Halesowen Town 1 Barton Rovers 1 - Report

Halesowen had to be content with a draw after failing to overcome battling Barton.

Halesowen v Barton Rovers match action (credit Steve Evans)
Halesowen v Barton Rovers match action (credit Steve Evans)

Paul McCone made an excellent last-gasp goal-line clearance to keep out Dean Dummett's 4th minute shot with home goalkeeper Brendon Bunn beaten before McKauley Manning fired a rasping drive over Barton's bar two minutes later.

The Yeltz went on to take a 15th minute lead when Simeon Cobourne was hauled down by Lewis Thomas and COBOURNE stepped up to smash the resulting penalty kick into the corner of Niall Cooper's net.

However, the visitors soon pulled level with a superb 21st minute goal when Nathan TSHIKUNA side-stepped his marker on the edge of the home penalty area and his 20 yard shot beat goalkeeper Brendon Bunn to find the top corner. Barton continued to press and chase as Brendon Bunn gathered from Charlie Smith's dangerous free-kick and from Victor Osobu, who caused danger by twisting in the penalty area. Jay Palmer also found space in the Halesowen area after 38 minutes to fire over the bar as Barton edged the better of the first-half chances.

Towards the interval Josh Hawker delivered a free-kick straight at Barton goalkeeper Cooper and Robbie Bunn drove a corner across the Barton penalty area after Jack Holmes' effort was deflected away.

Halesowen dominated the second half, eventually playing three up-front, but Barton made it difficult with their stubborn defence proving hard to break down. Early in the second half Manning's cross almost squirmed free from goalkeeper Cooper's grasp.

Barton went mighty close to going ahead on the break after 63 minutes when Tshikuna set up Osobu and his shot came back off the underside of the crossbar with the home goalkeeper well beaten. Osobu then muscled out Ash Carter but his shot was clawed away by Brendon Bunn for a 72nd minute corner.

The late home pressure continued to build in search of a winner as Manning's 74th minute free-kick was grabbed by Cooper and Cooper snatched Paul McCone's cross five minutes later. Cooper then pulled off a tremendous 80th minute diving save to keep out substitute Jamie Molyneux's header from substitute George Forsyth's cross. Halesowen forced five late corners but Barton's resolute defence held out as Molyneux headed wide and Carter's injury time long range shot was turned away.

Halesowen Town: Brendon Bunn; Rob Evans (George Forsyth 61), Ash Carter, Josh Hawker, Paul McCone (c), Ahmed Ali, Reece Hewitt (Dan Westwood 67), Bunn, Simeon Cobourne, Jack Holmes (Jamie Molyneux 67), McKauley Manning. Subs Not Used: Andy Parsons, Bradley Catlow (GK).

Barton Rovers: Niall Cooper; Jerome Jibodu, Ty Ward, Charlie Smith (c), Kai, Lewis Thomas, Victor Osobu (c), Dean Dummett, Connor Vincent, Nathan Tshikuna (Martel Powell 90), Jay Palmer (Christopher Regis 71). Subs Not Used: Jermaine Hall, Paul Andrews.

Referee: Harry Warner

Attendance: 400

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