Halesowen Town 7 Lichfield City 1
Hat-trick hero Montel Gibson sent Halesowen into seventh heaven in a ruthless FA Cup victory over Midland Football League Division One outfit Lichfield.
The first real chances of the game came after 13 minutes when Lichfield goalkeeping captain Adam Jenkins made a fine blocking save from Jamie Molyneux and Luke Yates flashed a header wide from Josh Hawker’s resulting corner.
Ashley SAMMONS fired Halesowen into a 16th minute lead with his long range low shot into the bottom of Jenkins’ net from 28 yards, in a repeat of his effort from the previous Tuesday evening at North Leigh. The Yeltz doubled their lead just two minutes later when the Lichfield defence lost out to Robbie Bunn and although Jenkins saved, MOLYNEUX was on hand to slot home his sixth goal of the season. Bunn’s 24th minute shot was then tipped over the bar by Jenkins.
The visitors went close after 26 minutes but Luke Wright was denied by home goalkeeper Brendon Bunn and Paul McCone cleared off the line as Jake Arrowsmith followed up. From the resulting breakaway, Molyneux missed a good chance as Jenkins made a blocking save. Lichfield then forced two consecutive corners with Arrowsmith’s header deflected away and, in further neat play and pressure late in the first half, home defender Paul McCone made a good 41st minute block to deny substitute Dan Griffiths before goalkeeper Brendon Bunn kept out Josh Mansell at his near post.
Plucky Lichfield pulled a goal back two minutes into first-half stoppage time when James TAYLOR headed home directly from a Luke Childs corner.
But Halesowen secured a safe passage to the next round by thumping home five further second half goals in a fine display of incisive and clinical finishing.
A header from Yates was cleared off the line by Dan Thurstance from a 52nd minute corner before
Robbie BUNN made it 3-1 in the 55th minute by poking a low shot from the edge of the penalty area into the corner of the net for his first of the season. Two minutes later Gibson started and ended a fine move resulting in Bunn passing along goal for GIBSON to turn home on the goal-line. Gibson and Bunn then both fired further efforts wide.
The Lichfield defence was split open again to put YATES free on goal and he side-stepped goalkeeper Jenkins to slot home the fifth goal from a wide angle after 65 minutes.
Lichfield were denied when goalkeeper Brendon Bunn made a terrific 68th minute double save to keep out Dan Thurstance and then deny Taylor in space from the rebound. But the Yeltz continued to seek further goals as Sammons hit a good 69th minute effort past the post and Jenkins made a good save from James Bowen’s fierce 83rd minute shot.
GIBSON controlled and fired home a superb individual goal with a low shot for Halesowen’s sixth goal in the 88th minute and GIBSON was sent free on goal to beat Jenkins once again to complete his fine hat-trick and the emphatic 7-1 victory in the third minute of added time.
Halesowen Town: Brendon Bunn; Jamie Ashmore, James Bowen, Ashley Sammons, Paul McCone (c), Robert Evans, Joshua Hawker (Reece Hewitt 62), Robbie Bunn, Montel Gibson, Jamie Molyneux (Jamie Lucas 74), Luke Yates (George Forsyth 68). Subs Not Used: Andrew Parsons, Kartel O’Neill-Martin, Daniel Danks, Bradley Catlow (GK).
Lichfield City: Adam Jenkins (c); Josh Mansell, Jordan Evans, Jake Arrowsmith, Luke Wright, Kyle Patterson (Dan Sheppard 74), Dan Thurstance, Tom Brown, James Taylor, Luke Childs, Brad Rolston (Dan Griffiths 9). Subs Not Used: Joel Powell, Dan McLeod, Dan Scragg, Joe Hartshorne, Alex Keating.
Referee: Ruebyn Ricardo Attendance: 635
Booked: Bowen (2), Rolston (7)
‘Tulleys Print’ HTFC Man of the Match selected by the Halesowen Town Academy: Montel Gibson
Non-League Paper Man of the Match: Ash Sammons