Grantham 3 Yeltz 3

24 August 2002

In another game of fluctuating fortunes, the Yeltz took the first point off Grantham in a 3-3 draw.

We took the lead through an early penalty from Jason Burnham after Leadbetter was brought down. We were soon 2-1 down however, equalised through Les , and then ended up 3-2 down at the end of an exciting first half. The goal fest continued straight after the break with another equaliser from Jimmy Quiggan and despite both teams having several chances in some awful weather that was the end of the scoring.

On Monday we play Stafford Rangers at The Grove in a game it would be really nice to win, and then on Saturday we travel to Biillericay where Chelmsford play their games.

For Fantasy Island players , please note that if either you haven't started playing the game or you're still using an out of date email address, you will be removed from the game after next Saturday . Don't say you haven't been warned.

Match Report from DJ

Grantham Town: Ziccardi; Wenlock, Dye, McDaid, George, Wilkins, Marshall, Bull (J. Clarke 77), Ranshaw (Wilson 77), Neil (Hallows 84), Hall. Unused Subs: Foster, Hallcro

Halesowen Town: T. Clarke; Colwell, Burnham (Reece 56), Smith, L. Collins, Skidmore, Quiggin (Newall 62), Leadbeater, Elmes, Taylor, Hines. Unused Subs: Spencer, Ashby, Garvey

Booked: Wilkins (7) Referee: P. T. McCaul (St. Ives, Cambs.)Attendance: 518

The two newly promoted sides shared six goals in an exciting encounter full of goal-scoring opportunities. However, five goals scored away from the Grove in a week has resulted in only one point gained and manager Brendan Phillips will surely seek an improvement on the three goals scored by Grantham from set pieces.

Grantham won their first corner after just 10 seconds but Jim Neil's kick was grabbed by Tim Clarke. Halesowen's first attempt came when Jason Burnham hit a 25-yard free-kick well over the bar after 4 minutes. The Yeltz went ahead after 7 minutes when Lee Collins pumped a long ball up the field to find Richard Leadbeater clear on goal - although looking suspiciously offside. Ian Wilkins pushed Leadbeater in the back in the penalty area and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty and giving a yellow card to Wilkins. *b*BURNHAM*cb* stepped up to crash the penalty into the centre of Mario Ziccardi's net.

Grantham equalised in the 24th minute after Les Hines turned away a cross from Neil and from the Neil's resulting corner DARREN DYE firmly planted a header into Tim Clarke's net. Three minutes later Halesowen's defence was in trouble again from another corner by Gary Bull but Brendan McDaid's header was scrambled clear.

The visitors fell behind in the 29th minute after Stuart Skidmore bundled over Bull right on the edge of the area and NEIL cracked the direct free-kick straight into the bottom corner of the net with Clarke left standing.

An open game continued to produce chances at both ends in a great advertisement for Dr. Martens football. On the half-hour Rob Elmes headed a cross from Hines into Zaccardi's arms and in the 35th Jimmy Quiggin missed an open goal when he volleyed a Burnham cross over from just 8 yards out when completely unmarked. Bull then missed an open goal by drilling wide at the opposite end when Collins allowed a long clearance to bounce over his head to leave the striker all alone in front of goal.

With Halesowen enjoying a good deal of possession on a large pitch it was Grantham's turn to scramble clear in the 41st minute with Stuart Skidmore trying to find the final touch after Elmes headed on Burnham's long throw-in. A minute later Halesowen were back on terms when Elmes headed down a Quiggin cross for *b*HINES*cb* to drive home from 12 yards out.

The joy was short-lived as Grantham regained the lead on the stroke of half-time when BULL glanced home a right-wing corner against a static Halesowen defence.

It took Halesowen just two minutes of the second half to claim the final goal of the game and earn a point with *b*QUIGGIN*cb* firing home from a left-wing cross with Grantham's defence guilty of sloppy play.

The arrival of torrential rain dried up any further goals although both defences were guilty of further mistakes. A poor clearance from Collins almost let in Bull after 54 minutes but the ball rebounded kindly for Tim Clarke. Full-back Steve Wenlock then made two dreadful back-passes to put goalkeeper Zaccardi in trouble. After 68 minutes Wenlock let in Elmes but in a one-on-one on the goalkeeper the chance was lost when Elmes tried to pass across goal to Leadbeater. Two minutes later another terrible back-pass by Wenlock let in Hines, but his cross was cleared for a corner by Danny George with Elmes advancing and Zaccardi again stranded off his line.

Grantham made three late substitutions and applied pressure in the final minutes in search of a winner. Dominic Hallows volleyed over a Jamie Clarke cross after 86 minutes and the visiting defence escaped again a minute later when Tim Clarke missed his punch from a Stuart Wilson corner. Grantham then had a 90th minute penalty appeal turned down when Jamie Clarke hit the ball against substitute Dominic Reece. The Yeltz defence then hacked clear a 91st minute corner when Clarke lost his way with the ball bobbling around in the area.