Yeltz 1 Team Bath 0
01 May 2004
We've finally reached the end of a pretty uneventful season (on the pitch at least!) by achieving the minimum necessary - finishing in the top seven to get into the Southern Premier next season. It was looking a bit dicey at one stage, so well done to Paul Holleran and the players for turning things around, and we go into what should be a very interesting season with some hope that we can challenge for promotion.
We clinched fourth place with another victory over Team Bath, this time 1-0 through a first-half Forsdick goal. Elsewhere, Redditch clinched the title with a 3-0 victory at Cirencester, and go on to play King's Lynn and then possibly Merthyr in the playoffs.
The actual makeup of whatever league we'll end up in should be sorted out by next Sunday (May 9th). I'll post here as soon as I know anything, but I can also recommend Tony Kempster's excellent site for in-depth coverage of the whole subject.
Asa Charlton has won both the official and the website player of the season, so congratulations to him on both accounts!
I'd just like to wish everyone an excellent summer, and let's hope next season we can recapture some of that old spirit of Halesowen that has been a little lacking at times recently.
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Sheils; Grocutt, Haywood, Strachan, Jones, Skidmore, Steane (Hollis 72), Moore (Haarhoff 78), Lamey (Carter 89), Baker, Forsdick. Unused Sub: Colwell
Team Bath: Hines (Chitty 72); Otto (Smith 71), Watson, Nichols, Ball, Tisdale, Saunders, Lock, Stocco, Lewis, Dembicki (Keen HT). Unused Subs: Tilson, Parkin
Referee: M. J. Gooding (Bristol) Attendance: 401 Booked: Nichols (80), Grocutt (80). Sponsors' Man of the Match: Simon Forsdick
Halesowen secured fourth spot in the league table as they continued their run of form with a narrow win over sixth placed Team Bath.
Head Coach Paul Tisdale took charge of Team Bath and they opened brightly with skipper Kevin Watson firing over the bar in the 3rd minute and Watson's free-kick was grabbed by home goalkeeper Mark Sheils five minutes later. Neil Saunders then fed Chris Lewis in the 12th minute but defender Dave Haywood made a timely challenge to intercept.
Halesowen gradually settled and started to dominate with Nathan Lamey breaking free down the left in the 16th minute to strike the side-netting. Haywood hit a hopeful 35-yard drive in the 19th minute and a minute later goalkeeper Ali Hines raced out of his goal to head clear. Lewis Baker's 22nd minute header from a Haywood corner was hooked clear and on 27 minutes a slip from Peter Tisdale let in Lamey but Hines clawed away his chip and Alex Ball cleared off the line as Jason Moore followed up from the rebound. Hines then raced off his line again on the half-hour to beat Moore to the ball.
The Yeltz hit the decisive winning goal in the 31st minute when the ball fell kindly from a midfield challenge on Lamey for man-of-the-match Simon FORSDICK to calmly take on the ball from 30 yards out and finish well from 15 yards with a side-foot past Hines.
A long effort from Forsdick almost caught out Hines after he slipped at the start of an evenly matched second half but then a dreadful error from home goalkeeper Sheils presented substitute Doug Keen with a golden 49th minute chance but he tamely shot at Sheils when clear on goal. Tisdale cleared off the Team Bath line in the 49th minute from Lamey's cross with Moore racing in and at the other end Sheils raced off his line on 54 minutes to deny Tom Stocco after his clever flick.
With Team Bath searching for an equaliser Lewis just failed to connect with Keen's cross along the face of goal in the 62nd minute and two minutes later Sheils acrobatically clutched another 10-yard Keen effort.
Moore almost connected with a 69th minute chip from Ben Steane at the far post and in the 74th minute Stuart Skidmore put Moore clear but substitute goalkeeper Darren Chitty was quickly off his line to save. A minute later Dan Jones sliced a cross from substitute Dean Smith for a corner but then cleared Watson's cross.
Although the game petered out there was still a hint of the intense rivalry from the FA Trophy clashes between the two sides earlier in the season as Jon Nichols and Darren Grocutt received yellow cards for clashing and squaring up to each other with 10 minutes remaining.
In the dying moments of a successful but quickly forgettable promotion season Baker headed Strachan's 83rd minute corner high over the bar and a long ball from Jimmy Haarhoff found fellow substitute Simon Hollis but he stumbled in front of goal.