Halesowen Town 7 Yaxley 1 - Report

Richard Gregory completed a hat-trick within ten first-half minutes on his league debut as Halesowen started the new season in seventh heaven.

Halesowen celebrate (pic Steve Evans)
Halesowen celebrate (pic Steve Evans)

Manager Paul Smith kept his feet firmly on the ground in his analysis. "I'm pleased we've made a good start to the season and won the game well. I was impressed with the number of good chances we created, somewhere like 20 or 25 in total and we could've scored more. We still have plenty of good options available to us in the squad."

The business-like Yeltz created a host of promising first half opportunities and lively Simeon Cobourne set the tone by hitting the inside of the post in the third minute. Ahmed Ali then headed Josh Hawker's left-wing cross onto the top of the net and Gregory curled just wide. Yaxley briefly threatened as Dan Cotton fired into the side-netting to earn a corner.

As chances came thick and fast for the Yeltz, Rob Evans was set free on goal by a quickly taken 19th minute free-kick and selflessly squared the ball for Cobourne to rattle the crossbar in front of an open goal. Five minutes later, Gregory forced Yaxley goalkeeper Aaron Butcher into an excellent save after a short corner was played to Evans.

Gregory finally bagged Halesowen's first goal when he powered home a 26th minute header from a super right-wing cross by Jack Holmes. Gregory soon added his second goal just five minutes later with a clever overhead kick after Cobourne's shot was blocked.

As the excitement continued, the Cuckoos pulled a goal back when centre-forward Charley SANDERS headed home directly from Joe Butterworth's 33rd minute corner. But Gregory turned home Cobourne's left wing cross to complete his excellent hat-trick in the 36th minute.

McKauley Manning scored a fine individual goal to make it 4-1 in the 53rd minute after dribbling through six Yaxley players on a mazy run to beat goalkeeper Butcher from the left and Cobourne stepped up to bang home Halesowen's fifth goal from the penalty spot after he was brought down in the 57th minute.

Robbie Bunn's 70th minute free-kick somehow squirmed free of goal thanks to the post and Butcher's save but further goals soon followed as Halesowen ran riot. Evans was put clean through and once again selflessly put the ball on a plate for substitute Luke Yates to add a sixth goal in the 76th minute. It was left for substitute Dan Westwood to beat Butcher with an exquisite 78th minute chip to complete the scoring at 7-1.


Halesowen Town: Brendon Bunn; Rob Evans, McKauley Manning, Josh Hawker, Paul McCone (c), Ahmed Ali, Reece Hewitt (George Forsyth 67), Robbie Bunn, Simeon Cobourne, Richard Gregory (Dan Westwood 62), Jack Holmes (Luke Yates 73). Subs Not Used: Ash Carter, Bradley Catlow (GK).

Yaxley: Aaron Butcher; Harvey Steel, Jack Dickerson, Joe Butterworth, Charlie Johnson, Ryan Bailey, Cameron Gow (Taylor Horne 75), Kyle Nolan, Charley Sanders (Sam Bennett 62), Daniel Cotton (c), Jordan Macleod. Subs Not Used: Thomas Waumsley.

Referee: Jake Allsopp Attendance: 400

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