If you liked something once, you’re going to want more of it – right? How much that applies to us and Stourbridge is up to you. Twice we’ve been paired with the Glassboys in the FA Cup; the first tie being at their place in December 2011. It was followed up two years later at ours. On both occasions, we met in Round Two. So, two contrasting opinions on view then? For the Glassboys, it could be a potential shock that’d take them through to a big tie in Round Three. For us, what you might call one of the less arduous tasks in seeking a place in the third round.
We were both satisfied and unsatisfied by the draws in equal measure.
Stourbridge: The Facts
War Memorial Athletic Ground
High Street, Amblecote, Stourbridge, DY8 4HN
The Glassboys outlast Boro’ by exactly 100 years. Formed as Stourbridge Standard in 1876, they binned off the ‘Standard’ bit inside four years. The club also found a home in the Birmingham & District League; a competition they spent almost a century in. It wasn’t until 1971 when they got handed a place in the newly-expanded Southern League. As it goes, they were placed in Division One North alongside Stevenage Athletic for the start of the 1971-2 campaign.
So, the history of Stourbridge and Stevenage in footballing circles isn’t exactly a recent one.
Why do we know the Glassboys?
After Athletic went bust, the Glassboys continued on their merry way in the Southern League. In fairness, this is a side who had form with bedding into a competition and staying put. Mind you, their stay didn’t last as long as their time in the Brum & District League. In 2000, they went down into the Midland Alliance after a torrid season. Using this as a chance to sort themselves out, the club won the title twice inside three seasons – before returning to the Southern League in 2006.
Fine, so what – right? What does that have to do with us? It still put them two divisions below us. Well, they made their way back up to the Southern League Premier Division and grew in strength as the 2000s came to an end. The decade, that is. Not the century. We’re still in that. And this was important because their cup runs started going longer. In 2009-10, they reached the First Round proper for the first time. Two years later, they went one better and made it to the Second Round.
How to get to Stourbridge – Travel Information – Distance: 116 miles
There are a handful of variants on how you can travel to Stourbridge by car, but we’ll stick with the main one for the time being. For this, you will need to get yourself across to the northbound M1 using your preferred route. Once on the M1, continue northbound until the junction with the M6 and then bear left for Birmingham and the Midlands.
At Junction 3a of the M6, continue along the old path of the motorway into the heart of Birmingham. After more than 14 miles, exit the M6 onto the southbound M5 for more than 8.5 miles for the A456 exit at Junction 3. After leaving the M5, take the third exit at the roundabout for Kidderminster, Stourbridge and Halesowen. Going through four roundabouts, remain on the A456 for 5 miles.
When you reach the village of Hagley, turn right onto the A491 Stourbridge Road. After entering Stourbridge, turn left to stay on the A491 (New Road) and remain on this road for around 1 mile. At this point, the War Memorial Ground will be located on the left-hand side of the road along with a cricket pitch and opposite the Royal Oak pub.
You can of course alter the route by using the A1 and A14 to get to the M6, or leaving the M1 earlier along the Coventry-bound M45. Once at Coventry, head south towards Leamington Spa and join the M40. Continue onto the M42 and exit at Junction 1 for the Bromsgrove-bound A38. At the junction with the M5, take the second exit at the roundabout for the A491 Sandy Lane.
There is a small car park at the ground, but don’t count on using this in case it is busy or there is a permit scheme enforced. A car park at the Royal Oak may also be reserved for customers only. Otherwise, explore nearby street parking options if nothing else works.
Station: STOURBRIDGE TOWN
Services to: STOURBRIDGE JUNCTION (for BIRMINGHAM MOOR STREET)
From Stevenage, head to Peterborough and connect with a service for Birmingham New Street. Walk from New Street to Moor Street station for a service to Stourbridge Junction, and change again for Stourbridge Town.
Stourbridge Town station is less than 1 mile from the War Memorial Ground and will take around 20-25 minutes to complete the journey on foot. From the station, turn left and head north-west on Vauxhall Road towards Parkfield Road. Take the first left for Beeches Gardens and follow the road around to the right. Turn left onto Foster Street East and then right onto the A491 St John’s Road.
Continue along the A491 until you reach the ground on the left hand side.
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