ALMOST

Hednesford 3 Yeltz 2

19 August 2002

Despite twice coming from behind, the Yeltz lost their first game of the season to old foes Hednesford.

We went 1-0 down just before the break, but then pulled one back through Rob Elmes . They took the lead again before a second equaliser from Les looked like it'd earned a point. However they got their winner in the 87th minute to leave us with just a single point from the first two games.

As an aside, I got regular updates from the which seems pretty reliable in sending me the depressing news :-(

Saturday takes us back to delightful , before visit The Grove on Bank Holiday Monday evening.

Match Report from DJ

Hednesford Town: Gayle; Simkin, Lucas, Robinson, Brindley, Ryder (Airdrie 66), Wray, Rae, Francis (Piearce 77), Jones, Adams. Unused Subs: Williams, Charie, Jenkins.

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, Smith, L. Collins, Skidmore, Spencer (Quiggin 59), Leadbeater, Elmes, Taylor, Hines. Unused Subs: Newall, Reece, Ashby, Garvey.

Booked: Francis (31), Colwell (86). Referee: C. Henry Attendance: 802

Halesowen twice battled back from behind in an excellent second-half display but still left Keys Park empty-handed due to defensive frailty.

The home side had the better of the first half with Derek Rae hitting a rebound over the bar after 6 minutes but Halesowen's Richard Leadbeater flashed a header wide of the post from a Les Hines corner a minute later. Mark Jones turned Jason Burnham in the 9th minute and drove wide from 12 yards before hitting inches high from 20 yards in the 14th minute. Shaun Wray then drove wide from 20 yards as the home side sought an opener.

Lee Collins headed a Jason Burnham free-kick just wide of the post after 22 minutes and 4 minutes later Collins made a timely tackle on the edge of his own box from the advancing Wray.

Hednesford took the lead in the 41st minute when Neil Smith brought down Wray in the box and *b*RICHARD LUCAS*cb* hit the penalty into the top left corner of the net. Leadbeater almost equalised on the stroke of half-time when put through by Spencer but he poked the ball just wide of the post.

Halesowen started brightly at the start of the second period and gradually took control of the game. Good work from Andy Spencer set up Richard Colwell after 47 minutes but there was no-one on the end of his dangerous cross. The Yeltz deservedly equalised in the 58th minute with a splendid goal on the break. Tim Clarke collected a corner and sent a long kick out to Spencer down the left who then fed Les Hines and his left-wing cross was sidefooted home on the volley at the far post by *b*ROB ELMES*cb*. Quiggin almost scored a second in the 67th minute when set free but he hit wide of Mark Gayle's post.

A minute later Halesowen paid the price when Hednesford re-gained the lead out of the blue. A Collins clearance could only find Wray and his right-wing cross was headed home beyond the grasp of Clarke from 15 yards by the unmarked *b*MARK JONES*cb*. However, Halesowen equalised for a second time in the 75th minute when a Burnham cross was headed against the post by Elmes and *b*LES HINES*cb* was on hand to turn in the rebound from 5 yards out.

Substitute Stuart Airdrie then went on a great run from his own half ending with Clarke making a fine save from his 20 yard shot and in the 80th minute Clarke saved a quickly taken free-kick from Carl Adams.

Three minutes from time Hednesford grabbed the winner when Lucas hit a long free-kick into the Halesowen area. Clarke called for the ball, but *b*CHRIS BRINDLEY*cb* nipped in before Clarke collected to head into an empty net. A minute from time Hines curled in a free-kick from the edge of the box but goalkeeper Gayle managed to punch the ball clear from under his crossbar.