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06 Mar 2004 DMW Gresley Rovers 1-0 Halesowen Town PDF Print E-mail

Dr Martens Western – Saturday, 6th March, 2004

Gresley Rovers 1 Halesowen Town 0

Brendan Phillips resigned as manager of Halesowen Town after three years claiming to have been hounded out and undermined by disgruntled supporters and sources within the club.  But recent poor form also means that the Yeltz have slipped outside the vital top-seven position needed to ensure their inclusion in the next step of a restructured league and have eleven tough fixtures remaining.

The game itself produced nine yellow cards and was no classic despite its furious pace but Gresley did the basics better and worked their limited resources far harder to take the three points and condemn the Yeltz to a third straight defeat with a solitary first-half goal.

Jamie Barrett hit over the Yeltz bar in first minute home pressure before Halesowen won their first corner in the third minute. On 6 minutes Tony Hemmings latched onto a long ball from Asa Charlton but was brought down on the edge of the area by Matt Smith with Simon Hollis hitting a rebound wide from David Foy’s free-kick.

Improving goalkeeper Mark Sheils had a fine game in the Halesowen goal against his former club by producing a string of impressive saves and claiming several deep crosses with confidence. Sheils denied Gary White with a 13th minute reflex stop after dithering from defender Dan Jones and three minutes later Leon Doughty volleyed high over the Halesowen bar from Richard Wardle’s cross.

An 18th minute right-wing cross from Hollis was just missed at the far post by Hemmings sliding in at the far post. Alfie Carter then hit wide from 20-yards after 20 minutes and home goalkeeper Dale Belford held onto another 20-yard Carter drive four minutes later.

Gresley hit the winning goal in the 28th minute when Barrett flicked on a header for Steve LENAGH to make no mistake by crashing past Sheils from 6 yards out. Two minutes later Sheils made a fine save to cling onto a 20-yard effort from White and Sheils then held onto another 20-yard effort from White on 35 minutes. Just before the interval Carter screwed wide in front of the Gresley goal and Andy Cheetham headed a White corner over the Halesowen bar.

After the break home goalkeeper Dale Belford superbly palmed away a Simon Hollis header from Foy’s free-kick on 57 minutes with Halesowen playing down the slope. Lewis Baker then headed a right-wing cross from Hollis wide on 63 minutes before another Hollis cross was turned just past his own post by Leigh Everitt three minutes later. Baker volleyed over the bar on 67 minutes for Halesowen but it was another Jones mistake that let in Lenagh to strike the far post on 74 minutes for the Moatmen.

Belford saved low down to deny a 79th minute header from Charlton following Foy’s cross and on 85 minutes Baker turned to shoot in the box but his effort was blocked before Belford then grabbed a freekick from Foy under his own crossbar.

Craig Strachan was introduced with only six minutes remaining but had no time to make any impression. In the dying seconds Gresley almost claimed a second goal on the break when Carl Francis put fellow substitute Simon Tucker free on goal but Sheils came to the rescue by diving bravely to take the ball from Tucker’s feet.

Gresley Rovers: Belford; Everitt, Cheetham, M. Smith, Hood, Slater, Wardle, Doughty (Francis 87), Barrett, Lenagh (Tucker 75), White. Unused Subs: Jackson, Lonergan, Clarke.

Halesowen Town: Sheils; Colwell (Strachan 84), Charlton, Grocutt, Jones, Baker, Hollis, Moore, Hemmings (Steane 65), Foy, Carter. Unused Subs: Skidmore, Forsdick, N. Smith.

Referee: R. Merchant (Stone)

Attendance: 422

Booked: M. Smith (6), Hood (12), Baker (25), Wardle (44), Jones (45), White (53), Hemmings (58), Charlton (69), Lenagh (71).

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