Friendly Yeltz 1 Stafford 1

26 July 2003

Our pre-season continued along it's steady course with a 1-1 draw at home to Premier Division Stafford Rangers. We took the lead through a Simon Hollis free-kick before they equalised in a similar manner.

This week we travel to Studley on Tuesday, before welcoming Lancaster to The Grove next Saturday.

Voting's progressing nicely on this year's election to the Yeltz Hall of Fame , but if you haven't voted yet please pop along and have your say.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Gayle; Colwell (S. Skidmore 59), Charlton, Grocutt (Sewell 85), Smith, Spencer (J. Skidmore 75), Hollis (Wray 59), Ashby (Phillips 75), Hallam (Mitchell 59), Trainer (Baker 75), March. Unused Subs: Kavanagh, Harris

Stafford Rangers: Price; McAughtrie, Tankard (Scheuber HT), Barrow, Daniel, Downes, Robinson (Dodd 67), Heath, Szewczyk (Fife 80), Goodman (Bailey 43), Beale. Unused Subs: Lowry, Griffin, Jones

Referee: B. Priest (Halesowen)

Halesowen enjoyed a strong first half and their much-changed second-half line-up held on for a draw against late Stafford pressure.

Early on home midfielder Jamie March struck a Jason Ashby cross just over the bar in the 7th minute and two minutes later Stafford's Paul Szewczyk rolled the ball across the face of the Halesowen goal. Mark Gayle then blocked a Phil Robinson shot after 15 minutes and Darren Grocutt made a timely tackle after 24 minutes to deny Stafford's new ex-professional signing Don Goodman.

Mark Hallam then hit high from Ashby's 33rd minute cross for Halesowen and Andy Spencer turned to fire at Ryan Price before both goalkeepers found themselves picking the ball out of their nets from identical set pieces.

Summer signing Simon Hollis planted home a 39th minute direct free-kick beyond Ryan Price but Stafford levelled on the hour when Craig McAughtrie converted his direct 25-yard free-kick beyond Mark Gayle.

Gayle then suffered a bout of nerves by fumbling a Robinson corner and then slicing an attempted clearance over his own head. Stuart Skidmore was on hand to clear off then line after former Halesowen striker Dennis Bailey challenged Gayle on the edge of the area but Gayle redeemed himself with a fine last minute save when substitute Gary Fife burst through from midfield.