Midland Football League Newsletter
27th January 2016
Westfields Football Club are due to celebrate their 50th Anniversary on Saturday, 26th November 2016 and have planned a bumper reunion dinner to take place at The Three Counties Hotel, Belmont Road, Hereford. The gala dinner will celebrate an incredible 50 years as Westfields have risen from a team playing friendly fixtures on Widemarsh Common to a team that now compete in the Midland League Premier Division and along with Hereford FC are the highest placed team in the county of Herefordshire. Westfields will be looking to celebrate their 50 years by inviting former players, committee members and managers to the club dinner and everyone is asked to contact club Chief Executive Andy Morris for further information about the gala evening. A sub-committee has been formed to organise the event which will include a celebratory speaker to help celebrate our 50-year history.
Big Centre TV will broadcast their first Midlands non-league show on the 4th of February at 9.30 p.m. They are issuing a rallying cry for match highlights, fan footage, crowd reaction, any particularly interesting stories about individuals or teams to be sent in to us by next Monday at the latest. They are also looking to feature FANCAM - In which Fans send 30-second match reports filmed on their smartphones after the game and send them in.
All material needs to be sent to email@example.com
This opportunity is open to all clubs at all levels (Under21s take note).
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday 23rd January
Hereford 1 Alvechurch 1
As much as I enjoy watching games as a neutral, there was something about a meeting of the top two in front of a bumper Edgar Street crowd that really got the juices flowing. The Bulls had won 27 in a row in all competition before the game (a point well made by the noisy Bulls supporters) but Church could take over top spot if they won their games in hand. Sampling the fantastic hospitality from Hereford before the game, there was an eager anticipation from everyone involved and a realisation that this was a real challenge for league supremacy. This was echoed by the gathered press corps as I made my way to the press box for the game. With Hereford attacking the packed Meadow End for the first half, it was the sublime talent of Mustapha Bundu who got the crowd on their feet in the 5th minute. Bundu beat 5 defenders on a mazy run before teeing up Pablo Haysham whose shot was saved by Matt Sargeant. A minute later, Hereford were ahead, Ryan Green heading home, unmarked from a Dylan Bonella corner. Hereford continued to have the majority of possession but Sargeant did not have to make a save of note. At the other end, Sam Williams went closes for Church but Martin Horsell was never tested. Into the second half, Hereford leading scorer John Mills had an opportunity just after the break, rounding Sargeant but finding the shooting angle too tight. Mills turned provider a minute later, a wonderful ball into the path of Bundu but his deft chip was off target. Hereford were pouring on the pressure and Mills wasted the best opportunity, beat defenders before cutting inside and seeing his shot hit the Church keeper. Herford were made to rue those chances when former Rushall Olympic striker Nick Wright seized on a through ball from Jack Cresswell and provided the perfect finish past Horsell, a goal to grace the occasion. It was now the visitors who were having the better of things in the middle of the park without creating a clear-cut chance. The woodwork came to Church’s rescue with 11 minutes to go, when Bundu’s curler looked a goal all the way but the ball rebounded off the post. Bonella had a shot just over and another Bundu effort was saved by Sargeant. At the other end, Zack Foster saw his chip gathered under the bar by Horsell. With almost 8 minutes of time added on, the game ended honours even in a great advertisement for the league. A mention for the match referee, Malcolm Steward who played a crucial role in the quality of the game. He could so easily have shown red cards to Josh March and Joel Edwards but managed to keep the lid on things with his officiating. Well done sir!
Tuesday 26th January
Rocester 2 Loughborough University 0
With both teams in free-scoring form, a good game was anticipated. Unfortunately, our wonderful winter weather contrived to give the teams a very heavy pitch to contend with, which lessened the impact of the pacy forwards on view. With the tail end of Jonas affecting Hillsfield, strong winds and rain ensured that this was a game for the die-hard fan. The students started the better of the two sides with Max Herbert going close in the second minute. Loughborough were dominating possession but struggling to keep their feet on the greasy surface – Jerimiah Dasaolu, in particular, having major issues with his footwear. Loughborough wasted a good chance in the 17th minute when Dasaolu went for glory instead of passing to two men in space. Midway through the half, Rob Ritch-Smith forced a fine save from Loughborough keeper Conor O’Keefe, his 25-yard effort being tipped over the bar. O’Keefe had to react smartly to rob the ball from the feet of Troy Carty as the Romans began to pressurise. Callum Riddell was next to try his hand for Rocester but his shot was cleared off
the line. The deadlock was broken in the 32nd minute. A corner from the right was met with a bullet header from Liam Shaw who gave O’Keefe no chance. A neat move from Loughborough just before the break ended with Conner shooting wide. The weather, if anything, deteriorated after the break making flowing football a nigh on an impossibility. Tom Land headed over for Rocester as the home side took control. Ritchie-Smith was causing the Loughborough defence all sorts of problems, and a double effort from the striker saw his first shot blocked then his second go wide of the post. O’Keefe was by the far the busier of the two keepers and he had to race off his line to thwart Riddell. Rocester doubled their lead in the 65th minute when Colm Magee’s clearance cannoned into Troy Carty and into the net. Both sides continued to battle in the conditions but a 2-0 win for Rocester was a fair reflection on the 90 minutes.
The meeting of the top two ended even as Hereford and Alvechurch fought out a 1-1 draw in front of 4,026 at Edgar Street. The Bulls had the better chances but a draw was a fair result on the day. The result gave Sporting Khalsa the opportunity to close the gap on the top two and they duly responded with a 4-2 win at Continental Star, Matthew Martin with a couple. Loughborough University had the comeback of the day, recovering from 3-1 down at Brocton to win 4-3 courtesy of a stoppage time winner from Jack Poxon. Coleshill Town returned to league action with a 3-2 win over Bardon Hill, Mykel Beckley with an 87th-minute winner. Rocester picked up a good 3 points on the road, doubles from Rob Ritchie-Smith and Andrew Mottershead helping them to a 4-2 win at Quorn. A goal from Kieran Clarke was enough to earn Boldmere St Michaels 3 points at second bottom Dunkirk. Westfields eased their relegation worries with a 2-1 win at Lye Town, two goals in the last 15 minutes clinching all 3 points. A goal from Drew Aiton, 18 minutes from time gave Walsall Wood a narrow home win over AFC Wulfrunians. On Tuesday, Alvechurch missed the chance to close the gap to 9 points at the top, when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Quorn. An 88th-minute equaliser from Jack Skinner salvaged a point for Boldmere St Michaels at Coleshill Town. Rocester jumped 3 places to 13th after a 2-0 win over Loughborough University at a wet and windy Hillsfield.
Bromsgrove Sporting took advantage of Coventry United’s inactivity by taking over the top spot with a 4-1 win over Bolehall Swifts at The Victoria ground. On a good day for the leading sides, Leicester Road maintained their 3rd position with a 5-0 win over Studley. A brace from Tony Clarke helped Lichfield City on the way to a 3-1 away win at Cadbury Athletic. Nuneaton Griff warmed up for their big FA Vase clash with a 4-3 win over Littleton, Alex Naughton with a couple. A huge win at the bottom of the table for Stafford Town who beat Atherstone Town 2-1 with goals from Fabrice Kasiama and Marvin Robinson. Southam United are just a point ahead of Stafford as they went down 4-0 at Hinckley AFC for whom Greg Pearson scored twice. As the bottom of the table gets
tighter, Pershore Town are deep in trouble and they slipped to a single goal defeat at home to Coventry Copsewood. On Tuesday, Heather St Johns were beaten 2-0 at home by Studley keeping them in a 5-way battle to avoid the drop.
Rostance Edwards moved into 2nd pace with a 3-1 win over 11th placed Knowle at the Red Lion. Former Walsall Wood striker, Ahmet Bilgimer scored twice as Coton Green beat Sutton United 3-1. There was a big win for Paget Rangers who beat Barnt Green Spartak 4-1 with Dan Carter grabbing two.
FC Stratford stretched their lead to 5 points with a 2-0 win at Enville Athletic. Barton United are in 3rd place, a Peter Martin hat-trick helping them to a 5-0 win over Perrywood. Northfield Town are just two points further back after they won 4-2 at Shipston Excelsior. Redditch Borough are a further place behind but they continue to look upwards with a 4-0 win over Burntwood Town. The form side of the league continues to be Alcester Town who beat Inkberrow 5-1, Matt Layton with another two taking his tally to 24. Arguably, the result of the day saw AFC Solihull win for the second time this season, 3-1 at home to Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. The win closes the gap to Perrywood to just 4 points.
Polymac Packaging league Cup
Highgate United are through to the quarter-final of the league cup where they will meet the winners of the Herford vs Alvechurch tie. Highgate progressed thanks to a goal from Scott Turner as they beat Littleton 1-0.
A double from Chris Lloyd helped Chelmsley Town beat local rivals Smithswood Firs 4-0 in the Birmingham Saturday Vase. In the Birmingham Senior Cup, Lye Town held Birmingham City to a 0-0 draw but bowed out 4-2 on penalties. Shepshed Dynamo lost a thriller in the Leicestershire Challenge Cup, eventually being knocked out 4-3 by Coalville Town after extra time. Sporting Khalsa made it through to the semi-final of the Walsall Senior Cup with a 3-0 win over Pelsall Villa. A hat-trick from Alan Miller and a brace from Liam Bailey saw Atherstone Town beat Coventry United 5-2 in the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup. Coventry Copsewood progressed in the same competition courtesy of a 3-1 win at Tipton Town. In the Fazeley Charity Cup, there was some relief for Boleghall Swifts as they beat Sutton United reserves 6-2, Joe Obi helping himself to a hat-trick
Just two games in the reserves division with Rocester moving up to 3rd position with a 3-0 win over Cadbury Athletic. In the Staffordshire derby, Brocton won 2-1 at Lichfield City.
In the South Division, Bedworth United moved 7 points clear following a 6-0 win over Leamington. H.O.W. Academy beat West Midlands Football Academy in the other South game. In the North, league leaders Sutton Coldfield Town were surprisingly beaten 5-1 at home by Newcastle Town for whom Dmitri Manginis bagged a hat-trick
Into the last 16 of the FA Vase and the Midland Football League have two teams standing. Premier Division leaders Hereford travel to Hartley Wintney of the Combined Counties League. The Row sit top of their league with just two defeats all season and should provide a stern challenge to the Bulls who come into the game on the back of the 1-1 draw with second-placed Alvechurch. Backed by 700 away fans, I expect the Bulls to be too strong on the day. Nuneaton Griff have had a remarkable run in the FA Vase and they welcome Salisbury FC, managed by Steve Claridge, to The Pingles Stadium. Like Hereford, Salisbury are a new club built from the ashes of the past, and they sit top of the Wessex league with two defeats all season. Griff score goals, and on their day, are capable of beating anyone. I just wonder if this could be their day?
With Hereford on FA Vase duty, the spotlight falls on the chasing pack as they look to close the gap at the top. Alvechurch slipped up in midweek and will hope to get to winning ways at home to in-form Brocton. Sporting Khalsa have revenge on their minds when they travel to Castlecroft to take on AFC Wulfrunians. Wulfs beat Khalsa on Boxing Day at the Aspray Arena and a similar result would severely dent Khalsa’s title ambitions. Heanor Town will feel they still have an outside chance of the title and they welcome Lye Town to the Town Ground. 5th placed Shepshed Dynamo travel to Pack Meadow to take on Coleshill Town on the 3G in an intriguing battle. Both sides score plenty of goals so this one could be worth watching. Highgate United have 8 games in hand on Hereford and a winning run would see them just 4 points behind the Bulls. They welcome Long Eaton United to The Coppice and they will be looking at the skies and hoping to get the game on. At the bottom, Continental Star welcome Rocester to Dales Lane with the Romans coming into the game on the back of two wins in a week. 2nd bottom Dunkirk host 4th bottom Quorn in a massive game at the foot of the table. 7th meets 9th as Loughborough University entertain Walsall Wood with both sides having similar records. Boldmere St Michaels picked up a good away point in midweek and they welcome Bardon Hill to Church Lane. It’s another Herefordshire versus Worcestershire derby in Hereford this weekend as Westfields welcome Stourport Swifts to Allpay Park. A win for Westfields would take them above their visitors who will be playing their 7th consecutive away league game due to postponements at Walshes Meadow.
Former league leaders Coventry United will hope to get back into league action for the first time in 7 weeks as they travel to Pelsall Villa. Their inactivity has enabled Bromsgrove Sporting to take over the top spot and they will want to hold that lead for some time to come as they travel to struggling Southam United. 3rd placed Leicester Road travel to Studley a week after beating them 5-0 at home. Lichfield City are in a strong position in 4th and they will expect all three points when Pershore Town come visiting. At the bottom, Stafford Town had a morale-boosting victory last week and a win at home to Pilkington XXX could take them out of the bottom two. Bolehall Swifts travel to Heath Hayes who haven’t played a competitive game since the 19th of December – is it a case of pre-season starts here? Heather St Johns remain in trouble and they welcome Littleton to St Johns Park in another difficult encounter. Two sides locked together in the middle of the pack meet at the TSA Sports Ground with Cadbury Athletic at home to Racing Club Warwick. Hinckley AFC make the short journey to Coventry Copsewood looking for a win to keep up their slim chance of entering the promotion race.
League leaders Droitwich Spa can extend their lead at the top to 4 points should they beat Barnt Green Spartak at King George Playing Fields. Sutton United are in 5th and can move level with Alvis Sporting Club with a win over Paget Rangers. At the bottom, Earlswood Town travel to Fairfield Villa for their first league since the end of November. Likewise, Feckenham haven’t played a home league game since October and desperately need the points against Austrey Rangers.
Weather permitting, there is a full league programme in Division 3. The highlight of the day is the match up between leaders FC Stratford and in-form Alcester Town. Alcester are on a run of 5 consecutive wins scoring 29 in the process while Stratford have won their last 7 games scoring 32 goals. Something has to give but this one should be well worth a watch. Leamington Hibernian lie second and they travel to Burntwood Town hoping to keep the gap to a minimum. Barton United are third and they travel to Inkberrow looking to build on last week’s victory over Perrywood. Smithswood Firs have games in hand on the leaders and they entertain Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. AFC Solihull are closing the gap at the bottom and they travel to 5th place Northfield Town in good heart. Perrywood and Enville Athletic are the sides in Solihull’s sights and they meet in a relegation 6 pointer. 8th meet 6th as Badsey Rangers welcome Redditch Borough to the Recreation Ground. 11th meets 10th at Holbrooks Park with Coventrians at home to Shipston Excelsior.
Cadbury Athletic vs Sutton United
Coventry United vs Lichfield City
Romulus vs Coleshill Town
Brocton vs Continental Star
Evesham United vs Solihull Moors
Rocester vs Gresley
Kings Heath Concorde vs Gornal Athletic (U21S)
Leamington vs West Midlands Football Academy (U21S)
Bromsgrove Sporting vs Anstey Nomads (Bowl)
H.O.W. Academy vs Heath Hayes (Bowl)
Basford united vs Bedworth United (Bowl)
Tamworth vs Sutton Coldfield Town (U21N)
Newcastle Town vs Walsall Wood (Bowl)
You may have seen on Twitter, but the first Midlands non league show on Big Centre TV will be broadcast on the 4th of February at 9.30 p.m.
As such, the station are issuing a rally cry for match highlights, fan footage, crowd reaction, any particularly interesting stories about individuals or teams to be sent in to them by next Monday at the latest.
They are also looking to feature FANCAM - In which Fans send 30 second match reports filmed on their smartphones after the game and send them in.
All material needs to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
I would be grateful, if I could be copied in on anything that is submitted (I may be able to use content for the Newsletter)!
Midland Football League
Kings Heath Concorde were charged for playing an ineligible player in their Under 21 South fixture against West Midlands Football Academy on 7th November 2015. They have been fined accordingly and also as Kings Heath Concorde won the match 1-0 3 points deducted from their playing record.
Midland Football League
Midland Football League Newsletter
20th January 2016
Heanor Town have added to their already significant firepower with the signing of Rocester leading scorer, Karl Demidh. Demidh came to prominence with Mickleover Sports and has bagged 18 goals already this season.
Ticket sales for the top of the table clash between Hereford and Alvechurch at Edgar Street indicate a league record crowd is possible. If the interaction between the two clubs on social media is anything to go by, it has the makings of a classic.
Travels of the Press Officer
Tuesday 19th January
AFC Wulfrunians 3 Dunkirk 0
A bitterly cold evening at Castlecroft but the warmth was generated by the fact that we had a game to watch with others falling foul of the cold snap. It was a concern when I arrived at the ground to find no turnstile open, the pitch frost-covered and no-one warming up. Once inside, we gathered that the game was on but Dunkirk had been delayed in traffic on the M42 / M6. Most of us had some concern as to whether the game would finish as, by the time we got underway, some 20 minutes late, the frost was looking likely to cause a problem. To be honest, the pitch played very well and it was only in the latter stages that it began to ‘crunch’. Wulfs had a decent early chance but Jake Webb fired over the bar. Dunkirk, struggling near the bottom of the table, were dealt a blow in the 9th minute when Wisdom Asare was shown a straight red for a rash challenge on Mark Ganderton. Webb almost turned provider in the 12th minute but Ricky Anslow poked his shot wide. Anslow again had another opportunity but couldn’t supply the finish. Dunkirk were battling hard and were containing Wulfs until the 28th minute. A free-kick from Webb was punched by Keeper Jake Want under pressure and the ball fell to Matt Hunt who stabbed the ball home. In the stand, there was a thought that this may have been a foul on the keeper however the tell-tale sign was no appeal from the Dunkirk defence. Dunkirk responded positively when the impressive Kevin Hemagou, a real handful all game, rounded Danny Tipton but failed to maintain control. Want made up for his earlier error with two wonderful saves in the 38th minute, saving first from Anslow and then from Ben Jevons. Anslow as not to be denied and he doubled Wulfs lead a minute later finishing well after a defence splitting pass from Richie Palmer. Want again made a fine save to foil Anslow whose shot looked a goal all the way. On the stroke of half-time, Hemagou rode three challenges but put his shot wide. The second half was more attritional with conditions playing their part. Kyle Minto went close for Wulfs but his shot was deflected over the bar. Minto again was just off target before
turning provider, setting up Jamie King who was horribly wide with the goal at his mercy. Wulfs third came in the 71st minute when King made no mistake with a clinical finish. The ten men continued to work extremely hard but there was no way through the Wulfs defence and the home side ran out 3-0 winners.
Hereford made it through to round 5 and an away tie with Hartley Wintney following a 6-0 demolition of Leicester Nirvana. Two goals from John Mills, taking his tally to 40, sent the Bulls on their way. Another double from Mike Symons plus late goals from Aaron Birch and Ross Staley made sure that the FA Vase favourites made it 27 wins in a row in front of another huge Edgar Street crowd of 2,842. Coleshill Town bowed out at Pack Meadow at the hands of Northern League Dunston UTS. The Tynesiders took an early lead but Coleshill equalised through Danico Johnson to send the game into extra time. Unfortunately for Coleshill, three red cards, one in normal time and two in extra time, gave them a mountain to climb and Dunston scored twice in the second period of extra time to clinch a trip to Ashford in Kent.
Again the weather took it’s toll but excellent work from their groundsman allowed Alvechurch to close the gap at the top with a 1-0 win over Stourport Swifts. Mike Wardle scored the all important goal 11 minutes from time with Church now just 12 points behind Hereford with 5 games in hand. Westfields picked up a much needed 3 points with a 2-1 win over Walsall Wood at Allpay Park. Craig Jones scored the winner in the 73rd minute. Loughborough University looked to be heading for a home win over Highgate United but an equaliser 2 minutes from time for Connor Mooney meant the points were shared in a 3-3 draw. On a bitterly cold Tuesday evening, AFC Wulfrunians consolidated their 6th place with a 3-0 victory over second-bottom Dunkirk. The Boatmen had to play for 81 minuted with ten men after Wisdom Asare was shown a straight red in the 9th minute.
Only one game survived the freeze and it was the 2nd versus 3rd match at The Victoria ground. Home side Bromsgrove Sporting closed the gap on Coventry United to just one point with a 3-0 win over visitors Leicester Road. Reece Hewitt scored twice for the Rouslers but Leicester Road will point to the sending off of Amarvir Sandhu as a major factor.
FC Stratford extended their lead at the top of the table with a 7-0 win over basement side AFC Solihull at Knights Lane. Ashley Wilks, with is 21st of the season, and Will Matthews both scored twice as Stratford opened up a two point lead. This is due to second placed Leamington Hibernian being held 1-1 at Inkberrow.
Earlswood Town were knocked out of the Birmingham Saturday Vase losing 2-0 at Kenilworth Wardens who now meet Alvis Sporting Club in the 4th round. Coleshill Town entertained a young Wolverhampton Wanderers side in the Birmingham Senior Cup and went down 4-1. Long Eaton United found National North Alfreton Town too hot to handle as they were beaten 6-0 at The Impact Arena. Sporting Khalsa were too strong for Stafford Town in the JW Hunt Cup, running out 8-0 winners. Craig Bannister bagged another hat-trick taking his season tally to 30. In the same competition, Rostance Edwards went out at the hands of Wolverhampton Casuals. Hinckley AFC needed extra-time to progress in the Coventry Charity Cup, Alex Penney scoring the all-important goal in a 2-1 win over AEI Rugby.
In the Bowl, Anstey Nomads had an excellent 5-2 victory at home to Bromsgrove Sporting. Basford United are through to the semi-final of the Nottinghamshire Junior Cup after a 6-2 win at Underwood Villa Reserves. Underwood took a 2-0 lead before the Basford youngsters turned the game around.
I don’t think there will be any argument as to the game of the week this week with league leaders Hereford welcoming 2nd placed Alvechurch to Edgar Street. A 4,000 crowd is expected to see if the Church can stop Hereford recording their 28th win in a row in all competitions. A win for the visitors would close the gap to 9 points with 5 games in hand. Can they do it or will Hereford despatch them as they have most sides this season? Weather permitting there is another game between two of the top 5 at the Dovecote as Shepshed Dynamo welcome Heanor Town. Dynamo haven’t played at home since November 7th and will be hoping for a break in the weather. 4th place Sporting Khalsa are still in the promotion battle and they will be expecting to pick up all three points at Dales Lane when they face bottom club Continental Star. Two sides in the top ten meet with Walsall Wood entertaining AFC Wulfrunians. Both sides are in decent form and this is a tough one to call. Two in-form sides meet at Silkmore Lane with free-scoring Loughborough University on the road to Brocton. Coleshill Town get back to league action after two cup defeats in the past week and visitors Bardon Hill will be happy to get on the park after numerous recent postponements. Second bottom Dunkirk could climb out of the bottom two should they beat Boldmere St Michaels at The Ron Steel Sports ground. Coventry Sphinx are the side in danger of dropping into the bottom two but they have a home game against a stuttering Long Eaton United to lift them up the table. Quorn have slipped towards the foot of the table of late and they have a home game against Rocester. Highgate United have only played 17 games and they travel to Walshes Meadow to face Stourport Swifts. Westfields travel to Lye Town on the back of a morale boosting win over Walsall Wood.
Only a point separates the top two and leaders Coventry United will expect to maintain that gap when they travel to Pelsall Villa. 2nd placed Bromsgrove Sporting have been attracting big crowds to the Victoria ground and expect another good turn out as they entertain lowly Bolehall Swifts. Leicester Road have only picked up 1 point in the last two games and they will be looking to get back to winning ways as they entertain Studley. 4th place Lichfield City are 10 points behind the leaders and they will need all 3 points from Cadbury Athletic if they are to maintain their challenge. FA Vase heroes, Nuneaton Griff warm up for their big game against Salisbury with a home game against Littleton. Bottom club Stafford Town welcome Atherstone Town to Evans Park on the back of some improved league performances. Southam United are struggling near the bottom of the table and face a tough assignment away to Hinckley AFC. Pershore Town entertain Coventry Copsewood where a win for the home side would move them further away from the danger zone.
League leaders Droitwich Spa can extend their lead at the top of the table with a win at Fairfield Villa. Rostance Edwards will climb into second place should they beat Knowle at home. Bottom club Earlswood Town have a solitary point to their name and they will be hoping to add to this as they entertain Hampton. Feckenham are second bottom and they face mid-table Austrey Rangers at the Entaco. Paget Rangers last home league game was in October and they will hope to entertain Barnt Green Spartak. 6th meets 5th as Coton Green welcome Sutton United to New Mill Lane.
Leaders, FC Stratford have gone goal crazy of late and will feel confident of adding to their tally when they travel to lowly Enville Athletic. Leamington Hibernian were held by Inkberrow last week and need a victory over Coventrians to keep in touch with the leaders. Barton United can go 3rd with a home win over Perrywood. In form, Alcester Town can continue their rise up the league table with a home win over Inkberrow. A big game at the bottom with basement boys AFC Solihull at home to 13th place Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. Mid table Shipston Excelsior have a tough game at home to 5th placed Northfield Town while 6th placed Redditch Borough host Burntwood Town.
Lichfield City vs Brocton
Rocester vs Cadbury Athletic
Solihull Moors vs Romulus
H.O.W. Academy vs West Midlands Football Acadamy (U21S)
Bedworth United vs Leamington (U21S)
Gornal Athletic vs Kings Heath Concorde (Bowl)
Anstey Nomads vs Basford United (U21N)
Sutton Coldfield Town vs Newcastle Town (U21N)
Tipton Town vs Walsall Wood (U21N)
Midland Football League Newsletter
13th January 2016
Enville Athletic are pleased to announce Stephen Newton as their new Manager following the departure of Ryan McDonagh, Stephen is assisted by Grant Griffiths. Stephen ran Greenhill FC for 10 years and more recently Bartley Green Illey Fc, he brings with him a wealth of experience having also played and then managed Enville in 2000/01.
Congratulations to Joe Hartshorne of Heath Hayes who has been selected for the England Schoolboys Under 18 squad. Well done Joe.
The draw has been made for the 5th round of the FA Vase. Ties to take place on
Saturday 30th January
Nuneaton Griff vs Salisbury FC
Hartley Wintney or Bradford vs Hereford or Leicester Nirvana
Newport (IW) or Ashford United vs Coleshill Town or Dunston UTS
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday 9th January
Cleethorpes Town 2 Alvechurch 1
A road trip to North East Lincolnshire in the FA Vase 4th round as Alvechurch faced a difficult tie at North Counties East League high flyers Cleethorpes Town. The ground is in the Bradley area of Grimsby and on first sight, in the January sunshine, is neat and compact with seating for around 200 along the far side of the pitch. A healthy number had travelled from Worcestershire to see which of these sides would make history and reach the last 16 of the competition for the first time. Led out by their bright blue Owl mascot, the locals were in fine voice but were silenced within two minutes when Church opened the scoring. Jack Cresswell won the ball in midfield and sent Josh March away. March skipped past a weak challenge and clipped the ball passed the advancing keeper Miles Fenty into the corner of the net to send the Church fans wild with delight. The Owls responded with a lot of possession but little in the way of a creative edge. Luke Mascall tested Matt Sargeant at his near post but the Church keeper made a comfortable save. Karl Edwards should have done better in the 17th minute when he beat the offside trap but was way off target with his shot. Church were frustrating Cleethorpes with their pressing game and, this in turn, was leading to chances for the visitors. Alvechurch should have doubled their lead in the 23rd minute when Edwards met a Cresswell corner with a firm header but put it over the bar. The Owls defence could not cope with Edwards and only a fine block on the line by Lawrence Heward prevented Church doubling their lead. Cresswell forced a fine save at full stretch from Fenty before Andrew Parson was off target following another Cresswell corner. Church went into the break a goal to the good but really should have been out of sight. Cleethorpes came out for the 2nd half with a flea in their ear and straight from the kick off it was clear that the tempo had been increased significantly. Jon Oglesby had moved to the right flank and immediately forced a save from Sargeant. The home side were sharper to the challenge and providing a physical challenge which Church were struggling to contain. On the hour, The Owls were level. Oglesby was picked out with a superb crossfield ball and he ran on and fired his shot into the bottom corner. Things got worse for Church three minutes later when Danny Trott was picked out at the near post and he finished with ease. Cleethorpes were now well on top and Church were struggling to make any impression. March manged to force a save out of Fenty but it was the home side that looked the more likely to add to their tally. The home side should have put the game to bed with seven minutes left but first Brody Robertson’s shot was saved and Marc Cooper’s follow up was blocked by the Church defence. 4 minutes into added time, Edwards had one final opportunity for Church but his header was off target and The Owls progressed to round 5. A case of what might have been for Alvechurch who should have been out of sight at half-time. Whatever Cleethorpes had at half-time worked wonders as the second 45 was a totally different game. An excellent afternoon’s entertainment and a really friendly club to visit.
The only Midland Football League side definitely into round 5 are Division 1 Nuneaton Griff who produced a giant killing by knocking out Premier Division AFC Wulfrunians at Castlecroft. Griff were two up inside 8 minutes but Wulfs were level just after the half-hour mark thanks to a Kyle Brady brace. If a home win was anticipated, no-one told Griff who grabbed what was the winner just after the resumption, Ryan Millerchip with the goal. Griff’s reward is a home tie against second favourites for the competition, Salisbury FC. Alvechurch took an early lead in their tie at Cleethorpes Town but the home side turned it round after the break to go through 2-1. At Edgar Street, Hereford took a 3-1 lead into the break against Leicester Nirvana, but the elements were the winner with the game abandoned at half-time, and the sides must try again this Saturday.
The score line of the day came at Pack Meadow where Coleshill Town went on the rampage beating Dunkirk 10-1. Mykel Beckley scored three inside the first 20 minutes and both Shane Benjamin and Ricardo Reid bagged braces after the break. Loughborough University were the other big scorers on the day beating bottom club Continental Star 6-1. There were doubles for Ben Ward-Cochrane and Jeremiah Dasaolu. Comeback of the day came at Silkmore Lane. Visitors Coventry Sphinx raced into a 2 goal lead inside 21 minutes but a resurgent Brocton came back and won the game 4-2, veteran Paul McMahon with another couple. Heanor Town took advantage of Alvechurch being in cup action to move into second place with a 2-0 win over Stourport Swifts. Sporting Khalsa got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win over Westfields at the Aspray Arena. Shepshed Dynamo consolidated their place in the top 5 with a 2-1 win at Boldmere St Michaels courtesy of a Matt Langham double. Two goals in the last 15 minutes gave Walsall Wood all three points at Quorn.
Only four games survived in Division 1 and the only winners with Atherstone Town who beat Southam United 2-1. Bottom club Stafford Town arguably had the result of the day, drawing 1-1 at high-flying Leicester Road, Kirk Lowe grabbing the equaliser for The Reds. Two sides struggling near the bottom picked up vital points in 2-2 draws. Heather St Johns picked up a point at 6th placed Pilkington XXX while Pershore Town were held 2-2 by Cadbury Athletic. Coventry United extended their lead at the top courtesy of a 5-1 win at Pershore Town, the goals shared across the team.
FC Stratford are the new leaders of Division 3 following a 7-1 demolition of Perrywood at Knights Lane, Ashley Wilks taking his season’s tally to 19. A Peter Martin goal was enough to send Barton United 3rd with a 1-0 win over Badsey Rangers. At the bottom, AFC Solihull went down 3-1 at home to Coventrians for whom Dale Wigmore scored twice.
Polymac Packaging League Cup
A Josh Shepherd first half double sent Lye Town on their way to a quarter final place following a 4-0 win at Coventry Copsewood.
In form Alcester Town are through to the semi-finals of the Challenge Vase following a 2-1 win over Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons, Matt Layton with the winner from the penalty spot.
Les James Challenge Cup
The top two in Division 2 went head to head but it was visitors Droitwich Spa who reached the quarter final with a 2-1 win at Chelmsley Town.
Pelsall Villa were knocked out of the Fazeley Charity Cup by lower league opposition going down 2-1 at FC Premier 2008. In the Staffordshire Vase, hat-tricks from Dave Yonwin and Tony Clarke gave Lichfield City a 6-0 win over Knypersley Victoria. Rostance Edwards are out, beaten 1-0 at home by Audley and District. Charlie Cook scored a hat-trick for Alvis Sporting Club as they made progress in the Coventry Charity Cup, 4-1 winners over Hawkesmill Sports. In the Birmingham Saturday Vase, Coton Green and Hampton progressed beating Northfield Town and Parkfield Amateurs respectively. Barnt Green Spartak were knocked out of the competition losing 2-0 at Wednesfield. In the Derbyshire Senior Cup, Heanor Town are through to the semi-finals following a 2-1 home win over Stapenhill. In the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup, Nuneaton Griff eased past Cradley Town with a 2-0 victory, the goals courtesy of Aden Moore and Luke Shorthouse.
Only one game in the reserve division where Continental Star beat Evesham United 2-1
Only one game survived with Kings Heath Concorde gaining a creditable 4-1 victory in the Trophy at H.O.W. Academy.
Hereford and Leicester Nirvana must do it all over again after rain intervened at half-time in last weeks tie at Edgar Street. The Bulls held a half time lead in that game but by the showing of the first 45 minutes a close encounter is expected. Coleshill Town welcome Northern League Dunston UTS to Pack Meadow. Gateshead based Dunston are 4th in the Northern League and the FA Vase has seen a lot of Northern League winners in recent years. Coleshill warmed up their Vase tie with a 1-0 win over Dunkirk last week and will be hopeful of progressing through to the 5th round.
Alvechurch still have high hopes of catching leaders Hereford and they play one of their 6 games in hand this week at home to Stourport Swifts in a Worcestershire derby. Heanor Town could close the gap to single figures if they can win at free scoring Rocester. Shepshed Dynamo have climbed to 5th in the table on the back of four successive victories and they will want to make that 5 at home to Lye Town. Another side to have won four on the spin are Brocton, and they take this run to Boldmere St Michaels who sit one place below them in the table. Highgate United have only played 16 league games this season but at least they should see action this week when they travel to Loughborough University. Dunkirk will be looking for a reaction following last week’s 10 goal defeat at Coleshill. This week Bardon Hill are the visitors but a home win would see them climb above Coventry Sphinx in the table. Bottom side Continental Star travel to Long Eaton United who have their last two at home. Westfields are in desperate need of points near the foot of the table and they host a Walsall Wood side who have quietly moved into the top half of the table.
Game of the day is at The Victoria Ground where second place Bromsgrove Sporting entertain 3rd placed Leicester Road. Leaders Coventry United have an awkward looking fixture away to top 6 Pilkington XXX. Lichfield City sit in 4th place and they should attract a decent crowd when Hinckley AFC make the short journey up the A5. FA Vase heroes Nuneaton Griff are back in league action with a short trip to lowly Heather St Johns. Bottom club Stafford Town will want to build on last week’s excellent result and performance at Leicester Road when they travel to Racing Club Warwick. 2nd bottom Bolehall Swifts face a tough assignment at mid table Littleton. Southam United are level on points with Bolehall and they also have a tough looking game at home to Heath Hayes. Atherstone Town sit smack in the middle of the table and they are at home to Cadbury Athletic. Studley and Pershore Town are both in need of points and it could be quite a battle when the two sides meet at The Beehive.
With the top three not in league action. Alvis Sporting Club can move up to 2nd with a home win over Paget Rangers. Sutton United can move to within 5 points of leaders Droitwich should they beat visitors Fairfield Villa. 12th plays 11th at The Coppice with Barnt Green Spartak entertaining Knowle, a win for either making an impact at the bottom of the table. 2nd bottom Feckenham can close the gap to the clubs above them should they beat Austrey Rangers.
Top entertains bottom this week when FC Stratford welcome AFC Solihull to Knights Lane. 2nd placed Leamington Hibernian can keep the pressure on the leaders with a win at Inkberrow. Barton United and Badsey Rangers meet for the second time in a week with Barton edging last week’s
game. Lowly Perrywood entertain 5th placed Northfield Town hoping to open up the gap between themselves and AFC Solhull. Enville Athletic have a new man in charge as they travel to Coventrians looking to arrest their slide. In-form Alcester Town have won their last 5 in all competitions and they travel to Staffordshire to face mid table Burntwood Town. Two sides struggling for form meet at Boldmere as Sports & Social Falcons face Shipston Excelsior.
Cadbury Athletic vs Gresley
Coventry United vs Romulus
Brocton vs Solihull Moors
Evesham United vs Lichfield City
Kings Heath Concorde vs Stourport Swifts (U21S)
Anstey Nomads vs Bromsgrove Sporting (BOWL)
Heath Hayes vs H.O.W. Academy (BOWL)
Tamworth vs Gornal Athletic (BOWL)
Newcastle Town vs West Midlands Football Academy (BOWL)
Walsall Wood vs Sutton Coldfield Town (U21N)
Basford United vs Tipton Town (U21N)
Midland Football League Newsletter
6th January 2016
Coventry Sphinx FC celebrate their 70th Anniversary next year and as part of this celebration they are having an Evening With Bobby Gould. Bobby Gould is a sky Blue legend who was born Coventry and played for his hometown club making his debut at 16. He scored 42 in 82 games and helped them lift the old second division title in 1966/7.
Fairfield Villa have appointed Paul Wilkes as their new Chairman after Wilkes left his role at Bromsgrove Sporting.
Coventry United will be featuring on Community radio from this weekend as Hillz FM begin matchday coverage.
Travels of the Press Officer
Friday, January 1st, 2016
Bromsgrove Sporting 3 Pilkington XXX 0
An excellent start to a New Year with a trip to the Victoria Ground and a big Division crowd for the top 6 clash between Bromsgrove Sporting against Pilkington XXX. The home side were hoping to close the gap between themselves and leaders Coventry United to just one point albeit having played two games more. With a record crowd in attendance, the vast majority of the supporters were soon on their feet as Bromsgrove took the lead in the 2nd minute. Sean Brain reached the byline and crossed low for Kyle Turner to tap in. Brain again caused problems for the Pilks defence but his cross was blocked with men in the box. The mercurial Reece Hewitt should have done better in the 9th minute beating three defenders before deciding that he needed to beat them again and seeing the chance go begging. Connor Leek had the first opportunity for Pilks in the 11th minute but it was comfortable save for Chris Jay. Luke Dugmore rattled the woodwork for Bromsgrove in the 28th minute before seeing his follow up effort saved by Reece Francis. Bromsgrove wasted another opportunity in the 36th minute when Brain decided to shoot with Turner in acres of space. At the other end, a defensive slip almost let in Pilks but jay did well to clear the ball. Pilks should have been level 3 minutes before half time when Dale Kenny squared the ball to Brett Fellows, but with the goal at his mercy, he missed the target. In Stoppage time, Brain again went close for the home side. Bromsgrove doubled their lead in the 58th minute with an excellently worked goal. Hewitt picked up the ball in his own half, drove forward and played the ball into the path of Brain. Hewitt continued his run and when Brain played the ball perfectly into his path, his finish gave Francis no chance. Pilks responded with a Kenny effort which was deflected for a corner. Bromsgrove put the game to bed with a third in the 67th minute. A deep cross from Hewitt was headed home at the far post by Will Tibbetts. Sam Wills went close to a 4th for the home side, clipping the post with a 20-yard effort. Both sides continued to look for goals – Connor Collins forcing a fine save from Francis and Kenny seeing a stoppage time effort tipped over by Jay. On a cold wet New year’s Day, both sides can take immense credit for the quality of football they put on show. Bromsgrove are mounting a serious bid for promotion and they will be pleased to get three points against a quality Pilkington side. As for Pilks, it was a case of missed chances and lost possession in crucial areas.
Saturday, January 2nd
AFC Wulfrunians 1 Hereford 2
With the weather playing havoc with fixtures across the MFL, all credit goes to everyone involved at AFC Wulfrunians for ensuring that their game against league leaders Hereford was on. A couple of super soppers from the local cricket club certainly helped but the efforts of the groundstaff were repaid by a record attendance at Castlecroft Stadium. Hereford had won their previous 25 games in all competitions and a win would take them 15 points clear at the top of the table. Not surprisingly, the game attracted significant interest from across the Midland Football league with officials and clubs well represented. Wulfs started the game in a positive vein with Bulls keeper Martin Horsell having to palm away a Jamie King corner. Excellent work by Pablo Haysham forced a fine clearance from Matt Hunt. In the 17th minute, an excellent ball inside from Kyle Brady was just too far in front of Ricky Anslow allowing the Bulls defence to clear. With their first chance of the game, Hereford took the lead in the 20th minute. Ryan Green delivered a perfect cross into the penalty area and Mike Symons was allowed a free header, the “Beast” making no mistake as it flew past Danny Tipton. Symons should have made it two three minutes later. John Mills found space and played the ball into the path of Symons. With just Tipton to beat, Symons slotted the ball past the keeper and, somehow, past the post. Wulfs responded but Anslow overran the ball when in a good position and Horsell made a fine save. The home side silenced the majority of the crowd by equalising in the 28th minute. An excellent run and cross by Anslow was fired home at the far post by King. The goal quietened the Hereford support as they knew that their side was in a tough battle for points. With half-time approaching, King saw a left-footed shot well saved by Horsell. On the stroke of halftime, a shot from John Hill fell at the feet of Ben Jevons, whose shot on the turn hit the outside of the post. Wulfs first half performance prompted a double substitution at half-time by the Bulls and the changes certainly made a difference. In the 58th minute, Haysham gave Wulfs warning of his ability when his direct free-kick clipped the top of the crossbar. Wulfs were still giving a good account of themselves and in a goalmouth scramble, Jevons saw his shot blocked by the Bulls defence. As the half wore on, the fitness and quality of the Bulls began to shine through. Midway through the half, a Haysham free-kick was headed against the bar by Mills. Hereford missed a great chance in the 69th minute when Anthony Robbins headed over. Hereford took the lead in the 76th minute with a piece of real quality. Haysham lined up the free-kick and curled the ball over the wall and into the net. Wulfs did not lie down and King went close with a first time volley from the edge of the box. Haysham again went close with another free-kick, this one clearing the bar. In stoppage time, Wulfs were awarded a free-kick but with keeper Tipton in the area too, Horsell gathered the ball and the Bulls could celebrate their 36th win in a row. A fantastic advert for the Midland Football League and a hard earned 3 points for Hereford who are now 15 points clear at the top. The reaction of their supporters and official was enough to realise that they had been in a game today and Wulfrunians had pushed them close. Both sides can look forward to FA Vase fixtures next weekend with strong chances of reaching the 5th round.
Only three games survived the weather over the New Year’s weekend. On New Year’s Day, Shepshed Dynamo finally managed to play a league game and came away from Heanor Town with all 3 points following a 3-2 win. The result leaves Heanor in 3rd with Dynamo up to 5th. On Saturday, a huge effort from the AFC Wulfrunians groundstaff meant that their game against Hereford could take place. They were rewarded with a record attendance at Castlecroft but the league leaders took all three points in a hard earned victory, Pablo Haysham with a sumptuous free-kick for the winner. Bardon Hill moved up a place in the bottom echelons following a stunning 4-1 win at Long Eaton United, Richard Hanslow with a couple.
The weather was the big winner in Division 1 with only one fixture surviving and that was the only one scheduled for New Years Day. Bromsgrove Sporting welcomed in 2016 in front of a record attendance of 674 at The Victoria Ground. Visitors Pilkington XXX played their part in an excellent advert for the division but it was the Rouslers that picked up the points with a 3-0 victory. The win closes the gap at the top to just one point.
Thanks to the 3G pitch at Knights Lane, FC Stratford moved up to 2nd place after a 3-1 win over Shipston Excelsior.
In the Birmingham Saturday Vase, Alvis Sporting Club made progress beating Folly Lane 2-0. In the Staffordshire Challenge Cup, Burntwood Town were knocked out losing 4-0 at Redgate Clayton Reserves. Alvechurch got back to action in the JW Hunt Cup at Bilston Town and they were inspired by Jordan Nadat in a 6-0 victory. Nadat scored the first 4 goals and there was also a debut goal for 17 year old Danny Moy.
In the trophy, league leaders Coleshill Town beat Romulus 3-1 at Coles Lane thanks to a Shane Benjamin hat-trick.
Into the last 32 of the FA Vase and there are still 5 MFL teams standing. Coleshill Town have to wait another week for their 4th round tie as their opponents, Dunston UTS or Seaham Red Star are yet to play their 3rd round tie. At Edgar Street, two sides at the top of their respective divisions and both with similar records, go head to head. Hereford have home advantage but they could not have asked for a trickier tie as Leicester Nirvana are flying high in the United Counties League. Nirvana knocked Premier Division Heanor Town out of the competition so cannot be underestimated. Home advantage backed by their massive support should give Hereford the edge. Alvechurch travel to Grimsby to face Northern Counties East Cleethorpes Town who sit in 4th place in their division. The Owls have already beaten both Westfield and Racing Club Warwick in the competition and the Church will be fully determined not to make it a hat-trick of MFL scalps. Ian Long’s side are in tremendous form winning their last 7 games and not conceding in the last 4. This is a difficult one to call, and whoever gets through certainly has a chance to win the competition. In an all MFL tie, AFC Wulfrunians welcome Division 1 Nuneaton Griff to Castlecroft. Griff have slipped down the table in recent weeks but are still in a strong promotion position. Wulfs are having an excellent season comfortably in the top 6 and pushing leaders Hereford all the way last week. Griff have plenty of goals in them, and if they can play on the front foot, they could spring a surprise. Form favours Wulfs but either way, the MFL are guaranteed a side in Round 5.
With the top two otherwise engaged, Sporting Khalsa play one of their 6 games in hand when they welcome Westfields to the Aspray Arena. Westfields are struggling near the bottom of the pack and both sides are desperate for a point. 3rd placed Heanor Town entertain Stourport Swifts knowing that a win would take them into second place. Shepshed Dynamo are up to 5th and they face a tough game away at Boldmere St Michaels. Highgate United have 8 games in hand on the leaders and 8 wins would make it interesting at the top. They welcome Rocester to the Coppice. Coleshill Town, with prolific striker Shane Benjamin back in the ranks, have an unexpected league date with lowly Dunkirk due to their FA Vase tie being postponed. Basement side Continental Star travel to Loughborough University to tackle the mid-table students, who would go 9th with a victory. A big game at the bottom of the table where in-form Brocton welcome 20th placed Coventry Sphinx to Silkmore Lane. Sphinx have plenty of games in hand on the sides around them but need to start picking up points. Quorn are one place above Coventry Sphinx and are also in need of points as they welcome Walsall Wood to Farley Way. Bardon Hill had a morale boosting win at Long Eaton United last weekend and the two sides meet again in the reverse fixture.
Coventry United have seen their lead at the top reduced to just one point as they have not played since the beginning of December. They will want to get back under way with all 3 points when Racing Club Warwick visit Sphinx Drive. Bromsgrove Sporting are the side that has closed the gap and they have a big game away at Hinckley AFC where a big crowd is expected. Leicester Road are well in the promotion mix and will expect to take all 3 points when they host bottom club Stafford Town. Pilkington XXX will move up to 5th place if they can beat Heather St Johns at home. Southam United are just 5 points clear of the bottom and they need to kick-start their season away to an Atherstone Town side that has won the last two. Two sides in the lower reaches meet in Worcestershire where Pershore Town entertain Cadbury Athletic. The final game in Division 1 sees Littleton take on Studley.
Just two games in the Second division and they affect the middle and the bottom of the table. Fairfield Villa host Paget Rangers with the sides locked on the same number of points and next to each other in the league table. 13th placed Feckenham travel to 11th placed Knowle looking to close the gap between the two to just 2 points.
Game of the day sees 3rd placed Smithswood Firs hosting 2nd placed FC Stratford, both having games in hand on the leaders. The aforementioned leaders, Leamington Hibernian can take advantage of their close rivals meeting by taking all 3 points at home to 2nd bottom Perrywood. 4th placed Barton United are just 5 points off the lead and they face Badsey Rangers at home. Bottom side AFC Solihull will hope to continue their upturn in form and results when they welcome Coventrians to Tudor Grange. Enville Athletic will be hoping to put their poor form behind them when Burntwood Town visit Hall Drive.
Polymac Packaging League Cup
An intriguing tie this weekend as Division 1 Coventry Copsewood entertain Premier Division Lye Town. Copsewood have had some good results recently whereas Lye have been a model of inconsistency. Anything could happen.
In the Quarter Final of the Challenge Vase, in form Alcester Town welcome Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons to Old Stratford Road. In the other quarter-final, Redditch Borough entertain Inkberrow at The Valley.
Les James Challenge Cup
The top two in Division meet at The Pavilion as Chelmsley Town welcome Droitwich Spa. Both sides are in tremendous form and with only one league defeat each this season, they are almost impossible to split. Should be a cracker.
Cadbury Athletic vs Brocton
Continental Star vs Evesham united
Gresley vs Coleshill Town
Rocester vs Lichfield City
Solihull Moors vs Coventry United
Gornal Athletic vs Heath Hayes (BOWL)
H.O.W. Academy vs Kings Heath Concorde (BOWL)
Tamworth vs Anstey Nomads (U21N)
Tipton Town vs Newcastle Town (U21N)
The official news channel of the Midland Football League (founded 2014)