Bedford 3 Yeltz 0

23 October 2004

It was good while it lasted, but our long unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday when we lost 3-0 away at Bedford. Three second-half goals pushed us down to '2nd place' on alphabetical order 'behind' Chippenham. Full details in Dave's match report.

We start a run of Cup games on Saturday with the trip to Brigg in the final qualifying round of the FA Cup. Despite being a league below us they have an excellent cup pedigree and won the Vase last year, so it's not going to be easy. However it's about as good a draw as we could have hoped for at this stage. Let's hope for a performance as good as the one at Gainsborough in the last round and hope we can get through to the First Round for the first time in quite a few years now.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: C. Taylor; Cooper (Forsdick 64), Haywood, Preston, Pope, Jones, Cowley, Haarhoff (Burgess 64), Moore, Baker, Skidmore (Amos 64). Unused Subs: Steane, R. Robinson.

Bedford Town: J. Robinson, Jackman, J. Taylor, Rydeheard, Howarth, James (Goodrham 84), Challinor (Blake 82), Stupple, Dillon, McElroy, Okai (Wheale 80). Unused Subs: None

Referee: J. Wynne (Dunstable) Attendance: 420 Booked: None

The Eagles soared high with a three quick-fire goals at the start of the second-half ending Halesowen's eleven game unbeaten run.

After a quiet start in the relentless rain, Lewis Baker dispossessed defender James Taylor but fired just wide from the edge of the penalty area. At the other end a measured 15th minute cross from ex-Dunstable wide-man Parys Okai was headed away for a corner by Dave Haywood and a minute later Bedford worked the ball to the right for Richard Challinor to shoot over the bar.

Jason Moore laid the ball off for Jimmy Haarhoff to hit a 15-yard drive at goalkeeper James Robinson on 21 minutes and just after the half-hour Haywood delivered a sequence of three free-kicks from the right-wing straight into the arms of the Bedford goalkeeper. Niki Preston's 32nd minute long-range shot was deflected away for a corner and seconds before the interval visiting goalkeeper Chris Taylor took out a dangerous right-wing cross from Challinor.

The even, low-key first-half gave few hints of a traumatic fifteen minutes that was about to follow. Three minutes after the restart Steve Pope attempted to beat one man too many and lost the ball in midfield, but Dan Jones did just enough to put off Chris Dillon as he ran through on goal. Bedford then went ahead in the 51st minute when Taylor failed to claim a deep free-kick from Jackman and Dean McELROY netted with a simple header.

Pope flashed Haywood's corner just wide in the 53rd minute after Haarhoff won the ball but lack-lustre Halesowen fell two goals behind in the 58th minute after losing the ball in midfield allowing Dillon to break and cross from the left for Derwayne STUPPLE to bang home from close range.

Halesowen's flaky defence was torn apart again in the 60th minute when McElroy crossed from the right to present DILLON with an easy tap-in past Taylor.

The Yeltz never looked likely to retrieve the situation despite making three 64th minute substitutions. Robinson took Baker's header and opposite goalkeeper Taylor took McElroy's 66th minute header from Dillon's cross. Halesowen substitutes Richard Burgess and Simon Forsdick both struck wide before Bedford's McElroy saw his 79th minute strike disallowed for offside.

Moore hit wide from Alex Cowley's cross in the final minute of a miserable afternoon for Halesowen that ended their record of scoring in every game this season.