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20 Oct 2007 FAT1QR Halesowen Town 0-2 Brackley Town PDF Print E-mail

F.A. Trophy 1st Qualifying Round – Saturday, 20th October 2007

Halesowen Town 0 Brackley Town 2

A new era dawned at The Grove but Brackley ruined the party atmosphere to dump Halesowen out the second major cup competition within a week.

Earlier on, Ron Atkinson was unveiled as consultant to new manager Morell Maison at a well attended noon press conference to end a week of intense speculation. In the first ever meeting between the two clubs, the visitors were forced to make a late change and name young debut goalkeeper Tom Willshere on their teamsheet that was finally submitted to the referee on the pitch only seconds before kick-off.

Big Ron took up his place in the Yeltz dugout to view the game and with his new players eager to please Shane Paul struck an 8th minute cross from the right along the Brackley goal. Lee Williams was then unable to keep down his 16th minute half-volley following a left-wing cross from Liam McDonald. Two minutes later Paul Devlin inched his way between two defenders before driving just wide. Tom Winters then struck a free-kick just wide of Halesowen’s goal after Stuart Pierpoint conceded a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area.

But Brackley sneaked ahead in simple fashion in the 21st minute when Winters crossed from the left to find Danny SPENCER free to nod past goalkeeper James Dormand.

The goal prompted Halesowen to pile on the pressure by playing some neat football on the floor and new player-coach Darren Caskey had a 24th minute penalty appeal turned down. The Yeltz then went even closer by striking the post twice within a minute. Pierpoint’s 33rd minute header was cleared and the ball fell for Lee Williams but he was unlucky to see his volley rebound off the post. Seconds later Willshere superbly tipped an excellent 25-yard curling shot from Liam McDonald over the bar and from the resulting 34th minute corner Caskey turned the ball back in for Kevin Spencer to also strike the upright. Six minutes before the interval Gary Knight gave the ball away but Brackley’s Martin Reeves drove wide from 30 yards.

The hosts forced three corners early in the second half and on 55 minutes a Kevin Spencer cross was met by McDonald but he blazed high over the bar on the turn. Caskey then played the ball forward to Lee Williams but he scuffed his 61st minute shot in front of goal.

With Brackley hustling and closing down at every opportunity, the Yeltz gradually ran out of ideas and lost their way as the visitors finished strongly. Danny Spencer volleyed a Winters cross wide after 64 minutes and three minutes later Josh Green saw his goal-bound header blocked from Craig Farley’s cross. From the resulting corner Danny Spencer’s header was cleared at the base of the post. Farley’s 80th minute free-kick was then headed wide by Green and Danny Spencer’s 85th minute effort was blocked by Dormand’s legs.

Brackley wrapped up the tie with two minutes remaining when Jay Denny lost out in midfield and Jamie Kearns picked out FARLEY all alone on the right to rifle home into the roof of the net from the edge of the area. In the final minute Winters’ shot was well saved by Dormand.

Commenting after the game Ron Atkinson praised his old protégé and Brackley manager Roger Ashby by saying that the visitors “were too strong for us although we had our chances early on.”

Halesowen Town: Dormand; K. Spencer, Hamilton (Farrell 76), Pierpoint, Knight, L. Williams, Denny, Caskey, Devlin, Paul, McDonald. Unused Subs: Platt, Francis, O’Garro, Jay.

Brackley Town: Willshere; G. Hadland, Murphy, Reeves (S. Hadland 85), A. Williams, Green, Farley, Savage, D. Spencer, Kearns, Winters. Unused Subs: Beard, Brown, Fontenelle, Stanbridge.

Referee: S. Martin (Stafford) 

Attendance: 411

Booked: Savage (72), D. Spencer (75)

Non-League Paper Man of the Match: Danny Spencer (Brackley Town)

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