Halesowen Town 8 Meir KA 1

Tuesday 16th September 2008
Halesowen Town 8 Meir KA 1
FA Cup sponsored by e.on First Qualifying Round Replay
At The Grove
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 308
Weather: mild, dry
Duration: first-half: 46:32; second-half: 45:06

Having gone close to causing a major upset on Saturday, Meir KA found Halesowen too hot to handle second time round in last night’s replay. The Southern League high-flyers scored six goals in an impressive first-half performance and added another two after the break. Tom Bryant’s 25th-minute own goal was Meir’s consolation.

Meir, with Stuart Clegg and Andy Teague in for Jonathon Barras and the holidaying Ryan Misziel, made a confident start. An early mix-up between keeper James Russell and defender Bryant almost gifted a chance to Teague.

But Halesowen soon got themselves into gear and Richard Amison did well to push clear a glancing header from Justin Rowe.

However, the young keeper couldn’t keep out a rising 25-yard drive from Rowe which gave the home side a 12th-minute lead.

Three minutes later Jermaine Palmer slotted past Amison at close range and Jay Denny volleyed home from the edge of the area to make it three in the 23rd minute.

However, Meir briefly got back into the game when Bryant hammered a clearance into his own net from Russell Gibbons’ low cross.

Palmer converted a 34th minute penalty, awarded for a trip by Darren Reaney on Rowe, and Denny drove home the fifth two minutes later to end the game as a contest. Just before the break, the unfortunate Clegg headed into his own net.

Halesowen continued to create chances in the second half but they didn’t add to their tally until just before the hour mark. Rowe flicked a near post shot past Amison from Alex Cowley’s left-wing cross.

Meir had their moments in the Halesowen area and a low shot from Teague looped over the bar off a defender.

Denny completed the scoring and his hat-trick in the 83rd minute. He forced the ball over the line after Amison somehow kept out his initial header.

Amison produced a couple of fine saves in the closing stages to prevent Halesowen adding further to their goal tally.

Speaking to me after the game, joint-manager Gary Woolrich said: “I’m just proud of the lads to be honest as it has been very difficult. They put in a lot of effort on Saturday. We have come here and lost a couple of players through work issues but it made the job a little bit harder for us. I give credit to Halesowen as they are a quality outfit on a good surface. We did ourselves proud on Saturday but this is disappointing when you’ve reached our level and have to realise that.”

Meir return to league action on Saturday with a home game against Oldbury Athletic.