STILL ALL TO PLAY FOR

Yeltz 2 Hinckley 1

05 April 2003

A crucial game and the mighty Yeltz came up with the goods as we took all three points against relegation rivals Hinckley. Two first half goals from Jason and Neil Gibson set us on our way, but a goal back in the 70th minute by them led to a tense finale. Still we got the victory and that's all that matters.

, Cambridge, Hednesford, Ilkeston and Weymouth won, and Chelmsford, Folkestone (now relegated), Grantham and Welling lost. What that all means is we're but only one point behind Grantham. Exciting or what?

In a brief interlude, Tuesday brings the first of four 'final' games with the Worcester senior Cup Final 1st Leg at home to Evesham. They're mid-table in the Western Division so we should be favorites, but I'd be surprised if we put out the first team given our current league position. Still it would be nice to win something this season so let's hope for a nice victory.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Hines, Bauress, Collins, Stone, Williams, Ashby, Blackwood, Gibson (N. Smith 79), Spencer (Trainer 79). Unused Subs: Leadbeater, Danks, Hateley

Hinckley United: Whittle; Dakin, Lenton, Wilkes (Cartwright 69), Penny, Browne, Storer, Jackson (Dyer 69), Voice, Sadler, Doughty. Unused Subs: C. Smith, Piercewright, Jenkins

Referee: A. R. Hendley (Cradley Heath) Attendance: 535 Booked: None Sponsors' Man of the Match: Lee Collins

Halesowen unravelled the Knitters in the relegation six-pointer with two early goals to record only their second league home win since Christmas.

The Yeltz made the best start possible by taking a 5th minute lead when Michael Blackwood headed on a long ball out of defence for Jason ASHBY to slot past goalkeeper Tom Whittle from a narrow angle to claim his 17th goal of the campaign.

Even better followed when the Yeltz went two goals ahead in the 13th minute with Neil GIBSON heading home his first goal for the club at the far post from a Lee Collins right-wing cross.

The hard surface made defending difficult and Richard Colwell headed a Stuart Storer free-kick behind goal for a corner in the 16th minute and two minutes later Gavin Stone missed a header in his own penalty area.

Hungry Halesowen nearly made it 3-0 in the 21st minute when Colwell's cross beat Simon Dakin and fell for Les Hines to roll the ball inches wide of Whittle's right-hand post.

David Sadler prodded home a free-kick from close range for Hinckley in the 27th minute but the celebrations were short-lived when the referee's assistant raised his flag for offside. A minute before the interval Ashby met a Lee Williams corner but Whittle was right in-line to save.

The second-half started quietly but Hinckley increasingly came into the game as the Yeltz protected their precious lead and a 62nd minute corner from Jamie Lenton rolled across the home area. Blackwood then cut in from the right and hit a 20-yard drive just wide in the 64th minute for Halesowen.

Hinckley set-up a nervous finish by pulling a goal back in the 70th minute with SADLER stealing in to head home a left-wing cross. Blackwood produced a fingertip save from Whittle on 73 minutes but Halesowen had a let-off a minute later when Tim Clarke made a hash of a clearance and luckily saw the ball roll out of play for a corner that was volleyed just over the bar by Scott Voice. Gary Bauress and Clarke then got in each others way ten minutes from time with Bauress ending the hesitation by conceding a corner, but Halesowen were happy to play out the dying moments to register another vital three points towards safety.