Banbury 1 Yeltz 4

27 November 2004

The indomitable Yeltz went back to the top of the table with an emphatic 4-1 victory at Banbury on Saturday. Goals from Preston, The Pope, a Burgess cracker and a fourth from Nick Amos (according to everyone who was there) took us above Merthyr who didn't play. Hurrah!

Next Saturday we travel once again, this time to Aylesbury . They've faded somewhat since their excellent start and are now down in mid-table, so let's hope we can keep our excellent form going and stay ahead of the chasing pack.

Match Report from DJ

Banbury United: Tricker; Essex (McKay 51), Jackson (Stidder 82), Sullivan, Burnham, O'Neill, Stanbridge, Blossom, Fuller, Redknap, Potter (Pond 82).

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Cooper, Haywood, Preston, Pope, Jones, Cowley, Burgess, Lamey (Baker 50), Amos, Forsdick (Skidmore 82). Unused Subs: Grocutt, Moore

Referee: W. Ramsay (Coventry) Attendance: 392

Injury-hit Halesowen took full advantage of a game in hand to move back to the top of the table.

The victory keeps up a sequence of 15 games in which the Puritans have failed to beat the Yeltz, spanning a period of 40 years since a 7-2 reversal way back in 1964-5.

In a bright start, Simon Forsdick embarked on a weaving run in the 2nd minute before hitting over the bar from 20 yards and the visitors forced two 4th minute corners. Halesowen took the lead when Forsdick won a 6th minute corner and the Banbury defence allowed Dave Haywood's corner kick to drop for Niki PRESTON to steam in and convert at close range.

George Redknap poked Liam O'Neill's free-kick just wide for the hosts on 11 minutes before the Yeltz raced into a two-goal lead. Alex Cowley's left-wing free-kick caught out Banbury's defence again and captain Steve POPE headed home unopposed. With the visitors well on top, both Pope and Nick Amos went close in a 17th minute goalmouth scramble from Haywood's corner.

Yeltz goalkeeper Chris Taylor finally saw some action by collecting Andy Fuller's 21st minute shot from the edge of the area and Fuller then curled a 20 yard freekick against the outside of the post two minutes later. But Halesowen dominated the closing stages of the first half with Mark Essex clearing from Burgess from a quick Haywood break on 31 minutes and Nathan Lamey shielded the ball for Forsdick to force a fine save from goalkeeper Simon Tricker with a 20 yard drive two minutes later. Burgess then rattled the post on 34 minutes when he connected with a right-wing corner and Tricker saved the rebound from Lamey. After a series of 38th minute crosses caused further danger, Burgess struck high from a good position.

Halesowen undid their good work and were pegged back to 2-1 against the run of play in the 41st minute when Fuller's deep freekick was turned into the path of Chris Potter and he beat Taylor from 10 yards.

BURGESS eased any Halesowen worries by restoring the two goal advantage at the perfect time just two minutes into the second half by latching onto Lamey's pass and hitting a stunning 15-yard strike beyond Tricker. Cowley then cut in from the right but his 20-yard effort rebounded off Tricker's post on the hour and three minutes later Preston blazed over the bar in front of goal from Burgess's clever flick-on. Tricker then denied Preston on 65 minutes and Redknap cleared the resulting corner off the line. In one of their few second-half attacks, Banbury's Chris Jackson fired a 67th minute freekick just over the bar from 25 yards.

Ten minutes from time AMOS added a fourth goal by rising above the home defence to head home another Haywood set piece.