Worcester 1 Yeltz 1

24 March 2003

A late equaliser by new bloke Michael Blackwood gained an important point against local rivals Worcester. We're unbeaten in four games against them this season, and we've climbed out of the bottom four for the first time this year. More details in DJ's match report .

We've got a tough tie at Tiverton on Saturday, but we've done very well on our travels lately so let's hope for at least a point. It's getting very exciting isn't it?

Match Report from DJ

Worcester City: McDonnell; Davies, Carty, Heeley, Shail, Holloway, Middleton, Counsell (Jones 60), Webster, Hadley (Owen 65), Wilde. Unused Subs: Parker, McDonald, Wyatt

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

Referee: M. Cairns (Northampton) Attendance: 817 Booked: Holloway (27), Wilde (84), Shail (88)

Halesowen fought back from an early Worcester goal with another impressive away performance to claim a deserved and important point.

Once more Halesowen fans were left scratching their heads with their favourites turning in an exciting performance barely recognisable from recent offerings at the Grove. The draw means that Halesowen remain unbeaten in the four meetings between the local rivals this season.

In the second minute Daren Middleton thumped a shot at Tim Clarke's chest before the home side took a 6th minute lead when Adam Wilde crossed from the left and Adam WEBSTER with his back to goal turned to fire home from 5 yards out.

Yet far from signalling a home rout, the resilient Yeltz kept the home side at bay and fought their way back into the game with Worcester barely registering any further shots on target.

Mark Danks could have done better on 20 minutes when he beat the offside trap but he mis-controlled the ball and Danny McDonnell was able to block. Michael Blackwood had an impressive game in midfield and played two incisive balls through the Worcester defence in the 23rd minute with Jason Ashby hitting just wide. On the half-hour Paul Carty cleared a dangerous Lee Williams free-kick.

Danks was replaced by Les Hines at the interval with Blackwood moving up front as the Yeltz took the game by the scruff of the neck and stroked the ball confidently around the park. One minute into the second half Lee Collins was unfortunate to see Allan Davies clear his header off the goal-line. Webster hit just past the angle in the 50th minute for Worcester and on 66 minutes former-Yeltz goalkeeper McDonnell was fortunate to escape the attentions of Ashby and Blackwood. Middleton's strike was well saved by Tim Clarke in a Worcester breakaway a minute later. But it was Halesowen who finished strongly and in the 80th minute a long Clarke kick saw Ashby feed Williams and when his shot was saved Fraser McHugh hit the rebound high.

The Yeltz were finally rewarded with a precious equaliser for their hard work in the 87th minute when Ashby headed on another long Clarke goal-kick for BLACKWOOD to clinically clip the ball over McDonnell from 15 yards. With hungry Halesowen well on top, Collins struck a half-volley which trickled wide moments before the final whistle was greeted with loud ovation from the travelling fans.