Author Archives: Reece Charlton
Match reports from the two most recent Halesowen Town games, against Guiseley in the FA Cup, and Ilkeston in the Northern Premier League. Read the rest of this entry
Halesowen scored two late goals in quick succession to claim another three points in the Evo-Stik Division One South after quite a dull affair on the league’s only artificial pitch.
The first half was reasonably quiet as there were only three proper chances between the two sides, with the first coming from Romulus as Halesowen failed to clear an indirect free-kick, and it gave Daniel O’Callaghan some space to take a shot, but he blasted the ball straight at the keeper.
After a twenty minute quiet spell, Romulus wasted a golden opportunity as Lee Smith managed to climb over Asa Charlton and he headed the ball at goal, but his effort just flew over the bar.
Halesowen’s first real chance came ten minutes before the break, as they were awarded a free-kick. Tom Tonks decided to hit it low but it was hit softly and was easily gathered by Lewis Exall by the right-hand post.
After another quiet period, the referee ended the half which had produced barely any goal-bound opportunities from either side.
The second half started with Halesowen coming close as a great ball from Tom Tonks bounced over Iyseden Christie and Kyle Patterson tried to chip the ball over the outrunning Lewis Exall, but his attempted chip flew off-target and the ball remained in play.
Romulus came close with a direct free-kick as Nathanial Caines hit a powerful effort towards goal, but it took a knock off Joe Hull on its way to goal and it went just wide of the left hand post. Lee Smith was then allowed too much space in the Halesowen half and he ran a fair distance towards goal before hitting a shot, but it was low and Sam Pearson was easily able to smother the ball. Romulus were getting closer with their chances as Gregory Downes was gifted space in the Yeltz penalty area and he drove the ball towards the bottom right hand corner but Pearson managed to get his hand to the ball and push it away from goal.
It had been over fifty minutes of playing time since Halesowen had had a chance at goal and the ‘chance drought’ was finally broken by Tom Tonks in the 85th minute as he hit a shot from 20 yards out, but the ball flew wide of the left hand post.
The game looked to be ending in a stalemate but out of nowhere the Yeltz scored two goals in quick succession, the first coming from Joe Hull, who leapt into the air on the edge of the six yard box nodded the ball just above the keeper and the ball guided itself into the net. Halesowen sealed the win 60 seconds later, as Aaron Griffiths replicated the goal he scored just over 48 hours ago, as his attempted cross flew over Lewis Exall and the ball landed in the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Romulus tried to get at least a goal back in the final minutes of the game, but were denied by Sam Pearson twice, as Craig Marshall smashed the ball towards goal from 18 yards, but Pearson got his fingertips to the shot and tipped the ball over the bar for a corner. The corner kick flew into the box and the ball landed at Daniel O’Callaghan’s feet, but his shot was saved by Pearson once again.
The game ended with Halesowen claiming all three points and they were now only a point off league leaders Leek, bearing in mind that they have two games in hand.
HALESOWEN: Sam Pearson, Kristian Green, Asa Charlton, Avun Jephcott, Joseph Hull, Brendan Kelly, Jean-Michel Gueyes, Thomas Tonks, Iyseden Christie (Neil Mackenzie), Kyle Patterson (Nigel Penney), Matt Martin (Aaron Griffiths). Unused subs: Matt Sargeant, Curtis Tilt.
ROMULUS: Lewis Exall, Robert Evans, Nathaniel Lanes, Cameron Lee, Liam Francis, Lee Smith, Marcus Brown, Daniel O’Callaghan, Craig Marshall, Tom Turton, Gregory Downes. Unused subs: Danico Johnson, Blake Thompson, Tyron Amory, Dave Barnett.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Sam Pearson
Entertainment rating: 2/5
Halesowen claimed another win for their tally and started to put the pressure on league leaders Leek, as they held on to beat Lincoln United 2-1, in what turned out to be a close encounter.
The first chance of the game came from Halesowen as Iyseden Christie managed to get some space in the box, and he hit a shot from a tight angle, but he blasted the ball over the bar. But after fifteen minutes of play, Halesowen broke the deadlock. A cross came in from new signing Kyle Patterson, and Aaron Griffiths managed to leap into the air and head the ball over the keeper and into the net to give Halesowen an early lead.
The game fell into a ‘quiet stage’ as the next chance came eighteen minutes after the goal, as Christie had another chance at goal as he hit a shot from distance that was on target, but keeper Craig Turner was easily able to gather the ball on the line. Jean-Michel Gueyes was proving to be a handful as he cut into the Lincoln penalty area and hit a shot that was blocked and the ball flew over the bar.
Kyle Patterson was showing his ability as he attempted to chip the keeper from twenty five yards out and the ball dipped towards goal. It would have gone in if it wasn’t for Craig Turner making a great save. Griffiths nearly got his second of the game as a cross from Gueyes flew towards goal and Griffith’s looping header flew towards goal, but he was denied by another great save by Turner.
Patterson was incredibly unlucky not to get a goal on his debut, as he ran towards goal and slotted the ball under the keeper. It looked as if the ball was rolling into the net until it rebounded off the post and Gueyes then looked to have tapped the ball into the net, but it was blocked by a defender on the line.
Lincoln had their first proper chance at goal, as the corner kick flew into the box and Bruno Holden headed the ball just wide of the left hand post.
Christle then missed a sitter for the Yeltz, as the ball flew into the box and landed by his feet. However, he hit the ball, from point-blank range, straight over the bar.
Griffiths then grabbed his second goal of the game with an absolute stunner from eighteen yards, hitting a curling finesse shot from the right hand side of the penalty area. It flew into the top left hand corner to claim a comfortable lead for the Yeltz.
Then a minute later, the Halesowen defence switched off and after much consideration, it looked that the ball had been knocked in by a Halesowen player as a confusion in the Yeltz box allowed the ball to bounce into the net and Lincoln had got themselves back into the game almost instantly.
The referee blew his whistle for full time and the Yeltz held 2nd place for another game, and were starting to put pressure on Leek Town, who were only 4 points clear at the top after their unbeaten start.
HALESOWEN: Matt Sargeant, Kristian Green, Asa Charlton, Neil Mackenzie, Joseph Hull, Curtis Tilt, Jean-Michel Gueyes, Tom Tonks, Iyseden Christie, Kyle Patterson, Aaron Griffiths.
LINCOLN: Craig Turner, Ian Wilkins, Benjamin Brown, Stuart Reddington, Thomas Batchelor, Andrew Toyne, Sean Cann, Brendan McDaid, Matthew Langham, Bruno Holden, Joshua Bowden.
ENTERTAINMENT RATING – 3/5
MAN OF THE MATCH: AARON GRIFFITHS (Halesowen Town)
HALESOWEN TOWN FC 2-1 MICKLEOVER SPORTS FC
Halesowen bounced back to winning ways after defeating promotion rivals Mickleover Sports in a crazy game that saw the referee issue six yellow cards and two penalties.
The first chance of the game came twenty minutes in, as Halesowen were given a free-kick on the half-way line. Neil Mackenzie smashed the ball upfield and Nigel Penney was able to knock the ball onto Iyseden Christie who headed goalward, but Chris Martin made a last-gasp save as he knocked the ball onto the post and back into play.
Christie broke through the Mickleover defence ten minutes later as he ran into the right side of the box and hit a shot at goal that would have ripped the top of the net if it wasn’t for a fantastic reaction save from visiting keeper Chris Martin.
Halesowen were then awarded a penalty as a Mickleover defender handled the ball in the penalty area. Iyseden Christie stood up to take it and he placed the ball over the outstretching Chris Martin and into the right hand corner to claim the lead for the Yeltz in the 35th minute.
Mickleover started to crumble as they conceded a second just three minutes later. Joe Hull managed to get his head to the ball, and his well aimed effort from around twelve yards flew past everyone in the box into the net to give Halesowen a comfortable lead.
The second half kicked off with Mickleover having their first real chance of the game as Kevin Grocott gathered the ball from the outside of the box and he hit a shot, but the ball flew miles over the bar. Christie nearly got his second of the game as he ran past Liam Walshe and down the right hand side of the box beforee hitting a low shot that went past keeper Chris Martin, but just rolled inches wide of the left hand post.
Mickleover got themselves back into the game with twenty minutes left as Asa Charlton pushed Karl Demidh away from play to give Sports a penalty. Demidh stood up to take the penalty and he blasted the ball out of Matt Sargeant’s reach and into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Mickleover nearly snatched a point late on as a scramble in the Yeltz box eventually gave the ball to Karl Demidh and he had an empty net to place the ball into the net, but Curtis Tilt saved the day as he managed to clear the ball off the line and to give Halesowen all three points.
HALESOWEN: Matthew Sargeant, Kristian Green, Asa Charlton, Neil Mackenzie (Shane Grainger 90’), Joe Hull, Curtis Tilt, Avun Jephcott, Thomas Tonks (Jean-Michel Gueyes 41’), Iyseden Christie, Nigel Penney (Matt Martin 68’), Aaron Griffiths. Unused Subs: Sam Pearson, Brendan Kelly.
MAN OF THE MATCH: IYSEDEN CHRISTIE (HALESOWEN TOWN)
ENTERTAINMENT RATING: 3/5
After seventeen games, Halesowen sit in fourth place with only two points separating them between 2nd place and 7th place and so with only a couple of slip-ups needed to slide down the table, will the Yeltz grab promotion to the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division? Or will they miss out on the play-off spots once again?
After quite a disappointing defeat to Scarborough on the weekend, the Yeltz did slip down 2 places in the league as Coalville and Belper were victorious at Lincoln and Bedworth. With Lincoln visiting The Grove on Saturday, the Yeltz have a chance to pick up another three points to keep themselves in contention, but there will be some worried supporters if the ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ form continues at home.
Ben Haseley is still out for a few more weeks and the star striker who has scored 22 goals this season is sorely missed, after Halesowen have only won one of the last four games. Iyseden Christie is grabbing a few goals and is showing his years of experience but is struggling to keep up with the ‘goal pace’ of Haseley.
But with a strong home league record, having won their last six league games at home, The Grove is becoming a fortress as they have only conceded six goals in the eight home league games played so far this season. If the Yeltz could keep that record going for a few more months, then promotion could be in reaching distance.
But, with still over twenty five games left to play of this season, there is still a long way to go before that belief becomes reality, so the ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ performances need to be disposed of, and the consistency needs to take its place if Halesowen are to be successful and celebrating in 5 months time.
Follow me on twitter: @Reece_Charlton
Halesowen fell at the last hurdle as they fell to a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Scarborough, after conceding two late goals. Read the rest of this entry
HALESOWEN TOWN 5-0 BEDWORTH UNITED
Halesowen pushed Bedworth back into the basement, as they hit five past them at the Grove in what seemed to be a demolition job for the Yeltz.
The first event of the game came thirteen minutes in as the Bedworth defence gave the ball away, and Iyseden Christie was able to run towards goal, but he was taken down by a tackle from Anthony Newton in the penalty area, and as Newton made no contact with the ball, a penalty was awarded to the Yeltz and Bedworth’s captain Newton was sent off. Christie took the penalty and he blasted the ball into the top right corner to claim the lead for Halesowen.
Halesowen were pushing Bedworth aside as they tried to get a second on the scoresheet. Christie passed the ball down the wing to Avun Jephcott, who then hit a cross into the box, but no-one got to the ball and the curling cross just went wide of the right hand post.
Christie came close to grabbing his second goal of the game as he ran onto a free-rolling ball and he would have been able to easily place the ball into the net, but keeper Sheridon Martinez ran off his line and he clattered in Christie and he got the ball away.
Bedworth were starting to struggle and they gave away a free kick, which Aaron Griffiths stood up to take, but he put too much power on it, and the ball flew over the bar.
Halesowen were getting chance after chance, but they couldn’t get their second goal, as Avun Jephcott broke free of the Bedworth defence and hit the ball past the outrunning Martinez, but the shot went just wide of the left hand post.
The second half started with Halesowen coming close as Tom Tonks hit a low, powerful shot towards goal that went straight through the Bedworth defence and went centimetres wide of the left hand post.
Halesowen then got the goal they were searching for, as Tom Tonks threw the ball into the box, and Kristian Green was able to slot the ball into the net to grab his first goal of the season and to give Halesowen a comfortable lead.
Halesowen then guaranteed the three point four minutes later, as Aaron Griffiths hit the corner ball into the box, and Nigel Penney managed to get his foot to the ball and he put it back into the box. Curtis Tilt put the ball into the net with a diving header and Halesowen were starting to run away with the result.
Halesowen were showing their one-man advantage as they grabbed their 4th goal of the game, as Aaron Griffiths hit a shot which was on target and it was palmed away from goal by Martinez, but Christie was quick to react and he slotted the ball under Martinez and Bedworth, who hadn’t even had a shot on target yet, had completely broken down and looked to have given up.
Bedworth did have a chance of their own and it was their first proper chance of the game after 75 minutes. Aaron Forde gave the ball to Joel Grandison, who hit a shot from the right hand side of the box, but his shot was poor and the ball flew wide of the goal.
Halesowen got their fifth of the game in the 85th minute as Elliott Turner broke away from the Bedworth defence and hit a low cross to the other side of the box. Avun Jephcott had loads of space to blast the ball easily into the net and confirm that Bedworth had been completely destroyed by Halesowen.
Elliott Turner nearly got a goal for himself as Avun Jephcott gave the ball to Turner on the edge of the box and he hit a curling shot which was saved by Martinez and he managed to keep his hands on the ball as well.
The game ended and Halesowen recorded their third 5-0 home win of the season and the Yeltz jump up to second and now are only 4 points off league leaders Leek Town.
HALESOWEN: Matt Sargeant, Kristian Green, Asa Charlton (Elliott Turner), Joseph Hull (Nigel Penney), Curtis Tilt, Brendan Kelly, Matt Martin, Tom Tonks, Iyseden Christie (Shane Grainger), Avun Jephcott, Aaron Griffiths. Unused subs: Sam Pearson, Jean-Michel Gueyes.
BEDWORTH: Sheridon Martinez, Bradley Munn , Mark Branch, Aaron Forde, Sam Craven, Anthony Newton, Shannon Grant, Richard Whyman, Joel Grandison, Reuben Wiggins-Thomas (Danny Edmond), Tristram Whitman. Unused subs: Martin Hutchcox, Ben Steane, Ash Malhotra, Jamie Greenway.
Doodson Sport League Cup 1st Round – Tuesday, 13th November 2013
Kidsgrove Athletic 1 Halesowen Town 1 (after extra-time) – Kidsgrove win 5-4 on penalties.
Halesowen bailed out at the first hurdle of the Doodson Sport Cup as they were beaten 5-4 on penalties by basement side Kidsgrove, after drawing 1-1 after normal time. The Yeltz made nine changes to their starting line up with three youth players making the step up for this game.
The first chance of the game came fifteen minutes in, and was from Kidsgrove as a dangerous cross came to Matt Haddrell, who headed the ball at goal from point blank range, but he only got part of his head to the ball, and it went just wide of the left hand post.
Halesowen then had a chance of their own as Youth product Danny Waldron managed to chest the ball down and hit a shot from eighteen yards out, but it rolled wide of the goal.
Kidsgrove kept wasting chances to put them in the lead, as Shane Reaney managed to break through the Yeltz defence after they gave the ball away and he ran all the way to goal before he fluffed his shot and put it wide of the right hand post.
Kidsgrove had a scare 35 minutes in, as Daniel Read failed to catch the ball in mid-air and the ball bounced towards goal, but none of the Yeltz players were quick enough to beat the Kidsgrove defence to the ball and it was hit back into play.
Halesowen could have taken the lead just before half time, as a curling corner kick flew into the box and Matt Fulloway was quickest to react as he got his head to the ball, but the effort stormed wide of the left hand post.
Halesowen kick-started the second half with a goal, as a great curling cross from Adam Meacham flew into the box and John Hill was in the right place at the right time to header the ball into the net to claim his first senior goal on his full debut for the Yeltz.
Adam Meacham was playing his last game in a Yeltz shirt, and he wanted to go out with a bang as he skipped past two Kidsgrove players before he hit the ball towards goal from 25 yards out, and the shot wasn’t far off from dipping in, as it was centimetres away from touching the crossbar.
Halesowen’s lead lasted all but 10 minutes, as Ryan Smith was given way too much space and he was able to easily slot the ball into the net to give Kidsgrove a fighting chance to go through.
Halesowen’s night went into more turmoil after 65 minutes as Elliott Turner went into a lunging challenge in an attempt to get the ball from Ryan Smith and Turner collided into Smith, and Elliott was shown a controversial red card for his challenge and it was now anyone’s game.
Yeltz were starting to get more chances at goals as Kristian Green took a shot from distance that flew out of the stadium and Matt Martin did the same two minutes later.
Halesowen were then denied a penalty as Shane Grainger, who had played outstanding on his debut, was tackled in the box, but he got back up and took a shot from 12 yards out, but it just went wide of the right hand post. Grainger kept showing his potential as he skipped past Karl Espley and hit a shot that flew wide of the right hand post.
Kidsgrove nearly claimed the game late on as Tom Wakefield was given space in the Yeltz box and he hit a shot that was on-target, but Pearson reacted well and he caught the ball with ease.
The last chance of the game came from Halesowen as a corner kick from Griffiths flew towards the back post and Matt Martin headed the ball goalward and it bounced towards goal before it was acrobatically cleared by Chris Smith.
The game ended and it went straight into penalties as the two sides battled for a place in the second round.
The first penalty for Halesowen decided their fate, as Brendan Kelly concentrated more on placement and his curling penalty was palmed away by Read.
Yeltz scored their final four penalties, and so did Kidsgrove, and Kidsgrove’s Darren Twigg finally ended the tie as he blasted the ball past the outstretching Pearson, and Halesowen had crashed out of the first stage of the cup for the third time this season.
Halesowen Town: Sam Pearson, John Hill (Joe Hull) Adam Meacham, Elliott Turner, Matt Fulloway (Matt Martin), Brendan Kelly, Kristian Green, Shane Grainger, Avun Jephcott, Daniel Waldron (Curtis Tilt), Aaron Griffiths. Unused Subs: Matt Sargeant, Jean-Michel Gueyes.
Kidsgrove Athletic: Daniel Read, Kevin Street, Ryan Grocott, Karl Espley, Matt Haddrell (Tom Wakefield), Chris Smith, Aiden Matranga (Adam Yates), Michael Carr, Jonathan Proudlove, Ryan Smith, Shane Reaney (Darren Twigg).Unused Subs: Wayne Johnson.
Reece Charlton – Follow me on twitter: @Reece_Charlton
With Stourbridge, Tamworth and Kidderminster all still standing in the FA cup, all three sides face possible league opposition, so do they all have a chance of a possible giant killing?
Kidderminster – Their first round tie was a comfortable 4-1 over Conference South’s ‘Original Giant Killers’ Sutton United, but it looked like they might have been on their way out, as Sutton United took the lead 10 minutes in thanks to Charlie Clough. However, goals from Amari Morgan-Smith, Callum Gittings, Joe Lolley and Anthony Malburn sealed the win for Kiddie and put them into the 2nd round draw. Now, though, they have an incredibly tough tie against League rivals Braintree Town or the team that went up instead of them last season, League Two’s Newport County. The game will be played at Aggborough, so if Newport County beat Braintree, then victory will be expected from Kiddie…
Stourbridge – Stourbridge are the lowest-ranked side left in the competition and they made easy work of league rivals Biggleswade Town as they cruised to a 4-1 victory at the War Memorial Ground. The Glassboys did take the lead thanks to Ryan Rowe, but the lead only lasted two minutes as Evan Key equalised for the Waders. However, it didn’t take long for Stourbridge to regain the lead as Rowe grabbed his second of the game three minutes later. Stourbridge guaranteed their place in the second round with two goals in the second half, as Will Richards and Luke Benbow got themselves onto the scoresheet. The Glassboys now have a tough away tie at League One outfits Stevenage and so with the spirit that Stourbridge have, there might be a surprise in store here…
Tamworth – Tamworth reach the second round for the third consecutive year as they beat League 2’s Cheltenham Town at the Lamb Ground. Tamworth scored the only goal of the game 20 minutes into the second half as Nick Chadwick scored the goal to put them into the hat for the second round. The Lambs got themselves another tie at home, this time against League One’s basement side Bristol City and with the strength and sheer power of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas up front for the Robins, this will be an incredibly tough affair for the Lambs, but anything is possible in the FA Cup.
So with the ties being announced, all three sides have tough opposition, and Stourbridge and Tamworth have a challenge with two of League One’s relegation flirters, while Kidderminster have, looking at the statistics, the easier tie out of the three, even though that cant really be said in a competitions with as many shocks as this.
As Halesowen go into the next three games without their top goalscorer Ben Haseley, will they struggle in their upcoming league encounters?
Haseley has twenty two goals in all competitions already this season, and he is miles ahead of the second top goalscorer for the Yeltz – Iyseden Christie with five in all competitions – and has scored 13 out of 30 goals in the league this season. So, with other strikers Christie and Nigel Penney only scoring 6 between them in all competitions, Halesowen will need to a find a goalscorer to fill the gap, and fast.
After their first game without Haseley against mid-table side Newcastle Town resulted in a 2-1 defeat, it was obvious that the Yeltz were missing something in their build-up play – and that was for someone to poke the ball into the net. Even though Christie did grab a goal (though it wasn’t from a build-up of play), Halesowen in general needed someone to finish the build-up play as Halesowen could have claimed three points by half time with the amount of chances that went amiss, because of the lack of a goalscorer.
However, the fixture list has been kind to the Yeltz, as they face the basement boys of the league, Kidsgrove Athletic and Bedworth United on Tuesday and Saturday, but the real test will be the long trip north to Scarborough who have ex-Birmingham player Brian Hughes in their ranks and have been known to play some of the best attacking football in the non-league pyramid, even though their position in the league at the moment doesn’t seem to back that claim.
However, Halesowen do have some options to see if that gap can be filled, as Danny Waldron, a product of the Yeltz’s youth system, has scored 9 goals this season for the U18s, but this is a huge step up and with two appearances to his name already, he hasn’t showed that he is ready for this division yet, but experience will help him improve and this situation is a perfect opportunity for him.
So, maybe with the ‘possible’ luck of the fixtures, Halesowen might not miss the strike force of Ben Haseley, but they will need to find someone to ‘temporarily’ fill that gap, or otherwise, Halesowen will struggle.
Reece Charlton – follow me on twitter: @Reece_Charlton