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.

 


 

YET ANOTHER DRAW

Evesham 1 Yeltz 1

With our 5th draw in 9 games, the mighty Yeltz are not surprisingly stuck lounging in mid-table in what's been a pretty disappointing start to the league season. At least we didn't throw the lead away this time, with Howard getting his first league goal to equalise an earlier Richard Ball goal for Evesham.

On Saturday we host Chesham at The Grove. They've also had an average start to the year and are also mid-table (although above us in the table), so lets hope we can get all three points to keep us in touch.

Match Report from Darren

Evesham United: Adey, Watson, Hamilton, Robinson, A Cooper, O'Toole, Blake, Hadland, Ball, Clarke (Hall 82), Martin (Pinkney 82). Unused subs: Bailey, Hands, Knurek

Halesowen Town: Coleman, Johnson, Haywood, Preston, Pope (c), I Cooper (Strachan 72), Cowley, Lamey, Forinton, N Smith, Forsdick. Unused subs: C Smith, Pierpoint, Skidmore, Jay

Booked: Ball 62 Attendance: 200

A disappointing draw was all both sides deserved in a poor game, although Evesham will have been more disappointed to have not got the three points after having the majority of the second half

A scrappy start from both sides was a sign of things to come. Neither team could gain any control, although it was Halesowen who created the first couple of chances through a 6th minute Dave Hayward free kick which was taken well by Adey and then a 12th minute through ball from Cowley to Forsdick was cleared by the solid looking Evesham defence. Lamey then struck a free kick against the wall a minute later.

Following a delay of a couple of minutes after Steve Pope was hit in the face by the ball on 16 minutes, Howard Forinton ran through but hit a weak shot at the keeper.

A Lamey free kick swung in from the right was headed over by Forsdick on 29 minutes, and Forinton turned his defender on 35 minutes but shot just wide. From the goal kick the ball was allowed over Nick Preston's head and RICHARD BALL ran on to score past Coleman.

On the stroke of half time, a Forsdick shot was defended for a corner. From this, Nick Smith headed into the ground but too powerfully and the ball went over.

Straight from the kick off in the second half, a good move between Forinton and Lamey resulted in Smith being put clear, but his shot went straight at the keeper.

Strong protests for a handball on 54 minutes by Karl Johnson were waved away by the referee as Ball hit wide.

On 61 minutes Lamey managed to spring the offside trap but hit over from outside the area. Another long ball on 68 minutes fell to Forsdick, but the keeper cleared for a throw in.

On 73 minutes a clearance from Coleman found HOWARD FORINTON who lobbed the keeper to score his first league goal for Halesowen. Three minutes later, Forsdick hit over after good work on the edge of the box.

Evesham had a free kick by O'Toole on 81 minutes which was punched clear. With a minute to go Forinton hit the side netting after being put clear by a Pope clearance, but Halesowen were left with a fifth draw in a game they should have been expected to win.

 


 

PROGRESSING NICELY

FAC Glapwell 0 Yeltz 1

Our excellent FA Cup form under Paul Holleran continues with a 1-0 win over Glapwell of the Northern Counties East Premier League. A second half goal from Fozzy put us through to the 3rd Qualifying Round, and just 2 victories away from a place in the 1st Round proper. Draw on Monday, but let's hope for a home draw against lower league opposition!

Other commitments have kept me away from Halesowen for a while, but I'm a bit concerned about what seems to be a general air of moaning (even more than usual!) about how things are going. I remember when the general spirit of the club was one of us all pulling together, but now all a lot of people seem to want to do is criticise the manager for not playing their preferred formation. Maybe I don't get a fair reflection of the feeling just through comments the web site, but it would be very sad if we lost the togetherness that always made Halesowen special. Anyway, that's enough my my rant - we have got an FA Cup victory away to tricky opposition to celebrate!

We're back in league action on Tuesday when we travel down to Evesham. They've had a very average start, so it would be a good time for us to build on our good Cup form.

Match Report from DJ

Glapwell: Sprigg; Robinson, D. Cooper, Grocutt, R. Smith, Walker, Davies, Trodden, Clarke, Magee (Hardwick 77), Castledine (Watson 82). Unused Subs: Elliott, Wilson, West (GK)

Halesowen Town: Coleman; Johnson, Haywood, Preston, Pope, I. Cooper, Cowley (N. Smith 75), Lamey, Forinton, Amos, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Pierpoint, Strachan, Skidmore, Jay (GK)

Referee: M. Foley (Sheffield) Attendance: 171 Booked: Davies (43)

Halesowen progressed to the 3rd qualifying round at Glapwell of the Northern Counties East League, but had no easy ride in an even contest.

The tough-tackling hosts were marshalled in defence by former Yeltz assistant manager Darren Grocutt and easily found their stride going forward with Damien Magee firing at Dean Coleman in the 6th minute. The visiting defence then cleared a 14th minute cross from Mark Robinson and a 21st minute corner by veteran Gresley old-boy Gary Castledine.

Halesowen played their new 4-4-2 formation and gradually improved as the half progressed with Simon Forsdick nipping in after 32 minutes only to see his shot deflected for a corner. Alex Cowley then surged from midfield on 40 minutes and squared the ball to Nathan Lamey but Dale Cooper made an important block in front of goal. Dave Haywood and Steve Pope then volleyed over Glapwell's bar but seconds before the interval Pope cleared at the other end after Coleman lost the ball to Rob Clarke in the penalty area.

Glapwell continued to work hard at the start of the second half by forcing two early corners but also continued to pack their own defence with Howard Forinton crowded out after 51 minutes. Three minutes later home goalkeeper Louis Sprigg produced a fine save to tip Pope's header over the bar from Lamey's cross.

With Glapwell starting to fancy their chances of producing a Cup shock, Magee struck inches wide in the 55th minute and Coleman collected Adam Walker's 64th minute lob. Clarke then put a good chance past the post from 12 yards after latching onto Nicki Preston's casual clearance.

Gritty Glapwell's resistance was finally broken in the 73rd minute when FORSDICK ran on from midfield to drill a 20-yard shot into the corner of Sprigg's net. Halesowen were able to produce more clear-cut chances late on with Forinton heading Lamey's 79th minute corner over the bar. Forinton then set up substitute Nick Smith to place his shot but the ball rebounded off the left-hand upright and seconds later Lamey flashed a shot just wide.

But in injury time Coleman broke Glapwell's hearts by making a crucial save at the foot of his post after referee Foley waved play on despite his assistant flagging for a foul.

 


 

MIDDLING

Yeltz 0 Salisbury 1

 


 

MIDDLING

Yeltz 0 Salisbury 1

A disappointing 1-0 defeat to early league leaders Salisbury means we're very much in at this early stage. No lead to throw away this time, and from the brief account I have we didn't deserve anything more. See for full details.

Back to more positive thoughts - we're back in FA Cup action on Saturday when we travel to of the Northern Counties East Premier. They've had a reasonable start to their season, but are two levels below us in the Pyramid so we should get through. Let's hope so!

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Coleman; Cooper (Johnson 75), Haywood, Preston, Pope, Farmer (Strachan 75), Cowley, Lamey, Forinton, N. Smith, Forsdick (C. Smith 82). Unused Subs: Pierpoint, Amos

Salisbury City: Sawyer; Bartlett, Browne, Cook, Bond, Widdrington, Turk, Regis, Sales, Tubbs, Ferrett (Haddow 82). Unused Subs: Davis, Richardson, Holmes, Arthur

Referee: L. Tavinder (Cheddleton, Staffs.) Attendance: 401 Booked: Pope (73), Widdrington (79)

Table-topping Salisbury underlined their promotion potential by ending Halesowen's six-game unbeaten run.

Halesowen's Nathan Lamey was first to a long ball from Dave Haywood in the 5th minute but chipped wide of goalkeeper Kevin Sawyer.

But the Yeltz barely tested Sawyer during an uneventful first half with the unbeaten Whites creating the better chances inspired by Christopher Ferrett down the left wing.

Haywood cleared a Paul Sales header off the line in the 19th minute after Ferrett delivered Salisbury's first corner with the follow-up from Matthew Tubbs near the post turned away for a second corner. Home goalkeeper Dean Coleman took out a cross from Rene Regis on 23 minutes with Ferrett free in the centre and on 32 minutes Widdrington volleyed a part-cleared corner wide of the mark.

Coleman easily collected a 35th minute looping header from Timothy Bond but Halesowen's defence was exposed again twice before the interval. A poor midfield pass from Nick Smith allowed Ferrett to find Tubbs but he flashed wide in the 38th minute and a couple of minutes later Coleman failed to gather a Sales header from Ferrett's corner but Bond put the rebound past the post.

Halesowen displayed a little more urgency after half-time, but Ian Cooper's 48th minute shot was easily saved by Sawyer before a header from Tubbs dropped just over the bar at the other end.

Sawyer produced an excellent save from Nathan Lamey's 55th minute shot from 20-yards after Steve Pope headed down in what proved to be Halesowen's best chance of the afternoon.

On the hour Coleman beat away a rasping drive from Ferrett and then parried away a fierce drive from Tubbs at the near post four minutes later. Sandwiched in between, Steve Farmer's header struck the back of the net from Alex Cowley's cross but Howard Forinton had already impeded goalkeeper Sawyer and the goal was disallowed.

Salisbury grabbed the winning goal in the 66th minute when SALES headed home directly from Ferrett's right-wing corner.

The Yeltz looked happier after a late change of formation and enjoyed the majority of possession in the final minutes. Aaron Cook made an important clearance as Sawyer failed to gather Forinton's 72nd minute shot with Lamey bearing down on goal.

However, it was man-of-the-match Ferrett who caused further confusion with a 74th minute cross and the visitors should have added a second goal in the 82nd minute when Tubbs screwed over the bar from close range.

 


 

5-4-3

FAC 1Q Yeltz 5 South Normanton Athletic 3

Now that's exciting. The mighty Yeltz started off on another FA Cup campaign with a 5-3 victory at home to South Normanton, with 4 goals from Howard Forinton - his first for the club. However, once again we didn't make it easy for ourselves after blowing an early 3-0 lead and letting the visitors come back to 3-3. Nathan got the other goal, and that puts us into the draw (which I assume is on Monday).

Next Saturday league leaders Salisbury City are the visitors to The Grove. They're slightly surprising (to me anyway) leaders at this stage but they are unbeaten so it's not going to be easy. A victory would be very nice and keep up right up there at this early stage of the season.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Coleman; Cooper, Haywood, Preston, Pope, Farmer (Pierpoint 90), Cowley (Johnson 85), Lamey, Forinton, N. Smith, Forsdick (Strachan 89). Unused Subs: Baker, Amos

South Normanton Athletic: Boot; M. Smith (Cox 84), Jago, Peel, Atkinson, Walker, Robinson, Martt, Thorpe, Bedward (Augustus 55), Lewis. Unused Subs: Warden, Morrell, Roome

Referee: D. Handley (Wigan) Attendance: 279 Booked: Cox (90) Sponsors' Man of the Match: Howard Forinton

Howard Forinton notched a hat-trick in seven minutes during the first-half but Halesowen were given a huge fright in progressing to the next round after squandering a three-goal lead to Northern Counties East Division 1 outfit, South Normanton Athletic.

Halesowen piled on the early pressure with Alex Cowley shooting across goal in the 3rd minute after goalkeeper Steve Boot failed to clear a corner. After winning a series of corners, Dave Haywood then played an incisive 13th minute pass to Nathan Lamey, but his shot squirted wide and on 17 minutes Cowley struck the side-netting as a gulf in class started to look apparent.

FORINTON inevitably opened the scoring in the 19th minute by touching the ball into the roof of the net from close range to record his first goal in Halesowen colours after Steve Pope was given a free header from a corner.

Two minutes later Simon Forsdick made a great run down the left wing and set up FORINTON to increase the lead by striking the top corner of the net from the edge of the area.

FORINTON completed his hat-trick with a simple tap-in after 26 minutes when Boot could only parry a shot from Nick Smith into his path.

Pope and Lamey then wasted two free-kicks by blasting high and wide and in the 43rd minute Forsdick ballooned another good chance over the bar.

With the floodgates looking ready to open, not even the most pessimistic Yeltz fan believed Halesowen could then throw away their comfortable three goal lead to a side languishing bottom of a league three rungs lower in the football pyramid.

However, the Shiners were given at lifeline seconds before the interval when Nathan Robinson exposed Halesowen's weakness down the left wing and crossed for hard-working Anthony BEDWARD to convert an open goal from close range in their first real chance of the afternoon.

Halesowen were given a further warning at the start of the second half when Nicki Preston made an important clearance and in the 59th minute the home defence was almost caught out when a long free-kick from John Peel was flicked over goalkeeper Dean Coleman by Carl Lewis but the ball fell just wide.

The plucky visitors scored a second goal after 61 minutes when Lewis swung in a free-kick and captain PEEL buried a free header beyond Coleman amidst more woeful defending.

Unbelievably, heartened South Normanton equalised in the 66th minute when Nick THORPE latched onto another long ball and held off two defenders before beating Coleman with an excellent finish from 12 yards to the delight of the travelling contingent.

Halesowen redeemed themselves and reduced the tension with two further goals in the final minutes. LAMEY regained the lead with a low strike from 20 yards after Forinton laid the ball off in the 70th minute.

Man-of-the-match FORINTON then planted home a 77th minute header from Haywood's deep cross to record his 4th goal of the game.

 


 

WE NEED WOODHOUSE

Grantham 1 Yeltz 1

Barbara that is - to help us hold a lead. By my reckoning (which is obviously suspect) we've been ahead in every game so far this season, and on Saturday it happened once again. A draw at Grantham isn't that bad, but we've unfortunately we seem to have settled in to our mid-table position despite only losing one game so far. Full details in Darren's match report .

Next Saturday we set off on the long road to maybe Wembley with an FA Cup First Qualifying Round against South Normanton Athletic . They finished bottom of the Northern Counties East Division One last season and have lost both their league games so far, so it would be a massive shock if we didn't manage to get through. I think I'm confident ;-)

Match Report from Darren

Halesowen:- Coleman, Cooper, Haywood, Preston, Pope (c), Farmer, Cowley, Lamey, Forinton, N Smith, Forsdick. Unused subs:- Maguire, Strachan, Johnson, Pierpoint, Baker

Grantham:- Zicardi, Matthews, Weale, Sturgess, Julian, Brown, F Smith (Popple 72), Francis (c), Carruthers, Pell, Evans (Sneddon 72). Unused subs:- Wooding, Filby, Glover

Attendance: 270

Halesowen again failed to hold onto a lead against Grantham at the South Kesteven Stadium.

After a quiet opening from both sides, Cowley put over a 6th minute corner which the keeper punched clear under pressure. A minute later Lamey was lucky to escape a caution with a late challenge on Steve Julian.

A Willis Francis free kick on 18 minutes was struck tamely wide after an ill-advised Cowley throw in nearly let in a Grantham player who was fouled by the returning Dave Haywood.

A Lamey free kick on 25 minutes by Lamey was just missed at the far post by a diving Steve Farmer, and on 36 Lamey was again the provider from the right to Howard Forinton who's header was well saved by the keeper.

The second half began with Smith just hitting wide after good work from a Lamey free kick resulted in Farmer heading back across the goal.

The Yeltz took the lead on 57 minutes when a great cross from Alex Cowley was headed home by NATHAN LAMEY. Again the Yeltz failed to capitalise and struggled to hold the ball during the closing stages, and from a long ball from the goalkeeper up the field, Pope and Farmer clashed to allow substitute MICHAEL SNEDDON to give Grantham a point.

 


 

FOUR BANK HOLIDAY POINTS

Mangotsfield 1 Yeltz 1 - Yeltz 3 Rugby 2

The indomitable Yeltz had a reasonable holiday period, although as usual we always think we should have done better.

On Saturday we took the lead away at Mangotsfield through a Nathan goal, although as has become a common occurance so far this year we couldn't hold on and ended up drawing. Then on Monday we just about held on to beat 10-man Rugby 3-2 despite being 3-1 up through Alex, Amos and Smith. At least it's entertaining! More details in Dave's match report .

Next Saturday we travel to Grantham for an early kickoff (1pm) due to England's game in the afternoon.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Coleman; Cooper, Forsdick, Preston, Pope, Farmer, Cowley, Lamey, Forinton, Smith, Amos. Unused Subs: Maguire, Johnson, Haywood, Skidmore, Pierpoint

Rugby Town: Wilson; Tullin, Gordon, Peaks, Gould, Squire, Green, Cross (Nicholls 73), Slinn, Stone, D. Williams (S. Williams 87). Unused Subs: Maddox, Kattos, Wesley

Referee: I. Hamilton (Cheltenham) Attendance: 375 Sent Off: Wilson (70) Booked: Forinton (43), Tullin (57)

Halesowen made heavy weather of recording their first home win against 10-man Rugby in a game short on quality.

An instantly forgettable opening was eventually brought to life after 28 minutes when Howard Forinton laid the ball off for Alex COWLEY to pick his spot and beat goalkeeper Steve Wilson from 15 yards. Cowley then struck wide on the half-hour and a minute later Simon Forsdick put Nathan Lamey clear but his shot was blocked after he side-stepped the last defender. Forsdick and Cowley were then blocked in front of goal and at the other end Steve Pope tidied up after Kevin Slinn clattered into young goalkeeper Dean Coleman as the visitors forced two 35th minute corners.

Before the interval Rob Gould was dispossessed with Forinton hitting over the bar and Nick Smith rolled a shot past the post. Forinton then received a needless 43rd minute booking born out of his frustration before crossing inches too high for Lamey. Forinton's 45th minute right-wing cross was then met by a Lamey volley, but Wilson produced a magical save to keep the ball out.

Halesowen increased their lead in the 55th minute when Rugby failed to clear Cowley's corner and Nick AMOS poked home from close range with a defender only helping the ball over the line.

But Rugby were given hope when the home defence failed to pick up David Stone from a short corner and SQUIRE headed past Coleman at the near post in the 60th minute. The two-goal advantage was restored in simple fashion just a minute later when SMITH hooked into the net following a mix-up between goalkeeper Wilson and Andy Peakes.

In a game with increasing tempo, Coleman seemed to have claimed a 63rd minute cross but then lost the ball with his defence clearing for a corner. With Rugby's defence looking fragile, Forsdick's 64th minute cross fell on top of the bar and Wilson saved well from Smith. Wilson then raced off his line in the 66th minute to save from Lamey following a defence-splitting pass from Forsdick.

Rugby goalkeeper Wilson was dismissed with a red card in the 70th minute for handling inches outside his area as he attempted to save from Lamey and Chris Tullin took over in goal.

But Halesowen failed to take advantage against the 10-men of Rugby and ended up suffering from more late jitters. Stone made a brilliant 80-yard full-length right-wing run in the 76th minute and the resulting cross from John Nicholls was missed by Coleman giving Kevin SLINN the easy task of reducing the arrears after the ball rebounded off the crossbar.

The Yeltz failed to severely test Tullin although a 77th minute header from Steve Farmer was cleared off the line and an 80th minute shot from Pope was saved at the foot of the post. Lamey then made an 81st minute run and saw his shot diverted just past the post.

Rugby had several chances to claim a dramatic late equaliser but Halesowen clung on with Coleman saving Squire's header at the second attempt in the 90th minute.

 


 

DISAPPOINTING

Yeltz 2 Banbury 2

The mighty Yeltz lost the chance to make up ground in the table when we twice allowed Banbury to score late equalisers at The Grove. Goals from Lamey and Farmer were both cancelled out - the last one in the 95th minute - as we ended up at 2-2. Full details in Dave's match report .

We've been on the fortunate end of a few extended injury times recently, so I suppose we can't moan too much, but it's still a bit disappointing all the same. We're now in 12th place in the table with just 5 points from the first four games.

On Saturday we travel down to Bristol to play Mangotsfield, before hosting Rugby on Bank Holiday Monday.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Cooper (Skidmore 73), Forsdick, Preston, Pope, Farmer, Cowley, Lamey (Hay 83), Smith (Strachan 73), Forinton, Amos. Unused Subs: Maguire, Johnson

Banbury United: Tricker; Blossom, Jackson (Kinch 78), Sullivan, Pond (King 75), Fuller, Stanbridge, Lamb, Redknap (Potter 71), Baird, Gardner. Unused Sub: McKay

Referee: J. Cox (Evesham) Attendance: 416 Booked: Farmer (38), Sullivan (69) Sponsors' Man of the Match: Steve Farmer

Halesowen squandered another potential win and failed to defend their fourth lead in four games when unbeaten Banbury grabbed two dramatic late equalisers.

The evening looked promising when Nick Amos headed a Nathan Lamey cross over the bar in the 3rd minute and Steve Farmer met Simon Forsdick's cross to head against the crossbar with low-key Howard Forinton striking the side-netting from close range against his former club in the 5th minute. Andrew Baird then glanced a header wide for the visitors after 6 minutes.

Forsdick skipped down the left wing in the 11th minute but his cross was just too high for Nick Smith and after 19 minutes Banbury's John Gardner beat Alex Cowley but Baird flashed another header over the bar from the resulting cross.

Cowley's 20th minute cross was again met by a Farmer header but goalkeeper Simon Tricker and defender Darren Pond somehow clawed the ball away from the foot of the post before Lamey's 21st minute close range effort was diverted for a corner.

Chris Jackson hit a speculative 35-yard half-volley just wide for the Puritans after 26 minutes and three minutes later Halesowen's Smith shot wide after Forinton headed down Cowley's cross.

Just before the interval Banbury enjoyed a good spell with Baird heading a Paul Lamb cross into the arms of Chris Taylor. Two minutes later Taylor flapped at Lamb's free-kick but the ball fell safely and on 45 minutes Gardner also blasted wide.

The Yeltz grabbed the lead in the 51st minute when Steve Pope touched a 22-yard free-kick for LAMEY to strike a low-ball beyond Tricker through a crowded goal-mouth.

But hopes of a first home win were disappointed as Halesowen failed to capitalise in a game resembling a mid-table clash.

Forsdick fed Smith on the hour, but he shot straight at Tricker from 20-yards. Forinton then put Forsdick clear on goal after 78 minutes, but he lofted the ball over the bar. Two minutes later Lamey latched onto a headed clearance from Nicki Preston but his chip fell on top of the cross-bar with goalkeeper Tricker beaten. Substitute Gary Hay looked raw when he was put through in the 84th minute and he wasted the chance through indecision before the ball broke for fellow substitute Craig Strachan to fire in a fierce 20-yard shot that was parried away by Tricker.

Halesowen twice paid the price for not securing the points in a dramatic final few minutes as Banbury's substitutes rose to the occasion to force two equalising goals. Substitute Neil King delivered a cross from the right wing for substitute Tommy KINCH to head home at the far post with Taylor failing to prevent the ball rolling inches over the goal-line after 85 minutes.

Halesowen were given a 'get-out-of-jail' card in the 87th minute when they regained the lead with FARMER crashing the ball into the net from close range after Tricker failed to gather Strachan's free-kick. Gardner hit a 20-yard free-kick over the Yeltz bar on 90 minutes and it appeared that Halesowen's defence had survived.

However, play was allowed to continue deep into injury time - despite neither physio being required in the second-half - and in the 95th minute King delivered an identical right-wing cross for substitute Chris POTTER to be given yet another far-post free-header to take home a share of the points.

 


 

NOT TOO BAD (AFTER SATURDAY!)

Yeltz 1 Hitchin 1 - Cirencester 2 Yeltz 1 - King's Lynn 0 Yeltz 1

Things haven't started exactly how we imagined - when do they ever? - but the slightly rocky start to the season got a lot better after a good 1-0 victory away to King's Lynn.

My holiday meant I couldn't update the site much last week, so there's a whole series of Dave's match reports available for your pleasure.

Our next game is on Tuesday at home to Banbury. They've had a pretty good start with two wins and a loss, but I'd hope we can build on Saturday's victory and keep in touch with the early leaders.

 


 

ALL SET TO GO

Friendly Boldmere 2 Yeltz 4

The mighty Yeltz completed their pre-season friendlies with another win, but the week was overshadowed by the sad and untimely death of Steve Parkes. There have lots of kind comments on YeltzTalk , but I just want to repeat how much Steve will be missed on this site and down The Grove.

On to happier thoughts. Our pre-season preparations appear to have gone well, and from the other end of the country I think the squad has definitely been strengthened over the summer. Forinton will hopefully become the regular goal scorer we've been missing for a while, and Farmer seems a good signing at the back. I'm very confident we can make the play-offs at least, although I always am confident this time of year.

I've cleverly arranged my summer holidays for the first week of the season, so updates after next Saturday may be slightly slower than usual and I won't see you all at the Hitchin game. Let's hope for a good start to the season and three points to get our challenge on its' way.

Match Report from Darren

BOLDMERE ST MICHAELS team:- Anstiss (Clarke 85); Curtin, Brough, Price (Fisher 70), Mark Smith, Steve Smith, Grosvenor (Thomas 70), Seward, Beckley (Tyrrell H/T), Charley (Packer 75), Kirk Smith

HALESOWEN TOWN team:- Taylor; Cowley (Skidmore H/T), Maguire, Preston, Pope (Johnson 66), Farmer (Pierpoint 59); Smith, Amos, Cooper; Lamey (Hay H/T), Forinton (Lamey 66)

Halesowen completed a fine pre-season with their 5th consecutive win against a very competitive and sometimes physical Midland Alliance team.

It was the opposition who had the first chance on 10 minutes when Mykel Beckley blazed over after good work on the edge of the penalty area.

A minute later and the Yeltz took the lead. Boldmere appealed in vain for the offside flag as NATHAN LAMEY broke clear from a Cooper through ball and slotted home left footed into the corner of former Redditch goalkeeper Richard Anstiss' net.

Beckley was again a threat on 16 minutes, but was brought down by Preston as he broke through from midfield. The resulting free kick was well saved by Taylor.

Halesowen won a free kick on 22 minutes, and from it Nathan Lamey set up NICK SMITH who guided the ball into the back of the net with a glancing header to put Halesowen 2-0 up.

Boldmere were given a lifeline on 24 minutes as the referee awarded a penalty for a Pope challenge. KEVIN CHARLEY slotted home. A minute later and the Mikes were level as MYKEL BECKLEY broke free and slotted home past Taylor.

After conceding two goals in the space of a minute, Halesowen tried to recover as Steve Pope struck tamely wide from a free kick.

A deep corner on 37 minutes from Alex Cowley was missed by everyone in the area. However 2 minutes later HOWARD FORINTON capped a great personal pre-season as he lobbed over the goalkeeper from the edge of the penalty area to restore Halesowen's lead.

The second half began with Pope attempting an audacious lob from a free kick on the half way line that went just wide. The game sparked into life on 51 minutes as Farmer was left on the ground after an off the ball incident with substitue Justin Tyrrell. After consulting his assistant, the referee had no option but to show the red card.

Halesowen controlled the rest of the game with their man advantage and went further into the lead on 59 minutes as a Pope free kick was initially saved by the keeper only for NICK AMOS to score from the rebound.

Lamey nearly added to his tally when a short corner to Cooper was played back to him and hit a shot just wide. Nick Smith also hit just over on 73 minutes after good work in midfield.