Yeltz 1 Stamford 1

29 January 2005

In the ridiculously tight battle at the top of the table, we missed another chance to move into the play-off positions when we failed to beat lowly Stamford. Full details in Dave's match report, but it seems like we had a lot of pressure without being able to get a winner.

On Tuesday we have another game against a lower team when Hemel Hempstead visit The Grove. If we win we will move right up to 3rd place, so it's even more important we get those 3 points.

One feature I've added to the site is the ability to receive both these news items and YeltzTalk as RSS feeds. If you don't know what these are, this site has a reasonable explanation; if you do hopefully you'll find them useful. Links are in the right-hand column near the bottom.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Jones, Haywood, Preston, Pope, Cooper, Cowley (Steane 71), Haarhoff, Lamey (Moore 81), Baker, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Skidmore, Danks, Amos

Stamford AFC: Watts; Green, Peaks, Holyoak, Gordon, Steadman, Nash, Butterworth, Duffy, Slinn, Edge. Unused Subs: Thompson, Pritchard, Mintus, Ashby

Referee: L. Hodgson (Nuneaton) Attendance: 443 Booked: None Sponsors' Man of the Match: Dave Haywood

Halesowen could only manage a draw in a game that should have been wrapped up well before half-time with captain Steve Pope influential in both goals.

Jimmy Haarhoff's 6th minute cross was nearly turned home by Simon Forsdick, but the ball squirted free. Pope then headed Dave Haywood's 12th minute corner just over the bar and two minutes later Haarhoff laid the ball off for Forsdick to blast a good chance high.

Forsdick continued to pose a constant threat and on 18 minutes his fine 20-yard strike forced Stamford goalkeeper Darren Watts into an excellent save by turning the ball around the post for the first of two corners.

Halesowen finally went ahead in the 20th minute when POPE smashed home his 15th goal of the campaign from the penalty spot after Forsdick was put through and was chopped down when about to score.

Ian Cooper almost increased the lead three minutes later but his 20-yard shot rebounded off the crossbar with Watts beaten.

Despite being well on top, Halesowen failed to build on their lead and paid the price when Stamford equalised with their first shot on target in the 37th minute. Pope failed to clear a right-wing cross on the uneven surface and only managed to set up on-loan Rushden striker Robert DUFFY to gratefully slam home from 12 yards.

Danny Steadman's 47th minute shot for the Daniels was deflected over the bar for a corner but otherwise the draw specialists of the league had little to offer in attack and packed their defence to hold onto their 14th draw of the season.

Nicki Preston glanced a 48th minute header just wide from Dave Haywood's free-kick and Lewis Baker headed on Forsdick's cross four minutes later with Nathan Lamey's effort going wide of the post. Stamford then survived a goal-mouth scramble on the hour with Forsdick, Baker and Alex Cowley all having attempts on goal. Substitute Ben Steane was introduced in the final 20 minutes and took control in midfield with his impressive creative play and Watts produced a flying 76th minute save when Jimmy Haarhoff headed down Dave Haywood's cross in front of goal.

But Halesowen could not find another breakthrough from the constant late pressure and in injury time Watts fell on the ball to save in a packed penalty area from Pope.