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12 Feb 2011 SLP Banbury United 0-2 Halesowen Town PDF Print E-mail

Zamaretto League Premier Division – Saturday, 12th February 2011

Banbury United 0 Halesowen Town 2

Anthony Bruce’s birthday brace at Banbury boosted hard-working Halesowen off the bottom of the table in a magnificent first double of the season.  Bruce celebrated his 21st birthday in fine style with the Yeltz bouncing back from a run of seven league defeats in a confidence-building first league victory since November. Chris Godwin also made a surprise return at the heart of the defence after the briefest of spells at Daventry.

But Banbury laid siege on the Yeltz goal from the outset with David Stone, who started the season in Halesowen colours, just failing to control the ball in front of goal in the 5th minute, allowing Gareth Davies to clear. Adam Robinson sliced the ball away for a corner on the uneven surface a minute later and his goalkeeper Simon Flower did just enough to fingertip clear. Malachi Farquharson then nodded wide in the 11th minute and Keenan Meakin-Richards made a good clearance seconds later.

With Banbury making heavy weather of finding a breakthrough, Halesowen gradually found their feet and broke away in the 15th minute only for home goalkeeper Joe Murrell to make a fine blocking save from Bruce’s opening.

But BRUCE gave the Yeltz a shock 25th minute lead by turning home from close range after Justin Nisbett did well to square the ball across goal from the right.

Marvin Martin converted a rebound for the Puritans five minutes later after Flower made an excellent save from Declan Benjamin’s drive, but the effort was ruled out for offside. Flower’s fine form continued with a good save low down from home captain Delroy Gordon in the 32nd minute and the pinned-back visiting defence dealt with two further corners seconds later. Halesowen eventually earned their first corner from Michael McGrath after 35 minutes but as the first half drew to a close, Adam Learoyd headed wide and Jack Ashton sliced a good chance well wide for the wasteful home side.

Birthday-boy BRUCE put the icing on his 21st birthday cake by rising to head home McGrath’s corner and double Halesowen’s lead just four minutes into the second period.

Following Bruce’s bonus, the Yeltz defended resolutely to keep a clean sheet by making several vital clearances. Stone chased a long ball down the centre in the 54th minute but couldn’t find a vital touch as the ball rolled just wide. Substitute David Staff hit wide in the 65th minute and Davies made a timely clearance from Stone a minute later. Luke Adams kept up the stout defending by clearing a 70th minute shot from substitute Henry Rose and Godwin hacked clear in the 75th minute. Robbie Maddox missed another opportunity allowing Flower to fall on the ball in the 77th minute and Ashton’s 82nd minute shot was collected by Flower as Banbury ran out of ideas in front of their frustrated fans against the resolute Halesowen rearguard.

Halesowen substitute Ashley Edwards looked lively in the final ten minutes and he was unlucky to see his dipping shot strike the crossbar in the final minute on his debut. However, enough had already been done to fully deserve the chorus of reminiscently rousing celebrations from the travelling Yeltz faithful at the final whistle.

Banbury United: Murrell; Stanbridge (McDonald 52), Maddox, Gordon (c), Learoyd, Farquharson (Staff 52), Coleman, Benjamin, Stone, Martin (Rose 57), Ashton. Unused Sub: Taylor.

Halesowen Town: Flower; Davies, Adams, Godwin, McGrath (c), Bruce, Meakin-Richards, Richards (Ibhadon 73), Nisbett, Curtis (Edwards 80). Unused Sub: None.

Referee: G. Stretton (Leicester)

Attendance: 219

Booked: Robinson (41)

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