Tiverton 4 Yeltz 2

29 March 2003

Despite being in contention for most of the game, two late goals meant we've slipped back into the bottom four again.

We took the lead through new bloke Michael Blackwood, but Tiverton soon equalised and went ahead before half-time in a similar manner. Lee Collins then equalised with about 10 minutes to go, but then two late goals lead to a disappointing defeat.

Most of the other results went our way, with all of our main rivals except Hinckley losing so it's still very close despite us having played more games and having a poor goal difference.

This obviously makes next week's game against Hinckley unbelievably important but before that we've got a Worcester Senior semi-final at Bromsgrove on Tuesday.

Match Report from DJ

Tiverton Town: Foster; Winter (Pears 78), Haines, Rees, Steele, Cousins, Chenoweth, Holloway (Mudge 78), Everett, Rogers, Ovens. Unused Subs: Edwards, Vinnicombe, Grimshaw

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Hines, Bauress, Collins, Stone (Leadbeater 90), Williams, Ashby, Blackwood, Gibson (Charlton 30 (Danks 66)), Spencer. Unused Subs: Master, Hateley

Referee: S. Hollick (Plymouth) Attendance: 731

Halesowen fell back into the dreaded drop-zone in a cruel finish to an impressive performance against their fellow double-Vase winners Tiverton.

On the plus side, another couple of goals on their travels kept Halesowen as the highest scoring away team in the division - a statistic that only highlights the string of dismal failures back at the Grove that has caused their plight. With their rivals continuing to pick up points Halesowen will realistically now need to win three or four of their remaining six games to ensure Dr Martens Premier survival, just one season after returning as Western Champions.

Halesowen started where they left off in previous away trips when Jason Ashby turned to strike the top of the Tiverton bar in the first minute. Chris Holloway burst forward for Tivvy after 5 minutes but was blocked by a packed defence who then easily coped with two corners from Paul Chenoweth.

Jason Rees headed behind his own goal on 16 minutes for Halesowen's first corner and from the Lee Williams kick Collins rose above the defence only to see his header cleared off the line by Rees. The Yeltz took the lead when the ball was turned back into the area towards the head of Gavin Stone and Michael BLACKWOOD whipped the loose ball into the net on the volley from 5 yards out.

Tivvy equalised just four minutes later when Steve Winter crossed from the right and the unmarked Phil EVERETT tapped home from close range. Richard Colwell headed out of defence on the half-hour for Scott Rogers to drive just past the post from 25 yards. The home side then went 2-1 ahead on 35 minutes when Rogers put in a good cross from the left and EVERETT hit his second goal with a low volley past Tim Clarke.

Halesowen continued to press forward and the full-backs combined in the 40th minute when substitute Asa Charlton crossed for Colwell to head just wide. Two minutes later Rees failed to clear but Foster was fortunate that the ball bounced off Blackwood into safety. On the stroke of half-time Foster held onto a 25-yard drive from Les Hines.

At the start of the second period Chenoweth hit a well worked free-kick wide from 20 yards and Steve Ovens broke from midfield to hit the side-netting. But with Halesowen controlling large tracts of the game they deservedly levelled in the 69th minute when Lee COLLINS thundered a header past Foster from a Williams free-kick after substitute Mark Danks was fouled. With the visitors seeking a winner in open play, a Hines free-kick was blocked by the Tiverton wall and on 77 minutes Danks fed Blackwood but he scuffed his shot over the bar.

Despite all their hard work Halesowen conceded two late goals in a sickening finale. On 88 minutes Stone was too intricate on the ball and let in ROGERS to flash a 20 yard effort into the top corner, despite Clarke managing to reach the ball with his fingertips. One minute into injury time Paul Edwards broke down the left and crossed for fellow substitute James MUDGE to convert a flattering fourth.

Substitute goalkeeper came on in the outfield for Gavin Stone in the 92nd minute for just 30 seconds in order to make him eligible for the Worcestershire Senior Cup Semi-Final tie against his former club Bromsgrove Rovers.