FAC 1R Yeading 2 Yeltz 1

13 November 2004

It's the hope that's the killer. The indomitable Yeltz once again lost in the First Round of The FA Cup and we're all left dreaming of what might have been.

Dave's match report gives full details on the day, but three disappointing things happened this weekend. The usual big-game idiots came with their ridiculous racist abuse, we got patronised by a completely ignorant BBC commentator in the interactive service and then Yeading go and draw Slough to have an excellent chance of getting through. Aaaaarrrrrrrggggggh!

OK that's enough moaning. Let's remember the fantastic run we had (those unbelievable days at Gainsborough and Brigg) and celebrate that for the first time in years we've got a great footballing side who actually give us some hope.

A quote from Paul sums it up perfectly: "It's over now - good luck to Yeading, but we must get on with the league. Our season starts here".

It starts again in earnest on Tuesday night when we host Cirencester at The Grove. They are a decent team, but let's hope we can reproduce the form that led us to stuff them 5-0 down at their place earlier in the season.

(P.S. The headline is courtesy of Greg who thought I wouldn't use it.)

Match Report from DJ

Yeading: Preddie; Barima (Behzadi 71), Protain, Saroya, Leach, Stanley, Clarke, Brown, Haule, Campbell (Woodruffe 90), Quamina. Unused Subs: Kleboe, Perfect, McArthur

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Cooper (Strachan 80), Haywood (Steane 80), Preston, Pope, Jones, Cowley, Haarhoff (Burgess 65), Moore, Baker, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Skidmore, Robinson.

Referee: D. Whitestone (Northampton) Attendance: 524 Booked: Brown (45), Cooper (56), Haule (68)

Halesowen's FA Cup dreams finally died at the Warren but the result was harsh on Halesowen who did enough to earn at least a draw.

Yeltz manager Paul Holleran said he was "disappointed with the goals conceded - we shot ourselves in the foot again. However, we thought we were denied a second half penalty when Jason Moore's marker handled the ball."

The tie brought together the pacesetters in the Ryman and Southern Premier leagues in an interesting comparison with both sides attempting to reach the 2nd Round for the first time in their history. Remarkably, Halesowen have been drawn away from home in ten of their last eleven FA Cup draws and they now miss out on another away tie at Ryman League Slough Town in the second round and a chance to progress to the big-time in the 3rd Round.

The travelling army of fans made up most of the attendance at the Warren but the lack of support for the out-numbered hosts still lead to the lowest FA Cup attendance of day.

League leaders Yeading were without suspended midfielder Keith Newby but it looked ominous for Halesowen when goalkeeper Chris Taylor was forced into a fine blocking save from Michael Barima in the 4th minute following a fine flowing move. Although the corner was cleared Alex Stanley crossed again from the right and the ball deflected cruelly off Dave HAYWOOD to beat Taylor at the near post in the 5th minute. Emond Protain then headed a 7th minute free-kick just wide.

The Yeltz made the perfect response with a 9th minute equaliser when Niki Preston set Simon Forsdick free down the left and he beat his marker to cross for Alex COWLEY to fire through a crowded goalmouth beyond un-sighted goalkeeper Delroy Preddie from 15 yards. Forsdick then robbed Nevin Soroya but his 12th minute left-wing cross was cleared and a minute later Jason Moore almost break through when Darti Brown lost the ball. With Halesowen still enjoying a better spell, a 16th minute long throw from Cowley caused confusion before being cleared and on 21 minutes Cowley cut in from the right but his fierce shot was turned away for a corner by Preddie.

Yeading's Barima was set free down the right in the 31st minute but his deep cross landed on top of the net during a spell of scrappy midfield play mid-way through the first half. With Halesowen creating the better chances late in the first half, Forsdick skipped through several midfield tackles in the 37th minute and set up Lewis Baker but Preddie grabbed his 20-yard effort. Two minutes later Jimmy Haarhoff slipped the ball to Forsdick but his shot was cleared for a corner. Three minutes before the interval Haywood latched onto a clearance to slam a 25-yard volley just over the bar.

Brown was shown a yellow card for up-ending Ian Cooper in the 45th minute but there was heartbreak for Halesowen as they pushed forward from the free-kick with the clock already into the one minute of injury-time displayed by the fourth official. The ball broke to Barima down the right and his cross struck the arm of Dan Jones without a Yeading player nearby. The referee finally awarded the needless penalty after the assistant referee flagged for the infringement and Golden Boot striker Dudley Junior (DJ) Campbell tucked the ball into the corner of the net for the first-half injury-time winner despite unlucky goalkeeper Taylor diving brilliantly to get a hand to the ball.

Davis Haule headed Saroya's 51st minute cross wide but little was seen of Yeading as an attacking force in the second half. With Halesowen trying to get back into the game, Forsdick was crowded out from Haywood's 52nd minute cross and on the hour Haarhoff laid the ball off for Cowley to evade a couple of tackles before firing at Preddie. Baker then made space to hit a 20-yard shot at Preddie in the 63rd minute and substitute Richard Burgess combined with Moore for Forsdick to screw just wide on 70 minutes.

With time slipping away Forsdick took the ball down in the 80th minute but his goal-bound shot was blocked by Protain. Halesowen were then forced to play out the final minutes with ten men after unfortunate substitute Craig Strachan was stretchered off to hospital and required six stitches to a leg gash after less than a minute on the pitch following a rash challenge.

The last chance for Halesowen fell for captain Steve Pope to hit a trademark direct 25-yard free-kick towards the top corner but Preddie produced a 90th minute acrobatic save.

Not for the first time in the 1st Round Proper the after-match analysis left Halesowen with a feeling of what might have been.

Ding manager Johnson Hippolyte admittted "my side didn't play well against a decent team. We were grateful for the experience of ex-Conference midfielder David Clarke, but I'm disappointed we never kicked-on from our early goal. We don't mind who we play next because we have made history for Yeading FC today".

The last word on Halesowen's FA Cup adventure rested with Holleran. "It's over now - good luck to Yeading, but we must get on with the league. Our season starts here".