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25 Apr 2009 SLP Merthyr Tydfil 2-0 Halesowen Town PDF Print E-mail

British Gas Business Football League - Premier Division – Saturday, 25th April 2009

Merthyr Tydfil 2 Halesowen Town 0

Halesowen closed the book on a turbulent season to finish below Merthyr in the table after a two-goal defeat with both teams having already missed out on a play-off place in the previous week.

Facing an uncertain future, the Martyrs marked 100 years of football at Penydarren Park by sporting a special red and green kit last used in their final Football League game in May, 1930 and also welcomed back past managers and players for the day.

Eager Merthyr put their financial problems behind them to end the season on a high by dominating proceedings and bagging two goals before the interval to remain unbeaten in six games. By contrast, Halesowen’s volatile season ended with a run of five defeats from seven games, made worse by a recent three point deduction for fielding an ineligible player (pending appeal).

The hosts started in the ascendancy as goalkeeper Nick Bussey dived at the feet of Marcus Griffiths from a 3rd minute Steve Williams cross. Bussey then collected a header across goal from Michael Jones two minutes later and grabbed an 11th minute shot from Matthew Harris at the second attempt with Marcus Griffiths ready to pounce. Player-manager Garry Shephard then saw his 13th minute effort roll just past the post.

As the home side kept up the pressure, Daryl Taylor hoofed clear in the 24th minute after Shephard forced a corner and Jay Denny sliced over his own bar from Marcus Griffiths’ cross for another Merthyr corner two minutes later.

It was no surprise when Merthyr took a 27th minute lead when MARCUS GRIFFITHS had the simple task of tapping into the roof of the net after a Harris corner was headed on by Lee Hartshorn and Bussey saved. On the half hour, a wide angled shot from the same player was almost spilled by Bussey.

Paul KEDDLE doubled the lead in the 33rd minute by powerfully heading home a right wing cross from Williams at the far post. With the Yeltz under the cosh before the break, Bussey made a fine reflex save to block another Marcus Griffiths effort after 37 minutes and Keddle was unlucky to strike the crossbar in the 40th minute after Shephard combined well with Williams. A minute later Marcus Griffiths was put clear but slotted wide of the Halesowen net.

Halesowen, with another threadbare substitute’s bench, barely created a chance in the first period with Taylor curling past the post in the 11th minute and Aaron Cornwall screwing well wide a minute before the interval.

The Yeltz improved in the second half but without ever really threatening to reduce the deficit with the game adopting a typical ‘end of season’ feel. James Johnson was on target in the 46th minute but home skipper Steve Williams tidied up and Aaron Cornwall fired at goalkeeper Ryan Griffiths a minute later. Merthyr’s Keddle was denied at the near post after 49 minutes and Taylor’s 58th minute shot was diverted away for a Halesowen corner.

In the final minutes, Andrew Thomas fired just wide and Bussey made another good reflex save to deny home substitute Gareth Cullimore. Matthew Harris lofted onto the roof of the Halesowen net in the final minute and then blasted high from twenty yards in injury time.

Merthyr Tydfil: R. Griffiths; Williams, Keddle, A. Thomas, Hartshorn, Driscoll (Cullimore 60), Harris, D. Clarke (Morgan 77), Shephard, M. Griffiths, Jones (O’Sullivan 64). Unused Subs: Porter, Davies.

Halesowen Town: Bussey; Choi, A. Griffiths, Denny, Loney, O’Brien, T. Thomas, Cornwall, Darby, Johnson, Taylor. Unused Subs: M. Clarke, Caskey, Paul.

Referee: M. Rushton (Pewsey)

Attendance: 424

Booked: A. Thomas (31), Johnson (31), Keddle (85)

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