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03 Apr 2010 SLP Oxford City 2-2 Halesowen Town PDF Print E-mail

Zamaretto League Premier Division – Saturday, 3rd April 2010

Oxford City 2 Halesowen Town 2

Jimmy Turner’s last-gasp equaliser earned a draw and completed a second-half fightback after Halesowen trailed by two goals at the interval.  Sam Gaughran made his debut in the Halesowen defence and recent signings Nathan Smith and Lee Osborne also displayed their potential up-front after being introduced from the substitute’s bench in a fixture that has traditionally provided plenty of goals.

City enjoyed the better of the first half to earn their two-goal lead and Nick Bussey turned the ball away from Harry Harding for a home corner in the 6th minute. Liam Daly then headed clear Andy Ballard’s 13th minute cross.

Lee STEELE put Oxford ahead in the 17th minute by lobbing over Bussey after latching onto a weak back header from Halesowen skipper Jay Denny. Bussey then pushed away a 20th minute cross from Mark Janes with the ball falling into safety.

After Smith replaced injured Stephan Morley in an early substitution, Aaron Griffiths struck well wide and a long clearance from Bussey just fell beyond chasing Stefan Moore. But with Oxford keeping up the pressure, Elliot Sandy’s 33rd minute shot was blocked by a ruck of defenders and Alex Cowley did well to challenge Janes as Oxford won a 35th minute corner. Halesowen then earned their own 38th minute corner when Turner’s deflected shot from the right was touched around the post by goalkeeper Richard Knight.

HARDING chested home a right-wing cross from Janes beyond Bussey to double Oxford’s lead in the 40th minute. As the interval approached, the Yeltz enjoyed a degree of success as a corner fell for Lee Fowler, but his guided low drive was saved by Knight in a crowded goalmouth. Moore then worked free down the left but his cross evaded Smith and the following shot from Scott Rickards was blocked. A fierce drive from Rickards from the edge of the area then flew inches wide of the upright in the dying seconds of the first half.

Halesowen enjoyed a much-improved second half to claw their way back into the game and leading goal-scorer MOORE collected the ball to clinically drive home from the edge of the area to pull a goal back for the Yeltz in the 54th minute. Turner’s 57th minute cross was then punched away by pressured Knight off the head of Smith.

In a drenching downpour the home defence failed to clear after Knight saved a 35-yard free-kick from Rickards and the ball fell invitingly for Liam Daly to attempt to place the ball home, but was thwarted when his 70th minute effort was dramatically cleared off the line by Steve Davis. Knight then punched another Turner cross clear in the 73rd minute and Smith blasted across goal from the left two minutes later. For Oxford, Steele took the ball down and swivelled well to fire past the far post in the 76th minute. Knight then collected Daly’s header from Cowley’s 78th minute free-kick.

As the game entered the final ten minutes, Sandy struck a half-volley past the Halesowen post. Sandy then beat the offside trap in the 83rd minute but his cross was cut out and Bussey made a super 84th minute save to deny Steele in front of goal. Osborne almost grabbed an 86th minute Halesowen equaliser after being put free on goal by fellow substitute Smith only for Knight to save well.

But the Yeltz claimed a point in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Knight palmed the ball away as Rickards delivered a free-kick into the area and TURNER was on hand to convert the rebound with a wide-angled shot from the right. In the final seconds, Bussey preserved the 2-2 score-line by beating out substitute Mark Bell’s goal-bound drive.

Oxford City: Knight; Ballard, Davis, Savage, Clarke, Douglas, Janes (Moses 90), Sandy, Malone, Steele (Gunn 87), Harding (Bell 72). Unused Sub: Brooks.

Halesowen Town: Bussey; Turner, Morley (Smith 24), Daly, Gaughran, Denny, Cowley, Rickards, Moore, Fowler, Griffiths (Osborne 79). Unused Subs: Eze, Fulford, Clarke.

Referee: A. Coggins (Bicester)

Attendance: 288

Booked: Malone (36), Moore (82), Fowler (90)

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