Express & Star

Halesowen Town 1 Redditch United 2 - Report

Redditch remain top of the table after hitting a late winner in a keenly


contested local derby.

The first half was a real battle of attrition with few early chances and

nothing to separate the sides at the break. Danny King's 16th minute

deflected shot earned the first corner for Redditch but Halesowen broke away

with Miracle Okafor putting Ryan Boothe clear, only for the striker to

hesitate too long and lose his chance.

McKauley Manning's 23rd minute free-kick was gathered by Redditch goalkeeper

Adam Harrison and Harrison then collected Okafor's ball across goal from the

right. For the Reds, Adam Soleman's 34th minute shot from outside the area

rebounded off Dan Platt's crossbar and Platt then saved Jordan Cranston's

40th minute effort. Just before the interval Harrison held onto Manning's

shot and Kieren Donnelly also headed onto the top of Redditch's net.

The game really opened up in the second half and Redditch grabbed a vital

55th minute lead when Soleman threaded an incisive through ball for new loan

signing Jack CONCANNON to skilfully take the ball around goalkeeper Platt

and slot home.

Halesowen then ramped up the pace in search of an equaliser but came up

against a solid Redditch defensive rearguard. Donnelly did well to beat two

players before blasting over the bar in the 59th minute and the hosts then

made an adventurous 61st minute triple substitution. But it was home

goalkeeper Platt who turned the ball around his post to deny substitute Alex

Cameron after 63 minutes.

The Yeltz poured forward in the final twenty minutes and forced a string of

corners. A 72nd minute volley from substitute Richard Gregory was cleared

off the line from Manning's corner and a 78th minute shot from substitute

Jack Holmes was headed away following good work from Gregory and Okafor as

Halesowen knocked on the door.

The Yeltz were finally rewarded with a 78th minute equaliser from another

corner when Donnelly's deflected shot from the edge of the area fell handily

for OKAFOR to slam home his first goal since November.

But the league leaders snatched their 85th minute winner when KING worked

along the edge of the penalty area and bent a curling shot just inside

Platt's post. The league leaders survived further late pressure to somehow

clear four or five attempts in an almighty 89th minute goalmouth scramble

and Gregory's injury time overhead kick landed just over the Redditch bar.

Yeltz manager Paul Smith was disappointed once again. "We didn't get what we

deserved again today although we threw the kitchen sink at it in the second

half. The first half shape wasn't quite right, but we still worked hard. The

goal conceded in the second half perked us up and we rewarded with an

equaliser, there then seemed only one side would win the game. But if you're

not ruthless you're going to get caught, as we've seen time and time again.

Credit to Redditch, they are top of the league for a reason."

Halesowen Town: Dan Platt (c); Victor Nirennold, McKauley Manning, Caine

Elliott, Ryan Wynter, Thomas Taylor, Kieren Donnelly, Nathan Hayward (Rhys

Hilton 61), Miracle Okafor, Ryan Boothe (Jack Holmes 61), Isaac Adegoke

(Richard Gregory 61). Subs Not Used: Josh Ezewele, Todd Parker.

Redditch United: Adam Harrison; Isiah Bazeley, Jordan Cranston, Gift Mussa,

Matt Fulloway, Ryan Wollacott (c), Jack Concannon (Adriel George 79), Danny

King, Morgan Owen (Musa Ceesay Ceesay 90), Aram Soleman, Johnny Johnston

(Alex Cameron 61). Subs Not Used: Jaiden White, Jack Price (GK).

Referee: Edgar Brown Attendance: 1,092

Booked: Taylor (53), Soleman (70), Nirennold (90)