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16 Sept 2006 FAC1Q AFC Telford United 2-4 Halesowen Town PDF Print E-mail

F.A. Cup 1st Qualifying Round – Saturday, 16th September 2006

AFC Telford United 2 Halesowen Town 4

Matt Lewis struck four goals to stake a huge claim for the F.A. Player of the Round and boost Halesowen into the next round in a quite extra-ordinary afternoon at the New Bucks Head to end Telford’s long unbeaten run. Quite simply this was one of those incredible games that will be remembered for many years with Telford reduced to nine men before half-time and a total of three red cards and two penalties to add to the six goals.

There was almost a dramatic start as former Halesowen striker Gary Hay squirted a shot wide in the first 20 seconds after being put clean through for the hosts. Hay’s low header was then collected by Halesowen goalkeeper Danny Woodhall from Dean Craven’s 4th minute cross. With both defences looking a little shaky, Lee Williams lobbed over Telford’s bar in the 11th minute after a poor clearance.

LEWIS gave Halesowen a 13th minute lead when he brilliantly planted a direct 20-yard freekick over the defensive wall and into the net with goalkeeper Stuart Brock rooted to the spot. Both Telford full-backs received early bookings for the uncompromising hosts before striker Steve Foster beat the offside trap on 17 minutes, only to see his shot beaten away by Woodhall and the loose ball hooked clear.

Rob Smith’s Telford then levelled after 20 minutes when Nick Amos left the ball on the left wing with Craven doing well to cross. With Woodhall only managing to push the ball away, Jimmy TURNER was on hand to fire home the loose ball. Within three minutes Telford were ahead with FOSTER confidently stroking home a 23rd minute penalty when Amos was harshly penalised for holding onto Indy Khela and received a yellow card for his complaint. Foster almost made it 3-1 a minute later when he steered the ball beyond Woodhall but Dave Haywood raced back to make a vital goal-line clearance.

Halesowen forced their first corner on 25 minutes but the home defence cleared. But an equaliser followed from a second corner on 32 minutes when Craven handled Paul Szewczyk’s goal-bound header on the line. Craven inevitably received a straight red-card and although Brock dived to his left to save Lewis’s penalty kick, LEWIS calmly followed up to notch his second goal.

Lee Vaughan followed Craven back to the changing rooms for an early bath in the 42nd minute when his crude two-footed challenge left Forsdick writhing on the floor for another inevitable red-card. Just before half-time, Forsdick beat a couple of defenders but then drilled the ball across the goal-line.

After the interval, Woodhall pushed away a 46th minute free-kick and Szewczyk turned to fire over the bar at the other end after 50 minutes. Lewis completed his hat-trick in the 51st minute when David Woodvine made a complete hash of a clearance and gifted LEWIS the chance to bury the ball past Brock from 12 yards.

In another twist, Amos was then dismissed for his second yellow card offence in the 65th minute for a tame looking foul on Carl Rodgers.

Strangely, Halesowen seemed to find trouble finding their men against nine-man Telford in a second half that developed into a fascinating tactical game. Telford striker Foster was initially sacrificed in a substitution, but after falling behind and seeing Halesowen reduced to ten men, substitute striker Dean Perrow was introduced in an all-out attempt to seek an equaliser. The move signalled a revival from hard-working Telford, inspired by tireless Hay up front. Woodhall made a fine block from Khela with substitute Glenn Tolley firing just over the bar in the 66th minute and Woodhall collected a corner-kick a minute later.

After a couple of their own substitutions, Halesowen replacement striker Sean Dowdall screwed wide from 8 yards in the 75th minute before Lewis wasted a 77th minute free-kick by hitting high and wide. Haywood then set up Dowdall in the 81st minute, but Brock was able to gather as Dowdall stretched for the ball.

In a nervous last few minutes, Perrow blazed over Halesowen’s bar from the edge of the area after being set up down the centre by Tolley in the 83rd minute. A minute later Hay turned the ball wide from just five yards after Rodgers crossed from the left. Halesowen substitute Ian Cooper then went close and forced a corner with an audacious 30-yard header as Brock was caught off his line. Cooper then gave a loud shout for an 86th minute penalty when the ball appeared to strike a defender’s arm and Cowley struck wide on 89 minutes.

Hay’s 90th minute shot was deflected for a corner and with time running out, Telford goalkeeper Brock came forward in a last-gasp attempt to equalise. The corner led to an almighty goal-mouth scramble in an agonising series of chances, but somehow the Yeltz managed to prevent a final Telford touch. As the ball was cleared, LEWIS broke away to skip down the right wing and evade two lunging tackles, before superbly striking into an empty net from 30-yards out to complete a magnificent four goals.

AFC Telford United: Brock; Vaughan, Craven, Turner, Woodvine (Perrow 69), Khela, Twigger (Brown 37), Rodgers, Foster (Tolley 45), Hay, Palmer. Unused Subs: Stevens, Jones.

Halesowen Town: Woodhall; Warner, Haywood, Preston, Knight, Amos, Cowley, Lewis, Szewczyk (Dowdall 75), Williams, Forsdick (Cooper 69). Unused Subs: Pierpoint, Brindley, Gayle.

Referee: C. Dunn (Stoke-on-Trent)

Attendance: 1472
Sent Off: Craven (32), Vaughan (42), Amos (65)
Bookings: Craven (9), Vaughan (17), Amos (22), Perrow (89), Brock (90).

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