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31 Mar 2012 SLSW Bridgwater Town 0-1 Halesowen Town PDF Print E-mail

Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South and West – Saturday, 31st March 2012

Bridgwater Town 0 Halesowen Town 1

Craig Reid celebrated his impressive Halesowen debut by heading home a superb first half winner.  The former Hucknall Town and Rugby Town left-sided midfielder met Andrew Westwood’s fine right-wing cross perfectly in the 20th minute and planted his header beyond goalkeeper Luke Purnell. 19 year-old St. Kitts and Nevis international Akil Grier also made his debut up front for Halesowen.


The bumpy, dry playing surface made ball control difficult on Halesowen’s first ever visit to Fairfax Park but the visitors settled to force four consecutive corners in the 13th minute with defender Josh Turner heading away the most dangerous delivery of the four from Reid. Ben Haseley then laid the ball off for Nathan Jackson but his 18th minute shot from 20 yards was tipped over the bar by home goalkeeper Purnell before Reid put Halesowen ahead.

Yeltz goalkeeper Paul Evans also played a vital part in securing the points and he just palmed the ball away from Ollie Barnes’ 26th minute poke, allowing his defence to tidy up after the Robins created their first chance. At the other end Turner sliced Nathaniel Caines’ 33rd minute cross away for a corner. Just before half-time, Bridgwater’s Dave Pearse was thwarted by a 36th minute goal line clearance after finding space and Pearse was denied again when put clear in the 44th minute when a vital touch from Evans turned the ball away for a corner.

The Robins made a complete hash of a glorious 50th minute chance from an indirect free-kick just six yards from the Halesowen goal, awarded after Evans was forced into handling a back pass. The incident turned comical as confused Bridgwater failed to even find another red-shirted player from the indirect set piece. A minute later Haseley’s effort was blocked by Purnell and with time running out substitute Jem Mills almost met a cross from livewire Marcus Jackson.

However, for most of the second period Halesowen’s midfield and defence proved solid enough to control matters and preserve the lead before the home side finished with a late flourish.

Evans grabbed Danny Wring’s 88th minute free kick low down and with 90 minutes on the clock home substitute Kenzie Farnham turned on the penalty spot to fire wide. But the hosts waited until the fifth minute of added time for their closest chance when Evans produced a fingertip touch as Wring rattled the crossbar with a 20 yard shot.

Bridgwater Town: Purnell; C. Mawford, Barnes, Turner (Pople 84), Pitcher, Middleton (Watts 67), J. Mawford, Wring (c), Clowes (Farnham 77), Monks, Pearse.  Unused Subs: Irish, Champion.

Halesowen Town: Evans; Westwood, Caines, Folkes, Smith, Saunders (c) (Gueyes 71), M. Jackson, N. Jackson, Grier (Mills 83), Haseley, Reid. Unused Subs: Flower, Drake, Fulloway.

Referee: J. McCaffery (Launceston)

Attendance: 167

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