Midland Football League Newsletter
17th February 2016
Following the publication of a press release issued by Leicester Road FC, correspondence has been received from Steve and Joy Jelfs. In the spirit of fair play and decent journalism, their response is printed below:-
Following the press release printed in the 10th February 2016 MFL newsletter we would like to state the following:
We have never denied the use of electricity to either Leicester Road Stadium Ltd or to Leicester Road Football Club Ltd. When we bought the club bar and function rooms from the liquidator in September 2014 we had to take responsibility for the utilities on the site including electric, gas and water, the reason given to us was that no other party were creditworthy. We did, however, immediately have electricians on site carrying out intensive investigations because we were told the electricity consumption alone was £5000 per month. At no point during that investigation were we advised that any party was without electricity.
We thought we had negotiated terms of supply for the main floodlights and agreed for sub-meters to be installed, but before papers could be formally signed, Leicester Road installed generators and at one point told us it was much cheaper than mains electric and wished they had done it months before.
In order for Leicester Road to obtain their own supply, we relinquished our agreement with Western Power to reserve the full 100KvA from the sub-station. We did not have to do this, but we chose to help them.
We do find that their implication that we were responsible for the position they found themselves in both disingenuous and hurtful and despite requests they have refused to withdraw their allegations.
We also paid for their water supply from September until June 2015, at which time Severn Trent split the supply so all owners on site could each have our own supply, with no contribution from LRSL/LRFC just a personal cheque from Kevin Thompson, a Director of LRSL and LRFC, from time to time as a small contribution.
Steve and Joy Jelfs
No further comment will be made in the MFL Newsletter regarding this situation - Ed
I have been asked by various people for the details of this season’s cup finals.
The only dates that we have at the moment are the Polymac Packaging League Cup on Tuesday 3rd May and Les James Challenge Cup on Wednesday 4th May. These will be at Walsall FC, however, the dates are subject to whether Walsall make the playoffs and the dates that they are played. The other finals will be arranged later once we have a better idea of who is in the final.
The Team of the Month awards for January are: Overall – Hereford
Division 1 - Bromsgrove Sporting Division 2 - Coton Green Division 3 - Alcester Town Reserve Division - Coleshill Town Under 21 Division - Newcastle Town Congratulations to those clubs
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday 13th February
Sporting Khalsa 1 Heanor Town 3
On a bitterly cold afternoon, where else to warm the cockles than a top of the table clash at the Aspray Arena. With both sides involved in the chasing pack behind Hereford, a titanic tussle was expected. That is exactly what we got. Heanor had been strengthened in recent weeks with the addition of pacy striker Karl Demidh from league rivals Rocester. Khalsa had experienced striker Marvin Robinson on the bench and goals were certainly on the agenda. Khalsa were awarded an early free-kick but Craig Bannister’s effort was deflected for a corner. Kieran Debrouwer exchanged passes with Demidh and, one-on-one with James Pemberton, saw his shot saved by the Khalsa keeper. David Meese and Brad Lawley went close for Khalsa before Demidh saw his shot saved by Pemberton. In the 23rd minute, the woodwork came to Heanor’s rescue when Meese’s curler rattled the crossbar. With Khalsa pushing for goals, Bannister saw two efforts saved in quick succession. The opening goal came in the 38th minute when the impressive Demidh despatched a left-wing cross into the roof of the net. The noisy Heanor support had even more to shout about two minutes later when Demidh again latched onto a loose ball in the area and fired it past Pemberton into the net. Khalsa introduced Marvin Robinson at half-time in an effort to claw the game back. Bannister flashed a shot wide in the 53 rd minute and Robinson should have done better 3 minutes later but headed wide. That miss was to prove costly as Heanor grabbed their third in the 58th minute, Joe Naylor powering home a header from a Demidh corner. Naylor missed a great chance in the 63rd minute but his effort was well wide. Khalsa grabbed a lifeline in the 68th minute when Bannister picked his spot from 18 yards and gave Joe McCormack no chance. Everyone anticipated a Khalsa onslaught but Heanor always looked likely to add to their tally, Naylor again guilty of missing a decent chance, heading a Demidh cross wide. Mensah Kinch forced a fine save from McCormack but Khalsa never looked like pulling the two goals back. Demidh should have scored his third with seven minutes left, but Pemberton saved well with Demidh through on goal. With two minutes remaining, Heanor keeper McCormack was substituted with what looked like a knee injury, with Jay Cooper donning the gloves. Marvin Robinson was off target with an overhead kick but Heanor should have made it 4 in the 9th minute of stoppage time but Matt Harris somehow cleared the crossbar with an empty net in front of him. A fantastic win for Heanor who will have a major say in the destination of the title. The addition of Demidh gives them some fearsome firepower and they will be keeping a close eye on the results of their title rivals in the coming weeks. As for Khalsa, not the best afternoon but two huge games coming up with a trip to Hereford and a visit from in-form Shepshed Dynamo. Two decent results there will keep them well in the race for promotion.
Tuesday 16th February
Lye Town 1 Alvechurch 2
A short journey for Alvechurch as they looked to move back into second place behind Hereford. Lye Town have always been a difficult side to beat particularly at Stourbridge Road and another tight game was anticipated. The pitch was very heavy in places and a decent crowd turned up for a proper battle. The crowd was swelled by a number of neutrals – I enjoyed the game in the company of John and Charles, Halesowen Town supporters looking for some relief with the current state of affairs at the grove. Church were in the ascendancy early on with the pace of Jordan Nadat causing all sorts of problems for the Lye defence. The first real chance fell to Josh March but he failed to control Zac Foster’s inviting cross. Nadat had an effort blocked and Sam Williams ballooned a shot over for Church. The visitors broke the deadlock in the 34th minute through that man Nadat. Jack Cresswell picked him out in the box and he ghosted past two defenders before applying a superb finish. Cresswell tried an audacious lob from 40 yards which was on target but gathered by Lye keeper Jake Belford. Against the run of play, Lye equalised when Ryan Rowe applied a great finish after an interchange with James Spray. The visitors regained the lead 8 minutes into the second half. A corner from Cresswell fell to March who made no mistake with another quality finish. Two minutes later, the home side claimed a penalty when Rowe was tripped on the edge of the area but the referee deemed that it was outside the box. Rowe’s free-kick was punched clear, a somewhat eccentric effort, by Paul Evans. Alvechurch should have made it safe in the last 5 minutes but Danny
Ashton’s cross was deflected away from the waiting Nadat. Despite 6 minutes of time added on, Church held out to keep the pressure on leaders Hereford.
A great day for the chasing pack as Hereford’s lead at the top was cut to 8 points courtesy of a Craig Gregg equaliser for AFC Wulfrunians at Edgar Street. It was a great day for 2nd placed Heanor Town who triumphed 3-1 at Sporting Khalsa thanks to a first-half double from recent signing Karl Demidh. Those results mean 3rd placed Alvechurch would have a clear lead at the top should they win their games in hand. Their cause was helped with a 3-0 victory at Rocester , the Romans holding out until Jordan Nadat opened the scoring 4 minutes before the break. 6 wins on the trot have given Shepshed Dynamo some serious momentum and their 2-1 win at Stourport Swifts moves them up to 4th and very much in the thick of the title race. Loughborough University are up to 6th following a 2-0 win at Boldmere St Michaels. There was a remarkable feat at Walsall Wood as striker Joey Butlin scored 5 goals for the second game in succession taking his tally to 12 in the last three. Butlin’s goals helped Wood to a 5-1 victory over 2nd bottom Dunkirk. Continental Star remain 7 points adrift after a goal from Declan Attenborrow gave Highgate United all 3 points at Dales Lane. Coventry Sphinx poor run continued as they were beaten 4-1 by a Jamie Cuss inspired Westfields, the skipper bagging a first-half hat-trick. Bardon Hill played their first home game since November but they were shown no mercy but visitors Brocton who ran out 3-1 winners. Quorn remain in trouble near the bottom of the table, as they were beaten 3-1 at Coleshill Town despite taking a first-minute lead. Lye Town and Long Eaton United drew 1-1 at Stourbridge Road, remarkably Lye’s first draw of the season.
On Monday night, Highgate United moved up to 6th place with a 2-0 win at struggling Coventry Sphinx, Declan Attenborrow scoring for the second game in succession. Hereford got back to winning ways with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over title rivals Sporting Khalsa At Edgar Street. Mustapha Bundu was the hero with a hat-trick plus one from Pablo Haysham. Alvechurch are back in second place following a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Lye Town. Shepshed Dynamo’s excellent run came to an abrupt end as they were beaten 3-0 at home by a resurgent Walsall Wood. AFC Wulfrunians paid their second visit to Hereford in four days and came away with another point, drawing 2-2 at Westfields. Dunkirk climbed out of the bottom two with a 3-0 home victory over basement side Continental Star. Quorn eased their relegation worries with a 5-2 win over Brocton, the goals being shared around the team.
Coventry United extended their lead at the top to 5 points but they left in late in an epic encounter with Hinckley AFC. Richard Blythe missed a last minute penalty for United before popping up in time to added on to grab an equaliser to make it 2-2, and that’s how it finished. Bromsgrove Sporting missed the chance to close the gap as they were beaten 1-0 at The Victoria Ground by Nuneaton Griff, Luke Shorthouse with the goal. Leicester Road are clear in 3rd after a hard fought 2-0 victory over Lichfield City, both goals coming in the last 20 minutes. Bolehall Swifts remain bottom after they were comprehensively beaten 4-0 at home by Pershore Town, Gareth Evans and Dan Ludlow both scoring twice for the visitors. Southam United stay in the bottom two following a 3-1 home defeat by Cadbury Athletic. Heather St Johns moved 7 points away from the drop zone with an excellent 2-1 win at in-form Heath Hayes. A Dayle Kenny goal was enough to move Pilkington XXX back into the top six with a 1-0 win at Coventry Copsewood.
Coventry United were beaten for only the second time in the league when they slipped up 2-1 at Cadbury Athletic. That result gave Bromsgrove Sporting the chance to close the gap and they duly obliged with 2 goals from Sean Brain separating them and Lichfield City. Bolehall Swifts remain bottom as they went down 3-2 at Hinckley AFC. Racing Club Warwick beat Pershore Town 3-2 to move 3 points clear of their visitors in 14th place. Coventry Copsewood came from behind to beat Heath Hayes at Allard Way to move up to 11th in the table.
Rostance Edwards take over top spot beating Fairfield Villa 2-1 at The Red Lion Ground with Jamie Griffiths getting both goals. Chelmsley Town move level on points with Droitwich Spa in 3rd after a 2-1 win at Sutton United, Chris Lloyd on target again to make it 32 for the season. Knowle entertained Paget Rangers with the team’s sharing the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
The game between bottom and top ended in a draw as AFC Solihull held the league leaders Leamington Hibernian 1-1. 2nd placed FC Stratford were beaten 1-0 by Smithswood Firs for whom Aaron Anderson scored the all important goal. The result leaves Firs nine points off the top with 5 games in hand. Northfield Town are 3rd after a 3-2 win at Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. Redditch Borough were the day’s big winners, putting 5 past Enville Athletic without reply – Jason Cowley and Liam Fullerton both scoring twice. Alcester Town got back to winning ways and leapfrogged visitors Barton United after a 2-1 win. Perrywood missed the chance to climb up the table when they lost 1-0 at home to Burntwood Town. Inkberrow moved up a place with a 2-1 win over Shipston Excelsior. Badsey Rangers are one place above Inkberrow following a 2-1 win over Coventrians.
Droitwich Spa are through to the semi-final of the Presidents Cup following a 4-0 win over Barnt Green Spartak. James Lemon was on the scoresheet twice to take his tally for the season to 27.
Redditch Borough are through to the semi-final of the Challenge Vase after an extra time victory over Inkberrow at Valley Stadium, 2-1 the final score.
Hampton bowed out of the Birmingham Saturday Vase with a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Old Wulfrunians. Studley made progress in the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup beating Atherstone Town 3-2 at The Beehive. Two goals in the first 10 minutes put Kidsgrove Athletic on the way to a 5-0 win in the Staffordshire Senior Cup at Rocester.
Solihull Moors are through to the final of the Challenge Trophy where they will meet Coleshill Town. Moors reached the final thanks to a 1-0 win over Rocester. In the league, the teams in 4th and 5th played out a 1-1 draw as Brocton drew with Coventry United. In a high scoring game, Cadbury Athletic beat Continental Star by the odd goal in seven. Elsewhere, Romulus beat Lichfield City 2-0.
In the South Division, two goals from Joe Bevan were enough for Gornal Athletic to win at Leamington and move off the bottom of the table. In the North Division, Heath Hayes move up to 2nd place after a 2-1 win at Anstey Nomads. A hat-trick from Ryan Sappleton-Williams saw Walsall Wood win 3-0 at Basford United. Bottom of the table Tipton Town picked up their first point of the season with a 1-1 draw at home to Newcastle Town.
The FA Vase has reached the last eight and Hereford fly the flag for the Midland Football League. The Bulls are at home to Cherry Red Record Combined Counties League, Camberley Town, who lie 4th in their league. Camberley come into the game with two successive 1-1 draws at home, however, their way record is impressive with only 7 goals concede in the league. Herford warmed up for the tie with a 4-0 win over Sporting Khalsa and it would be a major shock if the Bulls did not progress.
With Hereford otherwise engaged, Alvechurch could close the gap to just 6 points if they can beat Loughborough University at Lye Meadow. The students lie in 8th place and have won their last two after a run of three straight defeats. Heanor Town can close the gap between themselves and Hereford to 8 points if they can take all 3 points off visitors Quorn, themselves buoyed by a 5-2 midweek win over Brocton. Two sides who had poor results in midweek meet at the Aspray Arena with Sporting Khalsa hosting Shepshed Dynamo. Both are having an excellent season and this should be a good game for the neutral. If Highgate United win all of their games in hand, they would be just 5 points behind Hereford. The first of those games in hand is at Silkmore Lane where they will meet Brocton, smarting from that midweek defeat at Quorn. Four wins on the spin have catapulted Walsall Wood to seventh but they host the last team to beat them, Westfields. With two in-form strikers, Joey Butlin and Jamie Cuss, in opposition, this should be another cracker. It was all change at the bottom in midweek as Dunkirk moved out of the relegation zone with a victory. They will hope to build on that win when they welcome Coleshill Town to the Ron Steel Sports Ground. Coventry Sphinx were the side to drop into the bottom two and they have the chance to move back up the table when they welcome basement side Continental Star to Sphinx Drive. Bardon Hill set just two places but 10 points ahead of the drop zone and they welcome AFC Wulfrunians to Leicestershire. Lye Town and Stourport Swifts sit comfortably in mid table and they meet at Stourbridge Road, Both Long Eaton United and Rocester have games in hand on all the sides around them so points gained in the game at Grange Park could see forward momentum.
Bromsgrove Sporting will climb to the summit of the division if they can take all 3 points at Heather St Johns. There is an attractive game at Evans Park, where a resurgent Stafford Town meet Nuneaton Griff, who would go 3rd with a victory. Lichfield City suffered a rare defeat in midweek and they will want to get back to winning ways when they entertain Littleton. Pilkington XXX can strengthen their top 6 placing if they can beat visitors Pelsall Villa, themselves desperate for points near the foot of the table. Bottom club Bolehall Swifts were narrowly beaten in midweek and they will be looking to move off the bottom when they welcome Coventry Copsewood to Rene Road. Southam United sit one place above Bolehall and they travel to 15th place Pershore Town. Cadbury Athletic stunned leaders Coventry United in midweek and they take this improved form to Racing Club Warwick. Studley and Hinckley AFC both had 3-2 wins in midweek so expect goals when they meet at the Beehive.
Rostance Edwards took over the leadership last week and they will want to consolidate their position when they host 5th placed Sutton United. 2nd placed Droitwich Spa have only tasted defeat once in the league this season and they go to Hampton intent on preserving this stat. Bottom club Earlswood Town have collected just one point this season and they travel to Barnt Green Spartak who sit just two places above them. 2nd bottom Feckenham will be glad to get back to action and they travel to mid-table Coton Green. Fairfield Villa are at home to 11th placed Knowle with revenge in mind as Knowle won the reverse fixture 5-1. Paget Rangers host Austrey Rangers in a game which saw 9 goals when the two sides met in December, Pager running out 6-3 winners.
Another full fixture list in Division 3 with plenty to look at. Game of the day sees in-form Smithswood Firs welcome league leaders Leamington Hibernian to Mackadown Stadium Firs have 5 games in hand on Hibernian with only 9 points between them. Should Leamington drop points, FC Stratford can regain the leadership should they beat lowly Enville Athletic at home. It’s fair to say, any of the top seven could realistically win the league so 7th placed Barton United at home to 3rd placed Northfield Town could have a big bearing later in the season. 4th placed Redditch Borough welcome Shipston Excelsior to The Valley Stadium while 6th placed Alcester Town will be hoping to continue their fine form at home to Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. Bottom club AFC Solihull are now only 4 points adrift and they can improve that situation with a win at Burntwood Town. 2nd bottom Perrywood travel to 12th placed Coventrians with a chance to move up two places with a win. Badsey Rangers and Inkberrow are locked bang in the middle of the table with almost identical records. A tight affair looks likely.
Coleshill Town vs Evesham United
Continental Star vs Brocton
Coventry United vs Solihull Moors
Rocester vs Gresley
Sutton United vs Lichfield City
Leamington vs Bromsgrove Sporting (U21S)
Bedworth United vs West Midlands football Academy (U21S)
Gornal Athletic vs H.O.W. Academy (Bowl)
Kings Heath Concorde vs Tamworth (Bowl)
Stourport Swifts vs Anstey Nomads (Bowl)
Heath Hayes vs Walsall Wood (U21N)
Newcastle Town vs Tipton Town (Bowl)
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