The draw for the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup has been made and the two remaining MFL sides, Westfields and Highgate United, will meet at Allpay Park. The game will take place on Saturday September 17th.
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday September 3rd
FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round (11)
Halesowen Town 3 Coleshill Town 0
With 6 MFL Clubs remaining in the competition this season, the difficulty was choosing which one to follow. I decide on Coleshill’s visit to the Grove to take on a badly out of form Halesowen Town of the Northern Premier League. Before the game, the feeling from the locals was one of concern as they could see The Yeltz being turned over by a side two leagues lower. 29 seconds into the game, the locals must have wondered why they were panicking as Ethan Delaney headed the ball past Paul Hathaway from a Kaiman Anderson cross. The Coleman were stunned but took the game to Halesowen and it was the MFL side that dictated play. Shane Benjamin saw a shot blocked and then Aaron Garvey saw his shot cleared off the line. Coleshill had the ball in the net in the 14th minute. Benjamin shrugged off his defender and squared to Luke Barlone who slid in at the far post. The referee ruled the goal out – whether it was for offside or for a shirt pull, only the match official seemed to know. Halesowen went close to doubling the lead in the 34th minute. Anderson saw his shot brilliantly saved by Hathaway, Jordan Goddard’s follow up was cleared off the line and Joe Colley put the rebound wide. There was a moment of controversy in the 41st minute when Craig Milligan and Delaney clashed on the near touch line. There seemed little in the clash but after consulting his linesman, the referee showed red cards to both players much to the chagrin of the crowd. In first half stoppage, a shot on the turn from Benjamin was just wide.
The second half started with Coleshill very much on the front foot with Josh Quaynor shooting from distance. Coleshill were close to an equaliser when a deep cross from Andre Gonzalez had Yeltz keeper Daniel Platt back pedalling as he palmed the ball away. Benjamin wasted a glorious chance to equalise when he took too long to shoot and the Yeltz defence crowded him out. Halesowen began to take advantage of the spaces opening up and Goddard saw a shot saved by Hathaway. The home side doubled their lead in the 70th minute. Anderson was clearly pulled back in the area and a penalty was awarded. Anderson himself made no mistake from the spot. Anderson went close again two minutes later but his effort was saved by Hathaway. Benjamin should have pulled a goal back for Coleshill in the 73rd minute after good work by Quaynor but his shot was high over the bar. Anderson made sure for Halesowen in the 79th minute when he broke through on the left and gave Hathaway no chance. To be fair to Coleshill, they continued to look for goals and substitute Demetrius Smeikle forced a decent save from Platt in the last minute. A 3-0 scoreline was hard on Coleshill who more than matched their higher ranked opponents for much of the game. The disallowed goal was a major factor and who knows what would have happened if that had been allowed.
Tuesday September 6th
Premier Division (12)
Brocton 0 Loughborough University 2
Brocton have been shipping goals at an alarming rate and bought in new recruit Francino Francis to help shore up the defence. Conversely, Loughborough University had started the season in fine form and were looking to consolidate that start. The early opportunities fell to the visitors with Elliott Legg off target with a shot and Tom Barnes heading over from a corner. The impressive Luke Trotman also missed the target as the Scholars posed a threat going forward. Great approach play by Brocton ended with Dominic Dell firing straight at keeper Connor O’Keefe. Brocton went close in the 15th minute when Francis headed a corner from Josh Wilson narrowly wide. Brocton were now in charge and from a cross by Adam Robinson, Alex Johnson headed over his own cross bar. Dell had a great chance for the home side but he was thwarted by a last ditch challenge from Alex Dinsmore. Michael Williams won a header, flicking the ball into Dell who controlled but put his shot wide. Barnes was unlucky for Loughborough when his shot was saved at full stretch by Aidan Stone. Brocton continued to look the more likely and Jack Edwards was off target with another effort. In the 38th minute, O’Keefe made a fine save tipping a header from Dan Lomas over the bar following a Wilson corner. A minute later, Edwards played the ball into the path of Dell who clipped his shot over the bar. It was a surprise to go in at half-time level as both sides had created openings.
Loughborough started the second half well with Andrew Bridge just off target with a shot. In the 52nd minute, the visitors took the lead with a stunning 25 yard finish from Barnes. The goal lifted Loughborough and a cross from Alex Read was well saved by Stone. On the hour, a mistake by Stone gave a great opportunity to Read but he couldn’t find the target. Loughborough doubled their lead in the 72nd minute. A clumsy challenge in the box by Francis on Read gave the referee no alternative but to award a penalty. Bridge stepped up and made no mistake. It could have been three moments later when a strong run from Jay Davis ended with the big substitute’s shot being saved. Brocton should have pulled a goal back in the 81st minute. Paul McMahon missed his kick in front of goal but when the ball looped into the air, Williams failed to connect with a header. That was Brocton’s last chance as Loughborough dominated the final proceedings. Trotman saw a shot deflected onto the post and then in stoppage the same player hit a rasping shot which Stone saved onto the post. A minute into stoppage time bridge jinked his way through the defence, created an opening but inexplicably missed the target .
This was a good game of football between two decent sides. The first goal dented Brocton’s confidence and ultimately Loughborough deservedly took all 3 points.
Highgate United had arguably the result of the round as they beat high-flying Southern Premier Leamington 3-1 at The Coppice. Lei Brown got things going with a first half penalty and Gate went into a 3 goal lead before the Brakes pulled one back with 20 minutes remaining. That was the end of the comeback and Highgate will be in the 2nd qualifying round. Premier Division leaders Westfields took their league form into the FA Cup and demolished Southern Premier Division St Ives Town 4-0 at Allpay Park. It was goalless at half time but Fields pulled away once Aidan Thomas had opened the scoring in the 52nd minute. Division 1 Leicester Road join Highgate and Westfields in the 2nd qualifying round draw after they were held 0-0 at home by Kirby Muxloe. It could have been so much better for Leicester Road but Jake Holt’s late penalty was tipped onto the post by the Kirby keeper. The two sides go again on Tuesday evening. Coventry United’s cup run ended with a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Bedworth United. A crowd of 347 packed into Sphinx Drive as Coventry gave as good as they got but it was the Step 4 club that progressed with a goal in each half. Coleshill Town went into their tie at Step 3 Halesowen Town with some confidence but a goal after 29 seconds sent The Yeltz on the way to a 3-0 victory. Luke Barlone had the ball in the net for Coleshill in the 14th minute but this was ruled out for a shirt pull. Two goals in the last 20 minutes for Kaiman Anderson sealed it for Halesowen but the game was far tighter than the scoreline suggests. Heanor Town travelled to Northern Premier Matlock Town and gave a good account of themselves as they went out of the competition, losing 4-2. Mark Newsham scored twice for Matlock while Kieran Debrouwer bagged a brace for Heanor. Special mention for the Heanor supporters who, from all accounts, were extremely vocal all afternoon.
Leicester Road bowed out of the competition on Tuesday evening going down 3-2 after extra time to Kirby Muxloe. The Division 1 side twice came from behind to take the game into extra-time but they couldn’t repeat the feat and Kirby Muxloe go through to face Boston United in the next round.
With Westfields in FA Cup action, Quorn had the opportunity to go top of the table but they ended up on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline at Long Eaton United. Quorn had taken the lead through Liam Turner but a Kevin Hemagou double and a goal from Ben Watkiss moved Long Eaton up to 7th. Walsall Wood could have gone level on points with Westfields but a Jake King goal gave AFC Wulfrunians all three points at Castlecroft. Shepshed Dynamo are up to 3rd following a 2-1 win over Shawbury United who remain in bottom place. Result of the day came from Sporting Khalsa who beat Brocton 6-1 at Silkmore Lane, Luke Shearer scoring twice. St Andrews made it three wins on the trot with an Ash Day goal enough to beat Coventry Sphinx. Alvechurch were reduced to 10 men at home to Stourport Swifts but looked to be heading for a victory until a late penalty from Ben Maund meant the game finished 1-1. The game between Loughborough University and Boldmere St Michaels had a delayed kick off as the Boldmere kit man had gone to the wrong ground. When the game got under way, the two sides fought out a 1-1 draw. Rocester followed up their victory on Bank Holiday Monday with a valuable point in a goalless draw at Lye Town.
On Monday evening, Sporting Khalsa moved into the top half of the table with their second big away win in succession, 5-0 at Coventry Sphinx. Craig Bannister led the way with a hat-trick as Khalsa leapfrogged their hosts into 9th position. On Tuesday evening, Walsall Wood climbed up to 2nd with a 2-0 win at Long Eaton United. St Andrews made it four wins on the trot as they beat Tividale 4-2 at The Beeches, the three points moving St Andrews to 5th in the table. Shepshed Dynamo are 4th after a 2-2 draw with Coventry United, new signing Ben Haseley with both goals. Highgate United capped a good week with a 4-0 home win over Stourport Swifts. The Scholars from Loughborough University are up to 6th after a 2-0 win at Brocton who remain 3rd from bottom. Kieran Debrouwer scored twice as Heanor Town picked up all 3 points in a 3-2 win at Coleshill Town. Lye Town and Boldmere St Michaels fought out a 1-1 draw at Stourbridge Road.
On Wednesday night, Westfields continued on their merry way making it six wins out of six, defeating Alvechurch 2-0 at Allpay Park. Quorn kept up the pressure on Westfields keeping the lead to just 1 point following a 2-0 win at home to AFC Wulfrunians. Shawbury United got off the mark with a dramatic 4-3 victory over Rocester at Wem Sports Centre, Nathan Hodge scoring twice.
Lichfield City took over a t the top of the table following a 5-0 win over Southam United at the McDonalds Community Stadium. Ben Lund scored twice as Lichfield open up a 3 point lead. Bolehall Swifts are up to 3rd place after a 4-3 win over Cadbury Athletic. Bolehall overturned a 3-1 deficit with Chris Cowley scoring twice. Atherstone Town are 4th after Alex Naughton took his seasons tally to 11 as he scored 4 in a 6-1 win at Pelsall Villa. Nuneaton Griff sit just behind the Adders after they recorded a 3-2 win at Heath Hayes. Ryan Seal scored twice as Hinckley AFC beat Pershore Town 4-1 at St Johns Park. Chelmsley Town are finding their feet in Division 1 and a 6-1 home win over Studley moves them into the top half of the table. Three players scored twice – Gary Turner, Karl Douglas and Adam Keeley. Coventry Copsewood took an early lead at home to Uttoxeter Town but doubles from Luke Lewis and Harry Price saw Uttoxeter to a 5-1 win. There were 6 goals at 5 Acres as Littleton beat Heather St Johns 4-2, Connor Perry-Holmes scoring twice for The Ton Boys.
Pre-season favourites Alvis Sporting Club sit on top of the table following a 4-0 win over Smithswood Firs, Dan Pidgeon scoring twice. A Nick Seabourne hat-trick helped Droitwich Spa to a 5-0 victory over Earlswood Town. Previous leaders Knowle shared 6 goals with Coton Green at The Robins Nest, Tom Craine continuing his super start to the season with a hat-trick for Knowle. An 87th minute equaliser for Jordan Adams gave Feckenham a point at home to Paget Rangers who led through Matthew Coates. Continental Star picked up their first victory, 3-2 over Bloxwich Town with Pedro Douglas scoring twice. In the game between the promoted sides, Redditch Borough came out on top beating Leamington Hibernian 2-0 both goals from Jak Albutt.
NKF Burbage took over as leaders of Division 3 with a 4-0 win at Castle Vale Town, Tom Smith scoring twice. Moors Academy move up to 2nd as they beat Coventrians 5-2, Romario Martin scoring twice for the Moors. A goal from Will Beach gave Shipston Excelsior all three points at Alcester Town. Northfield Town picked up their 3rd win in 4, beating Barton United 3-2 at Holland Sports Club.
Montpellier progressed to the next round with a 2-0 win at AFC Solihull. Enville Athletic won for the first time this season, a goal from Adam Wooldridge enough to beat Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons.
Les James Challenge Cup
FC Stratford made progress winning by the odd goal in 5 at Inkberrow.
Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup
Two goals apiece from Connor Collins and Stuart Hall saw Fairfield Villa home with a 4-1 win at Sutton United.
Coton Green 3 Tipton Town 5 (Trophy)
Gresley 6 Lichfield City 1 (Trophy)
Walsall Wood 1 Brocton 2 (trophy)
Rocester 4 (Oliver Roome 2) Cadbury Athletic 1 (League)
CHALLENGE BOWL ROUND 1 Group "A"
AYLESTONE PARK 2 v 0 HIGHGATE UNITED
BEDWORTH UNITED 3 v 2 BROCTON
KINGS HEATH CONCORDE 4 v 2 DROITWICH SPA G & B
BROMSGROVE SPORTING 2 v 0 WEST MIDLANDS ACADEMY
COLESHILL TOWN 6 v 3 LEEK TOWN
UNDER 21 DIVISION SOUTH
KETTERING TOWN 2 v 0 H O W ACADEMY
A shortened programme this weekend due to the 1st qualifying round of the FA Vase. Game of the day is undoubtedly the top of the table clash at Allpay Park between Westfields and Quorn. Following midweek victories for both, they have opened up a gap over the rest and a victory for eiher would open up the gap further. . Sporting Khalsa have had two big away wins in the past week and they return to their Aspray Arena home to take on Coleshill Town. Shepshed Dynamo have had some strange results this season but find themselves in the top 4. They welcome Coventry Sphinx to the Dovecote with the visitors having lost their last two. AFC Wulfrunians upset Alvechurch at Lye Meadow on the opening day of last season and will be looking to repeat the result this weekend. Both sides lost away matches on Wednesday evening and will be hoping to get back to winning ways.
Leaders Lichfield City have the opportunity to extend their lead when they travel to bottom place Coventry Copsewood. Nuneaton Griff will go second if they can pick up all three points at Southam United.
Droitwich Spa have the opportunity to take over top spot this weekend if they can win at Hampton. Paget Rangers can join them on 13 points with a win at Fairfield Villa. Bottom side Bloxwich Town are still searching for their first point of the season and they welcome Smithswood Firs to The Old Red Lion. Two sides that have had a run of defeats meet at Bishops Tachbrook with Leamington Hibernian hosting Earlswood Town. A win for either would shoot them up the table.
Leaders NKF Burbage travel to Inkberrow looking to maintain their position at the top of the table. Montpellier take their 100% record to the Vale Stadium as they face Castle Vale Town. 4th plays 6th at London Road with FC Stratford visiting Shipston Excelsior. Northfield Town have started with three wins out of four and they will hope to continue that form at home to bottom side Enville Athletic. AFC Solihull are yet to pick up a point and they welcome Alcester Town to Tudor Grange with the visitors looking for the three points to kick start their season. Coventrians welcome Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons to Holbrooks Park with the sides sitting in 11th and 10th respectively.
For teams entering the competition at this stage, there are 10 games between them and an appearance at Wembley. Hereford achieved it last season, can another MFL team emulate their success?
Barnt Green Spartak (MFL2) vs Cadbury Athletic (MFL1) – Friday 1945
AFC Bridgnorth (West Midlands Regional League) vs Boldmere St Michaels (MFLP)
Ashby Ivanhoe (East Midlands Counties League) vs Pelsall Villa (MFL1)
Bolehall Swifts (MFL1) vs Heath Hayes (MFL1)
Bromyard Town (West Midlands Regional League Division 1) vs Atherstone Town (MFL1) @ Bewdley Town
Bardon Hill (Leicestershire Senior League) vs Littleton (MFL1)
Barrow Town (East Midlands Counties League) vs St Andrews (MFLP)
Brocton (MFLP) vs Eccleshall (North West Counties Division 1)
Bromsgrove Sporting (MFL1) vs Ellistown & Ibstock United (East Midlands Counties League)
Chelmsley Town (MFL1) vs Studley (MFL1)
Clay Cross Town (Central Midlands League Division 1N) vs Leicester Road (MFL1)
Coton Green (MFL2) vs Kirby Muxloe (United Counties League Premier)
Cradley Town (West Midlands Regional League) vs Uttoxeter Town (MFL1)
FC Oswestry Town (North West Counties Division 1) vs Walsall Wood (MFLP)
Highgate United (MFLP) vs Lye Town (MFLP)
Holbrook Sports (East Midlands Counties League) vs Hinckley AFC (MFL1)
Long Eaton United (MFLP) vs South Normanton Athletic (East Midlands Counties League)
Loughborough University (MFLP) vs Arnold Town (East Midlands Counties League)
Malvern Town (West Midlands regional League) vs Tividale (MFLP)
Pershore Town (MFL1) vs Bewdley Town (West Midlands Regional League)
Racing Club Warwick (MFL1) vs Coventry United (MFLP)
Rainworth Miners Welfare (North East Counties Premier Division) vs Heanor Town (MFLP)
Shawbury United (MFLP) vs Heather St Johns (MFL1)
Stourport Swifts (MFLP) vs Smethwick (West Midlands Regional League)
Black Country Rangers (West Midlands Regional League) vs Stafford Town (MFL1) @ Halesowen Town FC – Sunday 1500
Redditch Borough (MFL2) vs Rocester (MFLP) – Sunday 1500
Les James Challenge Cup
Division 2 leaders and last year’s beaten finalists Alvis Sporting Club are at home to 3rd Division Barton United in this year’s first round. There is a promise of goals at The Entaco as free-scoring Feckenham and Sutton United meet. Division3 newcomers Moors Academy have made an excellent start to life in the MFL and they have the chance to take a Division 2 scalp when Continental Star are the visitors to The Beehive.
Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup
Division 2 high flyers Knowle travel to Erdington to face Birmingham & District League Parkfield Amateurs.
CHALLENGE TROPHY ROUND 1 Group "A"
LICHFIELD CITY v BROCTON 1.00
WALSALL WOOD v GRESLEY
CONTINENTAL STAR v CADBURY ATHLETIC
ROMULUS v COTON GREEN
TIPTON TOWN v ROCESTER
CHALLENGE BOWL ROUND 1 Group "A"
COVENTRY UNITED v ALVECHURCH 10.30
GORNAL ATHLETIC v AYLESTONE PARK 10.30
HIGHGATE UNITED v SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN 10.30
DROITWICH SPA G & B v BROCTON 10.30
HEATH HAYES v BEDWORTH UNITED 10.30
KINGS HEATH CONCORDE v TAMWORTH 10.30
H O W ACADEMY v LEEK TOWN 10.30
WEST MIDLANDS ACADEMY v COLESHILL TOWN 10.30
UNDER 21 DIVISION SOUTH
KETTERING TOWN v AFC RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS 11.00