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12 Aug 2008 FRD Halesowen Town 3-2 Willenhall Town PDF Print E-mail

Pre-season Friendly – Tuesday, 12th August 2008

Halesowen Town 3 Willenhall Town 2

Halesowen notched a 3-2 victory over Unibond Division One South outfit Willenhall, but the result was overshadowed by a freak, serious-looking injury to influential central defender Michael Briscoe in the final minute of the final pre-season friendly.

Justin ROWE gave Halesowen a 14th minute lead by latching onto a through ball and lofting over goalkeeper Stephen Jackson. Dean Brennan then clipped just over the bar two minutes later.

The Lockmen came back strongly with a long range effort from captain Brendan Kelly collected by Nick Bussey in the 26th minute and centre forward Justin Nesbitt forced a flying save from Bussey after 34 minutes. The visitors then equalised on 36 minutes when the Yeltz were exposed after losing the ball in midfield and NESBITT advanced down the left to smash home into the top corner from 20 yards.

Two minutes after the interval Willenhall wasted a good chance after Nesbitt burst through and Luke Findlay hit the rebound straight at Bussey. Rowe then turned well to fire at Jackson at the other end. But the Yeltz quickly regained the lead in the 50th minute when Zema Abbey nodded on for ROWE to poke home his second goal. Substitute Jermaine PALMER made it 3-1 in the 53rd minute after advancing down the right to lash home a low drive only two minutes after being introduced to the game.

Craig Ball was unlucky to see his 25-yard drive smash against the underside of Halesowen’s crossbar and bounce out into safety in the 63rd minute. But Willenhall did pull a goal back in the 75th minute when substitute Josh McKENZIE was put through and his flick past Bussey nestled into the corner of the net.

Quite incredulously, Halesowen’s long pre-season preparations came to a shuddering halt and their threadbare squad further jeopardised as Briscoe overstretched to twist his ankle in an 89th minute clearance and was carried off the pitch with the referee deciding to end proceedings a minute early.

Halesowen Town: Bussey; Cowley, Hamilton, Bryant, Briscoe, Denny, Danks, Brennan, Abbey (Melitas 51), Rowe (Palmer 51), Cornwall.

Willenhall Town: Jackson; Davies, Brown, Kelly, Spittle, Ball, Bladen, Stevenson, Nesbitt, Milligan, L. Findlay. Subs: Richards, S. Findlay, Eaton, Griffiths, Harris, Parkes, Price, McKenzie, Silver, Tilt (GK).

Referee: G. Caps

Attendance: 86

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