Halesowen Town 2 Daventry Town 1 - Report

Third-placed Halesowen secured a much-needed home victory after two goals in four minutes at the end of the first half proved just enough to overcome Daventry’s resistance.

The Yeltz created all the early danger but found Daventry goalkeeper James Martin in superb form. Martin saved when Chris Lait was free in the 2nd minute and blocked again five minutes later in a one-on-one with Simeon Cobourne with the rebound from Brad Birch - on his home debut - also cleared.

Martin then held onto Jordan Goddard’s 15th minute effort after good work from Birch down the left with Cobourne ready to pounce, before also denying McKauley Manning’s 28th minute shot.

But Daventry weathered the storm and ventured forward with Tom Lorraine hitting over the bar down the centre after 37 minutes. The visitors then stunned the Grove by snatching the lead when a 38th minute corner was only partly cleared and the ball fell for Nat Gosnal-Tyler to fire home a great shot into the top corner from just outside the area.

However the Yeltz moved up a gear to turn the game around in the last four minutes of the first half. Firstly, Goddard side-stepped his marker to smash home through a crowded defence after Birch did well to cross from the right after 42 minutes. Secondly, Cobourne then gave Halesowen a 2-1 lead in the 45th minute with a low header at the far post from Lewis Wright’s superb right wing cross.

After the interval Daventry goalkeeper Martin continued his good form by holding onto Josh Hawker’s 48th minute effort. But Halesowen missed a golden 53rd minute opportunity to increase their lead when Cobourne fired wide from the penalty spot after Callum Martin impeded a surging run by Rob Evans. Lait then cut in from the left in the 58th minute to shoot over the angle.

The Greens continued to battle away and the three points were far from safe for Halesowen as the visitors applied late pressure, starting with George Ball striking past the post after 84 minutes.

There was further late danger for Halesowen with two long Daventry throw-ins in injury time, followed by a corner, where even goalkeeper Martin joined the attack. After Martin raced back to snatch the ball from home substitute Joe Palmer, the ball was delivered straight down the other end again and it was home goalkeeper Dan Platt who finally secured the home victory with a crucial save in the final seconds.

Teams

Halesowen Town: Dan Platt; Lewis Wright, McKauley Manning, Josh Hawker (c) (Joe Palmer 77), Dan Brookes, Rob Evans, Chris Lait (Harry White 71), Bradley Birch, Simeon Cobourne, Jordan Goddard, Kyle Finn. Subs Not Used: Dan Whitehouse, Brett Lloyd, Toby Scott.

Daventry Town: James Martin; Joe Coleman, Callum Martin (Jeff Woodward 89), Ross Harris (c), Jarvis Wilson, Dan Childs, George Ball, Joel Nketia, Jack Bowen, Tom Lorraine (Luke Emery 71), Nat Gosnal-Tyler. Sub Not Used: Carter Price, Jamie Andrews, Tom Rowley.

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