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31 Jan 2009 SLP Halesowen 2-1 Bedford Town PDF Print E-mail

British Gas Business Football League - Premier Division – Saturday, 31st January 2009

Halesowen Town 2 Bedford Town 1

Halesowen bounced back on track with a battling display lifting spirits after making eight new signings within a week.

The Yeltz handed out another three debuts following the departure of senior contract players Mark Danks and Michael Briscoe. New-look Halesowen were quickly off the mark to take an 8th minute lead when Darren Caskey shrugged off a challenge from Alaa Oujdu down the right of the penalty area and his cross was stabbed home at the far post by Linton MURRAY, formerly of Maidenhead, on his debut.

Ruben Gouveia then missed a great chance to double the lead just two minutes later but he failed to beat goalkeeper Mike Armitt after being set up by Davion Hamilton and then steered the kindly falling rebound against the outside of the post with an empty net beckoning.

In an open game, Bedford went mightily close on 12 minutes when Anthony Battersby was put through but goalkeeper Nick Bussey made a fine save to turn the ball onto the bar and Alex Cowley made a crucial goal-line challenge to deny Graham Clark as he followed up.

But the Eagles then landed a 23rd minute equaliser after Craig Daniel headed on a corner for Ian DRAYCOTT to bury past Bussey from 15 yards.

The tricky wind allowed a long clearance from goalkeeper Armitt to bounce straight through to Battersby but he lofted the ball onto the roof of the Halesowen net in the 32nd minute. Armitt punched clear as Caskey whipped in a dangerous 36th minute free-kick and then saved well from Murray a minute later. Just before the break an excellent move saw Hamilton find Gouveia and he slid the ball through for Murray to hit over the bar from 15 yards and Armitt then palmed away after Caskey did well. Cowley set up Gouveia on the turn in the 52nd minute but Armitt did just enough to push the ball away with his defence tidying up.

The Yeltz regained the lead with the winning goal when Caskey’s 53rd minute corner was headed on in a crowded six-yard box and HAMILTON hammered home from close range on his return to The Grove in an unfamiliar number 9 shirt.

As the action continued, Battersby just failed to connect in front of goal on 55 minutes and another Halesowen debutant Jean Black-Ngody, formerly of Cwmbran Town, struck a low, long range shot just wide a minute later.

Bedford were unable to end their run of 10 away games without a victory with Dennis Pearce making an important 70th minute challenge. Halesowen’s Jay Denny looked up and lobbed just wide after 77 minutes and at the other end Bussey punched clear following an excellent 20-yard drive from Jamie Gould.

But Halesowen finished strongly with lively but unlucky Gouveia going close three times in the final minute. Gouveia headed into Armitt’s arms, flicked wide to earn a corner and then drove another effort inches wide of the post.

Halesowen Town: Bussey; Cowley, Allward, Canoville, Pearce, Denny, Black-Ngody, Caskey (C. Paul 81), Hamilton, Gouveia, Murray (Max-Grant 58). Unused Subs: Edusei, J. Paul, Rowe.

Bedford Town: Armitt; Jackman, Oujdi (Lewis 55), Clark, Darby, Wall, Daniel (Philips 67), Cavill (Woolf 76), Battersby, Draycott, Gould. Unused Subs: Hall, Howarth.

Referee: S. Cook (Belper)

Attendance: 344

Booked: Gouveia (83)

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