Halesowen Town 4 Stratford Town 1 - Report

Montel Gibson struck another hat-trick as rampant Halesowen thumped four goals past higher level Stratford in a terrific display of attacking football.


Halesowen were quickly onto the front foot as Robbie Bunn's 12th minute shot from 20 yards was collected by Stratford goalkeeper Elliott Taylor and Bunn then forced Taylor into a great low save from a 21st minute free-kick on the edge of the area.

The Yeltz took a 25th minute lead when livewire Luke Yates harassed and robbed full-back Charley O'Keefe down the right and played a lovely early cross for unmarked Gibson to control and smash home neatly from ten yards out.

Kurtis Revan provided the main first half danger from Stratford and the visitors levelled just five minutes later when Revan crossed from the right for Luis Morrison to tap home from close range. Former Yeltz midfielder Ivor Lawton then dragged a shot just wide on a Stratford break.

But Halesowen restored their lead in the 44th minute when defender Andy Parsons headed home into the top corner directly from Bunn's corner.

There was no let up from high-tempo Halesowen in the second period as their forward line ran Stratford's defence ragged. Gibson latched onto a 49th minute long ball and turned his last defender before just failing to get his shot away and Ash Sammons hit a trademark long low drive just wide from 30 yards out after 57 minutes.

Gibson was put clear on goal with a forward ball from George Forsyth to beat the offside trap and he calmly slotted home his second goal to make it 3-1 in the 67th minute. Stratford's hopes then ended when forward Nabil Shariff was sent off with a straight red card in the 70th minute for an apparent elbow on James Bowen in the six-yard box. With the Yeltz ending the game in complete control, there were plenty more late chances and Jamie Molyneux raced down the left before squaring the ball for Gibson to be blocked twice in front of goal in the 86th minute.

Gibson stroked home to complete his fine hat-trick after being set free on goal yet again in the 88th minute. With Stratford's defence ripped apart once more, Molyneux shot wide in the clear after 89 minutes and fired just wide again in the second minute of injury time with substitute Jamie Lucas just unable to convert the rebound.

Halesowen Town: Bradley Catlow; Jordan Piggott, James Bowen, Ashley Sammons (Reece Hewitt 62), Paul McCone (c), Andrew Parsons, George Forsyth (Jamie Lucas 68), Robbie Bunn (Jamie Ashmore 90), Montel Gibson, Luke Yates, Jamie Molyneux. Subs Not Used: Lewis Wright, Joshua Hawker, Ethan Jones, Brendon Bunn (GK).

Stratford Town: Elliott Taylor; Linden Dovey, Charley O'Keefe (Dan Vann 46), Luis Morrison, Tom Fishwick, Ross Oulton (c), Lewis Wilson, Ivor Lawton (Joe Gyasi 59), Nabil Shariff, Joe Curtis, Kurtis Revan (Callum Ball 68). Subs Not Used: George Heaven, Sam Lomax, Chris Wreh, Mitchell Glover.

Referee: Gareth Davis Attendance: 611

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