Midland Football League Newsletter
27th August 2015
The official opening of Coventry Copsewood’s new changing rooms and community area will take place Sunday 6th Sept. Photos will appear in a future newsletter. If you are looking for a football fix on Sunday, Alcester Town are hosting the Graham Weale charity shield with a kick off at 10:30. The game sees Alcester Old Boys take on Alcester young guns.
The travels of the Press Officer
Saturday 22nd August
AFC Wulfrunians 3 Loughborough University 1
On a baking hot day and with thunderstorms in the offing, I decided to make the short trip to Castlecroft to see two sides with 100% league records. The home side had surprised themselves with the start they had made and had followed up their league wins with an FA Cup victory over Southam United. The Students had suffered a couple of heavy league defeats but an FA Cup victory over Barrow Town was hopefully, the start they needed. The first half was pretty even with both sides missing chances before Wulfrunians took the lead just before the interval when Chris Lait’s shot was half-stopped by keeper Matthew Donvito but it still managed to cross the line. The home side doubled the lead three minutes into the second half when Jake Sedgemore made no mistake from the penalty spot after Ricky Anslow had been tripped. Loughborough bounced back with a Max Herbert penalty after Jeremiah Dasaolu had been clipped. Anslow restored Wulfrunians two goal cushion with a calm finish. The heat took its toll and the Students were unable to get back into the game.
Tuesday 25th August
Brocton 3 Rocester 0
A Staffordshire derby at Silkmore lane and two sides already desperate to get their league seasons underway. Both came into the game without a point although Rocester had progressed in the FA Cup. The first half was a cagey affair with Dan Lomas going close for Brocton and Callum Barrett pulling out a fine double save to thwart the Romans. Brocton snatched the lead just before the break
when Gary Fife looped a header over Richard Froggatt from an excellent David Berks free-kick. The arrival of Josh Wilson after half-time gave Brocton an additional attacking threat. Minutes after crashing a shot against the post, the youngster found the bottom corner from 20 yards. Fife hit the woodwork before grabbing his second and Brocton’s third with a clip over the keeper. Rocester responded but when Karl Demidh rattled the crossbar it was clear that it wasn’t to be their night.
Wednesday 26th August
Kidsgrove Athletic 0 Stafford Rangers 3
A rare opportunity to watch my own team so a short trip up the M6 to Kidsgrove. Last season’s game between the two sides ended in a 6-0 victory for rangers but with Kidsgrove having strengthened their side a much closer encounter was anticipated. Stafford are clear favourites to win the Evostik South this season and they underlined those credentials with an excellent display of fast accurate football and quality finishing. In fact, with the rub of the green from the officials, they could have matched last season’s scoreline. Stafford took the lead in the 25th minute. A Kidsgrove clearance cannoned into Christian Dacres causing panic in the home penalty area. Alex Melbourne reacted quickest to hook the ball home. Rangers second half goals were tremendous. Nathan Rooney scored number two from a ridiculously tight angle and the 3rd owed everything to the tenacity and work rate of Ben Haseley who beat umpteen defenders, somehow managed to keep possession and then rattled the ball into the top corner. The evening was finished with me conducting the post match interview with Rangers’ manager Neil Kitching – it was good to be back, if briefly.
I will not be at a game over the Bank Holiday weekend as I will be trying to keep dry at Shrewsbury Folk Festival!
Pride of place on Saturday has to go to Hereford. Three nil down after 13 minutes at Rocester, the Bulls came back and scored 4 in the last half an hour to take the points back to Edgar Street. At the top of the table, Highgate United dropped their first points of the season having to settle for a point at fellow high flyers Long Eaton United. Stourport Swifts continue on the winning trail beating Bardon Hill 3-0 away from home, Ben Maund on the score sheet again. AFC Wulfrunians also have a
100% record beating Loughborough University at Castlecroft and they are joined in the top group by Shepshed Dynamo who also maintained their 100% record with a narrow win at Brocton, Matt Langham on target. League new boys Heanor Town have a perfect record winning 4-1 at Coleshill Town. Boldmere St Michaels continue to struggle going down 3-0 at Coventry Sphinx. Alvechurch are gaining some momentum and were 4-1 winners at Dunkirk. Lye Town lost their 100% record with a 2-1 defeat at Walsall Wood while at the other end of the table Quorn got off the mark with a 2-1 win at Westfields. At the Aspray Arena, Sporting Khalsa eased past Continental Star wining 3-0.
If it’s goals you are looking for, Division 1 is the place to be. Nuneaton Griff heading the scoring charts with a 9-1 win at Racing Club Warwick, Luke Shorthouse with a hat-trick. There were 10 goals at St Johns Park with Hinckley beating Studley 8-2, Marco Adaggio and Luke Richards with hat-tricks. Cadbury Athletic continue their good run of form with a 6-2 victory at Pelsall Villa. Two fancied sides met at Brownsfield Park with Lichfield City edging out Leicester Road 3-2. At the top of the table, there is no stopping Coventry United as they recorded their 5th win out of 5. The Joshes, O’Grady and Blake, were on the scoresheet again as they beat Bolehall Swifts 5-1 at Rene Road. Elsewhere, Atherstone Town beat Pershore 3-0; Southam United won the battle of the Saints beating Heather St Johns 3-2 and Bromsgrove Sporting eased past Stafford Town at Evans Park winning 2-0.
Alvis Sporting Club, Chelmsley Town and Sutton United continue to lead the way with 100% records. Alvis won a tight game at Droitwich Spa by the odd goal in 5 while Sutton United and Chelmsley Town had 4-0 victories over Feckenham and Earlswood Town respectively. Attendance of the day was at Paget Rangers where a crowd of 91 witnessed a 1-1 draw with Coton Green. Austrey Rangers got their first win of the campaign 4-1 away to Fairfield Villa. Elsewhere there were draws at Hampton versus Barnt Green Spartak and for Rostance Edwards at Knowle.
FC Stratford, Barton United and Enville Athletic all boast 100% records after the second week of the season. Stratford top the pile on goal difference after a 5-0 win at home to Northfield Town. Enville Athletic are next after a thrilling 4-3 win at Badsey Rangers. Barton needed a stoppage time winner to beat league new boys Coventrians. There were 7 goals at Stratford Road, as visitors Shipston Excelsior beat hosts Alcester Town 4-3 with two goals from Craig Robins. Inkberrow are up and running after a 2-1 win at Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. Leamington Hibernian remain unbeaten after a 3-2 win over Smithswood Firs.
I don’t know what’s in the water at Edgar Street but Hereford were again involved in a goal fest against Coleshill Town. Three goals inside the first 17 minutes was a sign of things to come as the
free-scoring visitors warmed up for their FA Cup tie at Stafford Rangers with a stunning 5-4 victory. Dean Rathbone scored a hat-trick for Coleshill with strike duo John Mills and Pablo Heysham on target for the Bulls. Stourport Swifts sit proudly on top of the table, a 4-2 victory over Westfields came courtesy of a Ben Maund hat-trick. Quorn were the night’s biggest scorers putting 6 past Bardon Hill who slipped to 19th in the table. Heanor Town still have a 100% record but their game at Loughborough University was abandoned at half-time due to a floodlight failure. Previous leaders Highgate United were held to a draw by Sporting Khalsa whose equaliser came from the penalty spot, three minutes into stoppage time. Shepshed Dynamo failed to win for the first time this season following a goalless draw with Coventry Sphinx. Another 100% record to go was that of AFC Wulfrunians who were beaten by Boldmere St Michaels, Gurpal Singh Mandair with the only goal of the game. Alvechurch are on the march and a 2-1 victory over Lye Town moves them up to 6th. Rocester are still looking for their first points of the season as they lost 3-0 at Brocton who got their season up and running thanks to a brace from Gary Fife. On Wednesday evening, Long Eaton United moved up to 3rd place with a 2-0 win over Dunkirk. Bradley Wells and Tom Cooper-Richards got the goals for the home side.
You can’t take your eyes off leaders Coventry United who made it 6 out of 6 with a 6-1 win over Atherstone Town. The double act of Josh O’Grady and Josh Blake both bagged a brace for United who have a 6 point cushion at the top of the table. Racing Club Warwick gave their manager a positive reaction to Saturday’s 9 goal defeat by winning 4-1 at Pershore Town. Bromsgrove Sporting are unbeaten and up to 4th in the table following a 3-1 win over 2nd placed Littleton. Bolehall Swifts remain pointless following a 3-0 defeat at Leicester Road. Hinckley AFC won the battle of the fancied sides at St Johns Park beating Lichfield City 2-0. Cadbury Athletic were held to a draw by Coventry Copsewood; Heath Hayes edged the Staffordshire derby with Stafford Town thanks to a Joe Pickering goal; Pilkington XXX were amongst the goals with a 4-2 win at Pelsall Villa while Studley shared the spoils with Southam United. On Wednesday, the goal machine that is Nuneaton Griff went one better than the weekend, beating Heather St Johns 10-0. Luke Shorthouse followed up his Saturday hat-trick with four goals for Griff who are up to 2nd in the table.
Plenty of fixtures in the preliminary round of the FA Cup and opportunities for giant killings. AFC Wulfrunians host Romulus who are mid table in the Evostik South. Shepshed Dynamo will fancy their chances at another Evostik side Carlton Town who have lost their opening two home games. Coleshill Town have a tough task as they travel to Evostik South favourites Stafford Rangers, the game being switched to Marston Road with the agreement of the FA. Dunkirk host NCEL1 Bottesford Town and would expect to progress. Rocester have a Staffordshire derby travelling to Harrison Park to face Evostik South Leek Town. League form would indicate a home win but this is the FA Cup. Two Premier Division sides meet as Loughborough University entertain Long Eaton United. Continental Star face a difficult trip to Evostik South Newcastle Town and will do well to bring them back to Dales Lane for a replay. Coventry Sphinx make the short journey to Rugby Town and must have a good chance of causing a shock. Division 1 Cadbury Athletic travel to Premier Division Sporting Khalsa and this game could be filled with goals. Two in form sides meet at Walshes
Meadow with Premier Division high flyers Stourport Swifts and Alvechurch locking horns. Westfields welcome Evostik South Kidsgrove Athletic to Allpay Park and will want to win at the first time of asking. An intriguing game at The Victoria ground as Division 1 heavyweights Bromsgrove Sporting and Hinckley AFC meet. A replay and penalties wouldn’t be a surprise.
Only one game on Saturday as Brocton host Bardon Hill. The Badgers got their season underway in midweek and will be looking to back that up against a Bardon hill side who themselves will want to bounce back from a 6-1 defeat at Quorn. Cup replays permitting, there is a full fixture list on Bank Holiday Monday. Leaders Stourport Swifts host Coleshill Town in what promises to be an entertaining game. All eyes in the City of Hereford will be on Allpay Park where Westfields will host neighbours Hereford in an all-ticket sell out. At the top of the table, Alvechurch take on Highgate United at Lye Meadow while Shepshed Dynamo travel to Hillsfield to face Rocester still searching for their first league points of the season. Heanor Town will be hoping to maintain their 100% records as they host Dunkirk whilst AFC Wulfrunians will expect to get back in winning ways when they face pointless Continental Star at Castlecroft. Loughborough University will be looking to get their first points of the season when they travel to a Quorn side that have won their last two after a slow start. Elsewhere, Brocton have their 5th home league game of the season against Long Eaton United; Boldmere St Michaels will be looking for back to back wins when they face Walsall Wood; and Coventry Sphinx will be favourites to beat Bardon Hill at Sphinx Drive.
Leaders Coventry United have games at home to Pershore Town and away at Leicester Road as they look to keep their winning start to life in Division 1 going. 3rd placed Littleton have two home games against Coventry Copsewood and Pershore Town with an opportunity to consolidate their excellent start to the season. Heather St Johns and Racing Club Warwick meet on Saturday and both will be hoping to get their season moving on the upward curve. Watch out for high scoring Nuneaton Griff as they entertain Pelsall Villa on Saturday and then travel to bottom club Bolehall Swifts on Monday. Struggling Stafford Town travel to Pilkington XXX on Saturday before hosting Lichfield City in another Staffordshire derby on Monday. Atherstone Town haven’t made the start to the season they would have hoped and they will be wanting to put that right with games at Studley on Saturday and a t home to Coventry Copsewood on Monday. Tenants face hosts at St Johns Park on Monday as Hinckley AFC ‘host’ Heather St Johns; Unbeaten Bromsgrove Sporting travel to Pilkington XXX on Monday; Heath Hayes, recovering well from relegation, are at home to Pelsall Villa; and Studley host Cadbury Athletic, the Chocolatemen fresh from their FA Cup exploits.
A busy weekend in Division 2 with games on Saturday and Monday. Leaders Alvis Sporting Club play on Saturday only and travel to Earlswood Town, pointless after two games. The blank Monday offers Chelmsley Town the chance to open up a gap if they can beat Paget Rangers at home on Saturday and then win at unbeaten Rostance Edwards on Monday. Sutton United take their 100% record to Droitwich Spa on Saturday which promises to be a stern test. Feckenham are yet to score this season and they travel to Austrey Rangers on Saturday. 5th placed Coton Green entertain Knowle on Saturday and then travel to Hampton on Monday which could be a close battle. Bottom of the table
Fairfield Villa host Barnt Green Spartak on Saturday in what should be a tight game. Rostance Edwards have the chance to put pressure on the sides above before that game on Monday when they welcome Hampton to The Red Lion Ground on Saturday afternoon. Elsewhere on Monday, Barnt Green Spartak welcome Droitwich Spa to The Coppice while Knowle face Earlswood Town at The Robins Nest.
Lots of activity in Division 3 this weekend with most teams in action twice. Leaders FC Stratford are one of the exceptions and the will have to wait until Monday when they face fellow high flyers Leamington Hibernian. 2nd placed Enville Athletic take their 100% record on the road with trips to Redditch Borough and Northfield Town. 3rd place Barton United are also on their travels with games at Leamington Hibernian and Burntwood Town. Burntwood Town play their first game at their new home on Saturday when Coventrians are the visitors. AFC Solihull are looking for their first points in the MFL and they travel to Inkberrow and Badsey Rangers over the weekend. Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons are still to get off the mark this season and they host Perrywood and Smithswood Firs. Elsewhere on Saturday, Alcester Town host Badsey Rangers before travelling to Inkberrow on Monday; Shipston Excelsior travel to Smithswood Firs before hosting Coventrians on Monday; and on Monday, Perrywood welcome Redditch Borough to Neel Park. It is fair to say, that the league table will look a lot different after the weekend.
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