ROLL ON NEXT SEASON
Yeltz 0 Bedworth 1
27 April 2002
It's been a nice little holiday, and of course it's been great to win the league, but next season we'll be back where we should never have left - in the Premier Division.
Congratulations to Brendan, the players and everyone else who've turned the club around after the disastrous Chambers/Moore era and given us all hope again. Next year could be very important if the planned reorganisation of the 3 feeder leagues into 2 goes ahead, but with Brendan in charge I'm very confident in the future.
Today's game was a bit of a let down after last week's excitement with the mighty Yeltz losing 1-0 to Bedworth but it doesn't matter one bit. Neil Smith deservedly won player of the season, with Mark Taylor second and Tim Clarke and Lee Collins equal third.
Other results saw King's Lynn and Newport IOW (unfortunately) relegated along with Merthyr and Salisbury, and Grantham joining Hastings in being promoted from the Eastern Division. Also, Kettering overtook Tamworth to clinch promotion to the Conference.
As usual, the site will continue to bring you any news throughout the summer, and if I have time I'm also looking to overhaul the site. As ever, if you've got any suggestions . Enjoy the World Cup and I'll see you all next season. Oh, and don't forget the vote.
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, N. Smith (Cowley 76), L. Collins, Newall, Spencer, Jones (R. Collins 59), May (G. Smith 59), Taylor, Hines
Bedworth United: Williams; Oddy, Lloyd (Sewell 45), Sanders, Richardson, Parsons, Steane, Gibson, Aston (Drewitt 59), Partridge (Morson 80), Whitmore
Referee: C. Sarginson (Rugeley) Attendance: 731 Sponsors' Man of the Match: Mark Taylor
Halesowen were presented with the Dr Martens Western Championship Shield by Janet Lloyd (the daughter of Harry Rudge) in front of the Harry Rudge Stand at the end of their final game of the season. Prior to the game Neil Smith was selected as the Supporters' Player of the Season with Mark Taylor gaining second place and Lee Collins sharing third spot with Tim Clarke.
On the pitch itself, the game was tailor-made for that well-worn phrase "a typical end-of-season affair" with Halesowen showing little of the form that brought Premier football back to the Grove in a tremendous season. Bedworth's winning goal came out of the blue in the 15th minute when the ball broke kindly for Richard Gibson to despatch a 20-yard drive beyond Tim Clarke. For all their possession Halesowen created few clear-cut chances and found the bone dry surface broke up their usual fluent style. Andy Spencer crossed in the 21st minute but Leroy May scooped the ball over the bar and on the half-hour Richard Colwell crossed for Andy Jones to blast over from 10-yards out. Two minutes later Jones shot weakly at Richard Williams after Mark Taylor had waltzed through the Bedworth back-line. Just before the break the Yeltz won a series of corners from Les Hines and Mark Taylor but Lee Collins hit his volley way over the bar from 10 yards out.
At the start of the second half Hines blasted a 15-yard free-kick just past the post as the newly crowned Champions tried to fight back. A 56th minute clearance fell kindly for Jones but another chance went begging when he volleyed wide in front of an open goal. Jason Burnham then drilled just wide before a rare Bedworth attack saw Chris Partridge bringing a save out of Tim Clarke. On the hour Burnham's shot took a deflection but Richard Williams just tipped the ball away from the foot of the post. Six minutes later a long throw-in from Burnham was headed into the arms of Williams by Andy Spencer. A minute from time Bedworth almost increased their lead in a rare break but substitute Andy Morson shot straight at Clarke as the uneventful game drew to a close.
Despite the disappointing game, the mood swiftly changed to thoughts of the Championship with jubilant Yeltz fans relishing the prospect of a swift return to the Premier Division. The presentation of the Manager of the Month award for March to Brendan Phillips was followed by Lee Collins collecting the Championship Shield with "We are the Champions" ringing out around the Grove.