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19 Mar 2002 DMW Halesowen Town 2-2 Weston Super Mare PDF Print E-mail

Dr Martens Western Division – Tuesday, 19th March, 2002

Halesowen Town 2 Weston-Super-Mare 2

Frankie Bennett returned to hit a brace for Weston and haunt his former club in a night of intense passion all around The Grove. However a dramatic late twist saw Halesowen earn a vital point by scoring two goals deep in time added on by the excellent referee Russell Green for the Seagulls time-wasting tactics. Prophetically, the match sponsors declared Neil Smith to be the man of the match minutes BEFORE he became the hero of the evening.

It is reported that Weston manager had gone on local radio to describe both Chippenham and Halesowen as poor teams and with Weston attempting to make up ground there was clearly going to be much at stake. Andy Spencer was muscled off the ball in the penalty area in the 6th minute and at the other end Weston’s ex-league star Stuart Slater had a deflected shot gathered by Tim Clarke. Halesowen continued to force the early pace but Weston rode their luck in their must-win game with a 15th minute header from Leroy May rebounding off the post into the arms of Mark Bryant on the goal-line from a Les Hines cross. Bryant then pounced on the ball after initially dropping a Hines free-kick but Frankie Bennett then showed his intentions at the other end by hitting the side-netting from a Weston corner after 18 minutes. Bryant came to Weston’s rescue again to keep the league leaders at bay in the 22nd minute by producing a fingertip save from a Lee Collins header from a Mark Taylor cross.

Weston took the lead in the 26th minute when Neil Smith’s slip let in BENNETT to hammer into the roof of the net and it appeared to be Weston’s night when Danny Bailey cleared another Collins header off the line a minute later. Hines curled a 35th minute free-kick wide but Bennett continued to trouble as he went on a run from midfield and thundered a 20-yard shot off the Halesowen crossbar just before the break.

Halesowen forced three corners at the start of the second half with both Spencer and Stuart Skidmore seeing shots blocked. Despite the Halesowen pressure Weston’s defence remained solid and they broke in the 73rd minute with substitute David Mehew putting BENNETT clear to crash home his second goal from 12 yards out in their first real attack of the half.

The Yeltz have failed to beat any of the other three contenders for promotion and all seemed lost when May hit straight at goalkeeper Bryant a minute later. However, a 92nd minute cross from Mark Taylor was flicked on by May to find SPENCER in space to volley home from 8 yards. A last-ditch attempt saw Hines float a 94th minute free-kick into the centre of the box and a back-header from man-of-the match Neil SMITH on the penalty spot went through the arms of the despairing Bryant to level the score for jubilant Halesowen against their distraught visitors. There was hardly time for Weston to kick-off again as the buzz continued for several minutes around the ground from an exhilarating finish.

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, N. Smith, L. Collins, Skidmore, Spencer, Dennis Bailey (A. Jones 63), May, Taylor, Hines. Subs: Brennan, Newall.

Weston-Super-Mare: Bryant; Bennett, Tezel, Bird, Kilgour, Souter, Harris, Danny Bailey, Bevan (Mehew 63), Slater, Cox. Subs: Pritchard, White.

Referee:  R. Green (Berkeley, Gloucs.)

Attendance: 469

Sponsors’ Man of the Match (The Jolly Boys – HTFC Supporters): Neil Smith

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