Stafford 4 Yeltz 2

26 December 2002

It was always going to be a tough Boxing day fixture, but it was still a bit disappointing to lose after twice fighting back.

After they took the lead we probably deserved to draw level through the first Jason Ashby goal for a while. They then regained the lead through a penalty, but then we came back again when Les converted a pen for us - their bloke handled on the line so how he was only booked is beyond belief. Two more Stafford goals took them up to third and us perilously close to the relegation zone .

The big news is our application to join a restructured Conference of 66 teams next year. It's not exactly clear how this will affect this season yet - it may mean that even if we get "relegated" we'll still be in the new league depending on how many teams apply - but it's got to be a positive step forward on all counts.

Saturday brings Hastings to The Grove in a game I really hope will bring a welcome 3 points to end what, despite recent appearences, has been an excellent year for The Yeltz.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Adamson; Newall, Hines, Smith, L. Collins, Stone, Skidmore (R. Collins 77), Ashby, May, Master (Trainer 73), Colwell. Unused Subs: Shanahan, Brennan, Clarke

Referee: R. Shoebridge (Belper) Attendance: 1187 Booked: Skidmore (55), Newall (66).

Halesowen twice battled back to equalise but left Marston Road without any points after conceeding another four goals on their travels.

Stafford midfielder Craig LOVATT burst through from midfield and opened the scoring by hitting past Chris Adamson after Halesowen had given the ball away in the 16th minute. The Yeltz equalised in the 40th minute when Leroy May headed-on a long ball from Adamson and Jason ASHBY deftly lobbed goalkeeper Ryan Price.

The home side regained the lead in boggy conditions when Dan Davidson picked up a short clearance from Adamson in the 66th minute and was tripped in the area by John Newall - DAVIDSON then stepped up to hit home the penalty.

Halesowen were then awarded a penalty of their own in the 71st minute when Wayne Daniel handled above his head in the penalty area with May about to head towards goal and Les HINES made no mistake from the penalty spot.

Stafford made sure of the points with two late goals and went 3-2 ahead in the 74th minute with DAVIDSON hitting a 20-yard shot across the ground squirming beneath Adamson and just inside the post. Paul SZEWCZYK netted a fourth from close range in the 79th minute following a right-wing corner.