Town fight back to earn a draw

Clevedon Town 3 Halesowen Town 3 - CLEVEDON Town entertained in-form Halesowen Town in the Zamaretto Premier League and produced a stunning second-half performance to come back from 3-0 down and earn a draw in an entertaining match.

Clevedon Town 3

Halesowen Town 3

CLEVEDON entertained in-form Halesowen Town in the Zamaretto Premier League and produced a stunning second-half performance to come back from 3-0 down and earn a draw in an entertaining match.

With the strong wind and lashing rain making playing good football difficult, Halesowen took total control as they raced into a 3-0 lead by half time. On 15 minutes Danny Greaves did well to save a cross from the right but could only push the ball out for captain Scott Rickards to put the visitors one up.

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Seven minutes later it was 2-0 as Stefan Moore was given far too much time in the box and his pass found David Blenkinsopp who fired under the diving Greaves. On the half hour Halesowen had a strong shout for a penalty turned down by referee Iain Parsons, but just a minute later he awarded them a more dubious spot kick after Danny Wring was adjudged to have fouled his opponent.

Stefan Moore took the penalty and, although Greaves got a solid hand to it, the ball crossed the line to put the visitors 3-0 up. Just before half time Matthew Walsh burst forward for Clevedon but skewed his shot wide, and things got worse for the Seasiders as Aaron Blakemore limped off with a nasty-looking injury.

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Clevedon came out for the second period a different team and took the game to their opponents. Joey Evans came on for Blakemore and immediately put in a teasing wind-assisted cross. Greaves then made another exceptional block from Moore as the Seasiders grew in confidence.

On 57 minutes Jamal Easter was played in and he hit a quick shot which Halesowen keeper Nick Bussey blocked only for the ball to come straight back to Easter who scored.

This goal gave Clevedon belief and they continued to force their opponents to defend deeply with Easter and Evans causing them problems. On 66 minutes a Pete Sheppard shot was cleared only to the edge of the box where Craig Loxton turned and hit a shot along the ground through a group of players which squeezed under Bussey.

Josh Brigham then forced Bussey to save his powerful long-range shot, before Easter became the second striker to be badly injured. However, as Clevedon were preparing a substitute, Easter took a pass from Sheppard and from near the dug-outs sent a hopeful cross into the Halesowen box, where a mix-up between Bussey and a defender let the ball just drop into the mud and Evans nipped in and walked the ball into the net to complete Clevedon's unlikely comeback.

In the last 15 minutes Halesowen could have nicked it as first Moore rounded Greaves, but poked the ball wide, then Greavsie made another save from Moore, and finally Clevedon cleared off their line twice from a Halesowen corner.

The Seasiders also had a chance to win it at the death as captain Danny Wring tried an audacious lob from the half way line, but Bussey was able to get back to save.

The next game at the Hand Stadium will be on Saturday, December 5, v Bedford Town, kick-off 3pm.

JOINT League 1 leaders Clevedon Town and Ashton United, Bristol, will come head to head on Thursday at the Hand Stadium in the Somerset County League.

Town's youth supremo Ricky Adams said: "We have played some big games this season so far, against some top Premier League sides and this game against a talented Bristol side will be a good test for our local youngsters.

"Kick-off will be at 7.45pm and should be a game worth watching."

Further details can be obtained on 0776545039, Monday to Friday, 7am-2pm.

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