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11 Aug 2018 CPL Halesowen Town 1-0 Lowestoft Town PDF Print E-mail

Evo-Stik League South - Premier Division Central - Saturday, 11th August 2018
Halesowen Town 1 Lowestoft Town 0
A late Lee Hughes penalty snatched a confidence-building victory for Halesowen on the opening day of the new Premier Division Central season, writes David Johnson. But the result was harsh on a youthful Lowestoft team who created the better chances and were only denied by three splendid second-half saves from home goalkeeper Dan Platt.

As the curtain lifted on the new season, an early 4th minute corner from Jack Kelly was cleared and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake laid the ball off for Ivor Lawton to curl wide in the 14th minute of the first ever meeting between the clubs. Kelly's 25th minute throw-in was then headed into the arms of goalkeeper Elvijs Putnins by Ahmed Ali and Ebanks-Blake blasted well wide a couple of minutes later.
After just a couple of early half chances inspired by Connor Deeks, Matt Brown and captain Adam Smith, Lowestoft settled to play some neat football, spraying the new yellow Southern league ball across the Grove. The Trawler Boys went close in the 32nd minute when Brown played a long ball out of defence and Jacek Zielonka crossed for Shaun Bammant to head a good chance over the bar as play continued following an appeal for an infringement by Asa Charlton on the edge of the penalty area.
Just before the interval, Enock Ekongo's throw-in was headed on for Hughes but his goal-bound volley was blocked and Hughes played another dangerous ball into the Lowestoft area in the 41st minute. Halesowen introduced substitute Tom Warmer at half-time but he lasted only ten minutes before limping off to be replaced by Aaron Gilpin.
At the start of the second period Bammant stumbled after running into the Halesowen area and Connor Ingram drove an effort wide. For the Yeltz, Jack Rea fired a loose ball over the bar from the edge of the area in the 59th minute.
But the Trawler Boys had the upper hand in the second half, yet somehow failed to take the lead after forcing three dangerous corners in quick succession. Zielonka played a clever 68th minute corner to the edge of the area and the ball was met well by his captain Smith, only for Platt to make a flying save. Platt then kept out a low shot from Deeks at the foot of his post and Smith hit over the bar from the third corner in the 70th minute.
Little was seen of Halesowen in this period although a 72nd minute shot from Hughes on the break was saved by Putnins. Gilpin then pulled the ball back from the bye-line for substitute James Roberts to scuff a 75th minute shot over the bar and a further two corners were cleared by the visitors. Lowestoft continued to be the better team as an 82nd minute cross along the home goal-line failed to find a decisive touch.
But the Yeltz stole victory in the 88th minute when Roberts chased a long ball into the penalty area and was brought down by goalkeeper Putnins, allowing HUGHES to tuck home from the penalty spot. The unfortunate visitors forced two late corners and Platt made another good fingertip save to deny ex-Norwich City substitute Kieron Higgs deep in stoppage time.
Halesowen Town: Dan Platt; Enock Ekongo, Jack Kelly, Jack Rea, Danny Bragoli (c), Asa Charlton, Ivor Lawton, Andrew Haworth (Tom Warmer HT (Aaron Gilpin 56)), Lee Hughes, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (James Roberts 65), Ahmed Ali. Subs Not Used: Sam Tonks, Bradley Lewis.
Lowestoft Town: Elvijs Putnins; Josh Curry, Matt Brown (Cion Wren 79), Adam Smith (c), Rossi Jarvis, Connor Deeks, Jacek Zielonka, Henry Pollock, Shaun Bammant, Connor Ingram (Kieron Higgs 70), Ben Fowkes. Subs Not Used: Adam Tann, Kieran Fletcher, Armani Schaar.
Referee: Scott Tallis
Attendance: 533
Booked: Deeks (90)

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