Halesowen smashed six of the best past Daventry to equal their best win of the season and secure a juicy home Northern Premier League Midlands play-off semi-final against Chasetown, writes David Johnson.

On a windy afternoon, the Yeltz mounted early intense pressure with Richard Smith cutting the ball back for Kyle Finn to go just wide in the 2nd minute before home goalkeeper Callum Cook made a fine low save to deny Chris Lait two minutes later. Dan Platt then saved from Tom Lorraine on a 5th minute Daventry break.

Halesowen should probably have been well ahead at the break but failed to convert early chances as Lait hit at Cook after 17 minutes and busy Cook tipped McKauley Manning’s cross-shot over the bar after 23 minutes. Daventry escaped again when Robbie Bunn’s 24th minute corner saw Ahmed Ali’s header cleared off the line by Bleu McNeil.

But the Yeltz finally grabbed a well deserved 25th minute lead when Kieran MORRIS nodded home directly from Bunn’s free-kick. Smith then just failed to double the lead when he put the ball wide from a 30th minute ball over the top. A minute later defender Nat Kelly made a vital clearance for a corner and on a lightning Yeltz break Lait fed Jack Holmes with a good chance, only for his shot to be cleared.

The Purple Army were let back into the game as they snatched a 38th minute equaliser when Jack BOWEN burst through the centre to slam home.

Ali was blocked as another Yeltz chance went begging after 41 minutes before Holmes twisted and turned to force a 45th minute corner. To Halesowen’s delight, ALI restored Halesowen’s lead with another header directly from Bunn’s corner seconds before the interval.

Halesowen turned the screw and put the game to bed by thumping home four further second half goals. Influential Bunn set up Finn in the 49th minute and although his shot was pushed onto the crossbar by Cook, LAIT was on hand to smash home the rebound. Just two minutes later the ball was played across for FINN to convert a low shot off the post to make it 4-1.

HOLMES struck Halesowen’s fifth goal after 72 minutes when he shrugged off two defenders on the right of the penalty area and finished with a wonderful low shot into the corner of the net.

Substitute Michael TAYLOR completed the 6-1 victory by skipping past two defenders in the 85th minute to coolly slot home his first Yeltz goal.


Daventry Town: Callum Cook; Dan Childs (Jeff Woodward 67), Bleu McNeil, Ross Harris, Lewis Burgess, Adam Confue, George Ball, Joel Nketia, Jack Bowen, Tom Lorraine (Dylan Wilson 64), Taylor Orosz (Nat Gosnal-Tyler 60). Subs Not Used: Jamie Andrews, Matt Finlay.

Halesowen Town: Dan Platt; Jack Holmes (Josh Ezewele 75), McKauley Manning, Kieran Morris, Paul McCone (c), Nat Kelly, Kyle Finn, Robbie Bunn, Richard Smith (Michael Taylor 68), Chris Lait, Ahmed Ali (Brad Birch 66). Subs Not Used: Josh Hawker, Simeon Cobourne.

Referee: Karl Donaghey                        Attendance: 385

Booked: Orasz (34)