Halesowen Town were the side who ended our 1986-7 FA Cup hopes. Not that we’ve had any sort of chance to get revenge since. A long-time member of the Southern League (well, between 1986 and 2012), the Yeltz switched to the Northern Premier League for a time. Yet, they headed back to the Southern League as of 2018. That chance of revenge still looks some way off at the moment. Any hopes of a repeat cup clash, for example, relies on them making the First Round. That hasn’t happened since 2004.
Halesowen Town: The Facts
Old Hawne Lane, Halesowen, West Midlands, B63 3TB
Unlike some but like others at the same time, the Yeltz are little more than a one-line entry in the Boro’ history books. So, here we are – about to spin a couple hundred words out of it. But, we’re nothing if ambitious. Let’s go then. From a small part of Dudley come they, with a helluva lot of years behind them. Halesowen came into being back in 18-fakin’-73. To put that in context, this is an outfit that were kicking balls over a century before Stevenage Borough. So, let’s move onto the question at hand – the what, how and why of our sole meeting.
In the mid-1980s, Halesowen Town were a bit good at the West Midlands (Regional) League. In fact, they won it four seasons on the trot between 1982-3 and 1985-6. It’s no surprise the decision was taken to make the step upwards and, in 1986-7, the club took their place in the Southern League Midland Division. It was this season in which our one and only meeting would come. The reason? Well, it was the FA Cup and its 3rd Qualifying Round. And they’d already accounted for Ampthill Rovers and Nigel Clough’s Burton Albion.
Us? We had to make it past MK Borough, Spalding and the Yeltz’ neighbours Dudley Town as it goes.
Our endeavours – and extra game in the Preliminary Round – were in vain. We were no match for Halesowen Town despite our home advantage, losing 3-1. To be fair to the Yeltz, they made it through to the First Round proper after seeing off some team by the name of Oldbury in the next round. There, however, they were seen off easily by Southend United. For us, it was one less duty standing in our way to a glorious 16th position. Before you laugh, it was the highest we’d ever been in the pyramid up to that point. So there!
For Halesowen, they were champions within three years and won a spot in the Southern League Premier Division. It would be as high as they’d go, however. The Yeltz came so close to the Conference in 1996, finishing an agonising two points behind Rushden Anne Diamond. In the years after, there were three relegations from the Southern Premier and two returns. In 2013, a move to the Northern Premier means that’s where you’ll now find them. And, once again, it’s the FA Cup that’s as likely to pair us if we’re to have any chance of revenge.
How to get to Halesowen Town – Travel Information – Distance: 111 miles
Go north on the M1 and M6. Stay on the old M6 through Birmingham, before leaving at Junction 8 for the M5 south. After nine or so miles, exit the M5 at Junction 3; taking the A456. Take the third exit at the roundabout onto the A456 for 1.5 miles, before you’ll be joining the A459 at the roundabout by Seth Somers Park.
Go up here for less than a mile and take the first exit at the roundabout for the A458; passing a Travelodge in the process. Shortly after, take the third exit at the roundabout and head up Old Hawne Lane until the ground appears on the left.
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