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.

 


 

LET DOWN ELSEWHERE

DMC Final 1L Yeltz 2 Crawley 1

The gloss was taken off a late comeback victory in the League Cup Final when results elsewhere meant we're now 4 points from safety with only four games remaining.

Despite going behind midway through the second-half, our remarkable cup form continued with a late equaliser from Big Rich Leadbeater, and an even later own goal winner which sets up the second leg very nicely. However with Grantham and Hinckley winning, our fate is out of our own hands now even if we win Saturday's crucial game at The Grove against Grantham.

Saturday's fixtures include Hastings at Folkestone and Hednesford at Hinckley, so it's absolutely essential we take all three points. We really do have to do everything to encourage the team, so let's stay positive and roar the lads on to victory. Come On! Come On!

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Hateley; Colwell, Charlton (Hines 33), Smith, Stone, Trainer, Spencer, Gibson (Williams 66), Leadbeater, Danks, Master (Ashby 82). Unused Subs: B. Clarke, T. Clarke

Crawley Town: Little; Judge, Payne, Hooper, Pullan, Holmes, Harkin, Cooksey, McDonnell (Hockton 80), Bagnall (Taylor 80), Brake. Unused Subs: Le Bihan, Hemsley, Fear

Referee: R. Vaughan (Bristol) Attendance: 401 Booked: None Sponsors' Man of the Match: Gavin Stone

Halesowen turned the game on its head with two goals in the last three minutes to take a narrow advantage into the second leg of the cup final.

Even prior to the game Halesowen were the only unbeaten team left in the competition (work that one out!). The Yeltz elected to continue with the squad system of previous rounds but with Crawley playing their strongest team it was the visitors who won two corners in the 6th minute with Nic McDonnell heading just wide. Crawley goalkeeper Andy Little then raced off his line in the 16th minute with Mark Danks about to pounce on Phil Trainer's through ball.

In even exchanges Crawley's McDonnell headed Nigel Brake's cross straight at Halesowen goalkeeper Gary Hateley in the 22nd minute and five minutes later visiting defender Marc Pullan hoofed away a Danks cross from the right for a corner. Danks then rounded Little but was forced wide and he could only send over a weak cross. On the half-hour a Richard Colwell cross flicked off Ian Payne to land on the roof of Crawley's net. A minute before half-time Danks hit a 20-yard free-kick straight at Little and Richard Leadbeater turned Pullan but rolled the ball wide of goal.

Crawley stepped up the pace in the second half and in the 50th minute McDonnell blasted a 20-yard effort just behind Hateley's goal and then headed a cross straight at Hateley seconds later. Andy Spencer screwed a 55th minute corner from Les Hines behind the goal and at the other end Mo Harkin's shot deflected into the path of Warren Bagnall but he shot wide of the mark. Ellis Hooper then blasted a loose ball over the Halesowen bar after Hateley failed to gather cleanly but Crawley went on to take a 60th minute lead with BAGNALL converting Ben Judge's corner from close range at the far post.

With the Reds on top Hateley made a fine save as Stewart Holmes headed a Brake cross in the 63rd minute and seconds later Ernie Cooksey rattled the post with a powerful header from Harkin's corner. Hines was forced to concede a corner in the 73rd minute with McDonnell advancing on goal and Cooksey again headed on Judge's kick.

With Crawley seemingly heading to victory Lee Williams put fellow substitute Jason Ashby free only to see Little save with his feet but LEADBEATER levelled the scores by heading home the resulting 87th minute corner from Williams. Crawley were stunned when the Yeltz hit the winning goal of the first leg just a minute later when Leadbeater broke down the right and the unfortunate JUDGE could only turn the cross into his own net with Trainer advancing. With the 4th Official showing 3 minutes added time on the electronic scoreboard, Hateley touched away a late shot from substitute Jamie Taylor.

Despite the relieving diversion of Cup football, further wins on the evening by fellow relegation candidates Grantham and Hinckley proved of more concern to the already perilous league position.

The second leg takes place on Tuesday 29th April at the Broadfield Stadium, Crawley, kick-off 7.45pm.

 


 

WINNING IS EVERYTHING

Welling 3 Yeltz 1

In a very disappointing game, the Yeltz threw away three points in a crucial relegation battle at .

We took the lead early on when Jason took advantage of some hesitant defending to nip in and lob the keeper. The play from both teams was pretty scrappy, but we looked the better team and quite comfortable. However once they'd equalised after half-time, they basically over-ran us and gained a deserved victory over a pretty poor team to be honest. With some idiot trying to start a fight with fellow Yeltz fans at the end, it was a very depressing day.

The weren't too bad, with Grantham and Hednesford losing. However, with Hastings winning we've to 20th and are in deep trouble.

This all means next Saturday's game at home to is an absolutely must win game if we are going to avoid the drop. However, before that we've got the League Cup Final First Leg at The Grove on Tuesday against to distract us from more concerning matters.

Match Report from DJ

Welling United: Knight; Burgess, O'Shea, Hone, Edwards (Hogg 68), Farley, Riviere, Watts, Abbott, Booth (Jones 88), Aboagye. Unused Subs: Sodje, Virgo, Standen

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Hines, Bauress, Collins, Stone, Williams, Ashby (Danks 71), Blackwood, Gibson, Trainer. Unused Subs: Smith, Spencer, Leadbeater, Hateley.

Referee: S. Choate Attendance: 548

Halesowen slipped to third from bottom after throwing away a promising half-time lead at Welling.

Tim Clarke collected Gary Abbott's 2nd minute shot as the striker fell to the ground but Halesowen won the first corner on 6 minutes with Russell Edwards clearing the kick from Lee Williams.

Halesowen then took a 9th minute lead when Mark Hone missed heading away a long clearance allowing Jason ASHBY to nip in and chip goalkeeper Glen Knight from 10 yards. Gary Bauress then suffered a head injury requiring stitches but battled on bravely with a bandage and Phil Trainer played a neat one-two for Michael Blackwood to strike wide of the post on 14 minutes. Clarke beat out Welling's first corner on 15 minutes but Halesowen were well on top and an 18th minute cross from Blackwood was met on the volley by Williams with Knight on hand to save. Blackwood then robbed Tim O'Shea in his own area but screwed his 5-yard shot wide in the 20th minute and three minutes later Knight beat away an 18-yard curling effort from Neil Gibson for a corner with the Wings flapping under sustained pressure.

The second-half proved a different story with Welling playing more positively. Clarke failed to gather a 50th minute cross but Les Hines turned the ball away for a corner. Bauress headed the resulting corner from John Farley off his goal-line following a back-header at the near post. There was more than a hint of fortune about Welling's leveller on 56 minutes when a 25-yard shot from Ray ABOAGYE took a cruel deflection to land in the corner of Clarke's net and a minute later an Abbott strike landed inches over Clarke's bar.

Ashby curled a 62nd minute effort at Knight and Blackwood weaved through to shoot wide but Welling went on to gain the upper hand and cruised to victory with two late goals. In the 73rd minute ABBOTT stole in behind the Halesowen defence to head home Anthony Hogg's long free-kick at the far post. Hogg then struck the side-netting before Paul BOOTH beat the offside-trap and outpaced Bauress down the centre to hit past Clarke from 15-yards in the 77th minute. With their precious points lost in a poor second-half performance Halesowen could only play out the remaining minutes with Blackwood hitting an 86th minute shot to earn a corner.

 


 

A GOOD LEAD

WSC Final 1L Yeltz 2 Evesham 0

Despite (because of?!) putting out a team including quite a few non-regulars, we've built up a handy 2-0 lead in the first leg of the Worcester Senior Cup. Second half goals from Rich Leadbetter and Mark Danks means we're strong favorites to clinch the trophy in a couple of weeks time.

Much more importantly though, is another crucial relegation battle on Saturday down at Welling . We're just three points behind them, and with Hinckley not playing, three points will definitely take us out of the bottom four. It's critical that we all pull together, get behind the team and get that victory. Come on!!!

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Hateley; Colwell, Hines, N. Smith, Stone, Charlton, Master, Spencer (Williams 69), Leadbeater, Danks, Trainer. Unused Subs: Ashby, Blackwood, Collins, Garvey

Evesham United: Hart; A. Smith, Sage, West, Powell, Jukes, Wolsey, Khela, Mullen, Oakey, Heath. Unused Subs: Lennon, Blake, Barnett, Shanahan, Ladek

Referee: S.J.Dorr (Worcester) Attendance: 268

Halesowen made themselves favourites to lift the Worcestershire Senior Cup with two late goals against ten-man Evesham.

With their priority firmly to stave off relegation, the Yeltz stuck with the squad system employed in previous rounds and made seven changes from the previous Saturday's line-up.

In the 3rd minute Richard Leadbeater latched onto a long ball but couldn't quite flick the ball over the advancing Tim Hart who saved with his fingertips. A minute later Paul West turned away Richard Colwell's cross for a corner.

For Evesham, manager's son Scott Mullen headed a Kris Sage cross inches wide on 6 minutes but Halesowen created the main early chances and on 10 minutes Mark Danks fed Leadbeater to hit the net, but the strike was disallowed for offside. Gavin Stone then rose to meet a 16th minute Kirk Master corner but his header hit the underside of the bar before bouncing down and out to safety. Neil Smith back headed a 23rd minute corner into the penalty area, but Evesham again cleared and on 40 minutes Phil Trainer headed another corner inches over the bar. Two minutes before half-time Hart parried away a fierce 12-yard drive from Master. Master burst through again in the 52nd minute but Hart turned away his shot for a corner and then saved the resulting header from Stone.

The tie turned in the 56th minute when Mullen was shown a straight red card for an "off the ball" incident with Colwell after Mark Wolsey had gone down on the edge of Halesowen's penalty area. Lee Williams replaced Andy Spencer in the 69th minute and the home-side eventually began to break down the Evesham defence. Danks set up Leadbeater to curl wide on 70 minutes before Halesowen took a 71st minute lead with LEADBEATER following up to turn home a rebound when Hart failed to hold Colwell's tremendous 25-yard volley. Halesowen extended their lead four minutes later when DANKS found space to hit a 25-yard drive beyond the reach of Hart.

Stone made a poor pass out of defence in the 76th minute with Paul Oakey hitting inches wide. However, Halesowen had further chances to firmly stake their claim on the silverware and six minutes from time a neat interchange between Trainer and Williams put Master free but he hit wide from just 6 yards out.

The second leg takes place at Common Road, Evesham on Wednesday 23rd April.

 


 

STILL ALL TO PLAY FOR

Yeltz 2 Hinckley 1

A crucial game and the mighty Yeltz came up with the goods as we took all three points against relegation rivals Hinckley. Two first half goals from Jason and Neil Gibson set us on our way, but a goal back in the 70th minute by them led to a tense finale. Still we got the victory and that's all that matters.

, Cambridge, Hednesford, Ilkeston and Weymouth won, and Chelmsford, Folkestone (now relegated), Grantham and Welling lost. What that all means is we're but only one point behind Grantham. Exciting or what?

In a brief interlude, Tuesday brings the first of four 'final' games with the Worcester senior Cup Final 1st Leg at home to Evesham. They're mid-table in the Western Division so we should be favorites, but I'd be surprised if we put out the first team given our current league position. Still it would be nice to win something this season so let's hope for a nice victory.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Hines, Bauress, Collins, Stone, Williams, Ashby, Blackwood, Gibson (N. Smith 79), Spencer (Trainer 79). Unused Subs: Leadbeater, Danks, Hateley

Hinckley United: Whittle; Dakin, Lenton, Wilkes (Cartwright 69), Penny, Browne, Storer, Jackson (Dyer 69), Voice, Sadler, Doughty. Unused Subs: C. Smith, Piercewright, Jenkins

Referee: A. R. Hendley (Cradley Heath) Attendance: 535 Booked: None Sponsors' Man of the Match: Lee Collins

Halesowen unravelled the Knitters in the relegation six-pointer with two early goals to record only their second league home win since Christmas.

The Yeltz made the best start possible by taking a 5th minute lead when Michael Blackwood headed on a long ball out of defence for Jason ASHBY to slot past goalkeeper Tom Whittle from a narrow angle to claim his 17th goal of the campaign.

Even better followed when the Yeltz went two goals ahead in the 13th minute with Neil GIBSON heading home his first goal for the club at the far post from a Lee Collins right-wing cross.

The hard surface made defending difficult and Richard Colwell headed a Stuart Storer free-kick behind goal for a corner in the 16th minute and two minutes later Gavin Stone missed a header in his own penalty area.

Hungry Halesowen nearly made it 3-0 in the 21st minute when Colwell's cross beat Simon Dakin and fell for Les Hines to roll the ball inches wide of Whittle's right-hand post.

David Sadler prodded home a free-kick from close range for Hinckley in the 27th minute but the celebrations were short-lived when the referee's assistant raised his flag for offside. A minute before the interval Ashby met a Lee Williams corner but Whittle was right in-line to save.

The second-half started quietly but Hinckley increasingly came into the game as the Yeltz protected their precious lead and a 62nd minute corner from Jamie Lenton rolled across the home area. Blackwood then cut in from the right and hit a 20-yard drive just wide in the 64th minute for Halesowen.

Hinckley set-up a nervous finish by pulling a goal back in the 70th minute with SADLER stealing in to head home a left-wing cross. Blackwood produced a fingertip save from Whittle on 73 minutes but Halesowen had a let-off a minute later when Tim Clarke made a hash of a clearance and luckily saw the ball roll out of play for a corner that was volleyed just over the bar by Scott Voice. Gary Bauress and Clarke then got in each others way ten minutes from time with Bauress ending the hesitation by conceding a corner, but Halesowen were happy to play out the dying moments to register another vital three points towards safety.

 


 

FINAL COUNTDOWN

WSC SF Bromsgrove 1 Yeltz 3

Our excellent cup form continues, with a 3-1 semi-final win against Bromsgrove, but results elsewhere in the league has taken the edge off a bit.

Goals from Big Rich, Andy Spencer (unbelievably his first of the season) and Gavin Stone takes us through to a final which is against Evesham I believe. However in the league Cambridge, Hinckley and Ilkeston all won, leaving us 3 points from safety with it all to do.

This obviously makes Saturday's game against Hinckley absolutely vital - so let's do all we can to get behind the team to get those three points.

Match Report from DJ

Bromsgrove Rovers: Lowe; Benbow, Banner, Brookes, Beckett, Pope, Dyson (Burgess HT), Ford (Hyde 64), Palmer, P. Danks, Frost. Unused Subs: Clifton, Broadhurst, Hackett

Halesowen Town: Hateley; Colwell, Trainer, Smith, Collins, Stone, Skidmore, Spencer, M. Danks, Leadbeater, Master. Unused Subs: Ashby, Blackwood, Charlton, Williams, Clarke

Referee: J. Holbrook (Kidderminster) Declared Attendance: 295

Halesowen eased their way into their second cup final of the season after their squad players took an early two-goal lead.

The visitors went ahead in the 10th minute when Phil Trainer intercepted on the left and played a long ball forward that was miscued by goalkeeper Matt Lowe allowing Richard LEADBEATER to poke the ball into an empty net from the edge of the area. A minute later Leadbeater headed inches wide of Lowe's post and on 18 minutes Kirk Master floated in a cross for the same striker to head straight at Lowe.

Halesowen went two goals to the good in the 20th minute when Mark Danks burst down the right and his hard, low cross was deftly flicked into the net by Andy SPENCER for his first goal of the season. At the other end a Lee Collins back-header almost let in Les Palmer after 23 minutes.

With Halesowen well on top, the difference between the two divisions was clearly highlighted and on the half-hour the impressive Trainer played the ball for Leadbeater to spin and set up Master but Lowe parried his fierce shot for a corner. Master then hit a 39th minute free-kick at Lowe from 30 yards out.

Bromsgrove made a livelier start to the second half with full-debut goalkeeper Gary Hateley saving a 20-yard Palmer strike at the second attempt after the centre-forward burst from midfield in the 55th minute. The hosts gave themselves hope in the 62nd minute when Richard BURGESS pulled a goal back by flashing a header into the top corner under pressure from Gavin Stone after Palmer headed-on. Palmer volleyed over the bar on the turn from a long ball from Steve Pope on 65 minutes and Hateley held onto a 73rd minute drive from 25 yards from Mark Benbow in a good spell of pressure for Rovers.

Gavin STONE wrapped up the tie for the Yeltz in the 85th minute by heading home directly from Master's free-kick. Three minutes from time Spencer almost beat Lowe to the ball from a quickly taken free-kick and Richard Colwell hit in the rebound from 20-yards but his effort was chested off the line. A minute from full-time a good chance from Master was deflected away for a corner by Lowe.

Halesowen go forward to meet Evesham in the Worcestershire Senior Cup final to be played on a two-leg basis.

 


 

TWO LATE?

Tiverton 4 Yeltz 2

Despite being in contention for most of the game, two late goals meant we've slipped back into the bottom four again.

We took the lead through new bloke Michael Blackwood, but Tiverton soon equalised and went ahead before half-time in a similar manner. Lee Collins then equalised with about 10 minutes to go, but then two late goals lead to a disappointing defeat.

Most of the other results went our way, with all of our main rivals except Hinckley losing so it's still very close despite us having played more games and having a poor goal difference.

This obviously makes next week's game against Hinckley unbelievably important but before that we've got a Worcester Senior semi-final at Bromsgrove on Tuesday.

Match Report from DJ

Tiverton Town: Foster; Winter (Pears 78), Haines, Rees, Steele, Cousins, Chenoweth, Holloway (Mudge 78), Everett, Rogers, Ovens. Unused Subs: Edwards, Vinnicombe, Grimshaw

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Hines, Bauress, Collins, Stone (Leadbeater 90), Williams, Ashby, Blackwood, Gibson (Charlton 30 (Danks 66)), Spencer. Unused Subs: Master, Hateley

Referee: S. Hollick (Plymouth) Attendance: 731

Halesowen fell back into the dreaded drop-zone in a cruel finish to an impressive performance against their fellow double-Vase winners Tiverton.

On the plus side, another couple of goals on their travels kept Halesowen as the highest scoring away team in the division - a statistic that only highlights the string of dismal failures back at the Grove that has caused their plight. With their rivals continuing to pick up points Halesowen will realistically now need to win three or four of their remaining six games to ensure Dr Martens Premier survival, just one season after returning as Western Champions.

Halesowen started where they left off in previous away trips when Jason Ashby turned to strike the top of the Tiverton bar in the first minute. Chris Holloway burst forward for Tivvy after 5 minutes but was blocked by a packed defence who then easily coped with two corners from Paul Chenoweth.

Jason Rees headed behind his own goal on 16 minutes for Halesowen's first corner and from the Lee Williams kick Collins rose above the defence only to see his header cleared off the line by Rees. The Yeltz took the lead when the ball was turned back into the area towards the head of Gavin Stone and Michael BLACKWOOD whipped the loose ball into the net on the volley from 5 yards out.

Tivvy equalised just four minutes later when Steve Winter crossed from the right and the unmarked Phil EVERETT tapped home from close range. Richard Colwell headed out of defence on the half-hour for Scott Rogers to drive just past the post from 25 yards. The home side then went 2-1 ahead on 35 minutes when Rogers put in a good cross from the left and EVERETT hit his second goal with a low volley past Tim Clarke.

Halesowen continued to press forward and the full-backs combined in the 40th minute when substitute Asa Charlton crossed for Colwell to head just wide. Two minutes later Rees failed to clear but Foster was fortunate that the ball bounced off Blackwood into safety. On the stroke of half-time Foster held onto a 25-yard drive from Les Hines.

At the start of the second period Chenoweth hit a well worked free-kick wide from 20 yards and Steve Ovens broke from midfield to hit the side-netting. But with Halesowen controlling large tracts of the game they deservedly levelled in the 69th minute when Lee COLLINS thundered a header past Foster from a Williams free-kick after substitute Mark Danks was fouled. With the visitors seeking a winner in open play, a Hines free-kick was blocked by the Tiverton wall and on 77 minutes Danks fed Blackwood but he scuffed his shot over the bar.

Despite all their hard work Halesowen conceded two late goals in a sickening finale. On 88 minutes Stone was too intricate on the ball and let in ROGERS to flash a 20 yard effort into the top corner, despite Clarke managing to reach the ball with his fingertips. One minute into injury time Paul Edwards broke down the left and crossed for fellow substitute James MUDGE to convert a flattering fourth.

Substitute goalkeeper came on in the outfield for Gavin Stone in the 92nd minute for just 30 seconds in order to make him eligible for the Worcestershire Senior Cup Semi-Final tie against his former club Bromsgrove Rovers.

 


 

ANOTHER POINT

Worcester 1 Yeltz 1

A late equaliser by new bloke Michael Blackwood gained an important point against local rivals Worcester. We're unbeaten in four games against them this season, and we've climbed out of the bottom four for the first time this year. More details in DJ's match report .

We've got a tough tie at Tiverton on Saturday, but we've done very well on our travels lately so let's hope for at least a point. It's getting very exciting isn't it?

Match Report from DJ

Worcester City: McDonnell; Davies, Carty, Heeley, Shail, Holloway, Middleton, Counsell (Jones 60), Webster, Hadley (Owen 65), Wilde. Unused Subs: Parker, McDonald, Wyatt

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Charlton, Gibson, Collins, Stone, Williams, Ashby, Danks (Hines HT), McHugh, Blackwood. Unused Subs: Smith, Leadbeater, Master, Spencer

Referee: M. Cairns (Northampton) Attendance: 817 Booked: Holloway (27), Wilde (84), Shail (88)

Halesowen fought back from an early Worcester goal with another impressive away performance to claim a deserved and important point.

Once more Halesowen fans were left scratching their heads with their favourites turning in an exciting performance barely recognisable from recent offerings at the Grove. The draw means that Halesowen remain unbeaten in the four meetings between the local rivals this season.

In the second minute Daren Middleton thumped a shot at Tim Clarke's chest before the home side took a 6th minute lead when Adam Wilde crossed from the left and Adam WEBSTER with his back to goal turned to fire home from 5 yards out.

Yet far from signalling a home rout, the resilient Yeltz kept the home side at bay and fought their way back into the game with Worcester barely registering any further shots on target.

Mark Danks could have done better on 20 minutes when he beat the offside trap but he mis-controlled the ball and Danny McDonnell was able to block. Michael Blackwood had an impressive game in midfield and played two incisive balls through the Worcester defence in the 23rd minute with Jason Ashby hitting just wide. On the half-hour Paul Carty cleared a dangerous Lee Williams free-kick.

Danks was replaced by Les Hines at the interval with Blackwood moving up front as the Yeltz took the game by the scruff of the neck and stroked the ball confidently around the park. One minute into the second half Lee Collins was unfortunate to see Allan Davies clear his header off the goal-line. Webster hit just past the angle in the 50th minute for Worcester and on 66 minutes former-Yeltz goalkeeper McDonnell was fortunate to escape the attentions of Ashby and Blackwood. Middleton's strike was well saved by Tim Clarke in a Worcester breakaway a minute later. But it was Halesowen who finished strongly and in the 80th minute a long Clarke kick saw Ashby feed Williams and when his shot was saved Fraser McHugh hit the rebound high.

The Yeltz were finally rewarded with a precious equaliser for their hard work in the 87th minute when Ashby headed on another long Clarke goal-kick for BLACKWOOD to clinically clip the ball over McDonnell from 15 yards. With hungry Halesowen well on top, Collins struck a half-volley which trickled wide moments before the final whistle was greeted with loud ovation from the travelling fans.

 


 

FORTRESS GROVE?

Yeltz 1 Bath 1

What is it with our home form? We gained a useful point against Bath, coming back from behind through a Gavin Stone goal, but it's yet another non-win at The Grove.

Looking through the results this season, the breakdown is...

Not much difference I suppose, but maybe it's a good thing that 5 of our last 8 games are away? The first two are this week, starting with a visit to on Monday, and then down to next Saturday. Looking at the table they're probably the hardest games left, but we need to pick up something from the week seeing as we're still .

The other big news of the week is the announcement of the Conference reorganisation. It appears only one team will be relegated from the Conf. this season, and in 2004-05 there will be a Conference North and South. It's not exactly clear what this means for us, but right now it's even more important we stay up this year. No additional pressure there then.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Charlton, Skidmore, Collins, Stone, L. Williams, Ashby, Danks (Leadbeater 65), McHugh, Blackwood. Unused Subs: Hines, Gibson, Smith, Master.

Bath City: Glassup; Bennett (Tweddle 65), Trought, Coupe, Kemp, Rollo, Gosling (Shore 82), Milsom, Eaton, Toomey (James 67), A. Williams. Unused Subs: Cleverley, Honor

Referee: J. Hubbard (Leicester) Attendance: 507 Booked: Blackwood (34) Sponsors' Man of the Match: Gavin Stone

A much-needed home win continued to prove elusive but the Yeltz battled back to draw after being second-best to Bath early on. With fellow relegation candidates Hastings, Hinckley and Weymouth all beaten, the point was another small stepping stone towards safety from relegation.

Tim Clarke clawed away a Jason Eaton header from an Andy Williams cross in the 8th minute when the ball bounced off the hard surface. Halesowen had trouble breaking down their stubborn visitors, only managing one attempt on goal in the first half when a Lee Collins header was grabbed by stand-in goalkeeper Ellis Glassup under his crossbar from the first corner on 20 minutes.

The visitors enjoyed a good spell of pressure late in the first-half to leave Halesowen grateful to be level at the half-time whistle. On 28 minutes Paul Milsom played a ball over the top to put Dave Toomey clear on goal but Clarke raced out of goal to make a fine blocking save. Four minutes later James Gosling hit a 25-yard volley inches wide and in the 36th minute Toomey's shot was deflected for a corner by Richard Colwell with the Yeltz struggling to get the ball free from their own area.

Bath were almost caught cold a minute into the second half by a quickly taken Lee Williams free-kick allowing Fraser McHugh to surge in to the area but Glassup saved on the line and a minute later Glassup pushed away a Collins header. Ex-Stevenage midfielder Michael Blackwood then put the ball high over the bar from a Mark Danks cross on the hour.

Almost inevitably, Bath took the lead in the 62nd minute when MILSOM was allowed to run through the home defence and he turned in the area to hit past Clarke from 15 yards. With the clock ticking away and little sign of an improvement in Halesowen's penetration, Gavin STONE rose above the Bath defence to flash home a header into the roof of the net from a Lee Williams corner to put the Yeltz back on level terms.

The goal ignited Halesowen's self-belief and urgency and Bath weathered a difficult last quarter of an hour. Stone headed just high in the 75th minute and substitute Richard Leadbeater side-footed a rebound wide from 20 yards when Jason Ashby challenged Glassup in the 83rd minute. Five minutes from time McHugh burst up the field for Lee Williams to cross to Ashby, but his shot was blocked by Jim Rollo.

 


 

ALMOST PREDICTABLE

Yeltz 1 Newport 2

After two excellent victories away from home, the mighty Yeltz fell back to earth with a disappointing 2-1 loss at The Grove against Newport. Despite taking the lead just before half-time through Jason, they drew level just after the break and then got a winner with 10 minutes to go. Full details in DJ's match report .

Other results went well - Hinckley drew with Grantham and Cambridge lost - but with us losing we're still in the bottom four .

Let's hope for a better result against Bath when they return to The Grove on Saturday. We got stuffed down there, but beat them in the Trophy so let's hope we can defeat them again.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Hines, Bauress (Trainer 71), L. Collins, Stone, Williams, Ashby, Danks (Leadbeater 64), McHugh, Skidmore. Unused Subs: Master, Spencer, Charlton

Newport County: Wesson; C. Collins, Benton, Clark (Thomas HT), Perry, Eckhardt, Rose, Nathan Davis, Neil Davis (Plant 90), Shepherd, Dimond. Unused Subs: French, Stevenson, Idzi

Referee: D. Brockwell (Northampton) Attendance: 555 Booked: None Sponsors' Man of the Match: Frazer McHugh

Halesowen's run of good form came to an abrupt end by letting a first half lead slip against out-of-form Newport to produce yet another disappointing home result.

In an even opening, a Kristian Dimond cross from the right fell for the unmarked Steve Benton in the 6th minute but he volleyed wide while at the other end Jason Perry kept out a Lee Williams cross with a diving header to concede a 10th minute corner. After 25 minutes Tim Clarke dropped a Dimond corner but Lee Collins was on hand to clear off the line and a minute later Neil Davis volleyed high from 10 yards for County.

With the game played at a lightning pace on a hard surface, stand-in novice Newport goalkeeper Gareth Wesson raced out to gather from the on-rushing Jason Ashby on the half-hour and Mark Danks sent in a 15-yard shot across the ground 8 minutes later.

The Yeltz took the lead at an ideal time just a minute before the break when a long punt out of defence found ASHBY and he turned his marker on the left of the area to beat Wesson with a shot along the ground.

Halesowen's joy was short-lived when they allowed Newport to equalise in the first minute of the second half with a 15-yard shot from Gary SHEPHERD rolling into the corner of the net with Clarke late seeing the ball. On the hour Danks fed Ashby on the break but he shot weakly at Wesson and in the 63rd minute Frazer McHugh's 20-yard shot was deflected for a corner that was headed high by Lee Collins. In a lightning 65th minute move Les Hines crossed for his fellow full-back Richard Colwell to meet the ball with a diving header but Wesson made a point-blank save.

In end-to-end play Neil Davis then went close twice for Newport in the 69th minute by dispossessing Colwell to hammer a 25-yard shot that beat Clarke but rebounded off the inside of the post and from the following cross Davis then headed onto the roof of the net.

Halesowen re-organised themselves in the 74th minute with Phil Trainer replacing Gary Bauress and the pivotal moment of the game arrived five minutes later. In the 78th minute Wesson pulled off another fine reflex save from Leadbeater after Ashby flicked on a Williams cross and as the ball broke down the other end DIMOND headed a left-wing cross strongly past Clarke from close range to register Newport's first win since January and sink Halesowen back into trouble.

 


 

WHAT A WEEK!

Chippenham 1 Yeltz 2

With a second win in a week away to a top of the table side, the mighty Yeltz continued their fight to stay in the Premier Division with an excellent 2-1 victory at Chippenham . First half goals from Lee Williams and Gavin Stone took us into a 2-0 lead, and although they got one back on the hour, we hung on to get another valuable three points.

We're still in the bottom four with Grantham beating Hastings and Hinckley beating Welling, but we've moved up a spot and are still only in the relegation zone on goal difference.

On Tuesday we're back at The Grove where we welcome Newport County . They've been on a poor run of late, and we're only 5 points behind them even though they're in 10th place, so let's hope we can continue our recent excellent form and continue our fightback.

Match Report from DJ

Chippenham Town: Bittner; Andrews (Mills 58), Thorne, Towler, Gould, Charity, Walker, Horgan, Paul (Godley 90), Mings, Griffin (Rawlins 81). Unused Sub: Bull

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Hines, Bauress, Collins, Stone, Williams, Ashby (Leadbeater 61), Danks (Master 90), McHugh, Skidmore. Unused Subs: Spencer, Trainer, Charlton

Referee: R. Green (Berkeley, Glos.) Attendance: 605 Booked: None

Rejuvenated Halesowen reeled off their third straight away win to haul themselves closer to safety and extend their unbeaten run to five games.

Halesowen weathered some early Chippenham pressure and slack defending allowed Charlie Griffin to nip in and head a Gary Horgan free-kick against the cross-bar in the 2nd minute. Lee Collins then cleared a Scott Walker cross from the left and in the 5th minute Adie Mings miscued his shot from the edge of the box when well placed.

An 11th minute Les Hines free-kick was met by a Gavin Stone header but goalkeeper James Bittner scurried across his goal to make a fingertip save. Home skipper Colin Towler then cleared off his goal-line when Mark Danks took down a 14th minute right wing cross to shoot on target.

Chippenham's direct approach continued to cause problems up the slope and Gary Bauress was forced to clear over his own bar in the 16th minute. Simon Charity then hit wide from 20 yards and Griffin lobbed over the bar in the 23rd minute.

Jason Ashby nipped in to latch onto a long ball from Lee Williams in the 25th minute but Bittner rushed out to make an acrobatic block. After a stoppage for injury to Bittner, Danks then turned in the area to produce a reflex stop from the keeper and in the 32nd minute Ashby almost connected after neat play by Danks and Williams. At the other end Tim Clarke grabbed Horgan's shot at the second attempt in the 42nd minute.

The Yeltz then blasted the Bluebirds with a two-goal salvo in the final minute of the first half. Halesowen took the lead in the 45th minute with their own route-one style when a long ball from Danks bounced over Wayne Thorne and WILLIAMS lobbed the goalkeeper from 15 yards. Seconds later, STONE was on hand to touch home a right wing cross from close range that had escaped Collins under pressure to take a 2-0 half-time lead that looked unlikely just minutes earlier.

Five minutes into the second half a stunned Chippenham could only watch when a Collins header hit the crossbar with Horgan standing on the line. However, Chippenham pulled a goal back in the 57th minute with Scott Walker rifling home the loose ball from 18 yards after Clarke had failed to hold a deep cross from the left under pressure following Tom Gould's 30-yard free-kick. Three minutes later Griffin headed inches over the bar as it seemed the home side were about to apply the pressure down the slope.

However, with Frazer McHugh and Williams pulling the strings in midfield the Yeltz were never seriously troubled in the final half-hour despite seven minutes of injury-time. Mings drove wide from the left in the 70th minute before Bittner collected a 75th minute curling free-kick from Hines.

Halesowen's controlled and neat passing almost created a third goal in the 76th minute with McHugh hitting the outside of the angle as Danks and substitute Richard Leadbeater broke through the home defence. Five minutes from time Clarke tipped away a left-wing cross from Martin Paul for a corner, but the Yeltz easily held on to record a splendid win and condemn Chippenham to their first home league defeat since August.