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31 Mar 2007 SLP Halesowen Town 1-1 Gloucester City PDF Print E-mail

British Gas Business Southern League Premier Division – Saturday, 31st March 2007

Halesowen Town 1 Gloucester City 1

Halesowen were held for a draw by well-organised Gloucester and rescued a late point after falling behind in a below-par first-half. But with other results generally favourable, the Yeltz maintained their play-off position.

The starting line-up was unchanged from the midweek success over Cheshunt in a game made difficult by a strong wind blowing towards the Stourbridge Road goal but with Halesowen starting slowly, Davion Hamilton sliced the ball in the 4th minute and Nick Amos received an injury putting in a challenge to clear. Jermaine Palmer forced the first corner in the 9th minute and Lee Williams whipped in a free-kick two minutes later. Stuart Pierpoint then headed a 12th minute cross at goalkeeper Ray Johnson and Paul Devlin played the ball on for Palmer to screw the ball wide in the 15th minute.

But with Halesowen looking lack-lustre by recent standards, Gloucester’s Alex Sykes saw his 20-yard bobble past James Dormand’s post. The Tigers then snatched the lead on 27 minutes when Marc RICHARDS ghosted in to head home Neil Mustoe’s free-kick off the inside of the post. Halesowen won three more corners before the interval but the visitors protected their lead by getting bodies behind the ball and Alex Cowley delayed too long before going close in the 41st minute.

Manager Martin O’Connor’s half-time team talk transformed his troops and Halesowen played the second half with much more zest and urgency. Junior Brown replaced Cowley at the interval and Brown went close in the 48th minute when Jamie Reid’s back-pass bobbled over the foot of goalkeeper Johnson but the striker struck the side-netting from a wide angle. Brown then forced a 49th minute corner and Amos headed Hamilton’s cross at Johnson.

Johnson made an excellent 54th minute save to push the ball over the bar from Palmer’s header after a short corner was played to Simon Forsdick. Gareth Sheldon’s 68th minute header then ran through to be collected by Johnson and his wind-assisted long clearance was toe-poked past his own post by Pierpoint. Pierpoint then made a vital 71st minute clearance to keep the Yeltz in the game after Cox’s initial shot was blocked by Dormand. As Sykes struck the rebound towards an empty net, Pierpoint popped up to stretch and head off the line. On 73 minutes Johnson beat the ball away from Palmer’s flick in front of goal following a ball in from the right by substitute Aaron Farrell.

With Halesowen piling on the pressure, Brown was fouled on the edge of the area and DEVLIN struck the 81st minute direct free-kick into the bottom corner to equalise with the help of a deflection to register his first Halesowen goal. Late on, substitutes Farrell and Brown went close but Gloucester clung on and Halesowen had to settle for a point.

Halesowen Town: Dormand; Warner, Hamilton, Williams, Amos (Knight 65), Pierpoint, Cowley (Brown HT), Sheldon (Farrell 70), Devlin, Palmer, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Haywood, Dowdall.

Gloucester City: Johnson; Thompson, Allard, Mustoe, Reid, Tomkins, Sykes, Richards, Cox (Shaxton 74), Griffin (Webb 81), Wilkinson.  Unused Subs: Harris, Ellis, Morse.

Referee: S. Pardoe (Crewe)

Attendance: 421

HTFC Man of the Match: Davion Hamilton

 
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