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01 Oct 2011 SLSW Halesowen Town 3-0 Thatcham Town PDF Print E-mail

Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South and West – Saturday, 1st October 2011

Halesowen Town 3 Thatcham Town 0

Two injury time goals from Justin Nisbett and Naveed Arshad added to Gavin Saunders’ earlier header to give Halesowen an impressive victory against previously unbeaten Thatcham.  The afternoon saw yet another Division 1 South and West team make their debut visit to the Grove and Halesowen soon forgot last week’s deflating defeat at Wimborne to start of a run of five consecutive home games throughout October in style.

But both sides cancelled each other out for long spells before the three late goals wrecked Thatcham’s boast of a 100% record in their previous four away league games

After a slow start to the game, Nisbett surged forward from midfield to skip several challenges in the 13th minute only for his 20 yard drive to fly wide. Arshad then turned well to hit a long range effort past the post and Anthony Bruce flicked Brendan Kelly’s 19th minute cross wide.

As Thatcham settled midway through the first half, Paul Taplin sent in a low 25th minute cross for Mark James to spin on the penalty spot but home goalkeeper Paul Evans was alert to collect low down. Evans then produced a terrific reaction save to keep out Sean Cook’s header from Jack Smillie’s corner two minutes later and Cook headed another corner high in the 32nd minute.

The best chance of the first period fell for the Yeltz following a neat spell of possession nine minutes before the interval when Nisbett played a lovely ball for Arshad on the edge of the six-yard box but he planted his half-volley beyond Paul Strudley’s post from a tight angle.

After few chances again at the start of the second period, Nisbett robbed Thatcham’s left-back but his cross saw Lee Chilton crowded out after 57 minutes. With the game opening up, the Kingfishers enjoyed a good spell with Halesowen thanking goalkeeper Evans for keeping the scores level. The visitors forced two corners in the 61st minute and two minutes later James Clark crossed for Taplin to slice wide. Seconds later, Cook advanced on goal after blocking Mark Smith’s clearance, but Evans rescued. Substitute Mark Green then almost scored with his first touch of the game in the 65th minute when free on goal, but Evans raced out again to make a splendid reflex save and keep Thatcham at bay.

Halesowen responded to finish the game strongly with Chilton floating in a delightful cross for Nisbett to nod a good chance just wide at the far post in the 69th minute. The Yeltz took the lead with captain SAUNDERS powering home a header on the edge of the six-yard box from Chilton’s 71st minute corner. The visitors then made two further substitutions and Sam Tucker flashed an 85th minute shot just wide.

But Halesowen wrapped up the points with two excellent strikes in stoppage time. In the second minute of added time, Arshad’s neat overhead kick on the half-way line set Chilton free to run on towards goal and although his fierce shot rattled the crossbar, NISBETT was on hand to roll the rebound into the bottom corner of the net.

Even better then followed when ARSHAD smashed home a brilliant solo effort just under the crossbar for the best goal of the game in the 94th minute.

Halesowen Town: Evans; Mason, Kelly, Smith, Folkes, McGrath, Bruce, Saunders (c), Arshad, Nisbett, Chilton. Unused Subs: Westwood, Hinds, Gueyes, Godwin, Jackson .

Thatcham Town: Strudley; Bratt, Taplin (Flegg 79), James, Thomas (c), Melledrew, Clark, Sadler (Tucker 74), Cook, Smillie (Green 65), Johnson. Unused Sub: Bowler.

Referee: C. Husband (Worcester)

Attendance: 254

Man of The Match - Thatcham Town - Peter Folkes

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