Gloucester 0 Yeltz 2

19 January 2002

That's eight wins out of nine now in the league. It's making Fantasy Island a bit easy, but I'm sure (I think) they'll be no complaints from anyone as the mighty Yeltz continue our push for promotion.

Goals from Skiddy and Lee Ross meant a exciting victory against old and not always friendly rivals Gloucester. According to Chas, the first one was our 500th away goal in the Southern League which I'm sure caused extra special celebrations at the match. With Weston losing and Solihull drawing we've pulled even further ahead at the top of the table , with both ourselves and Chippenham in very good positions.

Chas also suggested the new vote - who's the greatest Yeltz keeper ever? The voting on The Best Yeltz XI ever Danny's McDonnell is a big favorite but we'll see if opinion has changed now he's left.

Next Saturday brings Cirencester to The Grove in what I reckon is their first visit - although as you've probably gathered I'm no expert on this sort of thing.

Match Report from DJ

Gloucester City: Bath; Steadman, Marshall, Griffiths, Prince (Howard 85), McCluskey, Burns, Jenkins, Bayliss, L. Smith, Cook (Webb 56). Sub: Archer

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, N. Smith, L. Collins, Skidmore, Spencer, Ross (G. Smith 80), May, Taylor, Hines. Subs: Newell, Gray

Referee: M. Gooding (Bristol) Attendance: 476 Booked: Cook (54), Ross (61), Skidmore (68)

A solid Halesowen performance ended Gloucester's eight-game unbeaten run and they were set on their way by a superb Stuart Skidmore strike to notch Halesowen's 500th away goal in their Southern League history.

Halesowen started strongly with Les Hines stabbing wide in the 5th minute and Gloucester goalkeeper collecting a deflected shot from Stuart Skidmore five minutes later. But Will Steadman headed wide with the goal at his mercy for Gloucester from a Lee Smith cross in the 11th minute and a poor throw-out by Halesowen goalkeeper Tim Clarke saw Steadman drive a shot just inches high from 20 yards out.

The league leaders took a 20th minute lead when Lee Ross headed on for Andy Spencer to lay the ball off for SKIDMORE to hit a screaming volley into the roof of the net from 15 yards.

Gloucester then enjoyed a good spell of pressure before but Lee Smith saw his 30th minute shot blocked by the Halesowen defence from Darren McCluskey's free-kick. The Tigers came within an ace of equalising through Gary Marshall in the 33rd minute, but Clarke did well to smother his shot on the goal-line. Just before half-time a fierce cross from Hines was met by Spencer but he blazed over from three yards out and Gloucester goalkeeper Matt Bath produced a fine double save to deny Jason Burnham's 15-yard shot before turning Spencer's follow-up for a corner.

The Tigers worked hard for an equaliser in a tough second half but Halesowen were equal to the battle and were superior in their neat approach play. Leroy May set up Lee Ross to blast wide in the 46th minute and a minute later a cross from Steadman went straight across the face of Clarke's goal at the other end. The in-form May then hit just wide after 58 minutes.

The Yeltz went two goals up when Hines curled in a 74th minute free-kick which was headed behind and from the resulting corner Hines hit a cross to find playmaker Mark Taylor and he rolled the ball across goal for ROSS to poke home.

Gloucester should have scored a consolation goal when Luke Prince crossed from the left in the 84th minute but Marshall hit over the bar when well placed. Halesowen substitute Gary Smith saw his close-range 89th minute strike from May's cross disallowed for offside.