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03 Dec 2011 SLSW Hungerford Town 2-0 Halesowen Town PDF Print E-mail

Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South and West – Saturday, 3rd December 2011

Hungerford Town 2 Halesowen Town 0

Halesowen were easily beaten by two first half goals as the early season pacesetters Hungerford returned to top form.

The Crusaders took an early 5th minute lead when Halesowen goalkeeper Paul Evans was deceived by Diak John’s left wing cross and Mark DRAYCOTT stooped to head home from close range. Lee Chilton exchanged passes with Nathan Jones and clipped a shot at home goalkeeper Stuart Wood in the 11th minute and that proved to be Halesowen’s only attempt on goal in the first half. Hungerford captain Mattie Day nodded wide as the hosts forced two corners mid-way through the first half.

The hosts suffered a blow after 37 minutes when their goalkeeper Wood limped out of the game after falling awkwardly from a challenge with Nathan Jackson and was replaced between the sticks by Scott Griffin.

But the Yeltz barely troubled the reserve goalkeeper for the rest of the afternoon in a below par performance. With Hungerford controlling matters, Evans produced a fine 38th minute save to deny Luke Hopper.

Hungerford doubled their lead after 40 minutes when Luke BREWER picked up a loose ball from a corner kick and cracked home on the half-volley from the edge of the penalty area. Seconds later Draycott drove high to end a dismal first half for Halesowen.

Early in the second period, Michael McGrath struck a weak free-kick at Griffin and the home goalkeeper collected a cross from Chilton. Halesowen full-back Scott Mason then made a 54th minute goal-line clearance to prevent a third Hungerford goal after Hopper’s shot was deflected.

Andrew Westwood had replaced Jackson at the interval and went close when his 55th minute cross was clawed out from under the crossbar by stand-in goalkeeper Griffin . But that was as good as it got and there was to be no way back into the game with Hungerford finishing the game still in the ascendancy in a game littered by interruptions for yellow cards. Jamie Gosling’s 65th minute effort from the right was grabbed at the second attempt by Evans and Chris Blackford’s 75th minute corner was cleared. Gavin Saunders then fired at Griffin after 79 minutes in a rare Halesowen attempt.

The Crusaders went close again in the 80th minute when Hopper escaped from Brendan Kelly down the right and his shot squirmed from Evans’ grasp but James Loney cleared well with Draycott sliding in to meet the rebound in front of goal. Evans then beat the ball away from Gosling in the 82nd minute. With two minutes remaining, Jones set Chilton free but he was forced wide by goalkeeper Griffin and was then crowded out without any forward support to assist.

Hungerford Town: Wood ( Griffin 37); Wheeldon, John, Boardman, Day (c), Brewer, Blackford, Gosling ( Stow 83), Hopper (Ogbanufe 81), Draycott, Mills. Unused Subs: Macklin, Davis .

Halesowen Town: Evans; Mason, Caines, Loney, Kelly, McGrath, Bruce, Saunders (c), Jones, Jackson (Westwood 46), Chilton. Unused Subs: Gueyes, Borrey, Flower.

Referee: A. Beavis (Romsey)

Attendance: 82

Booked: Jackson (24), Bruce (48), Jones (52), Boardman (52), McGrath (59), Hopper (71), Mills (85), Chilton (90)

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