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31 Aug 2009 SLP Stourbridge 1-4 Halesowen Town PDF Print E-mail

Zamaretto Football League Premier Division – Monday, 31st August 2009

Stourbridge 1 Halesowen Town 4

Halesowen launched a fabulous four-goal fight-back in a heart-warming second-half performance after trailing at the interval to an early Stourbridge goal.  Stefan Moore smashed home his sixth goal in six games in a bizarre but memorable afternoon that saw many Halesowen fans enjoying their first visit to their ‘home’ at the Grove in an away game with the Glassboys.

But the first half started so differently after Stourbridge made a great start when Sean EVANS made a sizzling run to beat three defenders and fire past goalkeeper Halesowen goalkeeper Nick Bussey after just three minutes. Evans continued to run Halesowen full-back Craig Connor ragged in the early stages and a 7th minute cross from on-fire Evans was hacked clear by Stephan Morley. Evans went down in the penalty area after beating Connor once more two minutes later but the referee waved play on. With 22 minutes on the clock, James Dyson played the ball over the top for Evans to outpace Connor yet again and he flicked the ball back before crossing to Ryan Rowe in front of goal but Bussey made a good save.

As Halesowen gradually settled, home goalkeeper Lewis Solly saved low down from Stephan Morley’s 26th minute free-kick and a cross from Matt Dodds was sliced at his own ‘keeper by Nathan Bennett a minute later.

Stourbridge’s Bennett flashed a header wide from Aaron Drake’s 31st minute free-kick but after 41 minutes it was Halesowen’s James Johnson who was put through by Moore, only to drag his shot wide of the mark. Just before the interval Stourbridge’s Rowe poked straight at ‘keeper Bussey from 15 yards and Moore put a free header over the bar at the other end from Paul O’Brien’s cross. Seconds before the interval Johnson sent Moore away but Slater made an excellent saving challenge in the Stourbridge penalty area.

The second-half proved to be a completely different affair after manager Matt Clarke made a brave formation change to introduce imposing Nigerian central defender Henry Eze at the heart of a three-man defence with Aaron Griffiths and Connor pushing forward.

Committed and purposeful Halesowen ran the second half show and Solly collected O’Brien’s 20-yard shot in the 48th minute. Moore then forced a corner from his weaving 52nd minute run and Solly collected Tom Breward’s effort at the second attempt a minute later.

Dominant defender Jamie HOOD rose majestically above the home defence to head home the equaliser from Morley’s 63rd minute corner. As the Glassboys began to crumble, Hood hung in the air again to head on for MOORE to control and turn to fire home with his back to goal from close range following another Morley corner in the 69th minute.

Johnson’s 72nd minute run was only thwarted by Alex Cowley’s challenge and Solly saved with his feet when dangerous Hood met O’Brien’s corner a minute later. Cowley made another fine saving tackle for Stourbridge in the 79th minute after Halesowen substitute Luke Barlone was put clear.

The Yeltz confirmed their dominance with two further late goals against the crumbling visitors. Scott RICKARDS curled home a delightful precision 86th minute free-kick around the defensive wall from the edge of the area after Dyson conceded a free-kick to prompt a massive defiant team celebration in front of the Harry Rudge stand.

Halesowen made it 4-1 with the best goal of the game in the final minute after Barlone set Aaron Griffiths free down the left and he whipped in an excellent cross for MOORE to finish superbly into the roof of the net.

There was rousing support at the final whistle for the Halesowen players and management duo Matt Clarke and Rob Elmes but ecstatic Yeltz Trust fans voted immediately after game to maintain their home game boycott in protest against current proprietor Morell Maison.

Stourbridge: Solly; Drake (Rock 62), Cowley, Collins, Canavan (S. Smith 77), Bennett, Slater, Dyson, Rowe, Billingham, Evans. Unused Subs: Williams, Bala, Ford.

Halesowen Town: Bussey; Connor (J. Smith 86), Griffiths, Morley, Hood, Breward, Dodds (Eze 45), Rickards, Moore, Johnson (Barlone 77), O’Brien. Unused Subs: O’Brien, Gray (GK).

Referee: M. Howes (Solihull)

Attendance: 656

Booked: Bennett (6), Collins (26), Johnson (55), Rowe (66)

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