THE LETHAL finishing of prolific Halesowen striker Ben Haseley proved the difference between the two sides as Gresley dropped down to ninth.
Haseley struck three times and was superbly denied by Gresley keeper Gary Hateley on two further occasions as the away side slipped to a 4-2 defeat.
Gresley were forced into making a change up front with Phil Massingham replacing Richard Hanslow who was still suffering from a back injury picked up against Leek in midweek.
The home side soon showed their intent with a header from Haseley that brought out a top draw save from Hateley after just four minutes.
Gresley’s Danny Holmes then looped a ball into the area which appeared to be handled by a defender and missed by referee Bruce Rogers. The ball came out to Dean Rathbone who fired in a shot which was blocked on the line.
Hateley had to be alert at the other end to deny Haseley when the striker looked certain to score. Holmes then had a low shot from distance which narrowly flew wide.
The home side struck first when Haseley beat Hateley with a low drive into the far corner.
Five minutes later it was 2-0. A corner from Mitchell Botfield eventually came out to Arron Griffiths who hit an unstoppable volley that flew into the net off the underside of the bar.
Halesowen were well on top at that stage. Another corner was taken short and Botfield crossed into the box where Joe Hill powered a header from close in that Hateley acrobatically tipped over the bar.
Hateley followed up with a good block on the line as the hosts threatened to kill the game. Moments later Luke Corbett caught the Gresley defence napping and tried an audacious lob which landed wide of the far post.
The visitors began to get more into the game and just after the half hour reduced the arrears. Massingham did well on the left of the area and managed to deliver a low cross into the box. Royce Turville was waiting to pounce and pushed the ball past Town keeper Paul Evans.
Gresley came close to levelling on the half time whistle when Jordi Gough made a driving run through the middle before unleashing a thunderbolt of a shot that left Evans motionless but flew just the wrong side of the upright.
Haseley had a rare miss early in the second half when he steered his shot wide of the far post with only the Gresley keeper to beat.
Gresley had a half chance when Rathbone picked out Marc Goodfellow on the left. Goodfellow then sent a low cross into the area but it was a fraction too far in front of Massingham.
Another chance arrived for the visitors when James Jepson played a short corner from the left to Goodfellow who then looped over a cross to Marc Strzyzewski. But his header was held by Evans before Massingham’s header flew past the post.
Gresley were caught out by a long ball once more and it was Haseley who raced through before slotting past the exposed Hateley. The long ball tactic paid off again when Haseley completed his hat-trick by lobbing Hateley.
Gresley refused to give up and got an deserved second consolation when Turville had a shot blocked, Substitute Louis Hamilton, who replaced Holmes, smashed the rebound home from close range to claim for his first goal for Gresley.
SCORERS: Haseley 23, 66, 75; Griffiths 28 (Town); Turville 35, Hamilton 94 (Gresley).
TOWN: Evans, Bowen, Meacham, Botfield, Hill, Kelly, Griffiths, Barnfield, Corbett (Arshad 81), Haseley (Kargbo 84), Gueyes (Warmer 78). Subs not used: Winsper, Flowers (gk).
GRESLEY: Hateley, Woods, Gough, Strzyzewski, Nottingham, Holmes, Rathbone, Jepson, Massingham, Turville, Goodfellow. Subs not used: Hanslow, Lyons, Barrett, Walker, Hamilton.
YELLOW CARDS: Kelly (Town); Woods, Jepson (Gresley).
GRESLEY STAR MAN: Gary Hateley
REFEREE: Bruce Rogers (Malvern).