Hallsworth nets last minute winner

Holbrook Sports’ boss Paul Romney made four changes to the starting line up for Saturday’s away clash at Black Country Rangers in the FA Vase.

Simeon Oshoboke came in for his debut up front and was joined by stalwart Vaughn Hallsworth. Steve Akers replaced the suspended Cory Bowler and Danny Graves returned in goal.

Holbrook started very brightly on the sticky surface and looked like they were going to cut through the defence at ease.

On ten minutes, a break from Vaughn Hallsworth led to him racing into the box and his squared ball to Simeon Oshoboke looked like a certain goal but his shot only found the arms of the relieved goalkeeper.

The same pairing caused the Black Country Rangers problems again and this time Simeon Oshoboke broke free and, with all the time in the world, he shot past the keeper to give Sports a deserved lead.

Five minutes later, with Oshoboke causing mayhem, his hamstring gave way and he had to replaced by Curtis Williamson.

With Holbrook regrouping, Black Country Rangers broke free and, with no one picking up the runners, the centre forward easily slotted the equaliser past Danny Graves.

Holbrook seemed all at sea for the rest of the half, a superb one-handed save from Danny Graves keeping the scores level at half-time.

Skipper Niall Mather, suffering with a knee injury, was replaced at the start of the half by Albashir Kuri.

Black Country Rangers started the better team and carried on where they finished the first half. On 70 minutes, Black Country Rangers took the lead as a penalty was easily dispatched into the back of the net.

This finally shook Holbrook into action and they had a ten-minute spell of sustained pressure. The ball broke out of defence and fell to Ben Gowing and, after a excellent first touch, he thundered a 30-yard shot straight into the top corner.

Holbrook kept the pressure on but Rangers were still looking dangerous on the break. Holbrook made their last change with Sam Ridgard coming on to replace Steve Akers on the right wing.

In the final minutes of the game, the substitute broke down the right and cut into the area. While shaping to shoot, he squared the ball to Vaughn Hallsworth who slotted home the winner, to the excitement of the travelling fans.

Manager Paul Romney said: “We weren’t at our best for long periods of the game but to show the character to come through was fantastic.

“The first and last 20 minutes, we were excellent and with a number of changes we came through a very tricky tie. It’s been a hectic week and maybe the exploits and extra time of Tuesday night had an impact but characterwise I can’t fault them.

“It must have been brilliant for our travelling fans to come roaring back and scoring in the last minute and it made for an entertaining coach trip home.”