The Lockmen slipped to their first defeat of the season as visiting Smethwick scored an early goal after an error then effectively shut up shot and played on the counter-attack brilliantly.
The home side showed first, winning a second minute corner which was swung in by Curtis Ellis to no avail. The visitors scored with their first attack on four minutes when a through ball to Stuart Curwen bobbled and the keeper completely missed his kick in clearing, allowing Collin Smith to roll the ball into an unguarded net. Jamal pinnock attacked well down the wing on six minutes but was well tackled before Ellis volleyed just over in the ninth minue. Four minutes later and Ellis almost profitted from a short back-pass which he reached, but keeper Gurtej Bhullar sat on. The Lockmen won another corner on the quarter-hour, but the visitors roke from it and Smith fired at keper. The same player then hit the red wall from a 20th minute free-kick, whilst the home side did likewise on 39 minutes, the ball in between almost under total control by the visitors who were happy to break on the counter after standing off their opponents.
HT WILLENHALL TOWN 0-1 SMETHWICK RANGERS
Marlon Taylor then fired a the keeper on 54 minutes efore the same player had The lockmen’s only serious effort at goal, Bhullar spooning a straightforward shot up in the air and wide of the goal before dropping on it at the second attempt. The Lockmen saw a corner cleared on 61 minutes and then Stuart Curwen made a good save to deny goalscorer mith as the 90 minute mark approached. Substitute Sam Brook almost rescued The Reds twice in stoppage-time, only to flash efforts beyond the far post twice from tight angles as the visitors pretty much run the clock down comfortably.
Match report by Chris Burton