Midland Football League Newsletter
24th February 2016
Southam United are pleased to announce that Terry Davidson will remain in charge of the First Team for the remainder of the season.
“I have been impressed by what he has done, and how he has gone about things, over the last few weeks and he has clearly demonstrated his commitment to the Club and generated a good spirit within the squad.
There have been a number of high calibre applications for the permanent role and I will be considering matters further at the end of the season.
For now, however, let's all get behind Terry and the lads to make sure we achieve our objectives in the many games ahead - starting today with the visit to Pershore.” Charles Hill, Chairman
Shepshed Dynamo manager John Folwell has stepped down. In a statement, he said ” It is with a huge amount of regret that I inform you of my decision to step down as Manager. It is has been a really difficult decision. I have been struggling to commit since the turn of the year with increased work commitments and juggling a young family. I was always intending to step down at the end of the season. Further changes to my work situation last week, will mean that I am unable to dedicate the time required to manage a club at this level. I demand a high level of commitment from my players and it would be wrong if I wasn't able to demonstrate the same levels of commitment. I have loved my time at the club and plan to help out in some capacity. I pass on to Jimmy who has been a great help in recent months along with Andy and JP. Thank you all for the fantastic support I have had this season. Finally, thank you to the Chairman for giving me the opportunity to manage such a fantastic club with amazing volunteers and supporters. All the best for the future. Folly”
Mick Sloan commented on behalf od the club “On behalf of the Board I'd like to thank John for all that he's done during his time at the club. We are currently having the best season for a number of years. It's a huge shame that he's had to step down now as opposed to the end of the season but there are sometimes more important things in life than non-league football. Family and Business have to come first! The team is left in the very capable hands of Jimmy and Andy. I'm sure they'll receive the continued support of the fans to the same level. I hope to see you at the game tomorrow and should anything else arise then it shall be posted here.”
The draw has been made for the semi-final of the FA Vase and the favourites have been paired together with Hereford at home to Salisbury in the first leg on March 12th. Salisbury, under the guidance of Steve Claridge, have opened up an eight-point lead at the top of the Wessex League. Losing twice and conceding just 14 goals all season. They will provide a stern test for the Bulls and we can expect the highest cumulative attendance for an FA Vase semi-final. The record crowd at the RayMac is around 3,500 and I would anticipate this being beaten as the Bulls will, no doubt, sell their full allocation. Whoever wins will deserve their day at Wembley. The other semi-final sees Bowers & Pitsea or Kidlington take on Morpeth Town or Bristol Manor Farm.
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday 20th February
Stafford Rangers 0 Shaw Lane Aquaforce 1
With Shaw Lane being one of two sides that could potentially take the league title away from Stafford Rangers, I was asked on Thursday if I would provide commentary on the game for Stafford FM. It felt somewhat strange stepping back behind the microphone for the first time since April and it was fair to say that my voice was totally unprepared. As for the game itself, I made few notes as I was concentrating on what was happening in front of may. Rangers edged the first half with an effort from Ben Haseley just before the break being the best opportunity. Shaw Lane were by far the better side in the second half with their physicality causing the league leaders all sorts of problems. The only goal of the game came in the 62nd minute. Rangers centre-back Wayne Daniel had performed a minor miracle in clearing a goalbound effort from Adam Priestley away for a corner. From the corner, James Walshaw got to the ball ahead of Rangers keeper Adam Whitehouse and headed home. Gavin Allott should have doubled Shaw Lane’s lead but missed the target while the nearest Rangers came to an equaliser was an effort from Ryan Wynter which was over the bar. A disappointing afternoon for the leaders in front of a 1,000+ crowd. As for me, I enjoyed being back behind the mic but it was very much a one-off, back to the MFL next weekend.
Tuesday 23rd February
AFC Wulfrunians 1 Coleshill Town 4
The busiest time of year for the day job means midweek games have to be as local as possible. I am very fortunate to have a number of clubs within a short distance so it is another visit to one of the friendliest clubs in the league, AFC Wulfrunians. A bitterly cold evening with Champions League football on the TV means a lower than average gate is expected for the visit of one of the league form teams, Coleshill Town. One look down the team sheet shows that Wulfs are short handed this evening and Coleshill have goals throughout their side and on the bench. For the first 20 minutes, the home side just about edged it without either side having a chance. That all changed in the 21st minute when a cross from the left was met perfectly by Shane Benjamin who sidefooted home from the edge of the penalty area. The complexion of the game changed immediately and Coleshill took full control. An incisive move involving Mykel Beckley and Benjamin ended with the ball played into the path of Dean Rathbone whose finish gave Jamie Bostock no chance. Two minutes later, a lay-off from Beckley found Benjamin but his shot was off target. Coleshill’s 3rd came in the 32nd minute. Benjamin flicked the ball on from the edge of the are and Gio Dainty looped a back header over Bostock and into the net. Goal number 4 wasn’t long in coming, Rathbone with another excellent finish in the 36th minute. Wulfs made a double substitution at half-time and it had a positive impact. Kyle Brady hit a superb shot which was tipped over by Paul Hathaway. The better chances were still falling for the visitors, Dainty heading wide from a long throw in the 64th minute. Danico Johnson was off target for Coleshill before Joel Ayettey, one of Wulfs half-time subs, saw a shot saved at the other end. Johnson was again through for the visitors but Bostock got enough on it to turn it wide. Benjamin should have made it 5 in the 72nd minute when he blazed over after more good approach play from Beckley. Bostock made a fine save to thwart Beckley but the last word of the evening went to Wulfs when Kyle Brady slotted the ball home one minute into time added on. An impressive performance by Coleshill and a team no-one id going to fancy facing as the season runs to its climax. As for Wulfs, a bright start but guilty of giving away easy possession to a side that took full advantage.
Hereford are through to the last 4 of the Vase after a titanic struggle with Camberley Town. The visitors twice held the lead being pegged back by the Bulls with Mike Symons’ equaliser sending the game into extra-time. Cometh the hour, cometh the man and leading scorer John Mills ended his goal drought with a 119th-minute winner to send the 3,000+ Bulls fans wild and give Hereford a 3-2 win. Two games stand between the Bulls and a Wembley appearance.
With Hereford on FA Vase duty. Alvechurch took full advantage to close the gap to just 6 points with a 4-1 win over Loughborough University. Nathan Waite scored twice as the chase for the title really hots up. Last weekend it looked like Heanor Town were on a charge but they went down to a heavy home defeat at the hands of Quorn. The lowly visitors scored 5 in midweek and added 4 more to ease their relegation worries. Sporting Khalsa responded to two defeats in the past week with a much-needed win over Shepshed Dynamo, who they replace in 4th. Walsall Wood are flying at the moment and they continued their fine run of form with a 4-0 win over Westfields, Joey Butlin on target with another couple. At the bottom, Coventry Sphinx moved out of the bottom two with a 5-2 win over basement boys Continental Star. Mitchell Thompson scored the first four for Sphinx who are now just 7 points from safety with games in hand. Dunkirk are back in the bottom two after they were humbled 7-0 at home by Coleshill Town, for whom Mykel Beckley scored three. An excellent 3-1 away win for Rocester at Long Eaton United saw them jump to 16th place. Stourport Swifts were another side to win on the road, 4-0 at Lye Town who have dropped to after just one point from their last 6 league games, all at Stourbridge Road. Highgate United’s recent good run was halted as they lost 3-1 at Brocton. Ed Booth scored twice for the Badgers who climb to 12th in the table.
On Tuesday night, Hereford suffered only their 4th defeat of the season as they were beaten 2-0 at home by Highgate United. 2nd placed Alvechurch closed the gap to just 5 points but they needed a late Danny Ashton goal to secure a point in a 2-2 draw at Stourport Swifts. 3rd placed Heanor Town missed a great chance to close the gap on the two sides above them when they went done 2-1 at Rocester, Callum Riddell with the winner 6 minutes from time. Shepshed Dynamo are back up to fourth as Jake Betts scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Quorn. Walsall Wood’s excellent goalscoring run came to an abrupt end as Loughborough University held them to a goalless draw. The goals continue to flow for Coleshill Town who beat AFC Wulfrunians 4-1at Castlecroft, Dean Rathbone with a brace. Coventry Sphinx remain firmly in the relegation zone after they were beaten 2-1 by Boldmere St Michaels at Church Road. Long Eaton United moved up to 11th with a comfortable 6-1 win over basement side Continental Star, Jarrod Westcarr with a late brace.
Bromsgrove Sporting take over at the top of the table following a 4-0 win at Heather St Johns, the goals shared through the side. Nuneaton Griff are up to 3rd after a comprehensive 4-0 win at Stafford Town, Alex Naughton with two. Lichfield City missed the chance of joining Nuneaton on 48 points after they drew 2-2 at home to Littleton, Tony Clarke missing a last minute penalty for City. Bolehall Swifts remain bottom as they lost 3-2 to Coventry Copsewood, despite a double from Ben Minshull. Southam United stay one place off the bottom after they lost 2-0 at Pershore Town, two wins in a week moving the home side 11 points off the drop zone. A 4th-minute goal from Wade Malley gave Racing Club Warwick all 3 points at home to Cadbury Athletic.
On Tuesday, Coventry United returned to the summit following a 3-1 win over Racing Club Warwick at Sphinx Drive. Nuneaton Griff strengthened their grip on 3rd place with a 3-0 win at Heather St Johns. Lichfield City missed out on a chance to climb into the top four when they played out a goalless draw at Coventry Copsewood. At the bottom, Stafford Town moved 5 points clear of the relegation zone with a fine 3-0 win over Cadbury Athletic at Evans Park. Pershore Town made it 3 wins out of 4 as they beat Pelsall Villa 3-0 at King George V Stadium. There was a good away win for Littleton, 2-0 over Studley at The Beehive.
Rostance Edwards maintained top spot with a 2-0 win over Sutton United, Thomas Battisson with both the goals. A James Lemon hat-trick for Droitwich Spa at Hampton means that the gap at the top is just one point. Congratulations go to Earlswood Town who picked up their first win of the season, 2-0 at Barnt Green Spartak. Doubles from Dan carter and Mark Bellingham earned Paget Rangers a 4-0 over Austrey Rangers. 2nd bottom Feckenham picked up a point in a 1-1 draw at Coton Green while Fairfield Villa and Knowle shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw.
Leaders Leamington Hibernian extended their lead following a 5-2 win at Smithswood Firs. 2nd placed FC Stratford were held 2-2 by Enville Athletic, Joe Taylor scoring twice for Stratford. Redditch Borough are up to 3rd following a 2-0 win over Shipston Excelsior. Barton United and Northfield Town shared 6 goals in a thriller, with Peter Martin bagging a double for the hosts. Alcester Town continued their rapid rise up the table and they are now 5th after Matt Layton scored all three in their win over Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. Bottom club AFC Solihull are still looking for their first point of 2016 after a 2-1 defeat at Burntwood Town. A Josh Walker goal gave Inkberrow all three points at Badsey Rangers.
Heath Hayes were knocked out of the Staffordshire Vase, losing 3-2 at Wolves Sporting. Atherstone Town were dumped out of the Coventry Evening Telegraph Cup, losing 3-0 at Whitnash. In the Birmingham Saturday Vase, Old Wulfrunians beat Chelmsley Town in a penalty shoot-out after the game had finished 2-2. Alvis Sporting Club are through after a 3-1 win at Woodlands WMC. Westfields are through to the final of the Herefordshire Challenge Cup after a 3-0 win over Hereford Lads Club at Allpay Park. Hinckley AFC are through to the final of the Leicestershire Senior Cup, a comprehensive 4-0 win at Birstall United Social with Marco Adaggio scoring twice. Heath Hayes made progress in the JW Hunt Cup with a 2-0 win over Stone Old Alleynians. Rostance Edwards are through to the quarter-final of the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup after a 2-0 win over Redditch Borough at The Red Lion. Sporting Khalsa made progress in the JW Hunt Cup, beating Paget Rangers 3-1 at Church Road with Craig Bannister scoring twice. A tight tie in the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup between Barnt Green Spartak and Pilkington XXX, went the way of the Pilks in a penalty shoot out.
Coleshill Town stretch their lead to 9 points after a 4-2 win over Evesham United. Lichfield City were the day’s big winners, 6-0 at Sutton United. Continental Star and Brocton drew 1-1 at The Hub.
Bedworth United are 7 points clear at the top of the South Division after a 5-2 home win over West Midlands Football Academy. Bromsgrove Sporting are 3rd after a 3-2 win at Leamington. Heath Hayes are up to 2nd place in the North Division following a 4-2 win over Walsall Wood. In the Bowl, there were away wins for H.O.W. Academy, Anstey Nomads and Tipton Town at Gornal Athletic, Stourport Swifts and Newcastle Town respectively.
2nd placed Alvechurch have the opportunity to close the gap between themselves and leaders Hereford to just two points should they win at mid-table Long Eaton United. Heanor Town have lost the last two and their long term top three place is in danger as they travel to 4th placed Shepshed Dynamo. Results in midweek will have given some encouragement to Sporting Khalsa and they travel to Loughborough University with a chance to move into the top four. Walsall Wood have won 5 out of the last 6 and they travel to a Bardon Hill side one place above the relegation zone. Highgate United host Coventry Sphinx on the back of an excellent win at Hereford in midweek. Sphinx are deep in relegation trouble with a 7 point gap between them and safety. Bottom side Continental Star are a massive 18 points adrift of the safety line and they travel to Rocester, who have won 4 of the last 5. Both Dunkirk and AFC Wulfrunians have felt the full force of Coleshill Town in the past week and they meet at Lenton Lane with Dunkirk desperate for points at the bottom. An upturn in form has seen Quorn move slowly away from the drop zone and they can continue their progression with a home win over Lye Town, who are slipping down the table. Westfields lie in 17th place and whilst they have a 12 point gap on the drop zone, the sides below them have games in hand so points against visitors Boldmere St Michaels would be most welcome. Stourport Swifts face Brocton at Walshes Meadow with both sides comfortably in mid-table. A win for either could take them into the top half.
Leaders, Coventry United can extend their led at the top when they travel to second bottom Southam United. Nuneaton Griff have won four on the trot and another win at home to Heath Hayes will keep them in the promotion mix. Leicester Road are having an excellent first season in Division 1 and they could aim for the top three with a win at struggling Pelsall Villa. Two points from the last three games has stopped Lichfield City in their tracks and they can get back to winning ways with a home game against Studley. Two in-form sides meet at 5 Acres with Littleton hosting Stafford Town. Bolehall Swifts are 6 points adrift of safety and need to start picking up points. It won’t be easy this week when they travel to Pilkington XXX. Just one defeat in the last 6 has improved the situation for Pershore Town and they look to continue this run at Coventry Copsewood. Two away defeat on the trot for Cadbury Athletic followed victory over leaders Coventry United and they have another difficult game on their travels at Hinckley AFC. Heather St Johns are still in deep trouble and they travel to Atherstone Town, who have won 3 of their last 4 league games.
Chelmsley Town can go level on points with second place Droitwich Spa should they beat 7th placed Coton Green at home. Barnt Green Spartak are just three points ahead of the relegation zone and they travel to Austrey Rangers looking for points. Hampton are one place ahead of Barnt Green and they travel to Fairfield Villa, Hampton 3-2 victors in the reverse fixture back in August.
Game of the day sees 1st against 3rd as leaders Leamington Hibernian welcome Redditch Borough to The Meadow. In another game featuring two of the promotion contenders 2nd placed FC Stratford entertain 6th placed Barton United. 4th placed Northfield Town play host to a Burntwood Town side who have won their last two to climb away from the danger zone. Alcester Town have won 8 of their last 9 to become serious promotion candidates and they travel to AFC Solihull, 7 points adrift at the bottom of the table. Enville Athletic picked up an excellent point last week at FC Stratford and they welcome Coventrians to Hall Drive. 5 defeats on the trot has seen Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons slip to 14th in the table and they attempt to stop the rot at home to Badsey Rangers. 2nd bottom Perrywood have games in hand on all the teams around them as they travel to Shipston Excelsior.
Les James Challenge Cup Quarter Finals
Division 3 promotion candidates Smithswood Firs have the chance to cause a cup upset as they host 2nd Division Knowle. Another Division 3 versus 2 clash takes place at Inkberrow as 2nd Division high flyers Alvis Sporting Club are the visitors. The tie of the round is an all-Division 2 clash between 5th placed Sutton United and 2nd placed Droitwich Spa. Feckenham will be hoping to play their first home game since November when they host Paget Rangers, a tie that looks to be extremely close.
AFC Solihull were found guilty of playing an ineligible player in their Division 3 fixture on Saturday 19th December 2015. Under League Rules the club were fined and also the points gained from the fixture were deducted. Therefore as AFC Solihull won the match 2-0 they will be deducted 3 points from their playing total.
Midland Football League
Midland Football League Newsletter
17th February 2016
Following the publication of a press release issued by Leicester Road FC, correspondence has been received from Steve and Joy Jelfs. In the spirit of fair play and decent journalism, their response is printed below:-
Following the press release printed in the 10th February 2016 MFL newsletter we would like to state the following:
We have never denied the use of electricity to either Leicester Road Stadium Ltd or to Leicester Road Football Club Ltd. When we bought the club bar and function rooms from the liquidator in September 2014 we had to take responsibility for the utilities on the site including electric, gas and water, the reason given to us was that no other party were creditworthy. We did, however, immediately have electricians on site carrying out intensive investigations because we were told the electricity consumption alone was £5000 per month. At no point during that investigation were we advised that any party was without electricity.
We thought we had negotiated terms of supply for the main floodlights and agreed for sub-meters to be installed, but before papers could be formally signed, Leicester Road installed generators and at one point told us it was much cheaper than mains electric and wished they had done it months before.
In order for Leicester Road to obtain their own supply, we relinquished our agreement with Western Power to reserve the full 100KvA from the sub-station. We did not have to do this, but we chose to help them.
We do find that their implication that we were responsible for the position they found themselves in both disingenuous and hurtful and despite requests they have refused to withdraw their allegations.
We also paid for their water supply from September until June 2015, at which time Severn Trent split the supply so all owners on site could each have our own supply, with no contribution from LRSL/LRFC just a personal cheque from Kevin Thompson, a Director of LRSL and LRFC, from time to time as a small contribution.
Steve and Joy Jelfs
No further comment will be made in the MFL Newsletter regarding this situation - Ed
I have been asked by various people for the details of this season’s cup finals.
The only dates that we have at the moment are the Polymac Packaging League Cup on Tuesday 3rd May and Les James Challenge Cup on Wednesday 4th May. These will be at Walsall FC, however, the dates are subject to whether Walsall make the playoffs and the dates that they are played. The other finals will be arranged later once we have a better idea of who is in the final.
The Team of the Month awards for January are: Overall – Hereford
Division 1 - Bromsgrove Sporting Division 2 - Coton Green Division 3 - Alcester Town Reserve Division - Coleshill Town Under 21 Division - Newcastle Town Congratulations to those clubs
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday 13th February
Sporting Khalsa 1 Heanor Town 3
On a bitterly cold afternoon, where else to warm the cockles than a top of the table clash at the Aspray Arena. With both sides involved in the chasing pack behind Hereford, a titanic tussle was expected. That is exactly what we got. Heanor had been strengthened in recent weeks with the addition of pacy striker Karl Demidh from league rivals Rocester. Khalsa had experienced striker Marvin Robinson on the bench and goals were certainly on the agenda. Khalsa were awarded an early free-kick but Craig Bannister’s effort was deflected for a corner. Kieran Debrouwer exchanged passes with Demidh and, one-on-one with James Pemberton, saw his shot saved by the Khalsa keeper. David Meese and Brad Lawley went close for Khalsa before Demidh saw his shot saved by Pemberton. In the 23rd minute, the woodwork came to Heanor’s rescue when Meese’s curler rattled the crossbar. With Khalsa pushing for goals, Bannister saw two efforts saved in quick succession. The opening goal came in the 38th minute when the impressive Demidh despatched a left-wing cross into the roof of the net. The noisy Heanor support had even more to shout about two minutes later when Demidh again latched onto a loose ball in the area and fired it past Pemberton into the net. Khalsa introduced Marvin Robinson at half-time in an effort to claw the game back. Bannister flashed a shot wide in the 53 rd minute and Robinson should have done better 3 minutes later but headed wide. That miss was to prove costly as Heanor grabbed their third in the 58th minute, Joe Naylor powering home a header from a Demidh corner. Naylor missed a great chance in the 63rd minute but his effort was well wide. Khalsa grabbed a lifeline in the 68th minute when Bannister picked his spot from 18 yards and gave Joe McCormack no chance. Everyone anticipated a Khalsa onslaught but Heanor always looked likely to add to their tally, Naylor again guilty of missing a decent chance, heading a Demidh cross wide. Mensah Kinch forced a fine save from McCormack but Khalsa never looked like pulling the two goals back. Demidh should have scored his third with seven minutes left, but Pemberton saved well with Demidh through on goal. With two minutes remaining, Heanor keeper McCormack was substituted with what looked like a knee injury, with Jay Cooper donning the gloves. Marvin Robinson was off target with an overhead kick but Heanor should have made it 4 in the 9th minute of stoppage time but Matt Harris somehow cleared the crossbar with an empty net in front of him. A fantastic win for Heanor who will have a major say in the destination of the title. The addition of Demidh gives them some fearsome firepower and they will be keeping a close eye on the results of their title rivals in the coming weeks. As for Khalsa, not the best afternoon but two huge games coming up with a trip to Hereford and a visit from in-form Shepshed Dynamo. Two decent results there will keep them well in the race for promotion.
Tuesday 16th February
Lye Town 1 Alvechurch 2
A short journey for Alvechurch as they looked to move back into second place behind Hereford. Lye Town have always been a difficult side to beat particularly at Stourbridge Road and another tight game was anticipated. The pitch was very heavy in places and a decent crowd turned up for a proper battle. The crowd was swelled by a number of neutrals – I enjoyed the game in the company of John and Charles, Halesowen Town supporters looking for some relief with the current state of affairs at the grove. Church were in the ascendancy early on with the pace of Jordan Nadat causing all sorts of problems for the Lye defence. The first real chance fell to Josh March but he failed to control Zac Foster’s inviting cross. Nadat had an effort blocked and Sam Williams ballooned a shot over for Church. The visitors broke the deadlock in the 34th minute through that man Nadat. Jack Cresswell picked him out in the box and he ghosted past two defenders before applying a superb finish. Cresswell tried an audacious lob from 40 yards which was on target but gathered by Lye keeper Jake Belford. Against the run of play, Lye equalised when Ryan Rowe applied a great finish after an interchange with James Spray. The visitors regained the lead 8 minutes into the second half. A corner from Cresswell fell to March who made no mistake with another quality finish. Two minutes later, the home side claimed a penalty when Rowe was tripped on the edge of the area but the referee deemed that it was outside the box. Rowe’s free-kick was punched clear, a somewhat eccentric effort, by Paul Evans. Alvechurch should have made it safe in the last 5 minutes but Danny
Ashton’s cross was deflected away from the waiting Nadat. Despite 6 minutes of time added on, Church held out to keep the pressure on leaders Hereford.
A great day for the chasing pack as Hereford’s lead at the top was cut to 8 points courtesy of a Craig Gregg equaliser for AFC Wulfrunians at Edgar Street. It was a great day for 2nd placed Heanor Town who triumphed 3-1 at Sporting Khalsa thanks to a first-half double from recent signing Karl Demidh. Those results mean 3rd placed Alvechurch would have a clear lead at the top should they win their games in hand. Their cause was helped with a 3-0 victory at Rocester , the Romans holding out until Jordan Nadat opened the scoring 4 minutes before the break. 6 wins on the trot have given Shepshed Dynamo some serious momentum and their 2-1 win at Stourport Swifts moves them up to 4th and very much in the thick of the title race. Loughborough University are up to 6th following a 2-0 win at Boldmere St Michaels. There was a remarkable feat at Walsall Wood as striker Joey Butlin scored 5 goals for the second game in succession taking his tally to 12 in the last three. Butlin’s goals helped Wood to a 5-1 victory over 2nd bottom Dunkirk. Continental Star remain 7 points adrift after a goal from Declan Attenborrow gave Highgate United all 3 points at Dales Lane. Coventry Sphinx poor run continued as they were beaten 4-1 by a Jamie Cuss inspired Westfields, the skipper bagging a first-half hat-trick. Bardon Hill played their first home game since November but they were shown no mercy but visitors Brocton who ran out 3-1 winners. Quorn remain in trouble near the bottom of the table, as they were beaten 3-1 at Coleshill Town despite taking a first-minute lead. Lye Town and Long Eaton United drew 1-1 at Stourbridge Road, remarkably Lye’s first draw of the season.
On Monday night, Highgate United moved up to 6th place with a 2-0 win at struggling Coventry Sphinx, Declan Attenborrow scoring for the second game in succession. Hereford got back to winning ways with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over title rivals Sporting Khalsa At Edgar Street. Mustapha Bundu was the hero with a hat-trick plus one from Pablo Haysham. Alvechurch are back in second place following a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Lye Town. Shepshed Dynamo’s excellent run came to an abrupt end as they were beaten 3-0 at home by a resurgent Walsall Wood. AFC Wulfrunians paid their second visit to Hereford in four days and came away with another point, drawing 2-2 at Westfields. Dunkirk climbed out of the bottom two with a 3-0 home victory over basement side Continental Star. Quorn eased their relegation worries with a 5-2 win over Brocton, the goals being shared around the team.
Coventry United extended their lead at the top to 5 points but they left in late in an epic encounter with Hinckley AFC. Richard Blythe missed a last minute penalty for United before popping up in time to added on to grab an equaliser to make it 2-2, and that’s how it finished. Bromsgrove Sporting missed the chance to close the gap as they were beaten 1-0 at The Victoria Ground by Nuneaton Griff, Luke Shorthouse with the goal. Leicester Road are clear in 3rd after a hard fought 2-0 victory over Lichfield City, both goals coming in the last 20 minutes. Bolehall Swifts remain bottom after they were comprehensively beaten 4-0 at home by Pershore Town, Gareth Evans and Dan Ludlow both scoring twice for the visitors. Southam United stay in the bottom two following a 3-1 home defeat by Cadbury Athletic. Heather St Johns moved 7 points away from the drop zone with an excellent 2-1 win at in-form Heath Hayes. A Dayle Kenny goal was enough to move Pilkington XXX back into the top six with a 1-0 win at Coventry Copsewood.
Coventry United were beaten for only the second time in the league when they slipped up 2-1 at Cadbury Athletic. That result gave Bromsgrove Sporting the chance to close the gap and they duly obliged with 2 goals from Sean Brain separating them and Lichfield City. Bolehall Swifts remain bottom as they went down 3-2 at Hinckley AFC. Racing Club Warwick beat Pershore Town 3-2 to move 3 points clear of their visitors in 14th place. Coventry Copsewood came from behind to beat Heath Hayes at Allard Way to move up to 11th in the table.
Rostance Edwards take over top spot beating Fairfield Villa 2-1 at The Red Lion Ground with Jamie Griffiths getting both goals. Chelmsley Town move level on points with Droitwich Spa in 3rd after a 2-1 win at Sutton United, Chris Lloyd on target again to make it 32 for the season. Knowle entertained Paget Rangers with the team’s sharing the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
The game between bottom and top ended in a draw as AFC Solihull held the league leaders Leamington Hibernian 1-1. 2nd placed FC Stratford were beaten 1-0 by Smithswood Firs for whom Aaron Anderson scored the all important goal. The result leaves Firs nine points off the top with 5 games in hand. Northfield Town are 3rd after a 3-2 win at Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. Redditch Borough were the day’s big winners, putting 5 past Enville Athletic without reply – Jason Cowley and Liam Fullerton both scoring twice. Alcester Town got back to winning ways and leapfrogged visitors Barton United after a 2-1 win. Perrywood missed the chance to climb up the table when they lost 1-0 at home to Burntwood Town. Inkberrow moved up a place with a 2-1 win over Shipston Excelsior. Badsey Rangers are one place above Inkberrow following a 2-1 win over Coventrians.
Droitwich Spa are through to the semi-final of the Presidents Cup following a 4-0 win over Barnt Green Spartak. James Lemon was on the scoresheet twice to take his tally for the season to 27.
Redditch Borough are through to the semi-final of the Challenge Vase after an extra time victory over Inkberrow at Valley Stadium, 2-1 the final score.
Hampton bowed out of the Birmingham Saturday Vase with a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Old Wulfrunians. Studley made progress in the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup beating Atherstone Town 3-2 at The Beehive. Two goals in the first 10 minutes put Kidsgrove Athletic on the way to a 5-0 win in the Staffordshire Senior Cup at Rocester.
Solihull Moors are through to the final of the Challenge Trophy where they will meet Coleshill Town. Moors reached the final thanks to a 1-0 win over Rocester. In the league, the teams in 4th and 5th played out a 1-1 draw as Brocton drew with Coventry United. In a high scoring game, Cadbury Athletic beat Continental Star by the odd goal in seven. Elsewhere, Romulus beat Lichfield City 2-0.
In the South Division, two goals from Joe Bevan were enough for Gornal Athletic to win at Leamington and move off the bottom of the table. In the North Division, Heath Hayes move up to 2nd place after a 2-1 win at Anstey Nomads. A hat-trick from Ryan Sappleton-Williams saw Walsall Wood win 3-0 at Basford United. Bottom of the table Tipton Town picked up their first point of the season with a 1-1 draw at home to Newcastle Town.
The FA Vase has reached the last eight and Hereford fly the flag for the Midland Football League. The Bulls are at home to Cherry Red Record Combined Counties League, Camberley Town, who lie 4th in their league. Camberley come into the game with two successive 1-1 draws at home, however, their way record is impressive with only 7 goals concede in the league. Herford warmed up for the tie with a 4-0 win over Sporting Khalsa and it would be a major shock if the Bulls did not progress.
With Hereford otherwise engaged, Alvechurch could close the gap to just 6 points if they can beat Loughborough University at Lye Meadow. The students lie in 8th place and have won their last two after a run of three straight defeats. Heanor Town can close the gap between themselves and Hereford to 8 points if they can take all 3 points off visitors Quorn, themselves buoyed by a 5-2 midweek win over Brocton. Two sides who had poor results in midweek meet at the Aspray Arena with Sporting Khalsa hosting Shepshed Dynamo. Both are having an excellent season and this should be a good game for the neutral. If Highgate United win all of their games in hand, they would be just 5 points behind Hereford. The first of those games in hand is at Silkmore Lane where they will meet Brocton, smarting from that midweek defeat at Quorn. Four wins on the spin have catapulted Walsall Wood to seventh but they host the last team to beat them, Westfields. With two in-form strikers, Joey Butlin and Jamie Cuss, in opposition, this should be another cracker. It was all change at the bottom in midweek as Dunkirk moved out of the relegation zone with a victory. They will hope to build on that win when they welcome Coleshill Town to the Ron Steel Sports Ground. Coventry Sphinx were the side to drop into the bottom two and they have the chance to move back up the table when they welcome basement side Continental Star to Sphinx Drive. Bardon Hill set just two places but 10 points ahead of the drop zone and they welcome AFC Wulfrunians to Leicestershire. Lye Town and Stourport Swifts sit comfortably in mid table and they meet at Stourbridge Road, Both Long Eaton United and Rocester have games in hand on all the sides around them so points gained in the game at Grange Park could see forward momentum.
Bromsgrove Sporting will climb to the summit of the division if they can take all 3 points at Heather St Johns. There is an attractive game at Evans Park, where a resurgent Stafford Town meet Nuneaton Griff, who would go 3rd with a victory. Lichfield City suffered a rare defeat in midweek and they will want to get back to winning ways when they entertain Littleton. Pilkington XXX can strengthen their top 6 placing if they can beat visitors Pelsall Villa, themselves desperate for points near the foot of the table. Bottom club Bolehall Swifts were narrowly beaten in midweek and they will be looking to move off the bottom when they welcome Coventry Copsewood to Rene Road. Southam United sit one place above Bolehall and they travel to 15th place Pershore Town. Cadbury Athletic stunned leaders Coventry United in midweek and they take this improved form to Racing Club Warwick. Studley and Hinckley AFC both had 3-2 wins in midweek so expect goals when they meet at the Beehive.
Rostance Edwards took over the leadership last week and they will want to consolidate their position when they host 5th placed Sutton United. 2nd placed Droitwich Spa have only tasted defeat once in the league this season and they go to Hampton intent on preserving this stat. Bottom club Earlswood Town have collected just one point this season and they travel to Barnt Green Spartak who sit just two places above them. 2nd bottom Feckenham will be glad to get back to action and they travel to mid-table Coton Green. Fairfield Villa are at home to 11th placed Knowle with revenge in mind as Knowle won the reverse fixture 5-1. Paget Rangers host Austrey Rangers in a game which saw 9 goals when the two sides met in December, Pager running out 6-3 winners.
Another full fixture list in Division 3 with plenty to look at. Game of the day sees in-form Smithswood Firs welcome league leaders Leamington Hibernian to Mackadown Stadium Firs have 5 games in hand on Hibernian with only 9 points between them. Should Leamington drop points, FC Stratford can regain the leadership should they beat lowly Enville Athletic at home. It’s fair to say, any of the top seven could realistically win the league so 7th placed Barton United at home to 3rd placed Northfield Town could have a big bearing later in the season. 4th placed Redditch Borough welcome Shipston Excelsior to The Valley Stadium while 6th placed Alcester Town will be hoping to continue their fine form at home to Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. Bottom club AFC Solihull are now only 4 points adrift and they can improve that situation with a win at Burntwood Town. 2nd bottom Perrywood travel to 12th placed Coventrians with a chance to move up two places with a win. Badsey Rangers and Inkberrow are locked bang in the middle of the table with almost identical records. A tight affair looks likely.
Coleshill Town vs Evesham United
Continental Star vs Brocton
Coventry United vs Solihull Moors
Rocester vs Gresley
Sutton United vs Lichfield City
Leamington vs Bromsgrove Sporting (U21S)
Bedworth United vs West Midlands football Academy (U21S)
Gornal Athletic vs H.O.W. Academy (Bowl)
Kings Heath Concorde vs Tamworth (Bowl)
Stourport Swifts vs Anstey Nomads (Bowl)
Heath Hayes vs Walsall Wood (U21N)
Newcastle Town vs Tipton Town (Bowl)
The Team of the Month awards for January are:
Overall - Hereford
Division 1 - Bromsgrove Sporting
Division 2 - Coton Green
Division 3 - Alcester Town
Reserve Division - Coleshill Town
Under 21 Division - Newcastle Town
Congratulations to those clubs
Midland Football League
Midland Football League Newsletter
10th February 2016
Tuesday 2nd February 2016 marks another significant milestone in the evolution of Leicester Road Football Club as mains electricity was finally restored to the stadium. The directors have invested a significant 5-figure sum to make this happen whilst trying to continue with “business as usual” at the football club and on the field of play.
The first phase of rewiring the stadium has now been completed to provide us with our own unique electricity supply after we were denied access to the shared electricity source housed in the main stand building currently under the control of the Downes Pension Fund on Saturday 13th September 2014. Ironically this happened the day after Stephen and Joy Jelfs completed their acquisition of Nobby’s Bar and the Starlight Lounge and was done with spite whilst our U14 squad and their opposition who had just completed a Midlands Junior Premier League fixture were in the showers. This abrupt denial of electricity not only took out our floodlights, power sockets and utilities, it also took out the water boiler and radiator heating systems.
After the abrupt denial of electricity, since 13th September 2014 until 2nd February 2016 Leicester Road Stadium has been powered by the now familiar site of costly generators and today we can start to operate like any normal football club again. The board of directors would like to thank all our supporters, staff, players and parents for sticking with us through this period and we are delighted that we can now facilitate a more comfortable environment for you from today moving forward.
As part of the match-day experience for the game on Saturday 5th March v Hereford, Loughborough University are putting together a pre-match lunch with Lawrie Sanchez giving a Q&A session at the end, tickets for this event are on sale at a cost of £25p/p including match seat. Tickets can be purchased through the following link
If you are interested in attending this, the format will be arrival between 11: 00- 11:30 am – Seated for welcome – 11.45/Noon Lunch (Two Courses, Wine, Cheeseboard, Tea & Coffee) After lunch Michael Skubala will give a presentation on the Loughborough Football Programme and Lawrie will be available for a Q&A and mingle with everyone post lunch/pre-match.
If you just want to attend the game and not the lunch, both seated and terrace tickets are online through the following link:
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday 6th February
Stafford Rangers 2 Newcastle Town 1
With only 1 Midland Football League game surviving, I took the opportunity for a first visit of the season to see my own team, Stafford Rangers in action at Marston Road. Rangers spent a lot of time and money on improving the pitch in the summer and it has paid dividends with games being played. Even with the improvements to the surface, it was looking very wet when I entered the ground with the referee saying he would take a look at it, after the first half. With a gale force wind blowing down the ground too, it was not going to be a day for pretty football. For the first time in many years, I was watching the game as a fan, with no notepad, and fingernails to bite the same as everyone else. Rangers started the game 14 points clear at the top of a division they have dominated this season. Shaw Lane Aquaforce could yet challenge but they have played 8 games less than the Boro. The start of the game was pretty even, with both sides trying to get to grips with the conditions. Rangers were awarded a debatable penalty after Ben Haseley was brought down. Peter Till’s spot kick was hit low to the left of David Parton who made a fine save. Till hit the woodwork twice as Rangers got on top but it was Castle who took the lead with a superb shot from Tim Sanders. On the stroke of half-time, Rangers equalised when Christian Dacres got to the ball in front of Parton to head home. Rangers were well on top in the second half and took the lead in the 3rd minute. Excellent one touch football down the right-hand side saw Levi Rowley play in Alex Melbourne and his cross was turned home by Haseley despite a valiant attempt from Parton. Rangers should have had more but the visitors thought they had drawn level when the ball deflected off the head of Dacres and hit his own crossbar. The game finished with Rangers 17 points clear with ten games to go. Realistically, promotion should be clinched before Easter. I enjoyed my first ‘home’ game of the season but I couldn’t help reflect on the difference between the Evostik Division One South and the MFL premier Division. In terms of value for money, that certainly lies with the MFL and I have witnessed far better games across the league this season. From what I have seen, the top 6 MFL clubs would be top half in the Evostik South and the top three or four could potentially challenge at the top. As much as Rangers are my team, I will be glad to be back in the Midland League on Tuesday night – I quite enjoy watching football for the love of the game rather than for the love of one team.
Hereford made it through to the quarter-final with an excellent 4-1 win at Hartley Wintney. Two goals from the impressive Mustapha Bundu sent the Bulls on their way to a home clash with Camberley Town. The only downside was a red card for defender Ryan Green.
Loughborough University were the big winners in midweek beating AFC Wulfrunians 5-1 with Ben Ward-Cochrane scoring twice. Highgate United moved up to 8th with a 3-0 win at Coleshill Town, the prolific Lei Brown adding two more to his tally. Dunkirk and Bardon Hill shared 6 goals at the Ron Steel Sports Ground, with two goals apiece for Kamron Frost for Dunkirk and Rich Hanslow for Bardon. Boldmere St Michaels are up to the heady heights of13th pace after a hard fought 2-1 win over Westfields.
Coventry United extended their lead to 4 points with a midweek 3-1 win at Racing Club Warwick. Heath Hayes are up to 6th after their 4th win on the trot, beating Hinckley AFC 2-1.
The only league game to survive the perpetual rain saw Leamington Hibernian take over top spot following a 3-0 win over form team Alcester Town. Luke Swinnerton gave Hibernian a first half lead and further goals after the break from Joseph Wright and Sam Smith confirmed the three points.
The battle of the Dynamo’s went the way of Loughborough who beat Shepshed 2-0 in the Loughborough Charity Cup. Coton Green entertained Jet Blades under lights at New Mill Lane but exited the Birmingham Saturday Vase after a narrow 3-2 defeat. Heanor Town went out of the Derbyshire Senior Cup losing 2-1 at home to Evostik South Belper Town in a close affair. Cup kings Nuneaton Griff are through to the next round of the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup following a comfortable 3-0 win over Gornal Athletic.
The 3G pitch at Pack Meadow witnessed an 8-0 win for league leaders Coleshill Town over Sutton United in the Trophy.
A solitary game in the South division saw Stourport Swifts win 2-1 at West Midlands Football Academy. In the Bowl, a hat-trick from Nathan McGarrity helped Bedworth United beat Leamington 4-0. There was an excellent away win for Basford United, 3-2 at North division leaders Sutton Coldfield Town on the 3G at Coles Lane.
League leaders Hereford entertain AFC Wulfrunians at Edgar Street with their 10 point lead intact due to midweek postponements. When the two sides meet at Castlecroft at the start of the year, Wulfs pushed the Bulls all the way. Game of the day is at the Aspray Arena where 4th placed Sporting Khalsa welcome 2nd placed Heanor Town to the Black Country. Both sides can count themselves in the promotion mix and a win for either could be significant. 3rd placed Alvechurch travel to Hillsfield to face a Rocester side with 13 points out of the last 15 in the league. Church realistically need a win to keep the pressure on at the top of the table. Shepshed Dynamo have won 5 on the spin and they take this form to Stourport Swifts, without a home game since November. At the bottom, Continental Star remain a long way from safety and they welcome Highgate United to Dales Lane. 2nd bottom Dunkirk travel to upwardly mobile Walsall Wood who have climbed to 7th in the table. There is a huge game at the bottom of the table with Coventry Sphinx travelling to Allpay Park to meet Westfields. Bardon Hill are another side not to have played at home since November and they will be hoping for better luck as they attempt to entertain Brocton. Games at Boldmere St Michaels always produce goals and expect nothing different this week when the Students of Loughborough University are the visitors. Coleshill Town have been thankful for their new 3G surface this season and they welcome Quorn to Pack Meadow knowing that the game will go ahead, despite the worst of the winter weather. Lye Town and Long Eaton United sit next to each other in the middle of the table and they meet at Stourbridge Road.
There should be a decent crowd at Sphinx Drive when leaders Coventry United welcome visitors Hinckley AFC. The biggest crowd of the day is likely to be at The Victoria Ground when Bromsgrove Sporting entertain FA Vase heroes Nuneaton Griff in an attractive fixture at the top of the table. Another big game at the top of the table sees 3rd versus 4th as Lichfield City visit Leicester Road. Heath Hayes are flying at the moment and Heather St Johns are the latest visitors to The Coppice Colliery Ground. An important game at the foot of the table as Bolehall Swifts welcome Pershore Town to Rene Road. 2nd bottom Southam United are at home to Cadbury Athletic needing a win to move out of the bottom two. Littleton consistently sit in the top half of the table and they welcome Atherstone Town to 5 Acres. Pelsall Villa host Racing Club Warwick, the reverse fixture ending in a 4-2 win to the Racers in December. Coventry Copsewood host Pilkington XXX whose form has deserted them somewhat in recent weeks.
Rostance Edwards have the chance to go top when Fairfield Villa visit the Red Lion ground. Chelmsley Town will go level on points with leaders Droitwich Spa if they can pick up all three points at Sutton United. Alvis Sporting Club have 5 games in hand on the leaders and they will be hoping to play their first league game since October at Austrey Rangers. Feckenham will be hoping the weather gods are on their side when they welcome Earlswood Town. In the other game in Division 2, 11th placed Knowle entertain 7th placed Paget Rangers
Its bottom versus top this week as leaders Leamington Hibernian travel to basement side AFC Solihull. 2nd placed FC Stratford are at home to Smithswood Firs who have played 5 games less than the top two and could yet mount a challenge. Alcester Town will be looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat when they entertain 3rd placed Barton United. 4th placed Northfield Town travel to Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons with promotion very much within reach. Redditch Borough will also feel that promotion is within their reach and they travel to Hall Drive to face strugglers Enville Athletic. 2nd bottom Perrywood entertain Burntwood Town and a win for the home side could see them move two places up the table. Inkberrow host Shipston Excelsior with two points separating the sides. Badsey Rangers can move into the top half of the table with a win over Coventrians.
Barnt Green Spartak host Division 2 leaders Droitwich Spa in the quarter-final of the Presidents Cup. When the two sides met in the league a few weeks ago, it ended in a 1-1 draw.
Brocton vs Coventry United
Cadbury Athletic vs Continental Star
Gresley vs Sutton united
Romulus vs Lichfield City
Solihull Moors vs Rocester (trophy)
Leamington vs Gornal Athletic (U21S)
Bedworth united vs West Midlands Football Academy (U21S)
Kings heath Concorde vs Tamworth (Bowl)
Anstey Nomads vs Heath Hayes (U21N)
Tipton Town vs Newcastle Town (U21N)
Basford United vs Walsall Wood (U21N)
In conjunction with Nigel Wood we have put "operaterion waterlog" into place
Clubs in Division 2, Division 3 and Reserve Division may postpone their fixture TOMORROW morning without the need for a Referee's inspection
Please text me with any postponement as I will be out for most of the morning.
Those of you who do manage to get their game on, without floodlights, looking at the sunset tonight, if you can kick off earlier than 3pm (2.30 in the cup) please try to do so
Clubs in outside cups will need to abide by competition rules
Midland Football League Newsletter
3rd February 2016
It is with great disappointment that Southam United announce the resignation of Lee Constable as First Team Manager. Lee will, however, continue to be actively involved in the wider Club. Lee's assistant, Terry Davidson, has been appointed to the position of Interim Manager and is already hard at work.
Rocester have reluctantly accepted the resignation of First Team Manager Mark Wilson. Mark took over the role at the end of September 2014 when the team were struggling at the foot of the table. He quickly turned fortunes around and led his side to a mid-table finish in the Midland Football League Premier Division and an appearance in the League Cup Final at Walsall's Bescot Stadium.
During the close season, he was instrumental in setting up a new Reserve team which, under the management of Mick Wood and Mark Yeomans, has proved extremely successful with a number of players stepping up to play First Team football. There is no doubt that Mark leaves the club in a far better position than it was fifteen months ago when he joined, and the club would like to place on record its appreciation and thanks for the time and 100% effort he has put in.
First team managerial duties have been taken over by Danny Martin, Mark Grimley and Carl Allen until the end of the season.
Should Hereford get past Hartley Wintney in the FA Vase, they have been awarded a home quarter-final against Camberley Town of the Combined Counties League
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday 30th January
Heath Hayes 3 Bolehall Swifts 1
Heath Hayes had not played a competitive fixture since December 19th so I was somewhat surprised to hear that the pitch had passed an inspection and the game was on. Visitors Bolehall Swifts were struggling near the bottom of the table, however, they had managed to play a couple of games in the previous 7 days so were likely to be more match fit. The first chance of the game fell to Heath Hayes’ Joe Pickering but Swifts keeper Tom McNulty saved well at the striker’s feet. Swifts should have been awarded a penalty in the 6th minute when Simeon Smith was clearly pulled back but the referee waved the protests away. A minute later, Smith really should have scored but a weak finish made it easy for Mark Wiggins. Swifts deservedly took the lead in the 14th minute. A corner from Ben Minshull was headed on by Joe Obi and Tom Lapworth got the final touch to flick it home. It was one-way traffic, and when Minchull’s shot rattled the crossbar, Smith’s follow-up was saved. Smith again went close but he couldn’t convert Adam Clarke’s cross. Smith was having an afternoon to forget and on the half hour, he missed again, beating the keeper but wide of the target. A free-kick for Swifts ultimately led to Heath Hayes’ equaliser in the 36th minute. Minshull hit a superb free-kick from 25 yards which rebounded off the post allowing Heath Hayes to break with pace. The ball eventually reached the feet of Dan Scragg who hit a first-time shot into the bottom corner. With the wind at their backs in the second half, Heath Hayes were expected to dominate but no-one had told the Swifts. Joe McNulty put a shot wide and Smith, again, hit the side netting as Swifts continued to look the more likely. Heath Hayes took the lead in the 67th minute when Scragg’s shot was saved but Ryan Burns was on hand to put away the follow-up. That second goal took the wind out of Swift's’ sails and the home side took control. Pickering twice went close before Scragg finished things off with a tap-in in stoppage time. A 3-1 result was extremely harsh on Swifts who really should have been out of sight by half-time. More performances like that, and I’m sure they will move away from the bottom of the table. Relief for Heath Hayes to at least be playing again. They are too far behind the leaders to make an impact in the promotion race but should be capable of a top 6 finish.
Tuesday 2nd February 2016
Stafford Town 3 Pelsall Villa 1
A second game in Division 1 in a couple of days and a chance to see if Stafford Town could continue their recent good form against a Pelsall Villa side without a league game since December 5th. Town were the first to show, Dan Jones having his shot blocked. In the 4th minute, Ahkeem Rose forced a save from Town keeper Dave Reaney. Both sides were slugging it out in the middle of the park without either taking control until Town opened the scoring in the 21st minute. A corner from Tom Green was headed powerfully into the net by skipper Spencer Gunnell. Josh Small had a decent chance for Pelsall but his shot lacked pace. Gunnell forced a save from Dan Mikrut but chances were at a premium. In first half stoppage time, the home side doubled their lead with a goal of farcical proportions. Green was in on goal, took an air shot, somehow maintained possession to toe poke goalwards where Mikrut saved but Green again poked the ball home. The goal owed everything to persistence and will have changed the manager’s team talks. Whatever was said in the Pelsall dressing room made an immediate impact when the impressive Rose controlled the ball and finished well past Reaney. The goal certainly lifted the visitors but as hard as they tried, they made little impression on the Town defence. A sublime piece of skill almost led to Stafford’s third. Craig Hulme controlled a cross-field ball, picked his spot and curled a superb effort just wide of the post. The
game was settled in the 72nd minute and what a way to settle it. Stafford were awarded a free-kick 30 yards out on the left-hand side, Up stepped Grant Winwood who found the net with a superb free-kick, his first goal for the club, as his celebrations clearly showed. Pelsall went close to a second when Mitchell Clarke controlled the ball and hit the target but Reaney was a match and the chance was gone. Stafford Town have certainly shown they are up for the fight and a good run of results has seen the confidence rise as they move up the table. After seeing Bolehall perform admirably on Saturday, the lower reaches of Division 1 are no place for the feint hearted
Nuneaton Griff’s brave run in The FA Vase came to an end as they were beaten 3-0 by Salisbury at the Pingles Stadium. The scoreline was harsh on Griff who missed a penalty with the score at 1-0. Two goals in the final 5 minutes made the scoreline look more emphatic for Salisbury for whom Sam Wilson scored a hat-trick.
The weather again played havoc with the fixtures with only 1 of the top 6 in action. It proved to be a good day for Shepshed Dynamo who won 3-1 at Coleshill Town thanks to a double from Matt Langham. With four games in hand on the leaders, Shepshed could still have a major say in the destination of the title. Walsall Wood move up to 7th in the table, Joey Butlin scoring both goals in the 2-1 win at Loughborough University. At the bottom of the table, there was a huge win for Quorn, 4-0 at struggling Dunkirk, Jacob Lever with a couple. Boldmere St Michaels moved further away from the drop zone with a 3-2 win over Bardon Hill. There were three goals in the first 4 minutes as the visitors took an early lead however two second half goals from Matt Gardiner sealed the points for the Mikes. Stourport Swifts grabbed a much needed 3 points with Joe Phillips scoring the only goal of the game in the win at Westfields. On Tuesday evening, Heanor Town regained second place with a 2-1 win at Highgate United. Two goals from veteran Paul McMahon helped Brocton to a 3-2 win at Boldmere St Michaels. Coleshill Town were too strong for a weakened Loughborough University at Park meadow with five different scorers in their 5-1 victory.
Lichfield City missed the chance to go 3rd when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Pershore Town. Most of the attention was on the foot of the table and Stafford Town moved out of the bottom two with a 1-1 win with Pilkington XX, recent signing Marvin Robinson on target. Bolehall Swifts replace them on the bottom rung with missed chances costing them dear in a 3-1 defeat at Heath Hayes. Heather St Johns have a 5 point gap to the bottom three after they picked up a point in a 2-2 draw with Littleton at St Johns Park. Cadbury Athletic leapfrogged visitors Racing Club Warwick after a 4-1 win at the TSA Sports Ground. Coventry Copsewood and Hinckley AFC shared
the spoils in their local derby at The Pavilion, 1-1 the full-time score. On Tuesday, Coventry United went back to the top in emphatic style beating local rivals Coventry Copsewood 10-0 at Sphinx Drive. Richard Blythe scored a hat-trick and there were doubles for Matt Brown, Josh O’Grady and Kia Williams as United sent a clear message to their title rivals. Stafford Town continued their revival with a 3-1 home win over Pelsall Villa. Southam United are one place and one point off the bottom following a 1-1 draw at home to Pershore Town. After no games since December, Heath Hayes made it two wins in a week with a single goal victory at Pilkington XXX. Studley ran out 3-0 winners over Racing Club Warwick at the Beehive moving up to 10th in the table.
Droitwich Spa are 2 points clear at the top but they were held to a 1-1 draw by local rivals Barnt Green Spartak. Bottom side Earlswood Town took a first-minute lead at Fairfield Villa but it was the home side that ran out victors with a 3-2 win. There was an excellent away win for Paget Rangers, 3-2 at Sutton United.
In the game of the day between the two form teams, League leaders FC Stratford were toppled by Alcester Town, Matt Layton with the only goal from the penalty spot. Leamington Hibernian took full advantage, closing the gap at the top to just two points, with an emphatic 6-1 win at Burntwood Town, Will Pendred and Jack Keeling with doubles. 3rd place Barton United were held to a goalless draw at Inkberrow. Northfield Town are level on points with Barton after a 3-2 win over basement side AFC Solihull. Redditch Borough closed the gap with a 4-1 win at Badsey Rangers. Shipston Excelsior were 2-0 winners over Coventrians while the game at the bottom of the table ended in a 2-2 draw between Perrywood and Enville Athletic.
Polymac Packaging league Cup
Hereford set up an away quarter-final at Highgate United with a 3-1 win over title rivals Alvechurch in front of another big Edgar Street crowd. The sides went in level at the break but two unanswered second-half goals saw the Bulls through. FA Vase heroes Nuneaton Griff are at it again with a 3-1 win at Premier Division Shepshed Dynamo. Two first half goals from Josh Ruff sent Griff on their way and they await the winners of Cadbury Athletic and Stourport Swifts in the quarters. Walsall Wood hammered Rocester 6-1 with Joey Butlin scoring 5. Their reward is a home quarter-final against Coleshill Town.
Chris Lloyd took his season tally to 32 as Chelmsley Town beat Folly Lane in the Coventry Evening Telegraph Cup. Knowle were knocked out of the Birmingham Saturday Vase, losing 3-2 at Kings Heath Old Boys. Lichfield City grabbed the plaudits on Tuesday be beating Walsall 3-2 in the Walsall Senior Cup. Tom Evans scored twice and Tony Clarke was on hand to grab a last minute winner in front of a healthy crowd of 158. In the Leicestershire Challenge Cup, Barwell proved too strong for Quorn running out 3-0 winners. Alvis Sporting Club progressed in the Birmingham Saturday Vase, Kiam Galdins scoring twice in a 4-0 win over Kenilworth Wardens. In the Fazeley Charity Cup, Bolehall Swifts beat Tamworth U21s 3-2 with Simon Smith on target twice. A remarkable game in the Worcestershire Senior urn, where Bromsgrove Sporting beat Littleton 6-5 at 5 Acres with the winning goal from Connor Collins coming in the last minute.
Just two games in the reserves division with plenty of goals to keep the punters happy. Cadbury Athletic beat Sutton United by the odd goal in seven, Shaun Hunter with 2 for the home side and Zak D’Sylva with 2 for Sutton. Brocton beat Continental Star 3-1 with two goals in the last three minutes from Dexter Morris-Clarke.
Three games in the Bowl with the highlight being the eight goals shared by Basford United and Bedworth United at Greenwich Avenue. Heath Hayes won 2-1 win at H.O.W. Academy while Newcastle Town beat Walsall Wood 2-1.
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. A home quarter-final against Camberley Town awaits the winners.
With the top two not in league action, Alvechurch can move back second with a win at Quorn. A win for Church would close the gap to 8 points while Quorn themselves are looking for points to keep well away from the Premier Division trapdoor. Sporting Khalsa can keep up the pressure on the leaders when they entertain Coventry Sphinx at the Aspray Arena. Sphinx have games in hand on all the teams around them but are only two points ahead of second bottom Dunkirk. Shepshed Dynamo have hit a rich vein of form and they welcome 6th placed AFC Wulfrunians to the Butthole. Weather permitting, this should be a great game for the neutral. Walsall Wood are another side that have found form in recent weeks and they welcome Loughborough University who they beat 2-1 at Hollywell a week ago. At the bottom Continental Star travel to Walshes Meadow to face Stourport Swifts whose win at Westfields moved them away from the bottom six. Second bottom Dunkirk travel to Brocton who have pulled away from the bottom due to an excellent run of results. Bardon Hill will be hoping to play their first home game since November when mid-table Lye Town are the visitors. Highgate United lie in 10th place however they still have 24 games to play this season. They welcome Westfields to The Coppice with both sides wanting to bounce back from recent defeats. Two sides separated by only 3 points meet in Derbyshire with Long Eaton United hosting Boldmere St Michaels. Early goals have been a feature of Mikes games recently, so make sure you are in time for the kickoff. Coleshill Town travel to Staffordshire to take on Rocester at Hillsfield. Both sides have had mixed results and this one is nigh on impossible to gauge.
The game of the day in Division 1 is at The Victoria Ground where 2nd placed Bromsgrove Sporting host 4th placed Lichfield City. Both sides are in excellent form and with the promise of another big crowd, this is one well worth going to. 3rd placed Leicester Road travel to Racing Club Warwick needing a win to keep in touch with the leaders. FA Vase heroes Nuneaton Griff return to league action with a local derby at Atherstone Town. Results in the past week has seen Bolehall Swifts return to the basement and they make the short journey to Hinckley AFC. Southam United are just one point ahead of Bolehall and they host a Pilkington XXX side that have slipped in recent weeks. Stafford Town have had a good couple of weeks and are now 3 points off the bottom. They travel to Cadbury Athletic with renewed hope of climbing the table. Coventry Copsewood will want to forget their defeat at the hands of leaders Coventry United as quickly as possible and they hope to do that at home to Heather St Johns. Two sides in the danger zone meet with PershoreTown at home to Pelsall Villa. At the Beehive, 10th meets 9th as Studley entertain Littleton.
No doubting the game of the day here with the top two meeting at the Red Lion Ground. A home win for Rostance Edwards would see them take over the top spot from Droitwich Spa. In a huge day for the top of the table, 4th placed Alvis Sporting Club entertain 3rd placed Chelmsley Town. Both sides have games in hand on the top two but a positive result, either way, could have a major impact on the destination of the title. At the bottom, Earlswood Town welcome Fairfield Villa a week after losing 3-2 at Fairfield. Feckenham haven’t played a home league game since October and they will be hoping to welcome Barnt Green Spartak to the Entaco. Paget Rangers and Sutton United played out a five-goal thriller last Saturday with Paget edging it. Which way will it go this week? Elsewhere, Knowle travel to Austrey Rangers.
With leaders FC Stratford on Vase duty, Leamington Hibernian can go top but to do that they will have to overcome an Alcester Town side that can’t stop winning. 3rd placed Barton United are at home to bottom club AFC Solihull, a win for the Black Swans would take them to within 4 points of the leaders. Smithswood Firs have games in hand on the leaders and they make some inroads with a win at home to lowly Enville Athletic. 2nd bottom Perrywood picked up a point last week but face a difficult task at free-scoring Redditch Borough. Burntwood Town suffered a heavy home defeat last week and will be looking for a reaction at home to Badsey Rangers. Elsewhere Coventrains entertain Inkberrow and Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons travel to Shipston Excelsior.
In the quarter-final of the Challenge Vase, two big hitters meet with Northfield Town at home to FC Stratford.
Coventry United vs Rocester
Lichfield City vs Gresley
Romulus vs Brocton
Coleshill Town vs Sutton United (Trophy)
Gornal Athletic vs Bromsgrove Sporting (U21S)
West Midlands Football Academy vs Stourport Swifts (U21S)
Heath Hayes vs Kings Heath Concorde (Bowl)
Tamworth vs H.O.W. Academy (Bowl)
Bedworth United vs Leamington (Bowl)
Sutton Coldfield Town vs Basford United (Bowl)
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