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1st Team - Match centre

Halesowen Town
Stourbridge
Mon 6 Apr 15:00 - The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier - Premier Division Full time Attendance 1,748

Halesowen Town 2 Stourbridge 0

A lacklustre display in the Black Country Derby saw the Glassboys slip to defeat against a Halesowen team who were good value for the points.

After Saturday's positive performance and undeserved defeat at home to Workington, Gary Hackett will have hoped to see his team continue in similar vein against their local rivals, but the Yeltz took control of the game from the start and Stourbridge rarely looked like wrestling it back.

There was one change from Saturday's starting eleven with the unavailable Will Richards making way for Kayelden Brown and Leon Broadhurst moving into central defence alongside Leon Miles as a result.

On a hard, dry, bobbly pitch in front of a huge crowd of nearly 1,750 (the highest in the Division this season other than for matches involving FC United of Manchester), it was Halesowen who pushed forward from the kick-off and it was they who produced the first real chance of the game as Dean Coleman was forced into a spectacular diving save away to his right to keep out a header from a long throw.

And that pattern of dead balls and long throws was to continue for much of the half, the Stourbridge defence having its work cut out dealing with the threat.

Their was a brief moment of promise on 22 minutes as Luke Benbow fed Chris Lait down the left-hand channel, but Matt Sargeant was equal to the former Halesowen man's shot, even though he was unable to prevent the ball going for a corner.

But that proved a false dawn for the visitors, as Halesowen forged ahead three minutes later. A quick break following a Stourbridge attack saw Curtis Tilt advance down the left, only to be halted by a crude tackle from Luke Connolly that earned the right back a yellow card. From the set-piece, skipper Joe Hull rose highest to plant a firm header past Coleman who could do nothing.

Halesowen possession and Stourbridge defence remained the order of the day for much of the rest of the first half, with a free-kick from Drew Canavan that was hit straight at the wall Stourbridge's only glimpse of an equaliser, and as the half closed it was the home side who searched for a second goal. First a 44th minute free-kick from Iyseden Christie met the same fate as Canavan's effort as it canoned into the wall, and then Aaron Forde's stoppage time volley side over the angle of post and crossbar.

If there was at least the prospect of Stourbridge imposing themselves more playing down the slope in the second half, that hope lasted just four minutes. Ben Haseley turned Miles all too easily on the edge of the penalty area, and when he played the ball in to Christie he was bundled over by Knight, who was perhaps fortunate not to receive a yellow card. Christie's finish from 12 yards was composure itself, and although Coleman guessed right he was unable to get a hand to the ball and prevent it going in.

Manager Hackett made a change on the hour, with nothing to lose, switching to a back three and pushing Brown further forward, but it brought no reward and, if anything, it was Halesowen who looked more likely to add to the scoring. Indeed, there was an escape moments later when Broadhurst slipped allowing Haseley a clear run on goal, only for the assistant's flag to come to Stourbridge's rescue.

Lait fired a shot over the bar on 64 minutes in a rare Stourbridge attack, and Haseley then did likewise at the other end ten minutes later after a corner was only half cleared.

Lait again conjured an opportunity on 76 minutes, charging down Tilt's attempted clearance to leave himself free on goal, but the Halesowen defender's determination to recover and dispossess Lait before he could trouble Sargeant told the story of the game in a nutshell.

Disappointment, then, and much to ponder on for Gary Hackett and his team.

The result means Stourbridge remain in 13th place with King's Lynn below them only on goal difference. Whitby Town and Nantwich Town are just a point further back, and the gap to the relegation zone is a mere seven points. If the Glassboys thought they were safe they may wish to reappraise that assessment.

Stourbridge: Coleman, Canavan, Knight, Brown, Smikle, Miles, Connolly (Fitzpatrick 61), Broadhurst, Benbow (Morgan-Parker 67), Dodd (Hales 85), Lait.

Unused substitutes: Quaynor, Williams.

Attendance: 1,748.

Train with the Best - Win a training session with the England 6-a-side squad

Replay game

As it happened

  • Halesowen Town
  • Stourbridge
  • 0
  • Luke Connolly Yellow Card 23:00'
  • Leon Miles Yellow Card 55:00'
  • Luke Connolly Sub Off 61:00'
  • Jordan Fitzpatrick Sub On 61:00'
  • Luke Benbow Sub Off 67:00'
  • Josh Morgan-Parker Sub On 67:00'
  • Matt Dodd Sub Off 85:00'
  • Reece Hales Sub On 85:00'

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League round up

League table

# Team Pl Pts
14. Matlock Town 46 56
15. Nantwich Town 46 55
16. Stourbridge 46 53
17. Ramsbottom United 46 53
18. Kings Lynn Town 46 52
19. Frickley Athletic 46 50
20. Stamford 46 50

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