The Non-League Football Paper - - SATURDAY MATCH CENTRE - By Jack Kerner

ROB Smith and his as­sis­tant Larry Cham­bers took up Hale­sowen's man­age­ment reins, but there was no respite for his strug­gling new team as Strat­ford cruised to vic­tory.

Young home goal­keeper Kieran Boucher par­ried the ball away from Jamie McA­teer af­ter three min­utes.

He went on to make a fine re­flex save to fin­ger­tip a 20-yard shot from Albi Sk­endi onto the cross­bar in the 25th minute.

A 39th minute free­kick from Wil­liam Gro­cott curled just wide and Boucher made an­other great save with his legs to deny Wil­son Car­valho at the end of the first-half.

Af­ter the in­ter­val, McA­teer went close by head­ing Gro­cott's free­kick just over the Hale­sowen bar.

But, with Hale­sowen now hav­ing scored just once in seven league games, Strat­ford went on to take their sec­ond-half chances and win the game with ease.

Car­valho con­verted from the penalty spot in the 59th minute af­ter young Joab Wheat­ley clipped the legs of vis­it­ing cen­tre-for­ward Michael Taylor.

Gro­cutt then lifted a loose ball into the net to de­servedly dou­ble Strat­ford's lead af­ter Boucher spilled a low cross.

The Yeltz pro­vided lit­tle in re­sponse in a dis­ap­point­ing af­ter­noon.

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