Yeltz 0 Gloucester 0

14 February 2004

The mighty Yeltz shared the points with promotion rivals Gloucester after a 0-0 draw at The Grove. Despite a much better performance than the midweek blip, we couldn't breach the Gloucester defence but both teams will be reasonably happy with the result.

We're back down to 5th in the table , but it was a pretty good day elsewhere with Redditch losing to Sutton Coldfield and Rugby losing to Stourport.

We start our epic run of away games next Saturday with a trip to Bedworth, where I think we must pick up all three points to keep in the hunt for the top spot.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Sheils; Colwell, Charlton, Hoyle, Jones, Spencer, Foy, Ashby, Ball, Steane (Forsdick 78), Hollis. Unused Subs: Baker, Skidmore, Grocutt, N. Smith

Gloucester City: Bath; Webb, Harris (Thompson 61), Howarth, Jefferies, Burns, Mustoe, Cox (Hemming 87), Mings (L. Smith 54), Hoskins, Wilkinson. Unused Sub: Bayliss

Referee: G. Scott (Abingdon) Attendance: 431 Sponsors' Man of the Match: Andy Spencer. Booked: Hoskins (63), Charlton (85), L.Smith (83)

Gloucester goalkeeper Matt Bath denied Halesowen with a string of fine saves and crowned his impressive display by saving Jason Ashby's penalty in first-half injury time.

Despite the blank score-line the teams produced a game of high tempo and quality football with plenty of goal-mouth action. In a bright start from the Yeltz Simon Hollis fed Ashby but his 3rd minute effort was cleared off the goal-line by Dave Wilkinson and Hollis then hit an 11th minute overhead kick at Bath.

Tigers veteran Adie Harris delivered the first of three dangerous first-half in-swinging corners in the 9th minute but goalkeeper Mark Sheils did well to punch clear. Halesowen's first corner by David Foy in the 16th minute was volleyed into the area by Hollis but Dan Jones hit over the bar from close range. Richard Ball then headed a good Hollis cross wide in a flowing 19th minute move before Foy cracked a 25-yard free-kick against the left-hand Gloucester post.

Man-of-the-match Andy Spencer made a series of surging runs into the Gloucester area and shot just wide on 26 minutes before being denied by a good Bath save from his volley a minute later. A 28th minute Hollis cross skimmed the crossbar and on 32 minutes a Foy free-kick found Ball unmarked but he curled wide from 6 yards out. Gloucester defender Adam Howarth made a crucial 33rd minute clearance for a corner with Ashby rushing into the area to meet Spencer's cross after he burst clear down the right. Ben Steane then lashed a half-cleared corner past Bath's post in the 38th minute before a good Gloucester break saw Tom Webb's strike from the right fall just inches wide of the mark.

Halesowen were awarded a penalty with 45 minutes up on the first-half clock when Andy Hoskins bundled over Spencer on another run into the penalty area. However, the golden chance to break the deadlock was wasted when Bath made a great dive to his right to save Ashby's spot-kick under the cross-bar.

Halesowen found it difficult to find the vital breakthrough after the penalty miss although Spencer turned to fire high in the 49th minute. Jimmy Cox had a 59th minute penalty appeal for hand-ball turned down and on the hour player manager Chris Burns delivered a dangerous free-kick into the Halesowen area. Bath then raced out to deny Spencer in the 65th minute when substitute Lee Smith deflected Asa Charlton's 25-yard shot. Bath was quick off his line again on 76 minutes to deny Spencer and kept out Steane's 25-yard shot two minutes later.

The Tigers had their own chances to snatch the points with Sheils saving a free header from Cox on 77 minutes but a minute later lively Yeltz substitute Simon Forsdick played the ball for Spencer to earn a corner seconds after his introduction for the Yeltz. Cox then hit weakly across goal on 80 minutes when free on the right for the visitors.

In the dying minutes, Bath made a tremendous flying save to deny a Ball volley on 82 minutes following another Spencer run and in injury time Gloucester substitute Adam Hemming broke down the left and forced Sheils to save with Burns heading the resulting corner over the bar.