Halesowen Town 1, Stourbridge 2

GOAL grabber Greg Mills proved the difference between these two arch local rivals as Stourbridge came out on top in a lively pre-season affair at the Grove, writes Nick Pullen.

Mills netted twice within the space of three minutes to seal victory for the Glassboys but credit to Halesowen who kept going and clawed a goal back through impressive full back James Bowen deep into stoppage time.

Clear cut chances proved at a premium in the first half.

Lee Hughes had a great chance to open the Yeltz account on 36 minutes but shot meekly at Glassboys goalkeeper James Wren.

Just one minute later, highly-prized Halesowen striker Montel Gibson struck a 30 yard thunderbolt which forced Wren into a fantastic flying save, diving full stretch to turn around the post.

Stourbridge responded and went close on 39 minutes when Stratford Town recruit Will Grocott header just wide from a Tom Turton cross.

The second half proved a much more open contest with Gibson again going close when he hit the underside of the Glassboys crossbar from a Jamie Ashmore corner.

Halesowen substitute Luke Yates then produced a sizzling solo run before his shot was deflected wide of goal.

Mills finally opened the scoring on 77 minutes with the best move of the match.

Second half sub Lewis Archer released Ryan Winwood down the right flank, who fired a low across for Mills to race in and turn home.

Before Halesowen could recover, Mills made it 2-0 on 80 minutes with a 30 yard shot that deflected past a wrong-footed Brad Catlow in the Halesowen goal.

Credit to Halesowen who didn't give up despite going 2-0 down.

Yates had a shot bravely blocked out by Stourbridge replacement goalkeeper Charlie Price, who then pulled off another excellent save, diving low to keep out a goalbound effort from second half substitute Isai Marselia.

But Price was beaten two minutes into stoppage time when Bowen broke forward and blasted a shot past the Stourbridge shotstopper who was beaten at his near post.

Yeltz boss Paul Smith was full of positives after the game and said: "It was really encouraging. We went toe-to-toe with a very good Stourbridge side and the outcome was down to fine margins.

"We gave the ball away for the first goal and the second took a deflection.

"We've given it a real go, but the bigger picture starts for us on August 17.

Glassboys assistant boss Richard Colwell confirmed: "It was a fully competitive game and just what we needed. A game with an edge and tempo to it.

"It was also nice to win the game for the fans. It gives them the local bragging rights."

Halesowen Town: Brad Catlow; Jamie Ashmore, James Bowen, Ashley Sammons, Paul McCone, Jordan Piggott, Josh Hawker, Luke Rowe, Montel Gibson, Lee Hughes, Reece Hewitt.

Second half subs: Lewis Wright, Brad Ward, Dan Danks, Kartel O'Neill-Martin, Luke Yates, Isai Marselia, Ryan Bailey.

Stourbridge: James Wren; Tom Tonks, Zac Foster, Tom Turton, Jordan Williams, Jordaan Brown, Dave Bellis, Mike McGrath, Aaron Lloyd, Will Grocott, Greg Mills.

Second half subs: Charlie Price, Ryan Winwood, Kieron Cook, Lewis Archer.

Attendance 807