Captain Parsons is the difference for leaders Hale

Daniel Parsons. Picture by Charter Photography
Daniel Parsons. Picture by Charter Photography

A second half strike from captain Daniel Parsons saw Hale Leys United march on as they opened up a 16-point lead at the top of SSML Division Two with a 2-1 win over Stony Stratford on Saturday.

Hale drew first blood when, with just eight minutes on the clock, Kevin Mealor hammered home an unstoppable 35-yard free-kick following a foul on Parsons.

The visitors recovered from that early setback, though, and some slack defending from the hosts was punished as Stony levelled.

Tom Brindley and Nathan Graham then went close for Hale but neither could finish and the teams went into half-time locked at 1-1.

Both sides saw a series of chances go begging in the second half as Stony threw everything at Hale but it was the league leaders who took the spoils when captain Parsons slotted home what turned out to be the winning goal.

United boss Paul Alleyne said afterwards: “We were lucky in that game and we desperately need to rectify our shooting issues because it could cost us dearly if not resolved.

“The squad we have is quality but we need to be more clinical in front of goal and this game was a warning for next time because we could drop points and it’s not good enough.

“Choosing a man of the match was difficult today as both Niall Williams and Kevin Mealor delivered quality performances for the 90 minutes so well done to them.”

The win puts Hale 16 points clear at the top but second-placed Kent Athletic have six games in hand.

This weekend United travel to Wroxham to represent the Spartan South Midlands League in the FA Inter League Cup. Anyone wishing to travel with the team can email before 10am on Wednesday.