FAT Yeltz 1 Bilston 3

04 November 2000

In a completely depressing performance, the mighty Yeltz failed to take any steps along the road to wherever the final's going to be this year.

We were outplayed and outclassed by a Bilston team who are currently top of the Midland and West Division. I can't remember their keeper making a single save, with our only threat coming from Jason 'Bobby Charlton' Owen who scored a screamer from 20-odd yards and hit the bar with a lob from about 40.

They took the lead from a misplaced cross that looped into the far corner, before Jason's equaliser. They retook the lead in the second half after an otherwise excellent Andy Quy picked up a backpass and they fired home from close range following the freekick. We never looked like getting back into it after that, and they clinched a well-deserved victory with a late third. It were the worst . There's some photos of the game courtesy of Mark Bowen and James Pearson in the match reports.

Redditch won their Trophy game, so the B'ham Senior Cup tie against them will take place at The Grove on Tuesday .

Match Report from James Pearson

In a hopeful mood I took a camera to the Bilston game expecting to take a few pictures of our strikeforce in action - I'd have been better off trying to catch a train in York at the moment. Jason's two strikes of brilliance (OK so one clipped the bar but at least one went in were too quick for me - unlike the multitude of Bilston attempts).

I can't remember when there was such an absence of hope on both the pitch and amongst the crowd - I've seen more lively wakes! To criticise specific players is just taking easy pot shots - anyone who was there could write a book on the subject. With the exception of a brilliant display in goal (if you overlook positioning for their first goal) and Jason's performance there was a dirth of skill and effort. Collins at least tried but after his first half booking for a clumsy challenge looked restained, but in all fairness he was at the mercy of an unpredictable and whistle happy referee.

I agree that we should always aim to get behind the players, but that is so hard when there is so little feedback from the performance on the pitch. While we all recognise that there are playing shortfalls in the current side they can be forgiven to an extent if those of us who pay over our money at the turnstiles can at least see the players trying. Effort is no substitute for skill and ability but, recognising the financial restrictions of the club, those of us who are realistic fans realise that the side cannot be shoffled like at deck of cards at the whim of the crowd or the manager. Given that, do not leave the dwindling few who are enduring this ongoing heartache whithout the crumb of comfort that effort would give us.

To a degree I feel sorry for Scot Darroch. He appears like a fish out of water and stands out and the weakest link in a poor side. Having said that he is a youngster who needs compaetitive football to improve his skills. In a committed, enthusiastic team his odd errors could be compensated for and his abilities could develop. I am not saying he is the saviour of the side but he is just an example of the malaise within the side.

The people who come to watch the side do not want to be critical. OK I am excluding the moaning few who have always been there and complained that the Joinsons were too slow and Sean Flynn should go back to bricklaying. We want to get behind the side but it is a two way thing. When the side give us a moment to cheer the volume increases, that rubs off on the players and the cycle begins. We are crying out to be inspired but at the moment there is more life in a Balti Chicken Pie than on the pitch. We want to enjoy going to the Grove, we want to cheer the players, we want to look forward to a Saturday afternoon - but at the moment is anyone, honestly, looking forward to next Saturday, without a feeling of dread in the pit of their stomach?

Next Saturday I will drive to the game with a sense of optomism, the sickening feeling of yeasterday afternoon will have become a distant memory. Don't allow those memories to come back - try and you will be supported. In all of this I have not mentioned the management of the club. It was a difficult time to take charge of the club and funds must be limited, however if you give us passion and spirit those watching can forgive and look to future. Is is really too much to expect?