A replay will have to be played to see who advances to the second round of the FA Trophy after Bradford and Halesowen played out a 2-2 draw at the Horsfall Stadium.
It was a very cagey affair to begin, both teams seemingly having to get accustomed to the weather, which was at its winter worst.
Not much was created in the opening 15 minutes. Both teams enjoyed their fair share of possession but couldn’t break through the back line. The biggest chance fell to Lewis Knight — a very daring ball was sent over the top which took the Halesowen defence by surprise, Knight was able to race through but was beaten to the ball by goalkeeper Brendan Burr who was able to clear.
Just minutes later, however, it was that man Lewis Knight who broke the deadlock to give the Avenue the lead. A mistake from the Halesowen defender who mistimed the ball allowed Lewis Knight to slot the ball into the bottom left corner of the net – it was a wonderful finish from the team’s top scorer, who had his back turned to goal, and had to turn quickly to stop the on-rushing goalkeeper from being able to gather the ball.
The lead didn’t last long, though, as Halesowen equalised just minutes later through wing back Robert Evans – a burst of pace from the number 2 saw him race through on goal, and with only Joe Green to beat, he smashed the ball into the Avenue net to bring the teams level.
After a slow second half, it picked up in the final 20 minutes. Halesowen awarded a penalty which Ashley Sammons smashed into the top right corner of the Avenue net.
Halesowen then looked to cling onto the lead, but in the 83rd minute captain Keith Lowe equalised for the Avenue, headering the ball into the net after the ball was played in to give the hosts hope of an unlikely comeback.
Avenue then had a chance to steal the win, but Andre Johnson’s late effort struck the post as the game finished 2-2.
The sides will now meet in a replay at Halesowen this Tuesday (17th December) to see who advances to the 2nd round.