HALESOWEN Town got the new year off to a winning start with a "massive" victory over relegation rivals Sutton Coldfield Town.

The Yeltz won 1-0 away from home thanks to Jordan Goddard's brilliant second half strike.

The win leaves Hales third from bottom of the Northern Premier League and now seven points away from basement boys Sutton.

Boss John Hill was delighted with the battling success and challenged his players to put a winning run together.

He said: "It was a very important win for us.

"They were quicker out of the block in the first half and had much more of the ball in the first 30 minutes. We then ended the half well and were better in the second half without putting the game to bed.

"In the end we were the ones looking for the final whistle as they threw everything at us. There wasn't a lot in the game but we defended well and got a massive win.

"The goal by Jordan is good enough to win any game and if that had been in the Premier League it would be being replayed across the world."

The Yeltz will now host third-placed Grantham at the Grove this Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Hill added: "It's another tough game, like all of them in this league.

"It's a good job we did win at Sutton because a lot of the teams around us also picked up good results, which just shows how competitive it is.

"The win now gives us a really good platform. Because it's so tight, especially down the bottom, if you can put three or four wins together you will quickly move away."

Town will be without suspended duo Ivor Lawton and Brad Lewis as well as injured midfielder Dan Bragoli.

Key attacker John McAtee has now returned to parent club Shrewsbury after his loan spell expired.

Hill had hoped to extend his stay but Shrewsbury have chosen to involve him ahead of their FA Cup clash with West Ham this weekend.

Hill explained: "John wanted to stay but it all hinged on what Shrewsbury wanted to do because he is their player.

"They are short on numbers and him going back means there may be a chance he could feature against West Ham, which would be brilliant.

"We want to improve the loan players that come here and it would be great if he could do well. We will now have to wait a few weeks to find out if there is a chance of getting him back."

The Yeltz did boost their attacking options before the Sutton clash by bringing in Wolverhampton-born striker Khaellem Bailey-Nicholls, 20, from Bedworth United.

The boss also says he has a number of irons in the fire as he looks to add to his squad ahead of the weekend.