24th September 2015
Non League Day, on October 10th, is being supported by Prostate Cancer UK. The charity have developed a Pledge idea where they are asking fans to pledge to attend a match on Non League Day and support Men United – see the attached ads for programmes, and the charity web page http://prostatecanceruk.org/pledge . The Midland Football League is happy to help promote the pledge idea through club programmes and digitally? All clubs that require any more information, please contact the press officer.
Vanarama, sponsors of a few non league divisions, have said they will match any pledges that stand out, with money, i.e. matching money raised. A great opportunity to help a worthwhile cause and get more people watching our league on Non league Day
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday 19th September
Rostance Edwards 0 Alvis Sporting Club 3
A game at the top of Division 2 between two sides unbeaten in the league going into the game. Last season, two divisions separated the sides but both had started well with the visitors sitting pretty with a 100% record. The Red Lion Ground, just outside Bloxwich on the A34, has been host to a number of teams over the years but is more latterly remembered as the home of Blakenall. Always a tough place to visit, the thing that stood out for me on entering the ground was the quality of the playing surface. The surrounds may have seen better days but neither side could have any complaints about the playing conditions. Alvis looked the more potent side in the first half although Rostance Edwards leading scorer Dan Baxter was a constant threat. After the break, Alvis took command with the opening goal a free header from a corner for Shane Brassington. With 15 minutes left, Alvis doubled their lead with an excellent finish from Reece Snape, volleying home a flick on from Brassington. Substitute Aaron Cooke put a gloss on the scoreline with a header in the last minute as Alvis maintained their 100% record and they must be clear favourites for the Division 3 title.
Tuesday 22nd September
Walsall Wood 0 Alvechurch 1
A late finish at work meant that a relatively local game was in order. With Alvechurch on a good run near the top of the table, it was a decent opportunity to see if Ian Long’s side could maintain the momentum against a decent Walsall Wood outfit. The first half saw plenty of decent football from both sides but not much in the way of an end product. Josh March for Church and drew Aiton for Wood, looking the men most likely. Lee Evans, the Wood keeper, made a superb save to thwart Mark Smith in the 55th minute but within a minute the visitors were awarded a penalty. A rash challenge from Tom Hurdman on March resulted in Leigh Downing despatching the spot-kick to give Alvechurch the lead. From this point, the game became more of a tale about referee Mark Groves and the brandishing or not of cards of various hues. Church skipper, Richard Huckfield received two yellow cards in the space of three minutes, the first being harsh, the second fully deserved, to reduce the visitors to 10 men. It is fair to say that the Alvechurch bench were far from happy about some of the decisions not least the failure to send off Lewis Taylor Boyce after a clash with March. Despite 6 minutes of added time, Alvechurch comfortably saw out the game to keep on the coattails of the sides above them.
This week, I will be at FA Cup tie between Chasetown and Hinckley on Saturday, and at games on Tuesday and Wednesday (work permitting).
Long Eaton United returned to the top of the table following a 2-0 midweek win over Continental Star. Hereford are second after two Edgar Street victories. On Saturday a John Mills double was enough to beat Shepshed Dynamo but Mills went even better on Tuesday, scoring all 4 in the victory over Lye Town. Heanor Town are 3rd, a victory at Quorn on Saturday seeing them top the table but they were surprisingly held by Brocton on Tuesday, with Gary Fife bagging a brace for the visitors. Two sides with super records are Stourport Swifts and Alvechurch. Swifts picked up 6 points with victories at Continental Star and at home to Boldmere St Michaels. Alvechurch also picked up 6 points despite being reduced to 10 men in both games, a 3-0 win at Bardon Hill and a single goal
victory at Walsall Wood. Highgate United are on an upward curve, home wins over Lye Town and AFC Wulfrunians leaving them just 2 points behind the leaders. A side to keep your eyes on are Sporting Khalsa; a 4-0 home win over Dunkirk was followed by a 6-1 victory over Bardon Hill. In their midweek game, Craig Bannister scored 5. At the bottom, an excellent week for Loughborough University who picked up their first points of the season with two victories, 3-1 over Coleshill Town and 2-1 away at Coventry Sphinx. Rocester picked up 4 points scoring 7 goals in the process. A 4-4 draw with Westfields, Karl Demidh and Dan Brown with two apiece, was then bettered with a 3-2 victory over Quorn, Rob Ritchie-Smith with 2. Elsewhere on Saturday, a last minute goal from Kyle Brady gave AFC Wulfrunians all three points at Coventry Sphinx while ten man Walsall Wood edged past Boldmere St Michaels. On Tuesday evening, Shepshed Dynamo bounced back from their defeat at Edgar Street with a 4-0 win at Dunkirk, Matt Langham with another brace. A word for Westfields, County Cup action for them on Tuesday with an 11-0 win over Fawnhope, Jamie Cuss scoring 5.
Coventry United got back to winning ways to maintain their position at the top of the table. A 4-2 win at Atherstone Town courtesy of a Ross Briscoe hat-trick. Nuneaton Griff continued their goalscoring run with another 3 in a midweek win over Hinckley AFC. Hinckley are still in a strong position despite the defeat at Griff, a 3-1 win at Racing Club Warwick on Saturday keeping up their momentum. Leicester Road won the clash of the top 5 when they beat Bromsgrove Sporting 5-1. Lichfield City were the week’s biggest scorers with 8 at Pelsall Villa, Tom Evans and Tony Clarke with hat-tricks. Pilkington XXX are upwardly mobile, the latest victory 3-1 over Pershore Town. At the bottom, Stafford Town moved up the table with a 2-0 over Bolehall Swifts who remain without a point. Heather St Johns have now dropped below Stafford Town following a 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Heath Hayes. Coventry Copsewood moved up the table with a 4-2 win over Studley.
Alvis Sporting Club top the table after their 6th win in 6 away at previously unbeaten Rostance Edwards. Droitwich Spa are second after a 2-0 win over Fairfield Villa. Both Barnt Green Spartak and Sutton United won 3-0 on their travels at Coton Green and Austrey Rangers respectively.
Smithswood Firs moved to the top of the table with a 2-1 victory over Barton United. Leamington Hibernian are second after a 5-1 away win at Shipston Excelsior. FC Stratford and Redditch Borough shared 4 goals in the top of the table clash. Enville Athletic celebrated being at home for the first time this season with a 6-2 victory over Alcester Town. Badsey Rangers travelled to Coventry and returned with 3 points after a 2-1 victory over Coventrians.
Les James Challenge Cup
Inkberrow were the giantkillers in the Challenge Cup beating 2nd division Hampton after extra time. Elsewhere, Feckenham progressed with a 5-1 win over Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons and Burntwood Town are into the next round after a 2-1 win over AFC Solihull.
Northfield Town are through to the next round after a 5-2 win at Perrywood.
Two ties in the Presidents cup went to form with home wins for Chelmsley Town, 1-0 over Earlswood Town, and Paget Rangers, 6-1 winners over Knowle.
This weekend sees the 2nd qualifying round of the FA Cup and four MFL sides with the chance to progress. The lowest ranked side left in the competition are Hinckley AFC and they will fancy their chances of causing an upset at Evostik South Chasetown, who are struggling this season. Coleshill Town have already beaten two Step 4 sides this season and have an excellent chance of a Step 3 scalp when they entertain Stamford at the Lamb on Sunday. Stamford have conceded 35 goals in the league, losing 7-1 at Hyde on Monday which saw the departure of manager David Staff. Last year’s MFL Champions, Basford United have settled well in the Evostik league but they will have a fight on their hands against high scoring Sporting Khalsa. Dunkirk have the most difficult tie of all the MFL sides as they travel to Evostik Premier Stourbridge.
Leaders Long Eaton United host a resurgent Loughborough University with the visitors looking for their third win on the spin. In-form Hereford are 2nd on goal difference and could go top with a big win at Boldmere St Michaels. Two of the leading sides meet at The Town Ground when Heanor Town welcome Highgate United. Stourport Swifts are another side that could go top and they face Rocester at Walshes Meadow. There’s a huge game at the Dovecote when Alvechurch visit Shepshed Dynamo with both sides expected to be in the title shake up at the end of the season. AFC Wulfrunians will be hoping for a reaction after a midweek defeat and they welcome Walsall Wood to Castlecroft. At the bottom Continental Star host Bardon Hill and will sense the chance to get their first win of the season. Brocton have picked up of late and they travel to Lye Town. A tough game to call takes place at Quorn where high scoring Westfields are the visitors.
With the top two not playing, Littleton can close the gap with a win at neighbours Pershore Town. Leicester Road have hit a rich vein of form and they travel to Cadbury Athletic, who have slipped following their early season cup exploits. Bromsgrove Sporting will want to bounce back after their heavy defeat at Leicester Road and they travel again to Atherstone Town. For the second week running, the bottom two meet with Bolehall Swifts entertaining Heather St Johns. With 74 goals conceded between them, plenty of goalmouth action is in store. Lichfield City host Racing Club Warwick with a top three place in their sights. Heath Hayes have improved of late and they entertain Studley. Pelsall Villa will want to forget last week’s defeat to Lichfield City and a home win against Southam United gives them the opportunity to move into the top half of the table,.
Chelmsley Town could regain top spot with a win at Barnt Green Spartak while Austrey Rangers entertain Hampton in a mid-table clash.
Only one game in Division 3 where Barton United could go 3rd with a win over Burntwood Town. A win for the visitors would see them up to 7th in the table.
Les James Challenge Cup
Plenty of interest in the LJCC this weekend with 3rd division high flyers Leamington Hibernian