Merthyr 1 Yeltz 2

28 March 2005

Not only did we score, but the indomitable Yeltz pulled off a crucial victory with a 2-1 defeat of fellow play-off contenders Merthyr.

In what sounds like an eventful match, we took the lead through a pen from The Pope, they equalised from another penalty, had a man sent off then newish bloke Nick Smith scored a late winner against the ten men. With rumours of the linesman giving the finger to the Yeltz fans - what more does a match need?

The victory has moved us back into 6th place and right back in the thick of things. On Saturday we travel to Chips and Ham in what looks like the hardest game of the five left - although they've lost their last two and are definitely wobbling. I don't think we've ever lost at their place, so more of the same would go down very well.


Match Report from DJ

Merthyr Tydfil: Morris; Jones, York (Williams 87), Griffiths, Holloway, Carter, Bale, Clarke, French (Owen 87), Steins, Keddle. Unused Subs: Whitcombe, Howells

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Johnson (Skidmore 85), Haywood (Smith 74), Preston, Pope, Amos, Cowley, Haarhoff (Moore 78), Lamey, Cooper, Forsdick

Referee: S. Knapp (Bristol) Attendance: 410 Booked: Carter (33), Holloway (33), Haywood (35), Preston (63), Steins (70), Johnson (81), Keddle (90). Sent Off: Carter (64).

Halesowen returned to winning ways with a confidence-boosting victory at fellow play-off hopefuls Merthyr.

However, the football was sometimes overshadowed as young referee Simon Knapp struggled to maintain control with a series of controversial decisions and seven bookings.

Halesowen maintained a period of early pressure against the lack lustre hosts with Nathan Lamey flashing a shot just wide from 20 yards after just 15 seconds and Nicki Preston's free header from Alex Cowley's 3rd minute corner was cleared off the line by Danny Carter. But with goalkeeper Ashley Morris still not being troubled Simon Forsdick then ballooned over the bar from 5 yards from Lamey's 9th minute cross after being set free by Jimmy Haarhoff and Steve Pope hit a 30-yard free-kick just over the bar on 15 minutes.

The Yeltz finally made the breakthrough to end 483 minutes of goal-less agony in the 33rd minute when Steve POPE smashed home a penalty kick after Jon Holloway was penalised for climbing over Lamey. Haarhoff then threaded the ball through for Cowley to shoot weakly wide in the 43rd minute and on the stroke of half-time Lamey struck a good chance wide after being set up by Haarhoff on the break.

Merthyr failed to trouble visiting goalkeeper Chris Taylor until being awarded another soft penalty in the 58th minute when Carter went down under pressure from Pope and HOLLOWAY converted from the penalty spot. Cowley's 59th minute shot then led to a confident penalty call, but only a corner was awarded and at the other end Craig Steins hit wide from 8 yards on the hour for Merthyr.

Carter was harshly dismissed to reduce the Martyrs to ten men in his second bookable offence on 64 minutes for muscling Forsdick off the ball in his superb run forward from defence. Halesowen seemed unable to capitalise on their numerical advantage with the game interrupted by a series of fouls and Chris Bale's 74th minute shot was deflected just wide.

The Yeltz grabbed the vital winner on 84 minutes when substitute Nick SMITH finished well past Morris down the centre from 15 yards after a clever one-two with Lamey to shake-up the increasingly unpredictable play-off situation once again.