A GOOD POINT
Solihull 1 Yeltz 1
02 March 2002
Although we've got used to winning our league games recently, the mighty Yeltz gained a very useful point away to one of their few promotion rivals. A first half goal from Leroy took us into the lead, but Solihull came back in the second half to get a draw in a match they really had to win.
Chippenham had an easy victory against Warwick and Weston didn't have a game, so we're still top of the table and in an excellent position. Look out for the results of Weston at Cinderford and Solihull against Swindon on Tuesday.
Our next game is on Saturday when we visit glamorous Bedworth in a game in which I'd hope we can get back to winning ways.
Match Report from DJ
Solihull Borough: Murphy; Pereira, Cooper, M. Smith, Knight, Dutton, Hollis, C. Smith, D. Hall, Amos, Lovelock (J. Smith 80). Subs: Arshad, Pippard
Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, N. Smith, L. Collins, Skidmore, Spencer (Jones 75), Bailey, May, Taylor, Hines (Hall 45). Sub: Newall
Referee: D. Whitestone (Northampton) Attendance: 462 Booked: May (23), Cooper (60), Amos (84)
Although Halesowen's impressive run of away wins finally ended, the point was important to prevent one of the possible promotion challengers from making any headway on Halesowen's top spot.
In a slow Yeltz opening on a heavily sanded pitch, Mark Taylor was bundled over in the box after 9 minutes but referee Whitestone waved play on and Lee Collins then nodded a 16th minute free-kick from Les Hines just wide. Solihull's hot-shot striker Derek Hall turned in the penalty area a minute later but could only shoot weakly at Tim Clarke. After the cautious start, it was Solihull's Derek Hall who went close by blasting into the side-netting on 35 minutes from the left edge of the box.
Halesowen enjoyed a fine spell of play in the ten minutes before half-time and should have taken the lead when Leroy May picked up a rebound and fed Mark Taylor who in turn set up Les Hines but he blasted wide from a good position. The lead finally arrived in the 39th minute when Denis Bailey forced a right wing corner. The corner kick fell to May two yards out with his back to goal and he cheekily back-heeled the ball into the net off the legs of Solihull's Craig Dutton. Jason Burnham's then saw a low shot saved by Brendan Murphy and at the other end Tim Clarke saved well from Andy Lovelock.
Solihull deservedly equalised in the 63rd minute when a flowing move ended with Manual Pereira squaring for Chris Smith to fire into the bottom corner from 20 yards out with Clarke only able to watch. The league leaders survived a scare six minutes later when a dangerous right-wing cross found two forwards free in the box but Clarke made a fingertip save from Derek Hall's weak effort and the excellent Richard Colwell completed the clearance off the goal-line. Having lost Les Hines and Andy Spencer during the game through injury, the Yeltz appeared slightly heavy-legged as they came under a period of Solihull pressure.
However, in and end-to-end finish of open play, substitute Matty Hall couldn't convert May's flick-on past Murphy, Andy Jones fired high when well placed in the 80th minute and a Lee Collins header fell just wide. For Solihull, Chris Smith shot high from the edge of the area after 85 minutes and Clarke produced a fine reflex save from a fierce 20-yard shot by Simon Hollis with two minutes remaining.
A last minute corner for the Yeltz caused confusion for the Boro' defence but Lee Collins could only shoot into the arms of Murphy.