STOURBRIDGE’s killer instinct proved decisive in a chance-laden 3-2 victory at Evesham United in the Southern League Cup.

The much-changed Glassboys might have had one eye on Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Kidderminster Harriers but played their part in an engaging end-to-end contest.

Second-choice keeper Niall Maher grabbed the attention with more than his fair share of saves but in truth it was profligacy that cost Evesham, particularly in the first half.

AS IT HAPPENED | Evesham 2 Stourbridge 3

After an evenly-matched opening 10 minutes, the visitors gradually imposed themselves with livewire Chekaine Steele and Thomas Edmonds-Hill denied in a penalty-box scramble.

Stourbridge took the lead a minute later with Daryl Westlake ghosting into the box from right-back to tuck calmly tuck past keeper Harvey Rivers.

That seemed to spark Evesham into life with James Campbell’s close-range header helped on its way by strike partner Sean Brain only for Louis Hall to clear off the line.

The Robins kept flying down the flanks with Tyrone Tucker-Dixon a constant menace but Campbell was denied by Maher's stray glove and then saw three more presentable openings go to waste before the break.

A flurry of Evesham corners came to nothing immediately after the restart but the pendulum soon swung with half-time substitute Ikouara Rydhel-Junior shining out wide for Stourbridge.

The youngster rode a sliding challenge by Liam Harding with defensive partner Will Wellon deflecting his wild and wide shot into his own side netting.

Rydhel-Junior’s inexperience gifted Evesham the break which saw Nick Hancock find Brain to clear the crossbar from close range.

But the leveller was not far away with a perfectly-weighted ball from deep allowing Marley Thomas to steam down the left and confidently curl around the exposed Maher.

Back came Stourbridge straight away with Benbow firing wide of the near post shortly before Jake Evans converted a corner from point-blank range to restore their lead.

The end-to-end nature prevailed with Joe Tumelty’s swerving effort from the edge of the box crashing down off the underside of the bar with Thomas somehow denied on the follow up by Maher.

Less than a minute after being thwarted, Evesham found themselves two behind with Westlake’s final contribution being a break down the right that allowed Benbow to steer inside the near post with 16 minutes to play.

United were not done, though, with Tucker-Dixon riding one challenge and spinning around the next from Paul McCone before diverting the ball inside Maher’s near post despite from six yards his surprise at emerging with possession just to the right of goal.

The anticipated grandstand finish never materialised with the only clear chance falling to Campbell who fired at Maher at the near post following more bright work from Tucker-Dixon.

Evesham: Rivers, Hancock, Davidge, Turley (Price, 75), Harding (Summers, 75), Wellon, Tucker-Dixon, Tumelty, Brain, Campbell, Thomas. Unused sub: Tunnicliff.

Stourbridge: Maher, Edmonds-Hill (Rydhel-Junior, h-t), Hall, Christophorou, Westlake (McCone, 75), Pierpoint, Attoumani, Evans, Benbow, Steele, Mills (Birch, 80). Unused subs: Broadhurst, Hawk (g/k).

Attendance: 96.