HALESOWEN boss John Hill says he is working hard to secure the services of key man John McAtee.

The skilful attacker's loan deal from Shrewsbury Town is due to run out after this Saturday home clash with Buxton.

However, Hill is keen to extend the deal and keep McAtee at the Grove heading into the new year.

He said: "John McAtee is willing to stay. He wants to stay but we've got to do a few things with Shrewsbury first.

"We're hopeful at the moment. It's no more than hopeful and it is not over the line by any stretch of the imagination.

"But Halesowen and John McAtee are both happy, it's just about convincing Shrewsbury, which we are working hard to do at that at the moment."

Meanwhile, the Yeltz battled to a point against Mickleover Sports on Boxing Day.

The clash finished 0-0 despite the hosts ending the contest with nine men after Brad Lewis and Ivor Lawton both saw red in the second half.

Hill said: "I'm a little bit disappointed with the sending offs. Brad Lewis is just clumsy but Ivor Lawton's is just a yellow. I don't think it's dangerous.

"We know it's difficult in the conditions but I guess when all is said and done and you finish the game with nine men, you take a point and a clean sheet.

"We've probably played 20 minutes with 10 men and 15 minutes with nine, so that doesn't help being able to create chances. But we're disappointed that we haven't created more chances in the first half.

"First of all, people need to remember we haven't played for nearly a month. Our last competitive game was December 2 against Whitby so we knew we were going to run out of puff.

"Taking all that into account, it's probably a good point."

Hales now now face Buxton at home this Saturday before a trip to fellow strugglers Sutton Coldfield on New Year's Day.

Hill added: "Buxton is going to be tough, especially with their strike force they have got.

"Then, even though it's only January, we're looking at a six-pointer against Sutton Coldfield on New Year's Day.

"We have something to build on today to finish with a clean sheet and we have got some really important minutes into our legs. We go again."