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.

 


 

5 WINS ON THE TROT

FAC Yeltz 2 Staveley MW 0

And another. After last year's troubles, it's fantastic to be able to report 5 wins on the trot by the once again mighty Yeltz :-)

OK, the opposition hasn't been too strong so far but we can only keep winning. Goals from Leroy May and Kerry Giddings have taken us into the 2nd Qualifying Round, where we'll travel to Moor Green a week on Saturday. That should be an interesting comparison to how much we've improved from last year.

Next Saturday takes us down to Weston-CanUSeeThe-Mare. They've had a reasonable start to the season, but let's hope we can keep this excellent run going.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, N. Smith, L. Collins, R. Collins (Skidmore 84), Spencer, Jones, May (Giddings 45), Taylor, Hines. Subs: Hall, G. Smith, Garvey

Staveley MW: Hone; Brodie, East, Schofield, Morris, Pell, Thomson, Sharman, Chambers (Bally 63), P. Smith, Bettney. Subs: Cowlishaw, Webb, Wilcockson, Holland

Referee: S. Winton (Willenhall) Attendance: 358 Booked: None

Halesowen avoided slipping up in the potential banana-skin tie against Staveley Miners' Welfare of the Northern Counties East league and made a comfortable passage into the next round against Moor Green. Inevitably it was higher league Halesowen who piled on the pressure, although they could only maintain a slender lead until late on.

Ross Collins and Mark Taylor sent early attempts wide before Leroy May latched onto a long goal kick from Tim Clarke to lob opposing goalkeeper Andy Hone for a 12th minute lead. However, any hope of a goal avalanche were denied by some determined defending from the visitors.

Les Hines had a 16th minute shot from 20 yards blocked and five minutes later Andy Jones flicked just wide from Richard Colwell's cross. Staveley won a 26th minute freekick when Ross Collins gave the ball away in midfield, but the defensive wall held firm.

Andy Jones turned and squirted another shot wide in the 28th minute and Ross Collins had a shot cleared off the line. Paul Sharman then bravely headed away a fierce Taylor shot in a packed Staveley penalty area. Goalkeeper Hone played his part, saving from Andy Jones in the 38th minute and May's overhead kick fell just wide moments before the interval.

The injured May was replaced by Kerry Giddings at half-time but Halesowen went close again in the 51st minute when Hone saved from Jones after Les Hines took a quick freekick.

With just one goal in it, Staveley remained in the hunt and had their best spell midway through the second half. In the 57th minute Dave Thomson supplied Dave Chambers with a great opportunity but his shot rolled agonisingly past Clarke's post.

Halesowen came back strongly towards the end, forcing three successive corners in the 68th minute and causing defender Julian Morris to make two desperate clearances across his own goal before finally wrapping up the tie. Substitute Kerry Giddings, who has developed taste for scoring spectacular goals, bagged another by converting a Les Hines corner with an overhead kick in the 83rd minute. The margin was almost increased in the final minutes, but Welfare's defence did just enough to distract Jones as he raced clear and Hone went on to make another reflex save from a Lee Collins header.

 


 

A STRANGE DAY

Yeltz 4 Rocester 0

I feel a little bit strange writing about football after the events in the USA today. Anyway, a very good win for the mighty Yeltz added to the strangeness of the day. Goals from Les, OG, Rossco and a late one from Giddings led to a fourth win on the trot. We're now 2nd in the table , just two points behind leaders Solihull Borough.

Saturday brings another FA Cup tie, this time a First Qualifying Round game against Staveley Miners Welfare.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, N. Smith, L. Collins, R. Collins (Skidmore 82), Spencer, G. Smith (Jones 72), May (Giddings 72), Taylor, Hines

Rocester: Edensor; Myatt, Fisher, Walker, P. Ede, Anthony, Bourne (Stark 82), Somerville, Dematteo, Hook, Owen. Subs: Skelton, M. Smith

Referee: A. Hendley (Cradley Heath) Attendance: 353 Booked: None

The lights went on over the Grove when Halesowen tested their new superb £65,000 floodlights after the 4-0 win over Rocester to move into a top three spot in the league table.

In a surprisingly fast and furious first half, Rocester's Andy Bourne hit a fierce first minute shot which Tim Clarke turned away for a corner. Les Hines, who raced up and down the left wing tirelessly all night, then hit a cross over to Leroy May a minute later and Andy Spencer's 14th minute cross was cleared for a corner from Jason Burnham's long ball out of defence. Rocester played their part in a first half of open, flowing football and almost took a 26th minute lead when Rob Myatt's cross was headed down by Andy Bourne, but the ball just escaped Russell Dematteo in front of goal.

Halesowen went ahead and took control of the game in the 44th minute when Ross Collins was fouled on the edge of the area and Les Hines struck a sweet free-kick directly into the top corner. Three minutes after the break Nick Anthony lobbed an own goal past his own goalkeeper under pressure from Leroy May for Halesowen's second.

With Rocester's spirit broken, Halesowen created a host of second half chances. May's 55th minute shot was tipped away for a corner and May then latched onto Neil Smith's long ball in the 66th minute but steered his shot just wide. Ross Collins headed Halesowen's third goal in the 71st minute by bundling the ball over the line from another Hines corner, with Andy Spencer was on hand to crash the ball further into the net.

Halesowen scored a tremendous fourth goal in the 84th minute when Andy Jones raced down the left and sent a pinpoint cross for fellow substitute Kerry Giddings to rush in and head home. Rocester substitute Mick Stark was denied a consolation a minute later when his shot struck the post.

 


 

LATE AGAIN

Swindon Supermarine 0 Yeltz 1

Well we didn't make it easy for ourselves, but these are exactly the sort of games we need to grind out three points out of. After dominating most of the game without converting any chances, a Leroy May diving header in the 83rd minute clinched a 1-0 victory against bottom placed Swindon Supermarine.

We've moved up a place to 5th in the table , just 3 points behind leaders Clevedon.

Tuesday brings Rocester to The Grove in another league game, and then we meet Staveley Miners Welfare of the Northern Counties East Division 1 next Saturday in the FA Cup .

Match Report from DJ

Swindon Supermarine: Haines; McClusky, Bennett, Farrow, Richardson, Davis, Joyce, Jones, Fearon (Matthews 61), Toomey, Jack. Subs: Hodgkiss, Garbutt

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, N. Smith, L. Collins, R. Collins (Skidmore 84), Hall, G. Smith (May 75), Spencer (Giddings 75), Taylor, Hines

Referee: A. Newell (Bristol) Booked: None

Halesowen struggled to make headway against the bottom side and had to wait until the 83rd minute for the decisive breakthrough.

A dull first half saw Andy Spencer spurn the best chance in the 43rd minute when he shot directly at goalkeeper Paul Haines when a Ross Collins flick put him clear on goal.

The Yeltz continued to miss a host of chances in front of goal in the second half. Jason Burnham weaved through the Marine defence in the 55th minute but Haines saved when Ross Collins tried to place the ball in the net. Spencer drove wide on the hour and Gary Smith turned but also hit wide with Haines stranded off his line a minute later. Haines went on to make fine blocking saves from Matty Hall and Gary Smith with Halesowen increasing the pressure.

Just when the game seemed to be heading for a goalless draw, substitute Leroy May met a long right wing cross with a diving header in the 83rd minute to finally beat Haines.

Halesowen lived dangerously in the dying minutes with Swindon enjoying their best spell of the game. Lee Collins made an athletic clearance off the goalline from Steve Bennett's 87th minute shot with the home side claiming that the ball had crossed the line. A minute later goalkeeper Tim Clarke beat away a shot from Tony Joyce with the visiting defence caught out and Neil Matthews headed wide but Halesowen clung on for the slender victory.

 


 

11 GAMES TO CARDIFF

FAC Yeltz 2 Chasetown 0

We left it late, but the mighty Yeltz kept their 100% home record going with a Midlands Alliance . Goals from and means we're taken our place in the prestigious 1st Qualifying Round. Hurrah.

 


 

STEADY AS SHE GOES

Yeltz 2 Redditch 1

The mighty Yeltz maintained their 100% home record so far with a 2-1 victory against Redditch . We dominated the first half, with goals from Neil Smith and a first from Leroy May . They pulled one back through a long range shot over Tim Clarke, but we held on for a welcome three points.

We've moved up to 6th place in the table , just 5 points behind early leaders Solihull Borough. (I know this keeps changing - Chas and Darren keep correcting my stats!) Not too bad a start with a team that maybe needs a little time to gel.

On Saturday we start the long road to Cardiff (honest) with an F.A.Cup Preliminary Round tie at home to Chasetown . Another consequence of getting relegated is losing our bye through to the 2nd Qualifying Round, but hopefully the draw has been reasonably kind to us. It would be really nice to get some sort of run going in the Cup again.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Crawford, Smith, Collins(c), Burnham, Hall (James 79), Giddings, May, Spencer, Hines. Subs: Gavillet, Martin.

Redditch Utd: Willetts; Mitchell, Bradley, Field(c) (Barratt 89), Creighton, Frost, Swann, Cartwright, Danks, Began, Colcombe. Subs: Hackett, Williams.

Booked: Frost (34), Giddings (34), Hall (38), Field (40), Clarke (51), Bradley (69), Crawford (85), Swann (85) Referee: J. Bottomer (Chislehurst) Attendance: 478

In the end the result of the game looked better than the means by which it was achieved - though allowances should be made for Halesowen missing five key players - Andy Jones, Mark Taylor, Stuart Skidmore, Ross Collins and Lee Knight. Hopefully, this early season disruption should start to rectify itself shortly.

For the third time in four matches, Halesowen took an early lead within five minutes of the start when a Les Hines freekick found Leroy May and Neil Smith in the clear, but it was Smith's head that claimed the goal. Andy Spencer then hit Colwell's cross against the underside of the bar in the 13th minute with the visitors looking ragged.

Redditch boasted ex-Halesowen assistant manager Gary Hackett on the bench - in charge due to the inexplicable absence of manager Nicky Cross. On the pitch Redditch also had ex-Halesowen players Neil Cartwright, Andy Bradley and Mark Creighton all seeking to impress against their old club.

It took Halesowen until the 45th minute to increase the lead when Leroy May powered home a diving header from another Les Hines set-piece - this time a right wing corner.

Many thought Halesowen would go on to record a thumping win but it was not to be and in the end the final whistle of Mr Bottomer, keen to get back home to Kent, strangely enough, came as somewhat of a relief.

As in previous matches Halesowen collected a handful of yellow cards, but this time were fortunate not to have a player dismissed. The referee judged Tim Clarke had handled the ball out of his area in the 51st minute when trying to save from an on-rushing striker, but didn't carry through the letter of the law by making Clarke (and Halesowen) suffer the inevitable consequences. Indeed, it appeared Les Hines was already preparing to take charge in goal whilst Mr. Bottomer was delivering his punishment to Clarke. In the 85th minute Michael Crawford, who looked out of sorts at left back, tussled with Mark Swann and as they were both walking over for a lecture from the referee, Crawford aimed a head-butt at Swann. Even though no contact appeared to have been made, Crawford can consider himself lucky to escape with a "yellow".

Redditch pulled a goal back to change the course of the game in the 58th minute when Swann volleyed home after playing a one-two with Scott Colcombe. From then on, the game degenerated into a scrappy affair, but Halesowen had just enough in hand to hold onto the three points.

 


 

LEAVING IT LATE

Chippenham 2 Yeltz 2

A late penalty converted by Les Hines salvaged a point for the mighty Yeltz in what was by all accounts another pretty poor game down at Chippenham.

We'd taken an early lead, again through Les but from a deflected free kick that left the keeper with no chance. However they soon equalised from the spot - although my correspondent has no idea why it was given. He said we had the better of the play before they took the lead on the break midway through the second half.

Bank Holiday Monday brings Redditch to The Grove (7.45pm kickoff I believe). We played them a few times over the last few years in various cups, but let's hope we can reproduce last week's excellent home form again and get the three points. It's going to take time for the team to gel, but let's hope it doesn't take too long.

If you're interested, I've gradually been updating parts of the site. The Rough Guide now has a feature giving maps of most of the various grounds around the league. Enjoy.

 


 

WHAT A LETDOWN

Sutton Coldfield 2 Yeltz 0

After Saturday's uplifting victory, us long suffering Yeltz fans were forced back to reality with a very disappointing 2-0 loss at last year's strugglers Sutton Coldfield. Two late goals, the second from ex-Yeltz player Mark Bellingham ended what was by all accounts a poor game on a poor pitch. This season suddenly doesn't look so attractive. Ho hum.

Saturday takes us down to Chippenham Town, where hopefully we can get back to winning ways.

Match Report from DJ

Sutton Coldfield: Alden; Jones, Reece, Steele(c), Farmer, Bailey, Whitehouse, Moran, Mitchell, Bellingham, Gardner. Subs: Randall, Walker, Baker.

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, N. Smith, L. Collins, Gray, Hall, Giddings, May, Taylor, Crawford. Subs: Spencer, G. Smith, Hines.

Referee: P.J. Keane (Wolverhampton)

Halesowen received a rude wake-up call against a Sutton side who finished third bottom last term but dug deep and battled away to register an unlikely win thanks to two late goals.

Coles Lane appears to have changed little in the eleven years that have elapsed since last hosting the Yeltz in a league game and although the match programme noted recent pitch improvements, the surface was still below what we have come to expect on our travels. Yet these are the sort of games where Halesowen need to turn possession and silky skills into points if they are to be challenging for honours next Spring.

Sutton's Dominic Reece hit just over as early as the 4th minute, but very little was then seen of the home side in a game Halesowen should have wrapped up well before half-time. Leroy May headed Matty Hall's cross over in the 7th minute and Saturday's hero Kerry Giddings turned to bring a fine save out of ex-Stourbridge goalkeeper Darren Alden after 39 minutes.

Alden had an entirely average season between the sticks at Stourbridge last term but was on tip-top form as Halesowen sought out a winner in the second period. Tipping over Mark Taylor's goalbound shot in the 50th minute he then produced another top-drawer save from Michael Gray on the hour.

Tim Clarke saved well when Nathan Moran broke clear in the 54th minute, but with the Royals suffering injury, cramp and tiredness late on, the Yeltz failed to take advantage and as time went on a scoreless draw seemed the most likely outcome.

To their credit, the Royals battled away before pouncing in the final five minutes as Halesowen's midfield caved in. Even so, Sutton's 86th minute opener was a bad goal to concede. Halesowen lost the ball deep in Sutton's half and a long ball forward caught out the Yeltz defence. With Clarke initially in two minds he came, but did not get, allowing Leon Mitchell to beat him to the ball and calmly slot into an open goal.

Ex-Halesowen striker and Copper Mark Bellingham arrested any lingering Halesowen hope deep in injury time when he turned on the edge of the box and fired low into the bottom corner. Manager Brendan Phillips was clearly heard venting his frustration at his players in the centre-circle in the after-match warm-down.

 


 

GOOD GID

Yeltz 3 Gresley 0

It's several hours later now and I'm still smiling. Last year's doom and gloom has been completely swept away by a really promising performance and an excellent result - bring it on!

Let's not get carried away though; Gresley looked a pretty poor outfit to me, even taking into account we're in the Western Division now. However, Kerry Giddings was truly outstanding , with what must be the best hat-trick ever at The Grove? - an overhead kick from the edge of the box and two top corner 25 yarders.

A lot more movement on the transfer front this week. Dennis Bailey and his nephew Alfie Carter have finally gone, and Ricky Otto has decided to hang up his boots too. However, we've made some more new signings in Gary Smith, Michael Gray and well known non-league striker Leroy May .

Next week takes us to Sutton Coldfield on Tuesday, and then to the West Country on Saturday to meet Chippenham Town.

Match Report from Poll

Yeltz: Clarke, Skidmore, Burnham, Knight, Collins L, Smith N, Hall, Giggings, May, Taylor, Crawford; Subs: Spencer, Gray, Smith G

I don't get out much nowadays, especially to The Grove so *b*Argus Ada*cb* kindly went through the team with me just after kickoff. Unfortunately he made a comment overheard by all the Jolly Boys that may haunt him for years - *b*"Giddings is an excellent player but I don't think he'll score many goals"*cb*. Well he may well be proved right, but on my first view I think it's safer to avoid the wrath of the mob by disagreeing with him.

It was probably the ideal start, an early goal to settle everyone's nerves and remind us of what's supposed to happen this year - we're going to win most of our games :-) Some nice passing, a cross to Giddings on the edge of the box and an overhead kick off his shin that looped over the keeper to flop into the net off the bar. Quality.

I'm not sure where Gresley are going to finish this year, but I thought they were pretty poor. Their passing was inaccurate and marking awful. We defended OK when we needed to with Skiddy cancelling his holiday to play at rightback and Neil Smith playing alongside Lee Collins for most of the game after Knight had gone off in the first minute (too early for me to see) with a suspected broken collar bone. Some of our play was a bit disjointed; not surprising seeing as it's almost a completely new side from last year, but there were some excellent passing movements that bode well for the rest of the year - assuming that these players stay for longer than a few weeks :-)

On with the report I suppose. Giddings' second was brilliant, running at their defence and smacking one in the corner from outside the box. Joyous celebrations followed, and even though they hit the post just before the break, everyone was in fine spirits as we hit the club shop to buy assorted rubbish at half-time.

Second half contined in much the same vein, once the ref had arrived after the half-time squitters. We passed it well without creating too many chances and they came into it a bit more, but a third from Giddings pretty much clinched it. It was almost identical to his second, a piledriver from outside the box leaving the keeper helpless. As I said on the home page, I don't think there can have been many better hat-tricks at The Grove, not in my memory anyway. They nearly scored when Tim Clarke was stranded off his line but we eventually cleared it and we trooped off to celebrate the night away. Hurrah!

One note of caution: no one had any ideas about a song for Mr Giddings. Does anything rhyme with his surname? This is going to take some work.

 


 

NOT QUITE A BOSTIN FINISH

Friendly Yeltz 2 Boston 4

The last friendly, and hopefully not a sign of things to come. We went 3-0 down to Conference side Boston, came back to 2-3 with a screamer from Giddens and a Gray goal, but eventually went down 4-2.

If you're interested, there's a nice set of photos of the Blues game sent in by Peter Blanchflower (thanks!)

Next week the real season starts with a home game against old time rivals Gresley. We really need to get off to a good start, but I'm very confident (as ever!) that we're going to do really well this season. Come on!

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Skidmore, Burnham, Spencer (Colwell 55), Knight (N. Smith 52), L. Collins (Knight 85), Hall, Giddings (G. Smith 73), May (Gray 57), Carter, Hines (Crawford 80). Subs: Shaw, Garvey.

Boston United: Bastock; Clifford, Lodge, R. Weatherston (Gould 49), Monington, Marsh, Brown, S. Weatherston, Murphy (Elding 75), Clare (Town 86), Angel (Cook 66)

Referee: I. Scarr (Rubery) Attendance: 207

Halesowen created the first chance when Matty Hall cut through the Boston defence in the 2nd minute and found Alfie Carter who powered a shot at Paul Bastock. However, it was much-fancied Boston who made an impressive opening with Micky Brown striking the post in the 3rd minute before surging ahead with two early goals.

Mark Angel beat his marker and squeezed the ball past goalkeeper Tim Clarke in the 13th minute and three minutes later the Halesowen defence were caught out again from Angel's right wing corner with Daryl Clare on hand to touch the ball home from close range.

However, Halesowen carved out their own clearcut chances with Hall screwing a sitter wide from ten yards when Leroy May's cross found him unmarked in the 22nd minute. Carter then burst through the heart of Boston's defence in the 34th minute but Paul Bastock saved easily when he tried to place his final shot.

Five minutes before the break the Pilgrims notched a third goal when Clare crossed from the right for former Telford striker Gez Murphy to head home from close range.

The Conference side appeared to drop down a gear at the start of the second period allowing Yeltz captain Lee Collins to head a free-kick from Les Hines inches wide in the 51st minute. Carter volleyed wide from Hall's cross on the hour and at the other end Clarke saved well from Clare after Murphy's cross. Boston were then punished in the 69th minute when Kerry Giddings muscled past two defenders before crashing a left foot shot from 18 yards into the top corner of the net. Two minutes later Hines set up substitute Michael Gray to plant the ball beyond Bastock as Halesowen came storming back.

Following a flurry of late substitutions, Clare was brought down in the 82nd minute and Boston captain Mike Marsh stepped up to hit the penalty to the right of goalkeeper Tim Clarke to confirm their superiority.

 


 

STEADY

Friendly Yeltz 0 Birmingham City 0

One to go. The latest friendly was a reasonable 0-0 draw at home to Birmingham City , and there's just the game at home to Boston on Saturday.

As ever, things are looking pretty promising at the moment. Brendan looks like he's built a pretty strong squad capable of challenging for the Western Division title, but hey, I thought we were looking pretty good last year so what do I know??

Match Report from Greg Evans

Halesowen :

Clarke
Colwell    Knight       Burnham    Crawford
Hall       Skidmore     Carter      Hines
           Giddings     Bailey

Subs used: Paul Shaw, Michael Gray, Spencer, Martin

A creditable draw against a Birmingham side containing Curtis Woodhouse, Kevin Poole and Paul Furlong.

Bailey and Alfi Carter again stared in a good all round display. Giddings had two good first half chances producing an excellent save from Kevin Poole. Second half Bailey produced an excellent shimmy to round Poole only to see his shot cannon back off the post. The defence, without Lee Collins still looked solid and Tim Clarke was only really troubled on one occasion.

One time Tamworth midfielder Micheal Gray came on in the second half and ex Kiddy, Walsall and Hereford forward Leroy May was also on the bench but didn't appear. Things are looking good particually if we can hold onto Dennis Bailey and Alfi Carter who would surely have too much quality for the Western Division.