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.
You can also add the Yeltz fixture list into your calendar - instructions can be found here.
News Stories 1997-2006 ...
- Index of stories (to help you find stuff quicker)
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?
Yeltz 1 King's Lynn 0
The indomitable Yeltz gained a critical three points with a deserved 1-0 victory against King's Lynn at The Grove. The winning goal was a Nathan penalty just before half-time which also resulted in a King's Lynn player getting sent off. Full details as ever in Dave's match report .
With other results going reasonably well for us we're back in 5th place in the table, and with only three games to go still have a good chance of reaching those play-offs. Our next game is on Saturday when we visit Grantham in a game we simply must get something out of.
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Taylor; Skidmore, Haywood, Preston, Amos, Smith, Cowley, Moore, Lamey (Haarhoff 62), Baker, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Pope, Johnson, Gayle
King's Lynn: Wilson; Camm, Blake (Quistin 49), McMahon, Hammond, Clark, Defty, Harvey, Hay (Staff 66), Bloomfield, Angel. Unused Subs: O'Halloran, Forshaw, McAnally.
Referee: S. Robins (Bristol) Attendance: 502 Booked: Defty (80), Forsdick (83) Sent Off: Harvey (43) Sponsors' Man of the Match: Simon Forsdick
Halesowen moved back into a play-off position after completing the double against in-form Kings Lynn, who were reduced to ten men for the whole of the second half.
Stuart Skidmore put in a notable performance for hard-working Halesowen in a man-to-man marking role on Danny Bloomfield that saw the league's second highest scorer restricted to only a couple of chances. Once again the Halesowen substitute's bench could only boast one fully fit member, with Steve Pope still recovering from midweek concussion. Pope however, has pledged his future to the Yeltz by signing a new contract for next season.
Halesowen started in eager fashion and in the 3rd minute a right-wing corner from Dave Haywood was headed on by Lewis Baker but Jason Moore's shot was deflected onto the roof of the net and a minute later Nick Smith headed an Alex Cowley corner just wide. On 10 minutes Nathan Lamey was just beaten to a through ball from Simon Forsdick before Forsdick skipped down the left wing only to see his cross cleared by the visiting defence. Danny Hammond then made a crucial challenge in the 18th minute to take the ball off Lamey's toe in front of goal after Moore helped on another Cowley cross.
The Linnets won their first corner in the 21st minute and a minute later Sam McMahon's shot shaved the post after the ball was worked across from the right. Darren Hay then put the ball in the net on 34 minutes but the offside flag had already been raised.
King's Lynn goalkeeper Steve Wilson was almost caught out with two bad clearances in the 36th minute and on 41 minutes a volley from Lamey rolled just wide of the post.
The game's defining moment arrived in the 43rd minute when a superb right-wing cross from Cowley was handled by Stephen Harvey above his head with Moore lurking behind him and the referee had no option but to send off Harvey and reduce the visitors to ten-men. LAMEY stepped up to crack home the resulting 44th minute penalty down the centre of goal with Wilson only helping the fierce shot into the net.
Two minutes into the second half Forsdick weaved through the Linnets defence but his final chip fell just over the bar and a half-volley from Lamey on 49 minutes fell just past the post.
Home goalkeeper Chris Taylor collected from Bloomfield on the left after 55 minutes and then picked up Jack Defty's header from a 57th minute Mark Angel corner. Moore broke clear a minute later at the other end but shot straight at Wilson.
The Linnets created their best chance in the 64th minute after a neat interchange in the penalty area let in Bloomfield but Taylor did well to block. Bloomfield then headed high a minute later.
Lamey suffered an injury on the hour and was replaced by Jimmy Haarhoff and the striker caused the visiting defence some late trouble with his darting runs. However, Haarhoff's finishing was wayward and in the 69th minute he fired weakly wide. After a couple of corners in the 76th minute in which Haarhoff appeared to be elbowed, Moore turned the ball across the face of goal for a third corner.
With five minutes remaining Haarhoff robbed Hammond but blazed over the bar when free on goal with Wilson racing off his line. In injury time Angel's 20-yard shot flew over the bar but Halesowen easily held on to celebrate a deserved and vital three points.
WSC Final 1L Studley 1 Yeltz 1
The mighty Yeltz managed to draw 1-1 against the even mightier Studley in the first leg of the Worcester Senior Cup last night. They took the lead in the first half but we equalised through Nick Smith in the second to set up a surprisingly close second leg in a couple of weeks.
The bad news of the night is The Pope was carried off with concussion after being caught by Taylor and spent the night in hospital. Not good news with some massive promotion games coming up.
The first of those is at The Grove on Saturday when we host King's Lynn. They're only two points behind us with a game in hand so it's crucial we beat them if we can. It's going to be exciting to say the least!
Match Report from DJ
Studley: Johnson; Dawe (Grubb 77), Dyer, Whittington, Walsh, Blake, Cross, Savery, Jones, Styles, Neath (Fergie 85). Unused Subs: Strain, Ratray, Sanders
Halesowen Town: Taylor; Cooper, Forsdick, Preston, Pope (Baker 8), Amos, Cowley, Haarhoff (Spencer 81), Lamey (Moore 68), Smith, Skidmore. Unused Sub: Bowater
Referee: J. Cox (Evesham) Attendance: 295 Booked: Forsdick (29), Jones (30), Johnson (89).
The first leg of the Worcestershire Senior Cup final finished all-square at the Beehive.
But the hard-working Studley strugglers from the Travel Factory Alliance had the better of the evening with striker Kevin Jones in particular catching the eye against lack-lustre Halesowen.
Goalkeeper Chris Taylor bludgeoned out of goal with fists flying in the 8th minute but only managed to knock his own player Steve Pope unconscious. The Halesowen captain was therefore forced to leave the field early for the second successive game, this time on a stretcher to be detained overnight in hospital with concussion.
Taylor was then penalised for pushing from a 25th minute right wing corner and Anthony SAVERY despatched the resulting penalty to give Studley the lead in their first season in the Worcestershire Senior Cup. The lively Jones broke free on 39 minutes but looped his effort over the Halesowen bar in an otherwise unappetising first half.
After the lethargic start from the visitors, Nicki Preston headed a deep Alex Cowley cross over the bar on 41 minutes and Simon Forsdick blasted high in Halesowen's first attempts of the evening after winning a couple of corners.
But with the Bees buzzing, Savery nodded inches wide from a free-kick on the edge of the area with Taylor beaten in the final minute of the first half. Seconds later Savery then skipped down the right wing after producing a clever flick but Adam Blake headed high with Taylor troubled again.
Nick SMITH rifled home Halesowen's equaliser on 54 minutes with a left foot shot from the edge of the area to beat home goalkeeper Craig Johnson from Cowley's right-wing cross. On the hour a tricky run from midfield by Jones gave Savery another Studley opening but Taylor beat away his 20-yard shot. Jones then burst free again five minutes later but Taylor blocked with his legs and Preston cleared off the line as Scott Walsh followed up from the rebound.
On the hour a tricky run from midfield by Jones gave Savery another Studley opening but Taylor beat away his 20-yard shot. Jones then burst free again five minutes later but Taylor blocked with his legs and Preston cleared off the line as Scott Walsh followed up from the rebound.
Forsdick's left wing shot fell inches wide in the 71st minute but the game drifted towards a draw following a series of substitutes to set up an evenly poised second leg at the Grove on April 19th.
In the final minute Studley goalkeeper Johnson was penalised for handling marginally outside of his area but then did just enough to keep out Cowley's resulting free-kick.
With Ian Cooper suspended for the next three games and Pope doubtful following his injury, Halesowen look like entering the vital league game with Kings Lynn with a further depleted squad.
Chippenham 2 Yeltz 1
The indomitable Yeltz lost on Saturday against league leaders Chippenham, but with other results going somewhat our way we're still right in the middle of the most ridiculously close contest for the play-offs .
By all accounts we were unlucky not to get something out of the Chippenham game - see Dave's match report - but that leaves us with 4 critical games that we can win. The hardest looks like the King's Lynn game on Saturday, as they are one of probably 11 teams still in with a chance of promotion.
Before that we have the distraction of the Worcester Senior Cup Final First Leg at Studley on Tuesday.
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Taylor; Johnson (Smith), Haywood, Preston, Pope (Skidmore), Amos, Cowley, Moore (Haarhoff), Lamey, Cooper, Forsdick. Unused Sub: Baker
Halesowen were unfortunate not to share the points and lost out by the odd goal in three as league leaders Chippenham were awarded a penalty and then notched a late winner.
But play-off hopes were yet again preserved as all four teams occupying the play-off positions were beaten as one of the most even end-of-season scrambles for years continues to unfold in unpredictable fashion.
Halesowen came under early pressure with both James Constable and Ben Kirk going close. The visitors then suffered a massive blow on 13 minutes when captain Steve Pope hobbled off with a calf injury, to be replaced by Stuart Skidmore. After regrouping, Alex Cowley was denied by Ian Herring and Simon Forsdick's 32nd minute effort was disallowed for offside. Chris Taylor saved from Chippenham's Constable by tipping the ball away on 36 minutes in the best chance of a generally lack-lustre first half following Scott Walker's free-kick.
A minute after the interval Dave Gilroy took advantage of a poor back-pass from Skidmore but Taylor was on hand to save and on 55 minutes McEntegart denied Nathan Lamey as he was about to shoot at the other end. Chippenham took the lead in the 68th minute when Dave Haywood was penalised for handball amidst strong Halesowen protests and HERRING converted the spot-kick despite Taylor getting a hand on the ball.
Halesowen levelled in the 84th minute when Gary Thorne fouled substitute Jimmy Haarhoff on the edge of the penalty area and LAMEY's shot took a deflection to beat home goalkeeper Mark Hervin. However, the Yeltz failed to hold on to a vital point when Nicki Preston impeded Constable in the 87th minute and with the referee waving play on, GILROY collected the ball and expertly lobbed the ball home over goalkeeper Taylor.
Merthyr 1 Yeltz 2
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.
Yeltz 0 Gloucester 2
I heard a few people making the old joke that we should be renamed Halesowen Nil on Saturday, as we went an unbelievable 5th game without scoring in losing 2-0 at The Grove to Gloucester.
We actually played pretty well considering we played most of the game with 10 men. Cooper got sent off for a stupid foul, when it looked like he tried to stamp on one of their defenders. It looked the correct decision from where I was standing, and a really daft thing to do.
We held them for a tedious first half, and then in the second really took the game to them just missing on a few occasions. However when the otherwise excellent Haywood gave the ball away in his own half they took their chance well and it was really all over. As we tired they got a second, and we'd slipped right out of the play-off postions into 7th place .
We've got six games left to turn things around, with the two most difficult ones coming up first. Today (Easter Monday) we visit Merthyr in a critical game we now probably can't afford to lose, then on Saturday we visit faltering league leaders Chips and Ham. We CAN still get into the play-offs, but we probably need at least 4 wins and a draw from our remaining matches.
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Taylor; Cooper Haywood, Preston, Pope, Amos, Cowley, Haarhoff (Baker 16), Lamey, Skidmore, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Bowater, Moore, Johnson, Gayle.
Gloucester City: Bath; C. Thompson, M. Thompson (Harris 54), Griffiths (Varnham 80), Tomkins, Burns, Mustoe, Smith, Addis, Webb (Knight 73), Wilkinson. Unused Sub: Reid.
Referee: L. Hodgson (Nuneaton) Attendance: 412 Booked: Webb (54), Cowley (60) Sent Off: Cooper (9) Sponsors' Man of the Match: Nick Amos
Halesowen's plunged out of the play-off places towards mid-table with another dismal home defeat as their longest spell of football without a goal for 25 years continued.
Alex Cowley's deep 8th minute cross was cleared after being headed back across goal by Nick Amos. But Halesowen then gave themselves an almost impossible task after being forced to play most of the match with only 10 men. Referee Hodgson used his discretion to immediately brandish the red-card at Ian Cooper after only 9 minutes for allegedly stamping on Gloucester player-manager Chris Burns, despite some debate about the severity of the infringement.
The incident changed the shape of the game and led to a drab first period with Halesowen sacrificing striker Jimmy Haarhoff for the midfield presence of substitute Lewis Baker in a tactical substitution on 16 minutes.
Cowley skipped past Burns on the right but Lynson Tomkins cleared the resulting cross before the Tigers forced two corners from Neil Mustoe mid-way through the first half. On 37 minutes Amos headed on the ball for Baker but his overhead kick was tipped away for a corner by goalkeeper Matt Bath. Cowley's ambitious 41st minute run forward from midfield was then ended by Neil Griffiths and seconds before the break Steve Pope hit a 35-yard free-kick well wide.
Ten-man Halesowen made a positive start to the second half with Tom Webb forced to clear Dave Haywood's corner off the line in the 46th minute. A minute later Simon Forsdick hit a 20-yard drive inches over the bar and on 48 minutes Nathan Lamey shot straight at the legs of Bath when clear on goal.
On 51 minutes, Gloucester's Daryll Addis was let through by Haywood but Lee Smith placed his shot wide from a good position. The Yeltz went close again on 56 minutes when Baker could only poke the ball over the bar from just 5 yards from Cowley's cross and a 74th minute strike from Forsdick was parried away by Bath with Tomkins clearing for a corner.
Gloucester hit two late goals with Halesowen finally running out of steam to slump to their fourth straight defeat. A slip from Haywood allowed Lee SMITH to beat goalkeeper Chris Taylor from the edge of the area in the 77th minute and with four minutes remaining ADDIS squeezed home a low angled drive from the right.
Yeltz 0 Rugby 1
It's been a very disappointing week, with three losses, no goals scored and our place in the playoffs looking a lot less secure. On Saturday we failed to score for the fourth game running and with Rugby getting one in the second half we're now down in 4th place . It's ridiculously close again, with 12th placed Chesham only 5 points behind us with a game in hand, so it's all down to form in the last seven or so games. Hmmm.
On Saturday we host our friends from Gloucester in a game that kicks off early (12.30pm) because of the England game, before a difficult visit on Easter Monday to Merthyr (that's a 3.00pm according to the Southern League website).
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Taylor; Johnson, Haywood, Preston (Amos 85), Pope, Skidmore (Smith 75), Cowley, Moore (Haarhoff 68), Lamey, Baker, Forsdick. Unused Sub: Cooper.
Rugby United: Beckwith; Moran, Williams, Hart, Herbert, Redgate (Matthews 65), Hall, Dutton, Beard (Douglas 73), Marsden, Squire. Unused Subs: Evans, Shepherd.
Referee: W. Ramsay (Coventry) Attendance: 468 Bookings: None Sponsors' Man of the Match: Simon Forsdick
The second home defeat of the week left Halesowen clinging onto a play-off position by a single point.
A disastrous run of three straight defeats and a goal-drought extending to four games has threatened to spoil a successful season and Halesowen again failed to create anything meaningful in a desperately disappointing first half.
Steve Pope managed the faintest of headers to clear a Jamie Williams cross in the 10th minute with Justin Marsden ready to pounce and two minutes later Danny Hall hit over the bar in a crowded goalmouth as Rugby made a confident start.
With Halesowen struggling to recapture their early season form, visiting goalkeeper Robert Beckwith dropped the ball from Alex Cowley's long throw-in after 17 minutes but recovered to dive on the ball with no Halesowen forward able to take advantage. Lewis Baker and Nathan Lamey then struck half chances wide on 26 minutes and Dave Haywood delivered Halesowen's first corner on 38 minutes but Baker flashed a header across goal.
Rugby finished the first half strongly and created the best chance of the opening period in the 42nd minute when Rory Squire met a right-wing freekick only to see his header rebound off the crossbar. Three minutes later Marsden was then put clear on goal after Karl Johnson lost the ball in midfield but Nicki Preston and Steve Pope defended well to clear the danger.
Chris Taylor collected a 46th minute effort from Craig Dutton from a free-kick before a back-header from Baker crept inches wide at the other end. With the visitors still engineering the better opportunities, Robbie Beard turned well on his return to the Rugby forward-line after a long-term injury but his 54th minute shot from 20 yards drifted just wide and a minute later strike partner Marsden struck the side-netting. On the hour Haywood found Simon Forsdick in the Rugby area but the ball was cleared for a corner as he clipped a shot towards goal.
Jamie WILLIAMS lashed home Rugby's decisive 67th minute goal from the edge of the area off the underside of the crossbar after a cross was only partly cleared to alleviate any lingering relegation worries for the visitors.
The Yeltz livening up late on but still struggled to find a breakthrough despite their urgency. Cowley's 74th minute shot was deflected wide after good work from Forsdick and on 77 minutes a clever Forsdick dummy allowed Haywood to hammer just wide from 25 yards. However, Rugby defended solidly with Pope smashing an 80th minute direct free-kick wide of the mark and on 88 minutes Beckwith saved from Lamey and substitute Jimmy Haarhoff from another long throw-in from Cowley. In the final minute Rugby substitute Dave Pearson's shot flew just over the bar.
Manager Paul Holleran remained in the dressing room with his Halesowen players well after the final whistle in a heart-to-heart session before the vital Easter programme.
Yeltz 0 Histon 2
I don't think there's any chance we can win automatic promotion now after a disappointing 2-0 loss to Histon at The Grove last night. Despite having a reasonable amount of the play, we didn't score for the third match running and had no answer when they scored two in the second-half.
However, let's not get too down-hearted. We are still in an excellent position for clinching a play-off place (which is probably what we deserve on performances so far), as long as we press on in our remaining games. We start with a home game against a struggling Rugby which I'd hope we can get 3 points from. We can do it!
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Taylor; Amos, Haywood, Preston, Pope, Skidmore, Cowley, Haarhoff (Moore 80), Lamey, Baker (Smith 80), Forsdick. Unused Subs: Cooper, Bowater, Johnson
Histon: Key; Joseph, Okay, Hipperson, Vowden, A. Cambridge, Bridges, Andrews, Kennedy, I. Cambridge, Barker. Unused Subs: Knight-Percival, Gutzmore, Farrington, Webster, Hulyer.
Referee: J. Holbrook (Kidderminster) Attendance: 384
Booked: I. Cambridge (56), Cowley (71) Sponsors' Man of the Match: Steve Pope
Halesowen's play-off hopes took a massive dive with a disappointing defeat in a game that failed to live up to expectations as title favourites Histon moved up to second place in the table.
The Yeltz made an eager start but were forced to clear a 13th minute corner and a 14th minute free-kick as the visitors packed the 6-yard box.
Alex Cowley intercepted play in midfield in the 16th minute but goalkeeper Lance Key beat Nathan Lamey to his through ball and ten minutes later Jimmy Haarhoff almost latched onto a back-header from Lewis Baker. Home goalkeeper Chris Taylor lost the ball in the 31st minute but recovered to make a reflex save to deny Colin Vowden and on 34 minutes Ian Cambridge hit a 20-yard free-kick over the bar after Neil Andrews was brought down.
Dave Haywood hit a speculative 35-yard effort over the bar in the 38th minute after winning the ball well in midfield but Baker then missed the best chance of the half by heading a loose ball wide of an open goal in the 41st minute. A minute later Nicki Preston planted a firm header wide from Cowley's free-kick after Lamey was fouled.
The Yeltz dominated the start of the second half against the disappointing visitors who looked content with a draw and in the 52nd minute Key lost control of the ball when clearing but Simon Forsdick shot wide with the goalkeeper out of his area. Cowley then embarked on a weaving run to set Lamey free but Key saved. On the hour Key then saved from Lamey near his right-hand post with Baker hitting over the bar in a good spell of pressure.
After barely threatening the Halesowen goal all evening, Histon snatched a 63rd minute lead when a long throw in was only partly cleared and Taylor dropped the ball for Jamie BARKER to hammer home into the roof of the net from close range.
As Halesowen ran out of ideas, Neil Kennedy shot wide before Neil ANDREWS made it 2-0 in the 75th minute with an easy follow-up into an empty net after Barker's shot was deflected.
In the final minute Halesowen substitute Jason Moore shot meekly past the post when clear with demoralised Halesowen failing to score for the third consecutive game.
Tiverton 1 Yeltz 0
In a disappointing result, the indomitable Yeltz failed to take advantage of other teams dropping points when we lost 1-0 down at Tiverton. By all accounts it was a difficult pitch, but we didn't play well and didn't deserve anything out of the game. Still, with only Aylesbury winning in the top 8 we remain in 3rd place in the table .
On Tuesday we have a massive match at The Grove when Histon are the visitors. They have plenty of games in hand and look on paper to be the only realistic challengers to Chips and Ham, but it's been a strange season so far and Histon losing at home to Gloucester was quite a shock. We just HAVE to win if we are going to win the league, but we gave them a decent game at their place earlier in the season, and I'm confident we can do it!
I'm sure you know already by now, but make sure you note that the last away game of the season is now on April 23rd at Hitchin, as it's been confirmed that it and the Team Barth games on the last two weekends have been switched.
Match Report from DJ
Tiverton Town: Ovendale; Winter, Binnicombe, Walker, Rudge, Cousins, Wills, Harvey, Yetton, Boothe, Mudge. Subs: Nogan, Goff, Densham, Milsom, Hambly
Halesowen Town: Taylor; Amos, Haywood, Preston, Pope, Skidmore, Cowley, Haarhoff, Lamey, Smith, Forsdick. Subs: Moore, Baker, Cooper, Johnson
Halesowen failed to capitalise on a series of slip-ups by their play-off rivals and were deservedly beaten by a solitary goal at mid-table Tiverton in a poor game.
Out of sorts Halesowen only managed three real attempts on goal afternoon and barely troubled home goalkeeper Ovendale on a heavily sanded surface.
The hosts almost took a 2nd minute lead through Iain Harvey at the far post and in the 11th minute Stewart Yetton went close from Steve Winter's free-kick. Chris Taylor then made an excellent 33rd minute reflex save from Winter's shot.
Tivvy grabbed the winning goal a minute before half-time when Nicki Preston missed a header from Ovendale's long clearance from goal leaving leading scorer Jamie MUDGE in plenty of space to score his 28th goal of the season.
Mudge proved a constant danger and was given too much time again on the hour as he flashed a low shot just wide of the post and then went close again three minutes later.
The Yeltz continued to struggle in the second half and made little impact up-front despite a double substitution in the 62nd minute.
Yeltz 0 Bath 0
Despite having most of the play, the indomitable Yeltz for once failed to score and had to settle for a 0-0 draw at The Grove against Bath. No match report from DJ this week I'm afraid, so if any one would like to fill in for him, please feel free (use the link below).
In other results, Bedford only drew, Chips and Ham and Histon were called off, Merthyr won but Aylesbury lost which means we're still looking good for the play-offs but it's looking a bit more unlikely we can challenge for the title. Still there are 10 games to go so it's far from over.
On Saturday we make the long trip down to Tiverton in the league. They're having a patchy season but still have hopes of making the play-offs. We beat them 3-1 earlier in the season, and a repeat of that result would go down very well.
Yeltz 2 Bedford 1
In another crucial game in our promotion challenge, the indomitable Yeltz gained an important three points when a late Lamey goal beat 2nd placed Bedford 2-1 ay The Grove. Full details of an exciting game in DJ's match report .
With most of the other top teams winning, the top six are now starting to open up a bit of a gap, but I'd hesitate to say it's only between those teams the way this season's gone. Still we're in an excellent position for the play-offs and have good chances to challenge Chips and Ham for the title if we can continue our current good run. Come on!!!
Our next game is on Saturday we host Bath City at The Grove. They're on a poor run at the moment with only one win in seven, but they've always been tough opponents for us so it's not going to be easy. Of our eleven games left we have three aginst promotion challengers (Histon, Merthyr and Chippenham) but it's critical we pick up as many wins in the other games as possible. We can still win this league!
Match Report from DJ
Halesowen Town: Taylor; Jones, Haywood, Preston, Pope, Skidmore (Smith 89), Cowley, Haarhoff (Moore 77), Lamey, Baker (Amos 49), Forsdick. Unused Sub: Cooper
Bedford Town: Robinson; Jackman, Okai, Rydeheard, Howarth, James, Challinor, Stupple, Dillon, Howe, Lawley. Unused Subs: McElroy, Blake, Grieve.
Referee: G. Horwood (Luton) Attendance: 573 Booked: Skidmore (31), Lawley (36) Sponsors' Man of the Match: Simon Forsdick and Nathan Lamey (joint)
A sensational last minute winner from two-goal Nathan Lamey sealed a splendid victory over second placed Bedford and boosted Halesowen's hopes of securing a play-off position.
Halesowen tore into the Eagles from the start and went ahead after just four minutes when Lewis Baker helped on a left-wing cross for LAMEY to control the ball and slam an excellent half-volley past goalkeeper James Robinson from 8 yards after Craig Rydeheard failed to clear.
Robinson was able to save Alex Cowley's 20-yard shot two minutes later and on 14 minutes Lamey almost met a deep Dave Haywood cross at the far post. With Halesowen looking sharp up-front, Cowley then surged into the Bedford area in the 25th minute and appeared to be tripped, although play was waved on.
The Yeltz continued to totally dominate the first half winning nine corners with Bedford failing to record a shot up to the interval. Jimmy Haarhoff was set free but his cross ran along the face of goal in the 35th minute after a smart break from Haywood and two minutes later Robinson made an instinctive one-handed reflex save from Baker's 10-yard goal-bound shot.
Bedford finally won their first corner in the 47th minute after Derwayne Stupple shot just wide and three minutes later home goalkeeper Chris Taylor collected a cross from Parys Okai.
On the hour Haywood made another dangerous run forward at the Bedford defence, but could not quite find Lamey and four minutes later Haywood's free-kick found Haarhoff, but Robinson collected his 10-yard shot low down.
The Eagles landed a shock equaliser through Lee HOWARTH from the penalty spot in the 71st minute when Nicki Preston was harshly penalised as Rene Howe fell to the floor in a messy penalty area scramble. A minute later Howe sliced a good chance wide on the break before battling Bedford won two 75th minute corners.
Cowley was blocked in the area in the 78th minute with Robinson then saving from Lamey and on 81 minutes Rydeheard squirted a shot past the post at the other end.
In the final minute Steve Pope's fierce 30 yard free-kick was deflected wide. But Halesowen grabbed the victory their first half performance deserved when Cowley's corner was headed on by substitute Nick Amos for LAMEY to hold off his defender and hit a spectacular overhead kick into the net in front of the joyous Shed.