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!




WSC SF Redditch 0 Yeltz 5

5-0 - never expected that! In an excellent performance against a pretty much full strength Redditch team, we won very easily to go through to the Worcester Senior Cup Final against Studley. Full details in Dave's match report , but I'd just like to mention how pleasing it is to see Jason back scoring again, especially as he's looked pretty sharp whenever I've seen him recently.

In other league games, Chips and Ham only drew, Aylesbury lost and Histon were leading Bedford 2-0 in the 86th minute when the floodlights failed and the match was called off.

And so to Saturday, when second-placed Bedford visit The Grove in a crucial game for our promotion hopes. I think we can still win the league if we can win maybe 9 or 10 of our remaining games, but with all the top teams still to play we obviously need to beat them. Let's hope for 3 points on Saturday to really be back in the hunt for the title.

Match Report from DJ

Redditch United: Anstiss; Scheppel, Charlton, M. Taylor, Knight, Flynn, Hollis, McHugh, Sylla, Rickards, Grey (Softley HT). Unused Subs: Manton, Harkness.

Halesowen Town: C. Taylor; Jones, Haywood, Preston, Pope (Amos 68), Skidmore, Cowley (Moore 75), Haarhoff, Lamey, Baker (Smith 71), Forsdick

Referee: I. Scarr (Rubery)

Halesowen thrashed high-flying Redditch from the Conference North at the Valley Stadium to reach the final of the Worcestershire Senior Cup for the second time in three years.

With the home side fielding five former Halesowen players, Chris Taylor saved from Scott Rickards in the 2nd minute and Mark Taylor drove just wide from 25 yards for Redditch in the 13th minute.

Halesowen then took control of the game with Dave Haywood hitting a couple of free-kicks at goalkeeper Richard Anstiss before Nathan Lamey glanced wide with a header from a good position from another Haywood cross in the 20th minute. Halesowen won the first corner of the game a minute later and from a weak Anstiss clearance Alex Cowley fed Jimmy Haarhoff but the nippy striker blasted high and wide. On 29 minutes an acrobatic overhead kick from Rickards flew over the bar for the Reds.

The visitors took the lead in the 31st minute when Gary Knight and Danny Scheppel bundled Haarhoff off the ball in the area and Steve POPE hit the resulting penalty into the left side of the net for his 18th goal of the season. Cowley skipped down the right wing in the 35th minute but Haarhoff's shot was blocked from the cross and Lamey then fed Haarhoff in the 42nd minute but Anstiss raced off his line to clear the danger.

Hard-working LAMEY was rewarded for his persistence on the stroke of half-time when he side-stepped two defenders and his 20-yard shot was deflected into the corner of the net to put Halesowen in the driving seat.

The snow came down at the start of a second-half that saw no improvement from Redditch, although Chris Taylor collected from Hollis in the 56th minute and highly rated Norman Sylla put an overhead kick over the bar on the hour. In a comical moment, the referee requested a replacement to the white ball tom help in the snowy conditions, only to find the new red-ball replacement was completely camouflaged by the Redditch strip before reverting back to the original white.

Halesowen pressed home their advantage with a third goal in the 65th minute when Simon Forsdick set Haarhoff free down the right and his cross was met by LAMEY's fine glancing header. With the Redditch defence in tatters, HAARHOFF beat Hollis on the edge of the area before firing into the bottom corner to make it 4-0 in the 68th minute.

Chris Taylor dropped a cross from Asa Charlton in the 73rd minute, but Redditch's evening was summed up when substitute Richard Softley could only hit the rebound onto the top of the bar.

Substitute Jason MOORE completed their five-star performance in the 76th minute when he turned his marker before slipping the ball past Anstiss from Haarhoff's cross.

Halesowen now go forward to meet Studley from the Travel Factory Alliance in the Final.




Stamford 1 Yeltz 2

Everyone else had won at Stamford recently, so it was an important three points gained on Saturday when the indomitable Yeltz came back from behind to win 2-1 on a bitterly cold day.

They scored first early on with the wind helping, but we equalised soon after after their keeper failed to clear a cross and The Pope poked it in. They were pretty poor to be honest, but the cold weather and muddy pitch levelled things up for quite a while. We had a few chances, but once we'd took the lead after a decent move led to my man of the match Dave Haywood firing in a low cross-shot that the defender deflected in, we looked comfortable in holding the lead.

Most of the top teams also won, so we're still solidly in third place in the table.

Next Saturday is a crucial home game against second placed Bedford, but before that is the Worcester Senior SemiFinal at Redditch. With both teams battling for promotion it definitely not the highest priority for either of us, but with only Studley awaiting in the final it would be nice to gain our usual victory over them!

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Jones, Haywood, Preston, Pope (c), Skidmore, Cowley (Smith 82), Haarhoff (Moore 80), Lamey, Amos (Baker 55), Forsdick. Unused Sub: Cooper

Attendance: 290 Referee: Mike Cairns (Northampton)

Halesowen professionally overcame basement side Stamford with an assured performance to keep well in touch with top spot and five points into a play-off position.

However, the afternoon started badly for the Yeltz as they fell behind in just the 4th minute when Kevin SLINN chased a long ball and held off central defenders Steve Pope and Nicki Preston before beating Chris Taylor. But before Stamford could settle into their stride, Halesowen levelled when good work from Nathan Lamey led to a corner-kick from Dave Haywood and leading goalscorer Pope converted the loose ball on the half volley.

From that point on Stamford rarely threatened although a Danny Steadman header crept just wide of the post in the 36th minute. A minute later a great shot by Lamey was turned over the bar by Stamford goalkeeper Darren Watts.

The second half belonged firmly to Halesowen in an impressive display of attacking football, and it was surprising they only had the one goal to show for their efforts. Lamey twice went close to notching the goal he richly deserved, and Pope sent a trademark free kick just wide of the post on the hour. Man of the match Lamey eventually provided the winner on 65 minutes, when he cleverly directed the ball over his head into the path of Haywood and his shot struck Delroy GORDON before hitting the back of the net. Two minutes later, an Alex Cowley shot hit the bar and in the dying minutes substitute Nick Smith went close when he beat the defence but shot at the keeper.




Yeltz 4 Solihull 0

In the match that REALLY mattered, the indomitable Yeltz put on a fine display to beat Solihull 4-0 and avenge their defeat earlier in the season. Goals from Jimmy, Alex, Fozzy and Lamey kept us in 3rd place in the table.

Next Saturday we travel to Stamford in another important game. They are really struggling at the moment, so we need to get three points if we are going to keep in with a chance of the title.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: C. Taylor; Jones, Haywood, Preston, Pope, Skidmore, Cowley, Haarhoff (Moore 69), Lamey (Danks 79), Amos, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Baker, Cooper

Solihull Borough: Sheils (Johnson 66); Smith, Hier, Adams, Farmer, Peer (Faulds 59), Jackson, Titterton, Voice (Curtis 59), Hawker, R. Taylor. Unused Subs: Shepherd, Barry

Referee: C. Banks (Bicester) Attendance: 401 Booked: Peer (20), Preston (31), Skidmore (80) Sponsors' Man of the Match: Nick Amos

Halesowen made Paul Holleran a happy manager by earning a convincing victory against his former club Solihull to erase the memory of the New Years Day defeat.

But it was an unhappy return to the Grove for former Halesowen goalkeeper Mark Sheils who came under early siege before being carried off after a nasty second half injury.

Nick Amos battled away in midfield on the heavy pitch and was rewarded by being named as Halesowen's Man of the Match by sponsors West Midlands Fasteners Ltd.

In a determined start, Simon Forsdick cut in from the left in the 6th minute but Sheils pushed the ball away into safety. Halesowen then took a 9th minute lead when Nathan Lamey drew the defence down the left and brought a fine one-handed save from Sheils. Skidmore hit the rebound towards goal and Sheils recovered to make a double save but could not stop Jimmy HAARHOFF converting his first goal since October with his 10th of the season from 10 yards out.

With the Yeltz in control, Sheils came under continued pressure and made a super reflex save near the post from Forsdick who cleverly flicked past Steve Farmer before beating a further two defenders. Shell-shocked Sheils then saved a free header from Steve Pope low down from the resulting corner in a muddy penalty area.

Halesowen increased their lead in the 18th minute when Lamey beat the last defender and Sheils could only parry his shot away for Alex COWLEY to follow up and score into an empty net from 6 yards.

Home goalkeeper Chris Taylor had a quiet afternoon but was called on to save Solihull's first shot in the 21st minute from Morton Titterton. Haarhoff and Lamey combined well on the half-hour, with Haarhoff just failing to find the final touch before the visitors enjoyed a better spell and forced two 33rd minute corners. Two minutes before the interval Lamey drove forward and unleashed a 25 yard shot that was deflected away for a corner.

The strong wind continued to make playing conditions difficult in the second half and play became scrappy for a period after Pope hit a direct 47th minute free-kick inches over the bar.

FORSDICK made the points safe with a spectacular solo strike in the 60th minute when he surged forward from midfield and buried the ball into the top corner of the net from 20 yards in a clinical finish. Sheils was in the wars in the 66th minute in a collision with Halesowen's Dave Haywood and had to be taken off with a head injury.

Halesowen cruised into a 4-0 lead in the 68th minute when Haarhoff laid the ball back for Forsdick to drive the ball across the face of goal but LAMEY was on hand to hit the net from an acute angle to beat substitute goalkeeper Craig Johnson.

In the dying minutes Solihull's Farmer headed a Rob Taylor free-kick wide and in injury time Cowley almost added a fifth Halesowen goal when he burst through the visiting defence but his effort was blocked in a one-on-one with goalkeeper Johnson.




SLC Sutton Coldfield 4 Yeltz 0

I think I've been consistent over the years in saying I don't care about these "midweek" cups (League Cup and Senior Cups), but even I'm a bit disappointed in getting completely stuffed by Sutton Coldfield 4-0. Full details if you can bear it in Dave's match report .

We're back to more important matters on Saturday when Solihull come to The Grove in the League. After they beat us earlier in the season we really need to gain revenge and more importantly three points to keep our promotion challenge going.

Match Report from DJ

Sutton Coldfield Town: Bray; K. Jones, Wilson, Spittle, Geohaghan, Watkins, Wolsey (Cole 85), Massingham, Arshad (Baker 28), Markman (Fuller 72), Berks. Unused Subs: Rowe, Ling

Halesowen Town: M. Jones; D. Jones, Forsdick, Preston, Pope, Skidmore, Cowley, Moore (Lamey HT), Danks (Haywood 67), Amos, Clarke (Haarhoff HT). Unused Subs: Baker, Taylor.

Referee: J. Cox (Evesham) Attendance: 115

Damian Markman notched a hat-trick as Sutton took full advantage of a Halesowen nightmare that saw them register their worst ever defeat under manager Paul Holleran.

On a mud-heap pitch, Sutton proved to be more committed and were first to the ball as they played the appalling conditions much better than higher league Halesowen.

Steve Pope made an important challenge to deny Markman in the 5th minute and three minutes later a Sutton free-kick was cleared after novice on-loan Halesowen goalkeeper Matt Jones raced off his line to bring down Narveed Arshad just outside the penalty area.

Marksman MARKMAN gave the Royals the lead in the 14th by easily slotting the ball under Matt Jones in a one-on-one when a long ball forward stuck in the ankle-deep mud. Two minutes later Markman crossed from the right and ARSHAD touched the ball onto the post with goalkeeper Matt Jones then fumbling the ball into the net for Sutton's second goal. On 23 minutes MARKMAN latched onto a long ball to hit past the uncomfortable Matt Jones on the half-volley to give Sutton an incredible 3-0 lead with their 11th goal in the last 55 minutes of League Cup football.

Mark Wolsey struck wide twice before half-time with Halesowen then making a double substitution up front at the interval. But with no improvement from the Yeltz, Wolsey hit a 50th minute free-kick wide from the edge of the area and David Berks struck just wide on the hour with the hosts in complete control.

MARKMAN completed his hat-trick in the 70th minute by heading home Wolsey's right-wing cross and three minutes later full-back Sam Wilson went close from the left of the penalty area.

Nathan Lamey finally hit a token effort just wide for Halesowen in the 71st minute and Cowley hit Halesowen's only shot on-target at home goalkeeper Justin Bray in the 78th minute of a desperately disappointing performance from the visitors.




Rugby 1 Yeltz 1

We've certainly picked up a few extra points with late goals this season, and we gained another valuable point when a late Alex Cowley goal gave us a 1-1 draw away to Rugby (I think it's safest just to call them that at the moment). We're still in 3rd place , but with Chips and Ham winning again we're starting to fall behind top spot a little.

On Tuesday we go to Sutton Coldfield in the last 16 of the League Cup, before hosting Solihull in the League next Saturday.

Match Report from DJ

Rugby United: Payne; Moran, Williams, Hart, Pitham, Redgate (Commander 58), Hall, Dutton, Marsden (Gordon 88), Pearson, Melvin (Hegarty 77). Unused Subs: Evans, Shepherd

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Jones, Haywood (Amos 76), Preston, Pope, Skidmore, Cowley, Moore (Danks 76), Lamey, Baker, Forsdick. Unused Sub: Clarke

Referee: C. Henry (Rothwell) Attendance: 542

Alex Cowley rescued Halesowen with an equaliser two minutes into injury time.

Injury depleted Halesowen could only name three substitutes with on-loan 19-year old WBA midfielder Ross Clarke taking his place on bench with Jimmy Haarhoff taken ill in addition to long-term injuries to Ben Steane, Ian Cooper, Andy Spencer and Craig Strachan.

The game was marked by protests against United's proposed name change to Rugby Town with home fans pledging their allegiance to the former VS Rugby name. In a low-key start, Rugby's Justin Marsden flashed just wide in the 4th minute and Halesowen's Dave Haywood hit an 8th minute free-kick too close to home goalkeeper Mike Payne. Full back Gary Moran then blazed a 17th minute volley high over the bar following a free-kick from fellow full-back Jamie Williams.

Halesowen gained the upper hand mid-way through the first half with Cowley producing some tricky right-wing play to deliver a dangerous 21st minute cross, but Payne managed to punch clear. In the 23rd minute Steve Pope fed Simon Forsdick with Haywood's resulting volley blocked and Nathan Lamey's 20-yard shot was tipped over the bar for a corner by Payne a minute later.

The best chance of the first-half fell to the Yeltz in the 31st minute when Nicki Preston met Haywood's free-kick but his header struck the crossbar and Lewis Baker hit the rebound over the bar.

On 37 minutes a corner from Rugby's Williams was palmed away by visiting goalkeeper Chris Taylor with the following shot from Craig Dutton blocked and just before the interval Lamey almost met another fine Cowley cross at the far post. Dave Pearson stuck over Halesowen's bar at the start of the second half before Preston was denied again in the 53rd minute when Williams cleared off the line as Halesowen won two corners.

With little to choose between the two teams and few chances created, Rugby looked set for their fourth consecutive 0-0 home draw until they snatched a 68th minute lead. Haywood cleared a Williams corner off the line but Danny Hall played the ball back into the penalty area and PEARSON's back header looped over the head of goalkeeper Taylor into the net.

There remained little to choose between the teams with few further chances created although Halesowen's Pope had a good call for a penalty denied. Rugby substitute Jermaine Gordon almost increased the lead when he caught out Taylor by beating him to a long ball but the ball trickled past the post in the 89th minute.

But Cowley retrieved a point for Halesowen when his last-gasp corner led to a goalmouth scramble and the ball broke back out on the left of the area for COWLEY to drill home a sweet 15-yard shot into the top corner.




Yeltz 2 Hemel Hempstead 0

The closeness of the league was confirmed last night when a 2-0 victory over Hemel Hempstead moved us back into the play off places in 3rd place . Goals from The Pope and Nathan in either half clinched the points.

Unfortunately Ben Steane broke a tibia in the game, so looks like he could be out for some time. Ben had just recovered from a long term injury and was getting back into good form, so let's hope for a speedy recovery.

Saturday takes us to Rugby to take our old rivals, who aren't in great form (but beat Aylesbury last week). It's a bit sad I guess, but I STILL feel upset about how they beat us in the Vase Final over 20 years ago now(!), so I really hope we can beat them to maintain our position near the top.

Also a couple of fixtures have been confirmed: the League Cup game at Sutton is now on Tuesday 8th Feb, kick off 7.30, and Redditch in the Worcs Senior Cup Semi Final is away on Feb 22nd - winners meet the mighty Studley in the final!! (quote from DJ)

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Jones, Haywood, Preston, Pope, I. Cooper (Cowley 15), Steane (Skidmore 27), Haarhoff (Moore 80), Lamey, Baker, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Amos, Danks

Hemel Hempstead: Peat; Neale, Fontonelle, Kelly, G. Cooper, Corbould, Beevor, Midson, Carney (Allen 83), Harding, Fowler (Hammatt 66). Unused Subs: Green, Theodosiou, Lovell

Referee: S. Snartt (Bristol) Attendance: 283 Booked: Preston (20), Fowler (45), Pope (57), Fontonelle (57), Carney (78) Sponsors' Man of the Match: Simon Forsdick

Halesowen moved back into third place after overcoming hard-working Hemel Hempstead in a far from pretty encounter.

A very ordinary first half was marred by two serious Halesowen injuries with the unlucky Ben Steane taken to a Coventry hospital with a confirmed broken tibia.

Relegation threatened Hemel made a lively start pushing forward at a swift pace on their first ever visit to the Grove and goalkeeper Chris Taylor had to redeem himself by collecting a 15th minute corner after failing to collect the initial cross.

Ian Cooper was stretchered off in the 15th minute with a twisted knee injury and on 25 minutes Steane's free-kick was collected by Hemel goalkeeper Martin Peat. Steane looked to be back to his creative best after earning a place in the starting line-up, but fate dealt a cruel 27th minute blow when he was also stretchered off to be back in plaster only weeks after recovering from a broken foot.

The visitors continued to make life difficult for the Yeltz, who wasted two corners in the 32nd minute, and on 40 minutes Grant Carney glanced the top of the bar with a right-wing cross.

Halesowen were presented with their much-needed breakthrough when George Fowler brought down Steve Pope in the penalty area in the fifth minute of first-half added time. Pope's penalty kick was blocked by Peat but captain POPE calmly controlled the rebound to fire home his 16th goal of the season. Jimmy Haarhoff then turned on the edge of the area but his shot flew just wide with the clock showing 52 minutes of the opening half.

Pope flashed a header just over the bar from Dave Haywood's cross five minutes into the second period but two minutes later an up-and-under from Hemel's Jack Midson was volleyed just over the bar by Dean Harding. Stuart Beevor's 55th minute free-kick from 25-yards was then collected at the second attempt by Taylor in the Halesowen goal.

Halesowen added a second goal on 56 minutes when Lewis Baker advanced from midfield and drew the visiting defence before seeing his shot parried away by Peat, but Nathan LAMEY was on hand to convert the rebound from six yards. Peat saved a good 59th minute strike from Forsdick after the ball broke from a corner and after Hemel won two corners on the hour, Lamey and Forsdick both went close with 65th minute headers from Alex Cowley's cross.

Anthony Fontonelle missed a good chance to pull a goal back in the 75th minute but he hit just over the bar after being set free by Grant Carney. With two minutes remaining, Baker hooked the ball over the Hemel bar when Peat missed his punch and in another seven minutes of added time in the second half substitute Bryan Hammatt headed just wide for the visitors.




Yeltz 1 Stamford 1

In the ridiculously tight battle at the top of the table, we missed another chance to move into the play-off positions when we failed to beat lowly Stamford. Full details in Dave's match report, but it seems like we had a lot of pressure without being able to get a winner.

On Tuesday we have another game against a lower team when Hemel Hempstead visit The Grove. If we win we will move right up to 3rd place, so it's even more important we get those 3 points.

One feature I've added to the site is the ability to receive both these news items and YeltzTalk as RSS feeds. If you don't know what these are, this site has a reasonable explanation; if you do hopefully you'll find them useful. Links are in the right-hand column near the bottom.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Jones, Haywood, Preston, Pope, Cooper, Cowley (Steane 71), Haarhoff, Lamey (Moore 81), Baker, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Skidmore, Danks, Amos

Stamford AFC: Watts; Green, Peaks, Holyoak, Gordon, Steadman, Nash, Butterworth, Duffy, Slinn, Edge. Unused Subs: Thompson, Pritchard, Mintus, Ashby

Referee: L. Hodgson (Nuneaton) Attendance: 443 Booked: None Sponsors' Man of the Match: Dave Haywood

Halesowen could only manage a draw in a game that should have been wrapped up well before half-time with captain Steve Pope influential in both goals.

Jimmy Haarhoff's 6th minute cross was nearly turned home by Simon Forsdick, but the ball squirted free. Pope then headed Dave Haywood's 12th minute corner just over the bar and two minutes later Haarhoff laid the ball off for Forsdick to blast a good chance high.

Forsdick continued to pose a constant threat and on 18 minutes his fine 20-yard strike forced Stamford goalkeeper Darren Watts into an excellent save by turning the ball around the post for the first of two corners.

Halesowen finally went ahead in the 20th minute when POPE smashed home his 15th goal of the campaign from the penalty spot after Forsdick was put through and was chopped down when about to score.

Ian Cooper almost increased the lead three minutes later but his 20-yard shot rebounded off the crossbar with Watts beaten.

Despite being well on top, Halesowen failed to build on their lead and paid the price when Stamford equalised with their first shot on target in the 37th minute. Pope failed to clear a right-wing cross on the uneven surface and only managed to set up on-loan Rushden striker Robert DUFFY to gratefully slam home from 12 yards.

Danny Steadman's 47th minute shot for the Daniels was deflected over the bar for a corner but otherwise the draw specialists of the league had little to offer in attack and packed their defence to hold onto their 14th draw of the season.

Nicki Preston glanced a 48th minute header just wide from Dave Haywood's free-kick and Lewis Baker headed on Forsdick's cross four minutes later with Nathan Lamey's effort going wide of the post. Stamford then survived a goal-mouth scramble on the hour with Forsdick, Baker and Alex Cowley all having attempts on goal. Substitute Ben Steane was introduced in the final 20 minutes and took control in midfield with his impressive creative play and Watts produced a flying 76th minute save when Jimmy Haarhoff headed down Dave Haywood's cross in front of goal.

But Halesowen could not find another breakthrough from the constant late pressure and in injury time Watts fell on the ball to save in a packed penalty area from Pope.




Team Bath 2 Yeltz 0

The way our performances have gone recently, our unpredictability has become predictable, so it was no real surprise when we lost 2-0 down at Team Bath. Goals in each half means we're stuck in 7th place having blown our game in hand. By all accounts it was a pretty poor performance, but let's not forget we're still only 6 points behind the leaders with all to play for.

On Saturday we play another struggling team, this time Stamford at The Grove. Let's hope for three points this time to keep us right in the hunt for promotion.

Match Report from DJ

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Jones, Haywood, Preston, Pope, Amos, Cowley (Skidmore 67), Moore (Haarhoff 67), Lamey, Steane (Baker 67), Forsdick. Unused Sub: Cooper, Danks

Halesowen's Jekyll and Hyde unpredictability was in evidence again as they slipped to a disappointing defeat, only two days after an impressive away win at Chesham.

Double-act Canham and Ball may sound more like an end-of-pier comedy show, but it was no laughing matter on a depressing evening for the Yeltz on the date labelled in the media as Blue Monday - apparently the low point of the year.

Halesowen wasted their chance to use a game in hand to move into 4th spot in the table and Marc CANHAM scored the opener on 9 minutes with a great strike after a headed clearance from Nick Amos fell to him just outside the box. The only chance of note for Halesowen in a poor first half came when Nathan Lamey turned his defender on the edge of the box but goalkeeper Darren Chitty produced a splendid save.

Lamey then missed a good chance just after the break after picking up the ball from Ben Steane's left-wing cross. A 51st minute mistake in the visiting defence almost led to the second Bath goal but goalkeeper Chris Taylor did well to deny Luke Prince. Canham then went close to his second a minute later when his effort from Prime's cross fell just wide.

Manager Paul Holleran made a triple 67th minute substitution and Halesowen had a great chance to equalise when Jimmy Haarhoff slipped a through ball to Simon Forsdick but Chitty made a fine save.

But it was all over for the Yeltz on 76 minutes when Alex BALL headed in a free-kick from Matt Lewis at the near post to make it 2-0. Even worse almost followed when Team Bath were awarded an 85th minute penalty for a push on Prime but the spot-kick from substitute Tomas Jaukovic was saved by Taylor.

Not even the luckiest pair of socks, the trickiest completed crossword, the hottest five-bean chilli or the most spiritual Woodhenge matchstick arrangement (there you go Andy) could help Halesowen fans so, not for the first time this season, defeat to a lower league side followed after beating a higher placed team, leaving the need to capitalise on home games to make progress back up the table.




Chesham 0 Yeltz 2

With a most important victory away at Chesham, the indomitable Yeltz stayed firmly in the ridiculously close promotion battle. First half goals from Lewis and The Pope and some resolute defending has taken us up to 7th place in the table but a lot closer after most of the other results went our way. More details in my old-skool stylee match report (DJ couldn't make it!)

On Monday we play the first of three matches against teams in the relegation zone when we travel down to play Team Bath. If we are really going to challenge this season I think we need at least seven (and hopefully nine!) of these points so lets hope for a victory to cash in our game in hand.

Match Report from Poll

Yeltz: Halesowen Town: Taylor; Cooper, Preston, Pope, D. Jones, Haywood, Cowley, Forsdick, Baker, Moore, Lamey. Subs used: Danks, Steane, Haarhoff

As anyone who can remember as far back as the old fanzine, accuracy (or relevancy) in the match reports was never our strong point, but with Dave not able to make the game and myself and Franko getting excited about travelling to a game on the Tube, it's left to me to try to record what might have happened...

Pre-game discussion centered around lucky omens. After the sad demise of my lucky socks a few years ago due to overuse, my sure fire tip for success is having a Five Bean Chilli from Wetherspoons before the game (the reason both for our excellent cup run and for us losing at Yeading when I couldn't find one), whereas Frank reckons we need to get all the pictures in the quiz in The Independent for us to win. Quiz being completed, we gambled on concentrating on beer (hence not going to Ws) and once again it was proved I AM NOT THE JINX when we went out and got our best result since I was last at the game against Merthyr.

Their ground was fantastic. Average terracing, poor pitch (although not bad for this time of year) but their clubhouse bar had an excellent view of the pitch - perfect! For what ever reason we had switched to the white away shirts despite having played in blue at The Grove when they played in their Villa kits, which meant we had almost exactly the same kit as their keeper - no idea how that can be allowed.

We reverted to the team that got us off to the excellent start to the season (except with Nathan replacing Jimmy) which meant no place for the returning to fitness Andy Spencer (who??? :-)) and Ben Steane. We started off pretty well, and then deservedly took the lead through a very well worked corner. Fozzy played a short corner back to Alex to drag their defence out of the box, and he put a magic cross on to the head of Lewis, who as ever put it away brilliantly.

There wasn't much in it for the rest of the half until we got a free-kick on the edge of the box which, when The Pope takes one of his free-kicks, is almost as good as a penalty. As usual it's very hard to know exactly what happened but to be technical, he wellied it and it went through everyone and went in. Job done, two up so we could retire to the bar for a while.

Second half they had most of the play, and to be fair completely outplayed us playing some decent football at times. However we defended brilliantly and they probably only had one decent chance when their forward scooped it over from what looked like close-range. The Yeltz fans were in good voice in a strange stand that had excellent acoustics but with a very strange Giants Causeway/Woodhenge affair at the front. Like I say a fantastic ground.

So with Team Bath, Stamford, Hemel Hempstead, and Rugby coming up I really hope we can take this excellent form on with us against the lower-placed teams (and not do another Solihull). Even those amongst you who haven't been coming long must have worked out your lucky omens by now, so don't falter now - however bizarre your rituals may be.




Bath City 1 Yeltz 1

The indomitable Yeltz once again came from behind to gain a point at Bath City. Nathan Lamey scored his 6th goal in 5 games to keep us in 8th place just 6 points from the top. Full details as usual in DJ's match report.

We've got next Saturday off - it's a Trophy weekend - so we don't play until Monday the 17th when we travel to Hednesford in the League Cup. It's been a hectic period recently so let's hope the rest does us good and we can push on from here to make a challenge for promotion in the second half of the season.

Match Report from DJ

Bath City: Evans; Rollo, Coupe, S. Jones, Bailey, Trought, Benefield, Caskey, Partridge (Corbett 71), Williams, Cleverley (Milton 73). Unused Subs: Hulbert, Owers, Shuttlewood.

Halesowen Town: Taylor; Cooper, Forsdick, Preston, Pope, D. Jones, Cowley, Moore, Lamey (Haarhoff 87), Amos, Skidmore (Haywood 31). Unused Subs: Danks, Steane

Referee: A. Field (Chesham) Attendance: 659 Booked: None

Halesowen recovered from a poor start to claim a point with a tremendous second-half fight-back at Twerton Park.

Ex-league stars Darren Caskey and John Williams proved to be troublesome for Halesowen's defence early on but the home side failed to build on their early lead.

Caskey surged forward on his debut in the 9th minute but his shot was deflected away for the first of two Bath corners. Four minutes later Steve Pope made an important challenge to deny Scott Partridge who found plenty of space down the left after when set clear by Ben Cleverley.

WILLIAMS put the Romans ahead in the 16th minute when his side-footed volley looped over Halesowen goalkeeper Chris Taylor in apparent slow motion from Cleverley's cross. Taylor was then quick to race off his line in the 26th minute to deny Partridge from a quickly taken free-kick.

Halesowen created very little in the first half although Simon Forsdick hit a 22-yard drive well over the bar after 32 minutes and home goalkeeper Paul Evans easily collected a free-kick from substitute Dave Haywood - a replacement for Stuart Skidmore who required seven stitches to a leg injury. In the last minute of the first half, Caskey burst forward again to set up Partridge but Pope cleared again.

The second half proved to be a different story as hearty Halesowen took control and played with greater confidence. Two minutes after the interval Forsdick broke up a Bath attack and raced forward, but he lacked support from the Halesowen front-runners. The Yeltz were unfortunate in the 50th minute when Nathan Lamey looked to have been held back in front of goal by goalkeeper Evans after Alex Cowley headed on a left wing cross from Forsdick, but the referee waved play on. A minute later Lamey poked just wide from close range and Ian Cooper fired narrowly over the bar from another good move as Halesowen kept up the pressure.

Caskey shrugged off several challenges before seeing his 58th minute shot deflected away and from the resulting corner a back-heel from Williams seemed to beat Taylor but Forsdick tidied up on the goal-line. Partridge fired wide on the break in the 61st minute and Taylor collected Sam Bailey's header a minute later before Pope screwed a shot wide from Cooper's cross at the other end.

Halesowen grabbed their well-deserved equaliser in the 72nd minute when Jason Moore was allowed to advance by the Bath defence and LAMEY hammered home from 8 yards out. Two minutes later Lamey worked his way into the area again but blasted wide from a good position. Bath were restricted to a series of half chances in the remainder of the game although Taylor made a fine blocking save to deny Caskey in injury time.