Yeltz 3 Salisbury 1

25 March 2000

With only a second league win since the New Year, the mighty Yeltz finally looked like a half-decent team again with a stirring second-half display against Salisbury.

Two goals from Crispy (one a very dubious penalty) and the other from promising young new bloke Ian Aldridge led to three crucial points in the relegation battle - points that were made even more crucial after Merthyr, Grantham and Dorchester all won as well. Full details in my match report .

Two tough away games coming up - on Tuesday at title-chasing Bath , and then on Saturday a battle against Tamworth . These are probably our toughest games left, so any points gained here will be a bonus.

Match Report from Poll

I'll do the team bit first: McDonnell, Brown, Wood, Gardiner, Owen, Crisp, Cartwright, Smith, Birch, Thomas, Aldridge Subs: Gennard, Cooper, Another one

This was the team that a lot of us have been asking for - Hash Brown returning at right back lets Crispy push forward more - a role he is much better suited to - and Cartwright in midfield to keep the ball on the ground a bit. This more attacking policy definitely paid dividends, especially in the second half.

It was the smallest crowd I think I've ever seen at The Grove for a real game, and the atmosphere (in the first half at least) was awful. We started off reasonably well with new bloke wonderkid Ian Aldridge, just arrived on the No. 9 from Cradley, showing some good movement and a nice touch on the ball. However, unsurprisingly we looked very short of confidence and not a lot happened in the first half. Crispy fired into the sidenetting from 18 yards, and Danny was lucky to stay on from a very generous ref - see later - when he brought down their forward on the edge of the box when right through after a mix up with Ash Brown.

The second half started much like the first, but then sprung into life when *b*Crispy*cb* nipped in between defender and keeper to force in the first. The Shed finally burst into life, and the world suddenly started to look a much better place. Smiles were even broader a few minutes later when big Clinton battled to win the ball in the corner and then put over a perfect cross to let *b*new bloke*cb* place a lovely header into the bottom corner for a debut goal.

The ref then put a dampener on things by giving them a penalty from what looked like absolutely nothing (I had a brilliant view 80 yards away) but he soon made amends by returning the complement and giving us a penalty for nothing. Crispy was right through but their keeper timed his run perfectly, dived at his feet and won the ball brilliantly. Whatever. Crispy calmly fired it home and we were just about safe.

The Jolly Boys then had much amusement at the hapless refs expense, especially when Crispy made a theatrical dive in the box with a broad grin on his face, and for once we could go home happy. Hurrah!