CRADLEY Town closed in on a place in next season's FA Cup competition with a compelling 2-1 win over Halesowen Town based Black Country Rangers to stay seventh in the West Midlands League Premier Division.

First half goals from Chris Brown and Geoff Hill with his 27th strike of the season put Cradley firmly in control by the break.

Black Country battled back to grab a late goal through Connor Hadlington to set up a tense finish, but Cradley clung on for the points.

Ironically Cradley paraded new signing Lee Pardoe who has arrived at Beeches View Avenue from Black Country Rangers and manager Andy Wyton maintained: "He was our best player and gave a man of the match performance. It was a solid, if not spectacular display. The main thing was to make certain of the points Wyton confirmed: "We need four more points from our two remaining games to gain qualification for the FA Cup which has been the objective for quite some time."

Cradley entertain Smethwick Rangers this Saturday and Wyton has promised to go into the game with all guns blazing.

He claimed: "We've been creating plenty of chances, but not taking them. We must start to finish sides off more convincingly when we get the chance. It's something that has to improve.

"We've come a long way since I took charge earlier this season, but I still look back on certain games, such as AFC Bridgnorth and Wellington when we didn't take our chances and threw points away as a result."