Yeltz 1 Cirencester 1

16 November 2004

After the cup excitement of the wekend, a tired Yeltz side ground out a draw in the league at home to Cirencester. We took the lead through a welcome goal from Jason, but they equalised just before half-time. Full details in Dave's match report .

We begin a run of three away league matches on Saturday when we travel to Hemel Hempstead . They're near the bottom of the table but have won their last 3 games, but let's hope we can get back to winning ways as soon as possible.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Cooper, Forsdick, Preston, Pope, Jones, Cowley (Haywood 59), Burgess (Lamey 64), Moore (Haarhoff HT), Amos, Skidmore. Unused Sub: Steane

Cirencester Town: Thompson; Richards, Halliday, Jackson, Bird, Howard, Robison, Mayo, Hopkins (Stanley 88), Griffin (Bevan 63), Wimble. Unused Subs: Fitch, Fraser

Referee: L. Hodgson (Nuneaton) Attendance: 381 Sponsors' Man of the Match: Chris Taylor Booked: None

Halesowen returned to league action but failed to raise their game after taking an early lead in a drab draw.

Striker Nathan Lamey was signed prior to the game from Hinckley and took his place on the bench but Halesowen were then forced to name intended substitute Nick Amos as a late replacement when Lewis Baker pulled up in the pre-match warm-up.

There was little action until Shaun Wimble struck wide from 20 yards for the visitors in the 15th minute but Halesowen lifted the spirits by taking the lead with their first meaningful attack on 18 minutes. Alex Cowley won the ball in midfield and the referee ignored an infringement to play the advantage allowing Richard Burgess to find Jason MOORE in the penalty area and he tucked away his first goal in 12 games from 12 yards at the second attempt.

But the Yeltz couldn't build on the lead and the rest of the half belonged to the Centurions as the F.A. Cup hangover clicked in.

Goalkeeper Chris Taylor did just enough to deny Gareth Hopkins near his post in the 21st minute and Michael Jackson struck a long-range effort wide six minutes later. Halesowen won the first corner of the game on 28 minutes but visiting goalkeeper Paul Thompson clawed the ball away from Simon Forsdick. Cirencester came back strongly to pin lack-lustre Halesowen back late in the first-half. Adam Howard headed straight into the arms of Taylor from five yards in the 34th minute from Wimble's free-kick and a minute later Taylor pushed away a Hopkins header for a corner from another dangerous Wimble cross. Taylor then collected a 37th minute drive from Darren Robison and on 42 minutes captain Steve Pope made a crucial headed clearance from Wimble's free-kick on the edge of the penalty area.

It was no surprise when Cirencester equalised in the 44th minute when the home defence failed to clear after the ball was played in from the right and HOPKINS smashed home from 8 yards in a defensive skirmish.

A disappointingly low-key second half saw Cirencester's Adam Mayo strike over the bar from 20 yards in the 49th minute and with Halesowen failing to fire on all cylinders Pope's 25-yard free-kick was blocked on 51 minutes. Forsdick shot weakly at Thompson a minute later but Forsdick was then on hand to save the day at the other end by clearing a Hopkins corner with the home defence all at sea. Hopkins then beat defender Dan Jones in the 56th minute but man-of-the-match Taylor turned the ball away for a corner. Taylor then lost the ball in a 69th minute corner but substitute Dave Haywood cleared off the Halesowen line before the hosts finally injected some urgency into their play late on.

Centurion goalkeeper Thompson received lengthy treatment in the 70th minute after an over-enthusiastic challenge from Stuart Skidmore but Nick Amos could only strike straight at the grateful 'keeper from 8 yards after latching onto Haywood's free-kick six minutes later. Haywood's 80th minute corner was then turned back across the face of Cirencester's goal by Niki Preston and Pope hit another 25-yard trademark direct free-kick at the defensive wall five minutes later. Lamey's 89th minute overhead kick fell just over the bar and Haywood's 90th minute cross was cleared off toe of Jimmy Haarhoff.

Cirencester almost claimed all three points in the second minute of injury time when Taylor missed Wimble's free-kick but the ball evaded the visiting forward-line to run out for a goal-kick and preserve Halesowen's unbeaten home league record.