Halesowen Town 4-0 Sporting Khalsa - Report

Second-placed Halesowen stormed back to their very best after thumping home four times through four different players against in-form Sporting Khalsa in a pulsating second-half.

Home manager Paul Smith thought his team were “outstanding and gave a complete performance against a very good side with our composure and confidence returning.”

A bumper New Year’s Day crowd of 1,331 enjoyed a good first half with plenty of local derby chances and Kyle Finn started the action with his early strike falling just wide in the first few seconds. Simeon Cobourne then missed a golden opportunity to give the Yeltz a 3rd minute lead after Khalsa’s offside trap was sprung and he was put clean through, but he missed the target in a one-on-one with goalkeeper Sam Arnold. In further early pressure, a 9th minute short corner was played across to Chris Lait but his top corner shot was tipped away for a corner by Arnold.

Home goalkeeper Dan Platt grabbed James McGrady’s 14th minute corner but Halesowen continued to create all the main chances as Lait crossed for Finn to nod wide following a good move after half an hour. Josh Hawker burst forward after 38 minutes but was finally crowded out in the penalty area and Lewis Wright was blocked in front of goal a minute later at the end of another good build-up. Just before the interval Finn played a low ball into the area but Cobourne just failed to make a good enough contact after sliding in and captain Paul McCone also flicked Hawker’s free-kick at Arnold.

Sporting Khalsa started the second half brightly and Kieron Whittaker struck the Halesowen post with goalkeeper Platt beaten in the 49th minute. But everything then clicked into place as Halesowen struck four second half goals in a storming end to the game.

Cobourne was on hand to put the Yeltz ahead in the 51st minute by slotting a rebound low into the net after Arnold made a fine save from Lait. Cobourne then did well to cross for Gregory to hit a first-time shot wide three minutes later. But Gregory soon doubled the lead with his fine finish beating Arnold from the right in the 57th minute.

Man-of-the-match Hawker made it 3-0 after 60 minutes directly from a right-wing corner with the ball evading goalkeeper Arnold to nestle into the far top corner.

Sean Williams headed a good chance wide for the visitors from Luke Yates’s 68th minute free-kick before the Yeltz surged forward again to increase their lead. Cobourne did well to strike the post in the 71st minute but LAIT was well placed to fire the rebound into the roof of the Sporting Khalsa net. Further goals could’ve followed as Cobourne screwed a 79th minute effort wide and substitute Joe Palmer struck at Arnold in front of goal from three yards out in the final minute. There was still time for Arnold to make another great save from Lait in injury time.

Halesowen Town: Dan Platt; Rob Evans, Lewis Wright, Josh Hawker, Paul McCone (c) Nat Kelly (Dan Brookes 80), Chris Lait, McKauley Manning, Simeon Cobourne, Richard Gregory (Joe Palmer 69), Kyle Finn (Jack Holmes 76). Subs Not Used: Toby Scott, Dan Whitehouse.

Sporting Khalsa: Sam Arnold; Yussif Adam (Liam Armstrong 46), Daniel Okojie, Michael Perks, Tesfa Robinson (c), Todd Ferrier, Kieron Whittaker (Gurjit Singh 63), Sean Williams, Josh McKenzie (Jumaane Meggoe 63), Luke Yates, James McGrady. Subs Not Used: Lewis Worsey, Remie Birch.

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