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REPORT: HALESOWEN TOWN 1-1 BURTON ALBION [BREWERS WIN ON PENALTIES]

7 January 2020

YEWO Nyirenda netted an important equaliser then converted the winning penalty as Burton Albion advanced to the Third Round of the Birmingham Senior Cup.

Jamie Molyneux's early strike had sent Halesowen Town on their way at the Grove, and the Yeltz were defending well and holding firm amid growing Brewers pressure.

But a young Brewers side, captained by Joe Sbarra in the centre of midfield, found a way through as Nyirenda's 79th-minute finish sent the game to spot kicks.

Albion will face Nuneaton Borough at Liberty Way in the Third Round of the competition at a date to be confirmed.

The Brewers went with a mixed line-up, with Sbarra Reece Hutchinson both starting, as well as Ben Hart at right-back and Ben Garratt in goal.

Young Brewers Rueben Lal, Tom Armitage, Ben McLean, Jack Holmes and Tom Hewlett also started as the Brewers looked to establish themselves on the front foot.

After winning a corner in the seventh minute, McLean got his head up from 15 yards but could not direct his effort either side of Brendon Bunn in the Halesowen goal.

And that was punished two minutes later as MOLYNEUX - chasing a long ball down the right - got to the ball ahead of Garratt and lifted the ball over the onrushing keeper and in for the opening goal.

Albion responded well with Ethan Vale driving a 25-yard effort narrowly over the crossbar moments after the hosts had taken the lead.

The Brewers enjoyed a good spell of pressure on the half-hour with Halesowen throwing bodies in the way of a string of shots - one blocked effort fell to the feet of Chris Beardsley in the box but the striker’s effort was well saved by Bunn.

Vale twice came close in the closing minutes of the first half - firing wide of the near post from close range after excellent work from Holmes in the build-up, before curling a free kick from 25 yards over the wall but narrowly wide of goal.

HALF-TIME: Halesowen Town 1-0 Burton Albion

Albion began the second half as they ended the first, putting pressure on with Hewlett driving forward and powering an effort narrowly over the bar from 20 yards.

Nyirenda had the ball in the back of the net moments after coming on, driving home from 18 yards but seeing the offside flag raised, before eventually making the breakthrough on 79 minutes.

It was a case of two substitutes combining as Emmanuel Shittu drove down the right flank and put a superb cross in to the back post, where NYIRENDA dived feet-first to get a toe on the ball and divert it past Bunn.

Albion survived a late wave of Town pressure with Garratt twice called into action to make fine close-range stops, ensuring the game went to penalties.

The Brewers converted all of their spot kicks with Sbarra, Hart and Hutchinson all netting as Garratt twice made saves from 12 yards. It was left to Nyirenda - Bunn got a hand to the ball but couldn't keep it out and Albion advanced to the next round.

BREWERS: Garratt, Lal, Armitage, McLean, Hutchinson, Sbarra (C), Holmes (Shittu 70), Vale (Redfern 87), Beardsley (Nyirenda 64), Hart, Hewlett. Subs not used: Williams, Smith (GK).


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