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20 Jan 2009 SLP Halesowen Town 2-0 Merthyr Tydfil PDF Print E-mail

British Gas Business Football League - Premier Division – Tuesday, 20th January 2009

Halesowen Town 2 Merthyr Tydfil 0

A late Mark Danks double saw battling Halesowen leapfrog over Merthyr into second place in the table. Halesowen’s limited squad fought hard for their cause and had some good chances to take a first-half lead in the vital contest between the second and third placed teams.

The visitors were first on the attack and goalkeeper Nick Bussey pushed away a 4th minute corner from captain Steve Williams before turning away a 7th minute drive from Paul Keddle. Dean Clarke then hit a good 20 yard drive over the Halesowen bar in the 13th minute.

But Halesowen soon settled after the first few minutes to dominate in a low-key Merthyr performance. Martyrs’ goalkeeper Andrew Delve cut out a 14th minute cross from Ruben Gouveia and Danks fired a great 17th minute chance over the bar after being set up by Aaron Cornwall’s neat interchange of passes. Gouveia then struck a 19th minute free-kick over the bar and headed Darren Caskey’s free-kick over the bar three minutes later.

After some tough tackling from the visitors, goalkeeper Delve missed a 34th minute cross allowing Cornwall to turn the ball back in from the left but Gouveia was unable to convert in front of goal. A 38th minute break saw Erik Hummel just fail to find Gouveia and the Merthyr defence was caught out again on 43 minutes when Danks drove wide. Seconds before the interval, Alex Cowley cut in to see his shot deflected with Gouveia’s low header from the following corner then falling kindly into Delve’s arms.

Early in the second period Cowley embarked on another run to feed Cornwall but Delve saved.

Merthyr player-manager Garry Shephard then missed a 55th minute header in front of goal and Jamie Rewbury’s bundled effort was disallowed for a foul on Bussey from a 58th minute corner.

Darren Caskey saw one of his several late free-kicks unconvincingly pushed over the crossbar by Delve in the 72nd minute in a series of late infringements on the edge of Merthyr’s penalty area.

With the game drifting towards stalemate, Danks finally deservedly wrapped up the points with two late goals. DANKS was on hand to convert Cornwall’s good cross in from the right into the roof of the net from close range after 85 minutes.

Goalkeeper Delve received a straight red card and gave away a penalty by lashing out at Michael Briscoe from a corner and DANKS stepped up to stroke past replacement goalkeeper Rewbury from the penalty spot in the 89th minute.

Danny Campbell had the briefest of run-outs as substitute for battered Gouveia with the final whistle blown just ten seconds after his arrival on the pitch.

Halesowen Town: Bussey; Cowley, Allward, Briscoe, Pearce, Denny, Hummel, Caskey, Cornwall, Danks, Gouveia (Campbell 90). Unused Subs: Abbey, Rowe, Canoville.

Merthyr Tydfil: Delve; Williams, Keddle, Thomas, D. Griffiths, Rewbury, Evans, Clarke, Shephard, Stiens (Jones 74), O’Sullivan (Harris 65). Unused Subs: Driscoll, M. Griffiths, Hartshorn.

Referee: D. Meeson (Newcastle-under-Lyme)

Attendance: 334

Booked: Rewbury (21), Keddle (33), Danks (34)

Sent Off: Delve (89)

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