HITMAN Jamie Molyneux netted a hat-trick to help Halesowen progress to the first qualifying round of the FA Cup.

The striker took his tally to five goals for the season as the Yeltz beat Bedworth 3-1 on Monday.

They had drawn 1-1 away on Saturday before winning Monday's replay at the Grove to book a clash with Lichfield in the next round.

Molyneux won the praise of boss Paul Smith after making an eye-catching start to the season.

He said: "Moly has all the ability but has been nomadic for the last two to two-and-a-half years where he hasn't really felt at home anywhere.

"It wasn't long ago that he was ripping up trees for Hereford and it is no surprise to me that he's doing so well now that he is back playing with a smile on his face and has some really good players around him.

"We are all delighted for him and hopefully he came maintain his form as the season goes on.

"It's also worth mentioning that Jamie Lucas made his first start for us and while he didn't get on the scoresheet he did really well to play a part to allow Jamie to get the goals.

"We have some good competition here when you also add in Montel Gibson, Luke Yates and Ethan Jones, which is what we'll need if we are going to fight on all the front we want."

That competition has seen veteran West Bromwich Albion striker Lee Hughes leave the club this week after finding regular starts hard to come by.

"He was one of only two of last season's squad who really showed an interest in staying and being part of the team this year," added Smith.

"He deserved to play pre-season and worked his socks off. He has been brilliant to have around the club week in, week out.

"The competition is strong at the moment and he's at that stage of his career where he wants to be playing every week."

On overcoming Bedworth, the manager said: "There was not a great deal wrong on Saturday part from the fact we didn't take our chances.

"We got hit with the sucker punch and had to go again.

"It shows how far we've already come as a side when a set-back for us is a draw away from home.

"We had a chance to put it right on Monday and we did that brilliantly.

"It was probably our most complete performance of the season so far and if it hadn't have been for their goalkeeper and the woodwork it could have been a lot more."

The Yeltz will now welcome Welwyn Garden City this Saturday (3pm).

Ethan Jones will train this week and could be available while George Forsyth may get games out online as he looks for match sharpness.