Friendly Yeltz 2 Hednesford 1

05 August 2003

With a decent victory over Hednesford at The Grove, things are starting to come together nicely as we near the kick-off proper. Two more set-piece goals from the seemingly excellent new signing Simon Hollis decided it.

One more friendly to go now, with Nuneaton the visitors on Saturday, before the first league game a week on Saturday at Clevedon. I don't know about you, but I'm definitely ready for hostilities proper to start.

For all of you Fantasy Island players, if you haven't already done so already you can now start entering your predictions for the early games.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Gayle; Colwell (Miller HT), Small (D. Williams HT), Grocutt, Charlton (Smith HT), Baker (S. Skidmore HT), Hollis (Spencer HT), Ashby (Phillips HT), Hallam (Mitchell HT), Wray, March

Hednesford Town: Hateley; Maguire, Brown (Marshall 79), Simkin (A. Williams 65), Robinson, Ryder, C. Palmer, S. Palmer (Berks 67), Anthrobus, Swan (Tucker 65), Seebury

Referee: A. Hendley

Halesowen's penultimate pre-season friendly was settled by two stunning first half strikes from Simon Hollis. However, defensive questions were raised as all three first-half goals came directly from set pieces.

Halesowen turned up the early heat on a sultry evening with Lewis Baker side-stepping his marker to curl just wide from 18 yards in the 10th minute. Mark Hallam was then just inches away from meeting a 17th minute right-wing cross from Simon Hollis. A minute later Hallam and Baker prevented each other from connecting properly to head home another Hollis cross from three yards and the ball drifted wide. Hallam eventually headed home a 22nd minute cross from Jamie March but was ruled offside.

Hot-shot Hollis gave Halesowen the lead in the 24th minute directly from left-wing corner that beat former Halesowen goalkeeper Mark Hateley to float into the top corner. Five minutes later Hollis was on target again by hitting home a direct free-kick from the edge of the area.

Darren Simkin pulled a 32nd minute goal back in Hednesford's first effort on target by hitting another direct free-kick past Mark Gayle from 22 yards.

In a quiet second half, Hateley blocked from close range in the 55th minute from substitute Andy Spencer before Leon Mitchell almost weaved into a goalscoring position on the hour. David Berks headed a 68th minute cross from Anthony Maguire over the bar for the visitors and with five minutes remaining Jason Ashby set up Leon Mitchell top place the ball just high at the other end. Three minutes from time Gayle made a one-arm save to deny Simon Tucker.