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)
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