Yeltz 1 Cinderford 2

20 October 2001

It's all getting a bit more realistic now . After a glorious run of victories and clean sheets, that's now two defeats in successive weeks , slippage down to 4th place and a realisation that it's not going to be so easy this season.

We went one down early on, and when a second went in midway through the second half it looked bad. However, from the accounts I've heard it was a bit like The Alamo , with the mighty Yeltz creating enough chances to win five games but despite getting one back through Lee Collins couldn't quite steal a point. Very disappointing.

Tuesday takes us to Rocester , not a happy opponent for those of us with very long memories. However, they're struggling this season and let's hope this dip in form is temporary and we can get back to winning ways.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, N. Smith, L. Collins, R. Collins (Knight 62), Hall (Spencer 62), Jones, Giddings, Taylor, Hines. Sub: Skidmore

Cinderford Town: Fisher; Regan, Hopkins, Tomkins, Hook, Truman, Bale, Ince (Stanton 42), Addis, Chiverton (Donovan 19), Harris. Sub: Hayward

Referee: S. Flanaghan (Wednesfield) Attendance: 472 Booked: Ince (14), R. Collins (61), Clarke (88)

Halesowen failed to turn chances into goals and crashed to a bitterly disappointing defeat against a walking-wounded Cinderford who recorded their first away win of the season. Cinderford came into the game without two key defenders and left it with four more of their players having received lengthy treatment for injury. Amongst them was ex-Halesowen midfielder James Ince who was stretchered off with a suspected broken ankle.

Halesowen forced the early pace and won five corners in the first six minutes. Cinderford centre-half Clayton Hook hit the ball over his own bar in the 5th minute from a Kerry Giddings cross and a minute later Lee Collins powered in a header from a Les Hines corner, but goalkeeper Andy Fisher managed to beat away the ball. Even at this stage there was a sense that it was not going to be Halesowen's day and this was compounded when Cinderford took a shock 9th minute lead in their first venture forward. The ageless Adie Harris crossed from the left and Eston Chiverton found his way between two defenders to head home.

Matty Hall went on a solo run in the 16th minute and delivered a dangerous cross into the box, but there was no striker on hand to capitalise. Early frustration began to creep into the Halesowen play and on another Cinderford break, Mike Regan hit a fierce shot that was headed away by Lee Collins in the 34th minute.

Lee Collins remained in the thick of the action but was up against Cinderford goalkeeper Fisher who was in fine form all afternoon. In the 35th minute another corner from Hines was met by a Lee Collins header, but the ball struck Fisher on the line. From the rebound, Lee Collins made another attempt, but somehow Cinderford again cleared off the line.

With the Yeltz lacking the final killer touch, Tim Clarke had to make a tremendous save in the 46th minute to keep Cinderford out when he saved a 10 yard volley from Simon Truman. Lee Collins then made a glaring miss when brother Ross headed on a cross which Lee took down but then blasted over from close range. Kerry Giddings beat the defence in the 51st minute but hit a good chance wide and Lee Collins then brought out another point blank save on the line from Fisher from a header two minutes later. Disaster struck for Halesowen in the 59th minute when Cinderford broke away for a second goal. Truman's initial shot was blocked but the rebound fell kindly for Daryl Harris to slot home from 8 yards.

With the confidence of their unbeaten home league record draining away, the Yeltz struggled for an answer and it was Clarke who had to produce a fingertip save from Lyndon Tomkins in the 74th minute. Neil Smith headed a cross from Jason Burnham onto the roof of the net in the 77th minute and Andy Jones turned to hit a shot straight at Fisher in the 83rd minute. Substitute Andy Spencer rattled the Cinderford post in the 87th minute before Halesowen finally gained a reward for all their possession when Lee Collins headed into the top corner of the net from a Les Hines corner in the 89th minute. There was still time enough time for Halesowen to try to rescue a point but their miserable day was summed up when Cinderford cleared two injury time efforts off the line from Hines and Lee Knight.