Halesowen 1 Rowley 0

The white-knuckle ride for Rowley at the moment happens between Wednesday and Saturday morning as Mark and I tot up the walking and the wounded with the latter unfortunately at this moment outweighing the former. When he phoned me this morning at 8.30am I was genuinely trying to remember where my boots were (at 53) since we had only ten! As it turned out Christie left the treatment table to give us the full complement and Leon made his long-awaited return from injury as a second half. With Mark flu-ed up at centre back and a couple of walking wounded this was the proverbial scratch side today but, as often happens, these lads really rose to the occasion and delivered probably our best performance of the season: only the result eluded us.

We set up fairly solidly against a familiar looking Halesowen side who we knew would play their football and be competitive. They harried us throughout the game and ultimately their energy was probably the defining difference. However we had the better of the first half and were competitive throughout the match. This was about fine individual performances predicated on an impressive back five, solidity from Maca and Lee in front of this, real resilience and quality from Matt, Christie and Ben in midfield and tireless work from Craig and finally Leon up front.

Both keepers made good saves and perhaps neither side did enough to deserve to win it. Halesowen certainly had the better of the second half. Sadly the goal came from the only disputed action of the game. In the first half Halesowen banged in a free kick and Lee our keeper called for the ball and seemed impeded by one of their lads who then put it in. We looked to ref and linesman but to no avail. All the best to Dave and his lads!

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