Yeltz 4 Solihull 1
01 April 2002
The once again mighty Yeltz clinched promotion on a fantastic night at The Grove by beating Solihull 4-1 with a stunning second-half performance.
We were lucky to be at 1-1 at half-time - we'd took an early lead through Andy Spencer but they had most of the play and fully deserved their equaliser. However after the break we were inspired and goals from Spencer again, Skidder and Leroy put the large (856) and vocal crowd into a party mood. As ever, DJ's match report summarises the details better than I can.
Congratulations to Brendan, all the players and other staff on taking us back up to the Premier Division at the first attempt. We've really turned things around after the nightmare of last season and let's hope we can build on this next year.
There's still the title to win, and we can clinch that by winning at Cinderford on Saturday as we only need three more points assuming Chippenham win their four remaining games.
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, N. Smith, L. Collins (Newall 45), Skidmore, Spencer (G. Smith 87), Jones, May (Bailey 74), R. Collins, Cowley
Solihull Borough: Murphy; Saunders, Hamilton, M. Smith (Hayde 76), Knight, Cooper, Hollis, C. Smith, Hall, Amos, J. Smith (Lovelock 64). Sub: Dutton
Referee: P. Keane (Bilston) Attendance: 856 Booked: Amos (12), Skidmore (47), Hayde (88), Jones (89) Sponsors' Man of the Match: Richard Colwell
Halesowen Town booked their promotion place back into the Premier division with an emphatic win over third-placed Solihull and now require just three points to claim the Championship title.
Solihull's Ian Cooper crossed in the first minute for Derek Hall to hit an overhead kick over the bar before the Yeltz took a 14th minute lead with Andy SPENCER beating Solihull goalkeeper Brendan Murphy who was slow off his line to a long ball. A strangely disjointed first-half performance saw Halesowen desperately missing the play-making skills of Les Hines and Mark Taylor with Solihull gradually gaining the upper hand as the half wore on. Jason Smith shot straight at Tim Clarke in the 17th minute and Clarke then dived to save from Cooper three minutes later. Without dead-ball experts Hines or Taylor, a handily placed free-kick on the edge of the box was blasted over the bar by Spencer on 23 minutes. A slip by Ross Collins let in Chris Smith to shoot just wide after 37 minutes but Solihull deservedly equalised when Jason Smith played the ball for Derek HALL to chest down and volley into the bottom corner after 42 minutes.
A much-needed reshuffle saw the introduction of John Newall but few could have predicted the second-half that unfolded with Halesowen transformed by the half-time team-talk to re-assert their league-leading authority with three goals in a thrusting 20-minute spell.
Man of the Match Richard Colwell worked hard to win two 53rd minute corners before the Yeltz restored their lead in the 56th minute with SPENCER hitting home his second goal from a 25-yard shot helped by a deflection off Cooper after a Jason Burnham corner was only half-cleared. Just three minutes later Spencer broke free on the left and passed across goal for Stuart SKIDMORE to crash home into the top right hand corner of the net from 15 yards. Newall missed a great chance in front of goal on the hour but with Halesowen on fire, a defence-splitting cross field pass from Andy Jones set up Leroy MAY to slot home his 18th goal of the season in the 71st minute and start Halesowen's promotion party-time. Gary Knight cleared an Andy Jones effort off the line in the 78th minute to prevent further goals but with Halesowen's fans in full voice, the relegation trauma on Easter Bank Holiday Monday exactly a year ago was long forgotten.