Halesowen Town miss out on Wembley with 2-1 loss in FA Trophy

Halesowen's epic FA Trophy run finally came to a heartbreaking end as National League South Concord Rangers came from behind to book a Wembley final place.

The Yeltz made the perfect start to take a 7th minute lead after tricky Simeon Cobourne laid the ball for Richard Gregory to side-step his marker and strike a well placed low shot from the edge of the penalty area past home goalkeeper Chris Haigh.

The Beach Boys then enjoyed a better spell and Brendon Bunn collected a header from Aron Pollock before then cutting out a 17th minute cross from Lamar Reynolds. Temi Babalola was denied by Ash Carter's fine 19th minute challenge and then headed Concord's first corner over the bar a minute later.

McKauley Manning's 15th minute effort fell wide down the left and Robbie Bunn played a neat 1-2 only to see his 22nd minute shot blocked for Halesowen.

The game quietened down later in the first half although Reynolds' 30th minute low snapshot from 25 yards fell just inches wide and Sam Blackman headed straight into Brendon Bunn's arms after 30 minutes. Cobourne then flashed a shot wide on the break after 31 minutes for the visitors.

But just as it appeared the visitors were on course for a half-time lead, Halesowen were pegged back by a cruel own goal with Yeltz defender Rob Evans only able to turn Nathan Carlyle's right-wing cross past his own goalkeeper Brendon Bunn after 37 minutes.

The semi-final remained all square at the end of an even first period with little difference evident between the teams.

Confident Halesowen started the second period on the front foot as Gregory looped a clever ball for Reece Hewitt to drag a 51st minute shot just wide.

The second half then followed the same even pattern and the Beach Boys went close as Babalola met a 60th minute cross to plant a free header on top of the crossbar from Alex Wall's cross.

Chances became increasing scarce as the half wore on, although Halesowen's Robbie Bunn struck a 25 yard free-kick at goalkeeper Haigh. However, Concord finally found their winner with eleven minutes remaining when Wall was put through from the left and broke free from Paul McCone to clip the ball over Brendon Bunn into an empty net.

The Yeltz pushed forward for an equaliser and were almost exposed at the back when Brendon Bunn saved with his legs from substitute George Alexander in the 86th minute. Halesowen's first corner from Robbie Bunn drifted across the area in the 88th minute and Concord defended their lead through five minutes of added time by clearing crosses from Robbie Bunn and McCone to celebrate their forthcoming Wembley visit.


Concord Rangers: Chris Haigh; Nathan Carlyle, Tosan Popo, Billy Roast, Aron Pollock, Tyrone Sterling (c), Lamar Reynolds, Sam Blackman, Alex Wall, James Blanchfield (Odei Martin 67), Temi Babalola (George Alexander 78). Subs Not Used: Danny Green, Chris Millar, Alex Hernandez, Archie McFadden, Lee Minshull.

Halesowen Town: Brendon Bunn; Rob Evans, McKauley Manning (Jamie Molyneux 58), Ash Carter, Paul McCone (c), George Forsyth (Dan Westwood 82), Ahmed Ali, Robbie Bunn, Simeon Cobourne (Josh Hawker 74), Richard Gregory, Reece Hewitt. Subs Not Used: Andy Parsons, Jamie Ashmore, James Bowen, Bradley Catlow (GK).

Referee: Sam Purkiss Attendance: No spectators

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