I stopped keeping this site up-to-date many years ago, so if you've ended up here I'm afraid there's nothing much of interest to see any more.

Other Halesowen Town websites:

21st Century Stuff

I made a Yeltzland app for iPhone/iPad and Android, which lets you read all about the Yeltz in one place.

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

You can also add the Yeltz fixture list into your calendar - instructions can be found here.

News Stories 1997-2006 ...

Follow Your Instinct

Even older than the original Yeltzland website, we wrote a HTFC fanzine between 1991 and 1994.

I've started scanning in the originals, and you can download the PDFs from the FYI home page.

Review of the 1995-96 season

Re-live one of the greatest seasons of the mighty Yeltz's long history in DJ's comprehensive review

Why are we called The Yeltz?

No one knows for sure, but here's an summary from the excellent Yeltzmen book that's the best explanation we have!




FAC 1R Yeading 2 Yeltz 1

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".




FAT Bromsgrove 2 Yeltz 1

Although it's always disappointing to lose, in the big scheme of things maybe it's good that we're not distracted any more from the League? I'm not sure, but in any case we're out of the FA Trophy after losing 2-1 at Bromsgrove. Full details in Dave's match report.

Next week we play in the First Round of the FA Cup for a long time when we travel to West London to play Rymans Premier Yeading . They're obviously a decent team, but so are we and we've never had such a good opportunity to progress. I'm sure it'll be another great Cup away trip, and if we can at least get into the draw I'll be happy.

Match Report from DJ

Bromsgrove Rovers: Lowe; Benbow, Ulfig, Hillman, Collins, Mahon, M. Jackson, Allen, Mitchell (Szewczyk 71), Appleton, Campbell. Unused Subs: Gandy, Banner, N. Jackson, Frost.

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Cooper (Steane 81), Haywood (Amos 70), Preston, Pope, Jones, Cowley, Haarhoff (Moore 70), Burgess, Baker, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Skidmore, Robinson.

Referee: O. Langford (Tipton) Attendance: 522 Booked: Baker (40), Mitchell (44), Ulfig (59), Mahon (72)

Halesowen fell at the first hurdle in the FA Trophy in a hard fought local derby against battling Bromsgrove.

Arthur Appleton drove wide for the hosts in the 2nd minute and an Ian Cooper cross was cleared at the other end a minute later. Former Halesowen striker Leon Mitchell then broke clear down the left for the home side in the 8th minute and the ball fell for Ryan Mahon to hit a looping shot onto the crossbar with goalkeeper Chris Taylor beaten.

The Yeltz won the first corner on 16 minutes and Lewis Baker struck the bar when goalkeeper Matt Lowe lost the ball in a crowded goalmouth after his defence initially cleared from Simon Forsdick. Marcus Jackson blasted at Taylor from the left on 22 minutes but a couple of minutes later Lowe did well to keep out a deflected shot from Forsdick and then saved low down from Alex Cowley.

After a series of bruising tackles late in the first half, dead-ball specialist Steve Pope saw his 36th minute free-kick from the edge of the area deflected away for a corner.

Two minutes into the second half Halesowen central defender Dan Jones drove a free-kick into the Bromsgrove area but Lowe collected as Forsdick failed to make a firm contact. Bromsgrove then upset the Premier pacesetters by taking a 49th minute lead in a flowing breakaway up the slope when Nicky CAMPBELL converted Marcus Jackson's right wing cross with a diving header.

Baker headed just wide at the far post for the visitors on the hour from Dave Haywood's cross and Lowe dived at his post to keep out a 65th minute effort from Niki Preston with his defence scrambling away the resulting corner.

In pulsating action Appleton scooped over the Halesowen bar from 12 yards in the 67th minute but then APPLETON headed home Bromsgrove's second goal directly from Steve Hillman's right wing free-kick in the 71st minute.

Halesowen pulled a goal back in the 74th minute when Richard Burgess provided the final close-range touch beyond Lowe after substitute Nick Amos helped on a free-kick but Halesowen made little further impression on the home defence despite two late shots from substitute Ben Steane.




WSC Stourport 0 Yeltz 1

Another day, another win. Our good run continued last night with a 1-0 victory in the Worcester Senior Cup against Stourport through a Fozzy goal. We now play Kiddy in the next round.

On Saturday we visit Bromsgrove in the FA Trophy, before next week's FA Cup First Round tie away at Ryman Premier Yeading.

Match Report from DJ

Stourport Swifts: O'Malley; M. Jones, Shirley, Webb, A. Jones, Llloyd (Hayward 63 (Titterton 74)), Checketts, Sayer, Giddings (Hawkes 63), Atkinson, Mason. Unused Subs: Crisp, Gittings

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Strachan (Cooper 64), Haywood, Robinson, D. Jones, Amos, Cowley, Steane, Forsdick (Haarhoff 64), Burgess, Skidmore. Unused Subs: Grocutt, Preston, Baker

Referee: J. Cox (Evesham) Attendance: 157

Halesowen made five changes from the previous Saturday's line-up with one eye on the important FA Cup and FA Trophy matches ahead of them. Nevertheless, the visitors dominated for much of the game but had to rely Simon Forsdick's strike at the start of the second half to take them through to a second round clash away at Kidderminster Harriers.

The first half saw Halesowen in total control with some neat passing but some solid defending kept them at arm's length. When Richard Burgess finally found some space in front of goal he was twice denied by home keeper Aaron O'Malley, the second of the saves an excellent stop at full-stretch.

Mark Atkinson almost gave Swifts an unlikely lead 30 seconds into the second half when he pounced on a poor clearance from visiting keeper Chris Taylor but the Halesowen stopper recovered in time to keep out the shot. Three minutes later and it was the Yeltz who took the lead. Former Stourport favourite Alex Cowley combined with Burgess on the edge of the area before skewing his shot across goal where Forsdick was lurking to drill low past O'Malley.

The Swifts finally come to life in the dying stages of the game but were denied by an offside flag and the woodwork. Dan Mason's 88th minute strike, off a Halesowen defender, was ruled out for offside and two minutes later, with the game entering injury time, Mason tried again but this time saw his thundering drive thump against the upright with keeper Taylor beaten.




FAC 4Q Brigg 1 Yeltz 4

Fantastic. The mighty Yeltz won through to the First Round of the FA Cup for the first time in 13 seasons with a hard-fought but well-deserved 4-1 victory over Brigg Town. We had the better of most of the game, but went one down before half-time, thankfully equalising not long afterwards. In the second-half they looked the better team for a while, but two screaming free kicks from The Pope and a brilliant lob by Burgess sent the large travelling support away very happy. I still haven't stopped smiling :-)

Chas has sent me a movie clip of the 3rd goal . It's a large file and a bit patchy but I think you'll enjoy it! You'll need to download it and unzip it first.

I think we've got a decent draw, being away to Yeading . They're based in West London and are currently top of the Rymans Premier so it's not going to be easy but we have a chance to make history and progress past the First Round for the first time.

On Tuesday we travel to Stourport in the Worcester Senior, before we have yet another cup tie on Saturday when we go to Bromsgrove in the Trophy.

Match Report from DJ

Brigg Town: Steer; Ward, Waltham, Cochrane, Hope, Housham, Stones, Thompson, Roach, Chatterton, Ainsley. Subs: Cadman, Thorne, Tuck, Betts, Andrews

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Cooper, Haywood, Preston, Pope, Jones, Cowley, Haarhoff, Moore (Burgess 76), Baker (Steane 86), Forsdick (Skidmore 80). Unused Subs: Robinson, Strachan.

Referee: S. G. Cooke (Mansfield) Attendance: 588 Booked: Preston (56)

Captain Steve Pope hit two tremendous cannonball strikes directly from free-kicks to lift Halesowen into the First Round of the FA Cup for the first time in 13 years, although there was some disappointment at then being drawn away to fellow non-league Yeading.

Understandably there was a degree of nervousness prior to the game with Brigg boasting a proud Cup tradition and matching Halesowen's record of lifting the FA Vase on two occasions. It was 18 years since Halesowen visited Brigg in the Vase and Mark Penn who was a member of that Vase winning squad was spotted amongst the large contingent of travelling fans.

Halesowen could have killed the game early on and almost made a dream start after just 20 seconds on a perfect playing surface when Alex Cowley's cross fell to Dave Haywood but he struck a great chance wide. Haywood then delivered a fine 9th minute cross to cause chaos in the home defence and a looping header from Lewis Baker rebounded off the crossbar with home goalkeeper Damien Steer beaten a minute later.

Brigg's Ross Thompson hit a loose ball over the bar from 25 yards in the 13th minute before Halesowen's Jason Moore nipped in between the last defender and goalkeeper Steer to poke the ball into the side-netting. Home striker Simon Roach turned to fire wide in the 16th minute but four minutes later Halesowen won their first corner when Simon Forsdick's shot was fisted away from Cowley's cross. With Halesowen on top, Pope then forced a second corner before Pope tidied up in his own defence on 27 minutes after Niki Preston was dispossessed. Steer then punched clear in the 32nd minute and Lee Cochrane saved the home side by heading Pope's header off the line from the resulting corner.

The home side stunned Halesowen by taking the lead against the run of play in the 39th minute when Paul CHATTERTON broke free to chip goalkeeper Chris Taylor with the visiting defence appealing for an offside decision. Halesowen responded immediately and levelled a minute later although the ultimate goalscorer remained shrouded in mystery. COWLEY made the last decisive Halesowen touch when his free-kick from a tight angle on the edge of the area struck the far post and crept into the net with the aid of a fumble from goalkeeper Steer, although Pope later claimed the goal to record his hat-trick.

Three minutes into the second half Jimmy Haarhoff turned but shot straight at Steer. However it was the Zebras who dominated the start of the second half and were first to the ball in a strangely low-key period for Halesowen with Roach forcing his way down the right to smash into the side-netting in the 61st minute.

Halesowen finally started to fire on all cylinders in the final quarter of the game and on 68 minutes Cowley set up Moore to play a one-two and force Steer into a fine save. POPE then gave Halesowen the lead in the 70th minute with a screaming direct free-kick from the edge of the area leaving Steer and his defensive wall rooted to the spot after live-wire Haarhoff was brought down. Haarhoff then chased free down the left and cut the ball back to Moore but his side-foot shot allowed Steer to make a crucial save. Brigg then kept out Preston's goal-bound header from Haywood's 77th minute corner.

Remarkably, POPE then crashed home a mirror-image goal direct from another identically positioned free-kick with the help of a slight deflection in the 80th minute after Cowley was fouled. With Brigg's spirit finally broken substitute Richard BURGESS notched a fourth goal with a neat chip over Steer in the 86th minute and in injury time Steer made two saves from Haarhoff who broke clear on goal. The final whistle was greeted by jubilant scenes with supporters and players sharing the celebrations.




Bedford 3 Yeltz 0

It was good while it lasted, but our long unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday when we lost 3-0 away at Bedford. Three second-half goals pushed us down to '2nd place' on alphabetical order 'behind' Chippenham. Full details in Dave's match report.

We start a run of Cup games on Saturday with the trip to Brigg in the final qualifying round of the FA Cup. Despite being a league below us they have an excellent cup pedigree and won the Vase last year, so it's not going to be easy. However it's about as good a draw as we could have hoped for at this stage. Let's hope for a performance as good as the one at Gainsborough in the last round and hope we can get through to the First Round for the first time in quite a few years now.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: C. Taylor; Cooper (Forsdick 64), Haywood, Preston, Pope, Jones, Cowley, Haarhoff (Burgess 64), Moore, Baker, Skidmore (Amos 64). Unused Subs: Steane, R. Robinson.

Bedford Town: J. Robinson, Jackman, J. Taylor, Rydeheard, Howarth, James (Goodrham 84), Challinor (Blake 82), Stupple, Dillon, McElroy, Okai (Wheale 80). Unused Subs: None

Referee: J. Wynne (Dunstable) Attendance: 420 Booked: None

The Eagles soared high with a three quick-fire goals at the start of the second-half ending Halesowen's eleven game unbeaten run.

After a quiet start in the relentless rain, Lewis Baker dispossessed defender James Taylor but fired just wide from the edge of the penalty area. At the other end a measured 15th minute cross from ex-Dunstable wide-man Parys Okai was headed away for a corner by Dave Haywood and a minute later Bedford worked the ball to the right for Richard Challinor to shoot over the bar.

Jason Moore laid the ball off for Jimmy Haarhoff to hit a 15-yard drive at goalkeeper James Robinson on 21 minutes and just after the half-hour Haywood delivered a sequence of three free-kicks from the right-wing straight into the arms of the Bedford goalkeeper. Niki Preston's 32nd minute long-range shot was deflected away for a corner and seconds before the interval visiting goalkeeper Chris Taylor took out a dangerous right-wing cross from Challinor.

The even, low-key first-half gave few hints of a traumatic fifteen minutes that was about to follow. Three minutes after the restart Steve Pope attempted to beat one man too many and lost the ball in midfield, but Dan Jones did just enough to put off Chris Dillon as he ran through on goal. Bedford then went ahead in the 51st minute when Taylor failed to claim a deep free-kick from Jackman and Dean McELROY netted with a simple header.

Pope flashed Haywood's corner just wide in the 53rd minute after Haarhoff won the ball but lack-lustre Halesowen fell two goals behind in the 58th minute after losing the ball in midfield allowing Dillon to break and cross from the left for Derwayne STUPPLE to bang home from close range.

Halesowen's flaky defence was torn apart again in the 60th minute when McElroy crossed from the right to present DILLON with an easy tap-in past Taylor.

The Yeltz never looked likely to retrieve the situation despite making three 64th minute substitutions. Robinson took Baker's header and opposite goalkeeper Taylor took McElroy's 66th minute header from Dillon's cross. Halesowen substitutes Richard Burgess and Simon Forsdick both struck wide before Bedford's McElroy saw his 79th minute strike disallowed for offside.

Moore hit wide from Alex Cowley's cross in the final minute of a miserable afternoon for Halesowen that ended their record of scoring in every game this season.




Yeltz 1 Hednesford 0

Our excellent run continued last night as we beat Hednesford 1-0 to got back to the top of the Premier Division table. A second-half goal from Jimmy clinched it, and with Chesham losing 7-2 to in-form Histon we moved back to the top of the table on goal difference.

On Saturday we travel to Bedford, before next week's FA Cup final qualifying round game away to Brigg.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Cooper, Forsdick (Haywood 80), Preston, Pope, Jones, Cowley, Haarhoff (Danks 86), Moore, Baker, Skidmore (Robinson 80). Unused Subs: Steane, Amos

Hednesford Town: Young; Teesdale, Branch, Barrow, Brindley, Walters, Maguire (Anthrobus 76), Beckett (Charie 17), Bell, McSweeney, Gray. Unused Subs: Bailey, Rogers, Evans

Referee: S. Barrow (Tamworth) Attendance: 521 Booked: Brindley (36), Skidmore (62), Walters (63), Pope (69), Gray (85), Preston (87).

A goal from leading marksman Jimmy Haarhoff was just enough to put Halesowen back on top of the table in their first league double over injury-hit Hednesford since 1988.

The Pitmen were first to show with Andy Bell's 5th minute overhead kick landing on top of the net and Dan Jones then headed away Anthony Maguire's free-kick for the corner on 11 minutes.

Haarhoff and Alex Cowley worked Halesowen's first corner on 13 minutes and three minutes later Hednesford goalkeeper Ryan Young produced a tremendous flying save to deny Lewis Baker's header from another Cowley corner. Dan Jones put Jason Moore through with a clear sight on goal on 22 minutes but he scooped over the bar from 15-yards. Haarhoff then fought to win the ball on the left wing in the 27th minute but his cross was just inches too high after a fine weaving run.

Chris Brindley was given the first of six bookings in the game when he hacked down Haarhoff in the 36th minute and on 38 minutes Moore was put clear again but he hesitated in front of goal and the chance was lost. The Yeltz forced three corners in the 41st minute but Young saved on the line from Nicki Preston's close range header after a flick on from Moore. Just before the interval home goalkeeper Chris Taylor then collected from Brindley and Steve Pope blocked from Maguire.

Two minutes into the second half a 30-yard free-kick from Pope was deflected for a corner and Cowley struck the side-netting.

Simon Forsdick set up the decisive goal in the 51st minute by beating four Hednesford players in an inspirational run from midfield before slipping the ball for HAARHOFF on the left to beat Young from a tight angle just inside the penalty area.

Lee Barrow then cleared from Moore down the left and Young collected another Baker header on the hour. After a period of niggly fouls that resulted in further bookings, Haarhoff put defender Jones free down the right but his shot was blocked and Pope hit a long-range free-kick wide on 70 minutes.

With time running out for the visitors, Marlon Walters crossed from the right after Preston missed his challenge but Baker somehow managed to clear a goal-bound shot from substitute Steve Anthrobus off the line in the 80th minute. In injury time Andy Bell's shot was tipped away for a corner by goalkeeper Taylor's fingers with Leon McSweeney lurking at the far post.




FAC 3Q Yeltz 4 Glasshoughton 1

The mighty Yeltz continued their excellent cup form with a 4-1 win over Glasshoughton Welfare on Saturday. Two goals in either half gave us a reasonably comfortable win over a brave lower league side, and puts us just one win away from the First Round proper. Full details in Dave's match report.

The draw is on Monday, and I'll post it on the site as soon as I find out. Let's hope for either an easy game or a big team!

On Tuesday Hednesford visit The Grove in the league. We beat them in a hard-fought game at their place earlier in the season, so let's hope for more of the same at home.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Cooper, Haywood, Preston, Pope, Jones, Cowley (Steane HT), Haarhoff, Burgess (Moore 66), Baker (Skidmore 78), Forsdick. Unused Subs: Danks, Robinson

Glasshoughton Welfare: Codd; Liversedge, Wilkes, Dobson, Mattison, Constable, Seed (Blair HT), Bradley, Parker, Newton, Woolford. Unused Subs: King, Haigh, Leech, Fieldhouse

Referee: M. Lever (Leicester) Attendance: 512 Bookings: None

Free-scoring Halesowen shattered Glasshoughton's Cup dreams to earn a crack at the 4th Qualifying Round for the first time in seven years.

After a scrappy first few minutes, Alex Cowley put Lewis Baker through in the 8th minute, but he tripped over the ball. Glasshoughton's Martin Woolford then ran through from his own half before eventually being crowded out on the edge of the Halesowen area. The Yeltz won the first corner of the game on 11 minutes and goalkeeper Karl Codd spilled the cross before recovering to make a fine blocking save from Steve Pope. Simon Forsdick then glanced a header off the far post from Dave Haywood's corner a minute later.

Jimmy HAARHOFF put Halesowen in charge with his 8th goal of the season in the 13th minute by rounding Codd before calmly finishing into an empty net. Haarhoff then set up Baker a minute later, but he side-footed straight at Codd.

The Northern Counties East Premier League visitors were far from over-awed and enjoyed plenty of possession mid-way through the first half and a 21st minute corner from Woolford was punched clear by Chris Taylor with Sean Constable cracking the rebound inches over the bar.

Halesowen increased the lead on the half-hour when Haarhoff shielded a Richard Burgess cross from the right before laying off the ball for COWLEY to thump home from 8 yards. Codd was then alert to take out a 32nd cross from Cowley after he dispossessed Woolford on the right wing. Just before interval, Ian Cooper and Forsdick both fired in long range efforts on the visiting goal.

Glasshoughton caused home hearts to flutter by pulling back a goal in the 49th minute when Richard DOBSON rose unchallenged to head home a free-kick from Constable. Four minutes later Pope recovered splendidly to block from substitute Dominic Blair in front of goal and on 56 minutes goalkeeper Taylor failed to collect a cross from Julian Wilkes but the home defence hacked clear.

But it became crystal clear there would be no cup upset when BAKER restored the two-goal advantage on 58 minutes by nodding home a Forsdick cross from close range after Halesowen caught out the visitors with a quickly taken free-kick.

Jason Moore then broke down the right and squared the ball for fellow substitute Ben STEANE to side-foot home the fourth goal in the 80th minute. Glasshoughton tired in the dying minutes and Codd saved from Forsdick in the clear in the 85th minute with Moore heading over the bar from just a few feet out. Haarhoff then flashed wide of the mark in the 86th minute following an excellent pass from Steane.




Yeltz 4 Dunstable 4

It's certainly not dull at the moment is it? Another wildly entertaining match involving the mighty Yeltz occurred on Saturday when we drew 4-4 at home to Dunstable.

By all accounts we played very well going forward but defended poorly (the score says that really). It was 3-3 at half-time, they took the lead with 8 minutes to go but we equalised in injury-time (again!) and they also had 2 players and probably two other staff sent off. Full Details in Dave's match report!

All that means we still lead the league , although only on goal difference.

On Saturday Glasshoughton Welfare are the visitors in the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. They are from the Northern Counties East League, where they are mid-table but have several games in hand. We should take nothing for granted, but this is a pretty good draw at this stage and on current form we are strong favorites to go through.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: C. Taylor; Cooper, Haywood (Danks 90), Robinson (Moore 85), Pope, Jones, Cowley (Steane 60), Haarhoff, Moore, Baker, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Skidmore, Grocutt.

Dunstable Town: P. Taylor; Childs, Turner, Strange, Kefford, Fontenelle (Barnett 80), Kean, Spring (Francis 58), Carney, Drew, Okai. Unused Subs: Mills, Pugh, Massie.

Referee: I. Hamilton (Cheltenham) Attendance: 454 Bookings: Drew (26), Carney (27), Cowley (49) Sent Off: Drew (90), Carney (90)

Halesowen preserved their long unbeaten run in a gripping eight goal draw with a late equaliser in a sensational injury time period that also saw undisciplined Dunstable having two players and two of the management team ordered off the pitch.

Dunstable were the last team to beat Halesowen nine games earlier and the two fixtures between the sides have clocked up a remarkable 14 goals. Halesowen scored four excellent goals but were guilty of lax defending in a game that provided splendid entertainment for fans but could bring on nightmares for managers.

But Dunstable had a bad start to the day when their coach failed to start and several players travelling by car managed to get lost en route to Halesowen resulting in a 30 minute delay to the kick-off.

After the delayed start Karl Spring set the tone for an ill-tempered Dunstable afternoon by making a wild challenge on Ian Cooper in the 2nd minute. The visitors then drew first blood in the 5th minute when a long ball from Marc Kefford evaded defender Richard Robinson on his full debut and Carl DREW crashed the ball beyond goalkeeper Chris Taylor with Steve Pope's attempted clearance only helping the ball into the roof of the net.

Cooper's 6th minute drive was saved by visiting goalkeeper Paul Taylor and a minute later Simon Forsdick clipped the ball past the goalkeeper but Matt Childs cleared for a corner. Lewis Baker then glanced wide in front of goal in the 8th minute.

Alex COWLEY levelled the scores in the 13th minute after picking up Forsdick's cross and side-stepping the last defender to smash a goal of quality past helpless goalkeeper Paul Taylor from 12 yards. Jimmy Haarhoff was then put free in the 15th minute but his chip was easily gathered by the Dunstable 'keeper.

Big, bustling Dunstable continued to knock the league leaders off their stride by exploiting the space down the left and in the 19th minute Drew back-heeled into the arms of goalkeeper Chris Taylor from Parys Okai's cross. Anthony FONTANELLE then regained the lead for Dunstable in the 20th minute by following up from 6 yards after Baker had initially cleared Drew's effort off the goal-line.

In a flurry of goals before half-time, Halesowen first took the lead but then gave it away within a minute. COOPER levelled the scores with his first goal for Halesowen on 41 minutes by taking the ball around goalkeeper Paul Taylor and slotting home after being put clear by a defence-splitting pass from midfield by Richard Burgess. Dangerous Forsdick then went on a mazy run from midfield and squared the ball for BURGESS to smash the ball into the top corner from 10 yards in the 44th minute. Unbelievably, Dunstable then notched the sixth goal of a pulsating first half on 45 minutes when sloppy home defending allowed Drew to cross for FONTANELLE to convert from close range.

The second half started in more subdued fashion with Halesowen going off the boil before the dramatic last ten-minute finale. Haarhoff's 46th minute shot along the ground was easily collected by Paul Taylor and Baker headed just wide from Dave Haywood's cross five minutes later. Dunstable forward Karl Spring collided with goalkeeper Chris Taylor in the 58th minute and was taken to hospital with three broken ribs.

With the visitors still causing problems for Halesowen's shaky defence, home goalkeeper Chris Taylor produced two fine saves in the 62nd minute to keep the scores level. Taylor dived to his right to turn away the ball for a corner after a cross from Fontanelle skimmed the head of Carney and then made a point-blank save to keep out a header by substitute Anthony Francis from the resulting corner.

Burgess and substitute Ben Steane both shot weakly at Paul Taylor before the explosive final ten minutes. Dunstable regained the lead yet again and looked to have claimed all three points in the 82nd minute through OKAI's clever close range back-heel flick from Drew's cross. Dunstable then caused danger again in the 88th minute when both Carney and Drew failed to convert a goal-line cross from Francis.

The game exploded in nine minutes of added injury time with Halesowen playing four forwards to try to retrieve the situation. Drew was shown the red-card for dissent and was followed shortly afterwards by Carney for a tackle from behind. Breathtakingly, POPE salvaged a point for Halesowen by cracking home directly from the resulting 25-yard free-kick in the 95th minute. Dunstable found few friends in Halesowen in the final ugly moments with manager Darren Croft and his physio both being dismissed from the dug-out and it was several minutes after the game ended until calm was restored.




FAC 2Q Gainsborough 2 Yeltz 3

In one of the best games I've seen for ages, the mighty Yeltz clinched their place in the next round of the Cup with an injury-time winner from the brilliant Jimmy Haarhoff.

They scored early on, but we equalised soon afterwards when Forsdick went on an excellent run, and Jimmy finished off with a great shot in the corner. We then played some of the best football I've seen us play for years and deservedly took the lead through a 25 yard top-corner screamer from Forsdick.

Second half they came back into it and equalised with a pretty decent goal, but then Nick Preston fell nastily, and apparently swallowed his tounge. After being treated he walked off with assistance but later went to hospital with concussion. Hopefully everything is OK and I'm sure we all wish him a speedy recovery.

The game carried on and at the end we were pretty happy with a draw, but then Jimmy broke down the left and smacked it into the bottom corner to send us home very happy.

For those of you like me who haven't seen much of us recently, we are playing excellent entertaining (and winning!) football at the moment, so if you haven't been down The Grove for a while I strongly urge you to come back home - it's just like the old days!!

Next Saturday we're back in league action at home when Dunstable are the visitors, and we try to gain revenge for our defeat down at their place a few weeks ago.




BSC Yeltz 4 Banbury 0

The mighty Yeltz continued their excellent form in the B'ham Senior Cup, keeping another clean sheet and scoring four at the other end to defeat Banbury. Goals from Steane, Cowley, Danks and Haarhoff means our winning run is now four wins on the trot with no goals conceded. Excellent stuff!

More cup action on Saturday when we travel to Gainsborough Trinity in the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round on Saturday. They're in the Conference North, but are down in 15th place so it should be a very interesting game in which we must have decent chances to progress.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Skidmore, Forsdick, Preston, Pope, Jones, Cowley (Danks 55), Haarhoff, Burgess (Cooper 66), Baker, Steane. Unused Subs: Haywood, Grocutt

Banbury United: Tricker; Fuller, Blossom, Sullivan, Wallbridge, Tait, Stanbridge (O'Neill 76), McKay (Jackson HT), Forinton, Redknap, Potter (Brandish 35).

Referee: A. Marriner (Sheldon) Attendance: 197 Bookings: None

Halesowen took a break from league action but over-powered Banbury by mixing their attractive, exciting football with a tremendous work-rate.

The new league leaders looked confident from the start and were quickly on the attack with Richard Burgess winning a 2nd minute corner. Alex Cowley then shot through a crowded goalmouth in the 5th minute but the deflected ball took Nick Preston by surprise in front of an open goal. But Ben STEANE soon opened the scoring in the 6th minute by cracking home after the ball was played across goal.

In continuous one-way traffic towards the Banbury goal, Steane delivered two 11th minute corners and a minute later Burgess flicked the ball over his head before hitting just wide from 6 yards out. Burgess then made a glaring miss from just two yards in front of an empty net after the lively Simon Forsdick collected a defence-splitting 18th minute pass from Jimmy Haarhoff to cross from the left. Little was seen of Banbury in the first period although home goalkeeper Chris Taylor recovered to save from Howard Forinton's chip on 22 minutes. Stuart Skidmore then won the ball in midfield in the 26th minute and he fed Haarhoff who side-stepped defenders Kieran Sullivan and Andrew Wallbridge but goalkeeper Simon Tricker turned away his low dribbling shot from the edge of the area.

COWLEY increased the lead in the 28th minute with a brilliant finish after picking the ball up in midfield and charging forward to beat his defenders and hit home from 15 yards. Tricker then blocked from Haarhoff four minutes later.

The second half proved to be a quieter affair and with Banbury working hard to try to get back into the game Forinton shot at Taylor on the hour. Preston then headed the ball into the path of Wayne Blossom but he struck wide after 71 minutes.

Halesowen increased the tempo again in the final ten minutes with Sullivan's tackle denying Paul Danks on 83 minutes and Steane hitting a 20-yard free-kick over the bar a minute later before the Yeltz added two further late goals. Substitute DANKS converted a right-wing cross from Ian Cooper from close range for an 86th minute debut goal and HAARHOFF pressed the accelerator to outpace three defenders before firing past Tricker in the 87th minute.