Midland Football League Newsletter
11th May 2016
Highgate United were found guilty of failing to fulfil their Premier Division fixture against Stourport Swifts on Thursday 7th April. They were duly fined and in addition 3 points were deducted from their playing total.
Nigel Wood, Secretary
Travels of the Press Officer
Thursday 5th May
Pelsall Villa 1 Stafford Town 0
No hail, no swarm of locusts, just wall to wall sunshine and this crunch game at the bottom of Division 1 can take place. The early stages of the game are littered with mistakes from both sides as the undoubted tension is clear for all to see. The first action of any note sees Michael Murray, the Pelsall skipper, into the referee's notebook for a poor challenge on Malaki Norford. Playing down the slope, Pelsall were having the better of the game without really threatening Richard Stone’s goal. That all changed in the 29th minute. A corner from the right was met with a powerful header by Sean Westley and although it was cleared off the line, the officials agreed that the ball had crossed the line and the goal was given. That’s how it stayed till half-time and the thought that Stafford, with the advantage of the slope in the second-half, may well provide a real challenge for Pelsall.
The visitors did start the second half better, Grant Winwood clearing the bar with a free-kick and Oliver Mannocherhi toe-poking a decent chance wide. Pelsall went close to doubling their lead in the 55th minute. A long throw flicked off the head of Winwood, and Alex Moore’s flick cannoned off the bar. The close call seemed to spur on Pelsall and substitute Michael Clark volleyed over the bar when in a decent position. Aaron Sylvester was proving to be a real thorn in the side for the Stafford defence. A good run by Sylvester saw him check back and roll the ball into the path od Spencer Blackham, and with everyone expecting the net to bulge, Blackham’s shot was straight at keeper stone. At the other end, Tom Bowers was clean through but his shot was weak and easily dealt with. In the 78th minute, Pelsall really should have put the game to bed. Sylvester got to the by-line and crossed perfectly for Blackham who, with an open goal in front of him, somehow missed the target. As the clock ticked by, both sides got more and more desperate as the circumstances, not surprisingly, dictated. In the 4th minute of stoppage time, Stafford had the ball in the net but the assistant referee gave an offside decision. The Stafford players and bench were incensed with the decision making it clear that the run came from an onside position. In the middle of the complaints, the referee sent off Winwood, who had earlier been replaced, for something he said to the assistant. After almost 10 minutes of time added-on, the referee blew giving Pelsall the three points and with it all still to play for. If Pelsall can get a point against Nuneaton Griff, they finish outside of the bottom two dropping Stafford into the relegation zone.
Monday 9th May
Presidents Cup Final
Alvis Sporting Club 0 Droitwich Spa 1
A balmy evening and the first of three nights of cup final action for the Midland Football League. New Mill Lane, the home of Coton Green FC, is the venue for this matchup between two of the top three in Division 2. Alvis had the first chance inside the opening minute with Aaron Cooke off target. Few chances were being created as the two sides were well matched. Nick Seabourne went close for Droitwich, curling a shot over the bar. In the 29th minute, we came close to an opening goal when Seabourne headed the ball on to James Lemon whose shot was well saved by Ashley Hooker. As the first half drew to a close, Haydn Morris was off target with another effort for Droitwich.
Alvis started the second half brightly without creating a clear opportunity. As the half wore on, Droitwich took control with the front two of Lemon and Seabourne causing problems for the Alvis defence. In the 61st minute, Lemon created an opening for Seabourne but the chance was wasted. Three minutes later, lemon saw a shot deflected for a corner. Droitwich took the lead in the 68th minute. Jack Brighton lined up a free-kick from 25 yards out. His shot bounced in front of Hooker who got into a tangle and the ball flew past him into the net. Droitwich went close to doubling their lead when Seabourne flashed a shot wide. Alvis gradually began to push Droitwich back but their finishing was not up to their normal standards. In the 90th minute, a last ditch challenge from a Droitwich defender saw the ball deflected for a corner. From the corner, another good chance to equalise was missed with the ball being blasted over the bar. Two minutes into stoppage time, Alvis were down to ten men after Michael Quirke had clashed with Lemon, who was trying to hold onto the ball. The referee chose not to book Lemon but showed the Alvis skipper a second yellow. Worse was to follow for Alvis when Tom Maguire was shown a straight red card for something he said. A sad end to an enthralling cup final.
Tuesday 10th May
Polymac Packaging League Cup Final
Walsall Wood 1 Hereford 3
The bad weather which has blighted the season followed us to Damson Parkway, the home of Solihull Moors. Thankfully, the pitch was holding up well as the game got underway. Walsall Wood started the brighter and Louis Harris forced a save from Harvey Rivers inside the first 5 minutes. Ross Staley was the first to show for Hereford but his effort was blocked on the line. Walsall Wood took the lead in the 19th minute. A free-kick floated in by Max Black was deflected past Rivers by Harris. The goal seemed to wake Hereford from their slumbers and Joe Tumelty was just off target with a shot. At the other end, Joey Butlin sent a free-kick narrowly wide. In the 32nd minute, Rivers made a fine save to thwart Butlin as Wood continued to impress. John Mills wasted a good chance for Hereford before the league champions equalised in the 36th minute. Mike Symons beat a defender, picked his spot and curled a superb shot into the top corner. Just before half-time, Hereford took the lead, another fine shot, this time from Staley finding the net from 25 yards. In first half stoppage time, Adam Jenkins made an excellent save to keep out a header from Jamie Willets. The Walsall Wood keeper made an even better save seconds later, tipping over another superb effort from Staley.
With the rain continuing to fall, both sides were putting on an excellent show in a true competitive cup final. Aaron Birch went close for Hereford early in the second half while Corey Carruthers went close for Walsall Wood. Jenkins made another wonderful save, tipping over a shot from Jimmy Oates which had a goal written all over it. Walsall Wood were still in the game and a shot on the turn from Black forced a save from Rivers. Mustapha Bundu, on as a substitute forced another decent save from Jenkins with 10 minutes left to play. Walsall Wood had a great chance to level things but Lewis Taylor-Boyce was off target. Unfortunately for Walsall Wood, their chance had gone as Bundu made it safe for Hereford firing a fierce shot through Jenkins into the net. With a minute left, Oates surged forward but his shot was yet again well saved by the impressive Jenkins. Into stoppage time, Symons wriggled through the Wood backline but his show was brilliantly saved by Jenkins as it trickled past the post. The final whistle went as Hereford bade farewell to the Midland League with another trophy.
A fabulous cup final between two very good sides – a great advert for the competition.
Wednesday 11th May
Les James Challenge Cup Final
Alvis Sporting Club 4 Smithswood Firs 3
Another wet evening for a cup final between two of our promoted sides. Division 3 Smithswood started the game in fine style. A run from Aaron Anderson was stopped by Alvis keeper, Ashley Hooker. A cross from the Smithswood left was met by Daniel Charlton but the ball was squeezed behind for a goal kick. Smithswood continued to ask questions and a deep cross from Jack Duffy was just in front of Lee Sayer. The woodwork saved Alvis in the 13th minute when a bullet from Nathan Leek rattled the crossbar with Ashley Weeks unable to convert the rebound. Leek again went close for Smithswood volleying wide with Hooker well beaten. Alvis’ first attempt saw Shane Brassington’s shot saved before Brassington had the ball in the net but an offside flag ruled it out. Smithswood deservedly took the lead in the 22nd minute. Excellent work by Charlton down the right saw him cross low and Anderson clipped the ball past the keeper. Smithswood doubled their lead in the 33rd minute. A cross from Curtis Thomas was headed back into the box by Leek and Adam Rooke was on hand to volley it home from close range. Very little had been seen from Alvis at this point but they pulled a goal back in the 39th minute. Tommy Maguire broke free and played the ball inside to David Moyo. Moyo missed his first kick but maintained his composure and scored at the second attempt. Back came Smithswood and within two minutes they had extended their lead. Anderson picked up the ball on the edge of the box, beat 3 defenders and fired past Hooker.
Alvis were incensed early in the second half when Brassington clean through was fouled by Weeks and no foul was given. Rooke wasted a decent chance for Smithswood while Hooker had to race off his line to thwart Daniel Russell. In the 66th minute, Alvis were awarded a penalty when Dildale Linton was pulled down by Leek. Maguire took the penalty which was brilliantly saved by Jake Woodward. Alvis were certainly having more of the play and Moyo twice saw shots blocked. Smithswood were still creating chances and Rooke was just off target with a header. With 7 minutes left, Thomas teed up Charlton to seal it but his shot was off target. Within a minute, Alvis pulled a goal back. A deep free-kick from Michael Quirke was headed back into the box and Brassington g#finsighed from inside the 6-yard box. It got better for Alvis as they equalised in the 88th minute. The ball was played into Moyo in the area and he turned, and turned again before beating Woodward at his near post. Charlton saw two shots blocked for Smithswood. With two minutes of injury time played, Linton’s shot was well saved and the rebound fell to Brassington who put it wide from 1 yard out. Extra time beckoned.
It was survival of the fittest and the fittest certainly appeared to be Alvis. In the first period of extra time, Maguire had a couple of efforts before a moment of real controversy. Maguire went down under the challenge of Rooke in the area and the referee pointed to the spot. It appeared a fair challenge from Rooke but Linton stepped up and buried the penalty to give Alvis the lead. Alvis kept piling on the pressure as Smithswood struggled to contain them. Into the second period of extra-time, a speculative volley from Adam Day was well saved by Woodward as the ball looked destined for the top corner. Alvis were awarded another penalty with three minutes left after Woodward dived in on Linton. This time Linton’s penalty flew high over the bar. Reece Snape should have made sure for Alvis but he shot wide when clean through. Try as they might, Smithswood couldn’t get the equaliser and it was Alvis that lifted the trophy. What a game!
On Thursday evening, runners-up Alvechurch finished their league season with a 2-1 home win over Bardon Hill. Jordan Nadat scored the winning goal two minutes into time added on. The victory means that Church amassed 101 points and just missed out on 100 goals for the season. If only one of those many penalties missed had been converted!
The Premier division season finished on Saturday with a 1-0 win for Westfields at Dunkirk. Skipper Jamie Cuss got the goal in the 31st minute taking his season tally to 31.
John Mills Hereford 52
Craig Bannister Sporting Khalsa 43
Lei Brown Highgate United 33
Jamie Cuss Westfields 31
Pablo Haysham Hereford 29
Jordan Nadat Alvechurch 29
Karl Edwards Alvechurch 27
Matt Langham Shepshed Dynamo 27
Mykel Beckley Coleshill Town 25
Jamie King AFC Wulfrunians 25
Joey Butlin Walsall Wood 24
Mustapha Bundu Hereford 24
Ben Ward-Cochrane Loughborough Uni 24
Kieran Debrouwer Heanor Town 23
Michael Reeve Shepshed Dynamo 23
Michael Symons Hereford 23
On Thursday evening, the game between the two sides battling to avoid the drop went the way of Pelsall Villa who beat Stafford Town 1-0. Sean Westley scored the only goal of the game on the half-hour mark with Town having a goal chalked off for offside 4 minutes into stoppage time. The win for Villa means a point against Nuneaton Griff in their final fixture, they would finish out of the bottom two. Leicester Road finished their season on a high with a 6-0 win at Southam United. Callum O’Sullivan and Amarvir Sandhu both scored twice as Leicester Road leapfrog neighbours Hinckley AFC to finish in 4th position.
The all-important game at the bottom of the table between Pelsall Villa and 3rd placed Nuneaton Griff on Saturday was postponed due to “missing goalposts”. Littleton finish the season in 9th place following a final day 2-1 win at 5 Acres over Atherstone Town.
Luke Shorthouse Nuneaton Griff 41
Tony Clarke Lichfield City 38
Ryan Seal Hinckley AFC 37
Josh O’Grady Coventry United 33
Ryan Harkin Coventry Copsewood 26
Luke Richards Hinckley AFC 26
Dave Yonwin Heather St Johns,
Lichfield City, Pelsall Villa 25
Marco Adaggio Hinckley AFC 24
James Hicks Leicester Road 24
Jamie Clarke Littleton 23
Kyle Turner Atherstone Town, Southam United
Bromsgrove Sporting 23
Sean Brain Bromsgrove Sporting 22
Amarvir Sandhu Leicester Road 21
Daniel Scragg Heath Hayes 21
On Thursday evening, champions Alvis Sporting Club went 2-0 down inside the first 16 minutes at Sutton United but showed some resilience to win the game 4-2, their 22nd win out of 25.
Alvis Sporting Club completed their champion season with a 2-0 win over Paget Rangers. To go through the season unbeaten, dropping just 6 points in three draws (Chelmsley Town, Austrey Rangers, and Fairfield Villa) is a remarkable achievement. Runners–up Chelmsley Town finished the season in emphatic style, waving goodbye to the Pavilions with a 5-0 win over Hampton (they will be playing at Pack Meadow next season). Chris Lloyd and Thomas Ellis both scored twice for Chelmsley. Two goals from Jasper Alford helped Droitwich Spa to a 3-1 win at Rostance Edwards and a 3rd place finish. The bottom two, Earlswood Town and Feckenham fought out a 1-1 draw at The Pavilions. With two games left to play, Feckenham need one more point to finish out of the bottom two. Should they pick up that point, Fairfield Villa will drop into the bottom two after they played out a goalless draw at Barnt Green Spartak.
Sutton United finish their season in 6th place following a 3-2 win at Feckenham.
Chris Lloyd Chelmsley Town 51
James Lemon Droitwich Spa 44
Mark Bellingham Paget Rangers 36
Dildale Linton Alvis Sporting Club 32
Daniel Carter Paget Rangers 28
Tom Craine Knowle, Hampton 26
Thomas Maguire Alvis Sporting Club 21
Shane Brassington Alvis Sporting Club 21
On Thursday evening, Smithswood Firs moved level on points with Redditch Borough in the battle for promotion winning a remarkable game at Coventrians 4-3. Coventrians took a 2-1 lead but doubles from Lee Sayer and Troy Baker won the game for the visitors. Northfield Town and Barton United draw 1-1 at Shenley Lane, the point moving Barton up to 5th.
With the title and promotion to be decided on the last day, there was still plenty to play for on Saturday. Leamington Hibernian were crowned champions following a 5-1 home win over Perrywood. They finish one point ahead of Smithswood Firs who are also promoted after they beat Alcester Town 4-1 at Mackadown Lane. Unfortunately, in a three-way battle for two places, someone has to miss out and commiserations to Redditch Borough who finish 3rd. Barton United missed out on the chance of finishing fourth as they were beaten 2-1 at home by Enville Athletic for whom Adam Wooldridge scored twice. Coventrians and Burntwood Town will finish 10th and 11th respectively after they shared 6 goals at Holbrooks Park. Tyler Haddow scored a hat-trick for Coventrians.
Peter Martin Barton United 38
Jak Albutt Redditch Borough 36
Matt Layton Alcester Town 35
Jason Cowley Redditch Borough 26
Ashley Wilkes FC Stratford 24
Luke Swinnerton Leamington Hibernian 20
Jay Tilbury FC Stratford 20
Polymac Packaging League Cup
Hereford picked up their 3rd trophy of the season with a hard fought 3-1 victory over Walsall Wood. Wood took the lead in the 19th minute but two goals before the break swung the game the Bulls way.
Redditch Borough lifted the Challenge Vase beating Northfield Town 1-0 at The Valley Stadium.
Droitwich Spa lifted the Presidents Cup following a 1-0 win over Alvis Sporting Club at New Mill Lane. Jack Brighton scored the all-important goal in the 68th minute. Alvis pushed for an equaliser late on but the trophy went to Worcestershire.
Les James Challenge Cup
A remarkable cup final at the home of Bromsgrove Sporting had it all. Smithswood Firs went into the break with a 3-1 lead, with a couple of goals for Aaron Anderson. That’s how it stayed until the 84yth minute but two goals in quick succession for Alvis Sporting Club sent the game into extra-time. A dubious penalty, converted by Dildale Linton, gave Alvis the lead and despite a second penalty miss of the evening, they held on to lift the trophy.
Pilkington XXX lifted the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup with a 2-1 win over Bromsgrove Sporting at The Victoria ground. Pilks have had a fine end to the season winning 6 consecutive games in two weeks ending with some silverware. Chelmsley Town lost in the final of the Coventry Evening Telegraph Cup to Woodlands WMC. The scoreline at the Ricoh Arena, 2-1 to Woodlands.
Cadbury Athletic 1 Solihull Moors 1
Christopher Gumery Coleshill Town 26
Lukas Putka Brocton 20
Liam Arrowsmith Lichfield City 17
George Teeney Rocester 16
Che O’Connor Continental Star 14
Oliver Roome Rocester 14
Gornal Athletic 0 H.O.W. Academy 1 (U21S)
Leamington 2 Kings Heath Concorde 2 (U21S)
Walsall Wood 0 Heath Hayes 2 (U21N)
Tamworth 2 Basford United 1 (U21N)
Walsall Wood 2 Tipton Town 1 (U21N)
Tamworth 3 Heath Hayes 3 (U21N)
Tamworth 1 Tipton Town 1 (U21N)
The one remaining game in Division 1 is vital at the bottom of the table as Pelsall Villa need a point against Nuneaton Griff to finish outside of the bottom two. This game has been called off on 6 previous occasions – here’s hoping its seventh time lucky.
The final game of the season is on Thursday evening as Feckenham host Barnt Green Spartak needing a point to move out of the bottom two,
One game on Saturday as Burntwood Town welcome Alcester Town to Ravenhill Park.
On Thursday night, it is the final of the Challenge Bowl between Bedworth United and Tamworth. Both sides have been excellent form and a good final is in store at the TSA Sports ground.
On Saturday, Tamworth finish their league season with a trip to Anstey Nomads.
The official news channel of the Midland Football League (founded 2014)