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.

 


 

CONFUSED

Solihull 3 Yeltz 1

Football is a confusing game. How can we be so good against Merthyr and then lose to Solihull? Still if it was predictable we'd soon get bored. Full details in Dave's match report .

We continue yet another long run of away games on Saturday when we travel to play Bath City. They are down in 15th place but in this crazy league they're only 7 points behind us. Let's hope it's one of our good days!

Match Report from DJ

Solihull Borough: Gayle; Smith, Hier, Adams, A. Cooper, Peer, Jackson, Titterton, Hawker, Shepherd (Voice 78), R. Taylor. Unused Subs: Robinson, Petty, Faulds

Halesowen Town: C. Taylor; I. Cooper (Amos 78), Haywood, Preston, Pope, Jones, Cowley (Haarhoff 67), Danks (Moore 67), Lamey, Baker, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Skidmore, Steane.

Referee: C. Miller (Kettering) Attendance: 383 Booked: Haywood (49), Lamey (83).

Nathan Lamey grabbed his fourth goal of the festive season but could not prevent Halesowen losing their fourth league game out of six in a dire display.

Halesowen were barely recognisable from the side that beat top of the table Merthyr just two days earlier as they slumped to the bottom side Solihull in an unhappy return to Damson Park for Yeltz manager Paul Holleran and five of his players all recruited from Solihull. Nick Amos was also announced as the new Halesowen player-coach and takes over from Darren Grocutt who left just before Christmas.

A 6th minute corner was met by Lamey at the far post after being missed by former Halesowen goalkeeper Mark Gayle but the home defence cleared for a corner. Solihull's Matt Hawker broke free down in the 11th minute but the ball was eventually cleared in a scramble with both Marcus Jackson and Rob Taylor going close. Not for the first time this season, Jackson continued to prove troublesome for Halesowen as he flashed an 18th minute shot wide with the Yeltz defence wide open again before Halesowen's Lewis Baker headed Alex Cowley's free-kick just wide.

Solihull took a 23rd minute lead with the help of comical defending when a back header from Dan Jones only found HAWKER and his lob beat goalkeeper Chris Taylor who was well off his line. Two minutes later Taylor recovered to make a good save from Morton Titterton's shot and at the other end Baker's 27th minute shot struck Martin Hier's arm but only a corner was awarded.

LAMEY equalised with a fine 29th minute header beyond Gayle from Cowley's short corner. Ten minutes before the interval Gayle made an important blocking save from Lamey from ten yards.

Instead of building on Lamey's leveller, the visitors put on a wretched second half performance and fell behind again in the 48th minute when Rob TAYLOR picked up a loose ball and drilled home a low shot from 22 yards. Halesowen goalkeeper Chris Taylor then lost a 64th minute free-kick from Carl Adams but the ball fell safely and Halesowen escaped. Solihull added a third goal on 68 minutes when Jackson was allowed to advance and his shot beat Chris Taylor again from 20 yards with Mark SHEPHERD free to tap home the rebound off the post.

Halesowen hardly mustered a second half chance until Nicki Preston headed an 81st minute corner wide and labouring substitute Jason Moore was set up by Lamey five minutes from time but wasted the opportunity.

 


 

INDOMITABLE

Gloucester 3 Yeltz 3 and Yeltz 1 Merthyr 0

The great thing about this season is that we've built up a great team spirit on the field, which showed up with two excellent battling performances over the holiday period. A fight back from three goals down at Gloucester was followed by a very hard fought victory over league leaders Merthyr on New Year's Day.

You can read full details of both games in Dave's match reports, but I'd just like to add what a fantastic performance it was against Merthyr in the worst conditions I can remember for a long time. Nathan's goal was fantastic, and we fully deserved the victory.

Going into 2005 we really have got all to play for. We're currently 5th in the table , but still have a game in hand on the leaders. However only 9 points separate 2nd from 15th(!) place so it's going to be an exciting second-half of the season.

One thing I have noticed on the site in the last year is lots of new fans getting involved. This is always good news, but I just want to remind everyone about what this site (and club) is all about. Yeltzland is not or never will be an official site, but it's run (and paid for!) by me in my spare time for the benefit of Yeltz fans. For that reason it's ultimately down to me what goes on the site - even though it takes a lot more effort to keep on top of things - because I strongly believe the quality of everyone's experience is helped my me deleting the usual abusive messages most unmoderated forums end up being. If that ends up with people occasionally feeling frustrated that they are not being heard, I can only say I'm doing what I think best for everyone.

The website (and fanzine before it) always had an excellent relationship with the club - the reason for this being we are not a Man Utd. or WBA; we're a small non-league club where everyone knows each other. The benefit of this is that whenever you have any issues with how the club is run, you can talk to the board members directly - they're probably standing next to you in the crowd. This is the reason why I won't allow personal insults written at them on this site - if you've got something to say to them find them at the game and say it to them directly not through this website. This doesn't mean that no criticism is allowed, but there are limits.

OK enough of me going on - I hope everyone has a happy 2005, and we can continue to enjoy and appreciate what has been sor far one of the best seasons I can remember in many years.

 


 

PRETTY GOOD SO FAR

WSC QF Kidderminster 0 Yeltz 2

The Yeltz got back to winning ways last night with a 2-0 win over Kiddy's kids in the Worcester Senior last night. Goals from Nathan Lamey and Alex Cowley puts us through to the semi-finals and a mouth-watering tie against Redditch.

Despite a few recent setbacks, the club is in a very healthy state at the moment after an excellent cup run, and for the first time in a long while a passing team who try to play good football. We've slipped down to 6th, but have games in hand and are all set to make a good run for promotion.

We've got three important games over the holiday period - starting with a lovely trip to Gloucester on Monday (27th) followed by the big one at The Grove when league leaders Merthyr wist on New Years Day. If we could get 6 points from those games we'd be right back in the title race, so let's hope for the best!

I'm off on my Xmas travels next week, so after Saturday the site may not be updated as quickly as usual. Merry Xmas to you all, and I'll hopefully see a lot of you on New Years Day for the big match.

Match Report from DJ

Kidderminster H: Danby (Lewis 70); Astley, Evans, Manship, Hodnett, Teraud, Byrne, Malcolm, Butler, Thompson, Ludlow. Unused Subs: Burton, Gleeson.

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Cooper, Haywood, Preston, Amos, Jones, Cowley, Moore, Danks, Lamey (Forsdick 67), Skidmore. Unused Subs: Grocutt, Strachan.

Referee: S. Dorr (Worcester) Attendance: 224 Booked: Amos (36), Preston (44), Skidmore (84), Manship (84)

Halesowen were too strong for Kidderminster's youth team in a confidence boosting performance after their recent lack of form.

Nick Amos gave a dominant performance at the heart of the defence in place of absent Steve Pope with the hosts barely registering a clear attempt on goal all evening and Paul Danks worked hard up front after his recall from Solihull.

In the 2nd minute Jason Moore went close and Nathan Lamey headed a corner over the bar. Lamey then beat the offside trap in the 28th minute but goalkeeper John Danby made a fine save. Seconds later Danby made another fine save from Lamey and Danny Hodnett cleared off the line as Moore followed up from the rebound. Moore skipped through a couple of challenges in the 43rd minute to set up Alex Cowley but Danby raced out to make another blocking save.

Halesowen's pressure eventually brought a first half injury time goal when Lamey turned in the area to finally beat Danby from 15 yards after Moore shielded the ball.

Simon Forsdick was introduced in the 67th minute after being delayed on his journey to Aggborough and was put free on the left in the 74th minute but substitute goalkeeper Daniel Lewis rushed off his line to save. Lewis was then on hand to block from Forsdick again on 77 minutes after being put through by Cowley.

Kidderminster youngsters exerted late pressure but Halesowen held firm and broke away to notch a second goal in injury time when Danks put Cowley clear and he ran towards goal from 40 yards out before cheekily chipping past Lewis.

 


 

DISAPPOINTED AGAIN

Yeltz 1 Chesham 2

Our miserable December continued on Saturday when we lost again, this time going down 2-1 at home to Chesham. We should have had an early penalty when Fozzie was brought down, but then the game became very scrappy. They took the lead with a lucky deflection, but after the break we started to play a bit and deservedly equalised, once again through The Pope. However, when they scored again on the break all the belief drained out of us, and despite a bit of pressure we never really looked like getting back into it.

On Tuesday we play our last game before Xmas when we travel to Kiddy in the Worcester Senior. They're on a bad run too, but I suspect neither team is particularly bothered about the outcome (to preempt the moaners who will undoubtedly trot out the usual dull arguments if we turn out a weakened team and lose).

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Cooper (Skidmore 81), Haywood, Preston, Pope, Jones, Cowley, Moore (Lamey 65), Forsdick, Baker, Amos (Danks 65). Unused Subs: Strachan, Grocutt

Chesham United: Jackson; Sinclair, Sweeney, West, Clifford, Aldridge, Yates, Fotheringham (Reed 85), Richardson (Callender 79), Lawford, Scarlett. Unused Subs: Deacon, Hole, Hughes

Referee: C. Banks (Bicester) Attendance: 444 Booked: Lawford (68), Pope (78), Haywood (84).

Halesowen's disastrous December continued as they slumped to their 3rd consecutive defeat. The GX Team of the Month award prior to the game proved ironic with the former league leaders lacking confidence as they desperately tried to recapture their early season form.

With nothing going their way, Halesowen's Simon Fordsick looked to have won a 2nd minute penalty when a header from Lewis Baker put him clear on goal. Having safely controlled the ball, Forsdick was about to pull the trigger when he went down from a Simon Sweeney challenge, but the referee waved play on.

Chris Taylor made a fine 8th minute one-handed save from tricky wide-man Andre Scarlett after he beat Dan Jones down the left. Opposite goalkeeper Jamie Jackson then saved from Forsdick after Nick Amos headed down and Baker worked his way through the Chesham defence in the 17th minute but Jason Moore could only hook the ball at Jackson.

Despite long periods of possession, the Yeltz lacked a cutting edge and Chesham took the lead in the 29th minute when a long free-kick from Peter Clifford was only half cleared, leaving Neil YATES to beat Taylor from 15 yards with the help of a deflection off Steve Pope. In a good spell for the visitors, a 39th minute header from John Richardson fell on top of the net and John Lawford sent a 30-yard free-kick inches high on 41 minutes. A minute before the break Peter Clifford hung in the air to head Lawford's corner wide from close range.

There was no lack of effort from the Yeltz in the second half and Pope hit a 48th minute free-kick at the Chesham defensive wall. POPE then levelled the scores in the 49th minute by hitting home into the roof of the net from three yards out after fellow defender Nicki Preston turned Dave Haywood's corner back across the face of goal. In a good spell of passing play Forsdick headed at Jackson in the 55th minute but the Yeltz failed to build on the equaliser and switched off again at the back as Chesham regained the lead when SWEENEY was allowed to advance and hit a 20-yard drive beyond Taylor.

Chesham defended their lead solidly in the final half-hour, restricting Halesowen to an 80th minute effort when Haywood hammered a 25-yard drive just wide. In the final minute Lawford struck just wide of Taylor's post.

 


 

SLIPPED UP AGAIN

Yeltz 1 Hitchin 3

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

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

Match Report from DJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


 

A DISAPPONTING WEEKEND

Aylesbury 1 Yeltz 0

The indomitable Yeltz lost their place on top of the league when they went down 1-0 to Aylesbury on Saturday. It was a pretty average game all in all, with our usual good passing game missing for some reason. However it really should have been 0-0 despite a pretty decent late goal for them.

The mood wasn't helped when we found out Yeading had been drawn at home to Newcastle in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup. I think we'd all like to wish them the very best, but you really can't help but think it should have been us hosting The Toon down The Grove. I suppose there is always next year ...

On Saturday we finally get a home game when Hitchin are the vistitors. They are solidly in mid-table and lost at home to Histon and Merthyr in their last two games, so it's important we get back to winning ways to stay in touch with the teams who look at present to be our main rivals.

Match Report from DJ

Aylesbury United: Rashid; Williams, Mead, Gould (Powles 70), Hayward, Folds, Cracknell, Barnett, C. Baker (Lazarus 54), Gutzmore (Gray 79), Edgeworth. Unused Subs: Sintim, Alabaster.

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Cooper (Grocutt 89), Haywood, Preston, Pope, Jones, Cowley, Moore, Burgess (Lamey 70), Amos (L. Baker 74), Forsdick. Unused Sub: Skidmore.

Referee: C. Miller (Northampton) Attendance: 382

Halesowen threw away a point by conceding a late goal in a game of few chances.

The Ducks started smartly on an excellent playing surface with Dave Haywood forced to turn away a testing left-wing cross from the left in the 2nd minute. Goalkeeper Chris Taylor punched the resulting corner clear but Leon Barnett drove the ball back in and Simon Forsdick cleared Colin Baker's shot off the line when a goal seemed certain.

Richard Burgess blasted over the home crossbar in the 8th minute but on 19 minutes Aylesbury's Paul Edgeworth dispossessed Nick Amos before skewing the ball wide. On 23 minutes Alex Cowley struck wide from 20 yards from the right and five minutes later Amos headed on Steve Pope's free-kick for Jason Moore to hook a shot at goalkeeper Jack Rashid. Dan Jones was beaten in the box in the 30th minute but Jay Gould's close range shot was turned away for a corner. Barnett then flashed a 25-yard shot past the post and Edgeworth took advantage of an error by Jones to screw wide on 36 minutes.

Halesowen finished the first-half strongly with a clever Forsdick pass setting up Burgess in the 38th minute before Amos set up Burgess to slice a half-volley well wide in the area three minutes later. Two minutes before the interval Forsdick broke away again and Haywood crossed for Cowley to send a diving header just wide.

The stalemate continued early in the second half although Leon Gutzmore volleyed over the bar for the hosts in the 49th minute. Halesowen then enjoyed another good spell with Burgess making a fine turn in the area to force Rashid to parry away for a 61st minute corner. Rashid recovered to collect from Amos in the 62nd minute and then claimed the ball from Burgess three minutes later.

Halesowen failed to shore up their defence and settle for a deserved point as Aylesbury looked for a late winner. Substitute Neil Lazarus blazed a 79th minute volley over the bar at the far post after Dean Cracknell's left wing cross exposed the visiting defence. EDGEWORTH finally broke the deadlock to win the game in the 86th minute by breaking into the area from the left to smash home superbly into the far corner.

With little time left to reply, Pope hit a 20 yard shot over the Aylesbury bar in the final minute but in injury time Halesowen goalkeeper Taylor saved when substitute Danny Gray cut in to shoot from the left.

 


 

BACK ON TOP

Banbury 1 Yeltz 4

The indomitable Yeltz went back to the top of the table with an emphatic 4-1 victory at Banbury on Saturday. Goals from Preston, The Pope, a Burgess cracker and a fourth from Nick Amos (according to everyone who was there) took us above Merthyr who didn't play. Hurrah!

Next Saturday we travel once again, this time to Aylesbury . They've faded somewhat since their excellent start and are now down in mid-table, so let's hope we can keep our excellent form going and stay ahead of the chasing pack.

Match Report from DJ

Banbury United: Tricker; Essex (McKay 51), Jackson (Stidder 82), Sullivan, Burnham, O'Neill, Stanbridge, Blossom, Fuller, Redknap, Potter (Pond 82).

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Cooper, Haywood, Preston, Pope, Jones, Cowley, Burgess, Lamey (Baker 50), Amos, Forsdick (Skidmore 82). Unused Subs: Grocutt, Moore

Referee: W. Ramsay (Coventry) Attendance: 392

Injury-hit Halesowen took full advantage of a game in hand to move back to the top of the table.

The victory keeps up a sequence of 15 games in which the Puritans have failed to beat the Yeltz, spanning a period of 40 years since a 7-2 reversal way back in 1964-5.

In a bright start, Simon Forsdick embarked on a weaving run in the 2nd minute before hitting over the bar from 20 yards and the visitors forced two 4th minute corners. Halesowen took the lead when Forsdick won a 6th minute corner and the Banbury defence allowed Dave Haywood's corner kick to drop for Niki PRESTON to steam in and convert at close range.

George Redknap poked Liam O'Neill's free-kick just wide for the hosts on 11 minutes before the Yeltz raced into a two-goal lead. Alex Cowley's left-wing free-kick caught out Banbury's defence again and captain Steve POPE headed home unopposed. With the visitors well on top, both Pope and Nick Amos went close in a 17th minute goalmouth scramble from Haywood's corner.

Yeltz goalkeeper Chris Taylor finally saw some action by collecting Andy Fuller's 21st minute shot from the edge of the area and Fuller then curled a 20 yard freekick against the outside of the post two minutes later. But Halesowen dominated the closing stages of the first half with Mark Essex clearing from Burgess from a quick Haywood break on 31 minutes and Nathan Lamey shielded the ball for Forsdick to force a fine save from goalkeeper Simon Tricker with a 20 yard drive two minutes later. Burgess then rattled the post on 34 minutes when he connected with a right-wing corner and Tricker saved the rebound from Lamey. After a series of 38th minute crosses caused further danger, Burgess struck high from a good position.

Halesowen undid their good work and were pegged back to 2-1 against the run of play in the 41st minute when Fuller's deep freekick was turned into the path of Chris Potter and he beat Taylor from 10 yards.

BURGESS eased any Halesowen worries by restoring the two goal advantage at the perfect time just two minutes into the second half by latching onto Lamey's pass and hitting a stunning 15-yard strike beyond Tricker. Cowley then cut in from the right but his 20-yard effort rebounded off Tricker's post on the hour and three minutes later Preston blazed over the bar in front of goal from Burgess's clever flick-on. Tricker then denied Preston on 65 minutes and Redknap cleared the resulting corner off the line. In one of their few second-half attacks, Banbury's Chris Jackson fired a 67th minute freekick just over the bar from 25 yards.

Ten minutes from time AMOS added a fourth goal by rising above the home defence to head home another Haywood set piece.

 


 

News Story

BSC Bedworth 2 Yeltz 1

The indomitable Yeltz cleverly managed to relieve themselves of another burden to their league campaign by managing to lose 2-1 to Bedworth in the B'ham Senior Cup. Despite taking the lead through Alex Cowley, they scored two before half-time to clinch the tie.

In much more important matters, we have a chance to go back to the the top of the table on Saturday when we travel to Banbury . With most other teams playing in the Trophy, a win will take us back into first place which would be very nice!

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Ladek, Cooper, Cowley, Preston (c), Amos, Jones, Skidmore (Baker 52), Steane, Haarhoff, Burgess (Moore 65), Lamey (Forsdick 54). Unused Sub: Grocutt

The Yeltz surprisingly bowed out of their third Cup competition in November to a team a division below them despite taking an early lead. With Chris Taylor given a rest, young goalkeeper Ladek took his up duty between the sticks on his debut after signing earlier in the season from Stourport Swifts. The visitors dominated the opening minutes with crosses into the penalty area from Ian Cooper causing some danger. The early pressure then paid off in the 17th minute when goalkeeper Lee Evans failed to hold Stuart Skidmore's shot and Alex COWLEY netted the rebound.

However from this point on, Halesowen seemed to rest on their laurels for the remainder of the half and Bedworth were back on level terms when Matt COPPIN headed home Kristian Kelsall's long cross from the right. Coppin's 41st minute corner then provided the winner when a neat knock on by Scott Hadland sent James RICHARDSON into the area to blast home. Substitute forward Jimmy Haarhoff came on for the second half and proved an inspiration for Halesowen with his clever running and passing creating a string of chances. Nathan Lamey wasted the first chance, Jason Moore failed to reach the second and finally Simon Forsdick shot weakly at the goalkeeper. That was the pattern in the second half, with Town having most of the possession but never really looking like scoring. Bedworth themselves had chances to score through Joe Hanney and Lee Ross, but with an important FA Trophy game coming up on Saturday, they were just happy to hold on. On the other hand, Halesowen will feel it is a game they could have easily won with a better performance.

 


 

BACK TO WINNING WAYS

Hemel Hempstead 0 Yeltz 2

The indomitable Yeltz gained a welcome three points on Saturday with a very welcome win away to Hemel Hempstead. Goals from recent signings Nick Amos and Nathan Lamey took us back up to with a game in hand over leaders Merthyr. Full details in Dave's match report.

On Tuesday we travel to in the Birmingham Senior Cup, before yet another away trip to on Saturday for the rearranged league game.

Match Report from DJ

Hemel Hempstead Town: Lovell; Neill, Leach, Allen, Jackson, Corbould, Kelly, Cook, Fowler, Hammatt, Harding. Subs: Bent, Buss, Perrin.

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Cooper, Haywood, Preston, Pope, Jones (Haarhoff 71), Cowley, Lamey, Forsdick (Skidmore 85), Moore (Burgess 79), Amos. Unused Subs: Steane, Grocutt.

Referee: G. Horwood (Luton) Attendance: 220

Halesowen produced an assured performance to finally banish their FA Cup blues and provide real hope of ensuring at least a play-off league position at the end of the season.

Hemel had won their last three games but determined Town looked to put some indifferent recent form behind them and come away from the south east with at least a point for the first time this season. The visitors were without suspended and injured midfielder Lewis Baker but Alex Cowley recovered from a knock to make the starting line-up.

The hosts applied the early pressure and George Fowler should have done better when he struck the side netting on 21 minutes and Chris Taylor then parried away Chris Hammatt's dangerous 26th minute cross. Halesowen's first chance fell to new-signing Nathan Lamey just before the half hour when he picked up the ball from a goal kick but his low shot was well saved by home keeper David Lovell.

Nick AMOS gave the Yeltz the lead on 30 minutes to notch his first goal for the club with a looping shot from the edge of the area after a spell of pressure on the home goal.

Predictably, Halesowen soaked up home pressure early in the second half with Taylor on hand again to save a 49th minute Matt Corbould header. But the Yeltz always looked capable of a goal on the break with Dave Haywood seeing a low shot well saved before setting up the second goal in the 64th minute. Haywood's long ball led to goalkeeper Lovell and his defence making a hash of a clearance and LAMEY on the chase took advantage to loft the ball into the net.

Although Halesowen had further defending to do the introduction of substitute Jimmy Haarhoff was a masterstroke which almost paid off with two more goals. Firstly Haarhoff set up Haywood to hit the post on 86 minutes before hitting the woodwork himself with a low drive in the final minute.

 


 

TIRED DRAW

Yeltz 1 Cirencester 1

After the cup excitement of the wekend, a tired Yeltz side ground out a draw in the league at home to Cirencester. We took the lead through a welcome goal from Jason, but they equalised just before half-time. Full details in Dave's match report .

We begin a run of three away league matches on Saturday when we travel to Hemel Hempstead . They're near the bottom of the table but have won their last 3 games, but let's hope we can get back to winning ways as soon as possible.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Cooper, Forsdick, Preston, Pope, Jones, Cowley (Haywood 59), Burgess (Lamey 64), Moore (Haarhoff HT), Amos, Skidmore. Unused Sub: Steane

Cirencester Town: Thompson; Richards, Halliday, Jackson, Bird, Howard, Robison, Mayo, Hopkins (Stanley 88), Griffin (Bevan 63), Wimble. Unused Subs: Fitch, Fraser

Referee: L. Hodgson (Nuneaton) Attendance: 381 Sponsors' Man of the Match: Chris Taylor Booked: None

Halesowen returned to league action but failed to raise their game after taking an early lead in a drab draw.

Striker Nathan Lamey was signed prior to the game from Hinckley and took his place on the bench but Halesowen were then forced to name intended substitute Nick Amos as a late replacement when Lewis Baker pulled up in the pre-match warm-up.

There was little action until Shaun Wimble struck wide from 20 yards for the visitors in the 15th minute but Halesowen lifted the spirits by taking the lead with their first meaningful attack on 18 minutes. Alex Cowley won the ball in midfield and the referee ignored an infringement to play the advantage allowing Richard Burgess to find Jason MOORE in the penalty area and he tucked away his first goal in 12 games from 12 yards at the second attempt.

But the Yeltz couldn't build on the lead and the rest of the half belonged to the Centurions as the F.A. Cup hangover clicked in.

Goalkeeper Chris Taylor did just enough to deny Gareth Hopkins near his post in the 21st minute and Michael Jackson struck a long-range effort wide six minutes later. Halesowen won the first corner of the game on 28 minutes but visiting goalkeeper Paul Thompson clawed the ball away from Simon Forsdick. Cirencester came back strongly to pin lack-lustre Halesowen back late in the first-half. Adam Howard headed straight into the arms of Taylor from five yards in the 34th minute from Wimble's free-kick and a minute later Taylor pushed away a Hopkins header for a corner from another dangerous Wimble cross. Taylor then collected a 37th minute drive from Darren Robison and on 42 minutes captain Steve Pope made a crucial headed clearance from Wimble's free-kick on the edge of the penalty area.

It was no surprise when Cirencester equalised in the 44th minute when the home defence failed to clear after the ball was played in from the right and HOPKINS smashed home from 8 yards in a defensive skirmish.

A disappointingly low-key second half saw Cirencester's Adam Mayo strike over the bar from 20 yards in the 49th minute and with Halesowen failing to fire on all cylinders Pope's 25-yard free-kick was blocked on 51 minutes. Forsdick shot weakly at Thompson a minute later but Forsdick was then on hand to save the day at the other end by clearing a Hopkins corner with the home defence all at sea. Hopkins then beat defender Dan Jones in the 56th minute but man-of-the-match Taylor turned the ball away for a corner. Taylor then lost the ball in a 69th minute corner but substitute Dave Haywood cleared off the Halesowen line before the hosts finally injected some urgency into their play late on.

Centurion goalkeeper Thompson received lengthy treatment in the 70th minute after an over-enthusiastic challenge from Stuart Skidmore but Nick Amos could only strike straight at the grateful 'keeper from 8 yards after latching onto Haywood's free-kick six minutes later. Haywood's 80th minute corner was then turned back across the face of Cirencester's goal by Niki Preston and Pope hit another 25-yard trademark direct free-kick at the defensive wall five minutes later. Lamey's 89th minute overhead kick fell just over the bar and Haywood's 90th minute cross was cleared off toe of Jimmy Haarhoff.

Cirencester almost claimed all three points in the second minute of injury time when Taylor missed Wimble's free-kick but the ball evaded the visiting forward-line to run out for a goal-kick and preserve Halesowen's unbeaten home league record.