Match report

Halesowen Town 1 - 1 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 28/11/2009   Southern League Premier Division
Alan Reidy

Halesowen Town boasted the best form in the Southern League ahead of the game against Tiverton Town at The Grove, and the Yeltz have so far remained unbeaten on their own patch. So for Tiverton, embroiled in an awkward relegation fight, the odds were stacked against them, but in the face of such adversary they stood up and matched their hosts from the first whistle to the last, and made the return trip to Devon with a well earned point.

Both goals came in the final twenty minutes of the game; Danny Edwards headed Halesowen ahead on 70 minutes only for Joe Bushin to net his seventh goal in seven games eight minutes from time to secure a 1-1 draw.

On the whole it was Halesowen that enjoyed the better chances and the bulk of possession but they proved to lack a cutting edge up front despite harbouring the league’s top goalscorer in Stefan Moore. The former Aston Villa striker was contained throughout by the superb Tom Gardner, and Tiverton goalkeeper Steve Book was only forced into one comfortable save in the first half.

However, Book would have been relieved when Henry Eze nodded a cross onto the bar, and soon afterwards a lashing first-time strike from Jamie Smith also rattled the woodwork. Tom Breward finally worked Book with a dipping shot from distance that the veteran goalkeeper dealt with, and with the home side finding it difficult to break down a resolute Tivvy defence so the Yellows grew in confidence and began to press forward.

Jamie Hatch’s powerful run from deep ended when the former Exeter midfielder shot straight at Nick Bussey in the Halesowen goal, and Alex Faux should have done better when teed up by Colin Marshall. Tiverton finished the first half the stronger and Adam Mortimer had an effort blocked when Hatch’s corner wasn’t fully cleared.

Rocked by the tenacity of the visitors Halesowen upped the tempo in the second period and a relentless spell of pressure finally resulted in the breakthrough. Moore fired wide after a quick throw-in but the hosts were not to be denied from another move down the left flank. Substitute Stephan Morley curled in a delightful cross and Edwards was in place at the far post to divert his header back across the face of goal and into the corner of the net.

Tiverton responded positively as Sam Malsom and Elliott Frear entered the game, and Mike Booth curled a shot that Bussey had to help over the crossbar.

But the key moment came in the 82nd minutes when Hatch swept a quick ball wide to the left which allowed Frear to advance don the wing. The loanee quickly made up ground and sent an inch-prefect low cross into the area for Bushin to tap home from close range, giving Bussey no chance.

Halesowen once again pressed as they tried to regain the initiative but the closest they came was when Simon Johnson nodded Morley’s cross inches wide. Tiverton stood firm in defence and picked up a crucial point that lifts them out of the Southern League relegation zone ahead of Tuesday evening’s League Cup encounter with Truro City.

After the match Tiverton manager Martyn Rogers announced that he had allowed injury-plagued striker Dave Morrissey to leave the club, but with Bushin in fine form, Mortimer adapting superbly to Southern League football and Malsom now on board it is unlikely that the ex-Mangotsfield forward will be missed.

Halesowen Town: Nick Bussey, Jamie Smith, Liam Daly, Henry Eze (Stephan Morley 61), Jamie Hood, Tom Breward (David Blenkinsopp 61), Jay Denny, Scott Rickards, Stefan Moore, Simon Johnson, Danny Edwards
Goals: Edwards 70
Booked: Johnson 71, Denny 74
Sent off: None

Tiverton Town: Steve Book, Matt Bye (Sam Malsom 71), Alex Faux, Adam Faux, Nathan Rudge, Tom Gardner, Jamie Hatch, Mike Booth, Adam Mortimer (Elliott Frear 74), Joe Bushin, Colin Marshall
Goals: Bushin 82
Booked: Marshall 21, Bye 28, Adam Faux 60
Sent off: None

Attendance 322

This report ©2009 Alan Reidy