Simeon Cobourne stepped off the substitute’s bench to strike a late brace to turn Halesowen’s dominance over visitors Stamford AFC into goals and send the unbeaten Yeltz into third place, writes David Johnson.

Yeltz manager Paul Smith remains delighted with Halesowen’s impressive start to the season. “It was close in the first half, but we camped in their half after the break. We have a strong squad and those coming off the bench are making the difference.

"It’s now 6 clean sheets from 8 games. Today was our toughest test of the season but in my opinion we were head and shoulders better.”

Both newly promoted sides started the game unbeaten in league as rivalries were renewed in the punishing heat.

Halesowen forced two corners in the opening minute and home goalkeeper Dan Platt then saved Lee Shaw’s low 3rd minute shot smartly. But it proved to be Stamford’s only real effort of the afternoon.

Kieren Donnelly headed a deep cross into Stamford’s side-netting and Caine Elliott’s 19th minute low shot was turned around the post by Stamford goalkeeper Daniel Haystead. McKauley Manning flashed another shot wide on his 100th Yeltz appearance and Haystead tipped Kieran Morris’s 36th minute header over the bar from Todd Parker’s free-kick.

The Yeltz had the better of the first period, but chances remained at a premium with both defences looking solid.

In the final minute of the first-half Manning and Miracle Okafor advanced down the left with Jak Hickman flicking at Haystead and Todd Parker then burst forward only to see his low shot turned away for a corner with Stamford proving hard to unlock.

Halesowen turned up the heat after the interval and a dangerous 46th minute cross from Hickman flashed across Stamford’s goal. Okafor then chased a long 49th minute ball down the left and set up substitute Jack Holmes but the resulting handball appeal from his shot was denied.

Okafor couldn’t convert another Donnelly cross after 53 minutes before he cut in to force goalkeeper Haystead into a fingertip save. Okafor then smashed into the side-netting just a minute later.

The introduction of Cobourne in the 63rd minute finally changed the game in Halesowen’s favour and the writing was on the wall when Haystead tipped Cobourne’s 66th minute shot over the bar after Holmes was blocked.

COBOURNE finally broke the deadlock to unpick the Daniels’ defence when he met a long clearance forward and planted a calm, low 73rd minute finish past Haystead.

COBOURNE doubled the lead just six minutes later when he latched onto another long ball and beat Haystead with a luxuriant lob. The Yeltz continued to battle brilliantly to deny any chance of the Daniels recovering in the dying minutes and the hosts collected all three points with a 2-0 victory.

Halesowen Town:  Dan Platt (c); Jak Hickman, Reece Mitchell, Todd Parker, Ryan Wynter, Kieran Morris, Kieren Donnelly, Nathan Hayward, Miracle Okafor (Ryan Boothe 87), Caine Elliott (Simeon Cobourne 63), McKauley Manning (Jack Holmes 46). Subs Not Used: Luke Redfern, Richard Gregory.

Stamford AFC: Daniel Haystead; Joe Burgess, Connor Bartle (Bill Bennett 75), Harry Vince (c), Ashton Offler, James Blunden, Lee Shaw, Michael Armstrong, Jack Duffy, Ricky Miller (Oliver Brown-Hill 59), Tremayne Charles (Harry Wood 59). Sub Not Used: Marshall Willock, Jon Challinor.

Referee: Richard Walker                       Attendance: 1,031

Booked: Manning (14), Charles (40), Donnelly (82)

Tulleys Print HTFC Man of the Match selected by Alfie’s Amigos: Simeon Cobourne

Non-League Paper Man of the Match: Simeon Cobourne