Southern League Premier Central – Saturday, 2nd December 2023
Halesowen Town 2 Mickleover 1
Halesowen defeated league leaders Mickleover after Todd Parker and Caine Elliott both claimed their first goals for the club, writes David Johnson.
The Yeltz reaped their rewards for protecting the Grove pitch from frost with covers during the week to remain unbeaten in four league games.
Halesowen’s Kieren Donnelly planted a dangerous first minute cross across the Mickleover goal and Miracle Okafor lost a chance after having an 8th minute sight of goal. The visitors then forced two corners before the Yeltz escaped in the 20th minute when defender Luke Redfern was robbed by Oliver Greaves and he squared the ball for new signing Leon Clarke to beat home goalkeeper Dan Platt, only for his effort to be ruled offside.
The Yeltz grabbed a 33rd minute lead after a free-kick wasn’t properly cleared and Ryan Wynter flicked the ball across for PARKER to strike his first goal of the season with his deflected shot creeping into the net after deceiving goalkeeper Oliver Bosworth. Before the interval Donnelly headed McKauley Manning’s cross over the bar and Okafor won the ball in the middle of the park and advanced all alone to fire over the bar.
Halesowen doubled the lead three minutes into the second period when Manning’s header from Jak Hickman’s cross was cleared off the line but the ball fell for ELLIOTT to thump home his first Yeltz goal into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area. Wynter’s header then fell just wide of Mickleover’s post and a curling shot from Donnelly’s trickery earned a corner as the Yeltz made a tremendous start to the second half. On the hour a great 20 yard effort from Manning was then beaten away by Bosworth.
The visitors constructed fewer chances in the second half, although Marcus Barnes curled just past the post in the 71st minute. Further Yeltz chances followed in the 72nd minute when Isaac Adegoke, a new signing from Lye, won the ball and set up Donnelly to fire a low shot just wide from the right. Manning’s 73rd minute free-kick was then turned away and the resulting corner was scrambled off the line.
The league leaders pulled a 79th minute goal back when Andy DALES turned home a deep cross from the right by Greaves. But Halesowen were in no mood to let the lead slip and late on Okafor poked just wide and a Donnelly shot was saved by Bosworth.
Halesowen Town: Dan Platt (c); Jak Hickman, Reece Mitchell, Todd Parker, Ryan Wynter, Luke Redfern, Kieren Donnelly, Nathan Hayward (Isaac Adegoke 69), Miracle Okafor (Richard Gregory 87), Caine Elliot, McKauley Manning. Subs Not Used: Josh Ezewele, Jack Holmes, Simeon Cobourne.
Mickleover: Oliver Bosworth; Jake Bennett, Matthew Bowman, William Atkinson, Finn Delap (Daniel Bradley 78), Ethan Mann (c), Andrew Dales, Ben Sault (William Trueman 52), Leon Clarke, Marcus Barnes, Oliver Greaves. Subs Not Used: Stuart Beavon, Kian Ryley, Finley Ryder.
Referee: Joe Woolmer Attendance: 845
Booked: Trueman (62), Parker (81), Hickman (90)
Tulleys Print HTFC Man of the Match selected by the Vice Presidents: Kieren Donnelly
Non-League Paper Man of the Match: Todd Parker