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The Hammers - Match centre

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Cradley Town
Gornal Athletic
Sat 10 Dec 15:00 - West Midlands Regional League - WMRL Premier Division Full time

Cradley hammer lowly Gornal Athletic.

The Hammers tore into Gornal from the off but the visitors played a good second-half to give their fans hope for the future.

With heavy rain forecast everyone had an eye on the weather but luckily the rain started just before kick-off so all the games in our Division were played even the one at Bewdley Town! It got worse and worse as the game progressed though and was really heavy at the end. The referee Liam Corbett from Dudley had his assistants running the opposite diagonals to what they usually do so they would have nice, fresh turf to run on. Not all referees are comfortable doing that. Liam’s a lovely lad but he does get those cards out quite often!

It was another good result for the Hammers and we’ve now beaten Gornal Athletic at Beeches View Avenue for the first time in ages. They are bottom of the league without a single point to their name in twenty games now but you still have to get the ball in that net which we did after just 1 minute. Scott Stevenson shot at goal from a fair distance and their keeper and captain Stuart Curwen could only parry the ball into the path of the alert Geoff Hill who fired home from close range to put the Hammers 1-0 up.

On just 1 minute the Gornal keeper dives to save from Scott Stevenson but….

….the ball went loose and poacher Geoff Hill (9) fires Cradley into a 1-0 lead. Skipper Lewis Clarke (2) was also on hand if needed!

On 10 minutes Dreniz Bala almost capitalised on a Gornal mistake but he shot just past the far post. Two minutes later a Cradley mistake gave Gornal’s Oliver Manoocheri a run on our goal but he allowed the ball to get away from him fractionally and Richard Kennedy was quick to come out and snaffle the ball.

On 15 minutes the impressive Scott Stevenson created another goal for Cradley when he put in a good cross from our right wing which Geoff Hill again forced into the net putting us 2-0 up.

On 15 minutes Geoff Hill guides a cross past the Gornal keeper to put Cradley 2-0 up with Dreniz Bala (10) in attendance.

On 17 minutes Geoff Hill completed a very quick hat-trick from the penalty spot after being rugby tackled by the Gornal keeper. This put Cradley 3-0 up.

On 17 minutes the Gornal keeper grabs Geoff Hill’s legs to concede a penalty…

…and Geoff Hill shoots home from the spot despite the keeper going the right
way to put the Hammers 3-0 up..

After half an hour Dreniz Bala, still feeling the effects of the injury picked up against Studley, had to go off to be replaced by Carl Whyte.

On 37 minutes R’mar Murray was brought down after a long, mazy run and Danny Crudgington fired in a super free-kick which headed for the top corner and going in off the post putting the Hammers 4-0 up. This was Danny’s third goal of the season for us.

On 37 minutes Danny Crudgington’s expertly placed free-kick goes in off the
top of the post putting Cradley 4-0 up.

Cradley weren’t done yet and they went further ahead on 43 minutes. A well placed ball (sorry can’t remember who from) found that man Geoff Hill just inside the Gornal box and he swept the ball into the net despite the close attentions of their right-back Steve Hill. This was Geoff’s fourth goal of the game and the Hammers were now 5-0 up at half-time.

On 43 minutes Geoff Hill (left) sweeps the ball past the keeper to put
Cradley 5-0 up.

Second half
The Gornal people were pretty frustrated and disappointed at half-time. They felt they had gone two steps backwards after showing some improved form recently. It isn’t every day though you come up against a striker like Geoff Hill who is in the best form of his life right now.
Indeed the away fans must have been much happier with their second half showing. They spread the ball around much better particularly down their left wing where they had us at full stretch at times.
Cradley brought Grant Esp on at half-time for Scott Stevenson and, on his debut, he was very busy and soon got himself a yellow card.
On 72 minutes our third substitute Chris Young raced back to challenge Myles Newman in our box and was adjudged to have brought the Gornal man down. Nathan Griffiths, on his debut, fired in the spot kick to reduce their deficit to 5-1.

Nathan Griffiths (top left) shoots home a well placed penalty kick on 72 minutes making the score 5-1 at the time.

Cradley completed the scoring on 83 minutes when, in the increasingly wet and slippery conditions, the Gornal keeper Stuart Curwen took a nasty blow when colliding with his defender Tom Beech as both went to deal with a ball in the box. The ball squirted free and Carl Whyte was there to fire it into the net making the final score 6-1 to Cradley. Carl Whyte has scored two goals now in his first two games for Cradley after joining us from Tipton Youth. The Gornal keeper needed attention before play could re-commence.

On 83 minutes Carl Whyte (14) is first to the loose ball which he smashes home to make the final score 6-1 to Cradley.

In the little time remaining both keepers did well to ensure there were no more goals and in the final seconds Darren Whitley went up for a set piece and headed just wide of the post.

So well done to both teams and the match officials for playing in such difficult conditions.

We are told it’s easier to wash a kit which is already wet (see left) so that’s a consolation!
Cradley have moved up another notch in the table and four-goal Geoff Hill will be a little higher in the Golden Boot chart.

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Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other WMRL Premier Division results

Bewdley Town
Pegasus Juniors
Bilston Town Community
Willenhall Town
Ellesmere Rangers
W'ton Casuals
Stone Old Alleynians
Wellington Amateurs

League table

# Team Pl Pts
8. AFC Bridgnorth 38 55
9. Pegasus Juniors 38 54
10. Cradley Town 38 53
11. Shifnal Town 38 53
12. Stone Old Alleynians 38 49
13. Black Country Rangers 38 49
14. Willenhall Town 38 48

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