Yeltz 0 Redditch 0

27 March 2004

Our last chance of possibly catching Redditch and earning the Conference playoff spot appears to have gone when we drew 0-0 with the league leaders at The Grove. In an incident-filled match, both teams ended up with 10 players and we missed a penalty, but with us still 13 points behind them with one game in hand (and only seven games left), they are looking set for a well-deserved title. Full details in Dave's match report.

That game in hand is played on Tuesday when we travel to Bristol to play Yate Town. We beat them in a hard-fought game at The Grove a few weeks ago, but lets hope we can get a similar result this time.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Sheils; Colwell, Haywood, Charlton, Jones, Skidmore, Hollis, Moore (Haarhoff 82), Lamey, Baker, Forsdick (Foy HT). Unused Subs: Grocutt, Steane, Carter

Redditch United: Anstiss; Manton, Gardiner, Taylor, Knight, Softley (Woodley 61), Hall (Quiggin 77), Flynn, Leadbeater (Burgess 77), Shepherd, Cowley. Unused Subs: Scheppel, Voice

Referee: M. Weaver (Bearwood) Attendance: 636 Booked: Charlton (17), Taylor (30), Haywood (44), Cowley (57) Sent Off: Lamey (66), Woodley (85). Sponsors' Man of the Match: Lewis Baker

Goalkeeper Richard Anstiss saved a late Halesowen penalty to keep Redditch racing relentlessly towards the title in a compelling game that saw both sides reduced to ten men.

Halesowen weathered a torrid opening spell as the title-chasing Reds who named seven former Yeltz players in their line-up tore into action. Richard Leadbeater crashed a header against the crossbar from Matty Hall's corner after just 40 seconds and Hall whipped over another dangerous cross which just evaded Leadbeater a minute later. Alex Cowley then drove over the bar from 20-yards in the 7th minute.

Halesowen gradually settled and an 8th minute Nathan Lamey cross was just too high for Jason Moore and Simon Hollis whipped over a 25-yard free-kick five minutes later.

Mark Sheils rescued the Yeltz in the 19th minute with a flying reflex save after Hall squared a free-kick from the edge of the area for Cowley to hit a goal-bound 20-yard drive. Opposite goalkeeper Richard Anstiss then saved a Lewis Baker shot in the 18th minute and saved a Baker header on the half-hour from Stuart Skidmore's cross. The Reds finished the first-half strongly with a 39th minute Sean Flynn volley turned away for a corner before Matt Gardiner flicked a 42nd minute header against the crossbar from a Flynn corner.

Although the first half belonged to the Reds the Yeltz were in the driving seat for the second half. The hosts won two early corners but then had full-back Richard Colwell to thank for heading Leadbeater's effort off his own goal-line after Sheils failed to claim a deep 54th minute cross. With the game played at an increasingly furious pace Anstiss punched away a 58th minute cross from substitute David Foy and Gardiner headed clear a 62nd minute corner from Dave Haywood.

The game erupted in the 66th minute when Lamey was shown a red-card for elbowing despite Lewis Baker appealing for a home penalty. Ten-man Halesowen continued to dominate with Foy's 69th minute corner scrambled away by the Redditch defence before Foy headed yet another Haywood corner wide a minute later. At the other end Gardiner headed a Hall free-kick just over the bar on the counter-attack on 73 minutes.

Halesowen were rewarded for their hard-work in the 78th minute when a Simon Hollis shot struck Neil Manton's arm and the referee awarded a penalty but Anstiss made a splendid diving save to his left to keep out Foy's well struck spot-kick. Anstiss then went on to keep out a Baker header on 80 minutes but Sheils then saved Halesowen by racing off his line to save from Cowley in the clear on the break for Redditch in the 84th minute.

With five minutes remaining Redditch were reduced to ten men when substitute Craig Woodley was also shown a straight red-card for violent conduct.