Halesowen Town 2 Maidenhead United 2 - Report and pictures
Battling Halesowen earned a well deserved replay after coming from behind twice and giving National League side Maidenhead a massive scare.
Honest Halesowen Paul Smith reflected on a hugely impressive performance and was disappointed not to finish the job, admitting that "two poor defensive goals cost us, but otherwise we were solid and matched a much higher league opposition."
It was a tale of two chances and two goals for Maidenhead in an entertaining first half in Halesowen's tenth FA Trophy tie of the season. The Yeltz made the worst possible start when Joe Ellul flashed home a near post free header in the second minute from Josh Smile's left wing corner.
From that point onwards Halesowen took the game to their higher league opposition in great first-half entertainment. Ash Sammons fired a low, long range shot just wide from a fifth minute short free-kick and Sammons then saw his 15 yard acrobatic overhead kick fall just over the bar. Josh Hawker's 12th minute free-kick was punched clear by visiting goalkeeper Chris Dunne and Montel Gibson side-footed at Dunne from James Bowen's cross a minute later.
With the Yeltz far from out of it, Sammons fed the ball out to Bowen but his 20th minute cross was cut out in the penalty area and Ahmed Ali made a good 25th minute burst forward. Robbie Bunn was just wide from the right in the 36th minute and Bunn played the ball for Montel Gibson to cut in from the left in the 40th minute, but Dunne made a low save.
Halesowen deservedly found a 41st minute equaliser in spectacular style when Gibson laid the ball off for Robbie Bunn to fire a rocket shot into the top corner, leaving Dunne with no chance.
However, the Magpies demonstrated their clinical finishing and restored their lead just two minutes later when Smile was granted too much space on the right of the penalty area and he drilled a low shot into the bottom corner. Just before the interval Gibson brought the ball down well but his shot was turned over the bar by Dunne for a corner.
Another shot from Sammons was deflected away for a corner at the start of the second half. But never-say-die Halesowen soon equalised again with another fine goal when defender Andy Parsons met Robbie Bunn's 49th minute right wing corner with a bullet header to send Dunne's net bulging.
The Yeltz continued to defy the three league gap between the sides with lively substitute Simeon Cobourne creating a nuisance for the Magpies after his introduction and it was Cobourne who used his pace to skip into the penalty area in the 68th minute with Ali hitting wide.
Brendon Bunn made a good blocking save at the other end to deny Jake Cassidy before Cobourne used his pace to burst into the penalty area again in the 72nd minute and beat the first defender, only for the final defender to turn the ball away for a corner. Gibson then stretched the Maidenhead defence in the 75th minute and cut the ball back from the left wing, although Cobourne just failed to get a strong enough final touch.
The Magpies forced several late corners with Rob Evans making a good 84th minute challenge from a ball across goal and Ellul headed over the bar a minute later. Parsons made a fine 87th minute interception and the Yeltz defence held out for a Tuesday replay at York Road, Maidenhead when Ryan Upward volleyed over the bar in the final minute.
Halesowen Town: Brendon Bunn; Rob Evans, James Bowen, Ahmed Ali, Paul McCone (c), Andrew Parsons, Ashley Sammons, Robbie Bunn, Montel Gibson, Luke Yates (Simeon Cobourne 67), Joshua Hawker (McKauley Manning 89). Subs Not Used: Jordan Piggott, Jamie Ashmore, Jamie Lucas, Bradley Catlow (GK).
Maidenhead United: Chris Dunne; Alan Massey (c), Joe Ellul, Ryheem Sheckleford, Seth Twumasi, James Comley, Josh Smile, Remy Clerima, Ryan Upward, Danny Whitehall, Jake Cassidy. Subs Not Used: Aron Davis, Reece Smith, Shamir Fenelon, Bernard, Mensah, James Akintunde.
Referee: James Bell Attendance: 892