Redditch 0 Yeltz 2

20 September 2003

Two goals from the unstoppable Jason Ashby meant the mighty Yeltz inflicted Redditch's first defeat of the season. A first half penalty and another in the second half means we've kept in touch with all the leaders - even though it's obviously early days.

Since that first loss at Clevedon that's eight games unbeaten now in all competitions, and Jason has scored an amazing 11 goals so far. I'm sure we we all hoping/expecting such a start, but things are looking pretty good for an interesting season.

The Yeltz Hall of Fame votes have been counted and verified, and I can reveal that Kevin Harrison and Richard Crisp have been duly elected. Both are very deserving members of this exclusive club. Thanks to all of you who took the time to vote.

Seeing as Atherstone have gone out of business (as far as I know), our next game is now next Saturday in the FA Cup at Spalding . They're were relegated last year from the Eastern Division into the United Counties where they've made a pretty good start. However we must be favorites to go through, so let's hope we can get into the 3rd Qualifying Round - just a couple before the league teams come in.

Match Report from DJ

Redditch Utd: Anstiss; Manton (Cowley HT), Gioia, Taylor, Knight, Softley, Quiggin (Arshad 65), Myers, Leadbeater, Burgess (Hill 77), Hall. Unused Subs: Clark, Maynard

Halesowen Town: Gayle; Colwell, Charlton, Grocutt, Jones, Baker, Hollis, Ashby (Spencer 89), Hallam (Mitchell 81), Skidmore, Small. Unused Subs: Steane, Kavanagh, Smith

Referee: S. Castle (Wolverhampton) Attendance: 526 Booked: Quiggin (7), Charlton (7), Knight (62), Skidmore (64), Hallam (75), Hall (90)

Halesowen wrecked Redditch's 100% record and preserved their own eight game unbeaten sequence to close the gap at the top of the Western Division.

Although some commentators had already written the script for the 6 ex-Yeltz players in the Redditch line-up to embarrass their former club, the opposite proved true and on the basis of play their release from the Grove looked justified.

Mark Gayle grabbed a 2nd minute 20-yard free-kick from Matty Hall before Jimmy Quiggin and Stuart Skidmore received early bookings in a blood and thunder encounter. Bryan Small suffered a clash of heads requiring a bandage and while he was briefly off the field in the 17th minute Redditch goalkeeper Richard Anstiss made a hash of a clearance but recovered to parry away Mark Hallam's volley with Simon Hollis hitting the rebound over the bar. Anstiss was then almost caught out by Jason Ashby's terrific 20-yard lob but the goalkeeper back-pedalled to turn the ball over for a corner on 20 minutes.

Halesowen took the lead after being awarded a 30th minute penalty when Neil Manton tugged Ashby's shirt and ASHBY placed the spot-kick into the corner of the net despite Anstiss almost saving with his fingertips.

Gayle enjoyed his best game to date for Halesowen and made an excellent point-blank save from ex-Yeltz striker Richard Leadbeater in front of goal on 34 minutes. With Redditch searching for an equaliser the Halesowen defence cleared a couple of corners before Hall crossed for Quiggin to volley over the bar just before the break.

The disappointing Reds could find no way back into the game in the second half and it was Halesowen's Lewis Baker who headed just over from Hollis's freekick in the 47th minute. Alex Cowley hit a long free-kick into the Halesowen box in the 65th minute but fellow substitute Naveed Arshad hit over from 3 yards with his first touch of the game and Leadbeater then hit Cowley's 68th minute left wing cross over the bar.

Halesowen made the points safe in the 74th minute when Hollis robbed full-back Antonio Goioa and passed across goal for ASHBY to tap home his 11th goal of the season into an empty net from close range with Anstiss stranded. Halesowen were not seriously troubled from then on in their eight-game unbeaten sequence and substitute Leon Mitchell made a brave run down the right to earn a final minute corner.