ENCOURAGING

Friendly Yeltz 2 WBA 0

20 July 2002

Two first half goals from Andy Jones and a deflection from Mark Taylor led to an encouraging 2-0 victory over half an Albion team. They put out a few players that I've heard of, so it's a pretty good result in front of a decent crowd (1727). Read , or there's another on the if you're interested.

Worryingly that's two wins on the trot - a good pre-season has meant a disappointing rest of the season in recent memory - but there's plenty of time to turn that around ;-)

Next game is at Leamington on Tuesday, and then we host Walsall down The Grove next Saturday.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell (Newall 45), Burnham (Reece 70), Smith (Barnett 60), L. Collins (R. Collins 45), Skidmore (Adams 75), Spencer (Quiggin 70), Jones (Ashby 45), Elmes (Leadbeater 60), M. Taylor (Flynn 45), Hines.

WBA: Jensen; J. Chambers, Clement, Sigurdsson, Moore, Lyttle, M. Collins, B. Taylor, Dichio (Briggs 56), Johnson, Jordao. Subs: Adams, Adamson.

Referee: M. Fletcher (Warley) Attendance: 1727

West Brom were billed as the first ever Premiership club to play at the Grove but it certainly didn't show as they were brought down to earth with a bump less than a month before they face a daunting introduction to life in the top flight at Old Trafford.

Absent Albion manager Gary Megson will surely want to know why one half of his squad flopped so feebly in front of their expectant Black Country followers, despite the other half of his squad hitting six past Bromsgrove. Yet the Baggies' failure should not take anything away from a classy showing from the Yeltz with man-of-the-match Stuart Skidmore serving up a typical gutsy midfield performance. From the newcomers on show, it was former favourite Sean Flynn who added a touch of class for Halesowen in the second period and on-trial Jason Ashby again caught the eye having been recently released by Coventry City.

The Yeltz took an early 4th minute lead when the imposing Rob Elmes headed down a deep cross from Jason Burnham and Andy Jones was on hand to touch home past a casual Albion rearguard.

A shot from Andy Johnson was deflected wide on the edge of the box and Matt Collins hit a drive inches over the bar in the 21st minute as Albion attempted to rally. For the home side, Jason Burnham saw a 30 yard drive saved by Brian Jensen and Skidmore lashed a 15-yard effort just wide of the mark on the half-hour as last season's Dr Martens Western Champions continued to easily match their higher level opposition.

The hosts went two goals ahead three minutes before the break when a 15-yard drive from Mark Taylor took a slight deflection off Andy Spencer to beat Jensen into the right hand corner of the net.

Albion's awful afternoon showed some brief promise early in the second half but Johnson shot straight at the legs of Tim Clarke when clear on goal after 47 minutes and Bob Taylor clipped just wide of goal three minutes later. At the other end Elmes turned to volley just wide in the 53rd minute before the Yeltz made more of their nine substitutions.

West Brom's woes almost worsened five minutes from time when a deep cross from Flynn was headed on by Jimmy Quiggin but Jensen was able to spread himself to save from Richard Leadbeater who should have done better.

Clarke made his only meaningful save of the afternoon in the final minute by turning a Matt Collins effort around the post for a corner from a James Chambers cross.