Midland Football League Newsletter
25th May 2016
Bardon Hill failed to fulfil their fixture against Alvechurch on Saturday 23rd April 2016, they were duly fined and 3 points were deducted from their playing total.
Nigel Wood, Secretary
The Team of the Month for April / May are as follows:-
Overall – Hereford
Division 1 - Coventry United
Division 2 - Alvis Sporting
Division 3 - Leamington Hibernian
Reserve Division - Solihull Moors
Under 21 - Tamworth
Congratulations to all the winners
Travels of the Press Officer
Thursday 19th May
JW Hunt Cup Semi Final @ AFC Wulfrunians
Sporting Khalsa 2 Alvechurch 1
The second semi-final of the JW Hunt Cup pitted the sides that finished 2nd and 3rd in the Premier Division together. The winners would play Wolverhampton Sporting Community in the final at Molineux after Lichfield City had been expelled from the competition for fielding an illegible player. Both teams were able to field strong sides and a decent crowd turned out to witness what inevitably would be a full-on contest. Khalsa made the ideal start, taking the lead in the 6th minute. A free-kick from Lee Wherton was played into the penalty area where Kristian Green challenged, the b all ending in the Alvechurch net. Green claimed the goal but it appeared to have come off an Alvechurch defender last of all. Jordan Nadat was proving to be the main threat for Alvechurch and James Pemberton was forced into a decent save, placing a shot over the bar. Nadat reached the by-line and his dangerous cross was well cut out by Pemberton. At the other end, Craig Bannister saw his shot deflected for a corner with Paul Evans wrongfooted completely by the deflection. Pemberton was in trouble with the referee in the 17th minute, handling the ball just outside his area gaining a yellow card for his trouble. Nadat cleared the cross bar with the free-kick much to the relief of the Khalsa keeper. Alvechurch were certainly having the better of the half and Pemberton was forced into action again, to save a Luke Paskin shot at his near post. The equaliser came in the 31st minute. The referee awarded a penalty for holding in the penalty area – an infringement missed by most of the crowd. We all know that penalties and Alvechurch have not been the best of bedfellows this season, however, on this occasion, Danny Ashton made no mistake to tie things up. Bannister shot across the face for Khalsa but the half finished level with the two sides very closely matched.
Khalsa upped the tempo after the break and established a supremacy which they maintained for the rest of the game. In the 53rd minute, the busy Marvin Nisbett saw his shot blocked by Mark Smith for a corner. On the hour mark, Bannister tried to curl the ball over Evans from the touchline but the Church keeper held the ball underneath his crossbar. Khalsa took the lead in the 64th minute. Wherton took aim from 25 yards out and the shot took enough of a deflection to send it past Evans and into the net. It was almost three in the 70th minute as brilliant defending took the ball away from Bannister after an excellent cross from Mensah Kinch. Mike Perks should have done better a minute later but his effort sailed over the bar. Kinch was just off target as the game entered the final 10 minutes. For all Alvechurch’s efforts, they could not find a way through the Khalsa defence and it is Ian Rowe’s side that will finish their season at the Molineux.
Am entertaining evening between two excellent teams. Alvechurch can be proud of their achievements this season and they are to be certain to be challenging for the MFL title in 2017. A great finish to an excellent season for Khalsa – 3rd place in the league, a fantastic run in the FA Cup and a Molineux final.
Sunday 22nd May
FA Vase Final at Wembley Stadium
Hereford 1 Morpeth Town 4
Three trophies already in the bag, Hereford travelled to Wembley Stadium for a day out everyone associated with the club will remember forever. Morpeth Town, of the Northern League, were their opponents in a competition that has been dominated by sides from the North East, winning 7 of the last 8 finals. With few sides prepared to be promoted from the Northern league, the cream of non-league footballers from the area can be found plying their trade in Step 5. Arriving at Wembley Stadium early, I took my designated spot in the press box with the realisation of the scale of the achievement for Hereford and, by association, the Midland Football League.
From a press point of view, covering a game at Wembley Stadium is a dream come true and that seemed to be a common thread. In this day of the selfie, I don’t think I have seen quite as many journalists taking a picture of themselves / colleagues as a reminder of the day. The press facility was directly opposite from the Hereford section and to see that gradually fill with 20,000 + supporters is something I don’t think I will experience again. If a trophy was going to be awarded for the sheer number of supporters and the noise they made, Hereford would have won, hands down. Their North East opponents had a much longer journey but around 4,000 had made the journey had made the trip creating a real carnival atmosphere. The sight of Ronaldo the Hereford bull, parading around the perimeter added to the day (well done FA for allowing this to happen).
With kick-off approaching the noise from the supports as the two teams emerged was incredible. Led by the suited Peter Beadle (the trademark cap did appear during the game), the Bulls walked out with the huge contingent of Hereford fans directly in front of them. An emotional rendition of the National Anthem and we could get the game underway.
The game kicked off with Hereford playing away from their supporters. If we thought 20,000+ could make a noise, a gaol after 75 seconds almost took the roof off. It was a super individual goal from Rob Purdie, who drove forward, picked his spot and let fly from 25 yards giving the Morpeth keeper, Karl Dryden, no chance. A perfect start for the Bulls and what a way to start a Wembley final.
A couple of minutes later and the Bulls came close to a second goal. Sirdic Grant skipped through the Morpeth defence but Dryden made an excellent save. Two up in four minutes, and it could have been game over. Hereford continued to dominate the early stages. In the 13th minute, a cross from Joel Edwards was flicked on at the near post by Mike Symons to Pablo Haysham but his header was well saved by Dryden. Two minutes later, Aaron Birch had a shot saved as Hereford threatened to run riot. In the 16th minute, Morpeth sent a warning to Hereford when Sean Taylor's shot was
palmed over by Martin Horsell. In the 24th minute, Grant won the ball in midfield, beat two defenders and hit a superb shot which rattled the Morpeth crossbar and bounced away to safety. A minute later and it should have been two. Symons found space on the left and played the ball into the path of Haysham in front of goal. Everyone expected the ball to hit the back of the net but the normally reliable Haysham missed his kick and the chance had gone. Morpeth began to grow in confidence as their deficit remained at a single goal. On the half hour mark, an excellent move by the Highwaymen ended with Ben Sayer just clearing the bar with his effort. Morpeth were back on level terms in the 34th minute. A corner from the Morpeth left was missed by Horsell and found 45-year-old Chris Swailes at the far post. Swailes got his chest to the ball and it agonisingly, fort Hereford, crossed the line. Morpeth should have taken the lead in the 38th minute. Luke Carr played the ball inside to Michael Chilton in front of goal but he somehow missed the target. Just before the break, Purdie won a strong challenge in the middle of the park, fed Haysham who ran from half way to the edge of the box but pulled his shot fractionally wide.
The talk at half-time was of the chances that Hereford had missed and also how Morpeth had got stronger as the half wore on. Within a minute of the resumption, that final comment was the one that came to mind as Morpeth took a 2-1 lead. Taylor played the ball into the path of Carr and his finish gave Horsell no chance whatsoever. Morpeth were now in the driving seat and the impressive Sayer saw his shot blocked for a corner after another driving run from midfield. Jamie Willetts went close for Hereford when his header from a corner dropped wide. Morpeth increased their lead on the hour mark – another quality move being finished by Taylor.
Bulls introduced leading scorer John Mills to the fray and he had an opportunity in the 72nd minute but couldn’t connect and Dryden gathered. Morpeth were still on the hunt for more goals and Steven Anderson should have made it four in the 76th-minute but Horsell made a decent save. Horsell produced an even better save a minute later to deny Taylor. Mustapha Bundu curled an
effort just wide and then saw a header cleared off the line but Morpeth stood firm. The Highwaymen made absolutely certain two minutes into stoppage time When Shaun Bell’s shot was deflected past Horsell to make the final score Hereford 1 Morpeth Town 4. As the Hereford team stood and applauded as their victors received the Trophy, they showed the ultimate in class and sportsmanship by making a guard of honour as Morpeth came down from the Royal Box with the Trophy.
In his after match press conference, Morpeth manager Nick Gray paid tribute to both sets of supporters. He highlighted the save from Grant in the 4th minute as a pivotal moment, as they could so easily have caved in if they had gone two down so quickly. The lack of Mustapha Bundu in the starting line-up had given his side a boost as they were all aware of his skill and pace. The final word was to Hereford – the class shown by Hereford in forming a guard of honour said everything about non-league football and about Hereford FC.
Wednesday, May 25th
JW Hunt Cup Final
Wolverhampton Sporting Community 2 Sporting Khalsa 3 @ Molineux
My final game of the season and a cup final between two community driven sides at the home of Wolverhampton Wanderers. Khalsa started as clear favourites having finished 3rd in the MFl Premier Division. Wolves Sporting had finished a creditable 4th in the WMRL and, with pace in their side, would enjoy the wide open spaces of Molineux to their advantage. Khalsa almost made the dream start, Marvin Nisbett’s first-minute effort deflected for a corner. Instead, it was Wolves Sporting that took the early advantage taking the lead in just the 2nd minute. Daniel Westwood played the ball into the path of Josh Sarmento and he calmly beat James Pemberton for the opening goal. Khalsa responded positively with Tes Robinson heading over the bar and Kristian Green seeing a header cleared off the line. Khalsa were level in the 17th minute when Carl Bannister converted a Carlo Franco cross. Nisbeet should have given Khalsa the lead in the 24th minute but his header was straight at the keeper, Luke Stevens. David Meese saw another effort saved but it was the underdogs that took the lead in the 37th minute. Ethan Delaney was blocked by Robinson outside the area. Westwood stepped up and curled a superb free-kick over the wall and into the net leaving Pemberton stranded. Sarmento should have grabbed a 3rd for Wolves Sporting just before the break but, after beating Joe Rogers for pace, his shot was wide of the target. In stoppage time, Nisbett was off target as Khalsa went into the break a goal behind.
Khalsa began the second half on the front foot and came close to an equaliser in the49th minute. Meese’ header was blocked on the line and Nisbett’s follow-up was well saved by Stevens. Sarmento continued to pose a threat to the Khalsa defence with his express pace and a near post effort on 57 minutes forced a decent save from Pemberton. Meese forced a save from Stevens on the hour mark before Khalsa equalised in the 69th minute. Robinson received the ball in the penalty area, and with the ball at his feet, turned and shot into the corner. Sarmento shot wide for Sporting 3 minutes later as both sides strived for a winner. With the game into the last 5 minutes, Khalsa had the ball in the net but Mensah Kinch was ruled offside. With the clock showing 89 minutes, Meese struck the decisive blow firing home from the edge of the area. There was still time for Simeon Townsend to go close to a 4th for Khalsa but that would have been harsh on Wolves Sporting. The final whistle went with Khalsa picking up the trophy but Wolves Sporting gave them one fierce battle. An excellent cup final and a great way to finish a season.
John Mills Hereford 52
Craig Bannister Sporting Khalsa 44
Lei Brown Highgate United 33
Jamie Cuss Westfields 31
Jordan Nadat Alvechurch 30
Pablo Haysham Hereford 29
Karl Edwards Alvechurch 27
Matt Langham Shepshed Dynamo 27
Mustapha Bundu Hereford 25
Mykel Beckley Coleshill Town 25
Jamie King AFC Wulfrunians 25
Joey Butlin Walsall Wood 24
Ben Ward-Cochrane Loughborough Uni 24
Michael Symons Hereford 24
Kieran Debrouwer Heanor Town 23
Michael Reeve Shepshed Dynamo 23
Luke Shorthouse Nuneaton Griff 44
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
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
Peter Martin Barton United 38
Matt Layton Alcester Town 37
Jak Albutt Redditch Borough 36
Jason Cowley Redditch Borough 26
Ashley Wilkes FC Stratford 24
Luke Swinnerton Leamington Hibernian 20
Jay Tilbury FC Stratford 20
Sporting Khalsa reached the final of the JW Hunt Cup with a 2-1 win over Alvechurch at AFC Wulfrunians.
On Wednesday evening, Sporting Khalsa lifted the JW Hunt Cup with a 3-2 win over Wolverhampton Sporting Community. David Meese scored the winner in the 89th minute in a highly entertaining game at Molineux.
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
Andrew Hudson Stourport Swifts 18
Nathan McGarrity Bedworth United 15
Janabi Amour Bedworth United 12
Nathan Cadby Bedworth United 8
Ryan Sappleton-Williams Walsall Wood 19
Regan Smith Heath Hayes 12
Harry Wakefield Basford United 12
Romario Reid Sutton Coldfield Town 12
Luke Dealney Tamworth 9
George Dixon Tamworth 9
Mason Lopez Anstey Nomads 8
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