The Non-League Football Paper - - EVO-STIK NPL PREMIER - By Steven Coney

DANIEL UDOH was the hero for strug­gling Hale­sowen as they shocked lo­cal ri­vals Stour­bridge in front of a bumper Non-League Day crowd.

It was per­haps fit­ting that Udoh, wear­ing the nine shirt, was the match win­ner in the Num­ber 9 Derby – so called due to the bus that con­nects the two towns.

A healthy at­ten­dance of 2,306 saw Ryan Rowe bring Stour­bridge back into the game in the sec­ond half but the Yeltz de­fended su­perbly to climb off the bot­tom of the Evo-Stik Premier.

De­lighted Hale­sowen boss John Hill said: “We’ve de­fended our box for a long pe­riod of time but we stuck to our task well. Our plan of at­tack was to play on the counter and we did that very well.

“It was a real derby at­mos­phere and I’m very happy for our fans who get to cel­e­brate a good win.

“We got a point at Bar­well on Tues­day and a win to­day so we’ve got four points from two tough away games. We’ll take that and hope­fully climb away from the bot­tom.”

Aaron Forde had an early ef­fort well saved for

the Glass­boys be­fore Hale­sowen took a sixth minute lead.

The Yeltz cleared a Stour­bridge cor­ner, Udoh beat Tom Tonks to the ball on the half-way line, raced to­wards goal and fin­ished su­perbly past Matt Gould.

John McA­tee had a free-kick well saved by Gould shortly af­ter be­fore Glass­boys de­fender Jack Dug­gan rat­tled the cross­bar with an ef­fort from Forde’s ball in.

Hale­sowen re­sponded to that warn­ing by dou­bling their lead a minute be­fore the break. Again they cleared a home cor­ner, McA­tee played a good one-two with Udoh and when the for­mer’s shot was saved by Gould, the lat­ter was on hand to tap in.

Stour­bridge dom­i­nated the ball in the sec­ond half but strug­gled to break down a tough Yeltz de­fence.

They grabbed a life­line through ex­pe­ri­enced striker Rowe when he turned Leon Broad­hurst’s free-kick home from close range in the 63rd minute but de­spite huff­ing and puff­ing for the re­main­der of the match, Hale­sowen saw out the game rea­son­ably com­fort­ably.

Glass­boys boss Gary Hack­ett con­ceded his team were off the pace, adding: “The two goals we have con­ceded are very, very poor.

“We’ve handed Hale­sowen two goals but credit to them be­cause they’ve de­fended well af­ter that.

“Nor­mally we are very good in the big oc­ca­sions but to­day we weren’t at it.”

STAR MAN: Daniel Udoh (Hale­sowen) EN­TER­TAIN­MENT:

ON TAR­GET: Daniel Udoh scores Hale­sowen’s sec­ond goal

PIC: WhiteRosePho­tos

GET IN, LADS: Hale­sowen play­ers cel­e­brate with their loyal trav­el­ling fans

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