Yeltz 1 Sutton Coldfield 0

03 January 2004

Halesowen gained their first victory in what seems like ages when we beat Sutton Coldfield 1-0 through a second half Lewis Baker goal. More details in Dave's match report .

Next Saturday we travel to Cinderford in what you would hope would be a relatively easy game. They haven't won since October but they did draw at The Grove early in the season so it's not going to be a walkover. However with us down to 4th in the table we need all three points.

If you haven't seen it already there's an excellent explanation of the expected promotion situation on Tony Kempster's site that I'm sure you'll find interesting.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Sheils; Colwell, Charlton, Grocutt (Small 80), Smith, Baker (Skidmore 88), Spencer, Ashby, Piearce, Steane, Ball (Reece 90). Unused Subs: Lowry, Lowe

Sutton Coldfield Town: Bray; Wolsey, Gardner, Geohaghan, Farmer (Spittle 56), Jones (Duley 73), Peters (Turner 83), Watkins, Carter, Perrow, Martin. Unused Subs: Ling, Carpenter

Referee: I. Hamilton (Cheltenham) Attendance: 392 Booked: Watkins (39), Perrow (44), Colwell (47), Carter (75) Sponsors' Man of the Match: Asa Charlton

Sutton proved to be a tough nut to crack despite Halesowen playing their prolific three-man forward line in an adventurous line-up.

The Yeltz were happy to keep a clean sheet after leaking nine goals in their previous three games and they kept highly rated youngster Exodus Geohoghan quiet all afternoon.

Ben Steane struck a 4th minute half-volley over the bar and two minutes later Jason Ashby made a splendid run down the right only to see his cross turned away for a corner. Sutton won their first corner in the 15th minute after good work from Dean Perrow and centre-forward Nicky Carter then lashed a 25-yard drive wide in the 18th minute. Steane ran on from midfield but chipped weakly at goal in the 23rd minute and in even exchanges Richie Gardner hit over the bar in the 28th minute for the visitors. Gardner's dangerous cross was then headed away by Lewis Baker in the 33rd minute. Six minutes before the interval Baker headed a long Asa Charlton free-kick across the Sutton goal but the visiting defence cleared with Ashby about to pounce near the goal-line.

Two minutes after the restart home goalkeeper Mark Sheils tipped a 25-yard free-kick from Mark Wolsey around the post for a corner and six minutes later an Ashby cross put Steve Piearce clear but he hesitated in front of goal allowing the Royals to tidy up.

Halesowen hit the solitary winning goal on 56 minutes when Charlton delivered an in-swinging right-wing corner for BAKER to rise through a crowd of players and head home from close range. Baker then shot just wide from 20-yards in the 69th minute but it was the hard-working and well organised Sutton Coldfield who made the late running after Darren Grocutt went off with a 78th minute head injury.

With Halesowen defending deeply, Carter struck the side-netting in the 84th minute but the hosts held on for an important three points.