Halesowen 1, St Ives Town 1

AN injury time penalty from substitute Lee Hughes saw the Yeltz rescue a deserved point against St Ives.

It looked like Halesowen were going to rue missed chances as the visitors dropped deep to try and hold on to the lead that had been given to them by Jake Newman’s lobbed first-half effort.

The Yeltz produced a dominant first half showing but had nothing to show for it after passing up a host of opportunities.

However, Hughes rolled home the penalty in the 95th minute after De’ath brought down Joel Taylor in the area. De’ath saw red for his second booking for the challenge but the delay didn’t faze the veteran forward as he kept his cool to secure a point.

Halesowen made the brighter start and were soon causing problems with the direct running of Dan Sweeney, The forward was at the heart of everything for the Yeltz and it took St Ives stopper Martin Conway to tip his low drive round the post after 12 minutes.

That came after he’d had a seventh minute penalty shout waved away by ref Ben Cooke.

Conway again denied Sweeney on 13 minutes as he clawed away his far post header after a corner from the hosts.

Halesowen were enjoying more possession and continued to create chances.

The next saw Joel Taylor drill narrowly wide on 20 minutes after Matthias Curley’s right-wing cross reached him at the far side of the penalty area.

Taylor and Sweeney combined again on 26 minutes as the Yeltz again went close without breaking the deadlock.

Sweeney met Taylor’s cross but his header inside the six-yard box came off the underside of the bar and bounced down without crossing the line.

The chances kept coming for the Yeltz but still they went begging.

William Murphy’s header was cleared off the line after a 37th-minute corner before Andre Wright failed to turn the loose ball home from close range.

Sweeney was then played in by Taylor three minutes later but he was denied by the legs of Conway.

The home side were left to rue those missed opportunities on 42 minutes when Jake Newman caught keeper Dan Platt off his line with a sublime effort from 35 yards out.

It was St Ives’ first effort of the half yet it was enough to hand them a narrow advantage at the break despite Halesowen’s dominance.

The hosts continued to push in the second half but were again denied by some more last-ditch defending.

Curley’s looping header just before the hour mark was hooked off the line by Jarvis Wilson. The full-back then blazed wide moment later.

St Ives dropped deep to deal with the threat as clear-cut chances started to dry up for the hosts.

Halesowen threw on Hughes looking for a leveller but the resolute St Ives rearguard held firm as they shut up shop trying to negotiate the closing stages.

However, Charlie De’ath’s rash sliding challenge on Joel Taylor in the 95th minute handed the home side the opportunity to salvage a draw.

Hughes kept his cool to roll in the penalty and secure a share of the spoils after De’ath had seen red after picking up his second booking for the challenge.

The blistering first half showing should really have been enough for the Yeltz to pick up a much-needed home win, but instead they’ll have to settle for a point and some positive signs heading to Barwell next weekend.

Halesowen: Platt, Curley (Gilpin 80), Kelly, Griffiths, Morris, Murphy, Rea (c), Coyle (Hughes 72), Wright, Sweeney, Taylor.

Unused subs: Fitzpatrick, Bragoli, Hill.

St Ives: Conway, Jackson, Coulson (Toseland 75), Sundire, Wilson, De’ath, Baker (Kelly 59), Parker (c), Newman, Ward, Snaith (Osei-Bonsu 66).

Unused subs: Seymour-Shove, Bailey.

Att: 363.