HALESOWEN Town boss John Hill has hailed the impact for forward James Roberts after the striker's double against Rushall Olympic fired them up the Southern League Central table.

Roberts netted his sixth and seventh goals for the Yeltz as they beat the Pics and moved to ninth place last Saturday.

The ex-Oxford United hitman, 22, made over 30 appearances for United between 2014 and 2018 and has had loan spells at Chester, Oxford City, Stalybridge Celtic and Guiseley before a summer move to the Grove.

Boss John Hill is delighted with how the young forward has taken to life with the Yeltz.

He said:"He's a top lad who works extremely hard for the team.

"He was on nobody's radar locally at the start of the season but he's doing really, really well for us.

"All other teams will tell you how an out-and-out goalscorer is like gold dust and he's that for us.

"He's loving being here and we're loving having him."

On the 2-0 victory against the Pics, he added: "It made it three wins on the spin for us and was a good win against a good side and local rival.

"We said it is important to get results at home and it also gave us three clean sheets as well. I do love a clean sheet.

"They were probably the best team in the first half but it was nip and tuck and we edged it in the second and once we did get a foothold we looked strong."

Roberts' eighth strike of the season couldn't prevent a much-changed Town side being knocked out of the league cup against Redditch United.

They suffered a 2-1 defeat after resting Lee Hughes, Jack Rea, Ivor Lawton, Asa Charlton and Christos Shelis against the Reds and used the opportunity to blood some of their younger players.

Hill added: "I was very pleased overall despite the fact we didn't win.

"Our objective was to come away unscathed and without injuries while giving others a chance to show what they can do.

"It was great to have some of the youth lads involved. They did very well and I got to look at a few other options I have."

Town now go to Leiston this Saturday looking for a hat-trick of league wins.

"First of all, it's such a long journey and everything has got to go right," said Hill.

"!We go there with a strong side and in good spirits and hopefully we can continue to build on the last few weeks."