBSTITUTE Joe Billingham landed the sucker punch two minutes into added time as 10-man Stourport Swifts sank Worcester City 2-1.

Lively winger Jack Downing, who hit the post early on, was sent off six minutes into the second half for his collision with a grounded Jamie Smith but Swifts led two minutes later when Mark Danks curled in for Nick MacPherson to glance across Sam Gilder from close range.

City huffed and puffed, hitting the crossbar through a Jamie Smith free-kick before Kyonn Evans forced in the rebound after Smith’s shot from the edge of the box had ricocheted into his path.

Worcester boss John Snape made his final change and tweaked the shape to put his side on the front foot but Stourport continued to show more purpose and stole the points when Chris Conway laid off Billingham to dart past Stoddart and lift over the exposed Gilder.

Sports reporter Andy Mitchell takes us through the talking points.


While the momentum shifted at different times, the one thing that did not alter was Stourport’s greater purpose.

Whether it was defending high balls, sliding into challenges or being brave enough to roll the dice in certain situations, Swifts had the gritty edge required in the heat of derby battle.

For that reason alone they could justify claiming to warrant all three points.


It was easy to spot which team had won four of its past five and which had won one in seven going into this one.

Many fans left disappointed and questioning City’s desire but to go that far would be harsh – even during that spell at 1-1 when the visitors looked likeliest to score next there was a lack of surety that comes with a bad run of form and it was telling in the final outcome.


Despite a sticky, heavy pitch Swifts opted to play more of a passing game with Drew Canavan City’s tormentor in chief.

So frequently picked out in space between the back line and midfield, his creativity opened doors for team-mates and pulled City’s centre-halves into uncomfortable positions.

The visitors went more direct and the three up top did not hassle their opponents enough, particularly when high balls were allowed to bounce during the first half.


While City did not perform to their best there were key moments that could have shifted the balance dramatically.

There were not too many complaints over the offside call that saw Worcester denied an 18th-minute opener but James Lemon appeared to be caught in the box during the build-up.

Had Smith’s free-kick floated in at 1-0 would the pressure have built sooner and eventually told?

For all the negatives in City’s performance, and there were a few, they were in with a shout of winning until added time.


City’s players remained on the pitch in a circle long after the final whistle.

The frustration, even anger over recent fortunes was evident but clearing minds will be as important as clearing the air in the coming weeks.


MIDLAND FOOTBALL LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION: Stourport Swifts 2 (MacPherson 53, Billingham 90+2) Worcester City 1 (Evans 73)

Swifts: Richards 7.5, Joe Hanson 6, Jim Hanson 6, Layton 7, M Hanson 6, Fulloway 6, Slevin 7, Danks 7 (Conway, 68, 6.5), MacPherson 7 (Billingham, 80, 7), Canavan 8, Downing 4. Unused subs: Vine, Platt, Grant.

City: Gilder 6, Caines 5, Smith 6, Forsyth 6, Stoddart 7, Horton 6.5, Withington 6, Attoumani 4.5 (Basford, 71, 6.5), Lemon 5.5 )Harrison, 58, 6), Evans 6, Baldwin 5 (Lawrence, 58, 5.5). Unused subs: Birley, Lockett.

Match rating: 6.

Referee: Jonathan Price, 6.

Attendance: 362.