Midland Football League Newsletter
3rd March 2016
A number of clubs and agencies have been asking the question regarding an extension to the season due to bad weather. We have not made any decisions at the moment but are closely monitoring the situation. If we experience any further severe weather problems we will then look at the situation at the time.
Polymac Packaging League Cup
The quarter-final draw is as follows:-
Stourport Swifts vs Nuneaton Griff (17th March)
Highgate United vs Hereford (8th March)
Sporting Khalsa vs Lye Town (8th March)
Walsall Wood vs Coleshill Town (1st March)
The Team of the Month awards for February are:
Overall - Nuneaton Griff
Premier Division - Walsall Wood
Division 2 - Droitwich Spa
Division 3 - Leamington Hibernian
Reserve Division - Coleshill Town
Under 21 Division - Bedworth United
Congratulations to those clubs
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday 27th February
AFC Solihull 2 Alcester Town 3
With a lot of attractive fixtures to choose from, decided to take in a new ground and two new teams from Division 3. Tudor Grange Leisure centre is an impressive facility as you drive on to the large car park. For those making their first visit, I suggest you drive around the car park and park on the far side of the site (away from the main entrance) as that is where the pitch is. I did this when I realised there was a car park at the back of the ground (handy for writing notes etc at half-time). I am no great fan of football pitches surrounded by athletic tracks as they deaden the atmosphere somewhat, and here, you do seem some distance from the action if you sit in the covered stand. With AFC Solihull at the foot of the table and visitors Alcester being one of the form teams in the entire Midland League, you could be excused for thinking that this was going to be one-way traffic. Within a minute of the kick-off, it was clear the Solihull were up for this as Alcester keeper Richard Layton was forced into an early save as Matt Molyneux got the wrong side of the Alcester defence. . Alcester went close in the 7th minute when Jack Banks shot to the near post was saved by the Solihull keeper Lee Garghan. Garghan did even better ten minutes later, an inswinging corner looking a goal all the way until it was palmed over the bar. Alcester broke the deadlock in the 26th minute when the ball was played into Matt Trinder in the box and his sidefoot shot, wrongfooted the keeper as it slowly crossed the line. Leading scorer Matt Layton should have made it two in the 31st minute but his volley was too high. On the stroke of half-time, Solihull had a great chance to equalise but Callum Howels was off target with his shot. Solihull started the second half well and were level in the 48th minute when Howels tapped the ball home after a decent interchange with his strike partner Molyneux. It got better for the home side in the 55th minute when a long throw from Martin Campbell caused panic in the Alcester defence and Howels was on hand to bundle the ball in at the far post. Alcester were convinced they had levelled in the 63rd minute but both referee and linesman adjudged that the ball had not crossed the line. Another long throw from Solihull should have given them a 3rd goal but Molyneux was off target with his header. Alcester have not had such a good run of results for nothing and they levelled with 8 minutes left. Steve Nurse beat his defender and placed a perfect lob over the keeper and into the net. The visitors completed their turnaround in the 88th minute. A cross from the right was flicked on to the head of leading goalscorer Matt Layton who made no mistake, his 30th goal of the season. There was little time for the home side to respond and the visitors kept up their promotion challenge after a hard earned victory. A visit to Tudor Grange is well worth it and I can imagine it being a very pleasant place to be on a nice sunny day! For those that think the Midland Football league is all about the Premier Division, think again. Give all our Divisions a try.
Tuesday 1st March
Walsall Wood 2 Coleshill Town 1
The first of the league cup quarter-finals saw two in-form sides meet at the ML Safety Stadium. With a strong wind at their backs, Coleshill dominated the early play. A mistake by the Wood defence allowed Mykel Beckley to send the ball goalwards but it lacked power and was cleared off the line. Ricardo Reid spun his defender and advanced into the are but chose to shoot instead of laying the ball inside to the waiting Gip Dainty and the chance was lost. Wood were living a charmed life and keeper Adam Jenkins was relieved to gather the ball after an almighty scramble in the box. Reid hit a tame shot straight to Jenkins when in a decent position. Out of nothing, Wood fashioned a chance when Craig Deakin reacted quicker than the defender and poked the ball goalwards but it drifted across the face of goal and away from danger. Coleshill grabbed the lead on the stroke of half-time when Luke Edwards powered home a header from a right wing corner. Reid wasted another decent chance fort Coleshill at the start of the second half, choosing to pass this time instead of shooting. Wood began to look more threatening and an overhead kick from Joey Butlin went wide. Poor defending by Coleshill gave Wood the equaliser in the 52nd minute The ball fell at the feet of Corey Carruthers and his shot took a deflection as it flew past Paul Hathaway. Wood were now in the ascendancy and a fine shot by Deakin was saved, low down, by Hathaway. Wood had the ball in the net in the 58th minute but the linesman had flagged for offside. Anthony Juxon was next to try his luck for the home side but his flying header was just over the bar. Wood scored what was to be the winner 8 minutes from time and it was another mistake by the Coleshill defence. Deakin was allowed to win the ball on the byline when it should have been cleared. He rolled the ball into the path of skipper Harry Harris who hammered the ball into the roof of the net. Wood comfortably saw out time to reach the semi-finals. A game very much of two halves and opportunities wasted by Coleshill in the first half. Wood dominated after the break and took their chances well.
Alvechurch closed the gap at the top to just two points with two games in hand, as they won 2-0 at Long Eaton United. Two goals in two minutes midway through the second half from Jordan Nadat and Connor Deards gave Church all the points. In the battle of the top 4, Shepshed Dynamo took the spoils as they beat Heanor Town 3-2 at Butthole Lane. Michael Reeve scored twice for Dynamo to take his season tally to 13. 5th placed Sporting Khalsa had to come from behind at Loughborough University to gain a point, Chad Birch, with the all-important goal on his debut. At the bottom, Continental Star looked to be heading for an all important win but goals from Rob Ritchie-Smith and a Tom Land effort, four minutes from time, gave Rocester all the points. Dunkirk suffered a narrow defeat in the battle to stay up with a Craig Gregg goal being enough for AFC Wulfrunians to take the three points. Coventry Sphinx twice held the lead at high-flying Highgate United but ultimately had to settle for a point in a 2-2 draw. Despite improved results in recent weeks, Quorn are still in danger and their situation was not improved when they lost 2-1 at home to Lye Town. Aiden Thomas scored twice as Westfields moved 14 points ahead of the relegation zone with a 4-1 win over Boldmere St Michaels. Stourport Swifts move up to 12th thanks to a Joe Phillips goal as they beat Brocton 1-0 at Walshes Meadow.
Sporting Khalsa climbed to 4th on Monday evening with a 3-0 win at relegation-threatened Coventry Sphinx. Craig Bannister scored twice making it 35 for the season. A missed penalty 5 minutes from time meant Alvechurch missed the chance to go top after being held to a goalless draw by Quorn. Two goals in the first 11 minutes saw Rocester and Highgate United battle out a 1-1 draw at Hillsfield. Stourport Swifts move up to 11th place after a 3-0 win over Continental Star. All of the goals came in the second half with Jack Bailey scoring twice. Shepshed Dynamo climbed to 3rd following a 4-0 win at Long Eaton United. Four different scorers for Dynamo who are now 10 points behind with a game in hand.
Coventry United extended their lead at the top to 5 points with a comprehensive 4-0 win at Southam United. Nuneaton Griff are 10 points behind in 3rd place as they beat Heath Hayes 2-0 at The Pingles Stadium. Luke Shorthouse was again on target for Griff reaching the 30 goal mark for the season. A Tom McGlinchey double was enough for Leicester Road as they won 2-1 at Pelsall Villa. Tyron Smith scored twice for 5th place Lichfield City in a 5-1 defeat of Studley at The McDonalds Community Stadium. Bolehall Swifts remain bottom as they were beaten by a Craig Oldfield penalty at Pilkington XXX. Stafford Town are one place above the relegation zone as they let a lead slip at Littleton eventually going down 2-1. 12 points out of the last 5 games has lifted Pershore Town to 11th, their latest victory a 2-0 win at Coventry Copsewood courtesy of a Gareth Evans double. Hinckley AFC have moved up to 7th following a 2-0 victory over Cadbury Athletic at St Johns Park. Atherstone Town rose 2 places in the league table with a 2-1 win over Heather St Johns, Alan Miller with the winner.
Bromsgrove Sporting closed the gap at the top to two points with a 2-0 win at fellow promotion contenders Lichfield City. Nuneaton Griff remain in the hunt although they had to withstand a fightback from hosts Cadbury Athletic to secure all 3 points. Griff raced into a 3-0 lead before The Chocolatemen scored twice to make it a nervy finish. An excellent win for Racing Club Warwick at Heath Hayes moves them up to 11th place. The Racers had keeper Conal Dowling sent-off but the ten men grabbed all 3 points through a Wade Malley goal. There was a topsy-turvy game at St Johns Park. Hinckley AFC raced into a 2-0 lead against Pelsall Villa but the visitors bounced back and looked to be taking all 3 points home until Greg Pearson snatched a late equaliser – the game ending 3-3. Southam United remain 5 points adrift of safety after going down 2-0 at Littleton.
Chelmsley Town missed the chance to draw level with 2nd placed Droitwich Spa as they were held to a goalless draw by Coton Green. There was a big win for Fairfield Villa who came from behind to beat Hampton 4-1. Alvis Sporting Club are just 7 points off the top with 6 games in hand following a 3-2 win over
Leamington Hibernian are now 7 points clear at the top. They extended their lead with a 4-2 win over 3rd placed Redditch Borough. 2nd placed FC Stratford lost at home to 6th placed Barton United, who are only 4 points off the second promotion spot. Northfield Town are up to 3rd after a single goal win over Burntwood Town. Alcester Town move up to 4th as an 88th-minute goal from Matt Layton gave them a 3-2 win over bottom side AFC Solihull, for whom Callum Howels scored twice. 2nd bottom Perrywood are 7 points ahead of Solihull as they went down 3-1 at Shipston Excelsior. Enville Athletic and Coventrians shared 4 goals at Hall Drive and both sides remain in the bottom 5. Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons move up to 13th with a good 2-0 home win over Badsey Rangers.
Polymac Packaging League Cup Quarter Final
Walsall Wood are the first team through to the last four after a 2-1 home win over Coleshill Town. The visitors took the lead on the stroke of half-time but Wood came back and sealed the victory with a Harry Harris goal 8 minutes from time.
Les James Challenge Cup Quarter Finals
4 goals from Aaron Cooke helped Alvis Sporting Club on their way to a 6-2 win at Inkberrow. The two other quarter finals that took place both went to extra time. A hat-trick from James Lemon (33 for the season) saw Droitwich Spa home with a 3-0 win at Sutton United. They are joined in the semi-finals by Knowle who beat Smithswood Firs 4-2 on penalties after it had ended 1-1 after extra time.
Bromsgrove Sporting made it through to a home semi-final in the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup following a 2-0 win at Earlswood Town. Hereford are through to the Herefordshire Challenge Cup Final where they will face Westfields. In the semi-final, they disposed of a valiant Kington Town 4-0 at Edgar Street with John Mills notching goals 42 and 43 of the season. In the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup, Coventry Copsewood advanced to the next round, 3-0 winners over Studley.
Coleshill Town are a massive 12 points clear after a 5-0 win over Sutton United. Gresley moved above Sutton in the league table with a 3-0 win over 2nd place Solihull Moors. The two other games ended in a stalemate, 1-1 between Continental Star and Lichfield City and 2-2 between Romulus and Brocton.
In the South division, Kings Heath Concorde are off the bottom after a 2-0 win at H.O.W. Academy. Gornal Athletic take over at the basement after they went down 3-1 at West Midlands Football Academy. In the North, league leaders Sutton Coldfield Town stretch their lead after a 4-2 win at Basford United. Tipton Town remain bottom after a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Anstey Nomads. Two games in the challenge Bowl and home wins for Tamworth, 3-0 over Heath Hayes, and Walsall Wood, 2-1 over Newcastle Town. In the Worcester Royal Infirmary Cup, Stourport Swifts won 2-0 at Bromsgrove Sporting.
The top two face tricky away games this weekend. Leaders Hereford take their one point lead to Loughborough University knowing that the student are a match for anyone on their day. A big crowd is expected and this will be a cracker. 2nd placed Alvechurch go to Brocton who have slipped a little after an excellent run of results. The Badgers are particularly strong at home and Church will have to be on top form to gain something from the game. Shepshed Dynamo are 10 points adrift with a game in hand and they welcome lowly Dunkirk to The Dovecote Stadium. Heanor Town are probably left themselves too much to do to catch the leaders and they face a trip to Castlecroft to play AFC Wulfrunians. Two of the top 6 meet at The Aspray Arena with hosts Sporting Khalsa still harbouring hopes of promotion. 6th placed Highgate United upset Hereford at Edgar Street last week and this one is tough to call. Walsall Wood continued their good form in midweek and they will fancy their chances as they travel to mid-table Stourport Swifts. At the bottom, things are looking bleak for Continental Star and they have the challenge of trying to stop free-scoring Coleshill Town at Pack Meadow. Coventry Sphinx currently occupy the third relegation spot and they travel to Quorn to face on of the sides in their sights should they start to pick up points. Bardon Hill yet again fell foul of the weather gods in midweek and they will be desperate to get their home game against Lye Town on, and pick up much-needed points in the process. Boldmere St Michaels and Rocester have moved away from danger in recent weeks and they meet at Church Lane. Westfields had a good win last time out and they welcome inconsistent Long Eaton United to Allpay Park.
Only one place for the game of the day this week and that is Sphinx Drive where leaders Coventry United welcome in-form 3rd placed Nuneaton Griff. Griff have won the last 6 and are just 7 points behind United having played one game more. With a trip to 2nd placed Bromsgrove Sporting next weekend, these are huge games for the home side. On any other day, the Hinckley derby between Leicester Road and Hinckley AFC would grab all of the attention. The home side are currently in the box seat as far as league position is concerned but that doesn’t matter one iota where a derby is concerned. Lichfield City’s promotion challenge has slipped away in the last few weeks and they go to in-form Pershore Town who have climbed to mid-table on the back of 4 wins out of 5. At the bottom, Bolehall Swifts are 6 points from safety and they need points as they travel to Cadbury Athletic. Southam United have games in hand on all of the sides around them but it is points they need if they are to avoid the drop. This week they host Atherstone Town who are 5 places above them. Stafford Town are in decent nick and have put some impressive results together since the turn of the year. They welcome Racing Club Warwick to Evans Park where another 3 points could lift them two places in the table. Heather St Johns are deep in the relegation battle and could do with picking up points when they welcome Coventry Copsewood to St Johns Park. Pelsall Villa picked up a good point in midweek at Hinckley and need more of the same when they travel to Studley. Heath Hayes and Littleton are locked toh#gether in 8th and 9th so a tight game is expected in Staffordshire this weekend.
A huge game at the top of the table as 3rd placed Chelmsley Town host 2nd placed Droitwich Spa. The two sides met in the Les James Challenge Cup in January and that one went the way of Droitwich –an omen perhaps? It is top versus bottom at The Red lion with leaders Rostance Edwards welcoming Earlswood Town. This is Rostance 4th successive home league game – the previous 3 have resulted in victories. Barnt Green Spartak are in need of points to move away from the drop zone and they welcome Coton Green to Tythe Barn Lane. Hampton suffered a heavy defeat last week and will look to bounce back at home to Paget Rangers. Austrey Rangers and Knowle are in 9th and 10th and they meet at Austrey with both needing points to cement their mid-table place.
Leamington Hibernian have opened up a 7 point lead at the top and they travel to Coventrians with every chance of maintaining that lead. 2nd placed FC Stratford travel to Burntwood Town looking to emulate the leaders who scored 6 on their visit to Ravenhill Park. Alcester Town moved into the top four last week and will expect to continue their rapid rise when they visit Shipston Excelsior. Redditch Borough have games in hand on the leaders and they will expect three points as they host bottom club AFC Solihull, who gave high-flying Alcester a scare last week. Smithswood Firs have 6 games in hand and could go top if they won them all. They need to start this week when they host Badsey Rangers. 2nd bottom Perrywood host mid-table Inkberrow this week while the two sides above them, Enville Athletic and Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons, meet at Hall Drive.
Presidents Cup Quarter Final
Alvis Sporting Club host Feckenham with form and league position favouring the home side. The winners will travel to Hampton in the semi-final.
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