Belper 0, Halesowen 2

A BRACE from Ben Haseley saw Halesowen beat Belper 2-0 to secure title glory.

He netted in both periods to ensure the outfit from The Grove claimed top spot in the Northern Premier League Division One South.

The Yeltz started the first half understandably nervous and often elected to kick possession away in the first 15 minutes. Belper started the better of the two sides and managed to put some dangerous balls into the box.

They rattled the bar when their top scorer Jon Froggatt latched onto a rebound after an effort from Warne after just six minutes.

However, it was Halesowen that got the breakthrough. Iyesden Christie ran onto a ball into the right hand channel, turned well and fed Ben Haseley in the area. He also turned well and made no mistake with a powerful finish after 20 minutes.

That goal settled The Yeltz down and they continued to look dangerous going forwards. Importantly, it was their defence that held firm to ensure they went in at the break with a lead.

Halesowen were content to sit deep for long periods of the second half and soaked up lots of pressure as they let Belper have much of the possession.

It was a day when their backline showed their qualities to not only stop Belper from scoring but to limit them to very few clear cut chances.

The decisive moment came when Haseley was on hand to roll the ball into an empty net on 71 minutes after a mix up at the back saw Belper defender Cole head over the advancing keeper following a rare Yeltz attack.

Halesowen then saw out the final moments thanks to some more solid defending before celebrating with the hundreds of travelling supporters.

Manager John Hill said: "It's unbelievable. I think it is fully deserved after we have gone nine games unbeaten at the end of the season.

"Belper made it hard today and were a credit to the league. We had to dig deep to get the win. It is great for the players, they have all played their part."

Midfielder Neil Mackenzie added: "It'is fantastic. At the start of the season we felt we might be able to get in the play-offs so to win it is brilliant.

"We didn't have one player in the league's team of the season and we have won the league. We wanted to prove something today and now we have.

"The whole squad has been great. We are up against some big clubs with big budgets but we have come out on top and fully deserved it in the end."

Halesowen: Sargeant, Green, Charlton, Mackenzie (Gueyes 86), Hull (c), Tilt, Griffiths, Tonks (Forde 75), Christie, Haseley (Danks 81), Turner.

Unused subs: Kelly, Pearson.


Belper: Low, Pride, Cullingworth, Marrison, Watt (Davis 45), Jones, Cole, Warne (c), Froggatt (Duncum 75), Wells (Ward 63), Harrison.

Unused subs: Flint, Ratcliffe.

Att: 537