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Halesowen Town 1 Hungerford Town 3
TWO goals in the final 15 minutes condemned Halesowen Town to their 18th league defeat of the season.
Reece Fleet put the visitors in front when he capitalised on poor defending to drive home in a largely forgettable first half.
Skipper Brendan Kelly equalised for the hosts with a powerful free-kick but substitute Joe McClellan restored Hungerford's lead.
And Harry Goodger made the game safe late on when he stabbed home from close range.
This was another frustrating afternoon at the Grove but at least the game brightened up after a pretty drab first half.
On another day the Yeltz might have got something out of it but the visitors were rewarded for a strong finish.
Sloppy defending again didn’t help the hosts, with the first goal in particular a bit of a horror show.
At the other end, Ben Haseley was close to scoring a truly superb goal which would probably have been talked about for years. But frustratingly, after single-handidly taking on the defence and rounding the keeper, he ran the ball too far and the chance was gone.
So near yet so far, it pretty much sums up the Yeltz season.
Though it was a pretty quiet start, Marcus Jackson had a golden opportunity to open the scoring within the opening 60 seconds, when Andrew Westwood’s mis-hit shot rolled into his path he rushed the effort and put it wide.
Quarter of an hour had almost passed before the next chance, Haseley nearly battling past the last two defenders after a fine run. Jackson then fired in a shot which deflected off a trailing leg and into the grateful arms of keeper Chay Morris.
Hungerford came close to opening the scoring with a Goodger header which just went wide but they were showing little as an attacking force until they took the lead.
It was a goal to forget for the Yeltz defence. Mark Draycott’s knockdown from Diak John’s long ball was not cleared and Fleet nipped in to drill the ball past Evans.
Haseley failed to capitalise on a mistake from skipper Boardmen soon after, a heavy touch taking the ball to Morris after the visiting defender had headed the ball into the Yeltz striker’s path.
But Hungerford were starting to look much brighter going forward and Goodger was just wide with another header before the break.
Whatever Yeltz boss Shaun Cunnington told his men in the dressing room, it certainly worked as they began the second half at a much hight tempo and within four minutes were rewarded with an equaliser.
Haseley had already tested Morris with a shot before he was pulled down on the edge of the box by Boardman. Kelly went for power rather than precision and it was enough to beat Morris, who will feel he should have done better.
The next action happened off the pitch as Yeltz assistant Paul Tomlinson was sent off, presumably for dissent.
Haseley came close to scoring a memorable goal when he took on the defence but after beating Boardman and rounding Morris he ran the ball too far and the chance went begging.
Two minutes later Boardman thought he had put his side back in front with a close range finish, only to be denied by a linesman’s flag. The defender then had a header cleared off the line by Peter Folkes after Evans appeared to miss the ball completey.
It was end-to-end stuff and Kelly drove another free-kick just over the bar after Haseley had been cynically tripped by Luke Brewer.
But with 14 minutes to go the visitors re-took the lead. Fleet’s shot was parried by Evans into the path of substitute McClellan who fired home.
The Yeltz looked for way back and Marcus Jackson was agonisingly close to getting on the end of a Kelly free-kick.
With two minutes to go Goodger finished it. Again Evans stopped the initial effort from McClellan and he then denied Sam Hamilton. But Goodger made it third time lucky as he finished from close range.
YELTZ: Evans, Smith, Caines, Folkes, Kelly (c), Saunders, Jackson M, Jackson N, Westwood, Haseley, Reid (Blackham 81) subs not used: Loney, Flower, Gueyes, Grier.
Goal: Kelly 49.
HUNGERFORD: Morris, Stow, John, Boardman (c), Davis, Brewer, Jack, Fleet, Goodger (Ogbanufe 90), Draycott (Hamilton 83), Crockford (McClellan 46) subs not used: Brown, Wood.
Goals: Fleet 29, McClellan 76, Goodger 88.