New-look Clevedon earn a valuable point
HALESOWEN TOWN 2 CLEVEDON TOWN 2 - NICK Tucker's new-look Clevedon Town continued their fight against relegation with a midweek trip to play-off contenders Halesowen Town and returned home with a valuable point from a 2-2 draw.
HALESOWEN TOWN 2
CLEVEDON TOWN 2
NICK Tucker's new-look Clevedon Town continued their fight against relegation with a midweek trip to play-off contenders Halesowen Town and returned home with a valuable point from a 2-2 draw.
Clevedon's new centre forward Nana Baah, finally free of suspension, was able to make his debut, and Jason Cowan also started a game for the first time. Matt Townley moved to right back in place of injured skipper Chris Collins, and Ellis Wilmot wore the captain's armband.
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Clevedon started brightly with a long-range shot from Wilmot whistling just over the bar, and a Craig Loxton shot going wide. But from their first corner on seven minutes, Halesowen Town took the lead as Carl Palmer stooped to head the ball over the line.
Two minutes later Clevedon won a corner of their own and Matthew Walsh passed the ball to an unmarked Loxton outside the penalty area, where he lashed it home for the equaliser.
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On 34 minutes Halesowen attacked down the left wing and the ball was squared to Palmer whose shot from the edge of the box took a cruel deflection off the back of a Clevedon defender to beat a wrong-footed Danny Greaves.
Another thunderbolt from Wilmot just cleared the bar before Craig Connor should have hit the target for the hosts after a strong run. Clevedon had a great chance to equalise on the stroke of half time as first Jason Cowan shot wide and then Loxton's cross to Sheppard saw him shoot straight at the keeper.
For the first 10 minutes of the second half Halesowen laid siege to the Clevedon goal, but the Seasiders defence held firm.
Clevedon were eventually able to attack, and on 54 minutes Nick Bussey could only push out another excellent Loxton shot. But a minute later a slick passing move from the Seasiders found Baah who put a slide-rule pass through to the on-running Sheppard into the box who netted to bring Clevedon back level at 2-2.
Another mix-up in the Halesowen defence allowed Sheppard a shot, but it was charged down. Halesowen then turned up the pressure again as substitute David Blenkinsopp narrowly missed the target when played in behind the Clevedon defence. In the last minute, a long throw-in from Halesowen found Stefan Moore but his snapshot was thwarted by Greaves, low down to his left, as the game finished as a draw.