Haseley double helps Halesowen forget their FA Cup hangover

First published in Sport

HALESOWEN Town produced the perfect pick-me-up following their FA Cup heartbreak at Marske United last Saturday by gunning down Gresley Rovers 5-0 to remain amongst the Evo-Stick First Division south frontrunners.

The Yeltz dominated from start to finish and could have easily grabbed far more goals as Gresley were swept aside - writes Nick Pullen

Prolific Yeltz striker Ben Haseley bagged two of the goals, taking his tally to 18 for the season already.

Ironically, Haseley had squandered a series of chances in the first half, but then netted two goals of the highest quality.

Haseley had already missed out on a trio of early chances, the best of which saw him put clean through by Joe Hull, but Gresley's 18 year old Derby County loanee Ross Etheridge pulled off a great save after 20 minutes.

Two minutes later, the Yeltz went ahead, Hull having time and space to head home Elliott Turner's corner.

Numerous further chances went begging. Iyesden Christie had a 30 yard thunderbolt acrobatically tipped over the crossbar by Etheridge, before Turner had another goalbound effort blocked on the line.

Tommy Tonks was next to miss out when his shot was also hoofed off the line, leaving the Yeltz just 1-0 ahead at half time.

Six minutes into the second half, Haseley finally cut loose, turning Gresley defender Liam Guest inside out before slotting home.

Four minutes later, Haseley made it 3-0 after being put through by Neil McKenzie and producing some deft ball control that bamboozled the Gresley defence.

Only a fabulous save from Etheridge prevented Haseley from completing his hat-trick on 58 minutes.

But there was no escape for Gresley as Kristian Green got behind their defence and crossed low and hard for full back Mitch Hanson to turn into his own net on 72 minutes.

Turner then made it 5-0 on 75 minutes to complete Gresley's misery, his low raking drive going in off the post after Etheridge was left helpless.

Gresley did manage one moment of pure quality when substitute Marc Goodfellow fired in an 84th minute free kick which forced Yeltz goalkeeper Paul Evans to produce a fantastic save, diving full stretch to fingertip around the post.

Yeltz manager John Hill admitted afterwards: "I thought it was going to be a tough night. The dressing room before the game was very subdued and I think some of the players still had last Saturday's game against Marske on their minds.

"The game with Gresley came at just the right time for us, because we needed to be playing, rather than have the week off.

"I expected a close game as Gresley had just kept a clean sheet against Belper, which was a very decent result.

"I was delighted with the performance, because I was wondering how the players would react on the back of that FA Cup game which we really shouldn't have lost!

Halesowen Town: Evans; Green, Meacham, MacKenzie, Hull, Tilt, Martin (Griffiths 79), Tonks (Gueyes 68), Christie, Haseley (Penney 78), Turner. Subs not used: Kelly, Pearson (GK)

 

Referee: John Law

Ateendance 232

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