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11 Oct 2008 FAC3QR Halesowen Town 1-4 Maidstone United PDF Print E-mail

F.A. Cup 3rd Qualifying Round – Saturday, 11th October 2008

Halesowen Town 1 Maidstone United 4

Halesowen’s FA Cup dreams were shattered after conceding an unbelievable three goals in four minutes at the end of the first half in front of the largest crowd of the season.

Four more players made their home debut but it was Maidstone who marched into the 4th qualifying round by preserving their unbeaten away record in the first ever meeting between the sides.

The home defence looked nervy from the start as Darren Caskey cleared off the line from Andy Martin within the first minute. However, the open exchanges proved to be even with Hilmi Michi’s 12th minute effort turned away and the resulting corner found Lee Canoville completely unmarked on the far side of the six-yard box, but he missed a glorious chance to give Halesowen the lead by volleying wide of an empty net. Martin’s 25-yard dipping shot then clipped the top of the Halesowen bar in the 16th minute.

The Yeltz took a 27th minute lead with Jay DENNY instinctively heading home Canoville’s right wing cross to wrong-foot goalkeeper Andy Walker as the ball nestled into the corner of the net.

The Stones responded to enjoy a purple patch with home goalkeeper Chris Sanna tipping Nathan Paul’s cross for a corner on the half-hour and Denny racing back to block James Pinnock after he was put free by a beautifully weighted chip. Both sides seemed to adopt a policy of shoot on sight and Elliot Bradbrook then crossed from the left to find Martin unmarked in front of goal but he blazed high on 37 minutes.

The amazing four minute spell then completely turned the game on its head as Maidstone made the home defence pay to take a 3-1 lead at the interval. Defender Tom Kemp failed to clear Paul’s chip allowing Meshach NUGENT to turn and fire home the 43rd minute equaliser.  Just two minutes later Ian Cox headed back a corner at the far post and Jay SAUNDERS was first to react to bundle the ball home from close range. The Stones made it an incredible 3-1 in first-half injury time when Lloyd BLACKMAN curled home the goal of the game beyond Sanna from just outside the area.

The home defence was pulled apart again two minutes into the second-half when Blackman’s cross put the ball on a plate for Nugent but he ballooned over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

Halesowen stuck to their task and piled forward to try to repair the damage and a 50th minute low shot from lively substitute Mark Danks was saved well by Walker. Justin Rowe was finally crowded out after beating four players and a dipping 62nd minute free-kick from Danks fell just over the bar as the Maidstone defence held firm. Halesowen born and bred Craig Thompson was introduced as a Maidstone substitute with 20 minutes remaining.

The Stones rubbed salt into the wound to make it 4-1 and end the contest with Ian SELLEY slamming home a 76th minute penalty when defender Kemp handled with his upper arm after Selley’s cross was headed on by Saunders. In the final minutes Walker beat away a fierce shot from Jermaine Palmer before both Aaron Cornwall and Palmer collected yellow cards for frustration. In injury time Martin nodded just wide as Halesowen’s defence switched off once more.

Halesowen Town: Sanna; Canoville, Cowley, Kemp, Briscoe (Danks 45), Hoyte, Denny, Caskey, Rowe, Michi (Palmer 45), Cornwall. Unused Subs: Abbey, Smith, Russell, Bryant, Allward.

Maidstone United: Walker; Paul, Nugent (Lacy 79), Lewis, Cox, Martin, Selley, Saunders, Pinnock (Schoburgh 88), Blackman (Thompson 71), Bradbrook. Unused Subs: Watson, Edge, Northwood, Peacock.

Referee: D. Plowright (Clipstone, Notts.)

Attendance: 872  

Booked: Paul (63), Cornwall (86), Palmer (90)

Non-League Paper Man of the Match: Ben Lewis

Non-League Today Man of the Match: Ian Selley

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