20th January 2016
Heanor Town have added to their already significant firepower with the signing of Rocester leading scorer, Karl Demidh. Demidh came to prominence with Mickleover Sports and has bagged 18 goals already this season.
Ticket sales for the top of the table clash between Hereford and Alvechurch at Edgar Street indicate a league record crowd is possible. If the interaction between the two clubs on social media is anything to go by, it has the makings of a classic.
Travels of the Press Officer
Tuesday 19th January
AFC Wulfrunians 3 Dunkirk 0
A bitterly cold evening at Castlecroft but the warmth was generated by the fact that we had a game to watch with others falling foul of the cold snap. It was a concern when I arrived at the ground to find no turnstile open, the pitch frost-covered and no-one warming up. Once inside, we gathered that the game was on but Dunkirk had been delayed in traffic on the M42 / M6. Most of us had some concern as to whether the game would finish as, by the time we got underway, some 20 minutes late, the frost was looking likely to cause a problem. To be honest, the pitch played very well and it was only in the latter stages that it began to ‘crunch’. Wulfs had a decent early chance but Jake Webb fired over the bar. Dunkirk, struggling near the bottom of the table, were dealt a blow in the 9th minute when Wisdom Asare was shown a straight red for a rash challenge on Mark Ganderton. Webb almost turned provider in the 12th minute but Ricky Anslow poked his shot wide. Anslow again had another opportunity but couldn’t supply the finish. Dunkirk were battling hard and were containing Wulfs until the 28th minute. A free-kick from Webb was punched by Keeper Jake Want under pressure and the ball fell to Matt Hunt who stabbed the ball home. In the stand, there was a thought that this may have been a foul on the keeper however the tell-tale sign was no appeal from the Dunkirk defence. Dunkirk responded positively when the impressive Kevin Hemagou, a real handful all game, rounded Danny Tipton but failed to maintain control. Want made up for his earlier error with two wonderful saves in the 38th minute, saving first from Anslow and then from Ben Jevons. Anslow as not to be denied and he doubled Wulfs lead a minute later finishing well after a defence splitting pass from Richie Palmer. Want again made a fine save to foil Anslow whose shot looked a goal all the way. On the stroke of half-time, Hemagou rode three challenges but put his shot wide. The second half was more attritional with conditions playing their part. Kyle Minto went close for Wulfs but his shot was deflected over the bar. Minto again was just off target before
turning provider, setting up Jamie King who was horribly wide with the goal at his mercy. Wulfs third came in the 71st minute when King made no mistake with a clinical finish. The ten men continued to work extremely hard but there was no way through the Wulfs defence and the home side ran out 3-0 winners.
Hereford made it through to round 5 and an away tie with Hartley Wintney following a 6-0 demolition of Leicester Nirvana. Two goals from John Mills, taking his tally to 40, sent the Bulls on their way. Another double from Mike Symons plus late goals from Aaron Birch and Ross Staley made sure that the FA Vase favourites made it 27 wins in a row in front of another huge Edgar Street crowd of 2,842. Coleshill Town bowed out at Pack Meadow at the hands of Northern League Dunston UTS. The Tynesiders took an early lead but Coleshill equalised through Danico Johnson to send the game into extra time. Unfortunately for Coleshill, three red cards, one in normal time and two in extra time, gave them a mountain to climb and Dunston scored twice in the second period of extra time to clinch a trip to Ashford in Kent.
Again the weather took it’s toll but excellent work from their groundsman allowed Alvechurch to close the gap at the top with a 1-0 win over Stourport Swifts. Mike Wardle scored the all important goal 11 minutes from time with Church now just 12 points behind Hereford with 5 games in hand. Westfields picked up a much needed 3 points with a 2-1 win over Walsall Wood at Allpay Park. Craig Jones scored the winner in the 73rd minute. Loughborough University looked to be heading for a home win over Highgate United but an equaliser 2 minutes from time for Connor Mooney meant the points were shared in a 3-3 draw. On a bitterly cold Tuesday evening, AFC Wulfrunians consolidated their 6th place with a 3-0 victory over second-bottom Dunkirk. The Boatmen had to play for 81 minuted with ten men after Wisdom Asare was shown a straight red in the 9th minute.
Only one game survived the freeze and it was the 2nd versus 3rd match at The Victoria ground. Home side Bromsgrove Sporting closed the gap on Coventry United to just one point with a 3-0 win over visitors Leicester Road. Reece Hewitt scored twice for the Rouslers but Leicester Road will point to the sending off of Amarvir Sandhu as a major factor.
FC Stratford extended their lead at the top of the table with a 7-0 win over basement side AFC Solihull at Knights Lane. Ashley Wilks, with is 21st of the season, and Will Matthews both scored twice as Stratford opened up a two point lead. This is due to second placed Leamington Hibernian being held 1-1 at Inkberrow.
Earlswood Town were knocked out of the Birmingham Saturday Vase losing 2-0 at Kenilworth Wardens who now meet Alvis Sporting Club in the 4th round. Coleshill Town entertained a young Wolverhampton Wanderers side in the Birmingham Senior Cup and went down 4-1. Long Eaton United found National North Alfreton Town too hot to handle as they were beaten 6-0 at The Impact Arena. Sporting Khalsa were too strong for Stafford Town in the JW Hunt Cup, running out 8-0 winners. Craig Bannister bagged another hat-trick taking his season tally to 30. In the same competition, Rostance Edwards went out at the hands of Wolverhampton Casuals. Hinckley AFC needed extra-time to progress in the Coventry Charity Cup, Alex Penney scoring the all-important goal in a 2-1 win over AEI Rugby.
In the Bowl, Anstey Nomads had an excellent 5-2 victory at home to Bromsgrove Sporting. Basford United are through to the semi-final of the Nottinghamshire Junior Cup after a 6-2 win at Underwood Villa Reserves. Underwood took a 2-0 lead before the Basford youngsters turned the game around.
I don’t think there will be any argument as to the game of the week this week with league leaders Hereford welcoming 2nd placed Alvechurch to Edgar Street. A 4,000 crowd is expected to see if the Church can stop Hereford recording their 28th win in a row in all competitions. A win for the visitors would close the gap to 9 points with 5 games in hand. Can they do it or will Hereford despatch them as they have most sides this season? Weather permitting there is another game between two of the top 5 at the Dovecote as Shepshed Dynamo welcome Heanor Town. Dynamo haven’t played at home since November 7th and will be hoping for a break in the weather. 4th place Sporting Khalsa are still in the promotion battle and they will be expecting to pick up all three points at Dales Lane when they face bottom club Continental Star. Two sides in the top ten meet with Walsall Wood entertaining AFC Wulfrunians. Both sides are in decent form and this is a tough one to call. Two in-form sides meet at Silkmore Lane with free-scoring Loughborough University on the road to Brocton. Coleshill Town get back to league action after two cup defeats in the past week and visitors Bardon Hill will be happy to get on the park after numerous recent postponements. Second bottom Dunkirk could climb out of the bottom two should they beat Boldmere St Michaels at The Ron Steel Sports ground. Coventry Sphinx are the side in danger of dropping into the bottom two but they have a home game against a stuttering Long Eaton United to lift them up the table. Quorn have slipped towards the foot of the table of late and they have a home game against Rocester. Highgate United have only played 17 games and they travel to Walshes Meadow to face Stourport Swifts. Westfields travel to Lye Town on the back of a morale boosting win over Walsall Wood.
Only a point separates the top two and leaders Coventry United will expect to maintain that gap when they travel to Pelsall Villa. 2nd placed Bromsgrove Sporting have been attracting big crowds to the Victoria ground and expect another good turn out as they entertain lowly Bolehall Swifts. Leicester Road have only picked up 1 point in the last two games and they will be looking to get back to winning ways as they entertain Studley. 4th place Lichfield City are 10 points behind the leaders and they will need all 3 points from Cadbury Athletic if they are to maintain their challenge. FA Vase heroes, Nuneaton Griff warm up for their big game against Salisbury with a home game against Littleton. Bottom club Stafford Town welcome Atherstone Town to Evans Park on the back of some improved league performances. Southam United are struggling near the bottom of the table and face a tough assignment away to Hinckley AFC. Pershore Town entertain Coventry Copsewood where a win for the home side would move them further away from the danger zone.
League leaders Droitwich Spa can extend their lead at the top of the table with a win at Fairfield Villa. Rostance Edwards will climb into second place should they beat Knowle at home. Bottom club Earlswood Town have a solitary point to their name and they will be hoping to add to this as they entertain Hampton. Feckenham are second bottom and they face mid-table Austrey Rangers at the Entaco. Paget Rangers last home league game was in October and they will hope to entertain Barnt Green Spartak. 6th meets 5th as Coton Green welcome Sutton United to New Mill Lane.
Leaders, FC Stratford have gone goal crazy of late and will feel confident of adding to their tally when they travel to lowly Enville Athletic. Leamington Hibernian were held by Inkberrow last week and need a victory over Coventrians to keep in touch with the leaders. Barton United can go 3rd with a home win over Perrywood. In form, Alcester Town can continue their rise up the league table with a home win over Inkberrow. A big game at the bottom with basement boys AFC Solihull at home to 13th place Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. Mid table Shipston Excelsior have a tough game at home to 5th placed Northfield Town while 6th placed Redditch Borough host Burntwood Town.
Lichfield City vs Brocton
Rocester vs Cadbury Athletic
Solihull Moors vs Romulus
H.O.W. Academy vs West Midlands Football Acadamy (U21S)
Bedworth United vs Leamington (U21S)
Gornal Athletic vs Kings Heath Concorde (Bowl)
Anstey Nomads vs Basford United (U21N)
Sutton Coldfield Town vs Newcastle Town (U21N)
Tipton Town vs Walsall Wood (U21N)