Alvechurch made six changes from the weekend defeat at home to Needham Market, including Matt Sargeant making his first appearance of the season in goal, Tom Turton making his first start since his return to Lye Meadow, and a debut for Dylan Barkers.
Alvechurch: Sargeant, Walker, Birch.M, Turton, Hull, Willets, Birch.J (Brown-Hill 64), Barkers, Wakeling, McLintock (Cassidy 90), Monteiro (Lloyd 57)
Subs not used: Chamberlain, Hamilton
Stourbridge: Price, Green, Brown.J, Fletcher, Morris, Riley, Knights, Deeney, Peniket (Nicholls 64), Brown.K (Landell 60), Mills (May 29)
Subs not used: Bustin, Birch
Church dug deep to register a valuable point on the road after two successive 1-2 league defeats in a run of three successive defeats in all competitions.
The game was characterised by a crowded midfield, which was proving to be especially challenging for Church who were finding it frustratingly difficult to move the ball forward with any fluidity
The game will not be long remembered, and indeed the first half trundled along shapeless for long periods, with neither side finding enough quality to make the all-important breakthrough.
The home side were the only one’s to seriously test the resolve of the opponents’ final line of defence during the major part of the first half. Stourbridge tested Sargeant on three occasions in relatively quick succession in the middle part of the half. Deeney drives over from 20 yards in the 20th minute for the first attempt on goal of the game, and a minute later Sargeant saved a near post angled ashot to concede a corner. On 24 minutes the Church keeper palmed away another on target effort from just outside the box, and on 35 minutes Fletcher fed Knights and the Stourbridge man tested Sargeant from just outside the box but found the Church man again equal to the task.
For all this flurry of activity, Church could have sneaked a half time lead in the dying embers of the half when with their first serious threat on the Stourbridge goal, when a Tom Turton free kick taken from a yard outside the box was curled on target, forcing a fine save from Price, gathering the ball low to his left to deny any chance of a goal.
Half Time: Stourbridge 0 Alvechurch 0
It was better from both sides in the second period as the game opened up more. A flurry of substitutions helped change the sterility of the game, and both sides traded chances in a more frenetic 15-20 minute spell midway through the half.
On 67 minutes May got to the by-line to deliver a flashing cross that fell to Fletcher in the far post area, and he blazed over from just inside the box with a clear sight of goal.
Two clear cut chances for Church followed, both falling to Wakeling after being out through on goal by clever through balls.
On 72 the Church front man found himself on the edge of the box face to face with Price, but his attempt to nick the ball into the space behind the keeper failed as the Stourbridge man got a vital block. And then a minute later Wakeling was again one on one with Price, but the Church man’s angled effort on goal was again blocked by the Stourbridge keeper.
Best chance for the home side came on 76 minutes when Fletcher slammed the ball against the Church bar from 20 yards as the defence struggled to clear their lines, but goalless it was meant to be.