Friendly Yeltz 1 Alfreton 1

19 July 2003

Here we go again. I think I say this every year, but this is a crucial season for the mighty Yeltz . After last year's relegation I think it may have worked for the best, now we know if we win the league we can get into one of the new Conference Division Ones. It's not going to be as easy as two years ago, but we've definitely got lots to play for.

There's been a large turnover of players - probably rightly so after last season - and the squad should become a little clearer as we embark on a set of friendlies. Yesterday brought the first of those, resulting in a 1-1 draw against Alfreton our goal coming from new bloke Leon Mitchell . More details in DJ's match report .

We've got two more games this week: Birmingham City come to The Grove on Monday, and then we visit Oldbury on Thursday evening.

I've been doing a few bits of housekeeping on the site over the summer, and have a few things to come over the next few months. However two things I'd like to point out are these. This season's election for the Yeltz Hall of Fame is now open. Also, Fantasy Island is ready to go with the start of the league games, so you can start entering your predictions in for any games that are within the next month.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town (First Half): Gayle; Colwell, Small, Baker, Sewell, Grocutt, Hollis, Spencer, Hallam, Ashby, March

Halesowen Town (Second Half): Harris; Clarke, Charlton, Smith, J. Skidmore, Blake, Wray, Kavanagh, Mitchell, Phillips, Trainer

Alfreton Town: Butler; Circuit, Grayston, Cotterill, Brown, Knapper, Dolby, Robinson, Askey, Nawadike, Hemmings

Referee: T. Parkes (Birmingham)

Halesowen opened their pre-season with a pleasing draw against newly promoted Unibond Premier big spenders Alfreton Town in a re-match of January's FA Trophy clash.

The hosts had the slightly better first half with ex-Tamworth striker Mark Hallam heading just wide from fellow new-boy Lewis Baker in the 4th minute. Jason Ashby then linked-up with Hallam in the 21st minute before hitting his effort wide. Other new summer signings Darren Grocutt, Simon Hollis and Jamie March also caught the eye in the first period with a 38th minute cross from March headed across goal by Hollis.

Halesowen ran the rule over a number of possibles by naming a completely different line-up for the second half and they took a 54th minute lead when manager's son Kelvin Phillips split the Alfreton defence allowing ex-Sutton Coldfield striker Leon Mitchell to convert from 12 yards. Young home goalkeeper Matt Harris saved acrobatically from the unmarked Ian Robinson just after the hour before the visitors equalised through the experienced Tony Hemmings from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute after a handball just inside the Halesowen area.

Alfreton goalkeeper Lee Butler denied Phillips twice in the 75th minute and on-trial central defender Josh Skidmore kept Alfreton's strong forward line at bay at the opposite end, although Ian Robinson hit a 20-yard drive inches wide of the mark in the 87th minute.