25.4.2011

Zamaretto Southern Premier League

Halesowen Town

Hednesford Town

Robinson (18), (30), (73) (penalty), Clements (61), Smith (81) (OG), Wellecomme (90)

(0) 0

(2) 6

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Marvin Robinson

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Leamington (H) 28.4.11

The Pitmen warmed up for Thursday night's play-off semi-final against Leamington with a last-day thrashing of relegated Halesowen Town at the Grove this Bank Holiday Monday afternoon

Having already clinched second place in the league behind title winners Truro City, the Pitmen made the short journey down the M5 full of confidence, winning their last three games and eight of their last ten to make them the form team going into the play-offs. Manager Rob Smith could afford the luxury of resting several of his key players for today's dead rubber as Liam Francis, Cheyenne Dunkley, Nick Wellecomme and Kyle Patterson were all given a well-earned rest in four changes to the side that had beaten Brackley Town on Saturday, with Decio Gomes, Louis Keenan, Marvin Robinson and Danny Quinn all coming back into the fold

It had been a horrendous season on and off the pitch for the Yeltz, with rumours constantly circulating as to the club's financial future leading to the inevitable relegation back to step four. Manager Shaun Cunnington made one change to the side that had drawn 0-0 at Tiverton Town at the weekend as Peter Folkes came in for Flavien Chambaud

It was another beautiful afternoon in the Midlands, with wall-to-wall sunshine greeting the small crowd at kick-off. The Hednesford supporters that had made the short journey almost outnumbered the home support, with many disgruntled Yeltz fans electing to pass on the last game of the season

The away side were quickly into their stride on a terribly bumpy and sandy pitch, with skipper-for-the-day Darren Campion picking up a ball wide on the right from a Gomes pass in the third minute and turned quickly, drilling in a low ball with his left foot that was aimed at Robinson, only for the ball to skip away from the striker and end up in the arms of Halesowen goalkeeper Simon Flower

Marvin Robinson's first real chance at goal came four minutes later as Ben Bailey picked the ball up on the right and swung in a deep cross into the Yeltz penalty area, where the big striker out-jumped Gareth Davies and headed the ball down towards the far corner of the net; his header lacked power, however, and was easily fielded by Flower down to his left

Halesowen had struggled to get going so far, with a low scuffed effort from striker Kevin Moncheu in the twelfth minute that bounced twice inside the Hednesford penalty area before dropping into the gloves of Dan Crane

Two minutes later, Campion's free-kick from near the corner flag on the left was headed back across goal by Gomes at the far post, only for the ball to just evaded the head of Quinn as the young striker stretched to reach the ball

The men in red finally made their superior play count in the eighteenth minute as the ever-threatening presence of Robinson grabbed the game's opening goal. Alex Melbourne took the ball into space and crossed from the right-wing, with defender Alex Roofe making a hash of his clearance and only managing to loop the ball up into the air and onto the head of Marvin Robinson, who nodded past Flower from close-range

It was the visitors that continued to press and Chris Clements went close to adding to the Pitmen's tally midway through the half as he brought the ball under control from a partially cleared Campion corner kick and fired narrowly over the crossbar from twenty yards out

Three minutes later, neat link-up play from Clements and Quinn sent Melbourne away down the right flank once more, holding off the challenge of Tesfa Robinson and crossing to the far post where Marvin Robinson had to stretch to meet the ball but could only head over from six yards out

A rare foray into the Hednesford half from the hosts on twenty-six minutes saw Folkes play Andrew Westwood into space behind Bailey; the midfielder took the ball to the byeline and cut it back into the six-yard box where Crane cleared the ball with his boot, kicking up a mound of sand in the process as the ball dribbled behind for a Halesowen corner kick

The away side stretched their lead in spectacular circumstances on the half-hour mark as Campion floated in a corner kick from the right which was nodded away by Folkes; Marvin Robinson, with his back to goal six yards out, executed a quite superb overhead kick to lob the ball back over the players in the six-yard box and into the far corner of the net. Superb improvisation from the experienced striker from a difficult position

With the cushion of a two-goal lead, the Pitmen relaxed and enjoyed long periods of possession on the worn-out Grove pitch. Ross Davidson almost got in on the goalscoring act on thirty-four minutes, jinking past the challenge of Luke Adams and getting himself into a shooting position just inside the penalty area, only to pull his shot wide of Flower's right-hand post when he really should have forced the stopper into a save from close-range

Campion exchanged passes with Davidson and made a good run down the left with eight minutes of the half remaining as he held off a challenge from Tesfa Robinson, stealing enough space to cross for Quinn who was adjudged to be in an offside position and was denied a clear strike at goal from eight yards out

On forty minutes, Crane was called upon to make his first meaningful stop of the afternoon as a cross from Flex Kyremeh was headed away by Bailey but only into the path of Anthony Bruce, whose left-footed half volley from twenty yards out had Crane scrambling across his goal to make the save low down to his right

In first-half added time, Denny's quickly-taken free-kick put Clements away into space inside the Yeltz half, with the youngster electing to shoot rather than pass to Quinn and lifted his shot over the crossbar once more with an ambitious long-range effort

It had been a dominant forty-five minutes, as expected, from the visitors, who had played with a swagger and confidence about them and you felt had more goals in them should they look to up the tempo in the second half. Halesowen, in comparison, had looked every inch the relegated outfit, struggling to keep the ball for any length of time and not competing with the away side effectively for fifty-fifty balls or crosses

The Pitmen were straight on the offensive down the left on forty-seven minutes, as Marvin Robinson, Davidson and Campion combined before the left-back tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area with an angled drive that Flower saved at his near post

Excellent play from Clements saw the midfielder sweep the ball out to Melbourne with some superb vision on fifty-one minutes, clipping the ball effortlessly to the former Wolves man in space down the flank. Melbourne drifted inside and looked to lay the ball off to Quinn just inside the penalty area, only for the striker's turn and shot to be blocked by Roofe

Robinson went for another spectacular effort on fifty-five minutes as Bailey's long punt forwards was headed down by Quinn into the path of his strike partner, who spotted Flower off his line and attempted an audacious lob from thirty-five yards out that the Halesowen stopper had to tip over his crossbar for a Hednesford corner kick

Halesowen's best chance of the game so far fell at the feet of Westwood two minutes later as a through ball from Folkes saw the Yeltz number eleven drift inside from the left-hand side of the penalty area and shoot from sixteen yards out, only to be denied by the legs of Crane as the stopper diverted the shot away from goal

Any lingering doubts of a Halesowen comeback were essentially put to bed just after the hour mark as the Pitmen stretched their lead through the excellent Clements; Denny picked the ball up on the right and played the ball into the feet of Marvin Robinson, standing just on the edge of the penalty area. The big striker held off Roofe and laid the ball off to Clements, who struck an unstoppable right-footed shot beyond the reach of Flower to the goalkeeper's right and into the corner of the net

Top scorer Patterson was given a second-half run-out by Smith on sixty-five minutes as the former LA Galaxy man came on in place of Denny to play as an inside forward coming in from the left. This move saw Clements drop back into a deeper role in the centre of the park to compensate for Denny going off

Bailey's long throw on sixty-nine minutes was headed on by Marvin Robinson and into the path of Quinn, who wrestled with Yeltz skipper Mark Smith before coming away with the ball inside the Halesowen penalty area. However, play was pulled back for Quinn's tug on Smith in the build-up and the young striker was denied a shooting opportunity once more

On seventy-one minutes, the Pitmen made their second substitution of the afternoon as Francis was also given a chance to stretch his long legs as he came on in place of Davidson

Marvin Robinson was handed the chance to complete a hat-trick two minutes later as the away side were awarded a penalty kick; Patterson's trickery saw him drift past Adams and take the ball into the Halesowen penalty area, only to be brought down by a mistimed challenge from Roofe as he tricked his way past the defender. The ball was handed to Robinson, who fired past Flower to his left and completed a memorable treble for the former Derby County man

With fifteen minutes remaining, Wellecomme was the away side's final substitution as the big striker came on for the final portion of the game after replacing the superb Robinson, who received a standing ovation from the Hednesdford supporters around the ground

Smith was booked for the hosts on seventy-nine minutes bringing Quinn down in full flight after Clements had sent the Pitmen's number ten away down the right flank with a fine floated pass

The game got worse for the hapless hosts in the final ten minutes as the Pitmen showed no mercy in plundering two further goals. On eighty-one minutes, Melbourne played the ball into the feet of Patterson, who had made a run into the Halesowen penalty area down the right. The striker looked to lay the ball off to Quinn but saw his intended pass cannon off the boot of Smith, who inadvertently turned the ball past his own goalkeeper from six yards out

Campion's low cross into the penalty area on eighty-five minutes found Patterson lurking once more, only for Roofe to get across and block the striker's low shot at goal from twelve yards out as Patterson tried a first-time shot

Two minutes later, Clements sent Wellecomme clear of the Halesowen defence with a raking ball over the top, only for a late, late offside flag to deny the substitute a clear run at Flower

In the final minute of the game, Francis looked to pick out Patterson with a pass out of defence with a forward ball that was cut out by Smith, whose  clearance dropped onto the head of Quinn - his looping header over the top of the Halesowen defence found Wellecomme, who raced clear of the backtracking Yeltz defence before confidently firing past Flower from sixteen yards out to complete the rout

The Pitmen end the season on eighty-three points from forty games - a truly impressive return - and will go into Thursday night's Keys Park clash with Leamington in confident mood after today's demolition job. Robinson will have given the management team something to think about with his hat-trick and may have played himself into contention for a start against the Brakes in what will be the biggest home game the Pitmen will have hosted in several seasons as they look to clinch a play-off final date at home against Salisbury City or Cambridge City on May Bank Holiday afternoon

Halesowen Town: Flower, Adams, T. Robinson, Roofe, Smith © , Davies, Bruce, Folkes, Kyremeh (Mills 83), Moncheu (Curtis 75), Westwood      Subs Unused: Jarrett, Ibhadon, Chambaud 

Hednesford Town: Crane, Gomes, Campion ©, Bailey, Keenan, Denny (Patterson 65), Melbourne, Clements, M. Robinson (Wellecomme 75), Quinn, Davidson (Francis 71)      Sub Unused: Dunkley

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