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Studley 2 Halesowen Town 1
11:12pm Tuesday 2nd October 2012 in Sport
MYRON Semper got the winner seven minutes from time as Studley dumped Halesowen Town out of the Birmingham Senior Cup.
The substitute out jumped everyone to send a header into the far corner and condemn new Yeltz boss John Hill to defeat in his first game in charge.
Martin Crawford had earlier put the hosts ahead when his effort squirmed under the body of visiting keeper Paul Evans.
But Jean-Michel Gueyes levelled for the Yeltz, who then missed several good chances before Semper’s late stunner.
Two of those opportunities fell to Ben Haseley, who had a rare off night in front of goal.
It was a pretty poor night for the visitors in general and for Hill a far from ideal start to his tenure at the Grove, leaving him plenty to ponder.
The new boss made only one change from the team which defeated Gresley in the FA Trophy on Saturday, with Ben Smith replacing the injured Ben Steane.
But the Yeltz were sluggish in the first half and Studley, battling hard, were always in the game. They may not have forced Evans into many saves but when their chances came, they took them and their perseverance alone made them worthy of the win.
The home side’s defence was generally solid all night but should have been breached within the first 50 seconds when Gueyes found himself clean through, only to shoot horribly wide.
After that initial burst of excitement the game settled down and there was little action at either end. Studley’s Matt Collins saw a flicked effort comfortably blocked while team-mate Leon Blake’s wayward drive was rather symptomatic of the lack of attacking endeavour on show.
The next big chance fell to the Yeltz, Neil Barnfield making a poor connection on what turned out to be a free header from Craig Milligan’s corner with the weak header cleared.
Studley keeper Paul Hewitt was perhaps fortunate to not be penalised for handling outside his area when under pressure from Haseley but was alert soon after to push out a fierce drive from the Yeltz striker, who had cut inside from the left.
Crawford sent a free header from a corner straight at Evans in the Yeltz goal as the half seemed to be petering out into stalemate when the hosts suddenly took the lead.
Alex Henry whipped in a cross from the right and Crawford made enough of a connection to force the ball under Evans, who will feel he should have done better.
The Yeltz might have been expected to start the second period with great gusto but again they found it hard to establish a rhythm. A Haseley cross-shot which whizzed across the six yard line was the only action of note before Gueyes did level things up on the hour mark.
Barnfield lofted a ball over the top and Gueyes took advantage of a moments hesitation from left-back Tom Lacey to drive his shot under Hewitt and into the net.
With the goal Halesowen found some spark and Hewitt had to be alert to stop another deflected Gueyes shot.
Three great chances then came in the space of two minutes. First Luke Corbett sent Haseley clear but with Hewitt narrowing the angle the striker sent his finish just wide of the near post.
Haseley then thought he had made amends with a header from a Nathanial Caines cross which seemed destined for the bottom corner only for Hewitt to pull off a superb save, clawing the ball behind at full strength. From the resulting corner, Barnfield was off target with a free header.
There was still time for Haseley to send another header wide before Semper delivered the sucker punch.
Lacey sent a high ball towards the far post and the substitute rose above everyone to send a powerful header past Evans and into the opposite corner.
The Yeltz poured forward looking for the goal which would have sent the tie to extra time but their efforts were in vain, with Crawford missing the chance to add more gloss to the win when he blazed over after going clear deep into injury time.
STUDLEY: Hewitt, Henry (Frampton 80), Lacey, Collins, Turner, Pulisciano, Edwards (Dempster 69), Blake (c), Edgington (Semper 62), Hands, Crawford.
Goals: Crawford 44, Semper 83.
YELTZ: Evans, Lycett, Caines, Brooks, Kelly, Milligan, Smith (Oatley 89), Barnfield (c), Corbett (Evans 87), Haseley, Gueyes Subs not used: Powell, Steane, Flower.
Goal: Gueyes 60.