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01 Apr 2002 DMW Halesowen Town 4-1 Solihull Borough PDF Print E-mail

Dr Martens Western Division – Monday, 1st April, 2002

Halesowen Town 4 Solihull Borough 1

Halesowen Town booked their promotion place back into the Premier division with an emphatic win over third-placed Solihull and now require just three points to claim the Championship title.

Solihull’s Ian Cooper crossed in the first minute for Derek Hall to hit an overhead kick over the bar before the Yeltz took a 14th minute lead with Andy SPENCER beating Solihull goalkeeper Brendan Murphy who was slow off his line to a long ball. A strangely disjointed first-half saw Halesowen desperately missing the play-making skills of Les Hines and Mark Taylor and Solihull gradually gained the upper hand as the half wore on. Jason Smith shot straight at Tim Clarke in the 17th minute and Clarke then dived to save from Cooper three minutes later. Without dead-ball experts Hines or Taylor, a handily placed free-kick on the edge of the box was blasted over the bar by Spencer on 23 minutes.  A slip by Ross Collins let in Chris Smith to shoot just wide after 37 minutes but Solihull deservedly equalised when Jason Smith played the ball for Derek HALL to chest down and volley into the bottom corner after 42 minutes.

A much-needed reshuffle saw the introduction of John Newall but few could have predicted the second-half that unfolded with Halesowen coming away from the half-time team-talk as a transformed team to re-assert their league-leading authority with three goals in a thrusting 20-minute spell.

Man of the Match Richard Colwell worked hard to win two 53rd minute corners before the Yeltz restored their lead in the 56th minute with SPENCER hitting home his second goal from a 25-yard shot helped by a deflection off Cooper after a Jason Burnham corner was only half-cleared.

Just three minutes later Spencer broke free on the left and passed across goal for Stuart SKIDMORE to crash home into the top right hand corner of the net from 15 yards. Newall missed a great chance in front of goal on the hour but with Halesowen on fire, a defence-splitting cross field pass from Andy Jones set up Leroy MAY to slot home his 18th goal of the season in the 71st minute and start Halesowen’s promotion party-time. Gary Knight cleared an Andy Jones effort off the line in the 78th minute to prevent further goals but with Halesowen’s fans in full voice, their relegation trauma on Easter Bank Holiday Monday exactly a year ago was long forgotten.

Halesowen Town: Clarke; Colwell, Burnham, N. Smith, L. Collins (Newall 45), Skidmore, Spencer (G. Smith 87), Jones, May (Bailey 74), R. Collins, Cowley.

Solihull Borough: Murphy; Saunders, Hamilton, M. Smith (Hayde 76), Knight, Cooper, Hollis, C. Smith, Hall, Amos, J. Smith (Lovelock 64). Sub: Dutton. 

Referee:  P. Keane (Bilston)

Attendance: 856 

Booked: Amos (12), Skidmore (47), Hayde (88), Jones (89)

Sponsors’ Man of the Match: Richard Colwell

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