Win at Halesowen sees Tigers book FA Trophy clash at Chester

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The Tigers booked an FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round clash away at Conference North side Chester with a hard fought 1-0 win at Halesowen Town as Leon Mettam got the only goal of the game.

Simon Clark made one change from the side that started at Buxton bringing in Ash Burbeary for Tom Denton whose loan deal precludes him from playing in the FA Trophy for Worksop.

The home side had the first chance of the game after 5 minutes as Paul Bastock’s fingertip save deflected Ben Haseley’s goal bound lob from the edge of the penalty area just wide of the post.

However, it soon became clear the strong wind and the poor quality of the playing surface was going to make it difficult as both sides found it hard to string passes together and play with any fluency.

As both sides struggled in the conditions Jean-Michel Gueyes was starting to look dangerous for the home side as the left winger created a couple of half chances which Neil Barnfield and Haseley failed to take.

It was not until the 34th minute that the Tigers had their first shot at goal when Mettam failed to hit the target after good work by Craig King and Steve Towers.

A minute later Worksop took the lead when a lack of communication between Sam Brooks and goalkeeper, Paul Evans, led to Brooks heading Stuart Ludlam’s ball into the penalty area over his keeper giving Mettam a simple tap in into the open goal from close range.

Barnfield had a good chance to put the Yeltz on level terms before the break putting his header wide from Haseley’s cross from the left.

Worksop started the second half brightly as they looked to take control of the game, Mettam twice coming close to scoring as he shot just wide after holding off Barnfield, then shooting straight at Evans.

As the Tigers continued to dominate the opening stages of the second period Burbeary shot inches wide, then the same player shot straight at the keeper after being set up by Owain Warlow.

On 55 minutes Haseley wriggled his way past a couple of defenders before being denied by Bastock’s good block save.

Minutes later the home side should have been on level terms when Gavin Winsper found himself with time and space 8 yards out but again Bastock was equal to the task deflecting the defender’s effort for a corner.

With just over 20 minutes remaining Mettam collected Bastock’s clearance but with only the ‘keeper to beat Evans deflected the shot away for a corner.

Evans had to alert again to deny substitute Lee Beeson, saving at the near post after Beeson had been set up by Towers’ ball inside the full back.

That proved to be the Tigers last chance as the home side dominated the closing stages. Haseley looked to have equalised but his diving header from Gueyes cross brought a superb acrobatic save from Bastock.

Halesowen continued to press forcing a couple of corners as the game entered added time but the Tigers defence held firm keeping their third consecutive clean sheet and earning a place in the next round.

Worksop Town: Paul Bastock, Ryan Clarke, Stuart Ludlam (c), Matt Young, Kern Miller, Adie Hawes, Craig King (Lee Beeson 59), Steve Towers, Ash Burbeary, Leon Mettam (Chris Wood 87), Owain Warlow (L’Heureux Menga 75). Unused subs – Luke Shiels, Matt Telling. Goals – Leon Mettam (35)

Halesowen Town: Paul Evans, Scott Lycett (Eric Bowen 74), Brendan Kelly, Sam Brooks, Gavin Winsper, Craig Milligan, Ben Smith (Ryan Lester 79), Neil Barnfield (c), Luke Corbett, Ben Haseley, Jean-Michel Gueyes. Unused subs – Dan Evans, Mitchell Botfield, Simon Flower. Bookings – Jean-Michel Gueyes (1)

Referee – Stuart Eagland, Assistants Matthew Randles, James Scerri

Attendance 265

MoM Paul Bastock