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27 Feb 2010 SLP Halesowen Town 1-1 Brackley Town PDF Print E-mail

Zamaretto League Premier Division – Saturday, 27th February 2010.

Halesowen Town 1 Brackley Town 1

Halesowen moved up to fourth spot after extending their unbeaten league run to an incredible 21 games in an exciting draw against second-placed Brackley with both goals scored in the early stages.

The home side named an unchanged starting line up against one of only three sides to beat the Yeltz in the league this season. Carl Palmer was deservedly nominated as man-of-the-match after a dynamic, hard-working performance in midfield.

But the visitors made a sparkling start on a sticky playing surface with the lively trio of Tom Winters, Mark Rawle and Ben Mackey proving difficult to live with on the attack. Jimmy Turner made a good block to deny Mackey after just four minutes, setting the tone for the early one-way traffic. The Saints then took the lead after just five minutes when RAWLE collected the ball from Jamie Gould and swivelled superbly near the penalty spot to fire into the bottom corner beyond goalkeeper Nick Bussey.

In Halesowen’s first attempt, a 10th minute Jay Denny cross was missed by Brackley goalkeeper Ryan Harrison under challenge from Turner.

However, Brackley’s early onslaught continued when Winters received a short 11th minute corner in yards of space on the edge of the penalty area and his drive forced an unorthodox save from Bussey’s legs with the home defence surviving several ricochets in the resulting goalmouth scramble. A minute later Simon Travis tried his hand with a long drive but this time Bussey juggled the ball to hold on at the second attempt.

The Yeltz equalised somewhat against the run of play when midfield maestro PALMER was allowed to rise and head home a 13th minute corner from Scott Rickards.

As the game settled into more even end-to-end action, Bussey collected Rawle’s down header from Owen Story’s 19th minute cross. Stefan Moore latched onto a through ball but his 22nd minute shot was deflected by Travis into the arms of goalkeeper Harrison and Moore then played a great ball from midfield three minutes later, but the ball just evaded Danny Edwards.

Another crucial interception from Turner denied Mackey in front of goal from Rawle’s 26th minute lay-off and in the 29th minute the hosts were let off by an offside flag when Winters found Mackey free in front of goal.

Halesowen stepped up the pressure late in the first half with Rickards delivering a dangerous low cross from work-horse Palmer’s 32nd minute through ball. Further efforts from Edwards and Rickards were then hacked away and Liam Daly nodded wide from a Rickards corner.  However, five minutes before the half-time break Winters hit a thumping 25-yard drive inches over Bussey’s bar.

At the start of the second period, Alex Cowley combined well for Edwards to cross and Edwards then headed just wide from Turner’s cross. After 54 minutes Harrison punched away from Rickards after slicing the ball behind his own goal for a corner and a minute later Harrison held onto a low drive from Edwards. A 62nd minute free-kick on the edge of the area came to nothing after Moore was impeded and Daly headed wide in the 64th minute after Palmer forced a corner.

As the game wore on, a winner either way looked less likely as both sides tended to cancel each other out. Rickards went close for the Yeltz by curling a 69th minute free-kick just inches over the angle of the bar and post. For Brackley Story’s 70th minute drive was parried by Bussey and a 77th minute snapshot from Winters flew over the bar.

In the final stages, Bussey’s long clearance found Moore but his right wing cross was cleared and in stoppage time the home defence coped with Gould’s free-kick and cleared the resulting corner.

Brackley manager John Brady was somewhat disappointed after making such a good start to the game and felt his side were a little naïve in defending Palmer’s equaliser. But he felt it was a complement that Halesowen were forced to change shape to combat his strike-force so early into the game. Matt Clarke concluded “Our players had a tough midweek fixture in beating Nuneaton, whereas Brackley started the game fresher. They (Brackley) are a very good side but we are very hard to beat and changed our formation to get back into the game to keep our unbeaten home record. Carl Palmer had a terrific game.”

Halesowen Town: Bussey; Cowley, Hood, Turner, Daly, Denny, Palmer, Rickards (Blenkinsopp 86), Moore, McDermott (Thorpe 69), Edwards (Griffiths 77). Unused Subs: Eze, Connor.

Brackley Town: Harrison; Travis, Gould, Kearns, Willmott, Green, Story, Magunda, Rawle, Mackey (O. Burgess 65), Winters. Unused Subs: Joyce, Langdon, C. Burgess, Dayton-Bhrul.

Referee: O. Yates (Newcastle-under-Lyme)

Attendance: 411

Booked: Willmott (68), Griffiths (89)

 
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