Halesowen 1, Royston 0

DEFENDER Kieran Morris headed home the winner as Halesowen Town picked up a vital victory over Royston Town.

The Yeltz looked to be heading for their third successive draw but instead found a way past visiting stopper Joe Welch in the final five minutes to pick up their first win in six games.

The Yeltz made two changes from the side that drew with Barwell last weekend as Lee Hughes started up front ahead of Dan Sweeney and Callam Mendez-Jones came in for Ivor Lawton as the hosts switched to three at the back.

It was the home side that worked the first opening after 10 minutes at the Grove as wing-back Matthias Curley saw an effort smothered by Royston stopper Joe Welch after a burst into the box.

Royston tested Platt two minutes later as Rohdell Gordon headed at the keeper from a 12th-minute corner.

The contest remained an even affair for much of the first half with clear cut chances few and far between for either side.

Andre Wright controlled a neat ball over the top on 25 minutes but he couldn’t lift his effort over the outrushing Welch as the clash stayed goalless.

It was Wright again at the heart of the Yeltz attack just after the half hour mark as his powerful effort from range was pushed away by the visiting stopper.

Despite those chances falling to the hosts, it was Royston that should have been ahead as they upped the tempo heading into the final five minutes of the half.

Harold Joseph should have headed home Sam Corcoran’s cross to the far post on 39 minutes but his weak effort was easily gathered by Platt.

The Yeltz stopper then saved bravely at the feet of forward Joseph Neal just a minute later following a low cross from the left.

Royston were the quicker out of the traps in the second period and it took Gordon just two minutes to test Platt from distance. The game soon became a scrappy affair once again as both sides continued to battle for a way to get on top.

It took until the 62nd minute for the Yeltz to work their first opening of the half as Mendez-Jones headed narrowly wide from a rare corner.

They nearly found the breakthrough just three minutes later but Welch adjusted brilliantly to tip over sub Dan Sweeney’s deflected free-kick from 25 yards out.

The game suddenly opened up as chances arrived for both sides.

Kieran Morris’ header somehow stayed out on 69 minutes before Sweeney had another shot saved by the legs of Welch.

Up the other end, sub Dan Gallin could only fire weakly at Platt after a Royston breakaway move and midfielder Gordon was denied by a last-ditch clearance from Jack Kelly as the clash entered the final 15 minutes still at deadlock.

The Yeltz needed to find a big goal from somewhere to ignite their survival push. They found it with five minutes left on the clock from defender Kieran Morris.

The centre back rose highest to meet Joel Taylor’s corner and headed beyond Welch to edge his side ahead at a key time.

They saw out the closing stages to pick up a big three points as they look to beat the drop.

Halesowen: Platt, Curley, Kelly, Mendez-Jones, Morris, Griffiths, Rea (C), Murphy (Fitzpatrick 66), Hughes (Sweeney 59), Wright, Taylor (Weir 89).

Unused subs: Gilpin, Hill.

Royston: Welch, Joseph, Oswick (Newman 59), Thomas, Crowther, Braithwaite (c) (Bola 59), Gordon, Corcoran, Neal (Gallin 70), Scott-Morris, Newton, Unused subs: Murray, Dawson.

Att: 405.