Bedford 0 Yeltz 0

19 November 2005

We said we'd be pleased with a point so to keep the football cliche alive we must continue saying it. In this case it's true though, with a useful point gained with what, from all accounts I've heard, was a pretty good performance.

We're in Cup action in the next week - first in the all-important Birmingham Senior Cup when we visit Willenhall on Tuesday (not at home as I put earlier), and then in the Trophy on Saturday when we make the short journey to Sutton Coldfield. I've no real interest in the first game, but let's hope we can continue our recent decent run in both games. I'd be pleased with that.

Match Report from DJ

Bedford Town: Brown; Childs, Lawley, Miller, Howarth, Stupple, Hatch (Williams 72), James, Dillon, Howe, Rydeheard (Woolf 82). Unused Subs: McElroy, Phillips, Farrell

Halesowen Town: Coleman; Pierpoint, Haywood, Preston, Knight, Cooper, Cowley, Lamey, Forinton, N. Smith (Steane 83), Amos. Unused Subs: C. Smith, Strachan, Skidmore, Johnson

Referee: S. Comerford (Royston) Attendance: 505 Booked: Pierpoint (56), Haywood (63)

Halesowen deserved their share of the points with an excellent performance against the high-flying Eagles.

But despite only notching just another draw, Halesowen can take a number of positives from their performance in matching one of the best teams in the league to maintain the steady improvement of recent weeks. Stuart Pierpoint and acting-captain Nicki Preston combined well with debut defender Gary Knight in a resolute defence and were helped by a midfield starting to play the passing game and enjoying long spells of possession.

Bedford's biggest home attendance of the season saw their first minute corner cleared off the line after goalkeeper Dean Coleman failed to collect a high ball. At the other end, home goalkeeper Ian Brown was alert in the 4th minute to deny a Nick Amos header with a flying save.

In even exchanges, Derwayne Stupple and Chris Dillon combined to go close in the 12th minute before Howard Forinton earned a 19th minute corner and then flicked a header at Brown a minute later for Halesowen.

Preston made an important challenge to deny danger-man Dillon in the 27th minute and three minutes later Craig Rydeheard fired over the bar. With Halesowen then enjoying a good spell of pressure, Amos was blocked out in a crowded penalty area on the half-hour.

In the 35th minute Halesowen held firm as Pierpoint made a splendid header off the line from Dillon and Coleman made a magnificent save to turn the ball around the post from Rene Howe in Bedford's best chance of the half.

Leading up to half-time, Alex Cowley hit just over the bar, Nathan Lamey turned and volleyed at Brown and Preston struck just high from 12 yards in the end-to-end action. Seconds before the interval Howe broke free for Bedford and rounded Coleman but could only strike the side-netting from a wide angle.

The second half continued to be keenly contested with Rydeheard's 50th minute shot collected by Coleman and two minutes later Lamey latched onto a loose ball but could only shoot straight at Brown from the edge of the area. Coleman then confidently collected James Hatch's 53rd minute header.

On the hour Cowley burst down the right but paused too long before curling wide. However, six minutes later Cowley produced the best attempt of the game when his 15-yard shot rebounded off the crossbar with Brown beaten following good work from hard-working Lamey. Brown then blocked Nick Smith's 8-yard shot from a tight angle in the 70th minute.

The Yeltz continued to restrict the hosts and create chances as Amos nodded an 82nd minute header just wide. Two minutes from full-time Forinton worked his way around the home defence but lacked support when he pulled the ball back across the face of goal as the game ended in stalemate.