Midland Football League
AFC Solihull were found guilty of playing an ineligible player in their Division 3 fixture on Saturday 19th December 2015. Under League Rules the club were fined and also the points gained from the fixture were deducted. Therefore as AFC Solihull won the match 2-0 they will be deducted 3 points from their playing total.
Midland Football League
Midland Football League Newsletter
17th February 2016
Following the publication of a press release issued by Leicester Road FC, correspondence has been received from Steve and Joy Jelfs. In the spirit of fair play and decent journalism, their response is printed below:-
Following the press release printed in the 10th February 2016 MFL newsletter we would like to state the following:
We have never denied the use of electricity to either Leicester Road Stadium Ltd or to Leicester Road Football Club Ltd. When we bought the club bar and function rooms from the liquidator in September 2014 we had to take responsibility for the utilities on the site including electric, gas and water, the reason given to us was that no other party were creditworthy. We did, however, immediately have electricians on site carrying out intensive investigations because we were told the electricity consumption alone was £5000 per month. At no point during that investigation were we advised that any party was without electricity.
We thought we had negotiated terms of supply for the main floodlights and agreed for sub-meters to be installed, but before papers could be formally signed, Leicester Road installed generators and at one point told us it was much cheaper than mains electric and wished they had done it months before.
In order for Leicester Road to obtain their own supply, we relinquished our agreement with Western Power to reserve the full 100KvA from the sub-station. We did not have to do this, but we chose to help them.
We do find that their implication that we were responsible for the position they found themselves in both disingenuous and hurtful and despite requests they have refused to withdraw their allegations.
We also paid for their water supply from September until June 2015, at which time Severn Trent split the supply so all owners on site could each have our own supply, with no contribution from LRSL/LRFC just a personal cheque from Kevin Thompson, a Director of LRSL and LRFC, from time to time as a small contribution.
Steve and Joy Jelfs
No further comment will be made in the MFL Newsletter regarding this situation - Ed
I have been asked by various people for the details of this season’s cup finals.
The only dates that we have at the moment are the Polymac Packaging League Cup on Tuesday 3rd May and Les James Challenge Cup on Wednesday 4th May. These will be at Walsall FC, however, the dates are subject to whether Walsall make the playoffs and the dates that they are played. The other finals will be arranged later once we have a better idea of who is in the final.
The Team of the Month awards for January are: Overall – Hereford
Division 1 - Bromsgrove Sporting Division 2 - Coton Green Division 3 - Alcester Town Reserve Division - Coleshill Town Under 21 Division - Newcastle Town Congratulations to those clubs
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday 13th February
Sporting Khalsa 1 Heanor Town 3
On a bitterly cold afternoon, where else to warm the cockles than a top of the table clash at the Aspray Arena. With both sides involved in the chasing pack behind Hereford, a titanic tussle was expected. That is exactly what we got. Heanor had been strengthened in recent weeks with the addition of pacy striker Karl Demidh from league rivals Rocester. Khalsa had experienced striker Marvin Robinson on the bench and goals were certainly on the agenda. Khalsa were awarded an early free-kick but Craig Bannister’s effort was deflected for a corner. Kieran Debrouwer exchanged passes with Demidh and, one-on-one with James Pemberton, saw his shot saved by the Khalsa keeper. David Meese and Brad Lawley went close for Khalsa before Demidh saw his shot saved by Pemberton. In the 23rd minute, the woodwork came to Heanor’s rescue when Meese’s curler rattled the crossbar. With Khalsa pushing for goals, Bannister saw two efforts saved in quick succession. The opening goal came in the 38th minute when the impressive Demidh despatched a left-wing cross into the roof of the net. The noisy Heanor support had even more to shout about two minutes later when Demidh again latched onto a loose ball in the area and fired it past Pemberton into the net. Khalsa introduced Marvin Robinson at half-time in an effort to claw the game back. Bannister flashed a shot wide in the 53 rd minute and Robinson should have done better 3 minutes later but headed wide. That miss was to prove costly as Heanor grabbed their third in the 58th minute, Joe Naylor powering home a header from a Demidh corner. Naylor missed a great chance in the 63rd minute but his effort was well wide. Khalsa grabbed a lifeline in the 68th minute when Bannister picked his spot from 18 yards and gave Joe McCormack no chance. Everyone anticipated a Khalsa onslaught but Heanor always looked likely to add to their tally, Naylor again guilty of missing a decent chance, heading a Demidh cross wide. Mensah Kinch forced a fine save from McCormack but Khalsa never looked like pulling the two goals back. Demidh should have scored his third with seven minutes left, but Pemberton saved well with Demidh through on goal. With two minutes remaining, Heanor keeper McCormack was substituted with what looked like a knee injury, with Jay Cooper donning the gloves. Marvin Robinson was off target with an overhead kick but Heanor should have made it 4 in the 9th minute of stoppage time but Matt Harris somehow cleared the crossbar with an empty net in front of him. A fantastic win for Heanor who will have a major say in the destination of the title. The addition of Demidh gives them some fearsome firepower and they will be keeping a close eye on the results of their title rivals in the coming weeks. As for Khalsa, not the best afternoon but two huge games coming up with a trip to Hereford and a visit from in-form Shepshed Dynamo. Two decent results there will keep them well in the race for promotion.
Tuesday 16th February
Lye Town 1 Alvechurch 2
A short journey for Alvechurch as they looked to move back into second place behind Hereford. Lye Town have always been a difficult side to beat particularly at Stourbridge Road and another tight game was anticipated. The pitch was very heavy in places and a decent crowd turned up for a proper battle. The crowd was swelled by a number of neutrals – I enjoyed the game in the company of John and Charles, Halesowen Town supporters looking for some relief with the current state of affairs at the grove. Church were in the ascendancy early on with the pace of Jordan Nadat causing all sorts of problems for the Lye defence. The first real chance fell to Josh March but he failed to control Zac Foster’s inviting cross. Nadat had an effort blocked and Sam Williams ballooned a shot over for Church. The visitors broke the deadlock in the 34th minute through that man Nadat. Jack Cresswell picked him out in the box and he ghosted past two defenders before applying a superb finish. Cresswell tried an audacious lob from 40 yards which was on target but gathered by Lye keeper Jake Belford. Against the run of play, Lye equalised when Ryan Rowe applied a great finish after an interchange with James Spray. The visitors regained the lead 8 minutes into the second half. A corner from Cresswell fell to March who made no mistake with another quality finish. Two minutes later, the home side claimed a penalty when Rowe was tripped on the edge of the area but the referee deemed that it was outside the box. Rowe’s free-kick was punched clear, a somewhat eccentric effort, by Paul Evans. Alvechurch should have made it safe in the last 5 minutes but Danny
Ashton’s cross was deflected away from the waiting Nadat. Despite 6 minutes of time added on, Church held out to keep the pressure on leaders Hereford.
A great day for the chasing pack as Hereford’s lead at the top was cut to 8 points courtesy of a Craig Gregg equaliser for AFC Wulfrunians at Edgar Street. It was a great day for 2nd placed Heanor Town who triumphed 3-1 at Sporting Khalsa thanks to a first-half double from recent signing Karl Demidh. Those results mean 3rd placed Alvechurch would have a clear lead at the top should they win their games in hand. Their cause was helped with a 3-0 victory at Rocester , the Romans holding out until Jordan Nadat opened the scoring 4 minutes before the break. 6 wins on the trot have given Shepshed Dynamo some serious momentum and their 2-1 win at Stourport Swifts moves them up to 4th and very much in the thick of the title race. Loughborough University are up to 6th following a 2-0 win at Boldmere St Michaels. There was a remarkable feat at Walsall Wood as striker Joey Butlin scored 5 goals for the second game in succession taking his tally to 12 in the last three. Butlin’s goals helped Wood to a 5-1 victory over 2nd bottom Dunkirk. Continental Star remain 7 points adrift after a goal from Declan Attenborrow gave Highgate United all 3 points at Dales Lane. Coventry Sphinx poor run continued as they were beaten 4-1 by a Jamie Cuss inspired Westfields, the skipper bagging a first-half hat-trick. Bardon Hill played their first home game since November but they were shown no mercy but visitors Brocton who ran out 3-1 winners. Quorn remain in trouble near the bottom of the table, as they were beaten 3-1 at Coleshill Town despite taking a first-minute lead. Lye Town and Long Eaton United drew 1-1 at Stourbridge Road, remarkably Lye’s first draw of the season.
On Monday night, Highgate United moved up to 6th place with a 2-0 win at struggling Coventry Sphinx, Declan Attenborrow scoring for the second game in succession. Hereford got back to winning ways with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over title rivals Sporting Khalsa At Edgar Street. Mustapha Bundu was the hero with a hat-trick plus one from Pablo Haysham. Alvechurch are back in second place following a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Lye Town. Shepshed Dynamo’s excellent run came to an abrupt end as they were beaten 3-0 at home by a resurgent Walsall Wood. AFC Wulfrunians paid their second visit to Hereford in four days and came away with another point, drawing 2-2 at Westfields. Dunkirk climbed out of the bottom two with a 3-0 home victory over basement side Continental Star. Quorn eased their relegation worries with a 5-2 win over Brocton, the goals being shared around the team.
Coventry United extended their lead at the top to 5 points but they left in late in an epic encounter with Hinckley AFC. Richard Blythe missed a last minute penalty for United before popping up in time to added on to grab an equaliser to make it 2-2, and that’s how it finished. Bromsgrove Sporting missed the chance to close the gap as they were beaten 1-0 at The Victoria Ground by Nuneaton Griff, Luke Shorthouse with the goal. Leicester Road are clear in 3rd after a hard fought 2-0 victory over Lichfield City, both goals coming in the last 20 minutes. Bolehall Swifts remain bottom after they were comprehensively beaten 4-0 at home by Pershore Town, Gareth Evans and Dan Ludlow both scoring twice for the visitors. Southam United stay in the bottom two following a 3-1 home defeat by Cadbury Athletic. Heather St Johns moved 7 points away from the drop zone with an excellent 2-1 win at in-form Heath Hayes. A Dayle Kenny goal was enough to move Pilkington XXX back into the top six with a 1-0 win at Coventry Copsewood.
Coventry United were beaten for only the second time in the league when they slipped up 2-1 at Cadbury Athletic. That result gave Bromsgrove Sporting the chance to close the gap and they duly obliged with 2 goals from Sean Brain separating them and Lichfield City. Bolehall Swifts remain bottom as they went down 3-2 at Hinckley AFC. Racing Club Warwick beat Pershore Town 3-2 to move 3 points clear of their visitors in 14th place. Coventry Copsewood came from behind to beat Heath Hayes at Allard Way to move up to 11th in the table.
Rostance Edwards take over top spot beating Fairfield Villa 2-1 at The Red Lion Ground with Jamie Griffiths getting both goals. Chelmsley Town move level on points with Droitwich Spa in 3rd after a 2-1 win at Sutton United, Chris Lloyd on target again to make it 32 for the season. Knowle entertained Paget Rangers with the team’s sharing the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
The game between bottom and top ended in a draw as AFC Solihull held the league leaders Leamington Hibernian 1-1. 2nd placed FC Stratford were beaten 1-0 by Smithswood Firs for whom Aaron Anderson scored the all important goal. The result leaves Firs nine points off the top with 5 games in hand. Northfield Town are 3rd after a 3-2 win at Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. Redditch Borough were the day’s big winners, putting 5 past Enville Athletic without reply – Jason Cowley and Liam Fullerton both scoring twice. Alcester Town got back to winning ways and leapfrogged visitors Barton United after a 2-1 win. Perrywood missed the chance to climb up the table when they lost 1-0 at home to Burntwood Town. Inkberrow moved up a place with a 2-1 win over Shipston Excelsior. Badsey Rangers are one place above Inkberrow following a 2-1 win over Coventrians.
Droitwich Spa are through to the semi-final of the Presidents Cup following a 4-0 win over Barnt Green Spartak. James Lemon was on the scoresheet twice to take his tally for the season to 27.
Redditch Borough are through to the semi-final of the Challenge Vase after an extra time victory over Inkberrow at Valley Stadium, 2-1 the final score.
Hampton bowed out of the Birmingham Saturday Vase with a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Old Wulfrunians. Studley made progress in the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup beating Atherstone Town 3-2 at The Beehive. Two goals in the first 10 minutes put Kidsgrove Athletic on the way to a 5-0 win in the Staffordshire Senior Cup at Rocester.
Solihull Moors are through to the final of the Challenge Trophy where they will meet Coleshill Town. Moors reached the final thanks to a 1-0 win over Rocester. In the league, the teams in 4th and 5th played out a 1-1 draw as Brocton drew with Coventry United. In a high scoring game, Cadbury Athletic beat Continental Star by the odd goal in seven. Elsewhere, Romulus beat Lichfield City 2-0.
In the South Division, two goals from Joe Bevan were enough for Gornal Athletic to win at Leamington and move off the bottom of the table. In the North Division, Heath Hayes move up to 2nd place after a 2-1 win at Anstey Nomads. A hat-trick from Ryan Sappleton-Williams saw Walsall Wood win 3-0 at Basford United. Bottom of the table Tipton Town picked up their first point of the season with a 1-1 draw at home to Newcastle Town.
The FA Vase has reached the last eight and Hereford fly the flag for the Midland Football League. The Bulls are at home to Cherry Red Record Combined Counties League, Camberley Town, who lie 4th in their league. Camberley come into the game with two successive 1-1 draws at home, however, their way record is impressive with only 7 goals concede in the league. Herford warmed up for the tie with a 4-0 win over Sporting Khalsa and it would be a major shock if the Bulls did not progress.
With Hereford otherwise engaged, Alvechurch could close the gap to just 6 points if they can beat Loughborough University at Lye Meadow. The students lie in 8th place and have won their last two after a run of three straight defeats. Heanor Town can close the gap between themselves and Hereford to 8 points if they can take all 3 points off visitors Quorn, themselves buoyed by a 5-2 midweek win over Brocton. Two sides who had poor results in midweek meet at the Aspray Arena with Sporting Khalsa hosting Shepshed Dynamo. Both are having an excellent season and this should be a good game for the neutral. If Highgate United win all of their games in hand, they would be just 5 points behind Hereford. The first of those games in hand is at Silkmore Lane where they will meet Brocton, smarting from that midweek defeat at Quorn. Four wins on the spin have catapulted Walsall Wood to seventh but they host the last team to beat them, Westfields. With two in-form strikers, Joey Butlin and Jamie Cuss, in opposition, this should be another cracker. It was all change at the bottom in midweek as Dunkirk moved out of the relegation zone with a victory. They will hope to build on that win when they welcome Coleshill Town to the Ron Steel Sports Ground. Coventry Sphinx were the side to drop into the bottom two and they have the chance to move back up the table when they welcome basement side Continental Star to Sphinx Drive. Bardon Hill set just two places but 10 points ahead of the drop zone and they welcome AFC Wulfrunians to Leicestershire. Lye Town and Stourport Swifts sit comfortably in mid table and they meet at Stourbridge Road, Both Long Eaton United and Rocester have games in hand on all the sides around them so points gained in the game at Grange Park could see forward momentum.
Bromsgrove Sporting will climb to the summit of the division if they can take all 3 points at Heather St Johns. There is an attractive game at Evans Park, where a resurgent Stafford Town meet Nuneaton Griff, who would go 3rd with a victory. Lichfield City suffered a rare defeat in midweek and they will want to get back to winning ways when they entertain Littleton. Pilkington XXX can strengthen their top 6 placing if they can beat visitors Pelsall Villa, themselves desperate for points near the foot of the table. Bottom club Bolehall Swifts were narrowly beaten in midweek and they will be looking to move off the bottom when they welcome Coventry Copsewood to Rene Road. Southam United sit one place above Bolehall and they travel to 15th place Pershore Town. Cadbury Athletic stunned leaders Coventry United in midweek and they take this improved form to Racing Club Warwick. Studley and Hinckley AFC both had 3-2 wins in midweek so expect goals when they meet at the Beehive.
Rostance Edwards took over the leadership last week and they will want to consolidate their position when they host 5th placed Sutton United. 2nd placed Droitwich Spa have only tasted defeat once in the league this season and they go to Hampton intent on preserving this stat. Bottom club Earlswood Town have collected just one point this season and they travel to Barnt Green Spartak who sit just two places above them. 2nd bottom Feckenham will be glad to get back to action and they travel to mid-table Coton Green. Fairfield Villa are at home to 11th placed Knowle with revenge in mind as Knowle won the reverse fixture 5-1. Paget Rangers host Austrey Rangers in a game which saw 9 goals when the two sides met in December, Pager running out 6-3 winners.
Another full fixture list in Division 3 with plenty to look at. Game of the day sees in-form Smithswood Firs welcome league leaders Leamington Hibernian to Mackadown Stadium Firs have 5 games in hand on Hibernian with only 9 points between them. Should Leamington drop points, FC Stratford can regain the leadership should they beat lowly Enville Athletic at home. It’s fair to say, any of the top seven could realistically win the league so 7th placed Barton United at home to 3rd placed Northfield Town could have a big bearing later in the season. 4th placed Redditch Borough welcome Shipston Excelsior to The Valley Stadium while 6th placed Alcester Town will be hoping to continue their fine form at home to Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. Bottom club AFC Solihull are now only 4 points adrift and they can improve that situation with a win at Burntwood Town. 2nd bottom Perrywood travel to 12th placed Coventrians with a chance to move up two places with a win. Badsey Rangers and Inkberrow are locked bang in the middle of the table with almost identical records. A tight affair looks likely.
Coleshill Town vs Evesham United
Continental Star vs Brocton
Coventry United vs Solihull Moors
Rocester vs Gresley
Sutton United vs Lichfield City
Leamington vs Bromsgrove Sporting (U21S)
Bedworth United vs West Midlands football Academy (U21S)
Gornal Athletic vs H.O.W. Academy (Bowl)
Kings Heath Concorde vs Tamworth (Bowl)
Stourport Swifts vs Anstey Nomads (Bowl)
Heath Hayes vs Walsall Wood (U21N)
Newcastle Town vs Tipton Town (Bowl)
The Team of the Month awards for January are:
Overall - Hereford
Division 1 - Bromsgrove Sporting
Division 2 - Coton Green
Division 3 - Alcester Town
Reserve Division - Coleshill Town
Under 21 Division - Newcastle Town
Congratulations to those clubs
Midland Football League
Midland Football League Newsletter
10th February 2016
Tuesday 2nd February 2016 marks another significant milestone in the evolution of Leicester Road Football Club as mains electricity was finally restored to the stadium. The directors have invested a significant 5-figure sum to make this happen whilst trying to continue with “business as usual” at the football club and on the field of play.
The first phase of rewiring the stadium has now been completed to provide us with our own unique electricity supply after we were denied access to the shared electricity source housed in the main stand building currently under the control of the Downes Pension Fund on Saturday 13th September 2014. Ironically this happened the day after Stephen and Joy Jelfs completed their acquisition of Nobby’s Bar and the Starlight Lounge and was done with spite whilst our U14 squad and their opposition who had just completed a Midlands Junior Premier League fixture were in the showers. This abrupt denial of electricity not only took out our floodlights, power sockets and utilities, it also took out the water boiler and radiator heating systems.
After the abrupt denial of electricity, since 13th September 2014 until 2nd February 2016 Leicester Road Stadium has been powered by the now familiar site of costly generators and today we can start to operate like any normal football club again. The board of directors would like to thank all our supporters, staff, players and parents for sticking with us through this period and we are delighted that we can now facilitate a more comfortable environment for you from today moving forward.
As part of the match-day experience for the game on Saturday 5th March v Hereford, Loughborough University are putting together a pre-match lunch with Lawrie Sanchez giving a Q&A session at the end, tickets for this event are on sale at a cost of £25p/p including match seat. Tickets can be purchased through the following link
If you are interested in attending this, the format will be arrival between 11: 00- 11:30 am – Seated for welcome – 11.45/Noon Lunch (Two Courses, Wine, Cheeseboard, Tea & Coffee) After lunch Michael Skubala will give a presentation on the Loughborough Football Programme and Lawrie will be available for a Q&A and mingle with everyone post lunch/pre-match.
If you just want to attend the game and not the lunch, both seated and terrace tickets are online through the following link:
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday 6th February
Stafford Rangers 2 Newcastle Town 1
With only 1 Midland Football League game surviving, I took the opportunity for a first visit of the season to see my own team, Stafford Rangers in action at Marston Road. Rangers spent a lot of time and money on improving the pitch in the summer and it has paid dividends with games being played. Even with the improvements to the surface, it was looking very wet when I entered the ground with the referee saying he would take a look at it, after the first half. With a gale force wind blowing down the ground too, it was not going to be a day for pretty football. For the first time in many years, I was watching the game as a fan, with no notepad, and fingernails to bite the same as everyone else. Rangers started the game 14 points clear at the top of a division they have dominated this season. Shaw Lane Aquaforce could yet challenge but they have played 8 games less than the Boro. The start of the game was pretty even, with both sides trying to get to grips with the conditions. Rangers were awarded a debatable penalty after Ben Haseley was brought down. Peter Till’s spot kick was hit low to the left of David Parton who made a fine save. Till hit the woodwork twice as Rangers got on top but it was Castle who took the lead with a superb shot from Tim Sanders. On the stroke of half-time, Rangers equalised when Christian Dacres got to the ball in front of Parton to head home. Rangers were well on top in the second half and took the lead in the 3rd minute. Excellent one touch football down the right-hand side saw Levi Rowley play in Alex Melbourne and his cross was turned home by Haseley despite a valiant attempt from Parton. Rangers should have had more but the visitors thought they had drawn level when the ball deflected off the head of Dacres and hit his own crossbar. The game finished with Rangers 17 points clear with ten games to go. Realistically, promotion should be clinched before Easter. I enjoyed my first ‘home’ game of the season but I couldn’t help reflect on the difference between the Evostik Division One South and the MFL premier Division. In terms of value for money, that certainly lies with the MFL and I have witnessed far better games across the league this season. From what I have seen, the top 6 MFL clubs would be top half in the Evostik South and the top three or four could potentially challenge at the top. As much as Rangers are my team, I will be glad to be back in the Midland League on Tuesday night – I quite enjoy watching football for the love of the game rather than for the love of one team.
Hereford made it through to the quarter-final with an excellent 4-1 win at Hartley Wintney. Two goals from the impressive Mustapha Bundu sent the Bulls on their way to a home clash with Camberley Town. The only downside was a red card for defender Ryan Green.
Loughborough University were the big winners in midweek beating AFC Wulfrunians 5-1 with Ben Ward-Cochrane scoring twice. Highgate United moved up to 8th with a 3-0 win at Coleshill Town, the prolific Lei Brown adding two more to his tally. Dunkirk and Bardon Hill shared 6 goals at the Ron Steel Sports Ground, with two goals apiece for Kamron Frost for Dunkirk and Rich Hanslow for Bardon. Boldmere St Michaels are up to the heady heights of13th pace after a hard fought 2-1 win over Westfields.
Coventry United extended their lead to 4 points with a midweek 3-1 win at Racing Club Warwick. Heath Hayes are up to 6th after their 4th win on the trot, beating Hinckley AFC 2-1.
The only league game to survive the perpetual rain saw Leamington Hibernian take over top spot following a 3-0 win over form team Alcester Town. Luke Swinnerton gave Hibernian a first half lead and further goals after the break from Joseph Wright and Sam Smith confirmed the three points.
The battle of the Dynamo’s went the way of Loughborough who beat Shepshed 2-0 in the Loughborough Charity Cup. Coton Green entertained Jet Blades under lights at New Mill Lane but exited the Birmingham Saturday Vase after a narrow 3-2 defeat. Heanor Town went out of the Derbyshire Senior Cup losing 2-1 at home to Evostik South Belper Town in a close affair. Cup kings Nuneaton Griff are through to the next round of the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup following a comfortable 3-0 win over Gornal Athletic.
The 3G pitch at Pack Meadow witnessed an 8-0 win for league leaders Coleshill Town over Sutton United in the Trophy.
A solitary game in the South division saw Stourport Swifts win 2-1 at West Midlands Football Academy. In the Bowl, a hat-trick from Nathan McGarrity helped Bedworth United beat Leamington 4-0. There was an excellent away win for Basford United, 3-2 at North division leaders Sutton Coldfield Town on the 3G at Coles Lane.
League leaders Hereford entertain AFC Wulfrunians at Edgar Street with their 10 point lead intact due to midweek postponements. When the two sides meet at Castlecroft at the start of the year, Wulfs pushed the Bulls all the way. Game of the day is at the Aspray Arena where 4th placed Sporting Khalsa welcome 2nd placed Heanor Town to the Black Country. Both sides can count themselves in the promotion mix and a win for either could be significant. 3rd placed Alvechurch travel to Hillsfield to face a Rocester side with 13 points out of the last 15 in the league. Church realistically need a win to keep the pressure on at the top of the table. Shepshed Dynamo have won 5 on the spin and they take this form to Stourport Swifts, without a home game since November. At the bottom, Continental Star remain a long way from safety and they welcome Highgate United to Dales Lane. 2nd bottom Dunkirk travel to upwardly mobile Walsall Wood who have climbed to 7th in the table. There is a huge game at the bottom of the table with Coventry Sphinx travelling to Allpay Park to meet Westfields. Bardon Hill are another side not to have played at home since November and they will be hoping for better luck as they attempt to entertain Brocton. Games at Boldmere St Michaels always produce goals and expect nothing different this week when the Students of Loughborough University are the visitors. Coleshill Town have been thankful for their new 3G surface this season and they welcome Quorn to Pack Meadow knowing that the game will go ahead, despite the worst of the winter weather. Lye Town and Long Eaton United sit next to each other in the middle of the table and they meet at Stourbridge Road.
There should be a decent crowd at Sphinx Drive when leaders Coventry United welcome visitors Hinckley AFC. The biggest crowd of the day is likely to be at The Victoria Ground when Bromsgrove Sporting entertain FA Vase heroes Nuneaton Griff in an attractive fixture at the top of the table. Another big game at the top of the table sees 3rd versus 4th as Lichfield City visit Leicester Road. Heath Hayes are flying at the moment and Heather St Johns are the latest visitors to The Coppice Colliery Ground. An important game at the foot of the table as Bolehall Swifts welcome Pershore Town to Rene Road. 2nd bottom Southam United are at home to Cadbury Athletic needing a win to move out of the bottom two. Littleton consistently sit in the top half of the table and they welcome Atherstone Town to 5 Acres. Pelsall Villa host Racing Club Warwick, the reverse fixture ending in a 4-2 win to the Racers in December. Coventry Copsewood host Pilkington XXX whose form has deserted them somewhat in recent weeks.
Rostance Edwards have the chance to go top when Fairfield Villa visit the Red Lion ground. Chelmsley Town will go level on points with leaders Droitwich Spa if they can pick up all three points at Sutton United. Alvis Sporting Club have 5 games in hand on the leaders and they will be hoping to play their first league game since October at Austrey Rangers. Feckenham will be hoping the weather gods are on their side when they welcome Earlswood Town. In the other game in Division 2, 11th placed Knowle entertain 7th placed Paget Rangers
Its bottom versus top this week as leaders Leamington Hibernian travel to basement side AFC Solihull. 2nd placed FC Stratford are at home to Smithswood Firs who have played 5 games less than the top two and could yet mount a challenge. Alcester Town will be looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat when they entertain 3rd placed Barton United. 4th placed Northfield Town travel to Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons with promotion very much within reach. Redditch Borough will also feel that promotion is within their reach and they travel to Hall Drive to face strugglers Enville Athletic. 2nd bottom Perrywood entertain Burntwood Town and a win for the home side could see them move two places up the table. Inkberrow host Shipston Excelsior with two points separating the sides. Badsey Rangers can move into the top half of the table with a win over Coventrians.
Barnt Green Spartak host Division 2 leaders Droitwich Spa in the quarter-final of the Presidents Cup. When the two sides met in the league a few weeks ago, it ended in a 1-1 draw.
Brocton vs Coventry United
Cadbury Athletic vs Continental Star
Gresley vs Sutton united
Romulus vs Lichfield City
Solihull Moors vs Rocester (trophy)
Leamington vs Gornal Athletic (U21S)
Bedworth united vs West Midlands Football Academy (U21S)
Kings heath Concorde vs Tamworth (Bowl)
Anstey Nomads vs Heath Hayes (U21N)
Tipton Town vs Newcastle Town (U21N)
Basford United vs Walsall Wood (U21N)
In conjunction with Nigel Wood we have put "operaterion waterlog" into place
Clubs in Division 2, Division 3 and Reserve Division may postpone their fixture TOMORROW morning without the need for a Referee's inspection
Please text me with any postponement as I will be out for most of the morning.
Those of you who do manage to get their game on, without floodlights, looking at the sunset tonight, if you can kick off earlier than 3pm (2.30 in the cup) please try to do so
Clubs in outside cups will need to abide by competition rules
Midland Football League Newsletter
3rd February 2016
It is with great disappointment that Southam United announce the resignation of Lee Constable as First Team Manager. Lee will, however, continue to be actively involved in the wider Club. Lee's assistant, Terry Davidson, has been appointed to the position of Interim Manager and is already hard at work.
Rocester have reluctantly accepted the resignation of First Team Manager Mark Wilson. Mark took over the role at the end of September 2014 when the team were struggling at the foot of the table. He quickly turned fortunes around and led his side to a mid-table finish in the Midland Football League Premier Division and an appearance in the League Cup Final at Walsall's Bescot Stadium.
During the close season, he was instrumental in setting up a new Reserve team which, under the management of Mick Wood and Mark Yeomans, has proved extremely successful with a number of players stepping up to play First Team football. There is no doubt that Mark leaves the club in a far better position than it was fifteen months ago when he joined, and the club would like to place on record its appreciation and thanks for the time and 100% effort he has put in.
First team managerial duties have been taken over by Danny Martin, Mark Grimley and Carl Allen until the end of the season.
Should Hereford get past Hartley Wintney in the FA Vase, they have been awarded a home quarter-final against Camberley Town of the Combined Counties League
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday 30th January
Heath Hayes 3 Bolehall Swifts 1
Heath Hayes had not played a competitive fixture since December 19th so I was somewhat surprised to hear that the pitch had passed an inspection and the game was on. Visitors Bolehall Swifts were struggling near the bottom of the table, however, they had managed to play a couple of games in the previous 7 days so were likely to be more match fit. The first chance of the game fell to Heath Hayes’ Joe Pickering but Swifts keeper Tom McNulty saved well at the striker’s feet. Swifts should have been awarded a penalty in the 6th minute when Simeon Smith was clearly pulled back but the referee waved the protests away. A minute later, Smith really should have scored but a weak finish made it easy for Mark Wiggins. Swifts deservedly took the lead in the 14th minute. A corner from Ben Minshull was headed on by Joe Obi and Tom Lapworth got the final touch to flick it home. It was one-way traffic, and when Minchull’s shot rattled the crossbar, Smith’s follow-up was saved. Smith again went close but he couldn’t convert Adam Clarke’s cross. Smith was having an afternoon to forget and on the half hour, he missed again, beating the keeper but wide of the target. A free-kick for Swifts ultimately led to Heath Hayes’ equaliser in the 36th minute. Minshull hit a superb free-kick from 25 yards which rebounded off the post allowing Heath Hayes to break with pace. The ball eventually reached the feet of Dan Scragg who hit a first-time shot into the bottom corner. With the wind at their backs in the second half, Heath Hayes were expected to dominate but no-one had told the Swifts. Joe McNulty put a shot wide and Smith, again, hit the side netting as Swifts continued to look the more likely. Heath Hayes took the lead in the 67th minute when Scragg’s shot was saved but Ryan Burns was on hand to put away the follow-up. That second goal took the wind out of Swift's’ sails and the home side took control. Pickering twice went close before Scragg finished things off with a tap-in in stoppage time. A 3-1 result was extremely harsh on Swifts who really should have been out of sight by half-time. More performances like that, and I’m sure they will move away from the bottom of the table. Relief for Heath Hayes to at least be playing again. They are too far behind the leaders to make an impact in the promotion race but should be capable of a top 6 finish.
Tuesday 2nd February 2016
Stafford Town 3 Pelsall Villa 1
A second game in Division 1 in a couple of days and a chance to see if Stafford Town could continue their recent good form against a Pelsall Villa side without a league game since December 5th. Town were the first to show, Dan Jones having his shot blocked. In the 4th minute, Ahkeem Rose forced a save from Town keeper Dave Reaney. Both sides were slugging it out in the middle of the park without either taking control until Town opened the scoring in the 21st minute. A corner from Tom Green was headed powerfully into the net by skipper Spencer Gunnell. Josh Small had a decent chance for Pelsall but his shot lacked pace. Gunnell forced a save from Dan Mikrut but chances were at a premium. In first half stoppage time, the home side doubled their lead with a goal of farcical proportions. Green was in on goal, took an air shot, somehow maintained possession to toe poke goalwards where Mikrut saved but Green again poked the ball home. The goal owed everything to persistence and will have changed the manager’s team talks. Whatever was said in the Pelsall dressing room made an immediate impact when the impressive Rose controlled the ball and finished well past Reaney. The goal certainly lifted the visitors but as hard as they tried, they made little impression on the Town defence. A sublime piece of skill almost led to Stafford’s third. Craig Hulme controlled a cross-field ball, picked his spot and curled a superb effort just wide of the post. The
game was settled in the 72nd minute and what a way to settle it. Stafford were awarded a free-kick 30 yards out on the left-hand side, Up stepped Grant Winwood who found the net with a superb free-kick, his first goal for the club, as his celebrations clearly showed. Pelsall went close to a second when Mitchell Clarke controlled the ball and hit the target but Reaney was a match and the chance was gone. Stafford Town have certainly shown they are up for the fight and a good run of results has seen the confidence rise as they move up the table. After seeing Bolehall perform admirably on Saturday, the lower reaches of Division 1 are no place for the feint hearted
Nuneaton Griff’s brave run in The FA Vase came to an end as they were beaten 3-0 by Salisbury at the Pingles Stadium. The scoreline was harsh on Griff who missed a penalty with the score at 1-0. Two goals in the final 5 minutes made the scoreline look more emphatic for Salisbury for whom Sam Wilson scored a hat-trick.
The weather again played havoc with the fixtures with only 1 of the top 6 in action. It proved to be a good day for Shepshed Dynamo who won 3-1 at Coleshill Town thanks to a double from Matt Langham. With four games in hand on the leaders, Shepshed could still have a major say in the destination of the title. Walsall Wood move up to 7th in the table, Joey Butlin scoring both goals in the 2-1 win at Loughborough University. At the bottom of the table, there was a huge win for Quorn, 4-0 at struggling Dunkirk, Jacob Lever with a couple. Boldmere St Michaels moved further away from the drop zone with a 3-2 win over Bardon Hill. There were three goals in the first 4 minutes as the visitors took an early lead however two second half goals from Matt Gardiner sealed the points for the Mikes. Stourport Swifts grabbed a much needed 3 points with Joe Phillips scoring the only goal of the game in the win at Westfields. On Tuesday evening, Heanor Town regained second place with a 2-1 win at Highgate United. Two goals from veteran Paul McMahon helped Brocton to a 3-2 win at Boldmere St Michaels. Coleshill Town were too strong for a weakened Loughborough University at Park meadow with five different scorers in their 5-1 victory.
Lichfield City missed the chance to go 3rd when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Pershore Town. Most of the attention was on the foot of the table and Stafford Town moved out of the bottom two with a 1-1 win with Pilkington XX, recent signing Marvin Robinson on target. Bolehall Swifts replace them on the bottom rung with missed chances costing them dear in a 3-1 defeat at Heath Hayes. Heather St Johns have a 5 point gap to the bottom three after they picked up a point in a 2-2 draw with Littleton at St Johns Park. Cadbury Athletic leapfrogged visitors Racing Club Warwick after a 4-1 win at the TSA Sports Ground. Coventry Copsewood and Hinckley AFC shared
the spoils in their local derby at The Pavilion, 1-1 the full-time score. On Tuesday, Coventry United went back to the top in emphatic style beating local rivals Coventry Copsewood 10-0 at Sphinx Drive. Richard Blythe scored a hat-trick and there were doubles for Matt Brown, Josh O’Grady and Kia Williams as United sent a clear message to their title rivals. Stafford Town continued their revival with a 3-1 home win over Pelsall Villa. Southam United are one place and one point off the bottom following a 1-1 draw at home to Pershore Town. After no games since December, Heath Hayes made it two wins in a week with a single goal victory at Pilkington XXX. Studley ran out 3-0 winners over Racing Club Warwick at the Beehive moving up to 10th in the table.
Droitwich Spa are 2 points clear at the top but they were held to a 1-1 draw by local rivals Barnt Green Spartak. Bottom side Earlswood Town took a first-minute lead at Fairfield Villa but it was the home side that ran out victors with a 3-2 win. There was an excellent away win for Paget Rangers, 3-2 at Sutton United.
In the game of the day between the two form teams, League leaders FC Stratford were toppled by Alcester Town, Matt Layton with the only goal from the penalty spot. Leamington Hibernian took full advantage, closing the gap at the top to just two points, with an emphatic 6-1 win at Burntwood Town, Will Pendred and Jack Keeling with doubles. 3rd place Barton United were held to a goalless draw at Inkberrow. Northfield Town are level on points with Barton after a 3-2 win over basement side AFC Solihull. Redditch Borough closed the gap with a 4-1 win at Badsey Rangers. Shipston Excelsior were 2-0 winners over Coventrians while the game at the bottom of the table ended in a 2-2 draw between Perrywood and Enville Athletic.
Polymac Packaging league Cup
Hereford set up an away quarter-final at Highgate United with a 3-1 win over title rivals Alvechurch in front of another big Edgar Street crowd. The sides went in level at the break but two unanswered second-half goals saw the Bulls through. FA Vase heroes Nuneaton Griff are at it again with a 3-1 win at Premier Division Shepshed Dynamo. Two first half goals from Josh Ruff sent Griff on their way and they await the winners of Cadbury Athletic and Stourport Swifts in the quarters. Walsall Wood hammered Rocester 6-1 with Joey Butlin scoring 5. Their reward is a home quarter-final against Coleshill Town.
Chris Lloyd took his season tally to 32 as Chelmsley Town beat Folly Lane in the Coventry Evening Telegraph Cup. Knowle were knocked out of the Birmingham Saturday Vase, losing 3-2 at Kings Heath Old Boys. Lichfield City grabbed the plaudits on Tuesday be beating Walsall 3-2 in the Walsall Senior Cup. Tom Evans scored twice and Tony Clarke was on hand to grab a last minute winner in front of a healthy crowd of 158. In the Leicestershire Challenge Cup, Barwell proved too strong for Quorn running out 3-0 winners. Alvis Sporting Club progressed in the Birmingham Saturday Vase, Kiam Galdins scoring twice in a 4-0 win over Kenilworth Wardens. In the Fazeley Charity Cup, Bolehall Swifts beat Tamworth U21s 3-2 with Simon Smith on target twice. A remarkable game in the Worcestershire Senior urn, where Bromsgrove Sporting beat Littleton 6-5 at 5 Acres with the winning goal from Connor Collins coming in the last minute.
Just two games in the reserves division with plenty of goals to keep the punters happy. Cadbury Athletic beat Sutton United by the odd goal in seven, Shaun Hunter with 2 for the home side and Zak D’Sylva with 2 for Sutton. Brocton beat Continental Star 3-1 with two goals in the last three minutes from Dexter Morris-Clarke.
Three games in the Bowl with the highlight being the eight goals shared by Basford United and Bedworth United at Greenwich Avenue. Heath Hayes won 2-1 win at H.O.W. Academy while Newcastle Town beat Walsall Wood 2-1.
Premier Division leaders Hereford travel to Hartley Wintney of the Combined Counties League. The Row sit top of their league with just two defeats all season and should provide a stern challenge to the Bulls who come into the game on the back of the 1-1 draw with second-placed Alvechurch. Backed by 700 away fans, I expect the Bulls to be too strong on the day. A home quarter-final against Camberley Town awaits the winners.
With the top two not in league action, Alvechurch can move back second with a win at Quorn. A win for Church would close the gap to 8 points while Quorn themselves are looking for points to keep well away from the Premier Division trapdoor. Sporting Khalsa can keep up the pressure on the leaders when they entertain Coventry Sphinx at the Aspray Arena. Sphinx have games in hand on all the teams around them but are only two points ahead of second bottom Dunkirk. Shepshed Dynamo have hit a rich vein of form and they welcome 6th placed AFC Wulfrunians to the Butthole. Weather permitting, this should be a great game for the neutral. Walsall Wood are another side that have found form in recent weeks and they welcome Loughborough University who they beat 2-1 at Hollywell a week ago. At the bottom Continental Star travel to Walshes Meadow to face Stourport Swifts whose win at Westfields moved them away from the bottom six. Second bottom Dunkirk travel to Brocton who have pulled away from the bottom due to an excellent run of results. Bardon Hill will be hoping to play their first home game since November when mid-table Lye Town are the visitors. Highgate United lie in 10th place however they still have 24 games to play this season. They welcome Westfields to The Coppice with both sides wanting to bounce back from recent defeats. Two sides separated by only 3 points meet in Derbyshire with Long Eaton United hosting Boldmere St Michaels. Early goals have been a feature of Mikes games recently, so make sure you are in time for the kickoff. Coleshill Town travel to Staffordshire to take on Rocester at Hillsfield. Both sides have had mixed results and this one is nigh on impossible to gauge.
The game of the day in Division 1 is at The Victoria Ground where 2nd placed Bromsgrove Sporting host 4th placed Lichfield City. Both sides are in excellent form and with the promise of another big crowd, this is one well worth going to. 3rd placed Leicester Road travel to Racing Club Warwick needing a win to keep in touch with the leaders. FA Vase heroes Nuneaton Griff return to league action with a local derby at Atherstone Town. Results in the past week has seen Bolehall Swifts return to the basement and they make the short journey to Hinckley AFC. Southam United are just one point ahead of Bolehall and they host a Pilkington XXX side that have slipped in recent weeks. Stafford Town have had a good couple of weeks and are now 3 points off the bottom. They travel to Cadbury Athletic with renewed hope of climbing the table. Coventry Copsewood will want to forget their defeat at the hands of leaders Coventry United as quickly as possible and they hope to do that at home to Heather St Johns. Two sides in the danger zone meet with PershoreTown at home to Pelsall Villa. At the Beehive, 10th meets 9th as Studley entertain Littleton.
No doubting the game of the day here with the top two meeting at the Red Lion Ground. A home win for Rostance Edwards would see them take over the top spot from Droitwich Spa. In a huge day for the top of the table, 4th placed Alvis Sporting Club entertain 3rd placed Chelmsley Town. Both sides have games in hand on the top two but a positive result, either way, could have a major impact on the destination of the title. At the bottom, Earlswood Town welcome Fairfield Villa a week after losing 3-2 at Fairfield. Feckenham haven’t played a home league game since October and they will be hoping to welcome Barnt Green Spartak to the Entaco. Paget Rangers and Sutton United played out a five-goal thriller last Saturday with Paget edging it. Which way will it go this week? Elsewhere, Knowle travel to Austrey Rangers.
With leaders FC Stratford on Vase duty, Leamington Hibernian can go top but to do that they will have to overcome an Alcester Town side that can’t stop winning. 3rd placed Barton United are at home to bottom club AFC Solihull, a win for the Black Swans would take them to within 4 points of the leaders. Smithswood Firs have games in hand on the leaders and they make some inroads with a win at home to lowly Enville Athletic. 2nd bottom Perrywood picked up a point last week but face a difficult task at free-scoring Redditch Borough. Burntwood Town suffered a heavy home defeat last week and will be looking for a reaction at home to Badsey Rangers. Elsewhere Coventrains entertain Inkberrow and Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons travel to Shipston Excelsior.
In the quarter-final of the Challenge Vase, two big hitters meet with Northfield Town at home to FC Stratford.
Coventry United vs Rocester
Lichfield City vs Gresley
Romulus vs Brocton
Coleshill Town vs Sutton United (Trophy)
Gornal Athletic vs Bromsgrove Sporting (U21S)
West Midlands Football Academy vs Stourport Swifts (U21S)
Heath Hayes vs Kings Heath Concorde (Bowl)
Tamworth vs H.O.W. Academy (Bowl)
Bedworth United vs Leamington (Bowl)
Sutton Coldfield Town vs Basford United (Bowl)
Midland Football League Newsletter
27th January 2016
Westfields Football Club are due to celebrate their 50th Anniversary on Saturday, 26th November 2016 and have planned a bumper reunion dinner to take place at The Three Counties Hotel, Belmont Road, Hereford. The gala dinner will celebrate an incredible 50 years as Westfields have risen from a team playing friendly fixtures on Widemarsh Common to a team that now compete in the Midland League Premier Division and along with Hereford FC are the highest placed team in the county of Herefordshire. Westfields will be looking to celebrate their 50 years by inviting former players, committee members and managers to the club dinner and everyone is asked to contact club Chief Executive Andy Morris for further information about the gala evening. A sub-committee has been formed to organise the event which will include a celebratory speaker to help celebrate our 50-year history.
Big Centre TV will broadcast their first Midlands non-league show on the 4th of February at 9.30 p.m. They are issuing a rallying cry for match highlights, fan footage, crowd reaction, any particularly interesting stories about individuals or teams to be sent in to us by next Monday at the latest. They are also looking to feature FANCAM - In which Fans send 30-second match reports filmed on their smartphones after the game and send them in.
All material needs to be sent to email@example.com
This opportunity is open to all clubs at all levels (Under21s take note).
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday 23rd January
Hereford 1 Alvechurch 1
As much as I enjoy watching games as a neutral, there was something about a meeting of the top two in front of a bumper Edgar Street crowd that really got the juices flowing. The Bulls had won 27 in a row in all competition before the game (a point well made by the noisy Bulls supporters) but Church could take over top spot if they won their games in hand. Sampling the fantastic hospitality from Hereford before the game, there was an eager anticipation from everyone involved and a realisation that this was a real challenge for league supremacy. This was echoed by the gathered press corps as I made my way to the press box for the game. With Hereford attacking the packed Meadow End for the first half, it was the sublime talent of Mustapha Bundu who got the crowd on their feet in the 5th minute. Bundu beat 5 defenders on a mazy run before teeing up Pablo Haysham whose shot was saved by Matt Sargeant. A minute later, Hereford were ahead, Ryan Green heading home, unmarked from a Dylan Bonella corner. Hereford continued to have the majority of possession but Sargeant did not have to make a save of note. At the other end, Sam Williams went closes for Church but Martin Horsell was never tested. Into the second half, Hereford leading scorer John Mills had an opportunity just after the break, rounding Sargeant but finding the shooting angle too tight. Mills turned provider a minute later, a wonderful ball into the path of Bundu but his deft chip was off target. Hereford were pouring on the pressure and Mills wasted the best opportunity, beat defenders before cutting inside and seeing his shot hit the Church keeper. Herford were made to rue those chances when former Rushall Olympic striker Nick Wright seized on a through ball from Jack Cresswell and provided the perfect finish past Horsell, a goal to grace the occasion. It was now the visitors who were having the better of things in the middle of the park without creating a clear-cut chance. The woodwork came to Church’s rescue with 11 minutes to go, when Bundu’s curler looked a goal all the way but the ball rebounded off the post. Bonella had a shot just over and another Bundu effort was saved by Sargeant. At the other end, Zack Foster saw his chip gathered under the bar by Horsell. With almost 8 minutes of time added on, the game ended honours even in a great advertisement for the league. A mention for the match referee, Malcolm Steward who played a crucial role in the quality of the game. He could so easily have shown red cards to Josh March and Joel Edwards but managed to keep the lid on things with his officiating. Well done sir!
Tuesday 26th January
Rocester 2 Loughborough University 0
With both teams in free-scoring form, a good game was anticipated. Unfortunately, our wonderful winter weather contrived to give the teams a very heavy pitch to contend with, which lessened the impact of the pacy forwards on view. With the tail end of Jonas affecting Hillsfield, strong winds and rain ensured that this was a game for the die-hard fan. The students started the better of the two sides with Max Herbert going close in the second minute. Loughborough were dominating possession but struggling to keep their feet on the greasy surface – Jerimiah Dasaolu, in particular, having major issues with his footwear. Loughborough wasted a good chance in the 17th minute when Dasaolu went for glory instead of passing to two men in space. Midway through the half, Rob Ritch-Smith forced a fine save from Loughborough keeper Conor O’Keefe, his 25-yard effort being tipped over the bar. O’Keefe had to react smartly to rob the ball from the feet of Troy Carty as the Romans began to pressurise. Callum Riddell was next to try his hand for Rocester but his shot was cleared off
the line. The deadlock was broken in the 32nd minute. A corner from the right was met with a bullet header from Liam Shaw who gave O’Keefe no chance. A neat move from Loughborough just before the break ended with Conner shooting wide. The weather, if anything, deteriorated after the break making flowing football a nigh on an impossibility. Tom Land headed over for Rocester as the home side took control. Ritchie-Smith was causing the Loughborough defence all sorts of problems, and a double effort from the striker saw his first shot blocked then his second go wide of the post. O’Keefe was by the far the busier of the two keepers and he had to race off his line to thwart Riddell. Rocester doubled their lead in the 65th minute when Colm Magee’s clearance cannoned into Troy Carty and into the net. Both sides continued to battle in the conditions but a 2-0 win for Rocester was a fair reflection on the 90 minutes.
The meeting of the top two ended even as Hereford and Alvechurch fought out a 1-1 draw in front of 4,026 at Edgar Street. The Bulls had the better chances but a draw was a fair result on the day. The result gave Sporting Khalsa the opportunity to close the gap on the top two and they duly responded with a 4-2 win at Continental Star, Matthew Martin with a couple. Loughborough University had the comeback of the day, recovering from 3-1 down at Brocton to win 4-3 courtesy of a stoppage time winner from Jack Poxon. Coleshill Town returned to league action with a 3-2 win over Bardon Hill, Mykel Beckley with an 87th-minute winner. Rocester picked up a good 3 points on the road, doubles from Rob Ritchie-Smith and Andrew Mottershead helping them to a 4-2 win at Quorn. A goal from Kieran Clarke was enough to earn Boldmere St Michaels 3 points at second bottom Dunkirk. Westfields eased their relegation worries with a 2-1 win at Lye Town, two goals in the last 15 minutes clinching all 3 points. A goal from Drew Aiton, 18 minutes from time gave Walsall Wood a narrow home win over AFC Wulfrunians. On Tuesday, Alvechurch missed the chance to close the gap to 9 points at the top, when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Quorn. An 88th-minute equaliser from Jack Skinner salvaged a point for Boldmere St Michaels at Coleshill Town. Rocester jumped 3 places to 13th after a 2-0 win over Loughborough University at a wet and windy Hillsfield.
Bromsgrove Sporting took advantage of Coventry United’s inactivity by taking over the top spot with a 4-1 win over Bolehall Swifts at The Victoria ground. On a good day for the leading sides, Leicester Road maintained their 3rd position with a 5-0 win over Studley. A brace from Tony Clarke helped Lichfield City on the way to a 3-1 away win at Cadbury Athletic. Nuneaton Griff warmed up for their big FA Vase clash with a 4-3 win over Littleton, Alex Naughton with a couple. A huge win at the bottom of the table for Stafford Town who beat Atherstone Town 2-1 with goals from Fabrice Kasiama and Marvin Robinson. Southam United are just a point ahead of Stafford as they went down 4-0 at Hinckley AFC for whom Greg Pearson scored twice. As the bottom of the table gets
tighter, Pershore Town are deep in trouble and they slipped to a single goal defeat at home to Coventry Copsewood. On Tuesday, Heather St Johns were beaten 2-0 at home by Studley keeping them in a 5-way battle to avoid the drop.
Rostance Edwards moved into 2nd pace with a 3-1 win over 11th placed Knowle at the Red Lion. Former Walsall Wood striker, Ahmet Bilgimer scored twice as Coton Green beat Sutton United 3-1. There was a big win for Paget Rangers who beat Barnt Green Spartak 4-1 with Dan Carter grabbing two.
FC Stratford stretched their lead to 5 points with a 2-0 win at Enville Athletic. Barton United are in 3rd place, a Peter Martin hat-trick helping them to a 5-0 win over Perrywood. Northfield Town are just two points further back after they won 4-2 at Shipston Excelsior. Redditch Borough are a further place behind but they continue to look upwards with a 4-0 win over Burntwood Town. The form side of the league continues to be Alcester Town who beat Inkberrow 5-1, Matt Layton with another two taking his tally to 24. Arguably, the result of the day saw AFC Solihull win for the second time this season, 3-1 at home to Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. The win closes the gap to Perrywood to just 4 points.
Polymac Packaging league Cup
Highgate United are through to the quarter-final of the league cup where they will meet the winners of the Herford vs Alvechurch tie. Highgate progressed thanks to a goal from Scott Turner as they beat Littleton 1-0.
A double from Chris Lloyd helped Chelmsley Town beat local rivals Smithswood Firs 4-0 in the Birmingham Saturday Vase. In the Birmingham Senior Cup, Lye Town held Birmingham City to a 0-0 draw but bowed out 4-2 on penalties. Shepshed Dynamo lost a thriller in the Leicestershire Challenge Cup, eventually being knocked out 4-3 by Coalville Town after extra time. Sporting Khalsa made it through to the semi-final of the Walsall Senior Cup with a 3-0 win over Pelsall Villa. A hat-trick from Alan Miller and a brace from Liam Bailey saw Atherstone Town beat Coventry United 5-2 in the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup. Coventry Copsewood progressed in the same competition courtesy of a 3-1 win at Tipton Town. In the Fazeley Charity Cup, there was some relief for Boleghall Swifts as they beat Sutton United reserves 6-2, Joe Obi helping himself to a hat-trick
Just two games in the reserves division with Rocester moving up to 3rd position with a 3-0 win over Cadbury Athletic. In the Staffordshire derby, Brocton won 2-1 at Lichfield City.
In the South Division, Bedworth United moved 7 points clear following a 6-0 win over Leamington. H.O.W. Academy beat West Midlands Football Academy in the other South game. In the North, league leaders Sutton Coldfield Town were surprisingly beaten 5-1 at home by Newcastle Town for whom Dmitri Manginis bagged a hat-trick
Into the last 16 of the FA Vase and the Midland Football League have two teams standing. Premier Division leaders Hereford travel to Hartley Wintney of the Combined Counties League. The Row sit top of their league with just two defeats all season and should provide a stern challenge to the Bulls who come into the game on the back of the 1-1 draw with second-placed Alvechurch. Backed by 700 away fans, I expect the Bulls to be too strong on the day. Nuneaton Griff have had a remarkable run in the FA Vase and they welcome Salisbury FC, managed by Steve Claridge, to The Pingles Stadium. Like Hereford, Salisbury are a new club built from the ashes of the past, and they sit top of the Wessex league with two defeats all season. Griff score goals, and on their day, are capable of beating anyone. I just wonder if this could be their day?
With Hereford on FA Vase duty, the spotlight falls on the chasing pack as they look to close the gap at the top. Alvechurch slipped up in midweek and will hope to get to winning ways at home to in-form Brocton. Sporting Khalsa have revenge on their minds when they travel to Castlecroft to take on AFC Wulfrunians. Wulfs beat Khalsa on Boxing Day at the Aspray Arena and a similar result would severely dent Khalsa’s title ambitions. Heanor Town will feel they still have an outside chance of the title and they welcome Lye Town to the Town Ground. 5th placed Shepshed Dynamo travel to Pack Meadow to take on Coleshill Town on the 3G in an intriguing battle. Both sides score plenty of goals so this one could be worth watching. Highgate United have 8 games in hand on Hereford and a winning run would see them just 4 points behind the Bulls. They welcome Long Eaton United to The Coppice and they will be looking at the skies and hoping to get the game on. At the bottom, Continental Star welcome Rocester to Dales Lane with the Romans coming into the game on the back of two wins in a week. 2nd bottom Dunkirk host 4th bottom Quorn in a massive game at the foot of the table. 7th meets 9th as Loughborough University entertain Walsall Wood with both sides having similar records. Boldmere St Michaels picked up a good away point in midweek and they welcome Bardon Hill to Church Lane. It’s another Herefordshire versus Worcestershire derby in Hereford this weekend as Westfields welcome Stourport Swifts to Allpay Park. A win for Westfields would take them above their visitors who will be playing their 7th consecutive away league game due to postponements at Walshes Meadow.
Former league leaders Coventry United will hope to get back into league action for the first time in 7 weeks as they travel to Pelsall Villa. Their inactivity has enabled Bromsgrove Sporting to take over the top spot and they will want to hold that lead for some time to come as they travel to struggling Southam United. 3rd placed Leicester Road travel to Studley a week after beating them 5-0 at home. Lichfield City are in a strong position in 4th and they will expect all three points when Pershore Town come visiting. At the bottom, Stafford Town had a morale-boosting victory last week and a win at home to Pilkington XXX could take them out of the bottom two. Bolehall Swifts travel to Heath Hayes who haven’t played a competitive game since the 19th of December – is it a case of pre-season starts here? Heather St Johns remain in trouble and they welcome Littleton to St Johns Park in another difficult encounter. Two sides locked together in the middle of the pack meet at the TSA Sports Ground with Cadbury Athletic at home to Racing Club Warwick. Hinckley AFC make the short journey to Coventry Copsewood looking for a win to keep up their slim chance of entering the promotion race.
League leaders Droitwich Spa can extend their lead at the top to 4 points should they beat Barnt Green Spartak at King George Playing Fields. Sutton United are in 5th and can move level with Alvis Sporting Club with a win over Paget Rangers. At the bottom, Earlswood Town travel to Fairfield Villa for their first league since the end of November. Likewise, Feckenham haven’t played a home league game since October and desperately need the points against Austrey Rangers.
Weather permitting, there is a full league programme in Division 3. The highlight of the day is the match up between leaders FC Stratford and in-form Alcester Town. Alcester are on a run of 5 consecutive wins scoring 29 in the process while Stratford have won their last 7 games scoring 32 goals. Something has to give but this one should be well worth a watch. Leamington Hibernian lie second and they travel to Burntwood Town hoping to keep the gap to a minimum. Barton United are third and they travel to Inkberrow looking to build on last week’s victory over Perrywood. Smithswood Firs have games in hand on the leaders and they entertain Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. AFC Solihull are closing the gap at the bottom and they travel to 5th place Northfield Town in good heart. Perrywood and Enville Athletic are the sides in Solihull’s sights and they meet in a relegation 6 pointer. 8th meet 6th as Badsey Rangers welcome Redditch Borough to the Recreation Ground. 11th meets 10th at Holbrooks Park with Coventrians at home to Shipston Excelsior.
Cadbury Athletic vs Sutton United
Coventry United vs Lichfield City
Romulus vs Coleshill Town
Brocton vs Continental Star
Evesham United vs Solihull Moors
Rocester vs Gresley
Kings Heath Concorde vs Gornal Athletic (U21S)
Leamington vs West Midlands Football Academy (U21S)
Bromsgrove Sporting vs Anstey Nomads (Bowl)
H.O.W. Academy vs Heath Hayes (Bowl)
Basford united vs Bedworth United (Bowl)
Tamworth vs Sutton Coldfield Town (U21N)
Newcastle Town vs Walsall Wood (Bowl)
You may have seen on Twitter, but the first Midlands non league show on Big Centre TV will be broadcast on the 4th of February at 9.30 p.m.
As such, the station are issuing a rally cry for match highlights, fan footage, crowd reaction, any particularly interesting stories about individuals or teams to be sent in to them by next Monday at the latest.
They are also looking to feature FANCAM - In which Fans send 30 second match reports filmed on their smartphones after the game and send them in.
All material needs to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
I would be grateful, if I could be copied in on anything that is submitted (I may be able to use content for the Newsletter)!
Midland Football League
Kings Heath Concorde were charged for playing an ineligible player in their Under 21 South fixture against West Midlands Football Academy on 7th November 2015. They have been fined accordingly and also as Kings Heath Concorde won the match 1-0 3 points deducted from their playing record.
Midland Football League
Midland Football League Newsletter
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)
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