Midland Football League Newsletter
5th November 2015
The draw for the 2nd round of the FA Vase has been made. Ties take place on the weekend of November 21st
WALSALL WOOD vs Holbeach United (UCL)
AFC Bridgnorth (WMRL) vs ALVECHURCH
COVENTRY SPHINX vs BROCTON
COVENTRY UNITED vs Uttoxeter Town
COLESHILL TOWN vs DUNKIRK
HEREFORD vs Haughmond (WMRL)
LONG EATON UNITED vs Pinxton (CML)
HEANOR TOWN vs Leicester Nirvana (UCL)
Cleethorpes Town (NECL) vs RACING CLUB WARWICK
QUORN vs AFC WULFRUNIANS
NUNEATON GRIFF vs HIGHGATE UNITED
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday October 31st
Boldmere St Michaels 0 Coventry United 2
The first round proper of the FA Vase threw up some interesting ties and there were none better than the all Midland football League game at Church Road. Premier division Boldmere St Michaels are not having the best of seasons languishing in 18th place in the table while their visitors, Division 1 Coventry united are flying high in 2nd place and looking good for promotion. Cheered on by their vocal travelling support, United had to shuffle the pack with a number of players out injured, striker Josh Blake playing as emergency full back. The game had a frantic start with United midfielder Thomas Glasscoe in the referee’s notebook after just 30 seconds following a poor challenge on Andrew Lewis. Within 10 minutes Lewis himself was yellow carded after another poor challenge. The visitors were playing the better football and took the lead in the 13th minute with a clinical finish from Josh O’Grady. Ross Briscoe was twice thwarted by the Mikes defence when in decent positions. There was a felling that Coventry may rue their profligacy in front of goal and Ben Wilkinson was just off target for the Mikes, they seemed to heed the warning. Muzzi Nduna should have done better when clean through but took an age to decide what to do and the chance went begging. The visitors were unlucky just before the break. A perfectly flighted lob from Briscoe beat Sean Butler in the Mikes goal but rattled the cross bar. The ball came down and was headed goalwards by Errol Douglas only to see the ball hit the woodwork again and the danger was cleared. Coventry continued to dominate the game without getting the killer second goal with O’Grady and Nduna going close. The second goal came with 20 minutes remaining. Good work by O’Grady saw him square the ball towards Douglas. A Mikes defender made a hash of the clearance and Douglas made no mistake. Coventry should have extended their lead but their finishing didn’t match the approach play while at the other end Richard Morris was forced into a save by Jason Holmes. When the final whistle there were celebrations from the visitors who will be difficult opposition for whoever they draw in the next round. A feisty game which on another day would have seen red cards on both sides. The referee, after making a booking inside the first minute, did not apply that consistency throughout the game being intent on blasting his whistle as shrilly as he could for as long as he could. Yes, it was annoying!
Tuesday November 3rd
Sporting Khalsa 3 Pelsall Villa 0
A filthy evening weather wise, so a local game was in store with a Polymac Packaging League Cup tie between Sporting Khalsa and Pelsall Villa. A very youthful Pelsall side started brightly and Ryan Dean was off target with an early effort. Josh Mellors had a decent chance for Villa but failed to connect. Khalsa scored with their first effort of note. A deep cross from the right was met by Brad Lawley at the far post who had to stretch to volley the ball home. The goal settled the home side and Kane Cork should have doubled the lead, cutting inside but seeing his shot brilliantly saved by Dan Mikrat.
Khalsa doubled their lead on the half hour mark. Ben Hadley was needlessly tripped in the area and David Meese made no mistake from the spot. With the pitch very wet from the incessant rain, both sides were struggling to keep their feet. Khalsa remained on the front foot after the break. Calum Cooper saw his shot blocked by Michael Murray and then his follow up shot tipped over by Mikrat. The nearest Villa came was a Spencer Blackham free-kick which dipped over the bar. Khalsa’s third came from the best move of the match – Hadley playing the ball into the path of Marvin Nisbett who slotted home. Khalsa missed further opportunities but progressed to the next round where they will travel to Heanor Town. Despite the scoreline, I was impressed with the endeavour of the young Pelsall side. Some of their approach play was very good, just the final pass was missing.
The Midland Football league is guaranteed 14 teams in the second round after a busy weekend of FA Vase 1st round action. Pride of place goes to 3 sides from Division 1 who have made their way through to Round 2. Coventry United travelled to Premier Division Boldmere St Michaels and comfortably saw off the challenge with a 2-0 victory, Josh O’Grady making it 17 for the season Division 1 league leaders Nuneaton Griff beat Anstey Nomads at the Pingles Stadium, a solitary goal from Alex Naughton winning the tie. Racing Club Warwick welcomed Ellesmere Rangers to Townsend Meadow and won by the odd goal in five, Jamie Smith with a brace. Premier Division leading scorer John Mills scored his 26th of the campaign as Hereford won 2-0 at Rocester. Prolific goalscorer Karl Edwards scored 2 as Alvechurch comprehensively won 4-0 at Wisbech Town. Dean Rathbone was another premier Division striker to score 2 as his Coleshill Town team beat Hucknall Town 3-0. Lei Brown is up to 18 for the season as his two goals helped Highgate United to beat Radcliffe Olympic 3-1. Westfields faced a long journey to the East coast to face in-form Cleethorpes Town and despite taking the lead just after half-time, they couldn’t hang on and the NCEL side progressed 2-1. Dunkirk put league form to one side as they recorded a morale boosting victory over Bromsgrove Sporting. A David Hind goal was enough for Quorn to see off the challenge of Clipstone Welfare. There was disappointment for Sporting Khalsa as they were knocked out of an FA Competition for the 2nd successive Saturday, losing 2-0 at Shirebrook Town. Four games went into extra-time. AFC Wulfrunians finally got the better of Harrowby United winning 4-2 with two apiece from Jamie King and Ricky Anslow. Long Eaton United edged past Hinckley AFC thanks to an extra-time winner from Brad Wells. Coventry Sphinx and Black Country Rangers have to do it again after two goals in the last minute of extra-time couldn’t separate the sides. In the replay on Wednesday Rangers took a 3-0 lead and held out until the 83rd minute. A remarkable comeback from Sphinx saw them take the tie into added time and they went on to win 6-4. Likewise Loughborough University must replay at Uttoxeter Town after the side fought out a goalless draw. On Wednesday, the Students bowed out of the competition despite recovering from 2-0 down as a goal in the 80th minute saw Uttoxeter through 3-2.
Just two games in the Premier Division last Saturday and Shepshed Dynamo took the opportunity to record their 5th win on the run and move within 9 points of leaders Hereford with 3 games in hand.
Stourport Swifts were the visitors to the Dovecote and a brace from Michael Reeve settled the game in Dynamo’s favour. An important game in the bottom half of the table saw Bardon Hill beat Continental Star 3-1 leaving the visitors firmly rooted to the bottom of the table. Heanor Town climbed back to the top of the table with an emphatic 10-0 win at Dunkirk in midweek. Both Jay Cooper and Kieran Debrouwer as Heanor now hold a one point lead over Hereford.
Leicester Road have closed the gap at the top of the table following a 5-0 win over Southam United, Amarvir Sandhu and James Hicks both with 2. Pilkington XXX are up to 4th after a Daniel Pitt goal clinched all the points at Heath Hayes. Littleton continue to keep the leaders in their sights thanks to a 2-0 win at Coventry Copsewood. Lichfield City are 6th following a 4-1 win over basement boys Bolehall Swifts. Studley moved up to 14th place after a 3-1 win at Atherstone Town. Coventry United regained top spot on Tuesday night following a 3-1 win over Southam United at Sphinx Drive, Errol Douglas with a couple.
Alvis Sporting Club got back to winning ways with a 7-1 thumping of Feckenham, closing the gap on leaders Chelmsley Town to three points. Thomas Maguire with 3 and Dildale Linton with 2 took their joint tally to 26 goals this season. Tom Craine scored 4 as a resurgent Knowle beat Fairfield Villa 5-1. A big win for Paget Rangers at The Red Lion as 3rd placed Rostance Edwards were beaten 4-1, Mark Bellingham with a couple. Coton Green beat Earlswood Town 2-0 to move into the top half of the table. Sutton United closed the gap on the top three with a 3-2 win over Austrey Rangers.
Smithswood Firs held onto top spot after a 6-2 win at Enville Athletic. Leamington Hibernian are up to 2nd after a 2-1 win at 3rd placed Northfield Town. A huge win for Barton United at The Valley as their 2-0 win, courtesy of a Peter Martin double, over Redditch Borough moves Barton up to 3rd. At the bottom, AFC Solihull are still striving for their first point going down 4-2 at Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. Mid-table Shipston Excelsior and Burntwood Town shared 4 goals and remain locked together in 8th and 9th. After beating Redditch Borough last week, hopes were high at Alcester Town but they lost by a single goal at Coventrians.
Polymac Packaging League Cup
No shocks in the League Cup as Premier Division sides progressed with victory over Division 1 rivals. Highgate United were taken to extra time by Bromsgrove Sporting, eventually going through by 5 goals to 3. Shane Benjamin scored a hat-trick for gate with 2 more for Lei Brown taking his season tally to 20. Shepshed Dynamo beat Hinckley AFC 2-1 at St Johns Park, Daniel Chapman with the all important goal. Pelsall Villa put up a spirited performance at Sporting Khalsa but couldn’t prevent the home side progressing by 3 goals to 0.
In the Worcestershire Junior Cup, Droitwich Spa and Badsey Rangers made progress with wins over Bredon and Powick Rangers respectively. Inkberrow were knocked out losing on penalties to
Welland. In the Coventry Evening Telegraph Cup there were comfortable home wins for Chelmsley Town over Triumph Athletic and FC Stratford over Jaguar Daimler. AFC Wulfrunians pulled off a giantkilling in the Birmingham Senior Cup beating Halesowen Town of the Evostik Northern Premier Division 1-0 at The Grove. Tenants hosted landlord at Dales Lane as Continental Star lost 3-1 to Rushall Olympic. A young Stoke City side proved too strong for Walsall Wood at Oak Park in the Staffordshire Senior Cup, going through 3 goals to 0. A goal in first half stoppage time was enough for Lye Town to beat Penkridge Town in the JW Hunt Cup.
Solihull Moors progressed through to the semi-final of the Challenge trophy with victory over Cadbury Athletic. In the league, leaders Coleshill Town went down 2-1 at Brocton allowing Coventry United to close the gap with a 5-2 win over Sutton United, Leon Kelly with a hat-trick. Romulus climbed off the bottom with a 3-1 win over Gresley who take over last place.
Under 21 Divisions
One league game in the North division where Sutton Coldfield Town and Walsall Wood drew 1-1. In the South division, Bedworth United are top after a 4-0 win over Gornal Athletic. Level on points with Bedworth are Stourport Swifts after they beat West Midlands Football Academy 2-1. Bromsgrove Sporting could have joined them on 15 points but they were beaten at home by H.O.W. Academy. In the Bowl, there were away wins for Heath Hayes and Newcastle Town while Leamington and Basford United drew 2-2.
There are some very attractive games this weekend at both ends of the table. Leaders Heanor Town are at home to 6th placed Sporting Khalsa, who would go top if they won their games in hand. Two in-form sides meet at the Dovecote as 5th placed Shepshed Dynamo welcome 4th placed Highgate United. 2nd placed Hereford could go back to the top this weekend as they face Rocester at Edgar Street. Alvechurch will hope to close the gap when they entertain an inconsistent Coleshill Town. Two of the bottom three meet at Dales Lane where Continental Star host Coventry Sphinx, fresh from their midweek FA Vase victory. At Silkmore Lane, two more strugglers meet with Brocton taking on Westfields. Dunkirk have to respond to a 10 goal mauling at the hands of Heanor when they entertain Walsall Wood. Lowly Boldmere St Michaels were dumped out of the FA Vase last week by Division 1 Coventry United and they will be looking for a response at Bardon Hill. Two games featuring teams on the fringe of the promotion pack take place at Lye Town who entertain AFC Wulfrunians and at Stourport Swifts who entertain Long Eaton United
Leaders Coventry United will expect to maintain their lead at home to 2nd bottom Stafford Town. 2nd placed Nuneaton Griff have a local derby against Atherstone Town at The Pingles Stadium. Leicester Road have won 6 games on the rot and they take that record to Studley. Bottom club Bolehall Swifts travel to Coventry Copsewood looking to close the gap on the sides above them. Lichfield City can move into the top four with a win at Heather St Johns. Bromsgrove Sporting have games in hand on the leaders and they welcome Pelsall Villa to the Victoria Ground. Pershore Town had a good win on the road last week and they travel to Staffordshire again to face Heath Hayes. Racing Club Warwick are through to the 2nd round of the FA Vase and will want to replicate their cup form when they travel to Cadbury Athletic.
With the top two on cup duty, Rostance Edwards can close the gap with a win at Hampton. The bottom two meet as Earlswood Town entertain Feckenham, a win for the home side closing the gap to just 3 points. Droitwich Spa are 4th and will expect to beat Coton Green at Home. Barnt Green Spartak will have to be on their mettle against visitors Sutton United who have picked up 10 points out of the last 12.
Leaders Smithswood Firs travel to 2nd bottom Perrywood looking to consolidate top position. 2nd placed Leamington Hibernian host Badsey Rangers in what could be a tight game. 4th and 5th meet at The Valley Stadium when Northfield Town travel to Redditch Borough. 3rd placed Barton United travel to mid table Shipston Excelsior. Two sides level on points meet at Inkberrow with Enville Athletic the visitors.
Les James Challenge Cup
Division 2 high flyers Alvis Sporting Club travel to Austrey Rangers in the 2nd round of the competition.
In the quarter final of the Vase, Alcester Town welcome Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons to Old Stratford Road.
Sutton United vs Continental Star (Trophy)
Romulus vs Brocton
Coleshill Town vs Rocester
Evesham United vs Solihull Moors
Lichfield City vs Gresley
Under 21 Divisions
Leamington vs Bedworth United (Bowl)
West Midlands Football Academy vs Kings Heath Concorde
Anstey Nomads vs Tamworth
Tipton Town vs Sutton Coldfield Town
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