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Halesowen Town 4 Gresley 2
6:00pm Saturday 9th February 2013 in Football
A SUMBLIME Ben Haseley hat-trick helped Halesowen Town record their fourth win in a row.
The striker fired the Yeltz ahead midway through the first half before Aaron Griffiths doubled the advantage with an exquisite volley.
Royce Turville got Gresley back into it from close range but Haseley restored the advantage when he brought down a long ball and fired past visiting keeper Gary Hateley.
Haseley then completed his hat-trick with a wonderful half-volley before substitute Lewis Hamilton grabbed a late consolation for the visitors.
The late goal could not take the gloss off a fine display from the Yeltz and a wonderful one from Haseley, who took his season tally up to 33. All three goals were of the highest quality, the third a contender for goal of the season.
On this form, you would not bet against him reaching the half-century by the time April rolls around.
After a first half of the season marked by managerial change and inconsistency on the pitch, the Yeltz finally seem to be gaining some momentum and could well ride Haseley’s goals into the play-offs.
Haseley could have opened the scoring inside three minutes but visiting keeper Hateley proved equal to his header from Aaron Griffiths’ vicious cross.
Hateley pulled off another smart save from a Haseley header. By then Dean Rathbone should have put Gresley in front but he failed to make a firm connection when Paul Evans’ poor punch fell to him just ten yards out and the effort was blocked on the line.
There could be no doubting the firmness of Haseley’s connection for Halesowen’s opener. The striker picked up a loose ball on the left wing and drove into the box before unleashing a powerful shot past Hateley and into the far corner.
It was an impressive finish which was soon bettered by Griffiths. Mitch Botfield’s corner was cleared to the edge of the box to the winger, who hit a fine looping shot which went over Hateley and in off the underside of the bar to double the advantage.
Gresley were rocking and only a fine save from Hateley prevented Joe Hull making it three with a header moments later. Haseley had another effort cleared off the line and Luke Corbett sent an exquisite lob just wide of the post as the Yeltz threatened to kill the game off early.
In that respect it was frustrating the hosts let their opponents back into the game with a soft goal. Phil Massingham was afforded time to cross for Turville, who stabbed the ball past Evans from six yards out. The goal seemed to galvanise Gresley and they were almost level before the break but Jordi Gough’s long range effort went just the wrong side of the post.
Haseley had a wonderful chance to restore the two goal advantage early in the second half but for once his radar was off kilter and he fired wide.
It almost proved costly as Massingham missed his kick at the other end with the goal gaping, following a nice move involving Goodfellow and Massingham.
The next goal was looking crucial and as has been the case so often this season, Haseley got it, beating the offside trap before controlling Eric Bowen’s long punt forward and firing low past Hateley.
Like all good entertainers the Yeltz striker saved the best for last, completing his hat-trick with a goal celebrated by the entire team. Haseley brought down Adam Meacham’s floated pass on the edge of the box, fooled both centre-backs with his first touch before sending a wonderful half-volley past Hateley and into the top corner with his second.
Hamilton did give the travelling support something to cheer when he fired home from close range in the third minute of stoppage time but the game was long over as a contest.
YELTZ: Evans, Bowen, Meacham, Botfield, Hull, Kelly, Griffiths, Barnfield (c), Corbett (Arshad 81), Haseley (Kargbo 84), Gueyes (Warmer 78) subs not used: Winsper, Flower.
Goals: Haseley 23 66 75, Griffiths 28.
GRESLEY: Hateley (c), Wood, Gough, Strzyzewski, Nottingham (Walker 82), Holmes (Hamilton 75), Rathbone, Jepson (Lyons 82), Massingham, Turville, Goodfellow subs not used: Hanslow, Barrett.
Goals: Turville 35, Hamilton 90+3.