Midland Football League Newsletter
4th May 2016
The fixture between Hinckley AFC v Coventry Copsewood on Saturday 23rd April 2016 was abandoned with Coventry Copsewood winning 4-1 at the time. The Board’s decision is that the match will not be replayed and that the result at the time of abandonment will stand.
Nigel Wood, Secretary. Midland Football League
Gornal Athletic are inviting applications for u21 manager for next season please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details
Congratulations to Alvis Sporting Club who are champions of Division 2.
Travels of the Press Officer
Thursday 28th April
Walsall Wood 0 Lye Town 0
With a place in the League Cup Final up for grabs, the weather decides to throw its worst at Oak Park with high winds and torrential rain on offer this evening. The game was finely balanced after a 2-2 draw two weeks before and with the teams locked together in the league table. Conditions were challenging and it took 7 minutes before we had an opportunity on goal, Corey Carruthers Snapshot off target. An excellent move by the home side finished with Joey Butlin playing the ball int the path of Carruthers but his shot was again wide of the mark. Lye’ first opportunity fell to Dreniz Bala but he screwed his shot well wide. Wood wasted a glorious chance in the 19th minute when Butlin knocked the ball down for Louis Harris but his shot was blasted wide when he should have hit the target. On the half hour mark, Lye were indebted to keeper Jake Bedford for a final double save. Max Black created space and hit a shot which was well saved and Lewis Taylor-Boyce followed up but Bedford had gathered himself and saved at point blank range. Butlin again created a chance for Wood but Black was off target on this occasion. The best chance of the half fell to the visitors just before the break. Wood keeper Adam Jenkins made a mess of a punch and Ryan Rowe was on hand to volley it goalwards but the ball flew over the bar.
Lye had an excellent chance at the start of the second half but Callum McFarlane headed wide. It was a really competitive game with both sides giving their all without creating too many openings. For Wood, Ricardo Ricketts blasted wide when in a decent position. A good run from Scott Gennard for Lye was spoiled by a wayward finish. At the other end, an excellent run by Black had the same result, a poor finish. With 5 minutes remaining, Butlin picked up the ball and ran goalwards but instead of going for goal himself, played it wide to Carruthers who was pushed further wide and the chance was gone. Three minutes into stoppage time, Butlin got the wrong side of the defence, was through one-on-one with Bedford but the Lye keeper won the battle and saved with his legs. The miss was not to cost Walsall Wood as they ran out winners courtesy of the two goals they scored at Stourbridge Road.
A thoroughly entertaining game between two evenly matched sides. It was clear early on that a solitary goal could win it – as it happened we kept on waiting for the goal to arrive. Walsall Wood will meet Hereford in the final at Solihull Moors on May 10th.
Saturday 30th April
Pelsall Villa v Stafford Town
Easy choice for me today - a game which would possibly decide which team gets relegated from Division 1. Pelsall Villa hace not had much luck with the weather and their game at home to Nuneaton Griff on Thursday was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. I got talking with some Pelsall officials before the game and they were explaining some of the challenges they have faced with a sloping pitch and a high water table. One thing we didn’t discuss was the elements again contriving to rob of us of a game of football. After making my way to the cover by the tea bar, the heavens decided to open and a violent hailstorm sent the Pelsall players scurrying from the pitch, their warm up not being helped by hailstones battering the ears. The pitch soon had a covering of hail and, with the lines no longer visible, these were raked clear by a hardy volunteer. The referee and his officials announce that we would have a delayed kick-off of 3:15 to see how the weather goes. This didn’t come as a surprise as thunder and lightning circled the ground. With the storm passing, it was very apparent that both sides were desperately keen to play the game. Step forward the match officials who decided that the pitch was unfit and the game was postponed – this decision coming at 3:20. If the game had commenced at 3pm, we would have known whether it was unplayable or not. The decision leaves Pelsall with three home games to play in the next week and hoping for an improved weather forecast. The battle to avoid relegation continues for at least another week.
Monday 2nd May
Burntwood Town 3 Redditch Borough 5
A Bank Holiday Monday and, shock, horror it’s raining again. With the race for promotion from Division 3 being close fought between two sides, I take the opportunity of a first visit of the season to Burntwood Town as they welcome promotion chasers Redditch Borough to Ravenhill Park. Better known as Brereton FC, Ravenhill Park sits just outside the small Staffordshire town of Rugeley, not far from Lichfield and Hednesford. With the rain still falling, I get to the ground quite late hoping that things would improve. I managed to find a space in the small car park and the first viewing of the pitch was not encouraging with the near goalmouth with lying water. For once, I decided to keep the notebook dry and watched the game without making any notes whatsoever. Therefore, this particular match report is an overview of the game rather than a detailed match report. The game started with neither side looking all that comfortable on the tricky surface. Burntwood looked very dangerous going forward and they shocked Redditch by taking the lead in the 12th minute through Dan Newton. For a time, the home side looked comfortable but two goals in the space of three minutes turned the game Redditch’s way. Redditch grabbed a third before the break to take a 3-1 lead into half-time.
The weather had improved quite noticeably towards the end of the first half and the pitch became less of a factor. With the possibility that goal difference could have a bearing on promotion, I fully expected an onslaught from Redditch in the second half but it was Burntwood that scored the next goal bringing it back to 3-2. Redditch were streaming forward and creating chance after chance. Two goals in quick succession ,the second, Redditch’s fifth, a wild swing by the Burntwood keeper which deflected the ball into his own net, put the game to bed. The Burntwood goal led a charmed life with some of the misses by Redditch being hard to believe. The home side had the final say on an eventful afternoon with a nice finish to make the final score 5-3 to Redditch. For the visitors, Jamie Hatfield scored three and leading scorer Jak Albutt twice as they created plenty of chances. Burntwood never gave up and, going forward, looked a constant threat. With the sun out, and a backdrop of Rugeley Power Station, a trip to Ravenhill is very much worthwhile.
On Thursday evening, Alvechurch closed in on 100 points and 100 goals with a 3-1 home win over Long Eaton United. The visitors took the lead in the first half through a Mark Smith own goal before Church came back after the break. Worthy of note is that Alvechurch scored from the penalty spot, Connor Deards the man to end the dreadful run of missed kicks. Shepshed Dynamo are sure of 4th place following their 2-1 win over Rocester at The Dovecote.
Leaders Hereford completed their league season with a 3-1 win at Shepshed Dynamo. John Mills added two more to his tally taking him to 52 goals for the season. Runners-up Alvechurch were beaten for only the 5th time in the league this season, going down 2-0 at 5th placed Coleshill Town. Craig Bannister bagged goal number 43 as his Sporting Khalsa side beat Loughborough University 2-0 at the Aspray Arena. Heanor Town finish the season in 6th place. Two goals from Nathan Benger saw them to a 2-0 home win over Long Eaton United. If Highgate United win their final game, they will finish in 7th place. On Saturday, they shared 6 goals in a 3-3 draw with relegated Bardon Hill. Lei Brown scored twice for Highgate while Steve Chaplin scored twice for the visitors. Walsall Wood currently sit in 7th position and they ended Continental Star’s stay in the top flight with a 5-0 victory, Louis Harris, and Joey Butlin both scoring twice. Lye Town are 8th following a 2-2 draw with Dunkirk. That was the same scoreline at Silkmore Lane as Brocton and Quorn shared the points, Gary Fife scoring twice for Brocton in the second-half. Boldmere St Michaels waved goodbye to their grass pitch and their famous slope, with a 3-0 win over Stourport Swifts, Simeon Maye scoring twice. Demetri Brown scored a hat-trick as AFC Wulfrunians beat Coventry Sphinx 3-1 at Castlecroft. Westfields shared the goals around at Allpay Park in a 4-1 defeat of Rocester. Skipper Jamie Cuss netted his 30th goal of the season.
On Tuesday night, runners-up Alvechurch closed in on 100 points with a 1-0 win over 3rd placed Sporting Khalsa at Lye Meadow, Josh March with the only goal of the game. Two Kieran Clarke penalties ensured a top half finish for Boldmere St Michaels as they won 2-0 at Bardon Hill. Stourport Swifts were another side who confirmed a top half finish, as they beat AFC Wulfrunians 3-1 at Walshes Meadow. Two goals from record scorer Gary Fife gave Brocton a 3-2 win at Highgate United as the teams finished in 15th and 9th respectively.
Only 1 game was completed on Thursday night as more rain caused further havoc to the fixtures. Bromsgrove Sporting closed the gap on leaders Coventry United with a 6-2 win at Bolehall Swifts, Sean Brain with a hat-trick. Coventry United’s chance to confirm the title will have to wait as their game at Sphinx Drive fell foul of the weather. Cadbury Athletic & Pilkington XXX had played 15 minutes of their game before a floodlight failure caused it to be abandoned.
Coventry United were crowned Champions and promoted to the Premier Division following a 3-0 win at Studley. Ten consecutive victories in April saw them over the line after a terrific battle at the top of the table. Bromsgrove Sporting finish runners-up again but they couldn’t end the season on a winning note, going down 2-0 at Cadbury Athletic who are safe from the drop. 3rd placed Nuneaton Griff also tasted defeat, losing 2-1 at much improved Heath Hayes. Hinckley AFC currently hold fourth spot and they finished their league season with an impressive 5-1 win at Littleton, Isaac Cooper scoring twice. Leicester Road will finish 4th if they win their final game at Southam United in midweek. They finished their home campaign with a 3-0 win over Atherstone Town. At the bottom, relegated Southam United were defeated 7-1 at mid-table Coventry Copsewood. The game between the two teams scrapping to avoid the drop, Pelsall Villa, and Stafford Town, was postponed following a hail storm at The Bush Ground. Heather St Johns confirmed their place in Division 1 for another season with a 1-0 win over Pershore Town, the goal scored by Ahkeem Rose. Bolehall Swifts are safe despite a final day mauling at the hands of Pilkington XXX. The Pilks ran out 8-1 winners with doubles for Dayle Kenny and Craig Oldfield. A Wade Malley double gave Racing Club Warwick a 2-1 win over Lichfield City at Townsend Meadow, the win giving the Racers a top ten finish.
Champions Coventry United finished their season with a 3-0 win over Littleton reaching the 100 point tally in the process. Pelsall Villa must beat Stafford Town on Thursday and get a point in their final game if they are to avoid finishing in the bottom two. This after a 5-1 home defeat at the hands of Studley for whom Daniel Stokes scored twice. Pilkington XXX guaranteed a minimum of a 7th place finish with a 3-2 win at relegated Southam United. Pilkington XXX finish 6th in the table after a fine 3-1 win at Cadbury Athletic, their 2nd game in 24 hours. Littleton will finish in 9th place after they beat Heather St Johns 2-1 at 5 Acres.
The game between the top two ended in a 1-1 draw at Green Lane. Leaders Alvis Sporting Club need 6 points from their final four games to claim the title while 2nd placed Chelmsley Town need 3 points from four games to confirm promotion. 3rd placed Droitwich Spa kept it interesting with a 2-1 win at Sutton United.
Chelmsley Town gained promotion to Division 1 following a 2-1 win at Fairfield Villa. The home side took the lead in the 2nd minute but Chelmsley hit back and a goal from Chris Lloyd gave them all three points. Leaders, Alvis Sporting Club need 3 points from their final 3 games to be crowned champions after they beat Coton Green 1-0 at Green Lane. There is a two-way battle for third place and 4th placed Paget Rangers closed the gap to just one point with a 5-1 win at Feckenham. Dan Carter scored 4 taking his season tally to 27. Hampton’ s excellent end to the season continued with a 2-1 win over Sutton United taking Hampton into 7th place. The game between Austrey Rangers and Knowle ended in a 1-1 draw, with both side locked together in 9th and 10th place.
With a 28 goal advantage on goal difference, Alvis Sporting Club are champions following a 2-0 win over Droitwich Spa. Chelmsley Town continue to push them all the way and a 7-0 win over Earlswood Town boosted their goal difference. Chris Lloyd scored 5 goals to move to the top of the scoring charts. Paget Rangers are third with one game left to play. Two goals from Mark Bellingham helped them to a 3-1 win at Barnt Green Spartak. Feckenham closed the gap to the sides above them with a 2-1 win over Austrey Rangers. Alvis Sporting Club are champions after 2nd place Chelmsley Town were beaten 3-2 at Feckenham. Connor Perry-Holmes scored twice for The Millers who are now level on points with Fairfield Villa with two games in hand. A good win for Barnt Green Spartak who move up to 11th after a 4-2 win over Knowle, Andre Tulloch netting twice.
Northfield Town moved up into 4th place with a 2-0 win over Coventrians at Shenley Lane.
The significant in Division 3 on Saturday was at The Mackadown Stadium as Smithswood Firs moved into the second promotion spot following a 6-1 victory over Enville Athletic. Curtis Thomas scored twice for the home side who need 4 points from their final two league games to gain promotion. FC Stratford moved back into fourth place after a 2-0 win at Shipston Excelsior. Alcester Town leapfrogged visitors Northfield Town in the table with a 2-1 win. Barton United are one of 4 teams battling for fourth position. They beat AFC Solihull 3-1 with Peter Martin scoring two more. Coventrians rose to 10th in the table in their debut MFL season with a 3-1 win over Perrywood. Burntwood Town and Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons fought out a 1-1 draw at Ravenhill Park.
Leaders, Leamington Spa had hoped to clinch the league title on Monday but they were beaten 2-1 at home by 4th placed FC Stratford leaving the door open for Smithswood Firs to overtake them. Redditch Borough moved back into second place with a 5-3 win at Burntwood Town. Jamie Hatfield scored three and Jak Albutt two in a game of numerous chances at either end. The impressive Dan Newton scored twice for Burntwood. Peter Martin was another of the league’s leading scorers in good form as he scored all three for Barton United in a 3-2 win at basement side AFC Solihull. Alex Griffiths scored twice as Inkberrow recorded a 5-2 win over Northfield Town. Shipston Excelsior completed their first season in the Midland Football League with a 2-0 home victory over Alcester Town. Coventrians completed a quickfire double over Perrywood, winning 5-2 at Neel Park, Tyler Haddow with a hat-trick.
Redditch Borough are back in second place, winning their final game of the season 3-1 against FC Stratford. Ben Cox scored twice for the Reds who now must wait on results elsewhere to see if they will be promoted.
Polymac Packaging League Cup
Hereford will meet Walsall Wood in the final of the Polymac Packaging League Cup on May 10th at Solihull Moors FC. Hereford took a 1-0 lead into the second leg against Stourport Swifts and eventually progressed 4-0 on aggregate. The game was level until the 59th minute but two quick goals from Dylan Bonella and Mustapha Bundu sent Hereford through. Walsall Wood and Lye Town could not be separated on the night with both sides having chances but failing to convert in a 0-0 draw. That result meant that Walsall Wood progressed on the away goals rule after a 2-2 draw at Stourbridge Road.
Droitwich Spa lifted the Worcestershire Junior Cup with a thrilling 3-2 win over Worcester Raiders. Hot-shot James Lemon scored twice and Nick Seabourne once as Droitwich clinched the trophy at Pershore Town FC. Hereford picked up their second piece of silverware in a wonderful season as they beat neighbours Westfields 5-1 in the final of the Herefordshire Challenge Cup. The Bulls had five different scorers with the game played out in front of a Bank Holiday crowd of 2188 at Edgar Street. Coventry Copsewood lifted the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup beating Nuneaton Griff 2-1 in the final at Stratford Town FC. Hinckley AFC also claimed silverware beating Oakham United 5-1 in the Leicestershire Senior Cup Final, Ryan Seal with a hat-trick.
Gresley 2 Coleshill Town 6
Lichfield City 4 Cadbury Athletic 1
Rocester 2 Solihull Moors 0
Coventry United 2 Solihull Moors 3
Newcastle Town 2 Heath Hayes 0 (U21N)
Bedworth United 3 Walsall Wood 0 (Bowl)
Kings Heath Concorde 1 Gornal Athletic 0 (U21S)
Leamington 1 H.O.W. Academy 2 (U21S)
Heath Hayes 5 Tipton Town 1 (U21N)
Newcastle Town 0 Basford United 1 (U21N)
Tamworth 3 Anstey Nomads 1 (U21N)
Gornal Athletic 1 Bedworth United 5 (U21S)
Kings Heath Concorde 1 Stourport Swifts 3 (U21S)
Heath Hayes 0 Tamworth 3 (U21N)
Newcastle Town 2 Tipton Town 0 (U21N)
Walsall Wood 2 Sutton Coldfield Town 1 (U21N)
John Mills Hereford 52
Craig Bannister Sporting Khalsa 43
Lei Brown Highgate United 33
Jamie Cuss Westfields 30
Pablo Haysham Hereford 29
Jordan Nadat Alvechurch 28
Luke Shorthouse Nuneaton Griff 41
Tony Clarke Lichfield City 38
Ryan Seal Hinckley AFC 37
Josh O’Grady Coventry United 33
Chris Lloyd Chelmsley Town 48
James Lemon Droitwich Spa 44
Mark Bellingham Paget Rangers 36
Dildale Linton Alvis Sporting Club 31
Peter Martin Barton United 37
Jak Albutt Redditch Borough 36
Matt Layton Alcester Town 35
Jason Cowley Redditch Borough 25
Ashley Wilkes FC Stratford 24
Just two games remain in the Premier Division. On Thursday evening, Alvechurch need to score 3 goals and notch up a win to break the 100 goals and 100 points barriers. Standing in their way are visitors Bardon Hill. On Saturday, Dunkirk sign off from the Premier Division with a home game against Westfields.
Two fixtures on Thursday night and all eyes on The Bush ground as Pelsall Villa entertain Stafford Town. Villa have to win and pick up a point on Saturday to avoid finishing in the bottom two. As for Town, a draw is enough to survive. Leicester Road travel to relegated Southam United knowing a win will see them finish in 4th place in this, their first season in Division 1.
Depending on Thursday’s result, Pelsall Villa welcome 3rd placed Nuneaton Griff to the Bush ground with the possibility of a point for survival. Littleton finish off their season with the visit of Atherstone Town to 5 Acres.
Leaders Alvis Sporting Club can be crowned Champions on Thursday evening if they pick up a point at Sutton United.
The big game on Saturday sees two in-form sides meet at Green Lane with Alvis Sporting Club at home to 3rd placed Paget Rangers, whose run to the line has seen them shoot up the table. Promoted Chelmsley Town are at home to 7th placed Hampton, themselves on a decent run of form. Two former front-runners meet at The Red Lion ground with Rostance Edwards hosting Droitwich Spa in a game of what might have been. The bottom two face each other with Feckenham travelling to Earlswood Town. 12th meets 11th at The Coppice with Barnt Green Spartak at home to Fairfield Villa.
Smithswood Firs need 4 points from two games to clinch promotion and the first of those is on Thursday at Coventrians. 13th meets 14th at the bottom of the table as Enville Athletic welcome Perrywood to Hall Drive. Barton United can climb into the top four with a win at Northfield Town.
Leamington Hibernian will be crowned champions with a win at home to Perrywood. Smithswood Firs need a positive result at home to Alcester Town to clinch promotion. Barton United will finish the season in the top four should they beat Enville Athletic at home. Coventrians will be happy with their first season in the MFL and they end their home campaign against Burntwood Town.
Polymac Packaging League Cup
The final of the League Cup takes place on Tuesday 10th May at Solihull Moors FC. Hereford are attempting to lift trophy number three with Walsall Wood standing in their way. While Hereford have stormed to the Premier Division title, Wood have had another competitive season finishing in 7th position. Hereford edged the recent league meeting between the sides at Edgar Street and an excellent game is in prospect.
The final of the Presidents Cup takes place on Monday 9th May at Coton Green FC. Two of the 2nd division heavyweights meet with champions Alvis Sporting Club facing 4th placed Droitwich Spa. The two sides met last weekend in the league with Alvis running out 2-0 winners in a very tight game. With goals a plenty in the two sides, it promises to be an excellent evening.
Les James Challenge Cup
On Wednesday evening, the final of the Les James Challenge Cup takes place at Bromsgrove Sporting FC. Alvis Sporting Club head for their 2nd final in 3 days with the competition this time from Division 3 promotion contenders Smithswood Firs. On paper, Firs are undoubtedly the underdogs yet in the previous round, they beat high-flying Paget Rangers from Division 2. Form for both is excellent and another good final is in store.
On Saturday, Redditch Borough face Northfield Town in the Challenge Vase final. Both sides had excellent away wins in the semi-final and, as with all our cup finals this season, promises to be an excellent afternoon in front of a healthy crowd.
RES1 Cadbury Athletic Reserves v Solihull Moors Reserves
THU 05 MAY 2016 19:45
21SE Gornal Athletic U21 v Kings Heath Concorde U21
21NW Tamworth U21 v Basford United U21
21NW Walsall Wood U21 v Heath Hayes U21
SAT 07 MAY 2016 10:30
21NW Tamworth U21 v Heath Hayes U21
21NW Walsall Wood U21 v Tipton Town U21
21SE Gornal Athletic U21 v H.O.W. Academy U21
21SE Leamington U21 v Kings Heath Concorde U21
The official news channel of the Midland Football League (founded 2014)