Yeltz 1 Stafford 1

26 August 2002

The mighty Yeltz are still looking for their first victory after Stafford Rangers earned a 1-1 draw with a late equaliser at The Grove on Monday night.

We took the lead just before half time through Jimmy Quiggan and looked like we were going to do it until they scored late on in the 85th minute. That leaves us with a disappointing three points from the first four games and in 16th place in the table. Looking at that table shows we've played the top two so maybe things aren't too bad, so let's keep positive.

Saturday takes us to Billericay in Essex where Chelmsford City play their home games, before Tamworth visit The Grove next Tuesday.

N.B. Doc has found the time to produce a new fixtures poster for September for all of you who are interested.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, Smith, Collins, Skidmore, Quiggin (Newall 84), Leadbeater (Ashby 67), Elmes, Taylor, Hines (Reece 10). Unused Subs: Spencer, Garvey

Stafford Rangers: Price; A. Gibson (Daniel 67), Carter (Lovatt 84), Barrow, McAughtrie, Robinson (Bott 75), Berks, Heath, Bailey, Davidson, R. Gibson. Unused Subs: Wilkes, Ward.

Referee: H. Singh (West Bromwich)Attendance: 736 Booked: Heath (41), Reece (70), Skidmore (84) Sponsors' Man of the Match (Twenty Twenty Promotional Ltd): Richard Colwell

Halesowen seemed on course to hold on for a narrow morale-boosting first win until they conceded a late goal directly from another set piece.

Stafford made the livelier start with the impressive David Berks firing in a 4th minute low drive which was grabbed by goalkeeper Tim Clarke before Richard Colwell turned a 7th minute cross away with Rob Heath lurking free in space. Berks then made an excellent 13th minute run but his chip shot was collected by Clarke.

With both sides lacking inspiration in the final third of the field, Halesowen's first real effort came when Richard Leadbeater hit a 25-yard drive over the bar in the 19th minute following a knock down by Rob Elmes. Substitute Dominic Reece, replacing the injured Les Hines, hit a Jason Burnham free-kick just past the post six minutes later. An overhead kick from Collins was then just tipped away by goalkeeper Ryan Price from under the bar after Reece earned a 35th minute corner. Stafford's Daniel Davidson beat defender Neil Smith in the 40th minute to set up Robin Gibson but he curled his effort wide of the mark.

Halesowen took the lead a minute before the break when Reece worked well down the left wing and his cross to Elmes let in *b*JIMMY QUIGGIN*cb* to scoop the ball home from 8 yards out.

The home side never really looked like adding to their goal tally in the second half although Elmes flashed a corner from Mark Taylor over the bar in the 58th minute and Skidmore drove wide after 73 minutes. Jason Ashby came on as a substitute for his first outing of the season to replace the injured Leadbeater but it was Halesowen's defence that was kept increasingly busy as the game wore on. Berks produced a 25-yard shot which was turned away for a corner by Clarke in the 75th minute and Halesowen then desperately defended two corners despite introducing John Newall to bolster the defence.

Stafford eventually equalised five minutes from time when Skidmore needlessly conceded a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area and BERKS curled the free-kick directly past the suspect Halesowen defensive wall leaving goalkeeper Clarke standing.