3rd August 2016
Alvis Sporting Club were successful in the appeal against the decision to relegate the club to Division 3 and have been placed by the FA in Division 2 for the forthcoming season.
It is with great sadness that the Midland Football League has to report the loss of two members of the MFL family. Bromsgrove Sporting Chairman, John Prescott passed away suddenly but peacefully. on July 12th This shock was followed by the news that Stourport Swifts Chairman, Chris Reynolds passed away on the 22nd July, after a long battle against cancer. Our condolences go out to family, friends and all that knew Jon and Chris.
The draw for the 1st Round of the Polymac Packaging League Cup is as follows:
Coventry Sphinx v Coleshill Town
Brocton v Uttoxeter Town
Bromsgrove Sporting v Sporting Khalsa
Pershore Town v Southam United
Racing Club Warwick v Cadbury Athletic
Shepshed Dynamo v Heather St Johns
St Andrews v Coventry United
Atherstone Town v Bolehall Swifts
Heanor Town v Stafford Town
Littleton v Studley
All other clubs receive a bye to the 2nd Round
The above ties are to be played w/c 19th September 2016
The football season kicks off with a weekend of FA Cup action. As a departure from the norm, I have taken a look at each of the game in turn.
Friday 5th August
Hinckley AFC (MFL1) vs Heanor Town (MFLP)
An intriguing start to the season as two free-scoring sides go head to head at St Johns Park. Hinckley beat Premier Division Walsall Wood at the same stage last season and will be hopeful of another giant-killing. Heanor failed to progress in last season's competition and will be looking for better this time round.
Saturday 6th August
AFC Bridgnorth (WMRLP) vs Boldmere St Michaels (MFLP)
The Mikes travel to Shropshire to face a side that just missed out on promotion to the MFl last season. The home side will fancy their chances of causing an upset at their Crown Meadow home. The Mikes have made some impressive additions to their squad over the summer and will expect to progress although it may take a replay
Ashby Ivanhoe (EMCL) vs Quorn (MFLP)
Ashby make their debut in the FA Cup welcoming Premier Division Quorn to the NFU Sports Ground.
Ashby go into the game with some confidence with a win over MFL Premier opponents, Walsall Wood, in pre-season. Quorn had a difficult 2015/16 and much more is expected of them this term.
Blaby & Whetstone Athletic (EMCL) vs St Andrews (MFLP)
These two sides were league rivals last season but with St Andrews winning the title they are now a division apart. The MFL new boys have looked good in pre-season and they will be hoping to progress.
Brocton (MFLP) vs Walsall Wood (MFLP)
These two sides know each well and will be hard to separate in this tasty encounter at Silkmore Lane. Pre-season results have been mixed for both but now the real stuff commences and that can all be forgotten. A replay wouldn’t be a shock here.
Coleshill Town (MFLP) vs Cradley Town (WMRL)
Coleshill had a stellar run in the FA Cup last season taking a number of high-profile scalps. At times last season, they were scoring goals for fun and West Midlands League Cradley will do well to shut out the home side.
Coventry Sphinx (MFLP) vs Highgate United (MFLP)
A tasty all Premier Division tie at Sphinx Drive with much-changed Sphinx hoping to make home advantage count. Highgate have performed well in some high profile pre-season games which must give them confidence going into the season.
Dudley Sports (WMRL) vs Nuneaton Griff (MFL1)
Griff have seen a number of their successful side from last season move on but the hope is that they continue to produce the sort of free-flowing football that gained then so many admirers. A trip to Brierley Hill to face West Midlands League opposition is a tough one but Griff should start as favourites.
Haughmond (WMRL) vs Alvechurch (MFLP)
An FA Cup debut for Shrewsbury based Haughmond and a tough fixture for last season’s MFl runners-up Alvechurch. Haughmond just missed out on promotion last season and will prove tough opposition for Alvechurch. The carrot of an away tie and a potential money spinner at Edgar Street against Hereford is enough incentive for both sides. This should be a cracker.
Heath Hayes (MFL1) vs Bromsgrove Sporting (MFL1)
A battle between two of the top sides in Division 1. Bromsgrove have had a fantastic pre-season on the pitch winning all 7 games. Heath Hayes have also had some decent results and this promises to be another excellent game. The new-look Bromsgrove may just have the edge.
Lichfield City (MFL1) vs Wolverhampton Casuals (WMRL)
Lichfield have undergone some squad changes in the summer however their refreshed line-up will be confident of victory after some decent results in pre-season. Wolves Casuals are a tough side to face on any occasion and the FA Cup is likely to bring the best out of them. Home advantage to count in this one.
Loughborough University (MFLP) vs Shirebrook Town (NCEL1)
Early season is never a true indicator of the potential of the students as they have a number of players unavailable. A two division difference between themselves and visitors Shirebrook Town should be sufficient for them to progress at The University Stadium.
Lye Town (MFLP) vs AFC Wulfrunians (MFLP)
Another all Premier Division clash switched to Castlecroft due to the unavailability of Stourbridge Road. Like many teams, Wulfrunians pre-season has been mixed. An interesting sub plot is the return to Castlecroft of Ben Jevons, now in the colours of Lye.
Malvern Town (WMRL) vs Rocester (MFLP)
A tough looking trip for Premier Division Rocester as they travel to the Langland Stadium. Malvern look a strong side on paper while Rocester haven’t exactly been tearing up trees in pre-season. A replay would be a decent result for the Romans.
Oadby Town (UCL) vs Long Eaton united (MFLP)
Oadby have been conceding plenty of goals in pre-season including a 6-1 defeat at home to Leicester Road. The Long Eaton squad looks very good this season and a comfortable away win should be on the cards.
Retford United (NCEL) s Leicester Road (MFL1)
Retford include a 7-0 home defeat amongst their pre-season results while Leicester Road won 6-1 at
Oadby. Taking one look at these results and an away win would seem the obvious choice. Leicester Road had an excellent first season at Step 6 and will be amongst the challengers in Division 1. A good FA Cup run will certainly be amongst their targets for the season.
Shepshed Dynamo (MFLP) vs AFC Mansfield (NCEL)
A tough draw for Dynamo as they face a side who have beaten fellow premier Division side Heanor Town in pre-season. Their squad features players who have plied their trade a lot higher in the non-league pyramid. Shepshed have seen off higher ranked opposition in pre-season and go into the game full of confidence. Should be another excellent game.
Sporting Khalsa (MFLP) vs Hanley Town (NWCL)
Sporting Khalsa were under the media spotlight last season as their FA Cup run took them to a 4th
Qualifying round tie against FC United of Manchester in front of 2,000 plus at The Aspray Arena. The publicity gained did wonders for the club and they will be hoping for something similar when they face North West Counties Hanley Town. Hanley won promotion last season and will provide a tough task for Khalsa.
Stourport Swifts (MFLP) vs Westfields (MFLP)
Another all Premier Division clash and on which could go either way. Westfields have been in good goalscoring form in pre-season and the improvements to their squad look to be paying dividends. Swifts started last season very well and will hope to get out of the blocks at Walshes Meadow on Saturday.
Tividale (MFLP) vs Wolverhampton Sporting Community (WMRL)
Tividale return to the Midland Football League looking for a quick return to step 4. Their FA Cup adventure starts with a tough looking encounter against Wolverhampton Sporting Community. Wolves Sporting impressed a lot of people last season and with a lot of pace in the side, they can cause defences all sorts of issues. Tividale will have to be on their game to progress.
Sunday, August 7th
Coventry United (MFLP) vs Shawbury United (MFLP)
What a game to finish the FA Cup weekend. Two new Premier Division sides face up at Sphinx Drive for United’s debut in the competition. Both sides gained promotion last season on the back of excellent goal scoring records and would expect to hit the ground running. Expect to see [lenty of Premier Division clubs represented as they take a look at new opposition for the season.