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.

 


 

FANTASTIC!

BSC 3R Yeltz 1 Rushall 0

The mighty Yeltz took another step on the road to glory with a brilliant 1-0 victory over Rushall. The 172 people who braved the weather were delighted when Simon Hollis got the winner near the end to prevent extra-time which took us into the quarter-finals where we meet Walsall at home. Full details in Dave's match report.

We start a run of 3 home league games on Saturday when Swindon Supermarine visit The Grove. They stuffed us at their place, and have just appointed a new manager I believe, so who knows what's going to happen.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Lowe; Colwell, Small, Grocutt, Jones, Baker, Hollis, Lowry, Ball, Steane, Skidmore. Unused Subs: N. Smith, Spencer, Ashby, Charlton, Sheils

Rushall Olympic: Cooke; White (Wright 82), Coates, Dyer, Brown, Vassell, Walters, Bishop, M. Holdcroft, Maragh, B. Smith. Unused Subs: R. Holdcroft, Ashton, Whitehouse, Watson

Referee: C. Nock (Stourbridge) Attendance: 172 Booked: Wright (90)

Halesowen struggled into the next round with a late winner denying Rushall's determined performance.

Richard Ball headed wide after 4 minutes but half-hearted Halesowen offered little else in a scrappy first half with uncompromising Rushall creating the better chances. On 29 minutes Aaron Bishop hit a half-volley just past Matt Lowe's post and a minute later Danny Coates did well down the left but his cross was fortunately cleared by Mark Lowry. Lowe then made a crucial goal-line save low down to deny Mark Holdcroft from a 20-yard free-kick in the 40th minute. Greg Walters almost put Kirk Maragh clear in the box in the 43rd minute and a minute before the break Lowe dived to keep out another Mark Holdcroft effort with the visitors on top.

In the second half, Ball fed Simon Hollis in the 53rd minute but visiting goalkeeper Paul Cooke turned his chip over the bar for a corner and Ball then almost caught Cooke off his line in the 63rd minute with a long 40-yard effort.

Rushall continued to show the greater fight and on 66 minutes Lowe saved at the feet of Maragh. The visitors' luck was out in the 75th minute when Ben Smith beat Lowe from 20-yards but the ball rebounded off the inside of the post. With extra-time looming, HOLLIS tapped home Halesowen's winner after Ball's 10-yard shot cannoned off the post from Lowry's pass into the penalty area.

The Yeltz now meet Walsall at the Grove in the quarter-finals.

 


 

TOO WET

Cinderford P Yeltz P

The recent wet weather caused the game down in Cinderford to be called off. However it wasn't too bad a day with several other results going our way somewhat.

Despite Redditch only drawing and Gloucester losing again, we're down to 5th in the table with Cirencester looking the main hope to catch Redditch at the moment. They lost their first 4 games, so it's been an amazing run of 12 wins and 2 draws since.

We start a run of 4 home games on Tuesday against lowly Rushall Olympic in the B'ham Senior Cup before Swindon Supermarine visit The Grove on Saturday.

 


 

BACK TO WINNING WAYS

Yeltz 1 Sutton Coldfield 0

Halesowen gained their first victory in what seems like ages when we beat Sutton Coldfield 1-0 through a second half Lewis Baker goal. More details in Dave's match report .

Next Saturday we travel to Cinderford in what you would hope would be a relatively easy game. They haven't won since October but they did draw at The Grove early in the season so it's not going to be a walkover. However with us down to 4th in the table we need all three points.

If you haven't seen it already there's an excellent explanation of the expected promotion situation on Tony Kempster's site that I'm sure you'll find interesting.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Sheils; Colwell, Charlton, Grocutt (Small 80), Smith, Baker (Skidmore 88), Spencer, Ashby, Piearce, Steane, Ball (Reece 90). Unused Subs: Lowry, Lowe

Sutton Coldfield Town: Bray; Wolsey, Gardner, Geohaghan, Farmer (Spittle 56), Jones (Duley 73), Peters (Turner 83), Watkins, Carter, Perrow, Martin. Unused Subs: Ling, Carpenter

Referee: I. Hamilton (Cheltenham) Attendance: 392 Booked: Watkins (39), Perrow (44), Colwell (47), Carter (75) Sponsors' Man of the Match: Asa Charlton

Sutton proved to be a tough nut to crack despite Halesowen playing their prolific three-man forward line in an adventurous line-up.

The Yeltz were happy to keep a clean sheet after leaking nine goals in their previous three games and they kept highly rated youngster Exodus Geohoghan quiet all afternoon.

Ben Steane struck a 4th minute half-volley over the bar and two minutes later Jason Ashby made a splendid run down the right only to see his cross turned away for a corner. Sutton won their first corner in the 15th minute after good work from Dean Perrow and centre-forward Nicky Carter then lashed a 25-yard drive wide in the 18th minute. Steane ran on from midfield but chipped weakly at goal in the 23rd minute and in even exchanges Richie Gardner hit over the bar in the 28th minute for the visitors. Gardner's dangerous cross was then headed away by Lewis Baker in the 33rd minute. Six minutes before the interval Baker headed a long Asa Charlton free-kick across the Sutton goal but the visiting defence cleared with Ashby about to pounce near the goal-line.

Two minutes after the restart home goalkeeper Mark Sheils tipped a 25-yard free-kick from Mark Wolsey around the post for a corner and six minutes later an Ashby cross put Steve Piearce clear but he hesitated in front of goal allowing the Royals to tidy up.

Halesowen hit the solitary winning goal on 56 minutes when Charlton delivered an in-swinging right-wing corner for BAKER to rise through a crowd of players and head home from close range. Baker then shot just wide from 20-yards in the 69th minute but it was the hard-working and well organised Sutton Coldfield who made the late running after Darren Grocutt went off with a 78th minute head injury.

With Halesowen defending deeply, Carter struck the side-netting in the 84th minute but the hosts held on for an important three points.

 


 

A POINT GAINED OR TWO LOST?

Bromsgrove 3 Yeltz 3

The mighty Yeltz were disappointed to throw away a two goal lead to fellow promotion candidates Bromsgrove Rovers, but in the end were happy to gain a point with a late equaliser.

We took the lead early on through a Neil Smith cracker and then went further ahead through Steve Pie-arce. Then somehow we allowed them to score three after the break, but Stevo poached a second to share the points.

Saturday brings Sutton Coldfield to The Grove in another important game at the top of the table. We haven't played half of our games yet so there's all to play for, but we really need to start picking up some victories before Redditch are completely out of sight.

Match Report from DJ

Bromsgrove Rovers: Wyatt; Frost, Hillman, Pope, Benton, Beckett, Jackson, Allen (Bowen 53), Szewczyk, Benbow, Banner. Unused Subs: Gandy, Hughes, Sutton, Atkinson

Halesowen Town: Sheils; Colwell, Charlton, Smith, Jones, Baker, Hollis (Small 55), Ashby (Ball 60), Piearce, Steane, Spencer. Unused Subs: Skidmore, Reece, Lowe

Referee: G. O'Sullivan (Basingstoke) Attendance: 898 Booked: Spencer (34), Baker (34), Frost (34), Pope (90)

Halesowen appeared to be coasting to victory but then had to rescue a point after their fragile defence allowed Bromsgrove to score three second half-goals from set pieces.

The Yeltz made a dream start in the 3rd minute when Ben Steane turned a left-wing corner into the path of Neil SMITH and he cracked a 25-yard drive into the top corner of the net. On 9 minutes Bromsgrove striker Paul Szewczyk turned well in the box but Mark Sheils made a half-save with his defence clearing the danger. Bromsgrove then forced two corners in the 20th minute and Marcus Jackson hit a speculative 30-yard drive over the bar on the half-hour but the first half firmly belonged to Halesowen with their neat passing play.

The visitors added a second goal in the 33rd minute when Andy Spencer was put clear on the left and although Jason Ashby was unable to fully connect with the cross, Ashby played the ball on for Steve PIEARCE to net from six yards out. Four minutes before half-time Simon Hollis then hooked a cross for Spencer to force a finger-tip save from home goalkeeper Paul Wyatt.

The game took a dramatic turn-around in the second-half as Halesowen sat back to let the hosts off the hook after they introduced substitute forward Sam Bowen in the 53rd minute. Jackson struck the angle of the post and cross-bar from the right on the hour before Bromsgrove pulled a goal back in the 61st minute when Lewis BAKER headed into his own net as he attempted to clear Kevin Banner's cross. Four minutes later Bromsgrove levelled against the odds with Grant BECKETT hammering home a direct 22-yard free-kick into the top-corner of the net. Richard Colwell then cleared off his goal-line in the 70th minute but Halesowen were caught out yet again from a set-piece for the home side's third goal in the 81st minute as JACKSON dispatched a quickly taken 20-yard free-kick into the top corner.

Halesowen rescued a point in the 84th minute when Wyatt failed to gather Asa Charlton's 25-yard shot and PIEARCE pounced to hit home the rebound from close range. Substitute Richard Ball then won the ball in midfield a minute later but lobbed the ball over the bar with both sides looking for a winner to close the gap on runaway league-leaders Redditch.

 


 

BALL EARNS POINT

Yeltz 2 Stourport 2

Brief news (and late) as I'm away on holiday I'm afraid.

The mighty Yeltz came back from 2-0 down to gain a point at home to Stourport Swifts, although we were disappointed not to gain all three points. Poor marking led to us being two down after not very long, but we got one back after Dominic Reece was allowed to nudge their keeper into the net. New bloke Richard Ball came on to mark an impressive debut with an equaliser, but we couldn't get a winner.

Our next games are against the two teams directly below us in the table - Bromsgrove away on New Year's Day and then Sutton Coldfield at home on Saturday.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Lowe; Reece (Small 72), Charlton, Grocutt (Ball 59), Jones, Baker, Hollis, Ashby, Piearce, Steane, Spencer. Unused Subs: Colwell, Skidmore, Sheils

Stourport Swifts: Evans; Mark Jones, Ulfig, Powell, Davies, Jukes, Cotterill, Sayer (Giddings 48), Kavanagh, Dunn, Wright (Webb 72). Unused Subs: Mark A. Jones, Harris, Price

Referee: C. D. Nock (Stourbridge) Attendance: 584 Booked: Hollis (87), Giddings (87)

Richard Ball rescued under-performing Halesowen with a second-half debut goal after ex-Halesowen midfielder Richard Kavanagh put the Swifts in the driving-seat by setting up two early goals from set pieces.

Dan Jones hit wide for Halesowen from 20-yards in the 4th minute before the Swifts raced into a two-goal lead. Kavanagh hit a twice-taken low free-kick into the Halesowen area and Ronnie SAYER was first to react to clip the ball into the top-corner from 6-yards in the 14th minute. The misfiring Yeltz failed to defend another dead-ball kick when Kavanagh delivered a right-wing corner in the 25th minute allowing Nathan JUKES to head home directly on his debut to stun the home crowd.

With Halesowen gradually waking up, a 26th minute header from Dominic Reece found Jason Ashby in front of goal but goalkeeper Lee Evans was able to make a close range save. Stourport played Andrew Wright as a sole front-runner and were always going to be difficult to break down, so it was somewhat out-of-the-blue when Halesowen pulled a goal back in the 29th minute. Simon Hollis miscued a right-wing cross and REECE rose with goalkeeper Evans appearing to push the ball into his own net under pressure before being bundled over by Reece, with furious calls from the visitors for a foul.

At the other end, home goalkeeper Matt Lowe spilt a 30-yard drive from Sayer but Charlton tidied up to concede a 38th minute corner. Halesowen were then fortunate to escape a penalty appeal seconds before half-time when Wright pounced on confusion between Darren Grocutt and Lowe and appeared to be brought down - although the referee waved play on.

Ashby almost equalised for the Yeltz two minutes after the re-start when he controlled a long kick from Lowe but put the ball wide of the net from eight yards. Evans then held onto a 53rd minute drive from Asa Charlton.

Substitute Richard BALL, signed only a few days earlier from Stourport on a two-year contract, was introduced in the 59th minute and made an immediate impact to level the scores six minutes later by latching onto a bad back-header and calmly slotting past Evans from 12-yards.

Kerry Giddings and Jukes struck just wide for Stourport after 67 and 70 minutes, but it was Halesowen who peppered the visiting goal in the latter stages with their enviable forward line of Ball, Ashby and Steve Piearce all going close. Ben Steane hit just over the bar in the 75th minute and two minutes later Hollis beat two defenders before striking his shot inches high from 30-yards out.

In the final two minutes Charlton hit over the bar from a Lewis Baker header and Piearce struck wide but without any real structure or pattern to Halesowen's play, the Swifts were able to hold out for a draw.

 


 

WE WON ON AGGREGATE

Mangotsfield 4 Yeltz 0

They'd lost five on the trot, we were on an excellent run and we'd beat them 6-0 at home, but unbelievably the mighty Yeltz lost 4-0 away to Mangotsfield. It sounds like a pretty dismal performance - read for yourselves in Dave's match report if you can stand it.

We're back in action next Saturday at home to local rivals Stourport Swifts . Let's hope we can finish off a difficult year in style and put us in good heart for what hopefully be a successful 2004.

Finally, a Merry Xmas to all of you out there - hopefully I'll see many of you at The Grove on the 27th. My holiday trip means the site may be updated less regularly that usual I'm afraid, but things will be back to normal in the New Year.

Match Report from DJ

Mangotsfield Utd: Greaves; Patchet (Kemp 52), Drysdale, Hendy, Summers, Loydon, Sims, Lee, Edwards (Pitcher 75), Seal, Haines. Unused Sub: Warren

Halesowen Town: Lowe; Reece, Charlton, Smith (Small 69), Jones, Baker, Hollis, Ashby, Spencer, Steane, Skidmore (Lowry 69). Unused Subs: Grocutt, Sheils

Referee: M. Cassidy (Weston-Super-Mare) Attendance: 251

Halesowen's wafer-thin squad performed well below par and slumped to their worst defeat of the season in a pre-Christmas horror-show in north Bristol. Mangotsfield had lost their previous six home matches but still thumped four goals past Halesowen without reply to give their new manager Martyn Grimshaw his first win in charge.

The Yeltz were never in contention and fell behind after just four minutes when Dominic Reece sliced his attempted clearance allowing Danny Haines to cross for Darren EDWARDS to force the ball into the net despite the best efforts of Simon Hollis to clear off the line. Visiting goalkeeper Matt Lowe saved at full stretch from Edwards three minutes later and Halesowen escaped again in the 10th minute when Haines stole in behind their defence but headed wide. Leading marksman David Seal then broke clear in the 12th minute but blasted high.

Hollis finally produced a 15-yard shot on goal for Halesowen in the 13th minute but goalkeeper Danny Greaves saved with his legs. Seal then back-headed a Gareth Loydon corner over the bar and hit high again a minute later. Halesowen forced their first corner on the half-hour and a minute later Andy Spencer's cross from the right was cleared.

However, the Yeltz fell two goals behind in the 34th minute with their defensive frailty exposed again after failing to clear another right-wing corner from Haines and Mark SUMMERS rose to head home.

In the 39th minute a Lewis Baker shot was palmed away by Greaves with Reece hitting the inviting rebound wide and Ben Steane curled a 20-yard free-kick over the bar a minute after the restart.

But Mangotsfield were gifted a third goal to kill the game in the 51st minute when Neil Smith passed directly to Seal and he ran on to put the unmarked EDWARDS clear on goal to score with a cheeky chip. Smith then failed to convert a Steane cross in front of goal after 57 minutes before clearing up from Adam Sims at the other end. With out-of-sorts Halesowen finally showing some late promise, a long throw-in from Hollis found Baker near goal but he was unable to turn to shoot. Edwards almost completed his Mangotsfield hat-trick on 70 minutes after Halesowen's defence was carved open again but he struck wide from 15-yards.

In the 77th minute the home side failed to clear a Reece cross but Spencer ballooned the ball high over the bar from 12-yards. Greaves then grabbed a 20-yard shot from Steane at the second attempt and young substitute Mark Lowry fired high with four minutes remaining.

Halesowen's dreadful day was completed in the last minute with substitute Jack PITCHER turning home a right-wing cross from six yards to finally avenge Mangotsfield's 6-0 defeat at The Grove earlier in the season.

 


 

YELTZ KEEP ROLLING ALONG

Yeltz 3 Taunton 1

The mighty Yeltz moved up to 3rd place in the table with an impressive 3-1 victory over Taunton. Despite going behind early on, we came back with two from Simon Hollis and another from the happily available Steve Pie-arce in a fine display of attacking football.

On Saturday our last game before Xmas takes us down to Mangotsfield. They're on an awful run of form, so let's hope we can continue our good run and continue the chase after the leaders.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Lowe; Reece, Charlton, Smith, Jones, Skidmore (Hallam 80), Hollis, Ashby (Colwell 89), Piearce, Steane, Spencer. Unused Subs: Small, Baker, Sheils

Taunton Town: Edwards; Sheppard (Taswell 61), Dicks, Duff, Watson, Kelly, Fields, Douglas (West 80), Foster, Harris, Fisher. Unused Subs: Peckham, Mogg

Referee: P. Thompson (Chesterfield) Attendance: 294

Halesowen climbed into 3rd place in the league after fighting back from behind with their exciting brand of attacking football.

Taunton started brightly and forced four consecutive corners in the first minute with home goalkeeper Matt Lowe tipping the ball over the bar from Gary Fisher. Grantley Dicks then struck a 20-yard free-kick inches over the Halesowen bar in the 12th minute before Danny HARRIS gave the visitors an 18th minute lead when he planted a header down into the Halesowen net from close range from Tom Kelly's dangerous right-wing corner. A half-volley from Dicks then rolled past the post before the Yeltz clicked into gear.

On 23 minutes Jason Ashby did well to win the ball on the left and he crossed for Simon Hollis but he volleyed wide when clear on goal. HOLLIS then equalised in the 27th minute with a super 25-yard strike that left goalkeeper Paul Edwards floundering. A minute later Andy Spencer's cross took a looping deflection and almost beat the back-tracking Edwards.

After the half-time break, Ben Steane worked through a packed Taunton defence and set up Hollis to drive just wide. Taunton were increasingly pushed back into their own half although Matt Lowe grabbed a good corner-kick from Martin Douglas on the break in the 55th minute. Steve Piearce curled just wide in the 57th minute from the edge of the area before HOLLIS powered home a left-wing cross from Dominic Reece with a perfect header into the top corner in the 59th minute to put Halesowen ahead.

With Halesowen looking increasingly dangerous, a pacy break from defence in the 64th minute saw Ashby dash down the right and set up the in-rushing Hollis looking for his hat-trick but he hit the side-netting when free in the penalty area. Edwards then turned away a goal-bound 25-yard screamer from Steane for a corner a minute later.

Steve PIEARCE added a third goal in the 75th minute to maintain Halesowen's eight-game unbeaten league run with a bullet header from a Hollis corner leaving Edwards well beaten again. Edwards then held onto Piearce's 15-yard shot in the 83rd minute and substitute Mark Hallam should have added a fourth goal two minutes from time but struck Steane's cross wide from ten yards.

 


 

GOOD OLD DAYS

Yeltz 3 Clevedon 0

Prodigal son Steve Piearce made an excellent return to The Grove with two second half goals in a 3-0 win over Clevedon. With Pie-arce and Jason up front I reckon we'd be a match for anyone in this league, but I'm not sure exactly what Steve's availability is - if anyone knows can they let us know on YeltzTalk ?

We're now 5th in the table and can move up to 3rd with a victory over Taunton at home on Tuesday. It's important we keep our excellent run going if we are going to challenge for the title this year.

After being rightly nagged for not updating it sooner, there's a new vote on the site for your Xmas pleasure.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Lowe; Reece, Charlton, Grocutt, Jones, N. Smith (Lowry 78), Hollis (Colwell 78), Ashby, Piearce, Steane, Spencer. Unused Subs: Hallam, Small, Sheils

Clevedon Town: Treago; Arndale, Richards, Baines, Scott, Price, Vickerman, Zabek, Walsh (Weisburg 31), Hobbs (Appleton 31 (Fey 78)), Bale. Unused Subs: A. Smith

Referee: I. Smedley (Derby) Attendance: 386 Booked: None Sponsors' Man of the Match: Simon Hollis

Former favourite Steve Piearce made a dream return to the Grove with two goals in a comfortable Halesowen victory. Piearce notched over fifty goals in two seasons at Halesowen in the late 1990s before moving to Hereford and already looks to have formed a formidable forward partnership with goal-machine Jason Ashby, already on 23 goals for the season.

However, Halesowen started shakily with Darren Grocutt tidying up a goalmouth scramble in the 5th minute with Clevedon's Fidel Richards eventually striking wide. From that point on there was only one winner as Clevedon failed to create any meaningful chances for the rest of the game.

Paul Treago was on top form early on in the Clevedon goal keeping out a fierce 7th minute drive from 15 yards by Jason Ashby after Ben Steane laid off the ball. Piearce and Ashby then combined five minutes later with Ashby flicking the ball off for Piearce to force another fine save from Treago. A Steane shot flashed wide on 13 minutes and Andy Spencer made a long run from midfield in the 14th minute but he hit wide with better options available.

It was no surprise when Dan JONES rose at the far post to squeeze a header into the net from a Simon Hollis corner to give the Yeltz a 26th minute lead. Clevedon then made a double substitution in attack but the move had little effect and it was Halesowen who finished the first half strongly with Neil Smith shooting wide on 42 minutes and Spencer almost latching onto a through ball from Steane just before the break.

Spencer won an early second half corner before Halesowen deservedly increased their lead in the 53rd minute when Steane made a long solo run from midfield and set up PIEARCE to turn on the penalty spot and fire past Treago from 12 yards. Ashby then set up Steane on the hour but he screwed wide from 15 yards out.

In a rare counter-attack, a casual back header from Jones almost let in Clevedon's Ryan Weisburg in the 67th minute but the under-worked goalkeeper Matt Lowe did just enough to distract the substitute striker. With little else on offer from the visitors Hollis blasted over the bar in the 68th minute and then saw his shot blocked on the line five minutes later with Piearce forcing a corner from the rebound. From the corner a wide-angled shot from Hollis beat the Clevedon defence and PIEARCE was on hand to convert his second goal from close range in the 73rd minute. In the final ten minutes Halesowen introduced 18-year youngster Mark Lowry who had only just made the move from Stafford Rangers.

 


 

SLIPPED UP AGAIN

Yeltz 1 Hitchin 3

The mighty Yeltz fell to the second defeat in successive games, losing disappointingly 3-1 at The Grove to Hitchin. Full details in Dave's match report .

Our next game now is on Saturday back at the Grove against Chesham.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Cooper (Strachan 85), Haywood, Preston (Baker 71), Pope, Jones, Cowley, Moore (Skidmore 85), Burgess, Amos, Forsdick. Unused Sub: Grocutt

Hitchin Town: Wilmot; Old, Kidd (Hassan 28), Smith, McCulloch, Baldry, Cavill, Hill, Hay, Bridge, Hutton. Unused Subs: Cheek, Evans, Gibb, Potter.

Referee: J. Cox (Evesham) Attendance: 465 Booked: Pope (22), Hill (25), Hutton (27), Baldry (45), McCulloch (56). Sponsors' Halesowen Town Man of the Match: Ian Cooper

Early Christmas gifts were handed out as Halesowen surrendered their unbeaten home record in an unhappy return to the Grove after weeks on the road.

Halesowen made a dreadful start by falling behind in the 3rd minute when the defence was caught napping and failed to clear Mark Bridge's cross allowing Shane HILL's shot to creep home.

The flowing football and promise of earlier in the season was lacking and it was the cash-strapped Canaries who displayed great team spirit to record their first win under new manager Darren Salton. Halesowen did still create the main chances but their finishing was woefully off-target on the day. Simon Forsdick volleyed over the bar in the 17th minute after Alex Cowley won a corner and Forsdick then put Richard Burgess free two minutes later but he missed the target from 15 yards. Hitchin goalkeeper Richard Wilmot easily collected a couple of 34th minute crosses from Forsdick and Dan Jones and on 39 minutes Burgess flicked the ball on for out-of-form Jason Moore to slice wide in front of goal. A minute before the interval Forsdick was wayward again from 12 yards when put through by Nick Amos.

The Yeltz continued to struggle in the second half and it was Hitchin substitute Bilal Hassan who cut in from the left to fire just wide on 49 minutes. Sponsors' man of the match Ian Cooper then cleared a dangerous 52nd minute Bridge cross with Hill set to pounce.

Hitchin increased their lead in the 61st minute when the persistence of Darren HAY helped him surge into the area and shrug off half-hearted challenges from the home defence and goalkeeper Chris Taylor to bundle the ball home from close range. Two minutes later Taylor was almost caught out again by Hay breaking down the left but managed to claw the ball away.

On 64 minutes Moore headed weakly at visiting goalkeeper Wilmot and six minutes later Wilmot juggled the ball from a Burgess cross with Forsdick closing in. Wilmot then produced a fine 74th minute save when Forsdick at last struck a shot on target for Halesowen as the hosts won three successive corners. Amos then headed a cross from Forsdick over the bar in front of goal after 77 minutes.

More misery followed for Halesowen as Hitchin went 3-0 ahead in the 81st minute when Aaran CAVILL was left free to drill home a rebound from the edge of the area after Taylor made a good blocking save from Bridge with only Hitchin's fourth attempt on target.

Captain Steve POPE headed home an 83rd minute consolation goal from Dave Haywood's right-wing corner but it was too little, too late. In the dying minutes Forsdick's late effort was disallowed after Cowley barged into Wilmot and Wilmot blocked from Burgess in front of goal in injury time.

 


 

ON A ROLL

WSC Evesham 0 Yeltz 2

The mighty Yeltz stormed into the WSC semi-finals with a 2-0 win away to Evesham. Despite Evesham playing ex-Yeltz stars Tim Clarke and Sean Flynn, second half goals from Jason and Hallam clinched the victory.

On Saturday Clevedon visit The Grove back in the League. They lost 4-2 at home to Evesham, so you would think we have a half-decent chance of picking up some points here (I know I'm being very cautious!).

Match Report from DJ

Evesham United: Clarke; A. Smith, Sage (Pryce 60), Burrow, Bailey, Pinkney, Flynn, Nicholls, Hammet (Christie 81), Ball, Khela. Unused Subs: West, Oakey

Halesowen Town: Lowe; Colwell, Charlton, N. Smith, Jones, Baker (J. Skidmore HT (Grocutt 74)), Hollis (Phillips HT), Ashby, Hallam, S. Skidmore, Small. Unused Sub: Steane

Referee: I. Scarr (Rubery) Booked: None

Worcestershire Senior Cup holders Halesowen progressed to this season's semi-final with their bare-bones squad notching two second-half goals on a rock-hard frozen surface.

Evesham named ex-Halesowen favourites Tim Clarke and Sean Flynn in their line-up and in the 5th minute Clarke made a blocking save from Simon Hollis. The home side had the better of the first half with goalkeeper Matt Lowe taking out a cross from Grant Pinkney in the 9th minute. Flynn then met a Craig Nicholls cross but his header flew just wide on 11 minutes. Craig Ball took the first corner of the match for Evesham in the 23rd minute but Mark Hallam headed clear. Ball's 30-yard free-kick then took a deflection three minutes later but Lowe palmed the ball away with Pinkney hitting over the bar from the resulting corner. Flynn then hit wide from the edge of the area on the half-hour before Bryan Small drove wide from Halesowen's first corner in the 32nd minute. Ten minutes before the break Clarke touched a Hollis shot for another Halesowen corner.

The second half belonged to Halesowen with half-time substitute Kelvin Phillips showing some neat touches. Phillips crossed for Hallam to head wide after 53 minutes before winning a 60th minute corner. Phillips then produced a 63rd minute overhead flick for fellow substitute Josh Skidmore to challenge Clarke and the ball fell for the league-leading marksman Jason ASHBY to hit home the opening goal from five yards. With Halesowen in control Hallam put Ashby clear on 69 minutes but he lobbed the ball high over the bar when faced with Clarke.

Evesham's last chance to retrieve the game fell in the 80th minute but Inderpaul Khela volleyed inches wide. The Yeltz added a second goal four minutes from time when Small played the ball out to Richard Colwell on the right wing and he delivered a fine cross for HALLAM to rise above the Evesham defence and firmly head home. A minute from time another Phillips flick fed Ashby on the right but his cross was cut out by the Evesham defence.