DMC Final 2L Crawley 2 Yeltz 0 (3-2 Agg.)

29 April 2003

We gave it a good go, but in the end it was probably fair enough we lost the League Cup Final by losing 2-0 to Crawley in the second leg.

Once they'd scored early on we were behind on away goals and struggling, but when two down in the second half we almost took it to extra-time when Danks hit the bar, and a fantastic scramble led to Kirk blazing over. Still it's probably a good job we saved some energy for Saturday's massive game.

Just to remind you: we'll stay up if we beat Chippenham at The Grove and Grantham lose at home to Moor Green, or if they draw we need to win by three goals.

Bring all your mates, everyone you know and let's get right behind the lads for 90 minutes to do our part of the equation. Can't do anything about the other game but let's hope Moor Green come up trumps. Come On! Come On!

Match Report from DJ

Crawley Town: Little; Holmes, Payne, Hooper, Pullan, Le Bihan, Harkin, Cooksey, McDonnell (Hockton 74), Bagnall, Brake. Unused Subs: Matten, Vines, Hemsley, Timlin

Halesowen Town: Hateley; Colwell, Hines, Stone, Collins, Trainer, Williams (Master 68), Ashby (Leadbeater 62), Danks, Blackwood (Skidmore HT), Spencer. Unused Subs: Smith, Clarke

Referee: R. Vaughan (Bristol) Attendance: 1049 Booked: Brake(64), Stone(70)

Halesowen's brave League Cup run finally ended at the Broadfield Stadium although they can have no real complaints about missing out on their second piece of silverware of the season by the odd goal of five on aggregate.

With a slender one-goal advantage from the first leg Halesowen went close in the 9th minute when Gavin Stone headed a Les Hines cross off the ground onto the underside of the crossbar with the Crawley defence blocking Jason Ashby's volley from the rebound. The home side took the lead to level the aggregate score after just 12 minutes when Hines lost the ball allowing Warren Bagnall to cross and Mo Harkin to pull the ball back for Nigel BRAKE to crash the ball into the net from 6 yards.

Mark Danks poked the ball at goalkeeper Andy Little from 5 yards in the 20th minute from a good move between Lee Williams and Andy Spencer but the home side then enjoyed their best spell of pressure with Halesowen weathering the storm until the half-time whistle. Nic McDonnell's 21st minute penalty appeal was turned down after he fell in the box under challenge from Richard Colwell and on 39 minutes McDonnell crossed from the left for Bagnall to head straight at Gary Hateley. With Halesowen's defence exposed Collins let in Harkin to cross from the left a minute later but the ball evaded the Crawley strike-force and fell into safety. Hateley then raced off his line in the 41st minute to clear from Neil Le Bihan but conceded a corner from which Le Bihan struck the top of the bar. A minute before half-time McDonnell hit a half-volley just over the Halesowen bar.

Five minutes into the second period Brake burst from the centre of midfield and was eventually denied by Stone. Crawley hit the cup-winning goal after 54 minutes when a long free-kick was headed on for McDONNELL with plenty of space and time to bury the ball past Hateley from 8 yards. Ernie Cooksey hit a 58th minute volley wide from 30 yards and seven minutes later Stone headed a free clearance in the Halesowen defence at McDonnell but the striker screwed his good chance wide.

With Halesowen looking jaded Hateley raced off his line to clear from substitute Danny Hockton on 76 minutes but a minute later Halesowen's best chance of the half fell to Danks who latched onto the long clearance from Hateley but his shot struck the Crawley bar. On 90 minutes substitute Kirk Master was put through on the right but blasted high. The 4th official found 5 minutes of added time in which Little collected a Collins header from Stone's long throw and at the death McDonnell skied the ball high over the bar on the break from a good position at the other end.