A CRUCIAL POINT
Crawley 2 Yeltz 2
11 March 2000
Another hard-earned point away to a fellow relegation struggler, and we're just about keeping our heads above water.
The welcome return of Clinton Thomas meant we actually had a forward who might actually score, and two goals from the big man keeps us in 15th place now three points above that last relegation place held by a rapidly fading Gloucester.
If you haven't already checked out the Clinton Thomas web site , now might be a good time to do it.
Two more crucial games coming up - this time at home. Tuesday brings long-time rivals Atherstone to The Grove, and then after another ridiculous free Saturday, Salisbury are the visitors the Saturday after. If we can win both of these we ahould be just about safe. Come On!
Match Report from DJ
Crawley Town: Little, Doherty, Payne, Taylor, Ugbah, Hurdle (Vines 90), Pullan, Sharman, Wordsworth, Moore (Best 74), Lovett. Subs: Johnson, Best, Vines
Halesowen Town: McDonnell, Collins, Owen, Wood, Lloyd, Gardiner, Crisp, Gennard (Blake 69), Thomas, Smith, Cooper. Subs: Birch, Blake, Brown
Booked: Sharman, Doherty, Gennard, Hurdle, Lovett, Taylor, Gardiner Referee: A. Wooldridge (Ashington) Attendance: 706
Halesowen were full value for a point at fellow strugglers Crawley with Clinton Thomas leading the frontline by notching two goals on his return from injury.
Referee Andrew Wooldridge stamped his authority early on by cautioning two Crawley players in the first 4 minutes and went on to book seven players in total. Danger-man Thomas caused considerable problems for Crawley and with his back to goal he turned defender Ian Payne in the 11th minute to force a fine save from Andy Little. Thomas eventually opened the scoring for Halesowen after 18 minutes by wrong-footing the Crawley defence before firing into the bottom corner of the net. However, the Yeltz held the lead for just two minutes when their defence appeared to freeze allowing Dean Wordsworth to break clear and slot home easily past Danny McDonnell in the 20th minute. Neil Smith, Richard Crisp and Ross Collins all fired long range efforts just wide of the Crawley goal as Halesowen enjoyed considerable possession just before the break, but it was Crawley who took the lead after 56 minutes when Jay Lovett's corner was touched home from close range by captain John Ugbah after a goalmouth scramble.
Halesowen battled back and produced an equaliser of breathtaking pace and quality on 66 minutes when Neil Smith played the ball out to the left wing for Adrian Cooper to deliver a perfectly timed cross for the incoming Thomas to connect with a one-touch sidefoot past Little. Thomas headed over the bar after 70 minutes whilst searching for his hat-trick, but in stoppage time it was Crawley who almost stole the points when Lionel Best's cross dissected the visiting defence, but substitute Francis Vines was unable to find a final touch.