Yeltz 2 Ilkeston 2
19 August 2003
After our success of two seasons ago our hopes in this league are obviously very high, so it's hard not to be disappointed with gaining only one point from our first two games. We twice came from behind against Ilkeston with goals from Mark Hallam and a late Jason penalty - see DJ's match report for full details.
Saturday brings Mangotsfield to The Grove in what might be a hard game. They've started well with two wins, but let's hope we'll click into gear and gain that first win.
In other results, interestingly (if you look at their team sheet) Redditch are top of the early table after winning 6-0 and 5-0.
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Gayle; Colwell (Mitchell 79), Charlton, Grocutt, N. Smith, Spencer (Wray 54), Hollis, Ashby, Hallam, Steane, March (Kavanagh 54). Unused Subs: Skidmore, Phillips
Ilkeston Town: Love; Swinscoe, Atkinson, Coates (Stephens 70), Lever, Holyoak, F. Smith (Westwood 78), Laws, Freestone, Nangle, Thompson. Unused Subs: Brown, Shirley
Referee: D. G. Cooke (Wednesbury) Attendance: 378 Booked: Thompson (82), Freestone (87) Sent Off: Nangle (89)
Halesowen made heavy weather of earning their first point of the season against crisis-club Ilkeston.
With both sides experiencing relegation last season and still smarting from shock opening-day defeats Halesowen started brightly as a 10th minute free-kick from Simon Hollis from the edge of the area was gathered by goalkeeper Andy Love. A minute later a Richard Colwell cross landed on top of Love's net. On 17 minutes Hollis escaped his marker but headed wide from Asa Charlton's cross and Daniel Holyoak then made an important 24th minute clearance from a dangerous Hollis cross on the break.
Ilkeston were continually caught out by the offside trap but their 34th minute free-kick by Steve Coates was cleared by Halesowen defender Neil Smith. The visitors went on to take a shock 35th minute lead when Mark NANGLE rose to head home unchallenged from Fabian Smith's corner. Fabian Smith then smashed a 25-yard free-kick at Mark Gayle and Darren Grocutt was on hand to clear a 10-yard shot from Nangle off the line in a good spell for Ilkeston.
On 45 minutes Love made a fine fingertip save from Jamie March before the Yeltz equalised seconds before the interval when Jason Ashby fed a clever ball for Mark HALLAM to scoop into the top of the net from 10 yards.
Halesowen lost the advantage almost immediately after the restart with Chris FREESTONE powering home a second goal on 46 minutes - again directly from a corner. The visitors then weathered a storm of pressure with the Yeltz at last clicking into gear. On 58 minutes substitute Richard Kavanagh fed Shaun Wray who set-up Hallam and his shot seemed destined for goal until blocked to set up the first of four consecutive home corners. Love then made a splendid save when Hallam put Charlton clear in the area and Ashby headed a 67th minute Colwell cross onto the top of the net.
Halesowen finally rescued a point in the 85th minute with ASHBY firing home from the penalty spot when new £4,000 signing Ben Steane burst into the area and Craig Swinscoe was penalised for tugging at substitute Leon Mitchell's shirt.
The visitors almost snatched a winner in the 88th minute but Nangle blasted high when put free on the left and in the last minute Nangle was shown a straight red-card for dissent towards one of the officials.