FORTRESS GROVE?

Yeltz 1 Bath 1

22 March 2003

What is it with our home form? We gained a useful point against Bath, coming back from behind through a Gavin Stone goal, but it's yet another non-win at The Grove.

Looking through the results this season, the breakdown is...

Not much difference I suppose, but maybe it's a good thing that 5 of our last 8 games are away? The first two are this week, starting with a visit to on Monday, and then down to next Saturday. Looking at the table they're probably the hardest games left, but we need to pick up something from the week seeing as we're still .

The other big news of the week is the announcement of the Conference reorganisation. It appears only one team will be relegated from the Conf. this season, and in 2004-05 there will be a Conference North and South. It's not exactly clear what this means for us, but right now it's even more important we stay up this year. No additional pressure there then.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Charlton, Skidmore, Collins, Stone, L. Williams, Ashby, Danks (Leadbeater 65), McHugh, Blackwood. Unused Subs: Hines, Gibson, Smith, Master.

Bath City: Glassup; Bennett (Tweddle 65), Trought, Coupe, Kemp, Rollo, Gosling (Shore 82), Milsom, Eaton, Toomey (James 67), A. Williams. Unused Subs: Cleverley, Honor

Referee: J. Hubbard (Leicester) Attendance: 507 Booked: Blackwood (34) Sponsors' Man of the Match: Gavin Stone

A much-needed home win continued to prove elusive but the Yeltz battled back to draw after being second-best to Bath early on. With fellow relegation candidates Hastings, Hinckley and Weymouth all beaten, the point was another small stepping stone towards safety from relegation.

Tim Clarke clawed away a Jason Eaton header from an Andy Williams cross in the 8th minute when the ball bounced off the hard surface. Halesowen had trouble breaking down their stubborn visitors, only managing one attempt on goal in the first half when a Lee Collins header was grabbed by stand-in goalkeeper Ellis Glassup under his crossbar from the first corner on 20 minutes.

The visitors enjoyed a good spell of pressure late in the first-half to leave Halesowen grateful to be level at the half-time whistle. On 28 minutes Paul Milsom played a ball over the top to put Dave Toomey clear on goal but Clarke raced out of goal to make a fine blocking save. Four minutes later James Gosling hit a 25-yard volley inches wide and in the 36th minute Toomey's shot was deflected for a corner by Richard Colwell with the Yeltz struggling to get the ball free from their own area.

Bath were almost caught cold a minute into the second half by a quickly taken Lee Williams free-kick allowing Fraser McHugh to surge in to the area but Glassup saved on the line and a minute later Glassup pushed away a Collins header. Ex-Stevenage midfielder Michael Blackwood then put the ball high over the bar from a Mark Danks cross on the hour.

Almost inevitably, Bath took the lead in the 62nd minute when MILSOM was allowed to run through the home defence and he turned in the area to hit past Clarke from 15 yards. With the clock ticking away and little sign of an improvement in Halesowen's penetration, Gavin STONE rose above the Bath defence to flash home a header into the roof of the net from a Lee Williams corner to put the Yeltz back on level terms.

The goal ignited Halesowen's self-belief and urgency and Bath weathered a difficult last quarter of an hour. Stone headed just high in the 75th minute and substitute Richard Leadbeater side-footed a rebound wide from 20 yards when Jason Ashby challenged Glassup in the 83rd minute. Five minutes from time McHugh burst up the field for Lee Williams to cross to Ashby, but his shot was blocked by Jim Rollo.