HALESOWEN Town boss John Hill couldn’t believe his luck when he heard this week’s FA Cup draw.
He discovered Halesowen’s reward for beating Brocton was a second qualifying round tie at home to Tipton Town — the team he managed for 10 years!
‘Unbelievable’ was Hill’s reaction to the draw who said: “One or two people mentioned the possibility of getting Tipton, because the draw’s still regionalised, so there was always a chance.
“It will be nice to catch up with old friends and my phone’s been red-hot, but make no mistake, my loyalties are blue these days and I want Halesowen to go through.”
Halesowen made hard work of booking their place against Tipton after Midland Combination side Brocton gave the Yeltz a real run for their money.
Ben Haseley put the Yeltz in front before Iyeseden Christie cracked home a second shortly after the hour mark.
Hill said: “At that point we started to get right on top and should have extended the lead further, but we didn’t.
“Brocton got one back and it was us hanging on and looking for the final whistle.
“It was a difficult game for us. They’re one-offs and I expected them to make it tough and that’s exactly what they did.”
Halesowen have an Evo-Stik League Division One South contest on Saturday at home to bottom side Brigg Town.
Hill has a heap of injury problems, which has been compounded further with the news that Kyle Brady has been ruled out for the entire season after damaging his cruciate knee ligaments.
Recruited from West Midlands League champions AFC Wulfrunians in the summer, Brady was signed as strike partner for Haseley, but damaged his knee in pre season and has yet to feature for the Yeltz.
Just to add to Hill’s woes, his former Kidderminster Harrier Aaron Griffiths damaged ankle ligaments while playing against Brocton.
Hill said: “There was nobody near him at the time. He just turned awkwardly and the ankle went.”
The Yeltz boss already has Gavin Winsper, Jean-Michel Gueyes and Joe Hull sidelined through injury.
He will also be missing goalkeeper Paul Evans who is away on wedding duty.
To make matters worse, he has Dan Parker, Kristian Green and Curtis Tilt as major doubts.