AFC Birmingham 2-2 Feckenham
Feckenham got a battling point against AFC Birmingham at Illey Lane on Saturday afternoon. The result keeps the Millers in the top two, but 3rd place Northfield have a game in hand over them with a point separating the two.
The result also leaves AFC Birmingham not too far adrift of challenging for the top two with a five-point gap between them and 2nd place Feckenham with a game in hand to make up.
A good crowd of 65 supporters turned up to watch the match in Halesowen.
All the goals came in the second half with Ashley Brown and Finbarr McCarthy scoring for AFC Birmingham. Josh Bowen and Jack Neal got the goals for Feckenham to give them a good point on the road.
Birmingham Tigers 0-3 Northfield Town
Northfield got an excellent away win against Birmingham Tigers at the Hadley Stadium on Saturday to get their challenge for the top two back on track. It’s the visitors seventh away win of the season and leaves them only a point off 2nd place Feckenham with a game in hand.
The goals for Northfield coming from Ashley Prince, Josh Westwood and substitute Shilo Waldo to give them the three points.
Their away form has been a key strength and it continued here against Birmingham Tigers. Northfield are unbeaten from nine matches on the road with seven wins and two draws and it sets up an exciting final few months of the season for the club.
This was always going to be a tough test for Birmingham Tigers on Saturday against one of the standout teams in the division. It’s been a challenging season for the hosts, and they could do with a result to give the squad some confidence over the next few weeks.
Castle Vale Town 3-2 Leamington Hibernian
Castle Vale Town continued their recent home form with an excellent win against Leamington Hibernian at CV Stadium on Saturday. The result makes it four consecutive home wins for the Spitfires who are now in 4th with 42 points.
The hosts are one of the stories of the season at this level and offer hope for clubs that are currently struggling at the bottom of the division.
A good crowd of 65 supporters turned up to watch Castle Vale Town’s fifth home win of the season.
Leamington Hibernian took an early lead when Daniel Ademola finished well from a good ball into the box to make it 1-0. Castle Vale Town found an equaliser later in the first half when Luke Smith scored from a throw into the box to make it 1-1.
The Spitfires took the lead early in the second half when Jordan McKenzie played an excellent ball across the box that found Jordan Evans who finished well to make it 2-1. Leamington Hibernian found an equaliser in the second half through Daniel Ademola before Castle Vale Town scored the winner through Tarus Zaman to make it 3-2.
Leamington Hibernian played well and were a good challenge for Castle Vale Town at the weekend. Hopefully they can pick up some results over the next few weeks to climb up the table.
Continental Star 0-3 Meadow Park
Meadow Park got their second away win of the season on Saturday to move into the top half of the table. Their away form had been an issue going into this weekend so to get a result against Continental Star is an encouraging result for the visitors.
A crowd of 27 supporters turned up to the Holford Drive Community Sports Hub at the weekend to watch Meadow Park get the three points. Second half goals from Dan Jarvis and Ellis Blakemore who scored a brace gave the visitors the win which leaves them in 8th with 23 points.
DSC United 0-4 Silhill
Silhill got an excellent away win against DSC United at the Triplex Sports Association on Saturday to cement their position in the top six. It was Silhill’s fifth away win and leaves them in 6th with 39 points. They have a 13-point gap over 7th placed Wake Green Amateur who have three games in hand.
It was a team effort from the visitors with goals from Tom Hudson, Alieu Jabang, Brandon Williams and substitute Tom Cherry giving them the win. Silhill have been playing well over the last few weeks and notably drew away at AFC Solihull last weekend.
DSC United are still in a good position in the league despite the defeat and are capable of challenging for a top half finish. Their currently two points off Meadow Park in 8th and have a few games in hand.
Gornal 0-4 Boldmere Sports and Social Falcons
Boldmere Falcons got a momentum building win against Gornal at the Wombourne Leisure Centre on Saturday. It’s the visitor’s second away win of the season and something to build on for the matches ahead.
A brace from Dale Huckfield and further efforts from Ryan McFadden and Marvelous Omoregie gave the Falcons the three points. The visitor’s recruitment has been excellent over the last few months. The new signings have boosted the squad with quality in the final third. They have 8 goals from their last three matches in the division.
It’s a transitional season from Gornal and the hosts are adapting to the level. Despite their league position, they have shown moments of quality this season and are not too far adrift of mid table.
Wake Green Amateurs 4-2 Solihull Sporting
Wake Green got a good win against Solihull Sporting at the Holloway on Saturday to cement their position in the top half of the table.
A brace from Adam Turner and further efforts from Ashley Smith and Nathanial Percival gave Wake Green their sixth home win of the season. Their record in front of goal at home has been a positive and it continued here against Solihull Sporting with 38 goals scored throughout the season.
Solihull Sporting’s away problems continued where they are yet to win from seven matches on the road. None the less, they were competitive in this match and gave Wake Green a good game at the weekend. Gabriel Harding scored a brace for the visitors in the second half to reduce the 3-0 half time deficit.
With the quality the team has up front with the likes of Gabriel Harding and Fiifi Kwofie it’s surprising they have not won away, but it speaks to the competitiveness of the league.
Review feature written by Rhys Beardmore for the Midland Football League
AFC Solihull were looking for a result yesterday afternoon to keep their title charge going in division three. The hosts had picked up 13 points from their last six matches to sit top of the league on 49 points coming into this one. Their home form at the Tudor Grange Leisure Centre is one of the reasons why it’s been an excellent season with just one loss from nine matches prior to yesterday.
Balsall and Berkswell have been good in division three and were going a bit under the radar coming into yesterday. The Hornets were comfortably in mid table and were looking for a statement result against the league leaders. The visitors had been competitive away from home with three wins and two draws going into yesterday.
The atmosphere around Tudor Grange Leisure Centre was positive and relaxed prior to kick off with both sets of supporters looking forward to the match. AFC Solihull had a good turnout of local supporters who turned up to cheer the team on. There was also a good following for the Hornets who passionately got behind their team throughout the afternoon.
The ground is a brilliant location for casual groundhoppers across the West Midlands. It can be visited by getting the 6 bus to Solihull from Birmingham near Moor Street Station. There’s a stop which is opposite the leisure centre near Solihull station. When walking up to the Leisure Centre, turn right and the ground can be found there.
Starting Line Ups
AFC Solihull’s starting line up featured Keaton Chalal starting in goal and Bradley Andrews captaining the team from central defence. The formation looked like a 4-2-3-1 with Lee Chakmak playing up front and being supported by Jake Davis and Owen Williams on the wings.
There were six changes from the team that started last weekend against Silhill with Deon Colstock coming into the team and playing at right back.
The starting line up for Balsall and Berkswell included George Gane starting in goal and Danny May captaining the team from central defence. The formation appeared to be a 4-2-3-1 with Emmanuel Edogiawerie leading the line up front and being supported by Lewis Campton and Lucas Van Spelde on the wings.
There were six changes from the team that started against Continental Star last weekend with Kamil Dziudziek coming into the team and playing at left back.
The opening 15 minutes of the match were lively with both teams getting involved and having early chances to take the lead.
Balsall and Berkswell conceded an early penalty in the first minute when Kamil Dziudziek brought down Abdo Said in the box. He stepped up and took a good penalty that was excellently saved by George Gane in the Hornets goal where he pushed an effort away from the top left corner to keep it goalless.
The visitors also had a good chance to take the lead in the opening 15 minutes following a free kick into the box. AFC Solihull struggled to clear the ball away from danger and Lewis Campton came close to turning the ball into the net.
The match settled down after the opening 15 minutes with a pattern of play emerging. AFC Solihull were playing a possession-based style where they were looking to work the ball into the box and convert their chances in front of goal. Balsall and Berkswell were well organised off the ball and were looking to catch AFC Solihull out on the counterattack.
The rest of the first half was tight and cagey with not many notable chances in front of goal. The hosts had a good chance from a corner delivered into the box which Adrian Cooney narrowly headed wide. None the less, the best chances emerged near the end of the opening 45 minutes.
George Ginn had a good chance from the edge of the box for the Hornets which was well saved by Keaton Chalal in goal. Jake Davis also had an excellent chance for AFC Solihull where he made a brilliant run down the right before cutting inside and getting a shot off that was well saved by George Gane.
At the end of the half, it remained goalless with the visitors doing an impressive job to contain the league leaders.
The second half got off to an intriguing start for the neutral with Balsall taking a surprise lead early on. Lucas Van Spelde got into an excellent position in the box and showed good composure before finishing well to make it 1-0 to the visitors. This put the emphasis on AFC Solihull to see if they could turn the match around.
To AFC Solihull’s credit, they sticked to their effective passing game and were patient with working balls into the box and creating opportunities to score against a resolute defence. They were playing well and passing the ball around with purpose. None the less, it was not quite clicking in the final third and there was reason to suggest it might not be their day in front of goal.
A key strength of AFC Solihull is their strength in depth which really stood out yesterday. Manager Dean Newman brought on Jahvan Howell and Ross Kaar off the bench when they were a goal down and it made a significant difference to the match. It gave the hosts something different in the final third with both players liking to make late runs into the box.
AFC Solihull found an equaliser in the middle of the second half through Ross Kaar who reacted excellently to score on a rebound from a Jahvan Howell shot from the edge of the box. It was unlucky for George Gane who saved the initial shot but the anticipation from Ross Kaar made the equaliser.
The hosts managed to take the lead a few moments later when an effort by Ross Kaar hit the bar before Jahvan Howell was on hand to finish the rebound into the left corner to make it 2-1. The goal was very similar to the first with AFC Solihull reacting quickest to the second ball and capitalising to take the lead.
AFC Solihull were reduced to ten men late on when Scott Saunders was sent off for a late challenge which set up a nervy final few minutes. None the less, the hosts managed to see the match out to get the three points and cement their position at the top of the division.
AFC Solihull played well yesterday and showed character in the second half to get their 8th home win of the season. The team looked well organised off the ball for the majority of the match with Bradley Andrews playing well at the back and making some big interceptions. He’s a key player for AFC Solihull as he gives them that composure to start off attacks from defence to midfield.
Jake Davis had an underrated game on the right wing and looked a threat throughout. He was getting into some good positions around the box and had that quality on the ball to cause problems. Jahvan Howell was brilliant since coming off the bench and injected a sense of urgency to get the result in the second half. He’s got that quality in the box to take chances which is huge at this level.
Balsall and Berkswell played well despite the defeat and will feel a bit disappointed not to get something from yesterday’s match. They were well organised defensively and gave AFC Solihull a few problems throughout the 90 minutes. Danny May was excellent in central defence and was constantly clearing the ball away from danger and leading by example at the back.
George Gane had a brilliant game in goal and made some big saves to keep Balsall and Berkswell in it, especially in the first half. Kamil Dziudziek also had an underrated game at right back and looked promising both defensively and on the ball for the Hornets.
FT score: AFC Solihull 2-1 Balsall and Berkswell
Man of the Match: Jahvan Howell (AFC Solihull)
Match report written by Rhys Beardmore for the Midland Football League
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