Mangotsfield 1 Yeltz 2

20 April 2002

Just brilliant! The mighty Yeltz clinched the Western Division title in style with a brilliant comeback against an excellent Mangotsfield side.

The first half was pretty even and uneventful, but then the Yeltz faithful were shocked when Mangotsfield took probably a deserved lead 10 minutes after the break. However, we should have known not to worry (easy to write that now). Mark Taylor broke through their defence, rounded the keeper and took what seemed ages to calmly slot in the equaliser. Then a fantastic goal to win it - Les Hines hit a perfect 50 yard pass over the top for Andy Jones to control and fire home the winner. The massed ranks of fans wearing their Brendan Phillips' T-shirts celebrated in style and everyone was very, very happy. Hurrah!

Congratulations to Brendan and the team for making us very very happy in what's been a brilliant season for everyone. Roll on next season.

There's strong rumours that we've come to some agreement with Halesowen Harriers about them being some sort of feeder club for us - more if and when I hear. Also don't forget the Yeltz Hall of Fame - your chance to recognise players, managers or indeed anyone who has made an outstanding contribution to Halesowen Town.

Saturday brings Bedworth to The Grove for the last game of the season when the Championship Shield (I think that's what it is) will be presented.

Match Report from DJ

Mangotsfield Utd: R. Clarke; Hedges (Pendry 75), Hallett, Barlass, Hendy (Crowley 69), Loydon, Claridge, Summers, Edwards, Seal, Brooks. Sub: Penny

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, N. Smith, L. Collins, Newall, Cowley (Spencer 62 (R. Collins 87)), Jones, May (Bailey 29), Taylor, Hines

Referee: T. Curtis (Bath) Attendance: 403 Booked: Taylor (26), L. Collins (40), Brooks (90).

Halesowen finally secured the league title in style but were made to fight back from a goal behind against a strong in-form Mangotsfield. The victory extended Halesowen's unbeaten league run to 18 games and wrecked Mangotsfield's own stretch of 11 games without defeat.

The first half developed into a tough midfield battle with few chances although Mark Summers drilled just wide for Mangotsfield after two minutes and Andy Jones glanced a free header wide of the mark from Jason Burnham's 9th minute cross. Mark Taylor then played the ball down the centre of the field after 21 minutes but goalkeeper Rob Clarke raced off his line to beat Alex Cowley to the ball. Cowley then went on to clip a Burnham throw-in just over the bar a minute later. The visitors won their first corner on the half-hour when a shot from Les Hines was blocked and from the corner kick the hosts eventually cleared efforts from Hines and John Newall. A minute before the break Tim Clarke saved a volley from Nick Brooks after incisive approach play from the home side.

The game sprung to life in an exciting second period with the Yeltz forcing three early corners with Rob Clarke producing a splendid reflex save from a Lee Collins header. Hines then raced down the right wing and pulled the ball back but Dennis Bailey hit wide of the mark. Mangotsfield took a 55th minute lead when a long ball from Darren Edwards found David Seal free on the left and he played a delightful ball across goal for Rob Claridge to convert. The goal inspired the league leaders with Newall volleying wide after 57 minutes but it was the introduction of the threatening Andy Spencer that caused the real damage to Mangotsfield.

Mark Taylor equalised on 65 minutes when he charged down a clearance from Lee Barlass and took the ball on to beat the last man and round goalkeeper Rob Clarke before calmly hitting home. Mangotsfield beat the Halesowen defence again with neat approach play in the 71st minute but Claridge smashed the ball against the post allowing Richard Colwell to hack the ball clear of danger. The visitors notched the winner after 83 minutes when Andy Jones took down a long ball from Hines and prodded past Rob Clarke. In a frantic finish Seal smashed an 88th minute goalbound free-kick from 25 yards but Tim Clarke flew through the air to turn the ball for a corner. Bailey then volleyed inches wide from a Colwell cross as Halesowen played the possession game. Clarke made another tremendous save to protect the lead in the 89th minute when Seal met a cross with a low header but Clarke raced across goal to gather the ball into his midriff.

After 8 minutes of stoppage time the final whistle set the champagne corks popping and signalled the start of partying on the terraces. The trophy will be presented after the final game of the season against Bedworth at the Grove next Saturday 27th April.