Dorchester 1 Yeltz 2

24 March 2001

We had to win and we did. There's still a huge battle on our hands, but finally our improved performances under Brendan Phillips resulted in some points.

Dorchester went down to 10 men after just after the break, but then went and took the lead in the 76th minute. Thankfully we got an equaliser not long after from Peter Sutton and then a winner from newish bloke Ricky Otto , which moved us off the bottom to within an achievable 7 points of safety. More details of the match as soon as I get them, or if anyone who made the trip sends in a match report .

There's a new vote on the site - an online version of player of the season . The mailing list produced a very short shortlist, but mail me anyone else you think should be on and I'll include them. If I continue in this good mood I may even award a prize to the winning player :-)

Next game is a definitely winnable trip down to long-time friends Merthyr next Saturday. Believe it. We can do it.

Match Report from DJ

Dorchester Town: Ormerod; Sullivan, Harris (Diaz 80), White, Gittens, Impey, Lonnon, Oldbury (Jermyn 57), Murray, Sargent, Holmes (Groves 65)

Halesowen Town: Quy; Crisp, Burnham, Walker, Wood, Smith, Skidmore, Ince (Crawford 72), Sutton, Bailey, Hines (Otto 72). Unused Sub: Ford

Booked: Skidmore (23), Harris (33), Wood (37). Sent Off: Impey (55) Referee: K. Johnson (Bristol) Attendance: 426

Halesowen emerged as victors from their basement battle with Dorchester and prepared to go to Merthyr with renewed hope of achieving a survival miracle.

The first half was a grim affair with few goal scoring opportunities and confirmed why both teams find themselves in trouble this season. Peter Sutton forced the first corner for the Yeltz in the 16th minute and three minutes later a cross from Richard Crisp was easily taken out by goalkeeper Mark Ormerod. James Ince set Peter Sutton free in the 29th minute but his shot was blocked. Just before the break, Dorchester made a quick break through Andy Sargent, but Martyn Sullivan sent a cross well over the bar. Sullivan then touched a freekick to Marcus Oldbury but he also hit wide. Halesowen goalkeeper Andy Quy suffered a knee injury at the end of the first period, but struggled on through the game with a disappointing Dorchester unable to put him under much pressure in the second half.

Phil Wood and Richard Walker denied Sargent when clear on goal in the 53rd minute as they protected the hobbling Quy in goal. The game finally sprung to life in the 55th minute when Neil Smith played a long ball out of the Halesowen defence and Dorchester goalkeeper Ormerod missed his clearance under pressure from Dennis Bailey and as Bailey bore down on goal he was impeded by Jamie Impey. The referee gave Impey the red card and awarded a penalty to Halesowen but the visitors wasted the opportunity when the normally reliable Les Hines struck the spot-kick well wide of the right-hand upright.

With Halesowen starting to edge the balance of play against ten-man Dorchester, Bailey set up Smith but he blasted over from just 8 yards out. Sutton then headed a cross from Stuart Skidmore into the arms of Ormerod. As so often this season, the visitors were made to pay in the 73rd minute when substitute Matt Groves hooked home a corner from Martyn Sullivan to take the lead with Halesowen failing to clear the danger. However, the Yeltz levelled within a minute with Sutton following up to score when Bailey's effort was blocked by Ormerod. Wood then cleared a cross from Rob Murray with a diving header. Halesowen held their nerve and went on to claim all three points with a tremendous finish by ex-Birmingham City forward Ricky Otto who took the ball on from a midfield pass by substitute Michael Crawford before calmly slotting home beyond Ormerod in the 83rd minute. The win meant Halesowen exchanged places with Dorchester in the league table.