Cup Final dates are as follows:
Tuesday 26th April - Challenge Trophy -
Coleshill Town v Solihull Moors at Studley FC, kick off 7.30pm
Monday 9th May - Presidents Cup –
Alvis Sporting v Droitwich Spa at Coton Green FC, kick off 7.30pm
Tuesday 10th May – Polymac Packaging League Cup –
Stourport Swifts or Hereford v Walsall Wood or Lye Town at Solihull Moors FC, Kick off 7.30pm
Wednesday 11th May – Les James Challenge Cup –
Alvis Sporting v Paget Rangers or Smithswood Firs at Bromsgrove Sporting FC, kick off 7.30pm
Challenge Vase – Redditch Borough v Northfield Town
Challenge Bowl Tba – Under 21 Division Play Off Final
A look at what is happening behind the scenes at Long Eaton United FC on and off the pitch.
Three years ago the Club’s Management formulated plans to significantly enhance all aspects of Long Eaton United Football Club. Those plans involved the integration of all areas of the Club including our Youth, Ladies & Senior Sections. Underpinning all of our ambitions for the Club was the significant improvement of the Facilities at Grange Park for all associated with the Club - without Facilities to be proud of it would have been impossible to improve our commercial prospects and create a stable financial platform.
Working closely with the Derbyshire FA we achieved FA Charter Standard Community Club status - which, as well as helping us create a Youth Section second to none in the Region, has also enabled us to work with Sport England, the Football Foundation and the Premier League and FA Facilities Fund to secure significant grant funding. Over the period we have relaid our Astro Courts, reclaimed wasteland to create a superb new full-size pitch, completely refurbished our Clubhouse and made significant improvements to the main Stadium. At the same time, we have purchased our own maintenance equipment so the Club is now totally self sufficient. With further planned work to our Car park and pitches over the summer, a combination of Board funding, Grant income, and Sponsor support will have resulted in £500,000 of investment in our Facilities.
Our improved facilities have enabled us to create successful sides at many levels with our Ladies close to being crowned League Champions and achieving FA Women's Premier League status for the first time in our history as well as being in 2 Cup Finals - the first of which is this Sunday in the DFA County Cup Final against Derby County. From the outset, our plans have included establishing a Men's Senior side capable of competing for a place in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League. We were clear though that we needed facilities at least equal to if not better than Clubs competing at that level. We now have the facilities we planned for and the Ground grading for promotion.
Having secured the Facilities we were also clear that we wanted to appoint a Senior Section management team that shared our “One Club” ethos and who have experience of and access to players from the League we have the ambition to join. We feel that our new Senior Section management team tick those boxes and we are working closely with them to build a playing squad and support that gives us a genuine chance of achieving our ambitions. We have already secured a fantastic set of pre-season friendlies which we hope will create real excitement for all involved at the Club in its 60th Anniversary Year.
Whilst success on the pitch can never be guaranteed, “Behind the Scenes” we are confident that Long Eaton United Football Club is in excellent shape and the further initiatives we have planned for the next 3 years will ensure the Club continues to excel. Finally, it would be remiss of us not to recognise the fantastic work done by Shaun Rickford, Adam Barber, and their support team during the season. It is never easy to take over the reins of a First Team mid-season but Shaun and Adam have conducted themselves admirably and have been a credit to themselves and the Club. We are sure that they will have a big part to play in the Clubs future.
Knowle FC are looking to appoint a manager for their new reserve team for the 2016/17 season. The role will be voluntary and would suit someone with experience of the Midland Football League, although we would be happy to give an opportunity to someone with youth team experience as we aim to build an exciting and thriving player pathway to enhance the clubs reputation and match our ambitions off the pitch. We are currently improving our facilities including the installation of floodlights during the 2016/17 season and exciting plans in place to potentially relocate to a new purpose-built stadium and leisure complex in the near future. The successful candidate will have previous management experience and have appropriate qualifications, minimum FA Level 2. The candidate will also have a management team to support them and contacts to bring in players to help improve our current senior squad set up. We also have a large number of u16-18 players we are looking to nurture and bring into the adult set up at some point
Applications by Monday 16th May to Chris Knott firstname.lastname@example.org Please attach a football CV. Interviews w/c Monday 23rd May
Travels of the Press Officer
Thursday 14th April
Stafford Town 0 Coventry United 5
With fixtures being re-arranged to get the season concluded by 30th April, there is a vital game at the top and bottom of Division 1 at Evans Park. Stafford Town have been in and around the bottom three or four all season, however, victory at Cadbury Athletic on Tuesday opened up a three-point gap on 2nd bottom Pelsall Villa. Coventry United, on the other hand, have been in the top three all season and have looked likely Champions for most parts. Three wins in the past 6 days has closed the gap on Bromsgrove Sporting and given them serious momentum as we enter the last two weeks of the season. When I arrived at the ground, it was a pleasant Spring evening but that was to change by kick-off. Heavy rain welcomed the two sides onto the park and the visitors started off on the attack. Town, fielding a severely weakened side, created the first clear opening but Dan Nowell failed to control the cross from Tom Vaughan. Josh O’Grady forced a fine save from Dale Reaney and then was off target after he had brilliantly created an opening. O’Grady had another effort saved by Reaney before Josh Blake also tested the home keeper. In the 17th minute, a cross from O’Grady was turned goalwards by Blake but Reaney made the block. The opening goal came int eh 18th minute and it was no surprise that it was O’Grady that scored the goal, finished well after cutting inside onto hisd left foot. Matt Brown ran through on goal but was foiled by Reaney diving at his feet. In the 26th minute, Blake raced through on goal, his shot rattling the crossbar. As the weather deteriorated, the game became scrappy although all the attacking came from the visitors. Muzzy Nduna forced a fine save from Reaney and then O’Grady beat 3 defenders before finding Reaney in inspired form, the keeper making yet another save. Just before the break, Blake’s header was cleared off the line and the only surprise at the half-time whistle was that we had seen only 1 goal.
The rain did not relent at half-time with water lying on the surface. There was a concern about whether the game would continue but the referee conducted a cursory inspection, a couple of steps onto the pitch and a nod of his head, and the game continued. To be honest, if this had been earlier in the season, we may have seen an abandonment. Coventry were certainly looking for goals and O’Grady was again the man on target forcing a save from Reaney. Goal number two came in the 51st minute. A Rob Prinzel free-kick into the Town penalty area was headed home by Gift Mussa. It should have been three two minutes later but United were guilty of trying to walk the ball into the net. The third goal wasn’t long in coming and in the 56th minute, O’Grady skipped round Reaney and slid the ball home for his 31st goal of the season. On a rare Town attack, centre-back Joel Mills fired his shot into the side-netting. A corner from O’Grady was met by the head of Brian Ndlovu but he failed to keep it down and it cleared the bar. In the 65th minute, the same two players combined and Ndlovu this time bundled the ball home from the O’Grady corner. Things got worse for the home side in the 68th minute when star man Reaney went down injured and had to be replaced by centre-back Kirk Lowe in goal. With an outfield player in goal, against a rampant opposition, the floodgates were expected to open but it never materialised. Coventry did score a fifth in the 76th minute when Blake finished off a Kai Williams cross. Williams himself went close in the 83rd minute but after wrongfooting Lowe, his shot was inches wide.
Credit to both sides for their attitude and performance in atrocious conditions. The officials could so easily have called the game off and hats off to them for letting the game finish.
Tuesday 19th April
Sporting Khalsa 0 Hereford 3
Another big game at the top of the Premier Division with 3rd hosting the leaders. The Hereford fans had travelled in huge numbers in what many saw as a pivotal match in the destination of the title. A victory at the Aspray Arena would surely mean they had one hand firmly gripping the trophy. As a sideline, we also had the battle of the two leading scorers in the league with John Mills and Craig Bannister amassing 90 goals between them! It was the visitors that started the game very much on the front foot with the pace of Sidric Grant causing problems down the Hereford right. An early volley just over the bar from Aaron Birch signalled the Bulls intentions. They opened the scoring in the 9th minute. Grant outmuscled Tim Jackson and his low cross was scrambled away by Mihai Gherasim into the path of Pablo Haysham who needed no second invitation as the ball nestled in the Khalsa net. Both sides struggled to create any clear opportunities with defences well marshalled by Ryan Green and Tesfa Robinson. Khalsa’s first opening came in the 31st minute when Marvin Nisbett beat Jamie Willetts but before Matt Martin could get onto the ball, Jimmy Oates was on hand to clear. Hereford perhaps should have done better when a Mike Symons cross flew across the face of goal just needing a touch. The Bull should have doubled their lead in the 38th minute. Grant again skipped into the are, playing the ball inside to Haysham who in turn found Joe Tumelty unmarked in the area. Tumelty had to score but his weak effort went harmlessly wide. On the stroke of half-time, the impressive Grant volleyed over the bar.
Hereford continued where they left off, well and truly on the offensive. Grant was unlucky with an acrobatic overhead kick which was just off target. The Bulls doubled their lead in the 58th minute. Tumelty found space and his a stinging drive which was well saved by Gherasim but Symons was on hand to head the ball into the net. Symons was foiled twice in a minute, his shot on the turn saved by Gherasim and then a point-blank header scrambled away. In the 72nd minute, Grant raced through on the right but his shot was straight at Gherasim. In the 82nd minute, Hereford put the game to bed. Grant ran into the penalty area and was upended by Gherasim, the referee having no option other than to award a penalty. Rob Purdie stepped up and made no mistake from the spot. Haysham thought he had made it four three minutes from time but his shot was brilliantly blocked on the line by John Hill. Despite more than 5 minutes of added on time, there were no scares for the Bulls as they maintained their 10 point lead at the top of the table.
An excellent performance by Hereford who are now just 5 points away from the league title. A lot has been said about the Bulls firepower but the defence again showed their worth keeping Craig Bannister quiet which few teams this season have managed. On the day, Khalsa couldn’t make any inroads and Hereford were comfortable at the end. A busy end to the season for both with silverware up for grabs, the highest league position in their history for Khalsa and Wembley glory for the Bulls.
On Thursday evening, Highgate United and Stourport Swifts fought out a 1-1 draw at The Coppice with both goals coming in the second half. The result leaves Highgate in 9th and Swifts in 12th.
Hereford extended their lead at the top of the table to 10 points with a 2-0 win at Quorn. Seven more points from their last four games will give the Bulls the title. Dunkirk kept alive their faint hopes of avoiding relegation with an excellent 2-1 win at Westfields. Coventry Sphinx have opened up an 8 point gap over Bardon hill in the battle to keep out of the bottom three. Faisal Koriya scored three times in the last 13 minutes as Sphinx beat Rocester 6-0 at Sphinx Drive. Continental Star are guaranteed to finish in bottom place following their 5-1 defeat at Lye Town for whom Ryan Rowe scored a hat-trick. Coleshill Town are one place ahead of Lye in the league table in 6th place and they scored six goals for the third time in 5 games at Boldmere St Michaels. The final score was 6-1 with Simeon Cobourne scoring a hat-trick. Shepshed Dynamo remain in 5th place despite going down to a 3-2 defeat at Loughborough University. Two goals from Ash Jackson gave Walsall Wood a 2-1 win at Long Eaton United, the winner coming in stoppage time.
On Monday evening, Coleshill Town moved into 4th place with a 3-2 win at Coventry Sphinx. Two goals from Mykel Beckley sent Coleshill on their way with Sphinx still not safe from relegation. Stourport Swifts beat Highgate United 1-0 at Walshes Meadow, Jack Bailey with the goal on the stroke of half-time. Hereford are just 5 points away from the league title following an impressive 3-0 win away at 3rd placed Sporting Khalsa. Alvechurch are clinging on to the Bulls by their fingernails and despite yet another missed penalty, they ran out 2-0 winners over Brocton at Lye Meadow. Dunkirk are doing everything they can to avoid the drop and a 1-0 win at Shepshed Dynamo, the goal from Bruno Holden, means they are 7 points adrift of Coventry Sphinx with three to play. Bardon Hill have 6 huge games remaining to preserve their premier division status. A Luke Edwards goal 5 minutes from time salvaged a point at home to AFC Wulfrunians, 3-3 the final score. The second game in two days for Highgate United and a 1-0 win over Loughborough University at The coppice, courtesy of a 55thminute goal from Nathan Corry. Rocester are clear in 10th place following a 2-0 win at Continental Star.
In terrible conditions, Coventry United closed the gap at the top to just two points with a 5-0 win at Stafford Town. Josh O’Grady scored twice as United managed to beat the weather scoring their 21st goal in three games. Coventry Copsewood left it late to grab a point at home to Racing Club Warwick. Trailing 2-1 into stoppage time, Copsewood equalised in the 95th minute meaning they are still one point and one place behind the Racers. There was another late equaliser at the TSA Sports Ground with Daniel Douse scoring in the 92nd minute for Pilkington XXX – the game with Lichfield City ending 2-2.
Coventry United moved to the top of Division 1, coming from behind to beat Lichfield City 2-1 at The McDonalds Community Stadium. Kai Williams was the hero coming off the bench to score twice. 3rd placed Nuneaton Griff lost ground on the leaders being held 2-2 at Coventry Copsewood. Alex Naughton scored twice for Griff but missed a second-half penalty which ultimately cost Griff two points. No denying the result of the day as 5th placed Hinckley AFC beat Stafford Town 9-0 at St Johns Park. Former Town striker Sam Agar scored 5 including a hat-trick inside the first 11 minutes as Hinckley notched up 100 league goals for the season. A 1-1 draw between Cadbury Athletic and Pershore Town is probably enough for both sides not to get dragged into the relegation battle. Atherstone Town and Pilkington XXX couldn’t find a goal between in a 0-0 draw at Sheepy Road.
Coventry United moved four points clear at the top of the table with a 2-0 win at Pilkington XXX. Nuneaton Griff kept alive their faint hopes of the title with a 3-0 win at Atherstone Town, Ryan Millerchip with a brace. Hinckley AFC went goal crazy again making it 30 goals in 3 games. Studley were the victims at The Beehive as Hinckley ran out 8-0 winners with hat-tricks fro Sam Agar and Ryan Seal. Pershore Town were also amongst the goals, a 7-1 win at Pelsall Villa putting the hosts in deeper trouble at the bottom of the table. Kallum Powell scored three and Pawel Tomczak two for Pershore. Leicester Road drop to fifth after they were beaten 2-1 at in-form Racing Club Warwick, Wade Malley with the winner late on. Littleton move up to 8th after a fine 1-0 win at Heath Hayes. Two sides still on the fringe of the relegation battle shared the points on Wednesday with Cadbury Athletic and Bolehall Swifts drawing 2-2.
The game between Hampton and Feckenham ended in a 1-1 draw at the Hampton Sports Club. The result leaves both clubs desperate for points to avoid the drop.
Chelmsley Town closed the gap at the top to 5 points with a 5-1 win over Austrey Rangers on the 3G at Coleshill Town, the prolific Chris Lloyd with two more. Hampton jumped three places in the table and are now 9th after a 2-1 win at Earlswood Town.
On Monday, Chelmsley Town closed the gap to just two points with a 3-1 win at Austrey Rangers. Paget Rangers closed in on the top 4 with an excellent 2-0 win over 3rd placed Droitwich Spa, who are now 6 points adrift of second having played a game more. Knowle lifted themselves to 8th place with a 3-2 home win over Feckenham. Alvis Sporting Club opened up a 5 point gap on Wednesday with a 3-1 win at Barnt Green Spartak.
Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons moved up to 11th position following a 3-0 home win over Enville Athletic.
Redditch United moved to within two points of leaders Leamington Hibernian with a dramatic 4-3 win over Alcester Town. There were hat-tricks for Redditch’s Jason Cowley and Alcester’s Matt Layton in a game that had everything. Smithswood Firs kept in the title race with a 2-0 win at home to Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons.
Polymac Packaging League Cup
The first leg of the first semi-final ended all square at Stourbridge Road. Lye Town took a first half lead but Walsall Wood scored twice in 5 minutes to take a 2-1 lead. Back came Lye and equaliser from Nick Pugh sets up an intriguing second leg.
Les James Challenge Cup Semi Final
Smithswood Firs are through to the final where they will meet Alvis Sporting Club. Firs pulled off a giant-killing beating 2nd Division Paget Rangers 3-1 with Daniel Charlton scoring twice.
Lichfield City are through to the Walsall Senior Cup final following a 2-1 win over Walsall Wood. Tyron Smith scored the vital goal in a 2-1 win sending Lichfield to the Bescot Stadium where they will play the winners of Rushall Olympic and Sporting Khalsa. Three goals in the last 10 minutes sent Bromsgrove Sporting through to the final of the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup at The Victoria ground. Northfield Town were leading 2-1 with 8 minutes remaining but The Rouslers eventually won 4-2. There was heartbreak for FC Stratford who missed out on an appearance at the Ricoh Stadium, losing 2-0 in the semi-final of the Coventry Evening Telegraph Cup to Woodlands WMC.
Cadbury Athletic 1 Brocton 6
Gresley 1 Sutton United 2
Rocester 3 Evesham United 1
Gresley 1 Rocester 6
Tamworth 4 H.O.W. Academy 3 (Bowl)
Leamington 3 West Midlands Football Academy 0 (U21S)
Walsall Wood 2 Sutton Coldfield Town 1 (U21N)
John Mills Hereford 48
Craig Bannister Sporting Khalsa 42
Lei Brown Highgate United 30
Jamie Cuss Westfields 29
Jordan Nadat Alvechurch 28
Karl Edwards Alvechurch 26
Pablo Haysham Hereford 25
Luke Shorthouse Nuneaton Griff 38
Tony Clarke Lichfield City 37
Josh O’Grady Coventry United 32
Ryan Seal Hinckley AFC 32
Chris Lloyd Chelmsley Town 41
James Lemon Droitwich Spa 40
Mark Bellingham Paget Rangers 32
Dildale Linton Alvis Sporting Club 27
Matt Layton Alcester Town 34
Jak Albutt Redditch Borough 32
Peter Martin Barton United 31
Jason Cowley Redditch Borough 25
Ashley Wilkes FC Stratford 23
Games are coming thick and fast as we approach the end of the season. On Thursday evening, the focus of attention is on the battle to avoid the drop. Bardon Hill face in-form Lye Town at Bardon Close knowing that a win is vital if they are to overtake Coventry Sphinx. Coventry Sphinx welcome Long Eaton United to Sphinx Drive where a win would relegate Dunkirk and close the gap on 18th placed Quorn. Quorn host Shepshed Dynamo knowing that three points would mean they are mathematically safe from relegation. At the other end of the table, Heanor Town can regain fourth place should they win at Walsall Wood. On Friday evening, the eagerly awaited game between Sporting Khalsa and Alvechurch takes place with Khalsa facing the second of three games in three days. Not ideal preparation but both sides will be giving it their all in the game between 3rd and 2nd. A win for Alvechurch will close the gap to Hereford to seven points with one game in hand.
On Saturday, leaders Hereford will welcome Heanor Town to a packed Edgar Street with the home fans hoping that they will be crowned champions on the day. Heanor have been excellent this season and I’m sure will have something to say about that. As will 2nd placed Alvechurch who welcome lowly Bardon Hill to Lye Meadow. This is a vital game for both sides for contrasting reasons with the advantage very much with the Church. 3rd placed Sporting Khalsa play their 3rd game in three days and it couldn’t be more difficult – away to Coleshill Town who have climbed the table rapidly in recent weeks on the back of a mountain of goals. At the foot of the table, depending on Thursday results, Dunkirk at home to Coventry Sphinx is a game which could seal the fate of the home side or give them fresh incentive with a couple of games to go. Lye Town have finished the season strongly and they will hope for another win on the road at Long Eaton United. Basement side, Continental Star have had a season to forget and they travel to Silkmore Lane to face Brocton. Rocester are in a solid 10th position and they welcome Boldmere St Michaels to Hillsfield. Shepshed Dynamo are still hoping for a top four finish but will need to beat Westfields at home to give them a chance of achieving their goal. Walsall Wood and Highgate United are on for top 10 finishes and they meet at Oak Park. Quorn may still need points to confirm their place in the Premier Division for next season and they welcome AFC Wulfrunians to Farley Way. Loughborough University have had a steady season and they welcome Stourport Swifts to Hollywell for their final home game of the season.
On Thursday evening, there are three league games all vital for either promotion or relegation. Leaders Coventry United travel to second bottom Pelsall Villa needing 11 points to clinch the title from the final 5 matches. 2nd placed Bromsgrove Sporting must keep winning to keep up the pressure on United and they face a tough fixture away to in-form Racing Club Warwick. Bottom club Southam United are 11 points away from safety and need a victory at home to Studley to give themselves a chance of escaping.
On Saturday, Coventry United face a stern test of their title credentials when they welcome a resurgent Bolehall Swifts to Sphinx Drive. Bromsgrove Sporting have an equally tricky encounter when Heath Hayes visit the Victoria Ground. 3rd placed Nuneaton Griff are still in with an outside chance and Racing Club Warwick are the visitors to the Pingles Stadium. What odds one or more of the title challengers slipping up at home? At the bottom, two if the bottom four meet at Evans park with Stafford Town at home to Heather St Johns. A win for either is likely to guarantee safety. Hinckley AFC have scored 30 goals in their last three games and Coventry Copsewood are next in the firing line at St Johns Park. Leicester Road dropped out of the top four in midweek and they will be hoping for three points at Pershore Town to keep the pressure on Hinckley. Lichfield City probably need two wins to finish in the top 6 and they welcome Cadbury Athletic to the McDonalds Community Stadium in the first of these games. Littleton have had another solid season and they travel to Sheepy Road to face Atherstone Town. Pilkington XXX are sitting in the top half of the table and a win at home to Studley should cement that place.
League leaders Alvis Sporting Club have still only dropped two points this season and they take their remarkable record to Austrey Rangers. Game of the day sees 3rd placed Droitwich Spa host 2nd placed Chelmsley Town and a home win is vital if Droitwich are to break into the top two. Paget Rangers are rapidly closing in on 4th place and a win over Fairfield Villa at Church Road could see them take 4th spot. Rostance Edwards are the side that are currently in 4th but four defeats on the trot has seen them slip out of the title race. They will hope to put an end to the poor run when they travel to Hampton. A big game at the foot of the table sees the bottom two go head to head at the Entaco with Feckenham at home to Earlswood Town. Barnt Green Spartak welcome Sutton United to The Coppice in a game between 11th and 6th.
On Thursday evening, Coventrians host Barton United who would go fourth with a victory.
Three wins in their last three games will give Leamington Hibernian the title but they face a tough fixture on Saturday when they travel to 4th placed Barton United. 2nd placed Redditch Borough have been in excellent goalscoring form of late and visitors Inkberrow will do well to keep them quiet. Smithswood Firs still have seven to play but a good run could yet see them promoted. FC Stratford are the visitors in the first of those games. Alcester Town can move back into the top 6 if they can pick up three points at Badsey Rangers. 13th meet 14th with Coventrians at home to Enville Athletic. 2nd bottom Perrywood could move level on points with Enville should they win away at Burntwood Town. Northfield Town get back to league action after cup heartbreak in midweek as they host Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons.
Polymac Packaging League Cup
On Thursday evening, Stourport Swifts and Hereford meet in the 1st leg of the league cup final. Hereford will ring the changes following their 3-0 win at Sporting Khalsa on Tuesday and with a Wembley final to look forward to, expect those players coming in to want to show their manager that they should be in the starting line-up. Swifts beat Hereford at Walshes Meadow at the start of the season – how much would they like to take a lead to Edgar Street for the second leg next week?