Halesowen Town 1, Blyth Spartans 2

HALESOWEN Town lost their first match in 15 games as their unbeaten start to the season was ended by Blyth Spartans at The Grove today.

The Yeltz, whose unbeaten run extends well into last season's title winning campaign, finally tasted defeat when coming up against a Blyth Spartans outfit with a little more Northern Premier League know-how.

The visitors clinically took the few chances that came their way and defended well as a unit to take all three points in a close contest.

Halesowen started the game well and had a couple of early opportunities through Tom Tonks and Danny Bragoli in the first ten minutes.

However, the Yeltz failed to build on that early pressure and left with nothing to show for their efforts as the game entered a scrappy period.

Blyth then slowley worked their way into the game and began to get on top in the last ten minutes. Dangerman Dan Maguire hit a few warning shots before finally bagging his team the lead in the 44th minute.

Robbie Dale did well down the right flank before squaring for Maguire to tap home from six yards out to give his side the lead at the break.

Halesowen worked hard in the second half but looked short of ideas after Blyth easily dealt with early balls over the top looking for the hard working Ben Haseley.

He wasted a great opportunity after 50 minutes when getting in behind the visitors' defence only to blaze high and wide with only the keeper to beat.

From then on, Hales were limited to long throws and corners as a way back into the game.

However, as the match entered its final stages, the Yeltz got themselves back into the contest.

Christie flicked on a long ball from Sargeant which was then well kept alive by substitute Thompson-Brow before it ran out for a goalkick. His looping cross from the byline over the top of Blyth keeper Jeffries left defender Curtis Tilt with the simplest chance to guide the ball home into an empty net with just six minutes left on the clock.

But, just as Halesowen thought they had done enough to salvage a point from an even encounter, Bylth went up the pitch and won it.

Just two minutes after the Yeltz leveller, Hutchinson got on the end of a Maguire flick on and drilled the ball home to break Hales' hearts.

It was a disappointing end to a match that the Yeltz had worked so hard to get back into.

Defeats have been a rare thing for this group of players, so how they react to this one could be key to how well they will do this campaign.

They will now look to bounce straight back when they take on Witton Albion away on Tuesday night.

Halesowen: Sargeant, Green, Chalton, Forde (Mackenzie 45), Hull (c), Tilt, Bragoli (Thompson-Brown 69), Tonks, Christie, Haseley, Till (Turner 14).

Unused subs: Kettle, Pearson.

Blyth: Jeffries, Nicholson, I Watson, J Watson, Buddle, Hooks, Wearmouth, Hutchinson, Maguire, Hawkins, Dale (c).

Unused subs: Robinson, Rivers, Cummings, Bell, Sayer.