Clevedon 2 Yeltz 0

16 August 2003

After getting stuck in traffic on the way down, the mighty Yeltz made a disappointing start to their Western Division campaign by going down to two late goals at Clevedon. With keeper Mark Gayle being sent off as well, it's not been the good start we all hoped for. Still, there's a very long way to go, so let's not start moaning too much (please!). More details in the match reports.

Ilkeston are the visitors to The Grove on Tuesday, before we host Mangotsfield on Saturday. Ilkeston got stuffed 6-0 at home to Redditch, a team packed with Yeltz old boys, so let's hope for a bit better luck to kick-start the season.

Match Report from DJ

Clevedon Town: Weaver; Price, Lester, Zabek, Scott, Bryant, Richards (Hobbs 76), Vickerman, Weisburg, Haldane, Appleton (Fey 85). Unused Subs: Walsh, A. Smith

Halesowen Town: Gayle; Colwell, Charlton, Grocutt, N. Smith, Baker, Hollis, Ashby, Hallam (Mitchell 87), Spencer (Skidmore 87), March. Unused Subs: Wray, Phillips, Kavanagh

Referee: S. Cook (Lydney) Attendance: 241 Sent Off: Gayle (90)

Halesowen had an opening day to forget starting with picking up a fine for arriving late and ending by conceding two goals in the dying seconds and having goalkeeper Mark Gayle sent off.

M5 traffic congestion following an accident meant the team coach did not arrive until ten minutes past three for a delayed 3.45pm kick-off, but hope remained high as Halesowen had not lost to Clevedon in the previous six outings - although this proved to be pay-back time in abundance.

The late start created tension between the two camps throughout the game but the Yeltz started brightly with man-of-the match Simon Hollis winning a 2nd minute corner for Jason Ashby to hit an overhead kick over the bar. At the other end Fidel Richards set up Arthur Appleton to screw a 6th minute shot just wide. On 8 minutes a fine run and cross from Hollis allowed Andy Spencer to fire inches wide and on 16 minutes a Richard Colwell pile-driver was blocked for a corner after a long throw-in from Hollis.

Halesowen missed the best chance of the half after 20 minutes when Hollis crossed from the right but Ashby missed the ball at the near post and Lewis Baker then scuffed his shot wide from 3 yards at the far post. A minute later Clevedon's Ryan Weisburg beat Mark Gayle to the ball but his chip fell inches wide from the edge of the area. On the half-hour Clevedon were almost caught out when Olly Price's weak back-header allowed Ashby to nip in but he lobbed over the bar. Baker then headed wide from a Hollis corner in the 39th minute.

In the second half Clevedon continually played long balls forward for their young strikers to chase and the tactic paid handsomely against the Halesowen central defence. In the 48th minute Weisburg beat Neil Smith to the ball but Gayle made a fine blocking save with his feet and James Zabek then thundered a 20-yard drive just wide of Gayle's post. On 57 minutes Gayle parried the ball away when Lewis Haldane latched onto a long ball that beat Colwell. Gayle then raced off his line again after 67 minutes to beat Haldane to the ball and made another save from Haldane on the left a minute later. Eight minutes from time Hollis sent in a deflected 25-yard shot but goalkeeper Steve Weaver did well to turn the ball away.

A point seemed in the bag at 5.30pm but Clevedon had other ideas and stole the three points in the last minute. Shane Hobbs again beat the Halesowen defence to a long through ball but this time guided the ball home from 15 yards with 90 minutes on the clock. Still stunned by the late goal Colwell let in Haldane seconds later and although Gayle raced out to the rescue he was unluckily sent off for handling the ball just inches outside his area. Makeshift goalkeeper Asa Charlton managed to parry the free-kick smashed in from 18 yards but couldn't prevent Haldane hitting home the rebound for a flattering second goal.