Midland Football League Newsletter 10th September 2015
Jim Cunningham, MP for Coventry South, and Alan Johnson, President of Copsewood Sports & Social Club (CCSSC), marked the official opening of Copsewood Community Sports & Social Club’s new £661,812 changing pavilion recently (Sunday 6 September 2015), thanks to a £401,812 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation, and a £100,000 grant from the Premier League through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF).
The grant has enabled Copsewood Community Sports & Social Club to upgrade their changing facilities, which will be used by Copsewood FC’s senior and junior teams, as well as other users of the multi-sports site. The new facility comprises six new changing rooms, referees’ rooms, a physio room as well as toilet and shower facilities for disabled users.
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I am delighted that a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund has enabled Copsewood Community Sports & Social Club to upgrade its changing room facilities. This development will provide a real boost to sport in the local area.
“Since 2000, the Football Foundation has supported grassroots projects worth more than £1.3bn, investing into areas where the need is greatest and where it will have the biggest impact in terms of getting more people playing football and a wide range of other sports.
Travels of the Press Officer Saturday 5th September Stafford Town 2 Wednesfield 0
FA Vase action for me today and with too many games to choose from a piece of transfer news entices me to Evans Park. Stafford Town have signed the mercurial talent that is Fabrice Kasiama from Stafford Rangers as a part of Fabrice’s long recovery from serious injury. Knowing Fab well from my time at Stafford Rangers, this was too good a chance to miss. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and still only 24 years old, Kasiama has been dogged by injuries for a number of years but a fit, in-form Kasiama is a sight to behold. Visitors Wednesfield had made a good start to the season with 10 points from 4 games after relegation last campaign. It was easy to see who was the more confident as Wednesfield took the game to their higher ranked hosts. Against the run of play, Town took the lead with a cool finish from skipper Spencer Gunnell. Kasiama’s afternoon was to end just before the interval. After receiving another strong challenge, he reacted pushing his hands in the face of the defender giving the referee no option other than to show a red card. Fab actually came and sat next to me and bemoaned that he was getting kicked all afternoon – while he did receive some ‘treatment’ it was nothing excessive. Down to ten men and on the back foot, it felt like only a matter of time before Wednesfield equalised. Town held firm and then the referee made matters worse for the hosts sending off Sam Westray with 20 minutes remaining. From the stand it appeared nothing more than a coming together but I learnt afterwards that it was for retaliation. The nine
men of Town continued to weather the storm and in the last minute they sealed the points from the penalty spot; Jack Edwards picking himself up to fire home an unlikely victory but one which may kickstart the Reds season.
A Sunday afternoon FA Vase tie with Continental Star’s landlords, Rushall Olympic at home on the Saturday. Both sides came into the game without a win, Step 6 Ellistown at least having the luxury of 1 point from 5 games. Star, playing in their very bright Day-Glo yellow shirts, struggled to get into the game and the visitors deservedly took the lead just after the half hour mark when Nathan Jones somehow got the wrong side of Rudi Misambo to knock the ball home. It got worse for Star three minutes later – more poor defending allowed Liam Kavanagh too much time and he found the net via a deflection. At this stage Star looked dead and buries but an excellent move of free flowing football saw Nathan McBean tap home from inside the 6-yard box. The goal certainly galvanised the home side and the pushed on after the break with Ellistown defending deeper and deeper. The equaliser came with 21 minutes left, an excellent run and finish from impressive substitute Bruno Semedo. With the groundhoppers present expecting extra-time, the visitors grabbed what turned out to be the winner with their first chance of the half. A pinpoint cross from Danny Birt was volleyed home by Nathan Jones sending Ellistown to Coventry Sphinx in the next round.
Tuesday 8th September
Tividale 0 Stafford Rangers 1
No games in the Midland Football League so a trip to former Midland Alliance winners as they faced league leaders Stafford Rangers in the Evostik Division One South. For the first 10 minutes it was very much top versus bottom as Rangers created numerous chances without breaking the deadlock. Tividale gradually came into the game with twin strikers Mark Danks and Chris Sterling working well together. Rangers went close in the 37th minute when Josh Craddock’s looping header rebounded off the bar. Tividale improved after the break and former Brocton keeper Adam Whitehouse saved well from Stirling. A double substitution from Stafford on the hour mark changed the complexion of the game. One of the subs, Christian Dacres was involved in the only goal of the game. A neat through ball from Dacres sent Alex Melbourne clear and when the Tividale defence failed to deal with the low ball into the box, Ben Haseley was on hand to tuck it into the net. Dacres forced a fine save from Chris Jay as rangers took all 3 points and maintained a 3 point lead at the top of Evostik Division 1 South. As for Tividale, they battled well and have enough quality to move away from the foot of the division.
This week, I will be at the FA Cup tie between Sporting Khalsa and AFC Wulfrunians, and a possible FA Cup replay in midweek. Keep looking on Twitter (@FOLKYGAZ) to follow my travels.
Weekend review FA Vase
Most of the games went the way of form and status but there were two giantkillings in the 1st qualifying round. Pride of place goes to Leicester Road with a 2-0 victory over Step 5 Harborough Town. The other giantkilling was mentioned above with Ellistown and Ibstock United defeating higher ranked Continental Star. A couple of games went to extra time with Bardon Hill pushed all the way by Coventry Copsewood before 3 goals in extra time sealed it for the visitors and a home tie with Hereford. Coventry United needed extra time to get past Hanley Town, Josh O’Grady with a double for the Division 1 leaders. Free scoring Nuneaton Griff needed an extra 30 minutes to finally see off the challenge of Shawbury United. AFC Wulfrunians set-up a local derby at Bilston Town in the next round with a narrow win over Pershore Town. Rocester were the big winners, 8-1 at
Heather St Johns while Highgate United put 5 past Tipton at The Coppice. A Daniel Douse hat-trick helped Pilkington XXX to a 5-0 win at Lutterworth Athletic while Hinckley AFC also scored 5 away fromhomeatWolverhamptonSporting. PremierDivisionsidesAlvechurch,SportingKhalsa,Lye Town, Stourport Swifts and Quorn made no mistake in their ties. Shepshed Dynamo were shocked by fellow Premier Division side Loughborough University at the Dovecote while FA Cup heroes Westfields won by the solitary goal against Atherstone Town. There was disappointment for First Division Cadbury Athletic and Southam United who went out at the hands of WMRL sides AFC Bridgnorth and Wolverhampton Casuals respectively. There were good wins for Racing Club Warwick, Bromsgrove Sporting and Littleton away from home while in the other tie Studley overcame the challenge of Division 2 Paget Rangers by the odd goal in 5.
Four games in the Premier Division and no shortage of goals or incident. League leaders Long Eaton United stretched their lead at the top with a 4-3 victory over Coleshill Town, Brad Wells with 2 of the goals. The last 100% record has fallen with Heanor Town losing at home 7-2 to Hereford. John Mills scored a hat-trick for the visitors two from the penalty spot with Hereford’s final four goals coming the last 10 minutes. Coventry Sphinx had to come back from 2-0 down to beat Walsall Wood 3-2 at Sphinx Drive, Mitch Piggon with the decider from the spot 9 minutes from time. Dunkirk picked up their 2nd win of the season with a 2-1 victory over Brocton for whom player manager Dave Berks missed a penalty.
Due to the FA vase, there was just the one game in Division 1 affecting the lower reaches of the table. It was an important victory for Pelsall Villa who jumped 5 places in the table while Bolehall Swifts remaining rooted to 20th place.
Alvis Sporting Club maintained their 100% record with a 3-0 victory over Austrey Rangers, Dildale Linton and Thomas Maguire again on the scoresheet. Chelmsley Town are second after 1 5-1 over Sutton United, Chris Lloyd with a brace. Hampton moved up to 5th with a 5-1 win over Earlswood Town. Feckenham were the big scorers with a 6-1 win over Knowle. Two wins on the trot for Fairfield Villa as they move away from the bottom of the table with a 3-1 win at Coton Green. In the Presidents Cup, Droitwich Spa beat Rostance Edwards to progress to the next round.
Inkberrow sit proudly at the summit of Division 3 following a 3-1 win at previous leaders Barton United. FC Stratford lost their 100% record sharing 6 goals at Perrywood. Northfield Town are in 4th place after a 4-2 home win over Alcester Town. Coventrians are finding their MFL feet with a second win in succession, a 2-1 victory at Smithswood Firs. AFC Solihull are still searching for their first MFL point, going down 3-2 at home to Burntwood Town. There was a big win for Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons away at previously unbeaten Redditch Borough. Leamington Hibernian put 5 past Enville Athletic while Shipston Excelsior and Badsey Rangers shared the spoils with a 1-1 draw.
Following the giant killing feats of the previous round, can the MFL sides continue to upset the apple cart in the 1st qualifying round. There is one guaranteed participant in the next round with Sporting Khalsa and AFC Wulfrunians meeting in a Wolverhampton derby at Aspray Arena. A very tough tie to call with a replay a distinct possibility. Coleshill Town, after disposing of one Evostik South side face another in Newcastle Town at the Lamb, with another giantkilling on the cards. Shepshed Dynamo welcome Evostik Premier Division Rushall Olympic to the Dovecote where the home supporters could give them the edge. Following their heroics against Kidsgrove Athletic, Westfields have a difficult away tie at Evostik premier Division Barwell, a replay at Allpay Park a reasonable target. League leaders Long Eaton United have a short journey to last season’s champions Basford United in what promises to be a very tasty affair. Stourport Swifts face the long journey to United Counties high flyers Holbeach United but with both sides in fine form this is another difficult tie to call. Last but not least, Hinckley AFC fly the flag for Division 1 with an attractive looking tie against Evostik Southern Premier Division Redditch United. Despite the 3 division difference, home advantage could count.
Heanor Town will be hoping for a response after last week’s defeat at the hands of Hereford when they entertain Bardon Hill at The Town Ground. A win for Heanor would see them close the gap on leaders Long Eaton United. Hereford have the opportunity to move into the top three when they welcome Boldmere St Michaels to Edgar Street. The Mikes have performed better of late and with 4 points from the last two matches will go into the game with some confidence. Lye Town and Coventry Sphinx meet in the Black Country with a win for either sending them into the top 5. These two sides met recently in the FA Cup which was shaded by Sphinx after a replay. Quorn take their improved form to Dales Lane to face a Continental Star side humbled searching for their first points of the season. Two sides without a point meet as Loughborough University and Rocester go head to head. Both had good FA Vase wins last week and will want to kick start their league season. Brocton host Walsall Wood at Silkmore Lane with just the one win from their opening 7 games. Things haven’t gone to plan for The Wood either and this could be a nervy encounter.
League leaders Coventry United go for win number nine from nine when they welcome Leicester Road to Sphinx Drive. Nuneaton Griff take their goal machine to Pershore Town after winning the home game 4-1 between these sides earlier in the season. Bromsgrove Sporting face Heather St Johns at The Victoria Ground, the visitors conceding 27 goals in the last 4 games. Basement side Bolehall Swifts entertain Heath Hayes looking for their first point of the season while 2nd bottom Stafford Town travel to Southam United. Cadbury Athletic will want to put their FA Vase disappointment behind them when they welcome Pelsall Villa to the TSA Sports ground. Elsewhere Atherstone Town travel to Racing Club Warwick while Studley welcome Pilkington XXX to The Beehive.
With Alvis Sporting Club in cup action, Chelmsley Town can go top if they win at Hampton. 3rd
Barton United can return to the summit should they beat Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. If Barton slip up, Northfield Town could take over the lead with a win over Smithswood Firs. Coventrians are looking for their 3rd win in succession as they host Redditch Borough. AFC Solihull’s search for their first MFL point takes them to Leamington Hibernian.
Les James Challenge Cup
Enville Athletic and Austrey Rangers at home to Perrywood. Challenge Vase
Three games in the Challenge Vase with Division 3 leaders Inkberrow at home to Burntwood Town being the pick of the bunch. FC Stratford face a tricky tie at Badsey Rangers while Alcester Town and Shipston Excelsior will want to put indifferent league form behind them when they meet at Old Stratford Road.
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