I stopped keeping this site up-to-date many years ago, so if you've ended up here I'm afraid there's nothing to see any more.
Other Halesowen Town websites:
For the sake of posterity here are the news stories that appeared from 1997 to 2006...
I've been at this for 9 years now, and finally time, energy and the fact that I don't get to see the mighty Yeltz much nowadays means I've decided to more or less stop doing Yeltzland any more.
The main reason for the site coming into existance was to make sure Yeltz fans had somewhere where they could find out information about what was going on, and somewhere to voice their own opinions. We now have the excellent for the news part, and to replace Yeltz Talk I've set up a new forum at where we can carry on sharing information etc.
Also please note I'm not giving up on supporting the club in any way whatsoever. I'll probably post more on the new forum than I did here (although I'll have to stop putting sarky comments in red I suppose!), and I'll still be getting to as many games as I can.
I'll hopefully see lots of you in a couple of weeks at the Kiddy friendly (Frank's sort of 40th weekend), and if not sometime in the new season.
Chippenham 0 Yeltz 0
It's finally all over. Having nothing to play for at the end of the season has been a strange experience - we've been challenging for promotion or relegartion for the last few years - and has been very dull.
We finished the season with a decent 0-0 draw at Chips and Ham. I think we had the better of a pretty non-descript game, with their keeper making a few decent saves. Thanks as usual to Dave for his excellent - and well done for winning Fantasy Island!
Have a jolly summer - let's hope for a decent World Cup to get us through the long sunny evenings - and on to the excitement of a new season!
Match Report from DJ
Chippenham Town: Perrin; Winter, W. Thorne, G. Thorne, Day (McEntegart 36), Harvey, Kirk, Jefferies, Gilroy (Adams 76), Rawlins, Stanley. Unused Subs: Herring, Badman, Griffin
Halesowen Town: Coleman; Pierpoint, Haywood, Preston, Knight, Skidmore (Cooper 87), N. Smith (Myers 80), Francis, Forinton (C. Smith 85), Amos, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Thompson, Johnson
Referee: C. Williams (Cheltenham) Attendance: 610 Booked: None
Halesowen signed off their mixed season with creditable draw at play-off placed Chippenham.
Remarkably, the result meant that Halesowen did not concede a single goal away at any of the top five promotion candidates and no side completed the double over the Yeltz during the season.
But a lack of goals and too many draws proved to be Halesowen's downfall throughout the season and this was displayed again at Hardenhuish Park where the visitors failed to capitalise on their superiority
Both goalkeepers were on top form and made splendid saves to keep the first half goal-less. The hosts went close in the 7th minute when Ben Kirk headed back a Nick Stanley corner for Gary Thorne to scoop over the bar from just ten yards. Steve Winter's 14th minute free-kick drifted past the post and Stanley volleyed over the bar two minutes later.
Player of the season Simon Forsdick then went in search of goals and his 20th minute shot was deflected just wide. A minute later Stuart Pierpoint found Forsdick and he composed himself before unleashing a goal-bound 20-yard shot but goalkeeper Steve Perrin made a splendid save to tip the ball away for a corner. Matt Rawlins flashed a 25th minute header wide of Halesowen's post and ten minutes later Forsdick shot over the bar again.
A minute before the interval Dean Coleman made a superb fingertip save to claw away substitute Matthew McEntegart's header following Winter's free-kick.
Halesowen went on to control the second period but found goalkeeper Perrin in excellent form. On 50 minutes James Francis broke down the left but his five yard shot was blocked by Perrin. Nick Amos headed on for Nick Smith in the 56th minute but Perrin collected his deflected shot and after 65 minutes Perrin punched away Amos' header from Nick Smith's corner.
Perrin produced another tremendous breathtaking save to deny Howard Forinton's 66th minute header from a Dave Haywood corner.
The stalemate meant the Bluebirds faced the long Bank Holiday Monday trip to face King's Lynn in the play-off semi-final.
WSC Final 2L Yeltz 1 Moor Green 1
I think I can safely say we lost it in the first leg. In front of 189 brave souls the mighty Yeltz drew 1-1 against Moor Green in the second leg of the WSC Final to lose 5-2 on aggregate. Oh well.
So down to Chippenham on Saturday for the last game of the season. Let's hope for a rousing send off to get our hopes up for next season - and it would be very nice to beat our old rivals Chippenham! I'll be there so I hope to see many of you at the traditional last away game festivities.
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Coleman; Pierpoint, Haywood (Thompson 80), Preston, Myers, Cooper, N. Smith, C. Smith, Skidmore (Teraud 87), Amos, Humphries (Forsdick 59). Unused Subs: Bowater, Johnson.
Moor Green: Timms; Scott, Midworth (Penny 62), Collins, Sanders, Bridgwater, Morrison (Faulds 81), Middleton, English, McPhee, Nurse. Unused Subs: Trainer, Petty, Anderson.
Referee: D. Hines (Worcester) Attendance: 189 Booked: Collins (41) Sponsors' HTFC Man of the Match: Nick Amos
Moor Green became worthy winners of the Worcestershire Senior Cup after never seeming in danger of losing their large first leg lead.
Halesowen's depleted squad were left with a mountain to climb and young reserve team player Aaron Humphries made an unexpected debut after player of the season Simon Forsdick was delayed by traffic in their bid to retain the trophy.
The hosts had little to offer in the opening half although Ian Cooper hit a speculative shot well over the bar in the 16th minute and Martin Myers struck wide of the post seven minutes later.
A fourth minute back-header from Chris Nurse flashed wide for Moor Green from David Bridgwater's corner and on 29 minutes Gary McPhee blasted well wide down the left. Seconds before the interval Darren Middleton then struck high over bar.
Moor Green took the lead in the 56th minute when Philip Midworth's left wing cross was headed home powerfully from close range by NURSE. A 30-yard free-kick from David Bridgwater then bounced just over the Halesowen bar in the 65th minute and Chris Smith struck the Moor Green side-netting on 72 minutes.
The Yeltz levelled the score on the night in the 73rd minute when Dave Haywood's free-kick from inside his own half was headed on by Myers for Nick SMITH to bundle past Ashley Timms from the right. A minute from full-time Forsdick's snapshot was beaten away by Timms but it was Moor Green who stepped up to receive the Senior Cup Trophy from the Worcestershire FA in front of the Harry Rudge stand.
Yeltz 1 Bedford 1
Yes I know it's been a while since I updated the site, but I've been away and to be honest I'm not sure how interested anyone's been for a while.
The final games of the season are upon us, and having nothing to play for for a few games now we've just been going through the motions. Yesterday we drew against play-off bound Bedford 1-1 with Howard scoring our goal.
Two games left: On Tuesday we play the second-leg of the Worcester Senior Final, trying to pull back a 4-1 deficit against Moor Green. Then on Saturday we travel to Chips and Ham to bring to a close the season. We can still finish above the 9th place we finished in last year which would be an achievemnt of sorts, even though we've not really been in contention anywhere near as much (which I guess it's why it feels worse)
Fozzy was deservedly named Player Of The Season yesterday, so many congratulations go to him on some excellent performances throughout the year.
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Coleman; Pierpoint, Haywood, Preston, Knight, Skidmore (Cooper 76), N. Smith, Francis (Myers 88), Forinton, Amos, Forsdick. Unused Subs: C. Smith, Thompson, Johnson.
Bedford Town: Rigby; Childs, Hoyte, Lawley, Howarth, Bonner (Ford 88), Williams, Stupple, Dillon (Draycott 67), Howe, Rydeheard (James 67). Unused Subs: None
Referee: S. J. Rushden (Stoke-on-Trent) Attendance: 355 Booked: Pierpoint (44), Skidmore (53), Rydeheard (53), Dillon (63). Sponsors' Man of the Match: Nick Smith NLP Man of the Match: Nick Amos
Simon Forsdick was named as the Halesowen Town Player of the Season 2005-06 prior to the kick-off but the final home league game of the season ended with another draw against a Bedford outfit who had already confirmed their play-off place.
Bedford's young reserve goalkeeper Jordan Rigby had an uneasy afternoon and was fortunate to escape in the 4th minute when the ball bounced off Forsdick in the six-yard box into his arms.
Halesowen goalkeeper Dean Coleman then saved low down after Rene Howe teased his way through the home defence in the 6th minute and a minute later saved well from the same player with Niki Preston tidying up the loose ball. Gary Knight's 14th minute header caught Coleman on the wrong foot but he recovered to make a good reflex save.
Preston's 15th minute header was cleared off the line by Bedford's Matt Childs before a display of over-zealous stewarding saw Keith Carradine attempt to run off with the match-ball.
The Yeltz took the lead on the half-hour when Howard FORINTON was first to the ball to head deftly over hesitant Rigby into the net for his 15th goal of the season. But the Eagles equalised just four minutes later when Coleman failed to claim a cross from Carl Williams and HOWE's effort just crossed the line despite Dave Haywood's attempt to clear. Just before the interval Chris Dillon blazed over the Halesowen bar and at the other end Rigby escaped again after losing a right-wing cross.
Halesowen enjoyed the better of play at the start of the second-half with James Francis surging forward in the 47th minute only to be fouled on the edge of the penalty area. Haywood's resulting free-kick rebounded to Forinton, but Rigby made a fine save to smother the ball on the line in a crowd of players. Rigby dropped another corner from Nick Smith in the 53rd minute but on the hour Rigby collected when Forsdick headed on a Nick Smith's free-kick.
Coleman made a super reflex save to deny substitute Ian Draycott's 69th minute shot on the turn in his first touch but the game petered out in the latter stages with Draycott firing wide again in injury time.
Aylesbury 2 Yeltz 1
Mathematically not quite, but after this latest disappointing defeat even I've given up hope. 10 points behind Bedford with only 5 games left means we're not going to catch them even if we beat them in our game in a couple of weeks. Very disappointing.
By all accounts we started well at Aylesbury and took a deserving lead through Mr. Myers, but then couldn't build on the lead, let them back into it and ended up losing to a relegation threatened team. Unfortunately, that's been the story in too many games this year.
Next game is on Saturday at home to Northwood, where let's hope we can get revenge for the way they nicked the points off us down at their place earlier in the season.
Match Report from DJ
Aylesbury United: Kirk; Powles, Joyce (Gordon 17), Gould, Hayward, Kilmartin, Ming (Hassan 83), Butler, Gutzmore, Pringle, Jackson. Unused Subs: O'Grady, Goss, Stamp
Halesowen Town: Coleman; Johnson, Thompson (Haywood 83), Preston, Knight, Cooper, Cowley (N. Smith 57), Francis, Forinton, Myers, Forsdick. Unused Subs: C. Smith, Pierpoint, Skidmore
Referee: S. Chittenden Attendance: 287 Booked: Knight (43)
Halesowen's play-off hopes ended after throwing away a comfortable first half lead at relegation-haunted Aylesbury.
The cash-strapped hosts had lost their previous four games and their crisis deepened when unpaid manager Neil Trebble failed to show up in a week that had already seen the departure of coach Andy Theodosiou and first-team assistant Nicky Ironton.
Goalkeeper Reece Kirk grabbed Alex Cowley's 1st minute free-kick but Halesowen survived a couple of 2nd minute scares when goalkeeper Dean Coleman missed Tony Joyce's corner and Rob Gould scuffed a dangerous left wing cross in front of goal.
Both goalkeepers then produced excellent saves with Kirk tipping a curling 20-yard shot from Martin Myers over the bar for a corner in the 9th minute and Dean Coleman doing the same with a 22-yard strike from Matthew Butler in the 15th minute.
Home striker Richard Pringle had an off-colour afternoon and should've done better when put clear on the break by Nicholas Jackson after 18 minutes. Six minutes earlier Pringle missed a good chance in front of goal from a deep free-kick. In the 23rd minute Leon Gutzmore helped the home defence by clearing Simon Forsdick's cross from underneath the crossbar after a sustained spell of Yeltz pressure.
Veteran MYERS rolled back the years to give Halesowen a 28th minute lead by heading home Cowley's left-wing free-kick from close range to notch his first goal for the club. Seven minutes before the break Forsdick skipped through several tackles but was eventually crowded out in the home penalty area.
James Francis challenged Kirk in the 48th minute only to see the ball rebound on top of the net and a minute later Pringle wasted yet another chance with a free header from Damon Ming's cross.
But Halesowen once again failed to capitalise on an early lead in a scrappy start to the second half as Aylesbury started their desperate search for points with Coleman blocking from Pringle with his legs on the hour.
JACKSON repeated his levelling strike five weeks earlier at the Grove by equalising in the 69th minute by beating Coleman with a 20-yard half-volley as Halesowen failed to clear a throw-in from the right. Two minutes later Howard Forinton headed just over the bar from Forsdick's cross and in the 74th minute Rob Gould flashed a header just wide from a corner at the other end.
The Ducks finished strongly and Pringle was allowed to run clear on goal after Dan Thompson lost out in the 82nd minute but the out-of-sorts striker shot wide from just 8 yards with only Coleman to beat.
But Halesowen were caught out again in the 89th minute when the ball broke to Pringle in front of goal and GUTZMORE took over to fire home the winner from 8 yards to send Halesowen's six game unbeaten league run out of the window.
Yeltz 4 Tiverton 2
We're officially on a good run now, but is it too late? We're up to , but with 5th being the last play off place and us being 9 points behind Bedford with only 6 games left it's still unlikely. BUT, we have still got to play them and stranger things have happened - 6 wins out of 6 and we could still sneak in. Honest.
We kept our unbeaten run going with a good 4-2 win at The Grove against Tiverton, with all the goals coming in the first half. Junior Francis looks like a good signing, and from all accounts we're playing some decent football again. Come On!
On Saturday we travel to Aylesbury in a game we can definitely win. They've lost their last four games and are looking likely to get relegated, but we couldn't beat them at home a few weeks ago, so who knows really. What a fantastic analysis that was.
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Coleman; Pierpoint, Thompson, Preston, Knight, Cooper (Myers 85), Cowley, Francis, Forinton, Amos (Skidmore 63), Forsdick (N. Smith 66). Unused Subs: C. Smith, Johnson.
Tiverton Town: Ovendale; McConnell, Davies (Kelly 77), Gould (Hambly 5), Croft, Milsom, Ampadu, Bale, Pears (Beddow 75), Holloway, Mudge. Unused Subs: Nogan, Skinner.
Referee: S. Knapp (Bristol) Attendance: 288 Booked: None Sponsors' HTFC Man of the Match: James Francis
Halesowen moved into sixth place in the table by extending their unbeaten league sequence to six games in a six-goal thriller.
All the goals arrived in an exciting first half as Halesowen romped into a 4-2 lead to condemn their Devon visitors to their tenth remain game without a league win.
Tiverton suffered an early blow by losing central defender Tom Gould through injury in the 5th minute. James FRANCIS then put Halesowen ahead after just 7 minutes with a deft flick into the corner of the net with his back to goal to record his first goal for the club in his loan spell.
After 8 minutes Dean Coleman collected a corner from visiting captain Kwame Ampadu but Howard Forinton then forced a 13th minute corner at the other end following a poor clearance from goalkeeper Mark Ovendale.
Home captain Nikki PRESTON made it 2-0 by heading home Alex Cowley's 14th minute corner from close range. But Tivvy pulled a goal back in the 19th minute when Jamie Mudge's effort stuck in the mud and the ball broke to the left for substitute David HAMBLY to fire past Coleman from ten yards. Chris Bale's shot was then collected by Coleman a minute later and on 21 minutes Nick Amos cleared for a corner from under his own crossbar.
FRANCIS hit his second goal of the evening with a fine finish on the turn after being put through on the right of goal by Simon Forsdick in the 24th minute. Plucky Tiverton reduced the arrears again in the 34th minute to make it 3-2 when Darren DAVIES hit a brilliant direct curling shot around the left of the defensive wall from a harshly awarded free-kick on the edge of the area.
But FORINTON restored the two goal advantage seconds before the interval by flicking up the ball with his back to goal from a right-wing throw-in before turning to volley home with an excellent strike.
The second-half was more subdued as Halesowen kept out any attempt by the visitors to get back into the game and a dangerous 49th minute shot from Richard Pears was cleared off the line by Stuart Pierpoint. Forsdick played a great 50-yard cross-field pass for Cowley to drive just wide of the post in the 57th minute and following a string of substitutions Barry McConnell chested a Yeltz corner off the line.
Substitute Tom Beddow screwed past the post after 77 minutes and McConnell shot straight at Coleman after 83 minutes as the visitors faced the long trek back to Devon empty handed.
Yeltz 2 Mangotsfield 0 - Rugby 0 Yeltz 0
Unbeaten in 5 league games, but 3 draws and only 2 wins means our outside chance of getting that last play-off spot is just about extinguished. We're now 10 points behind Bedford and even if we win our last 7 games it's not looking likely we'll do it. Still it's good we're putting a good run together.
More worrying was the crowd on Saturday - 216 is the lowest on a Saturday for many many years. I'm not sure why it should drop off so steeply for this game, but hopefully it's a temporary blip. However in reality it's part of the general trend of dissatisfaction with the perceived performance and entertainment value on the pitch - however justified those criticisms are - and is very concerning.
We don't have a game Saturday, so the next game is on Tuesday when Tiverton are the the visitors to The Grove.
Salisbury 0 Yeltz 1 - Yeltz 1 Cheshunt 1
So we beat league favourites Salisbury away one week and then can't beat lowly Cheshunt at The Grove. What's all that about?
Once again our inconsistency has cost us, and every time we get a little bit of hope it's snatched away - very frustrating! It isn't quite over as we're 10 points behind Bedford in the last playoff spot with a game in hand, but there's no real sign (yet!) we're going to put a decent run together.
We're at home to Mangotsfield on Saturday, another of those teams with an outside chance of going up, so if we are going to make a go of it we must win. What do you reckon?
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Coleman; Johnson, Haywood, Preston, Knight, Cooper, Cowley, C. Smith (Francis 73), Forinton, Amos, Forsdick (N. Smith 73). Unused Subs: Skidmore, Pierpoint, Teraud.
Cheshunt: Kalli; Wattley, Parry, Gyoury, A. Fenton, Jones, D. Fenton, Obeng, Highton, Samuel, Deane. Unused Subs: Perifimou, Dauti, Dix, Peat
Referee: S. Attwell (Nuneaton) Attendance: 347 Booked: Cowley (41) Sponsors' Man of the Match: Nick Amos
Halesowen had to settle for another home draw despite totally dominating the opening hour with a renewed team spirit. But after failing to secure a vital second goal, Cheshunt mounted a late revival.
Busy visiting goalkeeper Michael Kalli was lucky to escape after juggling Dave Haywood's 7th minute corner but grew in confidence as he punched clear Haywood's 20th minute free-kick with Cheshunt pinned back in their own half. Howard Forinton tried a crafty chip from a 24th minute free-kick on the edge of the penalty area after Nick Amos was fouled, but the ball went high over the bar. Kalli then did well to stop Alex Cowley's low curling shot two minutes later. A 27th minute cross from Chris Smith was then parried away by Kalli but there was no supporting striker to follow up.
The Yeltz took a deserved lead after 28 minutes when AMOS rose to head home Haywood's right wing corner from close range.
It took Cheshunt 32 minutes to register their first attack but the visitors then forced four corners before half-time with causing any real danger. However, a minute before the interval home goalkeeper Dean Coleman raced smartly off his line to deny Aaron Samuel on a dangerous Cheshunt break.
Halesowen started the second half on fire and kept up the pressure in search of an elusive second goal, only to be denied by Kalli's heroics. Simon Forsdick's fired at Kalli after 48 minutes and seconds later Coleman collected a Dean Fenton volley low down at the other end.
Forsdick laid the ball off for Forinton on 50 minutes but Kalli produced a fine save and from the resulting corner Amos was unlucky to see his header rebound off the post. Kalli then kept out Forinton's 52nd minute effort from Forsdick's pass after Anthony Fenton completely missed his kick on the tricky playing surface. Forsdick hammered Forinton's 53rd minute lay-off just wide and Forsdick's 62nd minute dipping shot from 25 yards was tipped over the bar by Kalli.
Home goalkeeper Coleman lost the ball under challenge in the 67th minute but Bobby Highton hit the loose ball over the bar from 20 yards. However, the move signalled a dramatic change in fortunes as Cheshunt finished the game strongly and the visitors stunned Halesowen after 73 minutes when Michael DEANE equalised with a fabulous 20-yard curling shot into the top corner beyond Coleman.
With Cheshunt suddenly looking lively and the more likely to score, Deane struck just wide on 80 minutes after a good run and Dean Fenton headed at Coleman with five minutes remaining.
Yeltz 1 Aylesbury 1
You could also say it's mediocre. A disappointing draw against a struggling team has left us smack in the middle of the table with little hope of that changing in the short term. An early goal from Dave Haywood set us on our way, but it sounds like it was a pretty desparate game.
Next Saturday we travel to runaway leaders Salisbury which sounds like it's going to be hard, but with our inconsistent form I have a strange feeling we're going to do well. I can't explain it either :-)
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Coleman; Pierpoint, Haywood, Preston, Pope, Cooper, Cowley, Lamey (C. Smith 80), Forinton, Hadland (Skidmore 80), Forsdick. Unused Subs: Johnson, Knight, Amos
Aylesbury United: Kirk; Schillachi, Page, Gould, Hayward, Butler, Kilmartin (Jackson HT), Powles, Gutzmore, Deane, Bridge (Pringle 77). Unused Subs: Goss, Gordon, Trebble
Referee: C. Williams (Cheltenham) Attendance: 309 Booked: Forinton (22), Hadland (68), Butler (73), Pringle (87) Sponsors' HTFC Man of the Match: Simon Forsdick
Halesowen continued to decline towards mid-table mediocrity with a desperately disappointing draw despite taking an early lead against crisis-club Aylesbury.
The Yeltz made the perfect start in the 3rd minute when woeful defending left defender Dave HAYWOOD unmarked and clear on goal and his shot was just good enough to creep into the corner of the net off goalkeeper Reece Kirk.
Despite the early goal and the fact that Aylesbury are still without a win in 2006, any hopes of a thrashing were soon dashed as Halesowen failed to build on their ideal opening. To their credit, Aylesbury battled away bravely for a well earned point in a scrappy game that offered little entertainment. Kieran Deane struck a 15th minute free-kick straight at home goalkeeper Dean Coleman from 22 yards and two minutes later Mark Bridges sent in another long range effort.
The hosts had a strong claim for a penalty turned down in the 19th minute after the ball struck the arm of a defender. Kirk then made a sensational 31st minute reflex save to keep out a deflected shot from Alex Cowley and Robert Gould was on hand to tidy up.
But as Halesowen began to sit back, the cash-strapped Ducks came back strongly into the game. Sam Page hit an ambitious 39th minute effort over the bar and Kyle Kilmartin screwed just wide from a good position a minute later. Seconds before the break a cross from Deane bounced off Bridge and fell just wide of the post.
Halesowen played the second half with the stiff easterly winds behind their backs and in the 51st minute Steve Pope headed just wide. Matthew Butler turned the ball behind his own goal with Kirk saving Niki Preston's header from the resulting corner in the 59th minute and on 63 minutes Scott Hadland played a neat interchange for Cowley to fire at Kirk.
Inevitably, the Ducks levelled the score in the 64th minute when substitute Nicholas JACKSON hit a super 20-yard strike to beat Coleman all ends up. It could have been even worse news for the Yeltz in the 76th minute but Leon Gutzmore blazed a good chance over the bar from 15 yards.
Halesowen had little left in reserve to try to regain the lead although Pope smashed a 79th minute free-kick against a well-marshalled defensive wall and three minutes from time Pope volleyed yards over the bar and into the Stourbridge Road from Haywood's free-kick.
WSC SF Yeltz 4 Sutton Coldfield 1
The mighty Yeltz progressed into the final of the mighty Worcestershire Senior Cup with a 4-1 thumping of Sutton Coldfield. Two goals from Nathan, one from Howard and a first ever goal for us from the mighty Chris Smith put us through to play either Worcester or Moor Green.
We're back in league action on Saturday when struggling Aylesbury visit The Grove. We're a long way off any chance of promotion, but I reckon 10 wins and 2 draws (the games at Salisbury and Chips'n'Ham) should do it easily. Positive vibes never harmed us, so let's not give up just yet - we can still do it.
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Coleman; Pierpoint (Cowley 55), Haywood, Preston, Pope, Skidmore (Johnson 77), N. Smith, Lamey (C. Smith 63), Forinton, Amos, Forsdick. Unused Subs: I. Cooper, Teraud
Sutton Coldfield Town: Belford; Daniels (Hazell 69), Wilson, Ling, A. Cooper, Wolsey, Dodd, Owen, Hebberd (Dawkins 69), Markman (Farrell 88), McGee. Unused Subs: Hood, Keogh
Referee: J. Holbrook (Kidderminster) Attendance: 159 Booked: None Sponsors' Yeltz Man of the Match: Simon Forsdick
Cup holders Halesowen cruised into their third Worcestershire Senior Cup final in the last four years to meet the winners of the Worcester City v Moor Green tie scheduled for Monday, 27th February.
Niki Preston's 4th minute long ball found Nathan Lamey on the right and he prodded just wide of advancing goalkeeper Dale Belford. Home goalkeeper Dean Coleman then hit a 6th minute clearance straight at Liam Hebberd but the ball fell kindly into safety. On 15 minutes Coleman saved from Adam Cooper after the Royals won a corner but Halesowen broke straight up-field with Forinton being denied by Belford racing out of his penalty area. At the other end, Stuart Pierpoint made a superb 19th minute challenge to intercept Damien Markman who was clear on goal. Sutton then won their fifth corner of the evening on the half-hour and two minutes later Owen struck a 20-yard free-kick just past the post.
But the Yeltz killed the game with two goals just before half-time and took the lead after 38 minutes when Howard FORINTON latched onto a long ball before skipping past Belford to slot home. Belford made a fabulous double save in the 43rd minute to keep out Nick Smith's 18-yard shot and denied Nick Smith again as Simon Forsdick turned the ball back across goal. But Nick Smith then selflessly played Pierpoint's cross on for LAMEY to tap home the second Halesowen goal in the 44th minute.
At the start of the second period Belford saved Lamey's header at his post fro Forinton's cross. LAMEY then showed his strength to shrug off a challenge before planting his second goal into the corner of the net from ten yards to make it 3-0 in the 49th minute.
Coleman made a fine save to deny Hebberd in front of goal on the hour but with Halesowen looking for more goals substitute Alex Cowley's drive was touched just past the post by Forinton on the hour. Cowley then set up Nick Smith to strike just wide on the overlap two minutes later.
Daniel McGEE pulled back a consolation goal for the visitors in the 75th minute when his left-wing cross deceived Coleman to drop into the corner of the net.
Forsdick's 84th minute cross was flicked onto the post by substitute Chris Smith but Chris Smith went on to score his first ever Halesowen goal with two minutes remaining when he ran clear to beat Belford after winning a midfield challenge on the final defender.
Yate 2 Yeltz 1
Another disappointing defeat has left us and a long way off any chance of promotion. We were 2-0 down at half-time, and despite a late Pope goal it doesn't sound like we deserved anything more. Full details in Dave's match report.
On Tuesday we play Sutton Coldfield in the Worcester Senior Cup semi-final at The Grove. It took a replay to beat them in the Trophy earlier this season, but let's hope we can get into the final to have at least something to look forward to for the rest of the season.
Match Report from DJ
Yate Town: Court; Sims, Elsey, Brice, Jefferies, Wyatt, Wood, Chenoweth, Edwards, Metheringham, Campbell. Unused Subs: Cox, Sylvester, Vickerman, Bridson, Barlass
Halesowen Town: Coleman; Cooper (N. Smith 75), Amos (Skidmore 75), Preston, Pope, Pierpoint, Cowley, Lamey, Forinton, Hadland (Haywood HT), Forsdick. Unused Subs: C. Smith, Johnson
Referee: P. Brown (Taunton) Attendance: 270 Booked: Forinton (30), Pope (36), Pierpoint (54).
Yate gained full revenge for their 7-2 defeat at The Grove in October to draw level with Halesowen in the table and leave their play-off hopes as just a distant dream.
In-form Yate have now won their last five home games and were quick off the blocks on a heavy pitch by dominating the early stages as the Yeltz put in another poor first-half performance.
Paul Metheringham volleyed over the bar in the 4th minute and five minutes later Scott Brice headed wide under pressure from Nick Amos as Yate forced two corners.
Nathan Lamey fired high over the bar in the 5th minute and on 12 minutes Stuart Pierpoint's cross led to a penalty appeal for handball.
The Bluebells went ahead on 14 minutes when Alex Cowley failed to clear and Paul CHENOWETH was given time to wait for the ball to drop before firing a 22-yard half volley inside the post to beat Dean Coleman with his first goal of the season. The hosts should have increased the lead after 21 minutes when the ball fell kindly to Mike Wyatt just six yards out but he struck straight at Coleman with the goal at his mercy. Two minutes later Darren Edwards volleyed over the bar from a corner kick.
Yate pressure made it 2-0 after 26 minutes when Cowley made a horrible hash of clearing a corner on the edge of the six-yard box and sliced the ball for EDWARDS to nip in and slot home from close range. Just before the interval, Steve Pope slammed a direct 20-yard free-kick just past the post and Scott Hadland hit high over the bar.
The Yeltz changed formation after the break and enjoyed a much better second half despite lacking a cutting edge. Simon Forsdick missed an ideal opportunity to put his team back into the game in his 100th game for the club after being fed by Lamey on 46 minutes but he chipped well over the bar with only goalkeeper Tony Court to beat.
Jason Wood flashed a 49th effort just wide but then cleared a good Forsdick cross a minute later at the other end with Cowley advancing. Metheringham was given plenty of time in front of goal in the 56th minute but Coleman saved for a corner and in the 64th minute Edwards headed down for Adam Sims to blaze over the bar.
Lamey saw his curling 65th minute free-kick from the edge of the area blocked and another loud Halesowen appeal for a penalty for handball was denied in the 68th minute. Pierpoint's 69th minute cross was completely missed by jittery home goalkeeper Court but Brice tidied up the loose ball in front of goal. Pierpoint then cleared Brice's shot after 72 minutes in the Yeltz defence.
Halesowen had a 79th minute let off when a terrible Coleman kick fell straight to Edwards and he lobbed the young goalkeeper only to see the ball strike the crossbar with Coleman recovering to make a good save from Metheringham's header from the rebound.
Court easily collected an 80th minute header from Howard Forinton that unbelievably proved to be Halesowen's first attempt directly on target. POPE touched home a simple consolation goal for the Yeltz in the 86th minute when a deep cross from Dave Haywood was again lost by goalkeeper Court.
In the remaining time, Forsdick made a couple of excellent runs down the left wing before crossing but Lamey hit high over the bar and a shot from substitute Nick Smith was deflected inches wide as Yate held on for a deserved win.
The 10th booking of the season for Pope and the 5th for Pierpoint mean a two-match and one-match suspension respectively with both central defenders likely to miss the forthcoming match at league-leaders Salisbury.
Tiverton 0 Yeltz 0
Well we didn't lose, but it's getting harder to see how we're going to force our way into the play-offs. A 0-0 draw at Tiverton is obviously a reasonable result, but we're 9 points behind where we want to be with only 13 games to go. Still, we shouldn't give up hope just yet!
On Saturday we travel to Yate in another tricky tie. In their last 3 home games they've beaten King's Lynn, Bedford and Merthyr so once again it's not easy, but we have to start winning soon if we are going to keep in touch.
Match Report from DJ
Tiverton Town: Ovendale; Winter, Davies (Hambly 78), Booth, Croft, Milsom, Ampadu (Skinner 82), Bale, Pears (Beddow 79), Holloway, Nogan. Unused Subs: Gould, Knott
Halesowen Town: Coleman; Cooper, Amos, Preston, Pope (Lamey HT), Pierpoint, Cowley, N. Smith, Forinton, Hadland, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Skidmore, Johnson, C. Smith
Referee: L. Cox Attendance: 359 Booked: Amos (29), Croft (56), N. Smith (78).
Halesowen earned a respectable goal-less draw in Devon but the result did little to lift either side away from mid-table.
With play swinging from end-to-end, Halesowen's Scott Hadland make an early break in the 4th minute but his final effort was weak. Darren Davies should have done better than fire straight at Halesowen goalkeeper Dean Coleman after 10 minutes and a minute later Simon Forsdick hit over the bar after good work from Hadland. Forsdick then broke forward for the Yeltz in the 15th minute after his goalkeeper Coleman punched clear but opposite goalkeeper Mark Ovendale gathered the ball before then collecting Howard Forinton's 17th minute lob.
Coleman put in a solid performance and saved from Richard Pears after 24 minutes and again from Chris Bale after 34 minutes before keeping out the resulting corner.
Niki Preston tidied up Tivvy's 51st minute advance but a couple of minutes later Nick Smith flicked substitute Nathan Lamey's free-kick behind the opposite goal. Tiverton's pressure forced two corners on the hour, but Alex Cowley picked up the ball to surge forward with Forinton just failing to connect with Hadland's right-wing cross.
Coleman did well again to force Pears wide on a 69th minute break and the young goalkeeper then tipped a 74th minute long-range effort over the bar from Paul Milsom.
The Yeltz had several chances to break the deadlock in the latter stages with Nick Smith and Hadland just missing Forsdick's 76th minute cross. Probably the best chance came with just two minutes remaining when Lamey broke free and saw his rebound shot cleared off the line after Hadland's initial effort had struck goalkeeper Ovendale.
Yeltz 1 Team Bath 3
Just when we looked like we were getting a run together, we go and do this. In a very disappointing result, the indomitable Yeltz lost 3-1 at home to Team Bath on Saturday. From all accounts (see the match report on ), we didn't deserve anything more out of the game. Hmmm.
We have two crucial away games coming up this week - on Wednesday we travel to Tiverton before another trip down the M5 on Saturday to Yate. We must get at least one victory out of those two games to be in with a shout of promotion I think, but we can do it so let's not start moaning too early.
(Apologies for the slow updating of the site - I'm in the USA on business again so I'm even more out of touch than usual)
Banbury 1 Yeltz 0
The mighty Yeltz slipped back a little in the promotion race with a hard-fought defeat at Banbury. Despite going behind in the first half, according to it seems like it was a pretty even game. Oh well, unfortunately we can't win them all.
On Saturday we play Team Bath again, this time at The Grove. Obviously after winning at "their place" we'd hope to get all three points again, but they're not a bad team so it's no certainty. However our recent form has been good, so let's hope for a much needed victory.
Match Report from DJ
Banbury United: Foster; Saulsbury, Bridges, Sullivan, Jackson, Fuller, Stanbridge, Redknap, Blossom (Gooderick 88), Baird, Lazarus (Kinch 83). Unused Subs: Gardner, Robinson, Tricker
Halesowen Town: Coleman; Pierpoint, Haywood (C. Smith 85), Preston, Pope, Cooper (Amos 77), Cowley (N. Smith 77), Lamey, Forinton, Hadland, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Skidmore, Johnson.
Referee: C. Lymer (Mayford) Attendance: 418 Booked: Preston (28)
Halesowen were beaten by a crucial solitary strike in end-to-end action against fellow play-off contenders Banbury.
The Yeltz won a 5th minute corner after home goalkeeper Alan Foster failed to gather Dave Haywood's cross. After that, the lively Puritans had much the better of the first half with Simon Forsdick blocking Ollie Stanbridge's 7th minute shot. Forsdick then handled on the edge of his own area and although Ady Fuller smashed the 15th minute free-kick against the defensive wall, the ball fell invitingly to James Saulsbury but he headed wide from just three yards. Two minutes later, goalkeeper Dean Coleman did well to collect Saulsbury's dangerous cross under pressure and on 19 minutes Stuart Bridges fired a loose ball over the bar.
George REDKNAP gave Banbury a 20th minute lead by firing home on the half-volley from 15 yards after a cross from the right-wing was only partly cleared. Coleman collected a 23rd minute effort from Wayne Blossom and in the 26th minute Chris Jackson played a clever 20-yard free-kick into the area but the ball across goal was cleared.
Coleman produced a sensational 33rd minute reflex save to scoop the ball over the bar after Andy Baird put Stanbridge free in space in the area.
Just before the interval Ian Cooper's 37th minute volley from 25 yards was easily gathered by home goalkeeper Alan Foster and in the 43rd minute Steve Pope's header dropped inches wide of the post from Haywood's free-kick.
The Yeltz pressed forward strongly for an equaliser after the break and in the 47th minute Foster saved Nicki Preston's close range header on the line from Haywood's corner. Cooper's 53rd minute volley struck a defender and Nathan Lamey curled a 20-yard free-kick high over the bar a minute later.
On the break Stanbridge's 58th minute cross just evaded the head of Neil Lazarus in front of goal. But with the visitors keeping up the pressure Alex Cowley's 59th minute free-kick was flicked away for a corner. Scott Hadland then won the ball in midfield on the hour but former Banbury striker Howard Forinton headed high from Lamey's cross. In another good spell of attacking, Cowley crossed from the right and Haywood drove over the bar in the 64th minute.
In a series of useful Banbury counter-attacks, Preston headed off his own goal-line on 73 minutes and a minute later Blossom touched over the bar from just five yards out when free on goal. Stuart Pierpoint then made a good interception to deny Blossom in the 79th minute.
Foster made a super 82nd minute save to keep out substitute Nick Smith's 20 yard drive with eight minutes remaining as the home defence held firm. In the dying seconds Preston and Pope made saving tackles to deny home substitute Matty Gooderick on another break.
Team Bath 0 Yeltz 2
A magnificent 82 people saw the mighty Yeltz move up to with a convincing 2-0 win at Team Bath. It was actually a strange but good atmosphere, as those of us there had a great time seeing us play really well and well-desrving of another 3 points.
On Saturday we face a difficult away trip to Banbury, who we've just overtaken in the table. It's another crucial game if we are going to keep in contention, but if we can keep our good form going we have every chance.
Match Report from DJ
Team Bath: Giles; Rutter, Maye, Cozic (Blake 83), Coppard, Frost, Tisdale, M. Canham, Reid (Tonnley 53), S. Canham, Long (Adams 63). Unused Subs: Tillson, Chitty
Halesowen Town: Coleman; Johnson, Haywood, Preston, Pope, Cooper, Cowley (N. Smith 84), Lamey, Forinton (C. Smith 90), Hadland, Forsdick (Skidmore 90). Unused Subs: Pierpoint, Amos
Referee: A. Smith (Bridgwater) Attendance: 82 Booked: Reid (21), Haywood (57), Rutter (68)
In form Halesowen recorded another comfortable win to move up to sixth place in the league.
A tremendous run of 18 points from their last 8 games has seen the Yeltz emerge as serious play-off contenders and this time they despatched Team Bath, conquerors of previously unassailable Salisbury just two days earlier.
Dave Haywood hit an 11th minute free-kick at the home goalkeeper Giles and an Alex Cowley cross was then cleared. Nicki Preston met Haywood's 28th minute corner with a header but Giles turned the ball around the post and Preston then hit over from the resulting corner.
Halesowen took the lead on 42 minutes when Ian Cooper touched a throw-in back to Haywood and his cross was headed on by Scott Hadland for leading scorer Nathan LAMEY to prod home.
After the break Simon Forsdick worked clear in the 47th minute but his shot ricocheted into safety. Two minutes later Howard Forinton met Cooper's cross but the home goalkeeper made a spectacular clearance with his head. Forsdick then met Lamey's cross on the hour but Giles gathered at the second attempt. But Giles then had a lucky escape when he completely missed a 69th minute free-kick but Frost managed to clear from Steve Pope.
Halesowen completed their third successive 2-0 victory in the 75th minute when the ball broke for FORSDICK to come from behind a completely static home defence and take the ball around the goalkeeper before slotting home. Cowley then hit a 77th minute spectacular shot with the visitors in the driving seat.
As Halesowen sat back on their lead Sean Canham headed wide in the 87th minute and with two minutes remaining Dean Coleman had a let-off when a free-kick struck the crossbar and the rebound struck his back before dropping wide.
Yeltz 2 Evesham 0
The mighty Yeltz moved up a remarkable with a solid 2-0 win at home to Evesham. Goals from Nathan and Howard moved us up into 7th place - which I think is our highest position so far this season - with games in hand on several of the teams above us.
We begin a crucial run of 4 away games out of 5 on Monday with a trip down to play Team Bath. They've only won 2 out of their last 8 games, but one of those was away at league leaders Salisbury on Saturday so it's not going to be easy. However I'll be at the game bringing my usual good luck along, and hopefully I won't end up kicking the dustbin like my last trip to Twerton Park. :-)
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Coleman; Pierpoint, Haywood, Preston, Pope, Cooper, Cowley (N. Smith 81), Lamey (C. Smith 86), Forinton, Hadland, Forsdick (Skidmore 74). Unused Subs: Johnson, Teraud.
Evesham United: Adey; Watson, Robinson (Pinkney 69), Luckett, Hands, O'Toole, Duncan, A. Blake, Ball, Williams (Benjamin 69), Taylor. Unused Subs: Skyers, L. Blake, Knurek.
Referee: C. Miller (Kettering) Attendance: 402 Booked: Ball (33), Pierpoint(33), A. Blake (62) Sponsors' Man of the Match: Nicki Preston NLP Man of the Match: Simon Forsdick
Halesowen boosted their play-off hopes with a professional performance to record their fifth win in seven games.
Stuart Skidmore received a trophy before the kick-off to mark recently reaching 150 appearances in over ten years of service to Halesowen Town.
Worcestershire neighbours Evesham were unbeaten for four games and squandered an excellent chance in only the second minute when former Yeltz striker Richard Ball robbed Nicki Preston in front of goal but could only touch the ball against goalkeeper Dean Coleman. A minute later Simon Forsdick blasted at Evesham goalkeeper Dave Adey from the left. Coleman then did well to take out Ball's right-wing cross with John Williams advancing in the 7th minute.
The Yeltz grabbed the lead in the 11th minute with a well-worked goal when Forsdick's left-wing cross was headed back across goal by Howard Forinton to give leading goal-scorer Nathan LAMEY a simple close range tap-in.
On 23 minutes, Coleman produced an excellent finger-tip save to turn Rob Taylor's blistering 30-yard drive over the bar. But Halesowen response was immediate as Dave Haywood picked out Forinton seconds later only to see Adey save his drive from the right at the second attempt. After 26 minutes Scott Hadland's shot was then blocked in a good spell of home pressure.
The game developed into a midfield battle for the rest of the half with the brash, bustling visitors sending long balls into the area without really creating many good openings. But the Robins started the second half on fire as they pushed Halesowen back. Ball was eventually crowded out after Steve Pope's challenge in the 49th minute after finding a gap at the heart of the Halesowen defence and a minute later Coleman collected Richard Robinson's drive. Williams then blazed over the bar in the 53rd minute.
Halesowen came back to life in the 63rd minute when Forsdick's snap shot from the edge of the area was saved low-down by Adey. Victory was then sealed in the 65th minute after excellent work from Forsdick saw him win possession and the ball was flicked on for FORINTON to produce a fine finish into the bottom corner from 12 yards to notch his 12th goal of the season.
The second goal took the wind out of Evesham's sails as the Yeltz coasted home and they could've added a further goal in the 71st minute when Lamey's cross found Forinton in space but he hit his first-time shot wide from 18 yards.
Chesham 0 Yeltz 2
The mighty Yeltz got back to winning ways with a convincing and necessary win against struggling Chesham. Goals from The Pope and Fozzy kept us within striking distance of the playoff zone, even though we're still down in .
Next week we play another struggling team, this time local rivals Evesham at The Grove on Saturday. Another three points are required if we are going to have any chance of promotion, but it still is all to play for, and as usual I am confident we can do it. 69 points was good enough for a playoff spot last year, which would be another 33 points in our remaining 18 games (10 wins, 3 draws, 5 losses doesn't seem unattainable to me).
Match Report from DJ
Chesham United: McCarthy; Stamp, Ulasi, Bowden-Haase, Bixby (Callender), Miller, Baker, Taiwo (McGowen 70), Goodrhan, Bacon, Higgins (Oatley 70). Unused Subs: Brown, Bailey
Halesowen Town: Coleman; Johnson, Haywood, Hadland (Teraud 90), Pope, Pierpoint, Cowley (Cooper 68), Lamey, C.Smith (Skidmore 78), Amos, Forsdick. Unused Sub: N.Smith
Referee: S. Atwell Attendance: 308 Booked: Bixby, Pope, Bowden-Haase
Halesowen ran out comfortable winners at strugglers Chesham thanks to first-half goals from captain Steven Pope and Simon Forsdick.
The visitors took the lead on 26 minutes when Paul McCarthy failed to hold onto a Pope header. Although Pope rose highest to connect with a well-delivered Nathan Lamey free-kick, his header lacked power and the keeper should have stopped it crossing the line. Halesowen doubled their lead ten minutes later when Forsdick found himself unmarked inside the box and slammed home a shot that McCarthy could do nothing about.
The Yeltz looked thoroughly in control of a game in which they were never forced to hit top gear and could easily have scored more as chances went begging in both halves. Lamey sent another free-kick wide of the post and Forsdick was unlucky not to get a second when his curling shot was headed off the line.
To their credit Chesham battled hard throughout the game, even after falling two goals behind. They certainly started the better of the two sides, and were unfortunate not to be awarded an early penalty, but mistakes cost them dear. The relegation threatened side failed to create many clear-cut goal-scoring opportunities and their best chance came early in the second-half when Matt Miller hit the post following a well-worked corner.
Things got even worse for the home side late on when the unfortunate McCarthy was stretchered off and having used all three substitutions they were forced to put centre-forward John Bacon in goal for the remainder of the match.
Yeltz 1 Chippenham 2
A good performance led to nothing, as the mighty Yeltz came up just short against championship chasing Chips and Ham. A first half equaliser from Alex got us in the game, but they took the lead again and despite some pressure we couldn't get an equaliser.
If you haven't seen it, check out the match videos at . These are an excellent addition to the Yeltz web sites and are much appreciated - well done Simon!
Our next few games look a little easier, starting with a game on Saturday at Chesham. No game appears to be easy (for us anyway!) but we really need to get our good run going again if we are going to challenge for promotion at all.
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Coleman; Pierpoint (Cooper 81), Haywood, Hadland, Pope, Knight, Cowley (C. Smith 78), Lamey, Forinton, Amos, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Skidmore, Johnson, N. Smith
Chippenham Town: Perrin; Charity, Jones, Adams, McEntegart, Badman, Allison, Herring, Gilroy (Rawlins 78), Griffin (Thorne 71), Kirk. Unused Subs: A. Stanley, Jefferies, N. Stanley
Referee: N. Radford (Worcester) Attendance: 463 Booked: Forinton, Cowley, Amos, Badman Sponsors' Man of the Match: Gary Knight
Battling Halesowen unfortunately left the field empty-handed as the high-flying Bluebirds made it nine wins from their last ten games.
However, in-form second-placed Chippenham were first on the attack as the Yeltz made a slow start. Dean Coleman collected Ian Herring's 9th minute corner and a minute later Dave Gilroy broke free but could only shoot weakly at Coleman under pressure from Gary Knight.
But GILROY then gave the visitors a 12th minute lead with a simple tap-in from Alan Griffin's right wing cross.
Alex Cowley eventually flashed a shot wide for Halesowen after 16 minutes and saw his 20th minute free-kick headed away for a corner by Ross Adams. Nathan Lamey then struck a weak half-volley after 22 minutes after being set up by Simon Forsdick.
COWLEY levelled the scores in the 26th minute when he sneaked in front of last man Ben Kirk to poke home under goalkeeper Steve Perrin after Dave Haywood's free-kick by-passed the visiting defence.
cleared. Stuart Pierpoint's pinpoint cross on 38 minutes then found Forsdick, but he dragged his shot wide from the left. On the stroke of half-time Perrin produced a splendid save to keep out Steve Pope's 20-yard volley.
At the start of the second period Forinton played the ball back across the Chippenham area but Pope's attempt was blocked.
KIRK restored Chippenham's lead on the hour when he volleyed through the Halesowen defence from 18-yards to beat Coleman after Herring's free-kick was only half-cleared.
Halesowen almost responded immediately when Perrin punched out Cowley's 61st minute free-kick and a close range effort from Nick Amos was cleared off the line.
Coleman saved Sam Allison's 65th minute header from Herring's corner but the visitors then survived some late pressure to keep up the heat on league-leaders Salisbury.
Perrin made a good save from Forinton's 79th minute wide-angled effort, Forsdick drove wide after the visitors failed to clear their lines after 82 minutes and Adams blocked Forinton's shot on the turn a minute later. Two minutes from time Amos saw his glancing header fall agonisingly wide from Lamey's corner.
Hitchin 1 Yeltz 0
After three good wins over Xmas and New Year, the mighty Yeltz went down 1-0 to similarly in form Hitchin. They also missed a penalty, and by all accounts we pretty much deserved to lose. Oh well.
On Saturday Chippenham are the visitors to The Grove - so look out for the "we're bringing 300 away fans" messages on any day soon now :-)
Match Report from DJ
Hitchin Town: Wilmot; Lochhead, Okai, Ayres, Folds, Hicks, French (Daniels 72), Cavill, Jaggard, Sozzo, Ducket. Unused Subs: Baldry, Lamacraft, Hayes, Mills.
Halesowen Town: Coleman; Cooper, Haywood, Preston, Pope, Knight, Hadland, Lamey (Smith 84), Forinton, Amos (Skidmore 75), Forsdick. Unused Subs: Cowley, Pierpoint, Johnson
Referee: D. Margetts Attendance: 293 Booked: Forinton (68)
Halesowen's run of victories came to an end at Top Field where the home side ran out worthy winners.
The visitors suffered a blow when in-form wide-man Alex Cowley limped out of the pre-match warm-up with a recurrence of his groin injury.
Hitchin Town dominated both halves of the game and looked especially dangerous down the flanks. On the left wing Parys Okai combined well with Mark Duckett while Daniel French raided effectively on the other side of the pitch. It was from these attacks that Hitchin forced a series of early corners, although they failed to seriously threaten.
Instead it was big centre back James Ayers who twice got forward and forced Dean Coleman into smart saves from goal bound headers. Elsewhere Hitchin skipper Josh Sozzo caused problems and only a late block in the six yard box prevented him from opening the scoring.
At the other end it was left to Nathan Lamey to carry the Halesowen attack alone and the striker was unlucky not to latch onto a stray back pass in the 25th minute. As first half came to a close Lamey again threatened the home goal. First he struck a beauty of a free kick from 25 yards which Richard Wilmot did well to push round the post. And it was Lamey who rattled the woodwork from the resulting corner.
Halesowen were lucky to survive a frenetic start to the second period when Sozzo blaz 52nd minute penalty high over the crossbar. However, the miss spurred on Hitchin who continued to boss the match and took the lead in the 63rd minute when Gavin JAGGARD beat the offside trap to finish calmly.
Lamey and Simon Forsdick wasted chances with the clock running down but it was too little too late from an under-par Yeltz team.
Merthyr 2 Yeltz 3
The mighty Yeltz continued our impressive form with a third win over the holidays, this time a very good win away at Merthyr. We twice came from behind through goals from Fozzy, before a rare Skidder goal clinched the victory to keep us right in touch with the play-off positions. Just what we needed.
On Saturday we travel to Hitchin in what won't be an easy game, but let's hope we can keep our excellent run going.
Match Report from DJ
Merthyr Tydfil: Idzi; Robison, Keddle, Needs, Elliott, Griffiths, Fowler, D. Williams, Welsh (Steins 24 (S. Williams 62)), Shephard, Dorrian (Titcombe 75). Unused Subs: Jones, Eckhardt
Halesowen Town: Coleman; Cooper, Haywood, Preston, Pope, Knight, Cowley (Johnson 80), Lamey (C. Smith 84), Forinton, Amos (Skidmore 66), Forsdick. Unused Subs: Pierpoint, Teraud
Referee: R. Greenwood (Plymouth) Attendance: 512 Booked: Preston (12), Dorrian (42), Forinton (42), Fowler (53), Pope (76), Robison (86)
Happy Halesowen maintained their 100% festive sequence after coming from behind with two goals from Simon Forsdick completing a hat-trick of holiday wins.
But the Yeltz suffered an early 3rd minute hangover when Merthyr captain Mike FOWLER easily beat their defensive wall and stranded goalkeeper Dean Coleman to convert a direct free-kick after Gary Knight handled on the edge of the area. Knight then cleared after Coleman failed to grasp Fowler's 8th minute corner.
Young reserve home goalkeeper Lee Idzi collected Simon Forsdick's 14th minute cross but FORSDICK then levelled in the 15th minute by touching the ball past Idzi in the 6-yard box after Nick Amos climbed to head on Steve Pope's cross. On 23 minutes Idzi misjudged Dave Haywood's deep cross but Paul Keddle headed away for a corner.
Merthyr regained the lead in the 34th minute when Garry Shephard's shot deflected off Alex Cowley to deceive Coleman and allow Dane WILLIAMS to nod home. Just before the interval Cowley played a neat one-two with Amos but placed his 18-yard shot wide of the mark.
Halesowen made a positive start to the second period and Darren Robison cleared away Nathan Lamey's 47th minute header from Cowley's free-kick. Two minutes later, Cowley's cross was headed out from underneath his own crossbar by Gareth Elliott.
FORSDICK equalised again after 50 minutes by poking home his second goal from close range after good work on the right set up Lamey to shoot from 12-yards. A 58th minute cross from Cowley then beat Idzi but the ball fell just beyond Forsdick.
Halesowen grabbed a scrappy 70th minute winner when Forsdick challenged and poked the ball through the centre for substitute Stuart SKIDMORE to prod home a rare goal just past Idzi under pressure just four minutes after arriving on the field.
For the home side Steve Williams drove just wide on 71 minutes and Dale Griffiths nodded a Fowler corner over the bar after 77 minutes. Two minutes later Steve Williams then headed a cross from substitute Lee Titcombe over the bar.
But Halesowen defended their lead solidly to condemn Merthyr to their fifth straight home defeat and almost struck again in the 84th minute when Lamey hit a good chance just wide from 18 yards on the break.