VERY VERY CLOSE
Chippenham 2 Yeltz 1
02 April 2005
The indomitable Yeltz lost on Saturday against league leaders Chippenham, but with other results going somewhat our way we're still right in the middle of the most ridiculously close contest for the play-offs .
By all accounts we were unlucky not to get something out of the Chippenham game - see Dave's match report - but that leaves us with 4 critical games that we can win. The hardest looks like the King's Lynn game on Saturday, as they are one of probably 11 teams still in with a chance of promotion.
Before that we have the distraction of the Worcester Senior Cup Final First Leg at Studley on Tuesday.
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Taylor; Johnson (Smith), Haywood, Preston, Pope (Skidmore), Amos, Cowley, Moore (Haarhoff), Lamey, Cooper, Forsdick. Unused Sub: Baker
Halesowen were unfortunate not to share the points and lost out by the odd goal in three as league leaders Chippenham were awarded a penalty and then notched a late winner.
But play-off hopes were yet again preserved as all four teams occupying the play-off positions were beaten as one of the most even end-of-season scrambles for years continues to unfold in unpredictable fashion.
Halesowen came under early pressure with both James Constable and Ben Kirk going close. The visitors then suffered a massive blow on 13 minutes when captain Steve Pope hobbled off with a calf injury, to be replaced by Stuart Skidmore. After regrouping, Alex Cowley was denied by Ian Herring and Simon Forsdick's 32nd minute effort was disallowed for offside. Chris Taylor saved from Chippenham's Constable by tipping the ball away on 36 minutes in the best chance of a generally lack-lustre first half following Scott Walker's free-kick.
A minute after the interval Dave Gilroy took advantage of a poor back-pass from Skidmore but Taylor was on hand to save and on 55 minutes McEntegart denied Nathan Lamey as he was about to shoot at the other end. Chippenham took the lead in the 68th minute when Dave Haywood was penalised for handball amidst strong Halesowen protests and HERRING converted the spot-kick despite Taylor getting a hand on the ball.
Halesowen levelled in the 84th minute when Gary Thorne fouled substitute Jimmy Haarhoff on the edge of the penalty area and LAMEY's shot took a deflection to beat home goalkeeper Mark Hervin. However, the Yeltz failed to hold on to a vital point when Nicki Preston impeded Constable in the 87th minute and with the referee waving play on, GILROY collected the ball and expertly lobbed the ball home over goalkeeper Taylor.