FAC 2Q Spalding 1 Yeltz 2

28 September 2003

It's not that often that we have some good fortune, but we got plenty of it yesterday when we beat Spalding 2-1 in the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round.

Going behind in the first half, we laboured to get anything despite them being down to 10 men. Finally Asa Charlton equalised with a storming header and then in injury-time Simon Hollis scored from a poor free-kick that somehow dribbled in. They were down to nine by now and rightly weren't best pleased with the ref but we were through with the prize money and hopes of a decent cup run.

Next week we start our FA Trophy campaign at home to Stourport. We beat them 2-0 away in the league a few weeks ago, so let's hope for another distracting run.

P.S. After yesterday's performance, I think we have proved once and for all that my rare appearence at a game does not cause us to lose. Let us never speak of this again.

Match Report from DJ

Spalding Utd: Cross; Vince, Barnes, Greetham, Thompson, Hudson, Stanhope, Appleby, Nuttall, Sowerby, Watts (Eldridge 82). Unused Subs: Keeble, Bailey, Taylor

Halesowen Town: Gayle; Colwell, Charlton, Grocutt, Jones, Baker, Hollis, Ashby, Hallam (Mitchell 56), Skidmore (Spencer 72), Small (Kavanagh 66). Unused Subs: Smith, Lowe

Referee: P. Martin (Wellingborough) Attendance: 393 Sent Off: Sowerby (30), Hudson (90) Booked: Jones (8), Sowerby (26), Vince (35), Stanhope (78), Charlton (81)

The Yeltz played their "get out of jail" card to progress into the 3rd qualifying round and take their FA Cup prize money to the £7,000 mark on the same ground that they won promotion to the Southern Premier League back in 1990.

But the result masked a poor performance from the Yeltz who had to rely on Spalding being reduced to nine men by two red cards before pulling a last-gasp winner out of the bag.

After a tentative start, Jason Ashby chased a long free-kick from Asa Charlton in the 13th minute to force Kevin Cross into a blocking save. Two minutes later Spalding's Lee Hudson hit just over from 10 yards when Paul Watts headed on Andy Stanhope's cross. Simon Hollis burst through from Halesowen's midfield and almost opened the scoring in the 16th minute but was denied by a fine save from Cross when clear on goal. Watts then drove wide for the Tulips on 19 minutes after being set up by Stanhope.

Lee Sowerby was booked in the 26th minute by upsetting referee Martin with dissent and was then controversially sent off on the half-hour for blocking the ball when Halesowen attempted to take a free-kick quickly.

Despite the setback, lower league Spalding took a 37th minute lead when WATTS marked his debut by cutting in from the right to beat Mark Gayle with a 20-yard shot into the top corner. With the Tulips in bloom, Hudson blasted high from a free-kick in the 43rd minute after Micky Nuttall headed on and Steve Appleby hit over from 25-yards a minute before half-time.

Ten-man Spalding were in no mood to surrender their lead in the second half with Halesowen making little impression and it was Dan Jones who rescued the visitors on the hour by making a timely interception from Hudson in the penalty area. Substitute Leon Mitchell won Halesowen's first corner in the 65th minute but Hollis's kick was completely wasted and Hudson went on to curl just wide from 20-yards on the break for the home side.

Just when it seemed disjointed Halesowen were bowing out of the Cup, CHARLTON levelled the scores by heading home directly from substitute Richard Kavanagh's corner kick in the 74th minute. Hollis then lobbed just wide from 20 yards but the match concluded dramatically in the fourth minute of injury time when Halesowen were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Spalding area. Hudson was shown the red-card for dissent and encroaching from the defensive wall and when HOLLIS re-took the kick his direct shot dribbled into the corner of the Spalding net for Halesowen's winning goal.

On leaving the field referee Martin was jostled by the angry home camp who felt harshly treated by his performance.