The management committee of the Midland Football League would like to send best wishes to Josh Shepherd of AFC Wulfrunians who suffered a serious injury in their game away to Coventry United. Our thoughts are with him and everyone associated with AFC Wulfrunians at this difficult time.
Travels of the Press Officer
No Press Officer travels this week due to my attendance at the Shrewsbury Folk festival over the Bank Holiday weekend. Normal service will resume next week.
It has been a busy bank holiday weekend. As mentioned in the league news, Coventry United’s game with AFC Wulfrunians was abandoned due to a serious injury to Wulfs’ Josh Shepherd. Boldmere St Michaels broke their duck in emphatic style with a 6-0 win at Highgate United, Stuart Capaldi and Brad Lindsay scoring twice. St Andrews picked up their first victory with a stunning 6-2 win at Shawbury United with the goals shared round. Alvechurch bounced back to form with a 5-2 win at Long Eaton United, Josh March with a brace. Westfields took over top spot with another 5 star performance, 5-1 at home to Heanor Town. Jamie Molyneux and Dan Polan continued their good start to the season with a brace apiece. A double from new signing Jamie Towers helped Coventry Sphinx to a 4-1 win at Rocester who remain pointless. Shepshed Dynamo banged in the goals at Silkmore Lane, putting 4 past Brocton without reply. Sporting Khalsa picked up their first points with a 3-0 win over Lye Town at the Aspray Arena. Quorn maintained their unbeaten start with a 1-1 draw at Stourport Swifts. Tividale are still looking for their first win as they were held by Loughborough University at The Beeches, 1-1 the score.
On Monday, Westfields made it 5 out of 5 with another 5 goal victory, this time at Stourport Swifts. The goals were shared around but that’s 17 now in the first 5 league games. Quorn stay hot on their heels as a Michael Cunningham goal was enough for a 1-0 win at Loughborough University. Last year’s runners-up Alvechurch are on a roll as they won 3-0 at Highgate United with another couple from Josh March. Game of the day was at Hillsfield as Rocester picked up their first points in a 5-4 victory over Brocton. Chris Martin scored twice in the first five miinutes for the Romans but a second half hat-trick from the Badgers Michael Williams made it close. St Andrews made it two wins in two over the holiday period beating Shepshed Dynamo 2-0. A double from Louis Harris saw Walsall Wood up to 3rd as they beat Sporting Khalsa 2-0. Lye Town are up to 5th as 2 goals from Jack Pearlman gave then a 2-0 victory at Tividale. Two sides in the top 6 shared the points at Sphinx Drive as Coventry Sphinx and Coleshill Town drew 1-1. Heanor Town and Long Eaton United couldn’t find a goal between them in their game at The Town Ground. Boldmere St Michaels made it an excellent weekend picking up their second win in four days beating Coventry United 2-0 at Sphinx Drive.
The two 100% records were both ended on Saturday. Bromsgrove Sporting were held 1-1 at Cadbury Athletic while Lichfield City were surprisingly held at home by Stafford Town, who picked up their first point of the season. Racing Club Warwick were beaten for the first time this season going down 4-1 at St Johns Park to Hinckley AFC. No less than 5 clubs sit on 9 points at this early stage of the season. Heather St Johns picked up all three points in a 2-1 win at Southam United. Leicester Road won 2-0 at Chelmsley Town with goals from Matty Stenson and Tom McGlinchey. Heath Hayes continued their fine start with a 2-1 home win over Coventry Copsewood. An Alex Naughton goal secured all three points for Atherstone Town at home to Pershore Town. Nuneaton Griff picked up their third victory of the season, 2-1 over Pelsall Villa at the Pingles Stadium. Bolehall Swifts are finding the net regularly winning 4-1 at Studley. A Luke Lewis double gave Uttoxeter Town a 2-1 victory over Littleton.
Bromsgrove Sporting got back to winning ways with a fine 3-0 win at Heather St Johns. Lichfield City followed suit as they beat Uttoxeter Town 2-1 at Oldfields. Racing Club Warwick are back up to 3rd as they beat Pershore Town 2-0 at King George V Stadium. Bolehall Swifts have leapt to 4th following a 4-0 win over Heath Hayes at Rene Road. Two well fancied sides met at Leicester Road stadium where Leicester Road and Atherstone Town shared a 2-2 draw, Alex Naughton with two more for the Adders. A fantastic gate of 382 at The Pingles Stadium saw Nuneaton Griff and Hinckley AFC battle out a 1-1 draw. Coventry Copsewood picked up their first point of the season in a 1-1 draw at Southam United. Stafford Town remain on 1 point after an Osiris Robertson hat-trick gave Pelsall Villa all 3 points in a 3-1 victory. Cadbury Athletic and Studley shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw at The TSA Sports Ground. Chelmsley Town picked up their 2nd win of the season beating Littleton 1-0 at Pack meadow.
Sutton United moved to the top of the table on Saturday following a 2-0 win over Feckenham, George Ford with a double. Smithswood Firs picked up their first points beating previous leaders Barnt Green Spartak 2-1. Alvis Sporting Club made it 7 points from 3 games with a 2-1 win at Earlswood Town. Knowle and Continental Star shared the points in a 1-1 draw while Hampton and Redditch Borough finished goalless.
On Monday, a double from Tom Crane helped Knowle regain top spot with a 4-3 win at Feckenham. Barnt Green Spartak are second following a 2-0 win at Continental Star. Last year’s champions, Alvis Sporting Club made it 10 points out of 12 with a 3-1 win at home to promoted Redditch Borough. A double from Jared McGivern helped Sutton United to a 2-2 draw at Coton Green, and they sit 3rd. Paget Rangers had the biggest win of the day, 5-1 at Bloxwich Town who are still searching for their first point. Smithswood Firs made it 6 out of 6 for the holiday weekend beating Leamington Hibernian 4-3 in a seven goal thriller. Sam Hulme scored twice for Firs whilst Joe Wright bagged a hat-trick for the visitors. Droitwich Spa edged out Fairfield Villa winning 3-2 with an injury time winner from James Ward. Hampton picked up their first win of the season, 2-1 at Earlswood Town.
Montpellier maintained their 100% start with a 3-0 win at Enville Athletic on Tuesday night, Lee Hendrie scoring twice. NKF Burbage also maintained their 100% record, a Tom Smith hat-trick helping them to a 4-0 win over Coventrians. A Romario Marton goal for Moors Academy at home to FC Stratford mean it’s a 1-2-3 for the league new boys at the top of the table. AFC Solihull are searching for their first point of the season going down 2-0 at Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. Barton United were held to a 1-1 draw at Castle Vale Town. Shipston Excelsior beat Inkberrow by the odd goal in seven to move up to 5th. Northfield Town have won two out of three, the latest victory 2-1 at home to Alcester Town.
Barton United are through to the Quarter Final of the Vase following a 5-2 win over Castle Vale Town.
Les James Challenge Cup
Alcester Town are through to the 2nd round following a 3-0 win over Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. Bloxwich Town surprised Division 2 rivals Droitwich Spa, beating them 2-1 at the Red Lion ground. Coton Green beat 3rd Division AFC Solihull 2-1 at New Mill Lane. There was no giant killing at Fairfield Villa as the home side beat Enville Athletic 2-0. There was a victory for Division 3 over Division 2 when Shipston Excelsior beat Leamington Hibernian 4-1 thanks to a Lewis Fathers hat-trick. In the battle between the Division 3 newcomers, a Lee Hendrie goal gave Montpellier the win over NKF Burbage.
Tipton Town 7 Continental Star 2
Romulus 5 Cadbury Athletic 2
Coventry United vs Bedworth United
There is a big local derby at Sphinx Drive as Coventry United take on Bedworth United. Coventry have had mixed results this season but two wins on their Premier Division debut is proof of the challenge that Bedworth face. The Greenbacks sit in mid table in the Evostik Division 1 South and would settle for a replay.
Halesowen Town vs Coleshill Town
Last year’s cup heroes Coleshill Town travel to Northern Premier League Halesowen Town. A two division gap should be too much for the Colemen to bridge but last season’s cup run will give them plenty of incentive this time round.. Coleshill are a side with goals throughout the team and they are playing with confidence. I can see the MFL side drawing at The Grove and then finishing the job at Pack Meadow.
Highgate United vs Leamington
Highgate United entertain Leamington at The Coppice with the visitors lying third in the Southern Premier League. Highgate have had a difficult week shipping 9 goals at home and the Brakes will start firm favaourites. As we all know, the FA Cup is unpredictable but the Gate will do well to get anything out of this game.
Leicester Road vs Kirby Muxloe
In form Leicester Road will be welcoming step 5 Kirby Muxloe to their Hinckley home. Kirby have had a slow start to the season and lie in20th pace in the United Counties League. Leicester Road are a strong side, who in Matty Stenson and Tom McGlinchey have strikers in good goalscoring form. They have already beaten Step 5 opponents in Harborough Town and I can see them doing it again.
Matlock Town vs Heanor Town
Heanor Town travel to Northern Premier League Matlock Town and this could be a real rip roaring cup-tie. I saw Heanor beat Long Eaton United in the previous round with a 97th minute winner. In Kieran Debrouwer they have a 30 goal per season striker who will cause defences all sorts of issues given half a chance. There are a number of links between Heanor and Matlock on both the playing and non-playing side. This will just add to the competitive edge the game will bring. I will predict a draw and a wonderful replay at The Town Ground.
Westfields vs St Ives Town
The game that really whets the appetite is at Allpay Park, Hereford as the MFL league leaders Westfields entertain St Ives Town. Fields have won 5 out of 5 this season scoring 17 goals and conceding just the one. Jamie Molyneux and Dan Polan have scored 7 goals apiece and with 7 other scorers, Westfields will carry a threat all over the pitch. Visitors St Ives sit in 11th place in the Southern Premier League and will be facing the game with some concern. If we are to see a giant killing, this is the match for me. I wonder if we could see a Westfields vs Hereford tie in the 2nd Qualifying Round. Enjoy the game.
Walsall Wood could go level on points with leaders Westfields if they can pick up 3 points at AFC Wulfrunians, still reeling from the serious injury to Josh Shepherd. A victory for Quorn at Long Eaton United would see them take over top spot and consolidate the fantastic start they have made to the season. Alvechurch have found form after a hesitant start and they welcome Stourport Swifts to Lye Meadow. Lye Town have started well and could move into the top three with a home win over Rocester. St Andrews won both games over the Bank Holiday and another home win this week over visitors Coventry Sphinx would see them into the top 8. Boldmere St Michaels picked up two excellent wins last weekend and they travel to Loughborough University who have made a solid start. Two sides with just one win to their names meet at Silkmore Lane. Brocton have shipped 20 goals in their 5 league games while the goals have dried up for visitors Sporting Khalsa. Shawbury United are still looking for their first points of the season and they travel to Shepshed Dynamo who have won 3 out of 5.
Lichfield City can go clear at the top of the table if they can beat Southam United at The McDonalds Community Stadium. Free-scoring Bolehall Swifts will jump into the top three if they can overcome Cadbury Athletic at Rene Road. Heath Hayes welcome Nuneaton Griff to The Coppice Colliery Ground with both sides looking for the win to move them into the top 6. Atherstone Town have started the season in fine form and they travel to The Old Bush to face a resurgent Pelsall Villa. There have been 21 goals in games featuring Heather St Johns this season and they travel to Littleton looking to continue their push up the table. Promoted Chelmsley Town have picked up two wins in their first season in Division 1 and will be hoping to make it three when Studley visit Pack Meadow. Hinckley AFC have been a bit hit and miss this season however a home win over Pershore Town will see them in the top half of the table. Coventry Copsewood have picked up a solitary point this season and they will hope to add to that when Uttoxeter Town are the visitors to The Pavilion.
With four teams tied on 10 points, the lead could change hands this week. Leaders Knowle are the league’s leading scorers and they welcome Coton Green to the Robins Nest. Alvis Sporting Club have a game in hand on the leaders and they entertain promoted Smithswood Firs. The 6 matches involving Feckenham has seen 28 goals already this season and expect many more as they host Paget Rangers. Two of the promoted sides meet with Leamington Hibernian hosting Redditch Borough. Droitwich Spa are looking likely to mount a challenge again this season and Earlswood Town have the challenge to dent their unbeaten record. The bottom two go head to head with Continental Star hosting a Bloxwich Town side looking for their first point.
With Montpellier in cup action, NKF Burbage can go top with a win at Castle Vale Town. Should they slip up Moors Academy can take over top spot with a win at home to Coventrians. Shipston Excelsior have started this season where they left off last and can go into the top three with a win at Alcester Town. Barton United welcome Northfield Town to Holland Sports Club with a win for either moving them into the top 5.
Les James Challenge Cup
Games involving Inkberrow have averaged over 6 goals per game so don’t expect a goalless draw when they entertain FC Stratford.
Montpellier have made a fine start to life in the Midland League and have a 100% record this season. They travel to Tudor Grange to face AFC Solihull who are still looking for their first point this season. Enville Athletic are without a point or a goal as yet this season but they will see a cup tie at Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons as the opportunity to change things.
SMEDLEY CROOKE MEMORIAL CUP ROUND 1
SUTTON UNITED v FAIRFIELD VILLA
CHALLENGE TROPHY ROUND 1 Group "A"
GRESLEY v LICHFIELD CITY
WALSALL WOOD v BROCTON
COTON GREEN v TIPTON TOWN
ROCESTER v CADBURY ATHLETIC
CHALLENGE BOWL ROUND 1 Group "A"
AYLESTONE PARK v HIGHGATE UNITED 12.30
BEDWORTH UNITED v BROCTON 11.00
KINGS HEATH CONCORDE v DROITWICH SPA G & B 10.30
BROMSGROVE SPORTING v WEST MIDLANDS ACADEMY 10.30
COLESHILL TOWN v LEEK TOWN 10.30
UNDER 21 DIVISION SOUTH
KETTERING TOWN v H O W ACADEMY 10.30