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19 Mar 2011 SLP Bashley 0-0 Halesowen Town PDF Print E-mail
Zamaretto League Premier Division – Saturday, 19th March 2011
Bashley 0 Halesowen Town 0
A splendid display from goalkeeper Louis Connor lifted Halesowen off the bottom of the table with a hard-earned point, writes David Johnson.  Connor made a series of top-drawer saves to preserve the clean sheet before the Yeltz missed a golden opportunity to complete a ‘smash and grab’ raid when Bashley goalkeeper David Elm saved a last minute penalty.
Bash dominated play but were unable to find an elusive winner against the backs-to-the wall defiant defending as Connor repelled all attempts to break the stalemate. An early 12th minute header from Mark Gamble forced Connor’s first save, palming the ball away for a corner, while a dipping volley from Dave Allen was also tipped over the bar five minutes later. From the resulting Ryan Hill corner, Luke Whitley met the ball with a powerful header but in-form Connor responded by turning the ball onto the bar, and the loose ball was somehow cleared away from Gamble inside the six yard box. 
Mark Smith picked up a cheap booking for the visitors as he prevented a throw in from being taken quickly, and then good work from Gamble fashioned a chance for Allen who saw a powerful drive flash just wide. Chris Knowles released Gamble who had a shot saved and from another Ryan Hill corner, Knowles had a 27th minute header cleared off the line. Allen’s excellent cross picked out Ryan Murray at the far post but his header came back off the woodwork two minutes later. Knowles then netted only for the goal to be ruled out for a foul on the overworked Connor. Gamble again forced a fine save from Connor when clear on goal and at the other end Adam Robinson's hit a long range effort high over the bar in Halesowen’s only real first half attempt.
The Yeltz carried a little more threat after the break with Rory Curtis blasting the ball over from the edge of the area in the 52nd minute. A quickly taken free kick from Bashley’s Knowles then found Gamble, but Connor was on hand again to make a superb save and Ian Oliver's follow up cross was touched wide by Tom Hill. Knowles found Gamble in space again, and the Bash top scorer found the net but the referee’s assistant raised his flag. Connor made another splendid stop to somehow turn the ball away for a corner after a fine through ball from Knowles picked out Gamble and he struck his shot firmly towards the bottom corner midway through the second period.
Visiting substitute Emmanuel Ibhadon picked up a harsh booking for not retreating the requisite ten yards at a free kick. Bash came close to an elusive winner when Connor dropped Hill’s free kick on the edge of the area, causing a huge kerfuffle in the area and two efforts from Allen were kept out by more last-ditch Halesowen defending.
With three minutes remaining, Gamble’s run opened up the Halesowen defence and he cut the ball back for Oliver to drive through a crowd of players but Connor again parried the ball to safety.
Halesowen almost snatched a final minute victory when a bouncing ball struck Whitley’s arm and the referee awarded a penalty. However, home goalkeeper Elm plunged full length to his right to save Gareth Davies’ spot-kick and then somehow made a sensational block from the follow up effort before the third attempt from Davies struck the side netting.
Bashley: David Elm (c), Ryan Hill, Ian Oliver, Gary Middleton, Luke Whitley, Chris Knowles, Ryan Murray, Chris Mason, Dave Allen, Mark Gamble, Tom Hill. Unused Subs: Joe Prodomo, Chris Ferrett, Jack Smith, Jason Brookes.
Halesowen Town: Louis Connor, Luke Adams, Adam Robinson, Mark Smith, Josh Skidmore (Adam Jarrett HT), Chris Godwin, Gareth Davies, Michael McGrath (c), Rory Curtis, Jem Mills, Keenan Meakin-Richards (Emmanuel Ibhadon 80). Unused Sub: Simon Flower.
Referee: A. Serrano
Attendance: 205
Booked: Smith (19), Ibhadon (82), Whitley (87)
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