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05 Sept 2006 SLP Halesowen Town 3-4 Bath City PDF Print E-mail

British Gas Business Southern League Premier Division – Tuesday, 5th September 2006

Halesowen Town 3 Bath City 4

A seven-goal Grove thriller provided terrific entertainment but still left the Yeltz without a home win at the third attempt in stark contrast to their impeccable away record.

“Disappointed but far from disillusioned” seemed to be the message from the home camp, but another failure to turn an exciting performance into home points left the after-match chatter inevitably focussed on the future of experienced goalkeeper Mark Gayle.

In early Bath pressure, Simon Forsdick headed over his own bar for a corner in the 2nd minute and a minute later Niki Preston nodded away a free-kick. Lewis HOGG gave Bath a 7th minute lead when he skipped through the Yeltz defence and placed the ball beyond Gayle with Dave Haywood only helping the ball into the roof of the net with his brave attempt to clear.

Halesowen gradually discovered their attacking stride with Nick Amos feeding Alex Cowley to deliver a delicate 11th minute cross but the ball bounced off Matt Lewis into the side-netting. Commanding Bath goalkeeper Paul Evans then gathered Paul Szewczyk’s 14th minute cross on the turn following Cowley’s long throw-in and Chris Holland curled an 18th minute shot just high at the other end. Szewczyk was released down the right on 21 minutes to cross but Cowley screwed his shot wide.

Matt Lewis missed a golden chance in the 25th minute by heading over in front of an empty net from just two yards out after Forsdick delivered a gentle dipping cross. Forsdick then went on a surging run in the 28th minute but the ball just ran away from him in the penalty area. In end-to-end action a long ball set Bath’s Justin Pritchard free down the right a minute later but Mark Gayle cut out the cross and Halesowen’s Amos then nodded Haywood’s 31st minute free-kick wide. Bath defender Chris Holland then came up the field to glance a header wide from a 38th minute free-kick. On 39 minutes Lewis was first to the ball and rounded goalkeeper Evans on the edge of his area but as the Halesowen striker took the ball on to seemingly score, Evans scrambled back to dive on the ball in front of goal.

However, the Yeltz deservedly levelled a minute later when Cowley won the ball in the area and crossed for SZEWCZYK to side-foot home in the 40th minute.

Bath were then guilty of their own glaring miss seconds later when Mark McGeevor side-footed wide at the far post from just two yards out. But McGeevor delivered a deep free-kick from the halfway line for Bath to regain the lead in the 43rd minute with defender and captain Matt COUPE heading home a rare goal beyond flailing Gayle at the far post.

Halesowen poured forward at the start of the second period and forced another equaliser in the 51st minute when Lee Williams’ free-kick was only partly cleared and SZEWCZYK notched his second goal of the game by converting the loose ball from 12 yards. Cowley’s 54th minute shot was then deflected for a corner but three minutes later Gayle did well to hold Hogg’s shot low down. In the 61st minute Halesowen produced a superb move inspired by Williams playing a neat one-two with Cowley and in the 63rd minute Lewis’ shot was blocked for a corner. But Halesowen let the initiative slip again a minute later as Bath grabbed their third goal with a cracking 18-yard top corner drive from Scott PARTRIDGE after being fed by Pritchard.

Sensationally, Halesowen levelled for a third time just two minutes later when Lewis broke down the right and drew the defence before squaring for COWLEY to take the ball beyond Evans and tap home. With further goals always likely, Gayle gathered Hogg’s 78th minute shot at the near post and Haywood made a crucial saving challenge to deny Mike Green in front of the home goal. But from McKeevor’s resulting corner HOLLAND was allowed to head a simple header through a crowd of players to snatch the 84th minute winning goal, giving Bath maximum points from their three away games.

Halesowen Town: Gayle; Warner, Haywood, Preston (Brindley 89), Knight, Amos, Cowley, Lewis (Dowdall 79), Szewczyk, Williams, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Cooper, Pierpoint, Smith.

Bath City: Evans; Coupe, S. Jones, Holland, G. Jones, Clarke, Green, Hogg, Pritchard (Walsh 75), Partridge (Holloway 90), McKeever (Rollo 84). Unused Subs: Rogers, Davidge.

Referee: J. Cox (Evesham)

Attendance: 362

Booked: Clarke (48), Cowley (58), Coupe (68).

 
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