Crawley 2 Yeltz 1

10 April 2001

Typical. An excellent performance, some good football despite an awful pitch but we let two in, only converted one of a host of chances and it really is all over.

First half we overran them in midfield, but some excellent defending, one brilliant save and a miss from Clinton Thomas (honestly!) meant that we were completely depressed when they took the lead just before half-time. They then scored a second not long into the second half with a stunning volley and it was really all over.

We continued to play much the better football, and finally got some reward when new bloke Michael Crawford scored a lovely goal with the outside of his foot from the edge of the box. More pressure, no luck, awful refereeing, a bad miss from Ricky Otto and we'd managed to come away with nothing. With Fisher winning we're bottom of the table again. Hurrah.

Home to Moor Green on Saturday, but I've given up saying we must win cos' it really doesn't make any difference now. If we play as well as we did tonight and still can't win I don't know what else we can do.

Match Report from DJ

Crawley Town: Little; Wackett, Holmes, Hawthorne, Pullan, Ugbah, Carroll (Payne 75), Anderson, Wordsworth, Hynes, Powell (Brake 85). Unused Sub: Huggins

Halesowen Town: Quy; Crisp (Otto 69), Burnham, Lloyd, Wood, Smith, Skidmore (Spencer 54), Crawford, Thomas (Walker 54), Bailey, Hines

Booked: Crawford (77), Powell (80), Wordsworth (90) Referee: B. Baker (Andover) Attendance: 451

Once again Halesowen won all the plaudits from their hosts for delivering a fine performance, yet went home empty-handed and so dropped back to the bottom of the table. With games rapidly running out, it would seem the hopes of turning around the tides of misfortune are starting to look misplaced, but no-one can deny that a tactical transformation has taken place in recent weeks.

The Yeltz started in determined fashion and won three corners in the first couple of minutes before going on to dominate the first half in which Crawley defended a total of eight corner kicks. Clinton Thomas made his first outing since the initial game of the season but headed into the arms of Andy Little in the 7th minute from a Les Hines cross. Halesowen then made a quick 23rd minute break with Richard Crisp, Jason Burnham and Thomas combining to force another corner. For the home side a cross by Dave Powell was scrambled clear and Hines immediately broke up the other end to beat the offside trap, but his cross was cleared. Neil Smith drove high from 25 yards in the 32nd minute before another terrific Halesowen move inspired by Les Hines.

Crawley took the lead against the run of play a minute before the break when Mark Hawthorne's right-wing cross was side-footed home from an acute angle by Mark Hynes in their first serious strike. Michael Crawford then saw his header tipped over by Andy Little in the Crawley goal in first-half stoppage time.

Crawley notched a flattering second four minutes into the second half when Hynes crossed for Hawthorne to crack a one-in-a-million volley into the top corner from 20 yards. However, Halesowen's heads failed to drop and they pulled a goal back in the 56th minute with Crawford burying a 20-yard left foot shot beyond Little. Richard Crisp then helped Dennis Bailey beat the offside trap but his effort went inches high with the visitors seeking a reward from their flowing football.

Halesowen's final fling in injury time saw substitute Ricky Otto loft the ball just wide of goal and Little save from Crawford but the home defence grimly hung on for a victory that was scarcely deserved.