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29 Dec 2007 SLP Hitchin Town 1-2 Halesowen Town PDF Print E-mail

British Gas Business Football League - Premier Division – Saturday, 29th December 2007

Hitchin Town 1 Halesowen Town 2

Halesowen made heavy weather of claiming their first ever victory at crisis-club Hitchin.  The hosts had been beset by problems in a difficult 2007 and their young squad lacked confidence after only scoring 13 goals all season but Halesowen found it difficult to exert their expected authority until late on.

Halesowen forced two early corners before Eldon Maquemba cut inside to fire into the side-netting after eight minutes. Shane Hill then screwed the ball wide in the 10th minute against his former club. Visiting goalkeeper Mark Osborn collected Brett Donnelly’s low 12th minute shot and a 17th minute defensive mistake let in Donnelly but he fired weakly at Osborn. More indecisive defending led to Rodney Hicks slicing the ball behind his own goal midway through a generally poor first half lacking constructive football.

Maquemba made a good turn on 28 minutes but his shot was palmed away for a corner by Hitchin goalkeeper Ricky Perks and Maquemba struck the side-netting again a minute later after latching onto a poor clearance from Perks and taking the ball around the goalkeeper. Osborn then saved a glancing header from Paul Armstrong after a shot from Wayne Mills was deflected for a 32nd minute corner.

Halesowen disappointingly fell behind as the Canaries grabbed an unexpected  rare goal in the 44th minute as Mills crossed from the left for Gordon BARR to steer home his first ever Hitchin goal from close range. Seconds before the interval Tom Pepper sliced a cross from Shane Paul against his own crossbar but Maquemba could only put the rebound wide of the mark.

Shane Hill was replaced by Jay Denny at half-time and immediately after the restart Perks failed to gather a shot from Hicks but Maquemba failed to convert the rebound as the ball was cleared off the line. But the Yeltz didn’t have long to wait for an equaliser from PAUL’s 20-yard effort with Perks at fault for allowing the ball under his body in the 47th minute.

Zema Abbey made a return to the club that launched him on the road to a league career and he netted with a 54th minute header from Darren Caskey’s free-kick but the effort was disallowed for offside.

MAQUEMBA eventually put Halesowen ahead with the winning goal after 66 minutes by driving home from 10 yards after Caskey played the ball in from the left. Late on Paul volleyed just wide and substitute Denny put Paul through again but Perks turned the ball away for a corner. Three Hitchin substitutes failed to improve their fortunes with relegation alarm bells starting to ring loudly around Top Field as Paul fired a good chance over the bar in the final minute.

Hitchin Town: Perks; Mountford, Nash, Barr, Gilbert, Pepper, Olaleye (Hay 80), Deeney, Donnelly (Pringle 64), Armstrong, Mills (Kenneford 76). Unused Subs: Bennett, Orphanou.

Halesowen Town: Osborn; Lycett, Perpetuini, Pearce, Pierpoint, Hill (Denny HT), Paul, Caskey, Abbey, Maquemba, Hicks. Unused Subs: Brennan, Hamilton, Amos, F. Francis.

Referee: P. Martin

Attendance: 366

Booked: Donnelly (36), Mountford (52)

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