Hallen 3 - Westbury United 4
By Martin Pearce
Toolstation Premier League 6th April 2019
Westbury v Hallen Match Report
Westbury arrived at Hallen's Moorhouse Lane ground with the sun shining and were greeted by a fantastic pitch, one that would not look out of place in the football league. This immediately lifted the spirits of the team who had been having a difficult time, results wise, recently. There was a few changes to the Westbury line up with skipper Steve Hulbert, Jamie Jordan and Dan Price all away, along with Will Stead and Callum Demkiv who were both suspended, this lead to Ollie Webb making his debut in centre midfield after signing on a few weeks ago and Mark Robinson in his first start after returning and making a couple of appearances from the bench in recent weeks.
It didn't take Westbury long to get going, after only ten minutes a Westbury corner was cleared from the Hallen box, Jason Henley was the quickest to react and took control of the ball out wide right, with one touch to move forward his second touch was a low delivery, the ball evaded the touch of any defenders and snuck in past the far post of the unsighted goalkeeper, after the celebrations calmed down he assured everyone that it was a shot but this reporter suspected that it was a cross. Moments later Hallen were attacking the Westbury box, debutante Webb was adjudged to catch a Hallen player with a high boot and a penalty was awarded, even though Ed Baldy managed to get his finger tips to the strike he couldn't keep it out and the scores were back level at 1-1. Westbury's reaction was excellent and the pressure told a few minutes later, Mark Robinson drove into the area and was fouled to win a penalty, Dan Kovacs stepped up and slotted the penalty home into the bottom right corner, to put Westbury back in front with less than 15 minutes on the clock. After only 22 minutes the referee awarded the third penalty of the game, Robinson was fouled again in the area, the referee waited to see if the ball broke to give Westbury an advantage, no advantage and a penalty was his verdict, Kovacs stepped up again, this time he went high and left to make it 3-1. The frantic start to the game continued and on 26 minutes Hallen had a second, after several crosses that Baldy and his defence didn't manage to clear the Hallen striker crept in to score from close range. The game continued with end to end action, both teams believing that they could add to their tally, and their belief came through when minutes before half time Henley cut inside from the right and delivered a ball into the box with his left foot, Joe Stradling sped across the front of the defender and flicked a looping header goalwards, although the keeper was well positioned the looping header deceived him and slipped between his hand and the cross bar to give Westbury a 4-2 lead at half time.
The flow of goals slowed in the second half, after 15 minutes Jordan Pinders free header that hit the top of the bar. On the 65 minute mark Hallen delivered a looped cross from the left which evaded Dan Jordan for the striker to volley home from about three yards in the centre of Baldy's goal. The 4-3 scoreline made for a nervy finish for Westbury and five minutes from time Hallen thought they'd got their equalizer but Baldy managed to save. However Westbury managed to hold on and win their first game for over a month to guarantee a top five finish in their fantastic first season back in the Toolstation Premier Division.
Westbury Team: Ed Baldy, Jason Henley, Ian Jeffery(c), Ollie Webb, Jordan Pinder, Dan Jordan, Joe Stradling, Josh Ferguson, Ricky Hulbert, Dan Kovacs, Mark Robinson. Subs: Joe Kirkpatrick (used), Luke Smith, Lewis Porter (unused)
Westbury Star Men-Mark Robinson