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14 Mar 2009 SLP Halesowen Town 3-2 Hitchin Town PDF Print E-mail

British Gas Business Football League - Premier Division – Saturday, 14th March 2009

Halesowen Town 3 Hitchin Town 2

Two clinical Aaron Cornwall goals from direct free-kicks helped Halesowen stage a remarkable second-half revival after trailing 2-0 at the interval.

The Yeltz maintained their play-off challenge in a six match unbeaten run after relegation-haunted Hitchin had taken what seemed a decisive two-goal lead with a double strike at the end of a drab first half in which Halesowen created little.

Early on, Cornwall was penalised when breaking through and Richard Shittu flicked an effort just wide before Mark E’Beyer’s deflected shot was collected by home goalkeeper Nick Bussey in the 10th minute. Shittu then put a free header over the Hitchin bar after Dennis Pearce turned a good cross back into the penalty area from Cornwall’s 13th minute corner. After Jeff Hammond was denied by a good interception from skipper Matt Clarke in the 21st minute there was little further action until Hitchin landed their double-strike late in the first period.

Paul Olima broke away from a Halesowen corner to set Jeff Hammond free and he subsequently laid the ball off for Des BOATENG to crash home the first goal in the 40th minute. Olima then squared the ball for HAMMOND to unleash a superb 20-yard drive to beat Bussey and put the Canaries 2-0 ahead a minute before the interval.

The Yeltz made a double half-time substitution and turned the game on its head in a dramatic second-half reversal of fortunes.

CORNWALL reduced the arrears by converting a direct free-kick beyond an extensive defensive wall in the 50th minute from the edge of the area. Patrick Daval’s 53rd minute shot on the turn was then collected by goalkeeper Luke Woods. For the visitors, Ieuan Lewis struck over the bar on the break after intercepting Cornwall’s weak 59th minute free-kick and Olima crossed for Boateng to poke wide a minute later.

CORNWALL repeated the trick to equalise with another direct free-kick - this time from 25 yards - leaving goalkeeper Woods rooted to the spot in the 64th minute. The comeback was completed in the 77th minute when Shittu laid the ball off for debut substitute DAVAL to drive a low shot under the body of goalkeeper Woods.

In the final minutes Cornwall had a chance to complete his hat-trick on the break but selflessly squared the ball for Shittu and his weak effort was cleared off the line by Marcus Rose.

Halesowen Town: Bussey; Choi, Allward, Clarke, Pearce, Hamilton, Taylor (Johnson 45), Denny, Shittu, Cornwall, Thomas (Daval 45). Unused Subs: O’Brien, Loney, F. Williams.

Hitchin Town: Woods; Pepper, Rose (Graham 89), McDevitt, Thorne, C. Williams, Lewis (George 78), E’Beyer, Hammond, Olima, Boateng (Barnes 82). Unused Subs: Stupple, Munday.

Referee: D. Gratton (Stone, Staffs.)

Attendance: 408

Booked: Pearce (61), E’Beyer (64), Hammond (66), Johnson (79), Pepper (84)

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