14th September 2016
The Team of the Month for August are:
Overall - Westfields
Division 1 - Bromsgrove Sporting
Division 2 - Alvis Sporting Club
Division 3 - Montpellier
Congratulations to all
Congratulations to Paget Rangers’ Mark Bellingham for scoring his 700th career goal last Saturday, a remarkable achievement.
Following last weekend’s FA Vase fixtures, the ties for the 2nd Qualifying round are listed below: Ties to take place on September 24th:-
Anstey Nomads vs Quorn
Bolehall Swifts vs Shifnal Town
Brocton vs Chelmsley Town
Coventry Copsewood vs Atherstone Town
Coventry United vs Wednesfield
Greenwood Meadows vs Hinckley AFC
Hanley Town vs Boldmere St Michaels
Heanor Town vs Kimberley Miner’s Welfare
Kirby Muxloe vs Littleton
Leicester Road vs West Bridgford
Paget Rangers vs Highgate United @Rushall Olympic FC
Pinxton vs Loughborough University
Rocester vs Black Country Rangers
Shawbury United vs Coventry Sphinx
St Andrews vs Retford
Stapenhill vs Long Eaton United
Stourport Swifts vs Cadbury Athletic
Tipton Town vs Bromsgrove Sporting
Uttoxeter Town vs Wellington Amateurs
Walsall Wood vs Pegasus Juniors
Wellington vs Lichfield City
Westfields vs Dudley Sports
Travels of the Press Officer
Friday 9th September
FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round (13)
Barnt Green Spartak 0 Cadbury Athletic 1
A Friday night visit to The Coppice and a good number of neutrals were on hand to see Division 2 take on Division 1 in the Vase. Barnt Green had started the season with 10 points from 5 games and were expected to pose a threat to mid table Cadbury. The visitors started the game positively and following a poor defensive header, the dangerous Daniel Douse saw his shot blocked. Barnt green had a chance in the 10th minute when a ball over the top of the defence picked out Kevon Henry but poor control let down the striker and the chance went. Cadbury were well on top and Spartak keeper Raghban Ali was forced into a save pushing out a volley from Douse. The keeper did even better in the 13th minute saving well from Dayle Kenny who raced through on goal. Cadbury keeper Reece Francis had to be alert to block a shot from Darren Green. Douse was just off target with a header just after the half hour mark as Cadbury dominated but couldn’t break through. Just before half-time Brett Fellows had another good chance for the visitors but was off target.
Two minutes into the second half, Cadbury took the lead. An excellent run by right back Stuart Cooke finished with a rasping shot that Ali could not deal with. Dean Lea went close with a shot that dipped over the crossbar. It was all Cadbury with Spartak struggling to make any impression in the middle of the park. In the 58th minute, Fellows was fouled on the edge of the area. Fellows himself took the free-kick and with Ali beaten the ball cannoned off the crossbar. In the 65th minute, Kenny was upended in the penalty area, the referee pointing to the spot. Up stepped goalscorer Cooke only for him to blot his copy book by clearing the crossbar. A mistake at the back by Spartak gave Jack McGinn the chance but with an open goal, he could not convert albeit from some 35 yards out. Fellows continued to cause problems and a fierce shot was well saved again by Ali. Substitute Jacob Snape added some bite and impetus to the Barnt Green front-line and it was Snape who forced a save from Francis at his near post with 9 minutes left. Cadbury should have sealed things 6 minutes from time but Kenny was again off target following good work from Cooke. As hard as they tried, Barnt Green couldn’t get back into the game and Cadbury ran out comfortable winners.
Saturday 10th September
FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round (14)
FC Oswestry Town 1 Walsall Wood 3 (after extra time)
A trip to The Venue, the home of Welsh Premier League Champions TNS and also North West Counties new boys FC Oswestry Town. The Venue comprises a gym, restaurant and blowing alley as well as the superb football facilities used by Oswestry. The pitch is a modern 3G surface and there is covered seating for over 1,000. Walsall Wood came into the game in good form but were missing a number of key players. Oswestry had drawn their previous Saturday game 6-6 so goals were expected. It was the home side that started much the brighter with the impressive Shawn Melusi curling a shot over the bar in the 3rd minute. Oswestry were very comfortable in possession on the 3G surface and were giving Walsall Wood an exhibition in passing without creating any clear-cut openings. Jack Harris went close for Oswestry in the 20th minute, his shot just clearing the cross bar. A free-kick from Brendon Price caused havoc in the Wood defence but they managed to scramble it away. Oswestry took a deserved lead in teh24th minute when Melusi picked up a long ball, shrugged off two defenders and slid the ball past Dave Faultless. The visitors’ firs effort on target came in the 28th minute but Corey Carruthers headers was comfortably held by Connor Tinsley. Oswestry continued to dominate with Jack Harris just off target with a shot. Two minutes before half-time. Walsall Wood had appeals for a penalty waved away as Craig Deakin was upended in the box.
Wood had to improve after the break and they began the half with a noticeable increase in tempo. Lewis Taylor-Boyce saw a shot blocked and Lee Parsons fired over. In the 49th minute, Carruthers hit a superb shot which was headed off the line by Price and the Oswestry centre-back Rob Shone went close to putting the ball into his own net as Wood pulled on the pressure. Two minutes later, Harry Harris thought he had equalised but his shot rebounded to safety off the foot of the post. At the other end, Faultless was forced into a save by Jack Harris. Wood had a decent chance in the 64th minute when Tinsley picked up a back pass inside his own penalty area. The indirect free-kick looked goal bound but hit Shawn Boothe, the Wood defender, and the opportunity had gone. In the 67th minute, a late challenge on Faultless by Melusi resulted in the Wood keeper being substituted after a 7-minute delay. Melusi could consider himself fortunate only to receive a yellow card. With no sub keeper on the bench, leading scorer Joey Butlin donned the gloves with Wood still a goal behind. Carruthers missed a great chance in the 78th minute heading a Harris free-kick wide. Two minutes into stoppage time, Oswestry conceded a needless free-kick outside the area. Drew Aiton stepped up and curled the free-kick past Tinsley to draw Wood level. Two minutes later, Carruthers’ cross come shot, cannoned off the bar and Harry Harris shot wide as the MFL side dominated.
Into extra-time and there was only going to be one winner. In the 99th minute, skipper Harry Harris gave Wood the lead with a superb finish. Oswestry pushed for the equaliser but couldn’t find their way past Butlin. With 5 minutes left, Wood sealed victory when a cross from Taylor-Boyce ricocheted off Leon Taylor into the net. Walsall Wood progress but my, was it close?
Tuesday September 13th
Premier Division (15)
Walsall Wood 3 Westfields 4
With thunderstorms lashing the area, it was with some relief that he game between 3rd and 1st went ahead. A positive start by the league leaders saw Sidric Grant curl a shot over the bar in the 4th minute. Drew Aiton had the home side’s first chance dragging his shot wide after creating an opening. A poor clearance from Matt Gwynne, the Westfields keeper, was straight to Aiton but Gwynne responded well making a fine save. Wetsfields had a great chance in the 19th minute when Ben Miller was off target with a header following a cross from Grant. Grant then forced a save from Curtis Pond before the home side broke the deadlock in the 24th minute. Aiton found himself in space on the left hand side of the area and curled a shot into the top corner. The home side were now on top and Nick Wright saw an effort deflected for a corner. From the corner, Ben Birch had a header cleared off the line. In stoppage time, Karl Edwards robbed Kane Kahaki in his own penalty area but his shot took a deflection and the chance went begging.
Westfields came out for the second half all guns blazing and they should have equalised in the 50th minute. Craig Jones delivered a perfect free-kick which was met by the head of Richard Greaves but the header bounced off the bar. Westfields were level two minutes later when Dan Polan broke down the left and his cross was turned in by Phil Glover. Westfields had claims for a penalty waved away when Shawn Boothe appeared to trip Polan. Back came Wood and Aiton hit a firm shot straight at Gwynne. Harry Harris was then off target with a snapshot but in the 64th minute Walsall Wood regained the lead. Edwards’ shot was well saved by Gwynne but the ball hit defender James Saunston and rebounded into his own net. The home side were having a good spell and Edwards set up Aiton whose first time shot was saved by the feet of Gwynne. In the 78th minute, Westfields were back on terms. The impressive grant cut inside from the right, played the ball into James Molyneux. He in turn laid it off to Jones who slotted it into the corner. With the home side visibly tiring, Westfields went all out for the winner ad they took the lead in the 83rd minute. A corner from Jones was headed home by Greaves. They made it four in the 88th minute and a fine individual goal it was from Molyneux who raced forward in the inside left channel and supplied a superb finish. Walsall Wood had time to grab their third 4 minutes into time added on when Edwards shot on the turn past Gwynne.
A fantastic game of football and a brilliant advertisement for the Midland Football League. Walsall Wood were the better side before the break but Westfields showed why they are top of the league with an impressive second half performance.
Wednesday September 14th
Premier Division (16)
AFC Wulfrunians 2 Rocester 2
A first visit of the season to one of my local teams and another heavy downpour greets me as I pull onto the Castlecroft car park. Thankfully, the storm abates long before kick off. Both Wulfs and Rocester have had poor starts to the season and this game was seen as important for both sides. It was good to see Wulfs Josh Shepherd at the game following his horrific injury earlier this season at Coventry United. Wulfs had a great chance after just 50 seconds when Demetri Brown got his head to a right wing cross. Rocester soon responded but Rob Ritchie-Smith’s shot was easily saved. Wulfs again had a great chance in the 12th minute when the ball was played into the path of Ryan Nesbitt but his shot was weak and easily saved by Richard Froggatt. Joe Brockley stung the palms of Danny Tipton when he hit a firm shot from around 25 yards. Rocester took the lead in the 24th minute. Martin Smyth played the ball inside to Callum Riddell who rounded Tipton and slotted the ball home. Marcus Jackson almost equalised for the home side when his driving run ended with a shot clipping the outside of the post. Jake Webb missed another good chance for the home side when he headed wide from a Brown cross. With four minutes to go the break, Brown was through on goal, Froggatt was well off his line but the striker put his shot wide. Two minutes later Brown made no mistake. Played in by Webb, he fired past the advancing Froggatt who got a hand to it but couldn’t keep it out.
At the start of the second half, Brown curled a shot over the bar but it was the Romans that took the lead in the 51st minute. A deep hanging cross from the right saw Liam Shaw challenge Danny Tipton with Tipton palming the ball into his own net. Both sides were guilty of giving the ball away cheaply and the longer the game went on the more comfortable Rocester appeared to be. Oliver Roome had a good chance to make it 3 but took too long as the ball was played into him and the Wulfs defence cleared. In the 83rd minute, a free-kick from Jake Sedgemore was headed off target by Jacob Barnes. A minute later, Riddell miss timed a header when well placed. In the last minute of normal time, Wulfs equalised with a quite wonderful goal. Brown picked up the ball outside the Rocester area, ran into the box, beat four defenders and fired hi shot past Froggatt. Riddell almost gave Rocester all three points but his shot was well saved at full stretch by Tipton. On reflection, a draw was probably a fair result but what a wonderful goal from Demetri Brown.
21 MFL clubs progressed through to the second qualifying round. Bromsgrove Sporting were the day’s big winners, overcoming Ellistown & Ibstock United 13-0 at The Victoria Ground The visitors lost a couple of players before the game started due to an accident on the motorway and also had their keeper sent off as The Rouslers put them to the sword. Surprising there were only 5 scorers – Sean Brain 4, Tony Clarke 3, Ahmed Ali 2, Aaron Roberts and Chris Conway 2. Bolehall Swifts were also in the goals beating Heath Hayes 7-2 at Rene Road. Again, there were only 3 scorers – Jordan Francis 3, Kyle Turner and Dave Yonwin with 2 apiece; Joe Hartshorne scored both goals for the visitors. Loughborough University put seven goals past Arnold Town with 1 in reply. There were doubles for Alex Read, Matthew Crookes and Andrew Bridge. Brocton put their league troubles to one side as they beat Eccleshall 6-0 at Silkmore Lane with player manager Dave Berks scoring twice. Alex Naughton took his season’s tally to 15 goals as he bagged 4 in Atherstone Town’s 6-2 win at Bromyard Town. Littleton had five different scorers as they won 5-1 at Bardon Hill. Stuart Capaldi scored 4 for Boldmere St Michaels as they won 5-0 at AFC Bridgnorth. Rocester also scored 5 as they beat Division 2 Redditch Borough 5-2, Martin Smyth and Callum Riddell with two apiece. Joe Phillips scored 3 and Matt Pinder 2 as Stourport Swifts went nap beating Smethwick 5-1. In the all Premier Division tie, two goals from Lei Brown saw Highgate United through with a 2-0 win over Lye Town. St Andrews continued their winning run as they overcame Barrow Town 3-0. Walsall Wood needed extra time to defeat FC Oswestry Town in a dramatic game. Wood lost keeper Dave Faultless with 25 minutes left and with no keeper on the bench, striker Joey Butlin donned the gloves. An equaliser in injury time from Drew Aiton saved Wood’s blushes and two goals in extra time gave Wood a 3-1 victory. Jerome O’Connor was on target twice as Long Eaton United beat South Normanton Athletic 2-0 at Grange Park. Ben Mackey made an immediate impression for Coventry United, a hat-trick on debut helping them to a 3-1 win at Racing Club Warwick. Kieran Debrouwer was another hat-trick man in a 4-1 win for Heanor Town at Rainworth Miner’s Welfare. Shawbury United made it two wins in the week as they knocked Heather St Johns out of the competition, 3-1 the final score. Chelmsley Town won the all Division 1 clash at Pack Meadow beating Studley 3-2. Leicester Road eased through to the 2nd Qualifying round with a 3-2 win at Clay Cross Town. Luke Lewis scored twice as Uttoxeter Town beat Cradley Town 4-1. Two second half goals saw Hinckley AFC get the better of Holbrook Sports, 2-0 it finished. Stuart Cooke scored the only goal of the game as Cadbury Athletic won at Barnt Green Spartak. Division 2 Coton Green bowed out of the competition losing 3-1 at home to Kirby Muxloe. Pelsall Villa were beaten 2-1 at Ashby Ivanhoe while fellow Division 1 side, Stafford Town lost by a solitary goal at Black Country Rangers. A goal from Jamie Clark was not enough for Pershore Town as they went out, beaten 2-1 at home by Bewdley Town. Premier Division Tividale were victims of a giant killing as they were beaten 4-1 by West Midlands League Malvern town despite taking a 7th minute lead.
Westfields made it seven wins out of seven with a last minute goal from Kane Kahaki giving them a 3-2 win over second placed Quorn. Alvechurch are up to 7th following a 3-1 win over AFC Wulfrunians in front of an impressive 323 at Lye Meadow. Coventry Sphinx raced into a 3-0 lead at Shepshed Dynamo and withstood a late fight back as Dynamo scored twice in the last 10 minutes. The win moves Sphinx up to 6th in the table. Sporting Khalsa and Coleshill Town remain locked in the middle of the table as they fought out a 1-1 draw at The Aspray Arena.
On Tuesday evening, Westfields and Walsall Wood were involved in a thriller at Oak Park. The league leaders twice came from behind as they won 4-2 to make it eight wins out of eight. St Andrews are up to 3rd after they made it 5 wins on the trot with a 2-1 victory at home over Coleshill Town. Shepshed Dynamo are 4th after a 2-1 win at Tividale despite playing 55 minutes with ten men. An equaliser in the 94th minute earned 10 man Stourport Swifts a 1-1 draw with Alvechurch. A brace from David Meese gave Sporting Khalsa a 2-1 win over Loughborough University at The Aspray Arena. Lye Town are 5th after they beat inconsistent Highgate United 3-0 at The Coppice
Shawbury United picked up their second win of the season beating Boldmere St Michaels by four goals to nil. Heanor Town recovered from being 2-0 down at home to Brocton as a double from Kieran Debrouwer and a 93rd minute winner from Matt Harris gave them all three points. AFC Wulfrunians also grabbed a last minute equaliser at home to Rocester, Demetri Brown scoring his second of the game in a 2-2 draw.
In the bottom versus top clash it was lowly Coventry Copsewood who came out on top beating Lichfield City 3-0 to leap 4 places in the table. Nuneaton Griff are level on points with Lichfield following a 4-0 win at Southam United.
Droitwich Spa are top on goal difference following a 2-0 win at Hampton, Aston Gunter and James Lemon with the goals. There were six different goalscorers in the game as Bloxwich Town picked up their first point of the season with a 3-3 draw against Smithswood Firs. Mark Bellingham scored his 700th career goal as Paget Rangers moved up to 3rd with a 4-2 win at Fairfield Villa. Earlswood Town came from behind to beat Leamington Hibernian 2-1.
NKF Burbage maintained their 100% record and have a 3-point lead at the top of the table following a 4-0 win at Inkberrow. Montpellier sit in second place, their 100% record maintained with a 6-0 win at Castle Vale Town, Lee Hendrie with a couple. Northfield Town are in 4th place following a comfortable 4-0 win over bottom club Enville Athletic. Shipston Excelsior and FC Stratford shared 8 goals with the goals shared around between 8 players in a 4-4 draw. AFC Solihull are still searching for their point of the season as Alcester Town left Tudor Grange with all 3 points following a 3-0 victory. There were 6 goals at Holbrooks Park as Coventrians and Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons drew 3-3.
Les James Challenge Cup
Dildale Linton scored 3 and Ben Cranage 2 as Alvis Sporting Club began the defence of the Les James Memorial Charity Cup with a resounding 8-0 victory over Barton United. George Tolley scored a hat-trick for Feckenham as they beat Sutton United 5-0 at The Entaco. A goal from Pedro Douglas in extra-time clinched a narrow 2-1 win for Continental Star at Moors Academy.
Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup
Thomas Craine scored 4 for Knowle as they bear AFC Parkfield 8-1 in the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup. Chelmsley Town and Feckenham served up a treat for the spectators at Pack Meadow with Chelmsley running out 6-3 winners
CHALLENGE TROPHY ROUND 1
LICHFIELD CITY 2 v 2 BROCTON
WALSALL WOOD 2 v 3 GRESLEY
CONTINENTAL STAR 3 v 3 CADBURY ATHLETIC
ROMULUS 2 v 0 COTON GREEN
TIPTON TOWN 2 v 5 ROCESTER
CHALLENGE BOWL ROUND 1
COVENTRY UNITED 2 v 3 ALVECHURCH
GORNAL ATHLETIC 0 v 8 AYLESTONE PARK
HIGHGATE UNITED 0 v 2 SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN
DROITWICH SPA G & B 0 v 1 BROCTON
HEATH HAYES 2 v 3 BEDWORTH UNITED
KINGS HEATH CONCORDE 1 v 5 TAMWORTH
H O W ACADEMY 3 v 0 LEEK TOWN
WEST MIDLANDS ACADEMY 0 v 5 COLESHILL TOWN
UNDER 21 DIVISION SOUTH
KETTERING TOWN 6 v 0 AFC RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS
Westfields welcome Highgate United to Allpay Park with both sides recording superb victories over Step 3 opposition in the previous round. Westfields come into the game in wonderful form, a 4-3 away win at Walsall Wood maintaining their 100% league record after 8 games. In contrast, Highgate were beaten 3-0 at home in midweek but their victory in the previous round followed a couple of poor results. On form, Westfields must start as favourites but there is unlikely to be much between the sides.
2nd placed Quorn can close the gap on leaders Westfields if they can pick up all 3 points at home to Sporting Khalsa. In form St Andrews travel to AFC Wulfrunians looking to make it 6 wins on the trot. Two sides expected to challenge for the title meet at Oak Park with Alvechurch the visitors to Walsall Wood. Shepshed Dynamo can move into the top three with a win at Coleshill Town. Shawbury United had an excellent win in midweek and they can make strides up the table as they welcome Loughborough University to Wem. Brocton and Boldmere St Michaels both lost on their travels on Wednesday night and they meet at Silkmore Lane. Rocester picked up a valuable away point on Wednesday and they travel to Coventry Sphinx looking to add to their 5 point tally. Tividale are finding life tough back in the MFL and they travel to Long Eaton United who currently sit in the middle of the pack. Lye Town welcome Heanor Town to Stourbridge Road with both sides picking up victories in midweek. Coventry United have played fewer league games than all of their rivals and they travel to Stourport Swifts who are two places above them in the league table.
Leaders Lichfield City will hope to get back to winning ways when they entertain lowly Pershore Town. 2nd placed Nuneaton Griff welcome 7th placed Racing Club Warwick to The Pingles Stadium in a game that promises goals. Bromsgrove Sporting, on the back of their stunning FA Vase victory last weekend, travel to Coventry Copsewood, who beat leaders Lichfield City last week. Bolehall Swifts were another side in goalscoring form last week and they travel to Pelsall Villa hoping to maintain their excellent start. Atherstone Town have been in good form and they welcome Southam United to Sheepy Road, with the visitors still searching for their first win of the season. Uttoxeter Town have settled into life in the MFL and they have an intriguing home fixture with Hinckley AFC. There have been 27 goals in 6 games featuring Heather St Johns and they welcome in form Chelmsley Town to St Johns Park. Leicester Road and Littleton both made good progress in the FA Vase last week and they meet at Leicester Road Stadium. Cadbury Athletic are the draw specialists of Division 1 and they welcome Heath Hayes to the Triplex with the sides next to each other in the league table. Bottom side, Stafford Town travel to the Beehive to face Studley who sit 3 places and 3 points ahead of them.
Leaders Droitwich Spa entertain bottom side Bloxwich Town, who picked up their first point of the season last week. Barnt Green Spartak can move into the top three if they can beat Feckenham at The Coppice. 2nd Bottom Leamington Hibernian meet the side immediately above them as Hampton are the visitors to Bishops Tachbrook. Continental Star have started to string some results together and they welcome promoted Redditch Borough to The Hub. Earlswood Town and Fairfield Villa sit in 10th and 9th places respectively and they meet at The Pavilions.
Game of the day sees the top two meet at Badsey Recreation Club as Montpellier host NKF Burbage. 3rd placed Moors Academy travel to Alcester Town, who have been somewhat inconsistent at the start of the season. Barton United suffered a heavy defeat in the Les James cup last week and will hope to get back to league action with a win at home to Shipston Excelsior. Bottom club Enville Athletic travel to Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons with the hosts 4 points ahead. Castle Vale Town have conceded 18 goals in 5 league games this season and they face 6th placed FC Stratford at The Vale Stadium.
Les James Challenge Cup
Division 2 high flyers Knowle travel to Division 3 Coventrians in the first round. Division2 rivals Paget Rangers and Smithswood Firs meet at The Glades.
Alvis Sporting Club travel to Sutton United winning 5 out of 6 games this season and conceding only twice.
Northfield Town and Inkberrow meet at Shenley Lane with the home side favourites.
CADBURY ATHLETIC v WALSALL WOOD
ROCESTER v GRESLEY
CHALLENGE BOWL ROUND 1
COVENTRY UNITED v AYLESTONE PARK 10.30
SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN v KETTERING TOWN 10.30
BEDWORTH UNITED v DROITWICH SPA G & B 11.00
TAMWORTH v BROCTON 10.30
COLESHILL TOWN v H O W ACADEMY 10.30
LEEK TOWN v WEST MIDLANDS ACADEMY 10.30
UNDER 21 DIVISION NORTH
HEATH HAYES v GORNAL ATHLETIC 10.30
UNDER 21 DIVISION SOUTH
ALVECHURCH v BROMSGROVE SPORTING 10.30
KINGS HEATH CONCORDE v AFC RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS 11.30