Yeltz 2 Redditch 1

27 August 2001

The mighty Yeltz maintained their 100% home record so far with a 2-1 victory against Redditch . We dominated the first half, with goals from Neil Smith and a first from Leroy May . They pulled one back through a long range shot over Tim Clarke, but we held on for a welcome three points.

We've moved up to 6th place in the table , just 5 points behind early leaders Solihull Borough. (I know this keeps changing - Chas and Darren keep correcting my stats!) Not too bad a start with a team that maybe needs a little time to gel.

On Saturday we start the long road to Cardiff (honest) with an F.A.Cup Preliminary Round tie at home to Chasetown . Another consequence of getting relegated is losing our bye through to the 2nd Qualifying Round, but hopefully the draw has been reasonably kind to us. It would be really nice to get some sort of run going in the Cup again.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Crawford, Smith, Collins(c), Burnham, Hall (James 79), Giddings, May, Spencer, Hines. Subs: Gavillet, Martin.

Redditch Utd: Willetts; Mitchell, Bradley, Field(c) (Barratt 89), Creighton, Frost, Swann, Cartwright, Danks, Began, Colcombe. Subs: Hackett, Williams.

Booked: Frost (34), Giddings (34), Hall (38), Field (40), Clarke (51), Bradley (69), Crawford (85), Swann (85) Referee: J. Bottomer (Chislehurst) Attendance: 478

In the end the result of the game looked better than the means by which it was achieved - though allowances should be made for Halesowen missing five key players - Andy Jones, Mark Taylor, Stuart Skidmore, Ross Collins and Lee Knight. Hopefully, this early season disruption should start to rectify itself shortly.

For the third time in four matches, Halesowen took an early lead within five minutes of the start when a Les Hines freekick found Leroy May and Neil Smith in the clear, but it was Smith's head that claimed the goal. Andy Spencer then hit Colwell's cross against the underside of the bar in the 13th minute with the visitors looking ragged.

Redditch boasted ex-Halesowen assistant manager Gary Hackett on the bench - in charge due to the inexplicable absence of manager Nicky Cross. On the pitch Redditch also had ex-Halesowen players Neil Cartwright, Andy Bradley and Mark Creighton all seeking to impress against their old club.

It took Halesowen until the 45th minute to increase the lead when Leroy May powered home a diving header from another Les Hines set-piece - this time a right wing corner.

Many thought Halesowen would go on to record a thumping win but it was not to be and in the end the final whistle of Mr Bottomer, keen to get back home to Kent, strangely enough, came as somewhat of a relief.

As in previous matches Halesowen collected a handful of yellow cards, but this time were fortunate not to have a player dismissed. The referee judged Tim Clarke had handled the ball out of his area in the 51st minute when trying to save from an on-rushing striker, but didn't carry through the letter of the law by making Clarke (and Halesowen) suffer the inevitable consequences. Indeed, it appeared Les Hines was already preparing to take charge in goal whilst Mr. Bottomer was delivering his punishment to Clarke. In the 85th minute Michael Crawford, who looked out of sorts at left back, tussled with Mark Swann and as they were both walking over for a lecture from the referee, Crawford aimed a head-butt at Swann. Even though no contact appeared to have been made, Crawford can consider himself lucky to escape with a "yellow".

Redditch pulled a goal back to change the course of the game in the 58th minute when Swann volleyed home after playing a one-two with Scott Colcombe. From then on, the game degenerated into a scrappy affair, but Halesowen had just enough in hand to hold onto the three points.