Match Preview: Halesowen Town v Nantwich Town


Match preview of the Dabbers trip down the M6 to Halesowen Town.

The Dabbers make their penultimate trip of the season, which also happens to be their penultimate game of the season. They travel to Halesowen Town, knowing that a single point will confirm their place in the play offs. They will however be anxious to bounce back from Monday’s disappointing defeat to Workington. A win would take them back into 3rd heading into their final game of the season on Saturday. We preview the Dabbers trip to the Yeltz:

Match Details

Halesowen Town v Nantwich Town

Northern Premier League, Premier Division

The Grove, Thur 20th April, 7:45pm

Adults £10, Concessions £7, U16’s £3, U12’s Free

Away Travel

Departure Time – 16:30pm

Prices – Adults £18, U16s £11

A look at the Opposition

The Manager

John Hill

Halesowen are managed by John Hill. Hill was appointed as manager back in September 2012, succeeding Shaun Cunnington who left a few games into the 12-13 season. Hill had previously been the manager of Tipton Town for a decade up until April 2011, when he left the club. Hill has now been in charge of the Yeltz for 4 years, celebrating his anniversary of being appointed back in September.

Recent History/Form 

Since being switched to the NPL Division One South at the start of the 2012/13 season from the Southern League, Halesowen have been highly successful. They managed a 7th placed finish in Hill’s first season in charge before gaining promotion from the Division One South the following season, going up as champions. They are now in their 3rd season in the Premier Division, posting mid table finishes of 11th and 13th respectively over the last 2 seasons.

This season has been a tough one for the Yeltz. A respectable start had them 12th after 17 games, but a run of 4 wins from their next 21 games has seen them flirt with relegation. Back to back wins over Skelmersdale and Hednesford earlier this month gave them some vital breathing room and they were able to secure their spot in the division for next season. They will now be looking to end the season on a high.

The Stadium – The Grove

the-grove

Halesowen play their home games at the Grove stadium. Their main stand is a small all seater stand which is covered. Behind the goal to the left of the main stand is a covered flat terrace which sits on a raised level above the pitch. The other 2 stands are uncovered terraces which offer a good view of the pitch. The total capacity of the stadium is roughly 5,000.

One To Watch – Daniel Bragoli

One of the longest serving players at the Yeltz currently is Danny Bragoli. The versatile midfielder has made over 100 appearances for the club. He has played for a number of different clubs, including Rushall Olympic, Hednesford Town and Tipton, where he made over 250 appearances, including leading them out in an FA Cup First Round Proper tie against Carlisle United back in 2010.

He has scored 4 goals this season for Halesowen and made over 40 appearances. He will be a tough opponent for the Dabbers in this game.

Last Meeting

Nantwich Town 2-1 Halesowen Town, FA Cup Third Qualifying Round Replay, Tue 4th October 2016

The 2 sides met for the 3rd time this season at the Weaver Stadium in an FA Cup Replay. After drawing 1-1 at the Grove only a few days earlier, the Dabbers emerged victorious on the night, as 2 excellent finishes from Sean Cooke and Sam Hall were enough to see them progress. Hall’s was of particular quality, as he found the roof of the net from fully 30 yards out. A consolation from Kaiman Anderson wasn’t enough to deny the Dabbers and set them up with a home game against Stourbridge.

View from the Dressing Room

Phil Parkinson spoke ahead of the game about what sort of game his is expecting on Thursday evening: “I’m expecting a stern test. We’ve had many a good battle with Haleowen. It’ll be interesting to see how they do play, when we do normally play them, they tend to sit in. It’ll be interesting to see if they have a go at us, you’d like to think they would at this point of the season. But if they don’t, we’ll have 2 game plans ready and I’m sure their management team will as well. Its a game we’re looking forward to, and for me a game we need to be going and getting maximum points from.”

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