I stopped keeping this site up-to-date many years ago, so if you've ended up here I'm afraid there's nothing much of interest to see any more.

Other Halesowen Town websites:

21st Century Stuff

I made a Yeltzland app for iPhone/iPad and Android, which lets you read all about the Yeltz in one place.

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

News Stories 1997-2006 ...

Follow Your Instinct

Even older than the original Yeltzland website, we wrote a HTFC fanzine between 1991 and 1993.

I've started scanning in the originals, and you can download the PDFs from the FYI home page.

 


 

YELTZ CLINCH 'PROMOTION'

Yeltz 1 Rugby 0

The mighty Yeltz made sure of an all-important top seven finish with a hard-fought victory over Rugby. A first half penalty from Asa Charlton made all the difference, and with Sutton losing we're now guaranteed to finish in the "promotion" positions.

Just as importantly, we can now party at Taunton next week without worrying about the result. I'm not sure if there are any plans as yet for the traditional last away game of the season fancy dress, but what ever happens I'm sure there'll be a big turnout - see you all there.

There's a new vote on the site - an unofficial player of the season - if you're interested! (it's working now - apologies for the poor performance by the hosting company again)

In Fantasy Island, it looks like Kev Crook has amazingly won again being 18 points clear with only two games left. Still no idea how he does it :-)

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Sheils; Grocutt, Haywood, Charlton, Jones, Skidmore, Steane (Colwell 88), Forsdick, Haarhoff (Carter 85), Baker, Foy (Strachan 65). Unused Subs: Gallieri, Hollis

Rugby United: Pearcey; Moran (Charley 90), Williams, Hart, Commander, Rutherford, Squire, Dutton, Beard, Marsden, Hegarty (Pearson 76). Unused Subs: Redgate, Herbert, Thomas

Referee: W. Ramsay (Coventry) Attendance: 456 Booked: Dutton (41), Charlton (80) Sponsors' Man of the Match: Dave Haywood

Halesowen clinched a top-seven promotion spot with Asa Charlton's first-half penalty separating the two sides.

Although looking lightweight up front Halesowen started brightly and Dave Haywood almost beat Rugby goalkeeper Jason Pearcey to the ball in the 7th minute. Two minutes later Stuart Skidmore controlled the ball and fired over the bar from the edge of the area and Pearcey raced off his line in the 22nd minute to claim the ball when David Foy burst forward from midfield.

Rugby appeared content to try to claim a point to help guarantee their own promotion cause but as they settled home goalkeeper Mark Sheils grabbed a 29th minute cross from Justin Marsden and Robbie Beard hit over the bar with a 30th minute free-kick. Simon Forsdick's pass to Charlton fell short and let in Marsden in the 31st minute but he flashed the ball wide after running through from midfield.

CHARLTON slammed home the winning goal for the Yeltz in the 37th minute from the penalty spot after Jimmy Haarhoff was brought down despite the protestations of Michael Hegarty and Craig Dutton.

Rugby poured forward in the second half and Andy Commander nodded a Hegarty free-kick wide of goal in the 55th minute. Sheils then tipped away a fine 25-yard effort from Gary Moran before saving a 25-yard free-kick from Jamie Williams.

Ben Steane missed a good opportunity to increase Halesowen's lead in the 65th minute when he hit Forsdick's cross wide from 10 yards. Sheils collected a 20-yard free-kick from Beard at the second attempt in the 66th minute but Rugby wasted a number of free-kicks conceded by Halesowen on the edge of their own area. Charlton then cleared off his own line after Sheils fumbled a 70th minute corner but Sheils recovered to block a 71st minute Beard shot with Halesowen pegged back.

Skidmore almost weaved his way through the Rugby defence on 73 minutes and two minutes later Pearcey saved with his legs from Haarhoff who was put through by substitute Craig Strachan. In injury time substitute Alfie Carter hit the side netting from fellow substitute Richard Colwell's through ball.

 


 

BANK HOLIDAY BLUES

Sutton Coldfield 3 Yeltz 1 and Yeltz 0 Bromsgrove 0

The mighty Yeltz's fine run of form came to an abrupt end over the Bank Holiday weekend with two disappointing performances and results against fellow promotion chasing Sutton and Bromsgrove. However we've now guaranteed a top eight finish, and need only four points at most to avoid the play-off spot and ensure we get promotion.

Saturday's game at Sutton was particularly disappointing, but they played much better than us and fully deserved their victory. By all accounts we were a bit better at home on Monday, but Bromsgrove probably had the better chances.

At the top of the league Redditch are faltering badly and can now be caught by Gloucester (as they still have to play them). We've got just three games left now, starting with Rugby at The Grove on Saturday.

 


 

NOT FAR OFF NOW

Evesham 1 Yeltz 2

An excellent away win by the mighty Yeltz at Evesham means that we're in sight of clinching that all-important top seven spot for promotion into the Premier Division next season. Despite going behind once again, we came back through goals from Jimmy Haarhoff and Nathan Lamey to win 2-1.

We're back up to 2nd in the table although both Gloucester and Cirencester have games in hand. It's complicated because several of the top 9 still have to play each other, but I'm pretty confident in saying if we win our two games over the holiday weekend we're definitely up.

Those two games are against Sutton Coldfield (away on Saturday) and then Bromsgrove (at The Grove on Monday). It's not going to be easy, but we are on an excellent run of form under the new management regime, so let's hope we can continue this for a little longer and ensure our promotion as soon as we can.

Match Report from DJ

Evesham United: Clarke; Smith, Pinkney, Marsh (Nicholls 66), Bailey, Parker, Burrow, Thomas, Clark (Hawley 88), Pountney (Canning 66), Williams. Unused Subs: West, Guest

Halesowen Town: Sheils; Colwell, Haywood, Charlton, Jones, Skidmore, Hollis, Haarhoff (Carter 90), Lamey (Moore 71), Baker (Steane 75), Foy. Unused Subs: Forsdick, Strachan

Referee: H. Singh (West Bromwich) Attendance: 250

Halesowen climbed to second place in the table after recovering from a goal down in a poor start to end up worthy winners. The meeting brought together the two previous Solihull managers in opposite dug-outs and ended with Paul Holleran maintaining his unbeaten managerial record at the Halesowen helm.

The Robins started brightly and Halesowen had a let-off after just 40 seconds when Danny Williams latched onto a bad back-pass but full-back Richard Colwell cleared off the line. Jermaine Clark's 6th minute shot was then parried away by goalkeeper Mark Sheils with the loose ball rolling agonisingly wide. David Foy headed a 7th minute Dave Haywood corner inches wide for Halesowen but Evesham deservedly took the lead in the 9th minute when centre-half Dan Jones ducked out of a header in his own penalty area allowing WILLIAMS to fire home from 12 yards. Sheils then raced out of his area in the 13th minute to deny Williams before Halesowen finally stepped up a gear.

Former Halesowen goalkeeper Tim Clarke denied Nathan Lamey in the 17th minute when free on goal with Simon Hollis then heading Lamey's cross tamely at Clarke. Haywood's corner curled just wide of Clarke's post on 23 minutes and on the half-hour Lewis Baker's acrobatic volley from 6 yards fell just wide.

Halesowen's pressure finally paid off with a 35th minute equaliser when the Evesham defence allowed Jimmy HAARHOFF to advance on goal and roll a 20-yard shot into the corner of the net. Lamey then twice hit wide from 25 yards after 37 and 38 minutes and with Halesowen finishing the half strongly Haarhoff fed Lamey from a Hollis break but the striker put the ball wide from 12 yards after side-stepping his defender.

LAMEY made amends by notching Halesowen's winning goal in the 55th minute by taking down the ball and striking a positive shot from the edge of the area with Clarke only able to reach the ball with his fingertips. Baker then just failed to connect with a dangerous ball across goal from Lamey on the hour. With the visitors finishing in control of the game a 25-yard volley from Haywood was turned away for a corner by Clarke in the 74th minute and Haarhoff then put substitute Jason Moore clear on 79 minutes but Clarke made another fine save.

 


 

GETTING CLOSER

Yate 1 Yeltz 1

Every point counts at the moment, so it was vital that the mighty Yeltz fought back from behind against Yate to keep our unbeaten run going. A late penalty equaliser from Nathan Lamey gained us a point that keeps us in 3rd in the table with just six games left. Full details in Dave's match report.

On Saturday we travel again, this time to another lower-placed club in Evesham. We lost to them in the league earlier in the season, but since then they've lost Sean Flynn and are struggling at present, so let's hope for three points to edge closer to that top-seven finish.

Match Report from DJ

Yate Town: Court; Smith, Powell, Ward, Brooks (Metheringham 13), Wood (Hughes 66), Wyatt, Campbell, Bennett, Rawlins, Neal. Unused Subs: Pritchard, White, Barlass

Halesowen Town: Sheils; Colwell (Moore 70), Haywood, Charlton, Jones, Skidmore, Hollis, Haarhoff (Grocutt 87), Lamey, Foy, Forsdick (Strachan 70). Unused Subs: Steane, Carter

Referee: P. Brown (Taunton) Attendance: 169 Booked: None

Halesowen recovered from a disappointing start to claim a draw and inch ever closer towards a guaranteed top-seven placing required to move up the non-league ladder.

Jason Moore and Ben Steane were delayed by congestion on the M40 so Jimmy Haarhoff made his full debut and struck wide from a David Foy free-kick in the 3rd minute. Jason Wood then flashed well wide for Yate in the 6th minute before the Yeltz won their first corner of the evening on 17 minutes but Simon Hollis put his cross wide.

The hosts were already without central defender David Elsey and defender Nick Brooks then limped off in the 13th minute but Halesowen failed to exploit the weakness at the heart of the Yate defence. The home side went ahead in the 19th minute when a back header from Matt RAWLINS looped over goalkeeper Mark Sheils from Gary Powell's 30-yard free-kick in a disappointing goal from a defensive point-of-view. Sheils then collected a 27th minute curling cross from Wood and substitute Paul Metheringham hit wide from 20 yards.

Haarhoff weaved through the Yate rearguard on the half-hour but goalkeeper Tony Court kept out Nathan Lamey's shot. Simon Forsdick then headed a 33rd minute free-kick just wide and two minutes before the interval Court collected a low Haarhoff shot from the edge of the area.

A minute into the second half Hollis hit a right-wing cross just inches too high for Lamey from a good position and two minutes later Hollis hit a loose ball over the bar from 20-yards in a spell of pressure. However, Stuart Skidmore's slip let in Rawlins on 51 minutes but he hit his cross over the bar and three minutes later Mike Wyatt headed a Powell corner wide.

Court punched clear Dave Haywood's free-kick under pressure on 64 minutes and with 20 minutes remaining on the clock manager Paul Holleran introduced Moore in a tactical switch to play three up front in an attempt to retrieve the game. Foy's shot was deflected for a 74th minute corner but a minute later Sheils turned a curling 25-yard free-kick from Steve Campbell over the bar on a Yate break.

The Yeltz finally equalised in the 80th minute when Metheringham clipped Haarhoof's legs on the turn in the penalty area and LAMEY slammed home the resulting penalty to register his first goal for the club.

Wyatt headed a corner at Sheils on 81 minutes and two minutes later Sheils made a fine save low down from Campbell. The final few minutes were played out in the Yate half and in the last minute Asa Charlton hit over the bar after a corner was scrambled clear.

 


 

TITLE CHALLENGE OVER

Yeltz 0 Redditch 0

Our last chance of possibly catching Redditch and earning the Conference playoff spot appears to have gone when we drew 0-0 with the league leaders at The Grove. In an incident-filled match, both teams ended up with 10 players and we missed a penalty, but with us still 13 points behind them with one game in hand (and only seven games left), they are looking set for a well-deserved title. Full details in Dave's match report.

That game in hand is played on Tuesday when we travel to Bristol to play Yate Town. We beat them in a hard-fought game at The Grove a few weeks ago, but lets hope we can get a similar result this time.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Sheils; Colwell, Haywood, Charlton, Jones, Skidmore, Hollis, Moore (Haarhoff 82), Lamey, Baker, Forsdick (Foy HT). Unused Subs: Grocutt, Steane, Carter

Redditch United: Anstiss; Manton, Gardiner, Taylor, Knight, Softley (Woodley 61), Hall (Quiggin 77), Flynn, Leadbeater (Burgess 77), Shepherd, Cowley. Unused Subs: Scheppel, Voice

Referee: M. Weaver (Bearwood) Attendance: 636 Booked: Charlton (17), Taylor (30), Haywood (44), Cowley (57) Sent Off: Lamey (66), Woodley (85). Sponsors' Man of the Match: Lewis Baker

Goalkeeper Richard Anstiss saved a late Halesowen penalty to keep Redditch racing relentlessly towards the title in a compelling game that saw both sides reduced to ten men.

Halesowen weathered a torrid opening spell as the title-chasing Reds who named seven former Yeltz players in their line-up tore into action. Richard Leadbeater crashed a header against the crossbar from Matty Hall's corner after just 40 seconds and Hall whipped over another dangerous cross which just evaded Leadbeater a minute later. Alex Cowley then drove over the bar from 20-yards in the 7th minute.

Halesowen gradually settled and an 8th minute Nathan Lamey cross was just too high for Jason Moore and Simon Hollis whipped over a 25-yard free-kick five minutes later.

Mark Sheils rescued the Yeltz in the 19th minute with a flying reflex save after Hall squared a free-kick from the edge of the area for Cowley to hit a goal-bound 20-yard drive. Opposite goalkeeper Richard Anstiss then saved a Lewis Baker shot in the 18th minute and saved a Baker header on the half-hour from Stuart Skidmore's cross. The Reds finished the first-half strongly with a 39th minute Sean Flynn volley turned away for a corner before Matt Gardiner flicked a 42nd minute header against the crossbar from a Flynn corner.

Although the first half belonged to the Reds the Yeltz were in the driving seat for the second half. The hosts won two early corners but then had full-back Richard Colwell to thank for heading Leadbeater's effort off his own goal-line after Sheils failed to claim a deep 54th minute cross. With the game played at an increasingly furious pace Anstiss punched away a 58th minute cross from substitute David Foy and Gardiner headed clear a 62nd minute corner from Dave Haywood.

The game erupted in the 66th minute when Lamey was shown a red-card for elbowing despite Lewis Baker appealing for a home penalty. Ten-man Halesowen continued to dominate with Foy's 69th minute corner scrambled away by the Redditch defence before Foy headed yet another Haywood corner wide a minute later. At the other end Gardiner headed a Hall free-kick just over the bar on the counter-attack on 73 minutes.

Halesowen were rewarded for their hard-work in the 78th minute when a Simon Hollis shot struck Neil Manton's arm and the referee awarded a penalty but Anstiss made a splendid diving save to his left to keep out Foy's well struck spot-kick. Anstiss then went on to keep out a Baker header on 80 minutes but Sheils then saved Halesowen by racing off his line to save from Cowley in the clear on the break for Redditch in the 84th minute.

With five minutes remaining Redditch were reduced to ten men when substitute Craig Woodley was also shown a straight red-card for violent conduct.

 


 

A BATTLING VICTORY

Cirencester 0 Yeltz 1

Paul Holleran's excellent start as new Yeltz manager continued when we completed the double over title-chasing Cirencester on Saturday. An early goal from an in-form Simon Hollis clinched an important 1-0 victory, and took us back up to 3rd in the table .

We're probably out of the running for the title but if we are going to win this division we must beat leaders Redditch on Saturday. We've already beaten them once - and have generally done very well against the top teams this season - so let's hope our good form continues for the next few weeks.

Match Report from DJ

Cirencester Town: Thompson; Davis, McEntegart, Richards, Mayo (Bevan 67), Wotton, Robison, Wimble, Hopkins, Griffin, Jackson. Unused Subs: Bird, McCabe, Fraser, Fitch

Halesowen Town: Sheils; Colwell, Haywood (Grocutt 71), Charlton, Jones, Skidmore, Hollis, Moore (Haarhoff 83), Lamey, Baker, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Steane, Strachan

Referee: M. Williams (Hereford) Attendance: 220 Booked: Skidmore (66)

Halesowen proved that a week is a long time in football by picking up their third successive win to complete the double over title-chasing Cirencester and maintain new manager Paul Holleran's perfect start.

The visitors quickly mastered the gale-force winds and created a great 3rd minute chance when Stuart Skidmore won the ball in midfield allowing the inspired Simon Hollis to play a defence-splitting ball into the area but Simon Forsdick hit wide from 12 yards. Four minutes later Forsdick took the ball around Paul Thompson but the home goalkeeper recovered to concede a corner.

Hard-working Halesowen hit the solitary winning goal in the 10th minute when new signing Dave Haywood played a short corner back to HOLLIS and his cross-shot sailed into the far corner of the net.

Hollis continued to cause danger as an outlet on the right and with the hosts blown off course by the conditions Gareth Hopkins sliced wide on 15 minutes. Jason Moore chased a long ball in the 19th minute to set up Nathan Lamey but Thompson saved with his legs and Haywood's resulting corner was cleared off the Cirencester line as the visitors created the cleaner chances.

The Centurians won their first corner in the 36th minute but the Yeltz finished the first-half strongly with Garry Wotton heading away another Hollis cross for a corner and Lamey cutting in from the right to test Thompson with a 20-yard drive three minutes before the interval.

Below-par Cirencester failed to capitalise down the slope at the start of the second period and it was Halesowen's Lewis Baker who headed a Stuart Skidmore cross over the bar three minutes after the break. The visitors then weathered a storm with Cirencester winning three corners in quick succession but improving goalkeeper Mark Sheils tipped away a 52nd minute Scott Griffin shot and pushed away a Gareth Hopkins shot on 56 minutes. Wotton then headed over the bar and home full-back Michael Davis hit high from 25-yards in the 73rd minute.

With the howling wind finally abating, the Yeltz almost increased their lead on the break with two minutes remaining when Thompson's clearance was charged down putting substitute Jimmy Haarhoff in the clear but the assistant referee flagged for offside.

 


 

GOOD START

Cinderford 1 Yeltz 2

An eventful day. After the surprise appointment of Paul Holleran as new Yeltz manager, we won 2-1 at Cinderford to make an excellent start under the new regime. We led 2-0 at half-time through Forsdick and Hollis, before struggling in the second-half and conceding a late goal. Full details in Dave's match report .

Mr Holleran was previously manager at Solihull, and wasn't one of the candidates mentioned in most reports. However, he's clearly done very well at Solihull on limited resources, and all of our most successful managers in the past have come from smaller clubs. In any case, I'm sure everyone will join me in welcoming Paul to the club, and wishing him every success in his new position.

He's not exactly got the easiest of starts, with our next two games against the top two in the division. On Saturday we travel to Cirencester, before hosting leaders Redditch a week later at The Grove. It's not going to be easy, although we have beaten both teams already this season, so we must be hopeful of getting something out of both games.

Match Report from DJ

Cinderford Town: Fisher; Carns, Gioia, Townsend, Steadman, Hammonds, C. Addis, Hook, Joyce, D. Addis, Truman (Belfitt 68). Unused Subs: Foxwell, Ranford, Davies, Clark

Halesowen Town: Sheils; Colwell, Charlton, Skidmore, Jones, Baker, Hollis, Moore (Hemmings HT), Lamey, Forsdick, Carter. Unused Subs: Strachan, Gallieri, Grocutt, Mason

Referee: M. Bryant (Bristol) Attendance: 200 Booked: Hammonds (19), Steadman (56), C. Addis (57), Joyce (75), Baker (83), Skidmore (90).

Paul Holleran celebrated his first game in charge of Halesowen with two first half goals in a minute to set up victory but then had goalkeeper Mark Sheils to thank for surviving a second-half battering from rock-bottom Cinderford.

Uncompromising Cinderford made the early running in a frantic start and delivered a number of deep crosses in the opening minutes with a Jamie Hammonds free-kick cleared in the 11th minute. Two minutes later a Wesley Joyce free-kick from the edge of the penalty area was turned away at full stretch by Halesowen goalkeeper Sheils. New signing Nathan Lamey headed a Simon Hollis corner wide on 16 minutes but it was Sheils again who rescued the visitors by parrying away a Hammonds drive following a right-wing cross.

The Yeltz eventually settled and looked lively going forward with Dan Jones rising on 19 minutes to head a Hollis free-kick but the ball rebounded off the inside of the stanchion and the apparent goal was not given. Home goalkeeper Andy Fisher then made a flying save to keep out a Lewis Baker header from another Hollis corner in the 22nd minute.

Simon FORSDICK gave Halesowen the lead by dispossessing Dave Carns in the 25th minute and produced a tremendous finish to lob Fisher from 16 yards. A minute later HOLLIS picked up the ball in midfield and his shot took a cruel deflection off Antonio Goioa to loop over Fisher for the second goal. Baker's overhead kick in the 32nd minute fell inches wide of the far post and Hollis was denied twice before the interval after being used as a dangerous outlet on the break from the right.

Hard-working Cinderford belied their lowly position to come out in the second half with all guns blazing and put Halesowen under a barrage of pressure.

Sheils turned away a Daryl Addis shot on 47 minutes before Forsdick hit a 20-yard drive at Fisher four minutes later at the other end. A Forsdick cross then found Hollis but Cinderford blocked for a corner and Hollis then delayed too long in front of goal on 55 minutes from Baker's pass.

Cinderford found the net on 63 minutes from a free-kick on the edge of the area but the assistant referee spotted that a hand put the ball in the net rather than a header and the goal was rightly disallowed. Joyce then beat Sheils to the ball but the goalkeeper and his defence recovered to clear in the 65th minute. Joyce then made a crude challenge on Sheils as he raced off his line in the 75th minute and the assistant referee again remained alert to signal the incident to his referee. After receiving treatment, Sheils stood up to make an acrobatic save to deny a Joyce header a minute later and in constant pressure Baker cleared off the line in the 78th minute. Sheils made another flying save from a 25-yard Chris Addis shot in the 79th minute and Joyce struck wide at the far post on 86 minutes from a Daryl Addis cross for the tough home side.

The home pressure finally paid off in the 87th minute when HAMMONDS drove home a loose ball for a consolation goal from 15 yards but the Yeltz weathered the storm to gain all three points and move back up to fifth position in the league.

 


 

WE NEEDED THAT

Yeltz 1 Yate 0

With all the difficulties off the field with Brendan leaving, it was important that we turned things around on the pitch, so with a Lewis Baker goal late in the second half, the mighty Yeltz gained an important 1-0 victory over Yate at The Grove. Well done to everyone involved!

With the table starting to sort itself out now, we're back up to 6th place , with games in hand over the three teams below us. Six of our last ten games are against other teams in the top nine, so it really is all to play for. However if we can just play to our potential, the crucial top seven place should be easily achievable.

No news as yet on the manager front, although there have been several interviews with Brendan saying the reason he left was that some of the board were plotting behind his back to get rid of him.

Anyway, looking forward we've got two matches this week: we visit bottom-placed Cinderford on Tuesday, before visiting title-chasing Cirencester on Saturday. We must be hoping for three points from the first game, and we did beat Cirencester a few weeks ago so we could well get something out of that game too. Let's hope so.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Sheils; Colwell, Charlton, Skidmore, Jones, Baker, Hollis, Moore, Hemmings (Strachan 85), Steane (Forsdick 39), Carter. Unused Subs: Gallieri, Grocutt, Mason

Yate Town: Court; Smith, Powell, Ward, Elsey, Metheringham, Wyatt, Campbell, Bennett, Rawlins, Hughes (Pritchard 83). Unused Subs: White, Thompson, Barlass

Referee: C. Williams (Cheltenham) Attendance: 374 Booked: Skidmore (44), Elsey (87), Ward (88) Sponsors' Man of the Match: Simon Forsdick.

Caretaker Manager Colin Brookes and his senior players guided troubled Halesowen to a narrow victory in a game where the much-needed result counted more than the below-par performance

A scrappy first half saw Ben Steane test goalkeeper Tony Court with a 20-yard effort in the 2nd minute and Steve Campbell's 19th minute shot then deflected to Mike Wyatt but he hit wide from 12 yards for in-form Yate. On 21 minutes Jason Moore laid the ball off for Simon Hollis on the overlap but he shot just wide and a minute later a long free-kick from Asa Charlton drifted just over the head of Tony Hemmings in a good position with Court collecting the ball.

Home goalkeeper Mark Sheils then did well to catch a long throw from captain David Elsey in the 26th minute and in the 33rd minute Asa Charlton slipped whilst taking a free-kick and the ball fell for Tony Bennett to speculatively lob just over the bar from 30 yards. Six minutes before half-time Court dived bravely to save at the feet of Hemmings and Halesowen finally won their first corner of the game in the 41st minute. Sheils then caught two long range Yate free-kicks from Campbell and Elsey at the end of a dull first half best summed up by a 45th minute comedy-of-errors when the ball bounced over the head of Dan Jones to set up Matt Rawlins who then hit his shot high over the Shed and out of the ground as he approached goal.

Entertainment remained scant in the second-half with Yate seemingly happy to look for a draw. However, the visitors almost took a 50th minute lead when a suicidally sloppy back-pass from Alfie Carter let in Rawlins to take the ball around Sheils but full-back Richard Colwell raced back to clear his shot off the line. Simon Forsdick lifted the gloom with a clever 59th minute pass into the box for Hemmings but the striker fired inches over the bar when clear on goal. Sheils then turned away a 63rd minute shot from Campbell at the foot of the post with Rawlins hitting the rebound wide and at the other end Hemmings set up Moore to strike just high three minutes later.

The Yeltz finally breached the solid Yate defence with an 80th minute winning goal when Lewis BAKER powerfully headed home a deep free-kick from Charlton from close range.

Halesowen then won two late corners before the final whistle brought relief as the Yeltz finally put their week of difficult news behind them.

 


 

CRISIS

Gresley 1 Yeltz 0

After a second successive 1-0 league defeat, Brendan Phillips has resigned as Halesowen manager leaving the club in a real state of crisis.

Taking the Gresley game first - it was another disappointing performance and result very similar to the Rugby game. We looked the better team in general, but never really created anywhere near enough changes against a committed set of opponents. They took their chance well, could have scored more and generally deserved to win. We're now down in 8th place in the table and are now worringly close to not making the very important top seven promotion spots.

This really is the worst time possible for this to be happening, but it has so let's deal with it. I'm sure there will be lots of debate on YeltzTalk about what everyone thinks, but the most important thing now is everyone - fans, board, players, new manager, EVERYONE - pulls together for the good of the club. All anyone who follows The Yeltz wants is for the club to be successful, so we shouldn't be fighting amongst ourselves (but we should be able to have a healthy discussion about what we think).

Anyway, any news as soon as I get it - although unfortunately the web site hosting company are being a bit unreliable at the moment, for which I can only apologise.

On Saturday we host Yate Town at The Grove. They've recovered from a disastrous start to be just below half-way, but let's hope we can turn things around to ensure we can finish off the season in style.

Match Report from DJ

Gresley Rovers: Belford; Everitt, Cheetham, M. Smith, Hood, Slater, Wardle, Doughty (Francis 87), Barrett, Lenagh (Tucker 75), White. Unused Subs: Jackson, Lonergan, Clarke

Halesowen Town: Sheils; Colwell (Strachan 84), Charlton, Grocutt, Jones, Baker, Hollis, Moore, Hemmings (Steane 65), Foy, Carter. Unused Subs: Skidmore, Forsdick, N. Smith

Referee: R. Merchant (Stone) Attendance: 422 Booked: M. Smith (6), Hood (12), Baker(25), Wardle (44), Jones (45), White (53), Hemmings (58), Charlton (69), Lenagh (71).

Brendan Phillips resigned as manager of Halesowen Town after three years claiming to have been hounded out and undermined by disgruntled supporters and sources within the club.

But recent poor form also means that the Yeltz have slipped outside the vital top-seven position needed to ensure their inclusion in the next step of a restructured league and have eleven tough fixtures remaining.

The game itself produced nine yellow cards and was no classic despite its furious pace but Gresley mastered the basics better and worked their limited resources far harder to take the three points and condemn the Yeltz to a third straight defeat with a solitary first-half goal.

Jamie Barrett hit over the Yeltz bar in first minute home pressure before Halesowen won their first corner in the third minute. On 6 minutes Tony Hemmings latched onto a long ball from Asa Charlton but was brought down on the edge of the area by Matt Smith with Simon Hollis hitting a rebound wide from David Foy's free-kick.

Improving goalkeeper Mark Sheils had a fine game in the Halesowen goal against his former club by producing a string of impressive saves and claiming several deep crosses with confidence. Sheils denied Gary White with a 13th minute reflex stop after dithering from defender Dan Jones and three minutes later Leon Doughty volleyed high over the Halesowen bar from Richard Wardle's cross.

An 18th minute right-wing cross from Hollis was just missed at the far post by Hemmings sliding in at the far post. Alfie Carter then hit wide from 20-yards after 20 minutes and home goalkeeper Dale Belford held onto another 20-yard Carter drive four minutes later.

Gresley hit the winning goal in the 28th minute when Barrett flicked on a header for Steve LENAGH to make no mistake by crashing past Sheils from 6 yards out. Two minutes later Sheils made a fine save to cling onto a 20-yard effort from White and Sheils then held onto another 20-yard effort from White on 35 minutes. Just before the interval Carter screwed wide in front of the Gresley goal and Andy Cheetham headed a White corner over the Halesowen bar.

After the break home goalkeeper Dale Belford superbly palmed away a Simon Hollis header from Foy's free-kick on 57 minutes with Halesowen playing down the slope. Lewis Baker then headed a right-wing cross from Hollis wide on 63 minutes before another Hollis cross was turned just past his own post by Leigh Everitt three minutes later. Baker volleyed over the bar on 67 minutes for Halesowen but it was another Jones mistake that let in Lenagh to strike the far post on 74 minutes for the Moatmen

Belford saved low down to deny a 79th minute header from Charlton following Foy's cross and on 85 minutes Baker turned to shoot in the box but his effort was blocked before Belford then grabbed a freekick from Foy under his own crossbar.

Craig Strachan was introduced with only six minutes remaining but had no time to make any impression. In the dying seconds Gresley almost claimed a second goal on the break when Carl Francis put fellow substitute Simon Tucker free on goal but Sheils came to the rescue by diving bravely to take the ball from Tucker's feet.

 


 

JUST THE LEAGUE NOW

WSC Worcester 3 Yeltz 2 (AET)

We can fully concentrate on the league now, as The Yeltz were knocked out of their last cup competition last night. Despite coming back from two down with goals from Craig Strachan and Jason Moore (as he's known now), we lost 3-2 in extra time at Worcester in the WSC.

It's very good that Jason got back on the scoresheet again, and let's hope he can score again at on Saturday. We really have got all to play for still, but we can't afford any more slip-ups now. There are 12 games to go, and winning all of them would take us 87 points (which would have gained !). It's a tall order but we can do it, so come on!