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 Sutton Coldfield 0 Yeltz 2

A comfortable victory at Western Division Sutton Coldfield took us through to the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, and brought in a welcome £7,500. Goals from Big Rich Leadbeater and Jason Ashby eased us through in a game, on last year's form, we'd be expected to win. More details as usual in DJ's match report .

The draw's now been made and we've got Moor Green away a week on Saturday. Not too bad a draw and we must have half a chance at least.

Next week we return to Hastings where we've had some very enjoyable times in the past. Let's hope for a productive visit this year.

Doc's produced a new fixtures poster for you all to print out and stick in your window. No excuses now.

Match Report from DJ

Sutton Coldfield Town: Bray; Bailey (Baker HT (Perrow 73)), Randall (Maragh 79), Howard, Farmer, Jones, Moran, Gray, Dyer, Tucker, Massingham. Unused Subs: Ling, Thompson.

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, Smith, L. Collins, Newall (R. Collins 89), Spencer, Ashby, Leadbeater, Taylor, Hines (Reece 86). Unused Subs: Elmes, Skidmore, Garvey.

Referee: P. Thompson (Chesterfield) Attendance: 269 Booked: Farmer (31)

The gulf between the Western and Premier divisions was plain to see with Halesowen dominating play from start to finish in a game they could have won by a higher margin.

The game was in danger of postponement prior to the game with referee Thompson unhappy about the state of the pitch - specifically the quantity of bricks and rubble on the playing surface.

Les Hines sent in a couple of early dangerous crosses as Halesowen sought to avenge their only away league defeat of last season. Richard Leadbeater then shot on sight from 20 yards in the 13th minute, but the ball just went over the bar. Mark Taylor turned the ball into the Sutton box two minutes later with Jason Ashby flicking his header just inches high. With Halesowen piling on the pressure, a 16th minute Taylor corner was headed on by Neil Smith but Ashby blasted over from just 5 yards. Linton Bailey then hit over his own crossbar with Ashby about to shoot following a great right-wing run from Richard Colwell.

Leading marksman Simon Tucker volleyed over the Halesowen crossbar from a Darren Massingham cross in a rare 19th minute Sutton attack.

It seemed a matter of time before Halesowen took the lead with Jon Howard turning a Colwell cross past his own post for a 22nd minute corner. Ashby then set up Leadbeater after 25 minutes but the striker took too long to turn and his shot deflected off a defender before hitting the crossbar to earn a corner. Ashby slipped his marker on the half-hour and was pulled back by Steve Farmer in the area, but the referee only awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box which Hines hit wide.

The Yeltz took the lead and broke their goal drought in the 32nd minute when Colwell swung in a cross for Leadbeater to head on and although Bray saved, the ball fell back for Leadbeater to turn and crack into the roof of the net from 6 yards. Andy Spencer missed a great chance to extend the lead right on half-time when he was put clear on goal by Taylor but Bray spread himself to save a certain goal.

Sutton came out to attack in the second period and Clarke had to race off his line to head a long ball clear in the 48th minute. At the other end a defensive slip-up let in Leadbeater and he set up Newall but his 53rd minute shot was turned away for a corner. Ashby then broke clear on the left but Leadbeater could not convert the cross. Simon Tucker cracked just wide and Michael Gray fired in from the left with Tucker just unable to touch home at the far post after 65 minutes in a good Sutton spell.

But Halesowen were in no mood for slipping up and should have added further goals. A corner fell for Spencer after 67 minutes but he hit well over from just 10 yards out. Bray then saved low down at his left post from Spencer after a fine left-wing run by Jason Ashby. Ashby then put Hines clear but his cross rolled across the Sutton goalmouth.

Ashby latched onto a long clearance from Clarke and calmly hit a half-volley into the bottom corner for the second goal after 84 minutes to ensure Halesowen's safe passage into the 3rd qualifying round draw.




Yeltz 0 Crawley 2

It's not too difficult to find the root of our problems at the moment - that's one goal in the last seven games and it's self evident that if we don't score we're not going to win.

From the comments on YeltzTalk , it was a disappointing performance as well as a disappointing result and it's dropped us back into the bottom four again.

A brief analysis of the table shows that we've played 6 out of the top 8 and only 2 of the bottom eight (Cambridge and Bath) so there's some important games coming up. Before that we start our FA Cup campaign with a game at Western Division Sutton Coldfield Town , where unfortunately we suffered our only away defeat in the league last year. An excellent time for revenge I think!

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, Smith, Collins, Newall, Quiggin (Taylor 55), Master, Elmes (Leadbeater 76), Spencer, Hines. Unused Subs: Reece, Ashby, Shanahan

Crawley Town: Dunn; Judge (Payne 74), Cooksey, Hooper, Pullen, Fear, Holmes, Harkin, McDonnell, Stevens, Le Bihan. Unused Subs: Hockton, Hemsley, Brake, McKoy.

Referee: P. Cox (Bedford) Attendance: 547 Booked: None Sponsors' Man of the Match: Lee Collins.

Eventually the long sequence of home draws had to end - unfortunately it ended with a defeat to leave Halesowen's home record in a sorry state. Long-suffering fans endured another blank goal tally and have now watched almost 7 hours of home football without a goal to cheer.

Kirk Master made his full debut and was immediately in action when he drove wide with his left foot from 20 yards in the 6th minute. Defender Richard Colwell headed a deep cross from the right by Mo Harkin over his own bar in the 12th minute as the visitors came into the game. A minute later Lee Collins climbed over Nic McDonnell to concede a free-kick on the edge of the area. Harkin planted the ball into the net but the effort was disallowed as the referee was still organising the wall. The retaken kick was easily blocked.

Jimmy Quiggin surged into the Crawley area but was muscled off the ball by Ernie Cooksey after 18 minutes and Tommy Dunn grabbed a deep cross from Jason Burnham under pressure from Rob Elmes four minutes later. For Crawley, Dave Stevens turned but saw his shot blocked in the box and the giant defender Ellis Hooper headed just wide from Peter Fear's free-kick. Quiggin then rolled the ball to Colwell in the 25th minute but his cross was cut out by goalkeeper Dunn. Andy Spencer fed Master on the left who sent in a menacing cross along the Crawley goal on the half-hour but Elmes was unable to provide the finishing touch. Colwell then made another important headed clearance for a Crawley corner with Neil Le Bihan about to head towards goal.

Halesowen missed the best chance of the half after 34 minutes with Master again causing danger when he side-stepped his marker to drive in a 20-yard shot that Dunn could only parry out to Elmes, but the striker blasted over an empty net from 6 yards. Three minutes before half-time Master made another telling left-wing run but just failed to cut the ball back into the path of Les Hines. There was still time in the first half for McDonnell to head just high and Collins to make a timely interception on Le Bihan in the box.

There were few chances to break the deadlock at the start of the second half but a 52nd minute cross from Le Bihan drifted just high before Le Bihan headed a Ben Judge cross just wide. Tim Clarke then juggled a 25-yard from Harkin and dived to collect a McDonnell header as Crawley forced two corners on the hour. Halesowen won a 66th corner from a Mark Taylor free-kick but Elmes headed high again. Spencer then hit a 20-yard drive wide a minute later.

Crawley claimed the three points with two late goals from centre-forward McDonnell - the first arriving in the 73rd minute when he hit home a Fear cross from 10 yards. Substitute Richard Leadbeater almost forced an equaliser for goal-shy Halesowen but his header was cleared off the line by substitute Payne in the 79th minute but nine minutes from time McDonnell latched onto a ball from Harkin to round Clarke and hit home from 12 yards out.




Yeltz 0 Tiverton 0

Another home game, another draw and that's now four 0-0 games out of five at The Grove - I can hear the grumbling from 200 miles away. We've moved up to a glorious 17th in the table so it's not too disastrous. More about the game in the match reports .

Some movement on the transfer front this week. We've signed Kirk Master from Shepshed, who've we've been after for a while, and it appears Andy Jones has gone to Redditch on loan. I'm sure you'd all like to extend a warm welcome to Kirk, and hope he'll be a huge success for us!

We've got a decent draw in the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round, away to Sutton Coldfield . The winners get £7500 in prize money so it's very important we get through as many rounds as we can, not only for the glory of the Cup. It's how football is today I guess (showing my age now).

On Saturday we welcome Crawley to The Grove in another important league game. They've been going pretty well so far this season, so it ain't gonna be easy (again).

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, Smith, Collins, Newall, Quiggin (Taylor HT), Leadbeater, Elmes (Master 70), Spencer, Hines. Unused Subs: Holmes, Reece, Shanahan

Tiverton Town: Collis; Winters, Haines, Peters, Rudge, Cousins, Chenoweth, Rees (Nancekivell HT), Everett, Rogers, Lynch (Pears 82). Unused Subs: Steele, Edwards

Referee: M. Weaver (Bearwood) Attendance: 430 Booked: Haines (73)

Halesowen recorded their fourth nil-nil home draw in five home games in an even contest played at a lightning pace. On the plus side the Yeltz remain unbeaten at home, having conceded only one goal.

Early on John Newall sent in a rasping shot and then headed into the arms of Collis in the 8th minute. Rob Elmes met a 14th minute Richard Colwell cross but he failed to keep his header down.

For Tiverton Anthony Lynch hit a 15-yard shot wide under challenge by Jason Burnham in the 23rd minute. Andy Spencer then made a great 24th minute run into the area but his cross bobbled just as Lee Collins was about to shoot before Richard Leadbeater struck the side-netting from close range from Colwell's cross. Jimmy Quiggin broke down the middle and fed Leadbeater on the left in the 42nd minute but his cross to Elmes was side-footed past the post from 3 yards out. A minute before half-time Tiverton centre-forward Phil Everett stooped to head onto the far post with the home defence exposed.

In the second half a Les Hines free-kick was headed on by Newall to Lee Collins but his header was gathered low down by Collis after 58 minutes. At the other end Nathan Rudge headed to Lynch but Clarke extended his hand to make a reflex save on the hour. A dangerous 66th minute cross from the left by Hines found Leadbeater but he failed to add a strong enough touch and the ball went wide. Spencer then saw his 71st minute shot deflected for a corner.

Clarke helped to keep the scores level when he saved a 20-yard shot low down from Kevin Nancekivell in the 76th minute and a minute later a slip by Neil Smith let in Everett but Clarke made a great save with Lynch hitting the rebound over the bar. New signing Kirk Master appeared for the final 20 minutes and showed promise with some neat touches.

A 15-yard strike by Tiverton substitute Richard Pears was ruled out for offside six minutes from time.




Cambridge 0 Yeltz 1

Finally the result we've been waiting for. It was a bit nervous at times especially when they got a penalty (resulting in an absolutely brilliant double save from Clarkey) but hopefully this will give us the confidence to go on and win plenty more games.

We scored early on through a goal from the returning Rob Elmes , and with Les, JQ and Spenner back in the midfield we posed much more of a threat going forward. It was quite a good game, and although they had some chances we hit the post twice and definitely deserved to win.

With some surprising results we're still in 19th place in the table , but our points column looks a lot healthier. On tuesday we welcome Tiverton to The Grove for what I believe is the first time (although I'm SURE someone will correct me if I get anything wrong), and then Crawley are the visitors on Saturday. A couple of tough games, but I'm confident we'll get something out of both games.

On a personal note, thanks to everyone - especially the team - for making my birthday such a fine one, and I can confirm to everyone that so kindly asked that I did miss the goal whilst I was in the chip queue :-(

Update: thanks to Dave Pettengell, Webmaster of http://www.cambridgecityfc.com I've now seen a video clip of the goal.

Match Report from DJ

Cambridge City: Davies; Wignall (Nightingale 77), Wardley, Wooding, Vowden, Wilson, Clements, Hayes, Wilkin (Gutzmore 62), D. Collins, Skelly (Wilde HT). Unused Subs: Holden, Calton

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, Smith, L. Collins, Newall, Quiggin (Taylor 85), Leadbeater, Elmes (Ashby 69), Spencer, Hines. Unused Subs: Holmes, Shanahan, Reece

Referee: I. Brookes Attendance: 343 Booked: Hayes (41), Wignall (52), Colwell (60)

Tim Clarke pulled off a sensational double save from the penalty spot to protect an early lead and guide Halesowen to their first win of the season.

Halesowen hit the decisive 10th minute goal to end their long goal drought when Neil Smith headed on a corner from Hines for Elmes to smash the ball into the roof of the net from close range.

With the return of Les Hines and Rob Elmes from injury the much-changed Halesowen line-up looked livelier than in previous games, restricting Cambridge to only a few chances.

Colin Vowden headed just over for Cambridge a minute later and Kevin Wilkin shot across the face of Clarke's goal in the 23rd minute. Clarke then raced off his line in the 28th minute to beat Richard Skelly to the ball when Richard Colwell's back-pass fell short.

Elmes met Jimmy Quiggin's cross on the half-hour but headed just high before Colwell made a great saving tackle on Darren Collins in the box after 32 minutes. Just before the break a corner by Hayes was grabbed at the second attempt by Clarke and Elmes hit an Andy Spencer cross wide as Halesowen broke up the field.

Halesowen were soon on the attack in the second half winning two early corners following a tremendous surging run by Andy Spencer from his own half but it was Clarke who saved a 15-yard shot from Cambridge substitute Adam Wilde in space in the 53rd minute. Good play between Spencer, Hines and Elmes saw Hines curl a 56th minute shot just wide.

Cambridge were awarded their penalty on the hour when Rob Elmes pushed Colin Vowden but Clarke dived full length to his right to turn the Adie Hayes spot-kick onto the post and then produced a breathtaking goal-line block when Kevin Wilkin fired in the rebound.

Halesowen could then easily have added to their tally with Spencer being denied twice by the woodwork. In the 63rd minute Spencer poked the ball against the post from Richard Leadbeater's cross and ten minutes later Jason Ashby touched a Jimmy Quiggin cross to Spencer but his shot rebounded off the inside of the post into the arms of goalkeeper Martin Davies. Two minutes from time Spencer fed Hines and his shot from the left drifted just wide of the post.




Bath 3 Yeltz 0

After the promise of Saturday, the mighty Yeltz slipped into the bottom four with a dismal 3-0 defeat away to Bath City .

It was a pretty even first half, but unfortunately after Lee Collins went off injured they took the lead just before the break with the usual goal from a set piece. The second half was very depressing as they scored twice more, we had Holmes sent off and didn't make their keeper make a single save I can remember.

On Saturday we travel to Cambridge . It's my birthday, so I'm expecting a nice present of a win - or at least for me to see a Halesowen goal this season. Please.




Yeltz 0 Dover 0

Despite a much improved performance, the mighty Yeltz are still looking for their first win of the season after an exciting 0-0 draw against Dover.

We had much the better of the first half especially after it started raining, with Big Rich Leadbetter going close a couple of times after some lovely passing and LeeCo having a header cleared off the line from a corner.

They are a real ex-Conference side, bigger boys who can handle themselves and they seemed to think because it was wet they could kick anything that moves. There were several bookings and finally a sending off, but although we pressed extremely hard against the ten men we somehow couldn't score and ended up yet another home draw.

On Tuesday we visit Bath , and then on Saturday we travel to Cambridge . We WILL win soon.

Match Report from Poll

No DJ-style facts from me I'm afraid, but for once I was actually at the game so here goes...

There was a bit of doom and gloom around the place (for a change!) in the Waggon before the start after our winless start to the season, not so much around the results but the way we weren't really creating much. Brendan changed things around by putting Big Rich and Jonah up front, bringing in New Bloke into midfield, got us passing it around and we looked a pretty reasonable team again.

We almost gave away a comedy goal in the first minute or so when a backpass only just reached Clarkey in time, but after that we had most of the play. A couple of good passing moves down the left led to Leadbetter shots being saved and a little bit of hope spread around The Shed.

Henry (and myself I suppose) had been moaning about having to be in The Shed for the first half - it's just not right - but we're happy when the rain really started coming down and everyone (except the hardy Southerners) came to join us. Big Rich had another chance when he beat the keeper to the ball out wide but couldn't find the net from an acute angle, and LeeCo had a brilliant header cleared off the line, but we were reasonably happy as we went off to watch the start of the England game.

As soon as it got wet they started playing a very physical game with several nasty challenges from behind, and the referee was 'taking account of the conditions' by letting them get away with it. We weren't as fluent as in the first half, but when finally one of their blokes got sent off for a second offence were all over them looking for that elusive first win.

Jonah had probably the best chance when he had an open goal from twenty yards after the keeper had come out of his goal, but he rushed his difficult volley when he probably had time to bring it down first. New Bloke hit a screamer of a volley that was just blocked in an otherwise anonymous match for him, and we had a succession of corners with Newall coming the closest, but just couldn't get the winner we deserved.

I'd just like to add that it was scientifically proved two years ago that I am not a jinx and the fact that I've seen two games this year and not seen a goal is pure coincidence. However, for those of you playing Fantasy Island I'm going to be at both Bath and Cambridge this week....




Yeltz 0 Tamworth 0

For the third game in succession at The Grove, the mighty Yeltz earned just a single point, this time against last season's runner-up Tamworth.

The draw leaves us in a disappointing 18th place in the table after the first six games and still without a win. Let's not get too downhearted though - we're not playing too badly at all, and hopefully just need a win to kickstart the season.

We've at home again at the weekend when we welcome Dover back to The Grove on Saturday.

Don't forget that Sunday is the club's AGM , so if anyone's got anything they want to ask but can't make it, mail me and I'll see what I can do.

There are still some Fantasy Island players who are getting mails returned as unknown. If you are one of those people (you'll know by the big red scrolling notice on your page) please let me know your new email address or I'll have to delete you from the game.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, Newall, Collins, Holmes, Spencer (Leadbeater 66) Ashby, Quiggin (Jones 80), Taylor, Reece. Unused Subs: Smith, Skidmore, Garvey.

Tamworth: Acton; Warner, Marsh (Follett 71), Turner, Hatton, Norton, McHugh, Hemmings, Sale, Rickards (Hallam 77), McGory. Unused Subs: Colley, Beasley, Bate.

Referee: L. Hodgson (Nuneaton) Attendance: 656 Booked: Collins (78) Sponsors' Man of the Match: Tim Clarke

Although Halesowen remain without a win and produced few chances they remain unbeaten at home and will be satisfied with a point against their much fancied rivals.

An early 3rd minute cross from Jimmy Quiggin was smothered by a combination of Simon Marsh and goalkeeper Darren Acton while Mark Sale turned and drove just wide in the 12th minute at the other end for the visitors.

Jason Ashby almost nipped in to take advantage of Paul Hatton's header back to Acton in the 17th minute before man-of-the-match Tim Clarke came into his own. Clarke made a full length diving save from Fraser McHugh's 18th minute drive from 25 yards and then pulled out a tremendous double save in the 38th minute. The menacing Tony Hemmings beat two defenders on the left to hit a fierce drive which Clarke beat down with Sale heading the rebound into Clarke's arms. Two minutes later McHugh put the ball back into the area from a corner to find Sale completely unmarked but he headed straight at Clarke again.

A minute before half-time Richard Colwell played a great ball out of defence to Jason Ashby but the striker snatched at his shot in the penalty area.

Tamworth remained on top in the second-half without finding the vital final touch and it was Clarke who went on to beat away McHugh's 55th minute drive from 20 yards before Hemmings hit the side-netting when unmarked on the left on the hour. Five minutes later Mark Turner flashed a header wide from Scott Rickards cross. Ten minutes from full-time Halesowen substitute Richard Leadbeater cut in from the right but his shot was blocked by Turner.




Chelmsford 1 Yeltz 0

Another disappointing result in what's been a pretty downbeat start to the season.

According to my roving reporter (Frank) they we're all over us in the first half with Clarkey playing a blinder to keep us in it. They scored from a short corner just after the break and although we had a goal disallowed for nothing and a definite penalty for handball turned down it was probably a fair result.

We've got two home games coming up against two of the pre-season favorites for the title - Tamworth are the visitors on Tuesday, and then we welcome Dover back to The Grove on Saturday.

Next Sunday (September 8th) is the club's AGM , so if anyone's got anything they want to ask but can't make it, mail me and I'll see what I can do.

There are still some Fantasy Island players who are getting mails returned as unknown. If you are one of those people (you'll know by the big red scrolling notice on your page) please let me know your new email address or I'll have to delete you from the game.

Doc has found the time to produce a new fixtures poster for September for all of you who are interested.

Match Report from DJ

Chelmsford City: Nicholls; Statham, Sanders (Cousins 68), Kersey, Wiles, Williamson (Keevill 78), Cross, Rutherford, Samuels, Gray, Owusu (Eaton 90). Unused Subs: Gibbs, Lakin.

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham (Ashby 68), Newall, Collins, Skidmore (Holmes 59), Spencer, Quiggin, Elmes (Leadbeater 51), Taylor, Reece. Unused Subs: Smith, Garvey.

Booked: Collins (22), Sanders (49) Referee: P. Sharp Attendance: 481

Halesowen are still seeking their first win back in the Premier and had goalkeeper Tim Clarke to thank for restricting Chelmsford to a single goal.

After a quiet opening an 8th minute corner from Gary Cross was headed on by Mike Rutherford but Phil Gray hit the side-netting. The real one-way first half traffic started with Russell Williamson finding himself clear on goal in the 12th minute but Clarke saved with his legs. Cross then burst through but shot wide when challenged by both Clarke and John Newall a minute later. With the Chelmsford strikers carving open the Halesowen defence with alarming ease, it was Clarke who rescued again after 15 minutes when he produced a tremendous reflex save to deny Tony Samuels.

Chelmsford should have opened the scoring in the 33rd minute when the rebound from a Samuels shot fell kindly back to the same player but he struck the post from just 6 yards out in front of an empty net.

For Halesowen, a powerful Rob Elmes header forced Chelmsford goalkeeper Paul Nicholls to tip the ball over the bar in the 35th minute and at the end of the first half Nicholls saved a fierce drive from Jimmy Quiggin who turned well in the penalty area.

Chelmsford's pressure finally resulted in a 54th minute winning goal from Mike Rutherford who turned and hit home over his head from 8 yards following a right-wing corner.

Halesowen looked livelier in the final quarter of the game and Ian Wiles had to make a telling tackle on Quiggin who was put through by a Gareth Holmes header in the 65th minute. Richard Leadbeater then turned home from an Andy Spencer header in the 65th minute but the substitute striker was judged to be offside. Leadbeater then flashed a header just wide from a Jason Ashby cross five minutes later. Quiggin was put through again in the 75th minute but his 5-yard shot was blocked by Ian Cousins.

Six minutes from full-time, Clarke made another fine blocking save from Gary Cross but it was Halesowen who almost levelled from a last minute 20-yard free-kick by Reece which was beaten onto the post by goalkeeper Nicholls.




Yeltz 1 Stafford 1

The mighty Yeltz are still looking for their first victory after Stafford Rangers earned a 1-1 draw with a late equaliser at The Grove on Monday night.

We took the lead just before half time through Jimmy Quiggan and looked like we were going to do it until they scored late on in the 85th minute. That leaves us with a disappointing three points from the first four games and in 16th place in the table. Looking at that table shows we've played the top two so maybe things aren't too bad, so let's keep positive.

Saturday takes us to Billericay in Essex where Chelmsford City play their home games, before Tamworth visit The Grove next Tuesday.

N.B. Doc has found the time to produce a new fixtures poster for September for all of you who are interested.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, Smith, Collins, Skidmore, Quiggin (Newall 84), Leadbeater (Ashby 67), Elmes, Taylor, Hines (Reece 10). Unused Subs: Spencer, Garvey

Stafford Rangers: Price; A. Gibson (Daniel 67), Carter (Lovatt 84), Barrow, McAughtrie, Robinson (Bott 75), Berks, Heath, Bailey, Davidson, R. Gibson. Unused Subs: Wilkes, Ward.

Referee: H. Singh (West Bromwich)Attendance: 736 Booked: Heath (41), Reece (70), Skidmore (84) Sponsors' Man of the Match (Twenty Twenty Promotional Ltd): Richard Colwell

Halesowen seemed on course to hold on for a narrow morale-boosting first win until they conceded a late goal directly from another set piece.

Stafford made the livelier start with the impressive David Berks firing in a 4th minute low drive which was grabbed by goalkeeper Tim Clarke before Richard Colwell turned a 7th minute cross away with Rob Heath lurking free in space. Berks then made an excellent 13th minute run but his chip shot was collected by Clarke.

With both sides lacking inspiration in the final third of the field, Halesowen's first real effort came when Richard Leadbeater hit a 25-yard drive over the bar in the 19th minute following a knock down by Rob Elmes. Substitute Dominic Reece, replacing the injured Les Hines, hit a Jason Burnham free-kick just past the post six minutes later. An overhead kick from Collins was then just tipped away by goalkeeper Ryan Price from under the bar after Reece earned a 35th minute corner. Stafford's Daniel Davidson beat defender Neil Smith in the 40th minute to set up Robin Gibson but he curled his effort wide of the mark.

Halesowen took the lead a minute before the break when Reece worked well down the left wing and his cross to Elmes let in *b*JIMMY QUIGGIN*cb* to scoop the ball home from 8 yards out.

The home side never really looked like adding to their goal tally in the second half although Elmes flashed a corner from Mark Taylor over the bar in the 58th minute and Skidmore drove wide after 73 minutes. Jason Ashby came on as a substitute for his first outing of the season to replace the injured Leadbeater but it was Halesowen's defence that was kept increasingly busy as the game wore on. Berks produced a 25-yard shot which was turned away for a corner by Clarke in the 75th minute and Halesowen then desperately defended two corners despite introducing John Newall to bolster the defence.

Stafford eventually equalised five minutes from time when Skidmore needlessly conceded a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area and BERKS curled the free-kick directly past the suspect Halesowen defensive wall leaving goalkeeper Clarke standing.




Grantham 3 Yeltz 3

In another game of fluctuating fortunes, the Yeltz took the first point off Grantham in a 3-3 draw.

We took the lead through an early penalty from Jason Burnham after Leadbetter was brought down. We were soon 2-1 down however, equalised through Les , and then ended up 3-2 down at the end of an exciting first half. The goal fest continued straight after the break with another equaliser from Jimmy Quiggan and despite both teams having several chances in some awful weather that was the end of the scoring.

On Monday we play Stafford Rangers at The Grove in a game it would be really nice to win, and then on Saturday we travel to Biillericay where Chelmsford play their games.

For Fantasy Island players , please note that if either you haven't started playing the game or you're still using an out of date email address, you will be removed from the game after next Saturday . Don't say you haven't been warned.

Match Report from DJ

Grantham Town: Ziccardi; Wenlock, Dye, McDaid, George, Wilkins, Marshall, Bull (J. Clarke 77), Ranshaw (Wilson 77), Neil (Hallows 84), Hall. Unused Subs: Foster, Hallcro

Halesowen Town: T. Clarke; Colwell, Burnham (Reece 56), Smith, L. Collins, Skidmore, Quiggin (Newall 62), Leadbeater, Elmes, Taylor, Hines. Unused Subs: Spencer, Ashby, Garvey

Booked: Wilkins (7) Referee: P. T. McCaul (St. Ives, Cambs.)Attendance: 518

The two newly promoted sides shared six goals in an exciting encounter full of goal-scoring opportunities. However, five goals scored away from the Grove in a week has resulted in only one point gained and manager Brendan Phillips will surely seek an improvement on the three goals scored by Grantham from set pieces.

Grantham won their first corner after just 10 seconds but Jim Neil's kick was grabbed by Tim Clarke. Halesowen's first attempt came when Jason Burnham hit a 25-yard free-kick well over the bar after 4 minutes. The Yeltz went ahead after 7 minutes when Lee Collins pumped a long ball up the field to find Richard Leadbeater clear on goal - although looking suspiciously offside. Ian Wilkins pushed Leadbeater in the back in the penalty area and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty and giving a yellow card to Wilkins. *b*BURNHAM*cb* stepped up to crash the penalty into the centre of Mario Ziccardi's net.

Grantham equalised in the 24th minute after Les Hines turned away a cross from Neil and from the Neil's resulting corner DARREN DYE firmly planted a header into Tim Clarke's net. Three minutes later Halesowen's defence was in trouble again from another corner by Gary Bull but Brendan McDaid's header was scrambled clear.

The visitors fell behind in the 29th minute after Stuart Skidmore bundled over Bull right on the edge of the area and NEIL cracked the direct free-kick straight into the bottom corner of the net with Clarke left standing.

An open game continued to produce chances at both ends in a great advertisement for Dr. Martens football. On the half-hour Rob Elmes headed a cross from Hines into Zaccardi's arms and in the 35th Jimmy Quiggin missed an open goal when he volleyed a Burnham cross over from just 8 yards out when completely unmarked. Bull then missed an open goal by drilling wide at the opposite end when Collins allowed a long clearance to bounce over his head to leave the striker all alone in front of goal.

With Halesowen enjoying a good deal of possession on a large pitch it was Grantham's turn to scramble clear in the 41st minute with Stuart Skidmore trying to find the final touch after Elmes headed on Burnham's long throw-in. A minute later Halesowen were back on terms when Elmes headed down a Quiggin cross for *b*HINES*cb* to drive home from 12 yards out.

The joy was short-lived as Grantham regained the lead on the stroke of half-time when BULL glanced home a right-wing corner against a static Halesowen defence.

It took Halesowen just two minutes of the second half to claim the final goal of the game and earn a point with *b*QUIGGIN*cb* firing home from a left-wing cross with Grantham's defence guilty of sloppy play.

The arrival of torrential rain dried up any further goals although both defences were guilty of further mistakes. A poor clearance from Collins almost let in Bull after 54 minutes but the ball rebounded kindly for Tim Clarke. Full-back Steve Wenlock then made two dreadful back-passes to put goalkeeper Zaccardi in trouble. After 68 minutes Wenlock let in Elmes but in a one-on-one on the goalkeeper the chance was lost when Elmes tried to pass across goal to Leadbeater. Two minutes later another terrible back-pass by Wenlock let in Hines, but his cross was cleared for a corner by Danny George with Elmes advancing and Zaccardi again stranded off his line.

Grantham made three late substitutions and applied pressure in the final minutes in search of a winner. Dominic Hallows volleyed over a Jamie Clarke cross after 86 minutes and the visiting defence escaped again a minute later when Tim Clarke missed his punch from a Stuart Wilson corner. Grantham then had a 90th minute penalty appeal turned down when Jamie Clarke hit the ball against substitute Dominic Reece. The Yeltz defence then hacked clear a 91st minute corner when Clarke lost his way with the ball bobbling around in the area.