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Hallam's Firing Squad Show No Mercy
Posted 06th September 2015 - Posted in Match Reports
Hallam showed great strength in depth to put Teversal to the sword with an irresistible second-half display in Nottinghamshire on Saturday.
A brace from Michael Blythen and further goals from Jack Hargreaves, Steve Brammer and Brodie Cooper made it nine goals on the road for Ryan Hindley's men in the space of four days and it was another excellent team effort.
Hindley was forced to shuffle his pack before and during the game: Danny Barnsley replaced Callum Greaves, who has now departed for Chesterfield, while David Darwent and Danny Cardwell came in for Jack Dennison and Elliott Simpson respectively.
Teversal began on the front foot and put the Countrymen under pressure from the start. However, Hindley has emphasised the importance of fitness and his side contained their opponents well, restricting them to very few half-chances. Hargreaves was working particularly hard, full of running and drawing fouls from the home side.
It took the visitors twenty minutes to fashion their first chances of the game. First, Blythen's cross was fractionally too high for Brammer to control his header, then Blythen combined well with Barnsley before shooting over.
It was to be Barnsley's last meaningful action. Tracking back from left wing, he dispossessed and got away from Tevie right-back Kieran Coupe, whose cynical foul left Barnsley having to be carried from the pitch with a hamstring injury. Coupe was booked and Barnsley was replaced by Brodie Cooper, brother of Jordan. He joined his sibling in central midfield as Hargreaves switched to the left.
On the half-hour, Blythen gave his side the edge in what had been a close encounter with an early contender for goal of the season. Picking the ball up by the right corner flag, he cut inside past three challenges and floating a beautiful, curling shot over Dale Sheppard and into the top right-hand corner of the net.
Having seen out the remainder of the half, Hallam doubled their lead two minutes after the restart. Brammer was released on the left and put Hargreaves through with a disguised ball. From the tightest angle, Hargreaves deceived Sheppard, sneaking the ball inside his near post.
Hargreaves began to torment the Teversal defence, who couldn't cope with his pace and intelligent running. Brodie Cooper was also making an immediate impression. They combined well to set up Blythen, who just failed to find the right connection at the far post. Moments later, Jordan Cooper hit the bar with a looping header, but his side didn't have long to wait before the killer third goal.
Having dealt with a rare Teversal chance with a spot of last-ditch defending, Hallam went straight down the other end and Brodie Cooper sent Blythen through. As Blythen shaped to round Sheppard, he was brought down by captain Paul Stanthorpe, who somehow escaped with just a booking. Brammer slotted the penalty down the middle to put the result beyond doubt.
As has been the case since the start of the season, Hallam were not content to shut up shop and see the game out. Just after the hour, Brodie marked his debut with a goal, smashing into the top corner from 15 yards from Brammer's pull-back. Brammer and Jordan Cooper were replaced by Josh Birds and Mark Kokot respectively. Birds made a typical nuisance of himself, causing further problems for a beleaguered home defence.
15 minutes from time, Blythen completed the rout, firing into the corner after Sheppard had saved from Birds when Cardwell's deflected free-kick found him.
Sheppard himself was lucky to stay on the pitch late on as he appeared to punch the ball clear from outside the area. A minute later, Teversal's bright spark David Cockerill found space at the other end and smashed a thunderous shot off the underside of the bar. The rebound was cleared and that was as good as it got for the hosts, who were well beaten by a confident Hallam side showing their versatility in the face of injuries and departures.
Man of the Match: Jack Hargreaves. Simply unplayable, particularly after the break. Teversal had no answer to his quick feet and intelligent runs. The stand-out performer on an afternoon of excellent performances throughout the side.