The harshest of scorelines didn’t’ reflect The Lockmen’s part in this game as they dominated the opening fifteen minutes of each half yet still went down to this heavy defeat.
Jake Morgan was crowded out on eight minutes before Ryan Dillon flashed inches wide from 25 yards on 14 minutes before a dangerous free-kick into the home box was cleared on 16 minutes. However, sixty seconds later a clearly offside Craig Edmunds headed home unmarked after a cross in from the right. Two minutes later a cross swung out of play, Edmunds headed back across goal and though debut keeper Connor James kept out the first effort from point blank range, Bradley Cox netted the loose ball. On 28 minutes The Reds should have had a penalty but instead of a spotkick after home keeper Josh Rogers brought Jake Sharman down they broke and instead Chris Knight made it 3-0 as the home team broke and he stepped inside his marker before curling a good effort around the keeper. Morgan was denied again for The Lockmen on 33 before Cox missed an open goal from a yard out for Team Dudley.
Ryan O’Brien forced the first save of the second half for Willenhall which the keeper gathered at the second attempt before James made a superb save to deny a dipping curling effort from Cox. With twenty minutes left the home keeper spilt a Sharman free-kick and they then looked to be back in the game when the same player rifled home a loose ball two minutes later after a half clearance. However, any licker of flames in the embers of a fight back were extinguished when the official ignored a blatant push on sub Connor Clifton in the penalty box but seconds later saw a penalty after the same player appeared to win a tackle in the box. Knight slotted home the spot-kick. Former Lockman Jack Stafford then hit the inside of the post with his first touch on 82 minutes before Knight headed home a cross a minute later. James made a couple of fine late saves before Sharman and Dillon both went close at the other end. Stafford netted a minute into stoppage time when a quickly taken throw-in, wrongly awarded to Dudley was worked quicklty to the opposite side of the pitch and he was able to fire home before he hit an absolute scresamer two minutes later, controlling a long ball right to left before he cut back inside and bent a curling effort right into the far top corner.