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.
News Stories 1997-2006 ...
- Index of stories (to help you find stuff quicker)
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 2 Gresley 0
After the weekend's disappointment, the mighty Yeltz bounced back with a good 2-0 win at home to Gresley. Goals from Richard Kavanagh - straight from a corner - and Jason means we're still in touch with the top of a pretty congested . Full details in .
On Saturday we've got a difficult away game at . They're above us at the moment and beat high-flyers Redditch at the weekend, and I'd be surprised if they're not one of the challengers at the end of the season, so it's important we get something out of the game.
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Lowe; Colwell, Charlton, Grocutt, Jones, Baker, Hollis, Ashby, Holmes (Hallam 76), Spencer (Steane 68), Kavanagh. Unused Subs: Mitchell, N. Smith, Small
Gresley Rovers: Belford; Everitt, Cheetham, M. Smith, Haynes (Hebberd 70), Slater (Wardle 61), Doughty, Barrett, Harrad, Lenagh, Tate. Unused Subs: Alexander, Clarke
Referee: R. Vaughan ( Rugeley) Attendance: 334 Booked: Doughty (90)
Halesowen kept faith with the same line-up from the previous Saturday's defeat at Swindon and the players responded by ending high-flying Gresley's eight-game unbeaten run with a goal in each half.
The Yeltz created early chances but Gresley goalkeeper Dale Belford made a 6th minute blocking save when Jason Ashby broke clear and a minute later Darren Grocutt's header from Richard Kavanagh's corner was cleared off the line. Gresley's leading marksman Steve Lenagh was then let in by home goalkeeper Matt Lowe on the right in the 10th minute but Grocutt was on hand to tidy up.
In the 12th minute Ashby found himself free in the box but hesitated too long allowing Belford to recover with Simon Hollis eventually volleying over the bar. Andy Spencer's 22nd minute back-header then fell onto the roof of the net after a cross from hard-working David Holmes against one of his former clubs.
Halesowen took a 33rd minute lead when Richard Kavanagh's seemingly harmless corner squeezed directly into the Gresley net with the aid of a defender's toe, although KAVANAGH claimed the goal.
In the second half, a 56th minute volley from Hollis was back-heeled towards goal by Lewis Baker but Belford easily collected. ASHBY notched his 15th goal of the season to increase Halesowen's lead in the 62nd minute by showing his class to tease Belford before curling into the top corner from six yards. Belford was then caught off his line in the 64th minute but a long 45-yard shot from Hollis fell wide.
Gresley put up some late fight with Matt Lowe stretching to save Shaun Harrad's low cross in the 68th minute and Leon Doughty hitting just wide on 75 minutes. Lowe then had to be alert to pull off a fine 82nd minute reflex save from Harrad and save low down from substitute Liam Hebberd three minutes later after Halesowen failed to hold midfield possession.
Swindon Supermarine 4 Yeltz 2
Maybe it's my expectations that are too high, but I can't help being a little shocked and disappointed after losing to Supermarine 4-2, especially as we only made the score a little more respectable with two late goals from Baker and Hallam. Still it's still early days and even though we're only 12th the table we've played less games than everyone above us.
On Tuesday old rivals Gresley Rovers visit The Grove in another League game. They've got over a poor start to rise up to 5th place so it's not going to be easy, but we need to get back to winning ways as quickly as we can.
Match Report from DJ
Swindon Supermarine: King; Copp, Terry, Bennett, Grainge, Davies, Harris, Slattery (Matthews 54), Toomey, Miller (Carter 76), Futcher (Gee 62). Unused Subs: Hodson, Gill
Halesowen Town: Lowe; Colwell, Charlton, Grocutt, Jones, Baker, Hollis (Steane 53), Ashby (Mitchell 62), Holmes, Spencer, Kavanagh (Hallam HT). Unused Subs: Smith, Small
Referee: B. McClaren (Woking) Attendance: 187 Booked: Spencer (88) Sent Off: Gee (82)
Halesowen's hopes of moving up the table were sunk in a dire display that saw Swindon stroll into an embarrassing four-goal lead within 50 minutes.
The Yeltz missed a couple of early chances with Simon Hollis slicing wide of an empty net in the 13th minute when goalkeeper Tom King fumbled the ball and two minutes later a Hollis cross found on-loan striker David Holmes but he volleyed over from 6 yards.
Despite being in limbo following the resignation of manager Ray Baverstock earlier in the week Swindon swung into action to take a 17th minute lead with full-back Chris COPP steering Sean Terry's cross into the bottom corner of Matt Lowe's net. The visiting defence was split open again five minutes later by Justin Miller's pass from midfield and Dave TOOMEY easily beat Lowe from just inside the penalty area.
Hapless Halesowen also failed to fire at the other end of the pitch although a 24th minute header from Hollis produced a flying fingertip save from goalkeeper King. A minute later Richard Kavanagh's poor corner evaded the home defence but the ball drifted across the goal-line and Holmes headed another Kavanagh corner wide in the 31st minute.
Further casual defending gifted Swindon a third goal in the 40th minute when MILLER touched home on the goal-line after Simon Futcher found himself in yards of space to beat Lowe's despairing dive.
The Yeltz leaked their 11th goal in four games to give Swindon a fourth goal just four minutes into the second half when Dan Jones failed to head clear Futcher's cross and Lowe pushed the ball out for MILLER to lash home all alone from 6 yards.
Jason Ashby picked up a rebound from substitute Ben Steane's shot on the hour but King made a fine blocking save. Jones then headed a Holmes corner weakly at King and in the 63rd minute substitute Leon Mitchell headed a Holmes cross over from five yards out.
Lewis BAKER eventually grabbed a consolation goal for Halesowen in the 77th minute by heading home on the goal-line following a frantic goal-mouth scramble. Substitute Dave Gee then received a red card for handling a goal-bound effort on the Swindon line and Mark HALLAM crashed home the resulting penalty in the 83rd minute to make the score more respectable. Swindon survived a series of late corners and King saved from Mitchell on the turn but it was all far too little, too late for Halesowen.
Gloucester 2 Yeltz 2
The mighty Yeltz came back from 2-0 down to earn a well-deserved point against old rivals Gloucester City. Jason got yet another goal - that's 14 now - plus a late own goal meant we kept up our long unbeaten run in the league. Redditch won again, but if we win our games in hand we can get up to 2nd in the table .
On Saturday we travel to Swindon to play the impressively named Supermarine. They've had a reasonable start to the season, being just one place below us at the moment, but I'd really hope we can come away with all three points on Saturday to keep in touch at the top.
Match Report from DJ
Gloucester City: Bath; L. Smith, Jenkins (Wilkinson 44), Griffiths, Jefferies, Thompson (Burns 76), Webb, Cox, Knight (Harris 76), Hoskins, Mustoe. Unused Subs: Hemming, C. Jones
Halesowen Town: Lowe; Colwell, Charlton, N. Smith, D. Jones, Baker, Hollis, Ashby (Mitchell 80), Holmes, Spencer, Kavanagh (Small 84). Unused Subs: Steane, Hallam, Skidmore.
Referee: C. Banks (Bicester) Attendance: 386 Booked: L. Smith (43), Mustoe (89)
A fast and furious encounter ended all-square in an exciting "game of two halves" that saw Gloucester hang on for a draw after taking an early two-goal lead.
Lee Smith crossed for Jimmy Cox to head just high for the home side in the 6th minute before Halesowen earned two corners in the 8th minute that came to nothing. Asa Charlton then burst through from midfield in the 10th minute but his shot was blocked by home goalkeeper Matt Bath. A minute later Richard Kavanagh's drive was unfortunately blocked by his team-mate and captain Lewis Baker in front of goal.
Gloucester took a 12th minute lead when goalkeeper Matt Lowe failed to gather a left-wing corner and full-back LEE SMITH drove into the net from 20-yards out. Lowe then did well to punch out an Andy Hoskins header from the top corner following Keith Knight's 14th minute corner.
Fancy footwork from Jason Ashby gave Halesowen an 18th minute free-kick but the home side managed to clear a splendid delivery from Richard Kavanagh and a minute later Simon Hollis drove just wide in another excellent Yeltz move.
Lowe collected a 20th minute shot from Lee Smith but could not prevent the home side from increasing their lead in the 27th minute with COX side-footing home on the overlap from 10-yards. Lowe then made a 28th minute save from Cox and produced a fingertip save to deny a Neil Griffiths top-corner effort on the half-hour
With Halesowen blowing away their early cobwebs, Andy Spencer just missed his kick in front of goal on 36 minutes and a Kavanagh corner flew across goal in the 37th minute. Spencer then back-heeled for Kavanagh to hit a deep cross that rebounded off the cross-bar in the 40th minute and just before the break a rebound fell for Kavanagh in front of goal but Bath blocked his volley.
Halesowen won a corner immediately after the restart and remained well on top for the whole of the second half although Lowe saved a Hoskins header in the 46th minute. However, all hope looked lost when the referee pointed to the penalty spot in the 49th minute when Cox was sandwiched between Neil Smith and Charlton, but then noticed that the assistant referee had already flagged for offside. The Yeltz then took the game by the scruff of the neck and won two corners in the 55th minute with Ashby heading high before Ashby latched onto a loose ball in the 58th minute but Kavanagh eventually struck high.
The Yeltz pulled a goal back on the hour when a fine pass from midfield found Hollis on the right and he squared the ball across goal for ASHBY to rush in and tap home from close range. Goalkeeper Bath then saved a 15-yard effort from Ashby on 73 minutes and at the other end Lowe grabbed a cross low down at the second attempt from diminutive substitute winger Adie Harris.
With Gloucester pegged back Halesowen levelled the scores in the 83rd minute when Bath saved a shot from David Holmes who was free on the right but the ball looped towards goal and GRIFFITHS put the ball into his own net on his goal-line under pressure from substitute Leon Mitchell. With the Tigers happy to hold out for a draw Bath then tipped over a clever 15-yard chip from Holmes five minutes from time.
FAC3Q Blyth 2 Yeltz 1
The mighty Yeltz came away from what must be their longest ever away trip empty handed, going down 2-1 in the FA Cup to Blyth Spartans. They took the lead in the first half, but then we equalised through Jason (who else), before they clinched it in the second half.
Once again, in absense of a Halesowen-biased report I've posted links to reports on various other websites.
On Tuesday we play our first league game for nearly a month when we visit old rivals Gloucester City . They've been on a good cup run themselves, but we need to use our games in hand well to get back up to the top, so let's hope for a good result.
Match Report from Other site
Team: Gayle, Colwell, Charlton, Grocutt, Jones, Baker, Hollis, Ashby, Mitchell (Kavanagh), Spencer (Steane), Small (Holmes). Subs not used: Smith, Lowe
Reports on other sites include:
Thanks to Chas and to Bill Broadley for pointing these out - note that there are some good photos on the SpartansNet site.
- *a[http://www.expressandstar.com/artman/publish/article_44162.php]*Express and Star*ca*
- *a[http://www.spartansnet.co.uk/Reports/111003.htm]*SpartansNet - unofficial site*ca*
- *a[http://www.spartansfans.co.uk/latest_news.htm]*Spartans Supporters Club site*ca*
FAT Yeltz 4 Stourport 3
Our excellent run in cup competitions continued with an exciting 4-3 win over local rivals Stourport Swifts. We took the lead through goals from Lewis Baker and Leon Mitchell before they got one back just before half-time. Jason made it 3-1 with what my source tells me was "the softest goal you've ever seen", but then they came back to 3-3 before Simon Hollis scored an excellent winner.
This means we're through to the 1st Round when we travel to play Team Bath in an interesting tie on November 1st.
Next week takes us on an epic journey up to the North-East to play Blyth Spartans . They're in the bottom half of the Northern Premier, but have an excellent cup tradition so it should be a cracking game. Not sure about the way the FA "regionalised" the draw - especially when you live in Brighton - but let's hope we can continue our good run.
With DJ away, he won't be providing a match report this week so I've provided links to a couple of reports on other web sites. I also hear Dot filled in on the PA which I'm very sad to have missed :-)
Match Report from Other site
Thanks to Rob Pepper and Chas for pointing out match reports can be found on the *a[http://www.thisisstourportswiftsfc.co.uk/worcestershire/kidderminster/swifts/KIDDER_SPORT_SWIFTS_REPORTS0.html]*Stourport Swifts site*ca* and on the *a[http://www.expressandstar.com/artman/publish/article_43628.php]*Express and Star site*ca* (need to register unfortunately).
FAC 2Q Spalding 1 Yeltz 2
It's not that often that we have some good fortune, but we got plenty of it yesterday when we beat Spalding 2-1 in the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round.
Going behind in the first half, we laboured to get anything despite them being down to 10 men. Finally Asa Charlton equalised with a storming header and then in injury-time Simon Hollis scored from a poor free-kick that somehow dribbled in. They were down to nine by now and rightly weren't best pleased with the ref but we were through with the prize money and hopes of a decent cup run.
Next week we start our FA Trophy campaign at home to Stourport. We beat them 2-0 away in the league a few weeks ago, so let's hope for another distracting run.
P.S. After yesterday's performance, I think we have proved once and for all that my rare appearence at a game does not cause us to lose. Let us never speak of this again.
Match Report from DJ
Spalding Utd: Cross; Vince, Barnes, Greetham, Thompson, Hudson, Stanhope, Appleby, Nuttall, Sowerby, Watts (Eldridge 82). Unused Subs: Keeble, Bailey, Taylor
Halesowen Town: Gayle; Colwell, Charlton, Grocutt, Jones, Baker, Hollis, Ashby, Hallam (Mitchell 56), Skidmore (Spencer 72), Small (Kavanagh 66). Unused Subs: Smith, Lowe
Referee: P. Martin (Wellingborough) Attendance: 393 Sent Off: Sowerby (30), Hudson (90) Booked: Jones (8), Sowerby (26), Vince (35), Stanhope (78), Charlton (81)
The Yeltz played their "get out of jail" card to progress into the 3rd qualifying round and take their FA Cup prize money to the £7,000 mark on the same ground that they won promotion to the Southern Premier League back in 1990.
But the result masked a poor performance from the Yeltz who had to rely on Spalding being reduced to nine men by two red cards before pulling a last-gasp winner out of the bag.
After a tentative start, Jason Ashby chased a long free-kick from Asa Charlton in the 13th minute to force Kevin Cross into a blocking save. Two minutes later Spalding's Lee Hudson hit just over from 10 yards when Paul Watts headed on Andy Stanhope's cross. Simon Hollis burst through from Halesowen's midfield and almost opened the scoring in the 16th minute but was denied by a fine save from Cross when clear on goal. Watts then drove wide for the Tulips on 19 minutes after being set up by Stanhope.
Lee Sowerby was booked in the 26th minute by upsetting referee Martin with dissent and was then controversially sent off on the half-hour for blocking the ball when Halesowen attempted to take a free-kick quickly.
Despite the setback, lower league Spalding took a 37th minute lead when WATTS marked his debut by cutting in from the right to beat Mark Gayle with a 20-yard shot into the top corner. With the Tulips in bloom, Hudson blasted high from a free-kick in the 43rd minute after Micky Nuttall headed on and Steve Appleby hit over from 25-yards a minute before half-time.
Ten-man Spalding were in no mood to surrender their lead in the second half with Halesowen making little impression and it was Dan Jones who rescued the visitors on the hour by making a timely interception from Hudson in the penalty area. Substitute Leon Mitchell won Halesowen's first corner in the 65th minute but Hollis's kick was completely wasted and Hudson went on to curl just wide from 20-yards on the break for the home side.
Just when it seemed disjointed Halesowen were bowing out of the Cup, CHARLTON levelled the scores by heading home directly from substitute Richard Kavanagh's corner kick in the 74th minute. Hollis then lobbed just wide from 20 yards but the match concluded dramatically in the fourth minute of injury time when Halesowen were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Spalding area. Hudson was shown the red-card for dissent and encroaching from the defensive wall and when HOLLIS re-took the kick his direct shot dribbled into the corner of the Spalding net for Halesowen's winning goal.
On leaving the field referee Martin was jostled by the angry home camp who felt harshly treated by his performance.
Redditch 0 Yeltz 2
Two goals from the unstoppable Jason Ashby meant the mighty Yeltz inflicted Redditch's first defeat of the season. A first half penalty and another in the second half means we've kept in touch with all the leaders - even though it's obviously early days.
Since that first loss at Clevedon that's eight games unbeaten now in all competitions, and Jason has scored an amazing 11 goals so far. I'm sure we we all hoping/expecting such a start, but things are looking pretty good for an interesting season.
The Yeltz Hall of Fame votes have been counted and verified, and I can reveal that Kevin Harrison and Richard Crisp have been duly elected. Both are very deserving members of this exclusive club. Thanks to all of you who took the time to vote.
Seeing as Atherstone have gone out of business (as far as I know), our next game is now next Saturday in the FA Cup at Spalding . They're were relegated last year from the Eastern Division into the United Counties where they've made a pretty good start. However we must be favorites to go through, so let's hope we can get into the 3rd Qualifying Round - just a couple before the league teams come in.
Match Report from DJ
Redditch Utd: Anstiss; Manton (Cowley HT), Gioia, Taylor, Knight, Softley, Quiggin (Arshad 65), Myers, Leadbeater, Burgess (Hill 77), Hall. Unused Subs: Clark, Maynard
Halesowen Town: Gayle; Colwell, Charlton, Grocutt, Jones, Baker, Hollis, Ashby (Spencer 89), Hallam (Mitchell 81), Skidmore, Small. Unused Subs: Steane, Kavanagh, Smith
Referee: S. Castle (Wolverhampton) Attendance: 526 Booked: Quiggin (7), Charlton (7), Knight (62), Skidmore (64), Hallam (75), Hall (90)
Halesowen wrecked Redditch's 100% record and preserved their own eight game unbeaten sequence to close the gap at the top of the Western Division.
Although some commentators had already written the script for the 6 ex-Yeltz players in the Redditch line-up to embarrass their former club, the opposite proved true and on the basis of play their release from the Grove looked justified.
Mark Gayle grabbed a 2nd minute 20-yard free-kick from Matty Hall before Jimmy Quiggin and Stuart Skidmore received early bookings in a blood and thunder encounter. Bryan Small suffered a clash of heads requiring a bandage and while he was briefly off the field in the 17th minute Redditch goalkeeper Richard Anstiss made a hash of a clearance but recovered to parry away Mark Hallam's volley with Simon Hollis hitting the rebound over the bar. Anstiss was then almost caught out by Jason Ashby's terrific 20-yard lob but the goalkeeper back-pedalled to turn the ball over for a corner on 20 minutes.
Halesowen took the lead after being awarded a 30th minute penalty when Neil Manton tugged Ashby's shirt and ASHBY placed the spot-kick into the corner of the net despite Anstiss almost saving with his fingertips.
Gayle enjoyed his best game to date for Halesowen and made an excellent point-blank save from ex-Yeltz striker Richard Leadbeater in front of goal on 34 minutes. With Redditch searching for an equaliser the Halesowen defence cleared a couple of corners before Hall crossed for Quiggin to volley over the bar just before the break.
The disappointing Reds could find no way back into the game in the second half and it was Halesowen's Lewis Baker who headed just over from Hollis's freekick in the 47th minute. Alex Cowley hit a long free-kick into the Halesowen box in the 65th minute but fellow substitute Naveed Arshad hit over from 3 yards with his first touch of the game and Leadbeater then hit Cowley's 68th minute left wing cross over the bar.
Halesowen made the points safe in the 74th minute when Hollis robbed full-back Antonio Goioa and passed across goal for ASHBY to tap home his 11th goal of the season into an empty net from close range with Anstiss stranded. Halesowen were not seriously troubled from then on in their eight-game unbeaten sequence and substitute Leon Mitchell made a brave run down the right to earn a final minute corner.
FAC 1QR Yeltz 3 Corby 2
The mighty Yeltz progressed to the next round of the FA Cup with an exciting 3-2 victory over Corby. Two goals from Jason and one from new bloke Dan Jones has put us through to play Spalding a week on Saturday. More in Dave's match report.
First we travel to Redditch on Saturday in what looks like being an important game even this early in the season. They've a 100% record so far (although one was against Atherstone) so it's important we don't let them get too far ahead. With all of their ex-Yeltz players there, it should be a cracker.
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Gayle; Colwell, Charlton, Smith, Jones, Baker, S. Skidmore (Kavanagh 76), Ashby, Hallam, Steane (A. Spencer 65), Small. Unused Subs: Mitchell, J. Skidmore, Lowe
Corby Town: Lavin; Marlow, Scott Marshall (Stewart Marshall 76), Vallance, Julian, Hawthorn, Le Masurier (Sneddon 86), Kennedy, Harrold, W. Spencer (Carson 61), Brown. Unused Subs: Glover, Stanton
Referee: M. Willoughby (Coalville) Attendance: 322 Booked: Colwell (52), Julian (75)
Halesowen did just enough to progress to the second qualifying round in exciting game in complete contrast the previous Saturday's encounter.
Wayne Spencer volleyed a loose ball wide in the 5th minute but it was returning Halesowen centre forward Mark Hallam who caused danger and forced goalkeeper Richard Lavin to dive to keep out his header from Asa Charlton's 8th minute free-kick.
Halesowen took a 13th minute lead when Charlton's left wing cross was headed back across goal by Richard Colwell for Jason ASHBY to convert with a diving header from 3 yards.
Liam Harrold hit wide at the base of the Halesowen post in the 15th minute after indecision from home goalkeeper Mark Gayle but HARROLD then equalised in the 22nd minute with a spectacular 25-yard first time volley from Wayne Spencer's long ball with Gayle well beaten.
The Yeltz regained the lead on 27 minutes with the unmarked Dan JONES side-footing his volley home at the far post from Charlton's free-kick. Hallam then saw his 25-yard free-kick saved by Lavin on the half-hour and Hallam then struck just wide a minute later after a good run from Ben Steane. Goalkeeper Gayle grabbed a 32nd header from James Le Masurier following a Corby corner and Le Masurier then cut in from the right in the 36th minute but Gayle saved his 20-yard effort.
Halesowen increased their lead and seemed to make the game safe in the 53rd minute when a superb defence-splitting pass from Colwell set up ASHBY to notch his ninth goal of the season by lobbing Lavin from 20-yards.
But the visitors were let back into the game five minutes later following a catalogue of defensive errors starting with Gayle hesitating to claim the ball from team-mate Neil Smith and ending with Dan Jones laying a loose ball straight for HARROLD to touch into the empty net.
With more goals on the cards in open play in the final 30 minutes Lewis Baker headed wide from Charlton's 62nd minute cross and three minutes later Ashby set up Colwell on the overlap but his powerful drive clipped the underside of the bar. Stuart Skidmore's 67th minute persistence then set up Ashby but he curled wide from 20-yards. Hallam put a 79th minute free header just wide from substitute Richard Kavanagh's cross and Ashby set up Andy Spencer to drive wide on 81 minutes.
The Yeltz survived some deep late crosses from the visitors and Ashby should have completed his Halesowen hat-trick in the third minute of injury time but blazed a rebound high from three yards after Spencer had hit the bar from the right.
FAC 1Q Corby 1 Yeltz 1
The mighty Yeltz failed to go through to the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round at the first attempt when they conceded a very late equaliser away at Corby. After going ahead just before half-time through another Jason Ashby goal, we held out until the 96th minute before they scored.
The replay's on Tuesday at The Grove, and the draw for the next round is on Monday morning - you should find details first on the FA website .
Next Saturday we travel to Redditch in what looks like being an important game even this early in the season. They've a 100% record so far (although one was against Atherstone) so it's important we don't let them get too far ahead. With all of their ex-Yeltz players there, it should be a cracker.
Match Report from DJ
Corby Town: Lavin; Marlow, Marshall (Carson 87), Vallance, Julian, Hawthorn, Le Masurier, Kennedy, Harrold (Sneddon 77), Spencer, Brown. Unused Subs: Glover, Stanton, Mackay
Halesowen Town: Gayle; Colwell, Charlton, Grocutt, Jones, Baker, Hollis, Ashby (Hallam 73), Mitchell, Steane (Skidmore 79), Small. Unused Subs: Smith, Kavanagh, Lowe
Referee: D. Henson (Peterborough) Attendance: 228 Booked: Marlow (65)
Corby forced a replay with a last-gasp equaliser in a scrappy, stop-start encounter on a difficult playing surface.
Leon Mitchell turned to win a first minute corner for Halesowen and Corby's Gary Kennedy hit a 20-yard free-kick just wide in the 6th minute. Ben Steane completely missed his kick in the 16th minute following a good right wing cross from Mitchell as a spell of Halesowen pressure led to nothing against the struggling home side. Outstanding captain Darren Grocutt headed a 23rd minute free-kick from Simon Hollis just over the bar and on the half-hour Asa Charlton did well down the left to cross for Mitchell to flash a header just wide.
Mark Gayle made an important 33rd minute goal-line save to turn Kennedy's header away for a Corby corner. Opposite goalkeeper Richard Lavin then easily collected a 25-yard free-kick from Hollis in the 38th minute and a minute later Lavin palmed away Mitchell's overhead kick from three yards with the visitors still seeking fluency.
Jason ASHBY finally made the breakthrough to give Halesowen the lead seconds before half-time by lifting the loose ball into the roof of the net from three yards after Lavin saved from Hollis.
With Halesowen lacking steel in midfield and missing a cutting edge up front the Steelmen took the game to their visitors in the second half.
On 52 minutes Wayne Spencer hit wide from 20-yards after a slip from Halesowen's new central defender Dan Jones. James Le Masurier then hit wide from 5 yards in the 67th minute and put a cross over the bar a minute later when visiting defender Charlton was caught out. Gayle came to the rescue in the 70th minute by racing off his line to save at the feet of Danny Marlow and with 90 minutes on the clock Kennedy drove just past Gayle's post from 20-yards.
Corby saved their best until last when their series of corners and long throw-ins resulted in LE MASURIER crashing home the equaliser from 10 yards in the sixth minute of added time to the joy of the home camp.
The teams replay on Tuesday at the Grove, kick-off 7.45pm.
Yeltz 1 Cinderford 1
Brief news at the moment I'm afraid as I'm out of the country on me holidays. Anyway, on Saturday we had a slightly disappointing 1-1 at home to Cinderford. More details in DJ's match report (see link below).
Sad news is what looks like the demise of Atherstone. We had some good times there (pop stars, limos, etc.) and it's always very disappointing when any club goes to the wall. Let's hope some way of saving them can be found - but it's not looking likely.
Next Saturday we go to Corby in the First Round Qualifying of the FA Cup. They've had a pretty poor start in the Eastern Division, so let's hope we can get through to meet the big boys of the Premier Division ;-)
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Gayle; Colwell, Charlton, Grocutt, Smith, Baker, Hollis, Ashby, Mitchell (Hallam 88), Steane, Small. Unused Subs: Jones, Spencer, Skidmore, March
Cinderford Town: Fisher; Hook, C. Addis, Hoskins (Stanton HT), Olczak, White, Truman, Donovan, Macklin, D. Addis, Hammonds. Unused Subs: Palmer, McKeon, Callinan, Relish
Referee: D. J. Hine (Worcester) Attendance: 385 Booked: Hoskins (27), Olczak (57), Hook (62)
Halesowen lost their way after a promising opening and could not break down the stubborn resistance from Cinderford in the second half.
The hosts stormed into a 9th minute lead when Asa Charlton delivered a telling left-wing cross for Simon Hollis to head home his fourth goal of the season from close range.
Cinderford were given a lifeline back in the game with a 16th minute equaliser when Simon Truman's shot struck the arm of Lewis Baker and the referee awarded a penalty that the grateful Truman crashed past goalkeeper Mark Gayle. Halesowen's hopeful start then began to fall flat with Cinderford's Lee White forcing a flying save from Gayle in the 32nd minute.
The visitors had a let off in the 35th minute when Neil Smith's powerful header bounced off the underside of the crossbar with goalkeeper Andy Fisher beaten. At the other end Charlton headed Jamie Hammonds cross over his own bar in the 36th minute and a minute later Jayson Hoskins headed on for Steve Olczak to head at Gayle in goal. Gayle then saved a 20-yard shot on the turn from Daryl Addis before Halesowen went close again in the 44th minute with Darren Grocutt's header hitting the top of the bar from another dangerous Hollis free-kick. On the stroke of half-time Jason Ashby laid the ball off for Hollis to force a fine save from Fisher and then Fisher turned the ball onto the post when Baker nipped in behind the Cinderford defence.
Fisher produced another fine save from a 20-yard Hollis free-kick in the 51st minute and in the 59th minute Bryan Small crossed from the left for Hollis to head back across goal but Richard Colwell could not keep the ball down and his shot flew over the bar. Hollis then volleyed wide at the far post from Smith's cross on 65 minutes and five minutes later Hollis flicked a Small cross at Fisher from 5 yards out.
Peter Macklin almost snatched a winner for Cinderford in the 80th minute but he put a free header wide from 5 yards from Truman's cross and with three minutes remaining Macklin again hit inches wide from 20-yards on the break. In the dying moments Baker struck a dipping volley just past the post and then Grocutt drifted into the Cinderford box but failed to connect with a cross from Hollis in front of an open goal.