Halesowen 2, Banbury United 0

HALESOWEN Town registered a first win under new boss Rob Smith with success over Banbury United.

Dan Sweeney netted his first since his return to the club before Lee Hughes added a quick-fire second in just four minutes at the start of the second half.

The Yeltz made three changes after their derby defeat to Stourbridge with Jack Kelly, Mathias Bakare and Danny Bragoli replacing Sam Griffiths, Callam Mendes-Jones and Callum Coyle as the hosts switched to a back four.

Town started the contest well and worked the first real opening on seven minutes as Lee Hughes saw a downward header blocked after Matthias Curley’s cross from the right.

Dan Sweeney then blazed over on 14 minutes as the home side found space again.

Town keeper Dan Platt was first called into action in the 21st minute when he clawed away a header from Charlie Wise after a free-kick into the danzerzone. The flag was already up but Platt wasn’t to know and pulled off a fine save at full stretch.

Halesowen continued to shade a scrappy affair at the Grove but quality, especially in the final third, was in short supply for either side.

Platt then gathered a weak header from skipper Ricky Johnson after good work down the right flank by Ravin Shamsi on 38 minutes as the half ended goalless.

The second half took just three minutes to burst to life as the Yeltz broke the deadline in style thanks to forward Sweeney.

He lifted the ball over his marker with his first touch before rifling beyond United keeper Emmanuel Agboola on the volley from the edge of the area.

Four minutes later the hosts bagged a second as Sweeney became the provider when his low ball across the face of goal was poked home by Hughes to put the Yeltz in control.

They nearly added another just past the hour mark after a lung-bursting run from Mathias Bakare. The midfielder powered into the opposition half, beat his man but drove straight at Agboola from the edge of the area.

Banbury were soon pushing for a way back into the contest but struggled to trouble Platt as Hales battled.

Gregory Kazibola fired a wayward effort well off target from distance as the clash reached the final 15 minutes.

Banbury still pushed but still couldn’t work Platt as Giorgio Rasulo fired over on 78 minutes.

The Yeltz saw out the final moments without too much concern to pick up a much-needed win for new boss Rob Smith.

Halesowen: Platt, Curley, Kelly, Fitzpatrick, Morris, Bragoli (c), Bakare (Higginson 90), Rea, Hughes (Lawton 72), Taylor, Sweeney.

Unused subs: Wheatley, Boucher, Gilpin.

Banbury: Agboola, Taylor, Nash, Wise, Shamsi (Whitehead 62), Johnson (c), Diggin, Awadh (Bell 60), Odhiambo (Hottor 68), Kaziboni, Rasulo.

Unused subs: Browne, MacDonald.

Att: 402.