Yeltz 1 Hitchin 3

11 December 2004

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.