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18 Nov 2006 SLP Halesowen Town 2-2 Hitchin Town PDF Print E-mail

British Gas Business Southern League Premier Division – Saturday, 18th November 2006

Halesowen Town 2 Hitchin Town 2

Two goals from Alex Cowley led a spirited Yeltz fight-back although high-flying Hitchin snatched a late point in a compelling contest.

With applications for the vacant managerial hot-seat still being sifted Halesowen made the worst possible start when Mark BRIDGE gave the Canaries a 3rd minute lead by sweeping home from six yards as Daniel French’s cross beat the home defence. Rob Miller then put French free down the left with Chris Dillon inches away from meeting his 12th minute cross.

But the Yeltz gradually got to grips to more than match Hitchin’s free-flowing football. Simon Forsdick drove wide from the edge of the area after 13 minutes and Chris Brindley nodded a Lee Williams cross just wide four minutes later. Goalkeeper Rob Beckwith then made a full-stretch save to deny Forsdick from Rob Warner’s 19th minute cross before Neil Pugh put a ball through for Dillon to fire at home goalkeeper Dan Woodhall on 25 minutes at the other end.

With Halesowen taking the upper hand, Beckwith raced out to claim at Cowley’s feet from a Lee Williams through-ball on the half hour. Beckwith then dropped a 34th minute cross from the left but was impeded as Gary Knight struck the bar from just three yards out. Forsdick struck a 35th minute half-volley over the bar and Nick Amos missed a close range shot on the turn in front of goal after 38 minutes. A 39th minute looping header from Brindley was palmed away for a corner by Beckwith and seconds later Carl Williams cleared Matt Lewis’s effort off the line. Cowley hit a 41st minute shot at Beckwith before Beckwith then saved a 44th minute volley from Lewis.

The Yeltz deservedly levelled seconds before the interval in the 45th minute with a superb goal when Lewis squared the ball delightfully to pick out COWLEY and he calmly side-stepped the final two defenders before crashing home Halesowen’s first goal in four games.

At the start of the second period Hitchin’s Mark Ducket curled a free-kick over the bar. Woodhall then saved from Dillon on 49 minutes and was down well to make a smart 50th minute save when Pugh put Dillon free on goal as Dave Haywood lost the ball with Knight tidying up.

Transformed Halesowen then began to play with great self-belief in a breathtaking spell of football. Warner’s 58th minute long throw-in caused panic with both Forsdick and Amos going close in a goalmouth scramble. Halesowen took the lead when Amos surged forward on 61 minutes and found Brindley and although Beckwith saved well, the ball fell kindly for COWLEY to bundle home his second goal. Lewis then hit a fine 65th minute shot just wide from the edge of the area.

The visitors pressed forward late on with Bridge heading a 70th minute free-kick over the bar and Bridge’s 71st minute cross was inches away from the net. Halesowen then survived three corners in quick succession, although Halesowen then forced a 77th minute corner when Ryan Frater hacked Forsdick’s cross behind his own goal.

But Halesowen’s defence were unable to hang on and DILLON snatched an 87th minute equaliser with a low drive beyond Woodhall from the edge of the area.

Halesowen Town: Woodhall; Warner, Haywood, Pierpoint, Knight, L. Williams, Cowley, Lewis, Brindley, Amos, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Preston, Cooper, Beckett, Hillman, Dowdall.

Hitchin Town: Beckwith; Pugh (Orphanou 82), Ducket, Frater, Folds, Deeney, C. Williams, Miller, Dillon, Bridge, French. Unused Subs: Cretton, Pendleton, Lamacraft, Gillard.

Referee: S. J. Cook (Belper)

Attendance: 329

Booked: Pierpoint (47), Amos (55), Williams (56), Folds (79)
Sponsors’ HTFC Man of the Match: Stuart Pierpoint
Non-League Paper Man of the Match: Alex Cowley

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