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18 Aug 2007 SLP Hemel Hempstead Town 3-3 Halesowen Town PDF Print E-mail

British Gas Business Football League - Premier Division – Saturday, 18th August 2007

Hemel Hempstead Town 3 Halesowen Town 3

Halesowen made an encouraging start to the new campaign by returning from highly rated Hemel with a point in a six-goal sizzler.  Hemel pipped Halesowen to a play-off place last term but the Yeltz looked comfortable in the opening cagey stages that gave little indication of the drama and excitement to unfold in the second half.

James Dormand grabbed Chris Herron’s 2nd minute free-kick and Sean Platt’s 3rd minute corner was cleared at the other end. Hemel goalkeeper Steve Smith then did well to produce a full stretch fingertip save to keep out Liam McDonald’s goal-bound low shot after seven minutes. A fine right-wing cross from lively Shane Paul then caused further danger in the 15th minute.

The home side finally featured in the 16th minute when Dormand parried away a snapshot from Drew Roberts with Davion Hamilton tidying up. Home goalkeeper Smith took out another dangerous Paul cross following good work from Platt two minutes later.

The visitors tended to concede too many free-kicks just outside the box all afternoon and Hemel wasted two such opportunities midway through the half. Paul then nodded McDonald’s 28th minute cross wide of the mark and Paul Devlin’s 30th minute corner just evaded Nick Amos on his 100th appearance in Yeltz colours as Halesowen continued to look in good shape.

But Hemel forced their first corner on 37 minutes and struck the first blow to take the lead following their second corner in the 42nd minute when McDonald impeded Ollie Burgess and former Histon hot-shot striker ROBERTS smashed home from the penalty spot to add to his eight pre-season goals.

Halesowen’s response was almost immediate as DEVLIN produced a magnificent leveller in the 44th minute by turning to hit a superb 25-yard drive low into the net after Duane Darby headed on.

At the start of the second period Dormand went down well to save from Burgess as the visiting defence parted. Devlin was then put clear after 55 minutes but his appeal for a penalty was denied.

The Yeltz then really cranked up the pressure with substitute Aaron Farrell unlucky after being put through and rounding goalkeeper Smith to slot home only to see Paul Edgeworth race back to clear off the line on 59 minutes. A further wave of attacks a minute later saw Paul go close and Ed Booth’s shot blocked for a corner.

Halesowen took the lead in the 61st minute when DEVLIN smacked home from the penalty spot after Paul’s cross caused confusion and Nathan Bowden-Haase committed a foul on man-of-the-match Devlin.

But Halesowen switched off on the edge of the box allowing Hemel to equalise quickly when a 66th minute free-kick was touched for leading marksman ROBERTS to strike home over Dormand from 20 yards as the action continued.

It appeared that Halesowen had grabbed a winner when they re-gained the lead in the 75th minute when Paul turned provider yet again by turning the ball in for impressive defender BOOTH to head firmly home on his debut.

But the Tudors made it 3-3 in the 85th minute when the ball was played in from the right for substitute Dean CRACKNELL to drive home again from the edge of the area. Dormand then produced an excellent save to tip away Herron’s free-kick for a corner a minute later.

Hemel Hempstead Town: Smith; Sweeney, Herron, Cavill, Bowden-Haase, Sinclair (Cracknell 73), Burgess, Kean (Kearns 87), Sippetts (Sozzo 64), Roberts, Edgeworth. Unused Subs: Yeoah, Brown.

Halesowen Town: Dormand; Platt, Hamilton, Booth, Knight, Amos, Denny, Paul, Devlin, Darby (Farrell 48), McDonald (Haywood 78). Unused Subs: O’Garro, Williams, Pierpoint.

Referee: M. Blackledge (Peterborough)

Attendance: 242

Booked: McDonald (13)

Halesowen Town Man of the Match: Paul Devlin

Hemel Man of the Match: Nathan Bowden-Haase.

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