Halesowen Town hearts were broken as Barwell bagged a late 94th minute equaliser, writes David Johnson.

The Yeltz were attempting to end a run of four defeats in five games and seemed to have battled to a narrow 1-0 win after a hard-working and much-improved team display.

Manager Paul Smith was pleased with the performance. “It was much better, we started like a train to go one up and we were dominant in the first half. We held our shape in the second half as Barwell hardly had a chance on goal. The boys are disappointed, we deserved more. But it stops the run of defeats and the performance was back to what we’re used to.”

The Yeltz made a bright, lively start to take an early lead 16th minute lead against mid-table Barwell after Reece Mitchell’s cross was turned away by Ruben Freeman for the first corner of the game. Although the corner was cleared, a delicious cross back into the danger area was turned onto the bar and Ryan WYNTER was on hand to slam home his first goal of the season from close range.

George Cater then curled just over the bar after 21 minutes and Kieren Donnelly blazed over the bar after half an hour. But the Canaries created their own good chances and Thomas Cursons planted an effort past the post when free from a right wing corner. The Yeltz then had a lucky 31st minute escape as goalkeeper Dan Platt dived gladly on the ball on his goal-line following a six-yard box scramble after a cross from Cursons found Brady Hickey and Kieran Morris blocked from Ethan Hill.

McKauley Manning’s 33rd minute corner led to a shout for handball in the area and Manning fired at goalkeeper Harry Evans a minute later. Miracle Okafor went close to doubling Halesowen’s lead in the 39th minute when he beat Evans to the ball out of his area and rounded the keeper only to see his shot from the right cleared off the line by Freeman. Three minutes before the break the Yeltz had another let off as Platt saved another good Barwell chance onto the post.

There were fewer chances on goal in a gritty second half, although Evans pushed away Manning’s 59th minute free-kick from outside the area. Todd Parker continued to work his socks off and Morris continued an immense performance at the heart of the home defence.

But Barwell snatched their last gasp leveller four minutes into injury time when Beck-Ray Enoru knocked the ball down for HICKEY to poke home in front of goal to make the final score 1-1.

Halesowen Town: Dan Platt (c); Josh Ezewele, Reece Mitchell, Todd Parker, Ryan Wynter, Kieran Morris, George Cater (Simeon Cobourne 63), Nathan Hayward (Jack Holmes 63), Miracle Okafor, Kieren Donnelly., McKauley Manning. Subs Not Used: Luke Redfern, Jak Hickman, Josh Hawker.

Barwell: Harry Evans; Joshua Flanagan, Micah Edwards, Sidney Kerr, Kyle Rowley, Ruben Freeman, Beck-Ray Enoru, Kobe Chong (Michael-John Kamson Kamara 79), Thomas Cursons, Brady Hickey, Ethan Hill (George Ward 76). Subs Not Used: Harry Griffiths, Jesper Kutshienza, Anthony Manocchio.

Referee: Jason Porter               Attendance: 510

Booked: None

Tulleys Print HTFC Man of the Match selected by the Vice Presidents: Ryan Wynter