Match Report:by KEVIN HAND, Photographs by GRANTY
Halesowen Town 4 v 1 Stratford Town
Saturday 21 September 2019 3.00 pm FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round
• But men are men…
What a difference a few days make. The warm, confident atmosphere of Tuesday evaporated in the autumn sun to a performance distinctly lacking in ’mellow fruitfulness!’ The Yeltz ran out worthy winners as Town wilted in the second half.
Both sides were ‘up for the Cup’ with Town making just one enforced change (Lawton for cup-tied Rowe). Atonement for the poor recent league cup performance against the same opponents just was distinctly on the cards.
The opening exchanges were even as both sides attempted to gain the upper hand. Revan was impressing for Town; the elusive Yates for Halesowen. Taylor made great save diving to his left on 20 minutes to deny Bunn from a free kick. On 25 minutes Yates out-muscled and out-paced O’Keefe on the right before delivering a perfect cross for Montel Gibson to run onto for the simplest of finishes.
30 minutes and the scores were level as Revan repaid the compliment with an inch perfect cross for Morrison. Town began to dominate and with a clever use of the offside trap was frustrating the Yeltz. On 43 minutes Taylor cleared poorly from hand and the home team drove forward earning a corner on the right. Bunn’s cross was converted with a glancing header from Parsons as the ball arced into the far corner of the net. 2-1 down was a poor reflection on Town’s efforts.
The second half saw Vann replace O’Keefe and, if anything, he had an even more torrid 45 minutes as Halesowen ran riot. The wheels well and truly came off the bus as Halesowen’s forward cut through the Town defence at will. 67 minutes and Gibson raced clear and with Taylor in ‘no man’s land.’ the finish was simple. Chances came and went and Taylor made several outstanding saves before Gibson wrapped things up and grabbed the match ball with his third goal and Halesowen’s 4th on 88 minutes.
By this time Shariff was sent off following a penalty area skirmish on 70 minutes with Jordan Piggott. So, no ‘ FA Cup glory’ this season with a tricky away fixture at Hitchin in 7 days’ time.
• But men are men; the best sometimes forget. Othello Act2 Scene3
Saturday 28 September Hitchin (A) 3.00pm BetVictorSLPDC