Yeltz 0 Evesham 2

24 January 2004

We missed an excellent chance to move closer to the top when we put in what sounds like a pretty poor performance in losing 2-0 at home to Evesham. Two early goals meant we failed to take advantage of both Redditch and Rugby drawing, and first place is looking increasingly a long way off.

We've slipped down to 6th place in the table now, but still have games in hand on everyone above us but Cirencester. If we assume we're playing for a spot in the top 7, then it looks like there's only 9 teams in it and we're very well placed.

Clearly Tuesday's home game against Cirencester is very important, so let's try to put today's disappointment aside and pull together to get those crucial three points.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Sheils; Colwell (Ball 57), Charlton, Grocutt, Jones, Baker, Hollis, Ashby, Piearce, Steane, N. Smith (Skidmore 57). Unused Subs: Small, Lowry, Vaughan

Evesham United: T. Clarke; A. Smith, Burrow, Knight, Khela, Pinkney, Flynn, Marsh, Pountney (J. Clarke 65), Ross, Nicholls (Shaw 65). Unused Subs: Guest, West

Referee: W. Ramsay (Coventry) Attendance: 530 Booked: None Sponsors' Man of the Match: None selected

In-form Evesham reaped the harvest of some sloppy Halesowen defending to claim two first half goals and ruin Halesowen's unbeaten home league record into the bargain.

Tim Clarke collected a Lewis Baker header in the 5th minute and two minutes later Mark Sheils punched clear a Craig Nicholls free-kick at the other end. Steve Piearce then beat Tim Clarke to the ball in the 8th minute but with Piearce forced wide the Evesham goalkeeper was able to recover.

With Halesowen looking fragile in defence and lacking a wise head in midfield, former favourite Sean Flynn was able to dictate play and ex-goalkeeper Tim Clarke enjoyed a largely redundant afternoon for the Robins against a bumper home crowd.

The visitors were handed a 12th minute lead when a mix-up between full-back Richard Colwell and goalkeeper Mark Sheils saw COLWELL gently head a through ball from Sean Flynn past his own advancing goalkeeper with the ball trickling agonisingly over the line.

With the Yeltz continuing to blow hot and cold from one week to another, Craig Pountney helped the ball on for another former Yeltz player Lee ROSS to touch home Evesham's second goal from inside the 6-yard box on 17 minutes with the ball again trickling over the line. Sheils then gathered a 26th minute header from Pountney and made an acrobatic save to deny the unmarked Grant Pinkney nine minutes later. Two minutes before half-time Baker headed wide from an Asa Charlton cross for Halesowen.

Ben Steane had one of the better performances for the out-of-sorts Yeltz and made a dazzling 50-yard run from his own half in the 51st minute before being brought down on the edge of the Evesham box by Lee Knight - but Simon Hollis could only hit the resulting free-kick tamely at Tim Clarke. Lewis Baker headed wide on 58 minutes and Halesowen's best chance fell in the 72nd minute when Hollis combined with substitute Richard Ball to force Clarke into a diving save.

Evesham remain unbeaten for seven games in 2004 and Ross almost added insult to injury with two minutes remaining but struck the Halesowen crossbar with a curling shot from 20 yards.