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.
News Stories 1997-2006 ...
- Index of stories (to help you find stuff quicker)
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.
Some news of who's in and out has been dribbling out, and the list of friendlies is now available.
First the player news. Woody and Ralphy Crisp are both out , rejecting 'reduced terms'. They both been tree-mendous players for the club, and will be sorely missed. Other leavers are James Ince, Jon Ford and I believe Jason Owen .
Definite (as far as I know) to stay are Dennis Bailey, Les Hines, Jason Burnham, Stuart Skidmore and Ross Collins . Finally, Andy Quy, Peter Sutton and Clinton Thomas have been asked to prove their fitness at pre-season training.
Yeltz 2 Bath 0
It's all over. It were the worst, but we finished of an awful season on a positive note with a 2-0 win over Bath , both goals coming from young Dennis Bailey .
In the circumstances, things do look reasonably positive. Brendan Phillips has signed a two year contract to remain manager , which is very good news . Since he's took over we've looked a much better team, even though we didn't get the results the improvement deserved.
We're very excited about the possibility of having some sort of Jolly Boys logo on the shirts next year. We're just putting together a major consortium to enter into the brilliant lottery scheme to raise sponsorship money (see here for details - at the bottom of that page).
Obviously the site will be updated less frequently over the summer months, but I'll try and keep everyone up-to-date on everything I know, so keep on sending me anything you know or post it on YeltzTalk . It's going to be a lot harder next season to maintain the site as we won't be on Ceefax any more, but I'm hoping to make some major-ish changes to the site before August if I can find the time.
Thanks to everyone who's sent me news and gossip over the last year; personally I can't wait for our promotion season next year already :-)
Fisher 0 Yeltz 0
STOP PRESS: Brendan Phillips appointed manager for a further two years - further details on YeltzTalk
Wet, miserable, overcast. A good way to make sure our traditional last away game celebrations were carried out in a manner befitting this awful season.
The match itself? If it had been on Sky Sports, those match area statistics would have shown most of the play in their half but we never really threatened their keeper in what were admittedly difficult conditions. We had a good singsong in the second half but all in all it was pretty depressing. Oh well.
We're still bottom but can still climb a few places if we win against Bath next week and other results go our way. There is a rumour about league reorganisation to make the league bigger next season, but I'd have thought that meant more teams coming down from the Conference than affecting our end of the table.
A very interesting idea from the club:
The Jolly Boys are trying to sort something out between us of getting at least one entry, but I think this is a brilliant idea - let's try and get as many businesses or fans or whoever to do this and get as much money raised as possible.
Match Report from DJ
Fisher Athletic: Iga; Aris, Manning, Bircham, Edwards, Taylor, Powell, Tydeman, Tyne, Mighty (Moore 67), O'Neil. Subs: Cohen, Pacey
Halesowen Town: Turbutt; Skidmore, Burnham, Lloyd (Wood 14), Owen (Sutton 23), Smith, Crawford, Ince, Spencer, Bailey, Hines. Sub: Thomas
Booked: None Referee: M. Knight (Hove) Attendance: 129
Halesowen's season-long lack of fire power came back to haunt them as they failed to turn long spells of pressure into goals at rain-soaked Fisher. However, for all Halesowen's lack of punch, Fisher fared even worse and gave emergency goalkeeper Scott Turbutt an easy afternoon's work in the Halesowen goal.
A dismal first half left the sparse crowd in no doubt why both sides are already condemned to relegation. Central defenders Wayne Lloyd and Jason Owen were early injury casualties but the only attempts on goal came when Fisher's Ross Edwards almost turned a backpass into his own net and Yeltz youngster Andy Spencer hit a cross from Les Hines over the bar on the half-hour.
Halesowen were well on top after the break but could not convert their chances to leapfrog above Fisher in the table. Hines curled a 20 yard free-kick just high in the 58th minute before Spencer had another trio of efforts in increasingly treacherous conditions. His 59th minute diving header went just past the post and he then broke clear to hit a hard cross along the face of goal after an hour before drilling wide again in the 70th minute. Andy Iga turned a shot from Michael Crawford wide and Crawford then saw his 78th minute goalbound header stick in the mud.
For all their efforts Halesowen remain bottom of the table and must be crying out for a younger version of one of their legendary goal-scoring heroes from the past.
Yeltz 2 Havant 2
Only two games left now, and we're still tenaciously clinging on to that bottom place. In a typical home result, we could only get a 2-2 draw against a Havant team who have been playing every other day for weeks. All I know so far is that our goals were from old blokes Dennis Bailey and Ricky Otto.
Saturday is the last away game of the season down in the big smoke at Fisher. I don't think there'll be any of the usual fancy dress stuff going on, but I'm sure a good time will be had by all. If we can win we'll go above Fisher, and obviously the higher we finish the more likely we are of being saved by some reorgainsational fiddle, so it's slightly important we get the three points. Just to make it clear though, there's no sign of any of the potential promoted teams having any problems.
Match Report from James
On paper a 2-2 draw on Thursday may have looked like a poor result against a side playing virtually every other day. However, what you would not have seen unless you were there was an entertaining Halesowen side which passed the ball with accuracy and speed. After an accurate, if slow, shot from Denis Bailey from about 15 yards out across the keeper, Halesowen took a deserved lead in the first half only to see the ghost of poor defending leave them open to a sloppy equaliser. A lofted cross to the far post was left alone by the static Halesowen defence who unanimously looked like they had assumed the ball was going out. When a Havent player nipped in to head the ball back across the front of goal the Halesowen defence were in no position to react and Sidaway was given no chance to save the resulting shot. Halesowen continued to play good passing football, bypassing aerial threat of the experiencd Liam Daish in the centre of the Havent defence by generally playing the ball on the ground (a pleasant change from the usual mode of playing this year!).
The second half saw the replacement of Neil Smith and Jason Owen with Michael Crawford and Phil Wood. The contribution of Neil Smith just in front of the back four can often be overlooked and I have been among his critics in the past but his absence in the second half, and to a lesser extent the disruption to the back four with the loss of Jason Owen, resulted in Halesowen struggling to put together the passing game they employed with such ease and confidence in the first half. Having said that even when Havent took the lead with a well executed goal it was virtually the first time this season that I can remember feeling that we could come back from being a goal down and get something from a game. For most of the second half Halesowen resorted to floating high balls down the centre of the pitch towards Baily and the improving Spencer, the Havent defence led by Daish dealt with this effectively and stifled the majority of Halesowen's attacking play. In the last fifteen minutes of the game Halesowen returned to the passing game displayed in the first half and with about ten minutes to go won a free kick on the right hand side about midway between the box and the halfway line. Phil Wood hit an angled cross which fell to Ricky Otto (who with each game looks like he is enjoying playing even more) inside the box who, with three Havent defenders closing in on him rapidly, calmly controlled the ball and fired it home.
For the last few minutes of the game there were cries from the crowd for Halesowen to push on and score a winner - I can't remember the last time there were shouts like that with any degree of belief about them. When the whistle blew there were more smiling faces than signs of depression amongst the crowd and the players went off to applause rather than the all too familiar silence which has greeted the end of so many depressing games this year. One swallow doesn't make a summer but this was an entertaining performance with some glimpses of some fine football from Halesowen. There were many plus points and in particular the kicking and distribution of Matt Sidaway in goal and the running and tenacity of Spencer in attack. While you can argue that the opposition was in no state for this game do not let that detract from a display of good football and spirit from Halesowen.
Yeltz 3 Cambridge 0
Almost inevitable. Now we're mathematically relegated we finally get the sort of result we've been looking for with an emphatic 3-0 win against Cambridge . Second half goals from Les Hines and two from Andy Spencer took us above Clevedon and out of that humiliating last place.
At the bottom, Folkestone won again so Fisher and Clevedon are confirmed to finish in the bottom four as well, with Dorchester also on the brink. There are rumours of Margate being investigated by the tax man, and we all know the number of relegation spots is never settled until well after the season has finished (just ask Cambridge), so we do need to finish as high as possible. We're only 3 points behind Dorchester and Fisher so we can do it, but don't get your hopes up that it'll make any difference .
It's been confirmed that, following the end of the Hamer Ford sponsorship, we'll be back playing in our traditional blue and white next season. It's going to be a real "All Our Yesterday's" extravaganza seeing some of the old favourites who we're going to meet in the Western Division :-(
On Thursday we make yet another attempt to play Havant at The Grove, and then next Saturday takes us to London to play Fisher in the last away game of the season . The traditional fancy dress has been cancelled through depression, but I'm sure we'll be trying to enjoy ourselves as much as possible.
Worcester 4 Yeltz 1
It's been on the cards for months but I still can't believe it. We're down.
Match report - same as all recent games. Start terrible, go two-nil down in the first half, make some sort of fightback, pull one back (through new bloke Spencer) and then get caught out when pushing for an equaliser. Lloydy finished things off in style by heading an own goal. Hurrah.
Folkestone had earlier beaten Fisher, so we're now 13 points behind them with only four games left. The only possible chance now is to finish as high as possible and hope for someone having ground or financial problems. It's happened before but there's no indication of anything like this occuring, and to be honest we're going to finish bottom anyway.
At home to Cambridge on Saturday for what will be a cheery occasion.
Match Report from DJ
Worcester City: McDonnell; Carty (Lutz 78), Burrow, Joyce, Weir, Heeley, Hyde, Ellis, Owen, Shepherd, Cottrill. Subs: Tucker, Greenman
Halesowen Town: Quy; Crisp (Hines 15), Burnham, Lloyd, Wood, Smith, Skidmore, Crawford, Collins, Bailey (Spencer 45), Otto. Sub: Ince
Booked: Wood (63) Referee: A. Hendley (Rowley Regis) Attendance: 942
A blank Bank Holiday finally shut the bottom-four trapdoor on Halesowen's dreadful season and left the club to come to terms with their first recorded relegation since foundation in 1873.
Despite needing a fighting performance for survival, Halesowen produced a fairly inept first half showing and went in with an inevitable two-goal deficit as a result of glaring defensive lapses.
Andy Ellis was left free to reach the left-hand by-line in the 23rd minute and was able to hook the ball past a static Andy Quy after his initial cross was cleared back to him. With Worcester on top, Burrow headed weakly wide and Heeley headed across goal with Wesley Joyce approaching at the far post. Joyce then launched a free-kick from his own half in the 32nd minute which Quy did well to turn away for a corner. Two minutes before the interval, Joyce unleashed another 60 yard free-kick which escaped the Halesowen backline for Burrow to nip in and prod past Quy on the volley.
Halesowen started the second half in spirited style and Stuart Skidmore almost latched onto a flick-on from Ross Collins in the 52nd minute. The visitors pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute when Collins turned the defence and squared the ball for substitute Andy Spencer to confidently beat ex-Halesowen goalkeeper Danny McDonnell. With the hint of a dramatic fightback in the offing, Skidmore then cracked a 20-yard effort against McDonnell's crossbar as Halesowen's confidence grew stronger by the minute.
However, Worcester then unlocked Halesowen's defence again in the 83rd minute when Ellis played a neat one-two and Phil Wood could only help his cross over his own goal-line. In a moment of gallows humour, one wag described it as Woody's first goal of next season for Worcester... Three minutes from time Worcester goalkeeper McDonnell robbed Ricky Otto and on the break Jamie Hyde's cross was headed into his own net by Wayne Lloyd for a second own-goal from a demoralised Halesowen defence.
Yeltz 0 Moor Green 2
Thankfully it's nearly all over now. If Folkestone beat Fisher on Monday and we lose to Worcester us statisticians can happily pronounce it all wrapped up.
Let's not kid ourselves - we are the worst team in the league. After Tuesday's good performance we were truly awful yesterday, and a hard working Moor Green put us to shame.
So it's on to Worcester tomorrow (7.45 kickoff) which would be a terrible place to go down. Not that it makes much difference really, because it's going to happen sometime in the next couple of weeks. What joy.
Crawley 2 Yeltz 1
Typical. An excellent performance, some good football despite an awful pitch but we let two in, only converted one of a host of chances and it really is all over.
First half we overran them in midfield, but some excellent defending, one brilliant save and a miss from Clinton Thomas (honestly!) meant that we were completely depressed when they took the lead just before half-time. They then scored a second not long into the second half with a stunning volley and it was really all over.
We continued to play much the better football, and finally got some reward when new bloke Michael Crawford scored a lovely goal with the outside of his foot from the edge of the box. More pressure, no luck, awful refereeing, a bad miss from Ricky Otto and we'd managed to come away with nothing. With Fisher winning we're bottom of the table again. Hurrah.
Home to Moor Green on Saturday, but I've given up saying we must win cos' it really doesn't make any difference now. If we play as well as we did tonight and still can't win I don't know what else we can do.
Match Report from DJ
Crawley Town: Little; Wackett, Holmes, Hawthorne, Pullan, Ugbah, Carroll (Payne 75), Anderson, Wordsworth, Hynes, Powell (Brake 85). Unused Sub: Huggins
Halesowen Town: Quy; Crisp (Otto 69), Burnham, Lloyd, Wood, Smith, Skidmore (Spencer 54), Crawford, Thomas (Walker 54), Bailey, Hines
Booked: Crawford (77), Powell (80), Wordsworth (90) Referee: B. Baker (Andover) Attendance: 451
Once again Halesowen won all the plaudits from their hosts for delivering a fine performance, yet went home empty-handed and so dropped back to the bottom of the table. With games rapidly running out, it would seem the hopes of turning around the tides of misfortune are starting to look misplaced, but no-one can deny that a tactical transformation has taken place in recent weeks.
The Yeltz started in determined fashion and won three corners in the first couple of minutes before going on to dominate the first half in which Crawley defended a total of eight corner kicks. Clinton Thomas made his first outing since the initial game of the season but headed into the arms of Andy Little in the 7th minute from a Les Hines cross. Halesowen then made a quick 23rd minute break with Richard Crisp, Jason Burnham and Thomas combining to force another corner. For the home side a cross by Dave Powell was scrambled clear and Hines immediately broke up the other end to beat the offside trap, but his cross was cleared. Neil Smith drove high from 25 yards in the 32nd minute before another terrific Halesowen move inspired by Les Hines.
Crawley took the lead against the run of play a minute before the break when Mark Hawthorne's right-wing cross was side-footed home from an acute angle by Mark Hynes in their first serious strike. Michael Crawford then saw his header tipped over by Andy Little in the Crawley goal in first-half stoppage time.
Crawley notched a flattering second four minutes into the second half when Hynes crossed for Hawthorne to crack a one-in-a-million volley into the top corner from 20 yards. However, Halesowen's heads failed to drop and they pulled a goal back in the 56th minute with Crawford burying a 20-yard left foot shot beyond Little. Richard Crisp then helped Dennis Bailey beat the offside trap but his effort went inches high with the visitors seeking a reward from their flowing football.
Halesowen's final fling in injury time saw substitute Ricky Otto loft the ball just wide of goal and Little save from Crawford but the home defence grimly hung on for a victory that was scarcely deserved.
Yeltz P Havant P
This year's awful weather claimed another victim, as our crucial home game against Havant was called off after a deluge just before kick-off made the pitch unplayable. According to the Yeltzline, the game has been rearranged for Thursday April 26th .
Other results couldn't have been much worse with Folkestone beating Clevedon and Dorchester winning too. We're now 9 points from safety and probably now need to win at least 6 out of the last 7 to stay up .
Tuesday means a long trip (except for me!) down to Crawley in another game we have to win. The weather in Sussex has been as bad if not worse as anywhere else, and with the forecast not good there must be some doubt already about the game. However, both Crawley and Havant are really struggling to complete their remaining games, so we've really got to play if we can.
Congratulations to Les Hines for being voted player of the season by all of you. The sad person who cracked the minimal security to try and vote 80 times for Neil Smith unfortunately failed because I just fiddled the vote back again to give the correct result. The masses's will cannot be denied.
Merthyr 0 Yeltz 0
With only Fisher winning out of the bottom five , three points would have put us right back in with a hope. However, it wasn't to be and sharing the points was of much more use to Merthyr as it was to us. As ever, more details can be found in the match reports .
Saturday brings Havant and Waterlooville to The Grove in another (but I really mean it this time) must win game. Havant have had so many games postponed that they're going to have real problems playing all their games before the end of the season - hopefully they'll already be getting weary by Saturday.
Match Report from DJ
Merthyr Tydfil: N. Thomas; Regan, King, Carter (Walker 84), Abraham (Elliott 18), Philpott, Needs, Price, Ryan, Perry, G.Thomas. Sub: Giles
Halesowen Town: Quy; Crisp, Burnham, Lloyd, Wood, Smith, Skidmore, Crawford, Sutton (Otto 65), Bailey, Hines. Subs: Spencer, Owen
Booked: G.Thomas (76) Referee: M. Gooding (Bristol) Attendance: 464
Under normal circumstances, Halesowen would be pleased with a creditable draw against a miserly Merthyr defence but in their current plight they need to be winning matches. However, new manager Brendan Phillips has instilled a sense of self-belief in his players and the message from Halesowen is that they will not be giving up their Premiership place without a fight.
Once again the team line-up showed a number of changes. James Ince was unavailable, Jon Ford was sent to watch Crawley Town play at Burton and Richard Walker sustained an injury in training on Friday.
Fresh from their shock victory over Cardiff City, Danny Carter beat the offside trap in the 4th minute for Merthyr but from his cross, Darren Ryan scooped the ball over the bar. Justin Perry then whipped in a speculative shot for Merthyr in the 8th minute that almost caught out goalkeeper Andy Quy after Richard Crisp had left a backpass to Wayne Lloyd fall short. Halesowen's best chance to sneak a win fell just three minutes later when Stuart Skidmore put over a right wing cross which Peter Sutton took down but then blasted straight at goalkeeper Neil Thomas from only five yards out. Thomas then dropped the ball under pressure from Sutton in the 29th minute. Halesowen soaked up some late first half pressure with Wayne Lloyd making some excellent headed clearances as Merthyr won five consecutive corners in the 32nd minute. From the fifth corner, Dean Philpott glanced his header wide.
Neither side were able to break the deadlock in the second period although Jason Burnham sent in a 25 yard shot in the 48th minute which Neil Thomas clung onto. Quy scrambled clear two Merthyr corners before Neil Smith tested Neil Thomas in the Merthyr goal again with a 20 yard effort in the 70th minute. Quy dropped Carter's cross in the 75th minute but his defence scrambled clear and at the other end there was a goalmouth scramble in the 76th minute as Merthyr tried to clear Ricky Otto's freekick. Merthyr substitute Keith Walker then saw his 84th minute cross clip the top of the crossbar but Halesowen held on to claim a point which may yet prove to be vital in their relegation battle.