Emirates FA Cup Third Qualifying Round – Saturday, 5th October 2019

Halesowen Town 0 Altrincham 2

Gallant Halesowen held their heads high after hitting the woodwork twice but were finally knocked out of the FA Cup by two late goals from National League North Altrincham in a game streamed live by the BBC.

The Yeltz soon settled as inspirational captain Paul McCone headed on James Bowen’s free-kick to earn a 9th minute corner and Ash Sammons struck a trademark long range drive wide from Robbie Bunn’s free-kick a minute later. The visitors went close when Jordan Hulme played a clever flick for John Johnston after 12 minutes but the resulting corner was played straight into the arms of home goalkeeper Bradley Catlow.

Luke Yates epitomised hungry Halesowen’s tremendous spirit with a splendid midfield tackle to win the ball after 15 minutes and McCone then headed down for Andy Parsons to blast over the bar a minute later.

The best first half chance came for the Yeltz after 20 minutes when Reece Hewitt won the ball in midfield and burst forward before unleashing a great 20 yard shot, only for the ball to bounce back off the post with leading goalscorer Montel Gibson firing the rebound high into the side-netting.

As the first-half progressed, Altrincham began to stretch the game and make the Yeltz work hard as Jordan Piggott headed away a dangerous Shaun Densmore cross and Catlow again caught the first of several corners defended by the Yeltz after 22 minutes. A 27th minute free-kick was lofted over the bar by Ashley Hemmings and a 34th minute corner was punched clear by Catlow. McCone then made a great 35th minute challenge for another Alty corner.

The Yeltz enjoyed a better spell just before the break with Yates and Gibson playing a neat 40th minute interchange of passes, although the final shot from Yates was headed away. A minute before the interval a great spell of passing play on the edge of the Alty penalty area resulted in Sammons drawing a good save from Anthony Thompson.

Catlow made a good save to beat the ball away from Simon Richman at the start of the second half and Thompson saved from Yates at the other end. As home confidence grew, Hewitt cut in to fire high in the 56th minute for Halesowen and Bowen played a great ball for Jamie Molyneux to earn a 58th minute corner.

But Alty looked dangerous as they played a series of low crosses into the danger area and Catlow smothered the ball from substitute Thomas Peers in front of goal after 64 minutes. McCone continued to dominate at the heart of the Yeltz defence and he did well to head away from a 68th minute corner before a 71st minute free-kick from Hemmings was cleared and Catlow saved the loose ball.

The Robins finally broke both the deadlock and Halesowen hearts in the 72nd minute when the ball was played out for Hemmings in space on the right and he whipped in a low ball for substitute PEERS to bundle home at the second attempt at the near post. The visitors broke forward again after 75 minutes but Peers blazed over the bar.

But Halesowen continued to play neat football and create chances in a proud team effort. A 76th long range, low 30 yard drive by Bunn was turned around his post by goalkeeper Thompson for a corner and the Yeltz went even closer still in the 78th minute when Yates met Bunn’s free-kick only for his header to strike the far post with Thompson beaten.

Alty doubed their lead in the 82nd minute when a Hemmings corner was pushed away by Catlow and JOHNSTON was on hand to slam home the loose ball from 15 yards. An 89th minute free-kick from Joshua Hancock was then turned around the post by Catlow.

Far from being down-hearted, the Yeltz created pressure with further neat football and were almost rewarded with a deserved goal in injury time when McCone headed across goal for substitute Jamie Lucas to miss from just three yards out. After more than matching their higher league opponents for much of the game, the brave Yeltz effort had yielded a somewhat harsh defeat with a couple of soft bookings but was a credit to the club on a day that left the legacy of an enhanced reputation for Halesowen Town as a whole.

Halesowen Town: Bradley Catlow; Jordan Piggott (Jamie Lucas 80), James Bowen, Ashley Sammons (George Forsyth 83), Paul McCone (c), Andrew Parsons, Reece Hewitt (Joshua Hawker 69), Robbie Bunn, Montel Gibson, Luke Yates, Jamie Molyneux. Subs Not Used: Jamie Ashmore, Robert Evans, Lewis Wright, Brendon Bunn (GK).

Altrincham: Anthony Thompson; Shaun Densmore, Andy White, James Jones, Thomas Hannigan, Jake Moult (c), John Johnston, Simon Richman (Sean Williams 66), Jordan Hulme (Thomas Peers 55), Joshua Hancock, Ashley Hemmings (Toby Mullarkey 84). Subs Not Used: Max Harrop, Connor Hampson, Yusifu Ceesay, Joel Torrance.

Referee: Thomas Kirk Attendance: 1235
Booked: Gibson (49), Bowen (81), Hawker (89), Forsyth (90)
‘Tulleys Print’ HTFC Man of the Match selected by Craig and Amy: Andy Parsons
DJ’s HTFC Man of the Match: Paul McCone

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© Halesowen Town Football Club 1873-2019