FIRING BLANKS

Yeltz 0 Crawley 2

21 September 2002

It's not too difficult to find the root of our problems at the moment - that's one goal in the last seven games and it's self evident that if we don't score we're not going to win.

From the comments on , it was a disappointing performance as well as a disappointing result and it's dropped us back into again.

A brief analysis of the table shows that we've played 6 out of the top 8 and only 2 of the bottom eight (Cambridge and Bath) so there's some important games coming up. Before that we start our FA Cup campaign with a game at Western Division Sutton Coldfield Town , where unfortunately we suffered our only away defeat in the league last year. An excellent time for revenge I think!

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, Smith, Collins, Newall, Quiggin (Taylor 55), Master, Elmes (Leadbeater 76), Spencer, Hines. Unused Subs: Reece, Ashby, Shanahan

Crawley Town: Dunn; Judge (Payne 74), Cooksey, Hooper, Pullen, Fear, Holmes, Harkin, McDonnell, Stevens, Le Bihan. Unused Subs: Hockton, Hemsley, Brake, McKoy.

Referee: P. Cox (Bedford) Attendance: 547 Booked: None Sponsors' Man of the Match: Lee Collins.

Eventually the long sequence of home draws had to end - unfortunately it ended with a defeat to leave Halesowen's home record in a sorry state. Long-suffering fans endured another blank goal tally and have now watched almost 7 hours of home football without a goal to cheer.

Kirk Master made his full debut and was immediately in action when he drove wide with his left foot from 20 yards in the 6th minute. Defender Richard Colwell headed a deep cross from the right by Mo Harkin over his own bar in the 12th minute as the visitors came into the game. A minute later Lee Collins climbed over Nic McDonnell to concede a free-kick on the edge of the area. Harkin planted the ball into the net but the effort was disallowed as the referee was still organising the wall. The retaken kick was easily blocked.

Jimmy Quiggin surged into the Crawley area but was muscled off the ball by Ernie Cooksey after 18 minutes and Tommy Dunn grabbed a deep cross from Jason Burnham under pressure from Rob Elmes four minutes later. For Crawley, Dave Stevens turned but saw his shot blocked in the box and the giant defender Ellis Hooper headed just wide from Peter Fear's free-kick. Quiggin then rolled the ball to Colwell in the 25th minute but his cross was cut out by goalkeeper Dunn. Andy Spencer fed Master on the left who sent in a menacing cross along the Crawley goal on the half-hour but Elmes was unable to provide the finishing touch. Colwell then made another important headed clearance for a Crawley corner with Neil Le Bihan about to head towards goal.

Halesowen missed the best chance of the half after 34 minutes with Master again causing danger when he side-stepped his marker to drive in a 20-yard shot that Dunn could only parry out to Elmes, but the striker blasted over an empty net from 6 yards. Three minutes before half-time Master made another telling left-wing run but just failed to cut the ball back into the path of Les Hines. There was still time in the first half for McDonnell to head just high and Collins to make a timely interception on Le Bihan in the box.

There were few chances to break the deadlock at the start of the second half but a 52nd minute cross from Le Bihan drifted just high before Le Bihan headed a Ben Judge cross just wide. Tim Clarke then juggled a 25-yard from Harkin and dived to collect a McDonnell header as Crawley forced two corners on the hour. Halesowen won a 66th corner from a Mark Taylor free-kick but Elmes headed high again. Spencer then hit a 20-yard drive wide a minute later.

Crawley claimed the three points with two late goals from centre-forward McDonnell - the first arriving in the 73rd minute when he hit home a Fear cross from 10 yards. Substitute Richard Leadbeater almost forced an equaliser for goal-shy Halesowen but his header was cleared off the line by substitute Payne in the 79th minute but nine minutes from time McDonnell latched onto a ball from Harkin to round Clarke and hit home from 12 yards out.