Midland Football League Newsletter
26th November 2015
Pershore Town have appointed a new manager, Quentin Townsend. Quentin is a former Pershore Town F.C. centre half who played professionally for Wolves & Hereford United. Quentin was manager of Southam United until September & was appointed this week following former manager Glen Brotherton's departure by mutual consent. Quentin started his managerial reign with a morale boosting home win.
Coventry Sphinx Football Club regret to announce that their 1st Team Manager Luke Hopkins has decided to step down from his post with immediate effect. He had reached this difficult decision based on the fact that in his opinion he had taken the 1st team as far as he can and for the benefit of the club it was the right thing to do.
Club Chairman, Dannie Cahill commented, “It’s a sad day for the club but it says a lot about the man that has put the Club first. Luke is a Coventry Sphinx boy through and through and knowing Luke as I do it must have been a difficult decision for him to make. He has worked his socks off over the past 3 seasons and it’s all credit to him that he leaves us with some quality players that we can build on.”
“Everybody connected with the club wish Luke well in the future. He is also a Manager of in our junior section and I’m pleased to say he will still be in and around the club that he loves.
“As far as Luke’s replacement is concerned we will not be rushed in making a decision and as such ex 1st Team Manager Martin Ascroft and Lynton Wilkinson will take over team affairs. All credit to them both for stepping in at short notice. This further underpins what this club means to people here at the Sphinx.”
The draw for the 3rd round of the FA Vase has been made. Ties to take place on the weekend of December 12th
Alsager Town vs AFC Wulfrunians
Pinxton vs Nuneaton Griff or Highgate United
Walsall Wood vs Alvechurch
Uttoxeter Town vs Coleshill Town
Hereford vs Brocton
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday November 21st
AFC Bridgnorth 1 Alvechurch 2
The 2nd round of the FA vase takes me to a ground I hadn’t visited for some time, Crown Meadow the home of AFC Bridgnorth. Not much had changed since I last saw Bridgnorth Town play there and the slope on the pitch seemed even more pronounced if anything. With Bridgnorth flying high in the West Midlands regional League, Premier Division high flyers Alvechurch were expecting a difficult afternoon. With the pitch very heavy after days of rain, a battle is exactly what we got. It was to be a day of strong tackles, weak refereeing (again), quality goals and good old fashioned cup football. Bridgnorth started the brighter and Matt Sergeant had to race off his line to thwart the impressive Anwar Olugbon. Sergeant was again to Church’s rescue with a fine save from a Jason Pike header. Alvechurch responded with a ball from Connor Deards which flew across the face of the goal. Olugbon continued to cause problems and he rattled the bar after finding himself free in the area. Alvechurch failed to heed the warning and Olugbon got his deserved goal in the 35th minute despatching his shot through Sergeant after freeing his marker. Chris Crook in the Bridgnorth goal made a fine save on the stroke of half-time from a Leigh Downing header. Bridgnorth should have doubled their lead in the 50th minute when Olugbon teed up Liam Armstrong but his shot was well saved by Sergeant. Alvechurch drew level in the 57th minute. A poor clearance from the Bridgnorth defence fell to Josh March whose first time volley flew into the net. I got better for Church within two minutes. A driving run from Dave Bellis was clipped home by Karl Edwards, a quality finish to a quality move. Would we now see the home side fade away. Not one bit. Pike went close in the 77th minute and Sergeant was again the hero pulling off a fine save from a Glynn Coney free-kick. 5 minutes into added on time, Bridgnorth had the ball in the net, but the linesman’s flag was raised and Alvechurch could celebrate being in the hat for the next round. A thoroughly enjoyable game of cup football on a horrible pitch. Just what non-league football is all about.
Some mixed results for MFL sides in the 2nd round of the FA Vase. Starting off with the disappointments, 2nd placed Heanor Town were knocked of the competition by a strong Leicester Nirvana side. Kieran Debrouwer brought the sides level after an early Nirvana goal but it was to no avail as the UCL leaders went through. Another of the leading Premier Division sides to go out were Long Eaton United who slipped up at home to lower division Pinxton. It looked like Long Eaton were going to take the game into extra-time but a late goal clinched the win for the visitors. Walsall Wood had the result of the round beating 2nd placed UCL side Holbeach United 4-1 at home, Corey Carruthers with a couple. Premier Division league leaders Hereford made progress beating Haughmond 4-1 in front of another bumper Edgar Street gate. Alvechurch were made to fight all the way by WMRL AFC Bridgnorth at Crown Meadow. Two pieces of quality finishing in three second half minutes saw the Church into Round 3. AFC Wulfrunians won 2-1 at Quorn in an all MFL tie, Jake Sedgemore with the winning goal from the penalty spot. Two sides struggling for league points met at Sphinx Drive and it was Brocton who eased past Coventry Sphinx by 3 goals to 2 with the returning Sam Bell getting a brace for the Badgers. Dunkirk took the lead at Coleshill Town but the home side eventually ran out 4-2 winners with Dean Rathbone scoring two in the last 6 minutes. First division Racing Club Warwick out up a decent performance at NCEL Cleethorpes Town but it was the home side that progressed 2-0. Nuneaton Griff and Highgate United fought out a tough 1-1 draw at The Pingles Stadium with Lei Brown’s penalty taking the game to a replay. On Sunday, Coventry United looked to be going through thanks to an early goal from Brian Ndlovu. Visitors Uttoxeter Town had other ideas, and two goals in the last 5 minutes sent the Staffordshire side through.
With most teams in FA Vase action, Sporting Khalsa took full advantage to close the gap on the leaders. They ran out 4-0 winners at home to Rocester with David Meese scoring twice. Shepshed Dynamo got back to winning way with a 2-1 win at Lye Town courtesy of a Matt Langham double. A big win at the bottom for Boldmere St Michaels who beat basement club Continental Star 5-1. Star took the lead early on but a matt Garner hat-trick sent the Mikes up the table. Only one game in midweek and Boldmere St Michaels moved further away from the bottom with a 2-1 win over Lye Town.
The big game in Division 1 saw the first Hinckley derby for 20 years. Leicester Road raced into a 2-0 lead but the sending off of keeper Will Highland changes things. Hinckley AFC came back and won it in stoppage time with a goal from Luke Richards in front of a healthy crowd of 290. Lichfield City closed the gap on the leaders winning a remarkable game at Littleton 4-3. City had raced into a 3-1 but the home side levelled before a last ditch goal from Michael Taylor gave the points to the visitors. Bromsgrove Sporting also closed the gap at the top with a 3-1 win over Atherstone Town, despite the Adders taking an early lead. A big win for Pershore Town near the bottom of the table
as Daniel Ludlow’s hat-trick helped them to a 4-1 victory over Bolehall Swifts. Pelsall Villa also picked up an important 3 points with a 4-2 win at home to Heather St Johns, Ahkeem Rose with a hat-trick. Stafford Town missed the chance to climb off the bottom as a Joe Pickering goal was enough for Heath Hayes to take all the points at Evans Park. A good win for Studley at The TSA ground as a 2-0 victory over Cadbury Athletic moves them into the top half of the table. A remarkable game in midweek with Heath Hayes winning 4-3 at Pelsall Villa. It looked comfortable for the visitors at 2-0 but Villa came back to draw level before Heath Hayes finally edged home.
Droitwich Spa are up to 2nd after a 2-0 home win over Knowle. A good home win for Fairfield Villa moves them up 3 places as they defeated Coton Green 4-1.
Leamington Hibernian are the new leaders following a 4-2 win over Burntwood Town. Smithswood Firs are down to second after they lost a pulsating game 3-2 at Shipston Excelsior, who are now up to 6th. A second win on the trot for Perrywood, 3-2 over Badsey Rangers, has seen them move up to 13th in the table.
Les James Challenge Cup
Inkberrow are through to the quarter finals after a 3-2 home win over Redditch Borough.
A big win for Chelmsley Town as they won 6-0 at Austrey Rangers as they progressed to the last 4.
Last Saturday saw another weekend of cup fixtures. In the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup, Earlswood Town put their league troubles behind them to win 3-1 at Lichfield City U21. In the Birmingham Saturday Vase, Alvis Sporting Club continued to bang in the goals in a 7-2 win at Athletic Sparkhill. Barton United beat cup holders Whitnash, Barnt Green Spartak won a penalty shoot out to get past Paget Rangers and FC Stratford went out, losing 2-1 at home to Old Wulfrunians. In the Birmingham Saturday Amateur Cup, Cadbury Athletic Reserves won at Coventrians while Gornal Athletic U21s lost at Peugeot Milpool. In the Staffordshire Challenge Cup, Brereton Social U21s beat their Walsall Wood compatriots 4 goals to one. In midweek, Loughborough University were knocked out of the Leicestershire Challenge Cup by St Andrews. There was also a cup exit for Stourport Swifts, knocked out of the Worcester Royal Infirmary Cup by Bewdley Town. In the Worcestershire Senior urn, a Simon Brain hat-trick helped Bromsgrove Sporting defeat Malvern Town 4-1.
A remarkable game in the reserves division as Coventry United and Evesham United shared 10 goals in a 5-5 draw. Solihull Moors are back on top following a 1-0 win over Continental Star. In the other league game an important victory for Sutton United, 2-1 over Brocton.
Under 21 Divisions
Plenty of goals in the 3 league games played this week. In the North, Anstey Nomads picked up their second league win of the season beating Tipton Town 3-2. Stourport Swifts are back on top of the South division after a 6-2 win over Leamington, Andrew Hudson with a hat-trick. Kings Heath Concorde were also big winners, 5-3 over Bromsgrove Sporting.
All but two sides are in Premier Division action this weekend. Leaders Hereford travel to Packmeadow to face a Coleshill Town side that won the earlier game between the two sides by 5 goals to 4. Hereford have put together a remarkable run of victories and clean sheets and will need to be on top of their game to keep these records going. Two sides who had contrasting results in the FA Vase last weekend meet at Silkmore Lane. Brocton progressed through to the 3rd round but are desperate for points at the bottom of the table. Visitors Heanor Town were disappointing in exiting the Vase but their league form has been superb. The two sides drew earlier in the season and this could be another tight affair. Alvechurch can do no wrong at the moment and welcome Rocester to Lye Meadow as they look to maintain the pressure on the leaders. The Romans have had mixed results this season and are uncomfortably near the bottom but they will do well to blunt Church’s attacking threat. Highgate United can move into 4th place if they can beat Loughborough University at The Coppice. The students have been conceding an awful lot of goals of late and are up against 22 goal striker Lei Brown. AFC Wulfrunians are on an excellent run of form and they welcome Stourport Swifts to Castlecroft. Swifts started the season brilliantly but have found it difficult of late to string s decent run of results together. Wulfs on the other hand come into the game in confidence following heir FA Vase victory last weekend. Shepshed Dynamo travel to Westfields with an eye firmly on the top 6. Recent results haven’t exactly gone their way but the same could be said of their hosts. Both sides need a win for very different reasons which could make for an exciting encounter. Bottom placed Continental Star are in real danger of being cut adrift. They travel to Quorn themselves only 4 points above the drop zone. Star must start picking up points if they are to move
away from the bottom of the table. Walsall Wood are another side who have picked up in recent weeks and they will feel the momentum is with them when they entertain a faltering Long Eaton United. Defeat in the FA Vase at the hands of Pinxton will have been a major disappointment for Long Eaton and they need to get back on the winning trail if their season is not to drift away. It has been a bad week for Coventry Sphinx being knocked out of the FA Vase and losing manager Luke Hopkins. They travel to a resurgent Boldmere St Michaels who have managed to claw themselves away from the bottom of the table. While Sphinx have games in hand on the sides around them, their league form points to another difficult afternoon. Bardon Hill welcome Lye Town to Leicestershire with both sides comfortably in the middle of the pack. Consistency is something both sides have lacked this season as good results have been interspersed with bad. Another one, impossible to second guess.
No question where the big game is in Division 1 this week as the top two meet at The Pingles Stadium. 2nd placed Nuneaton Griff were scoring goals for fun early in the season but the goals have not been as free flowing in recent weeks. Leaders Coventry United suffered a shock defeat in the FA Vase last weekend and a win will open up a 7 point gap at the top. While it’ not a season defining game, the result of this one will have a major impact on the league table. Behind the top two, there are 4 clubs sitting together on 32 points. Leicester Road were beaten by a very late goal last week and they will want to bounce back when they travel to Studley. Lichfield City continue to score goals and will be expecting to improve their goal difference when they host struggling Southam United. Bromsgrove Sporting face a tricky afternoon with a trip to Littleton who are just four points behind The Rouslers. Pilkington XXX are the form side in the division winning their last 7 games and not conceding in 5. They travel to Coventry Copsewood who are comfortable in the middle of the pack. At the bottom, a huge game at Rene Road as the bottom two lock horns. Bolehall Swifts have moved off the bottom courtesy of two wins in their last 4 which has left visitors Stafford Town rooted to the foot of the table. A win for either could change the complexion of their season. Hinckley AFC still have games in hand on the top two but will need to keep winning if they are to close the gap. They welcome 15th placed Racing Club Warwick to St Johns Park in a must win game. Cadbury Athletic welcome Heath Hayes to the TSA Sports Ground with the visitors on a run of 5 consecutive away wins. Pelsall Villa and Atherstone Town are locked together on 17 points and both will be wanting a win to move away from the lower reaches when they meet at The Bush Ground.
With none of the top three in league action, focus is on 4th placed Rostance Edwards as they welcome Barnt Green Spartak to The Red Lion Ground. A win for Eddies would close the gap to the leaders to just 5 points. At the bottom, Earlswood Town have just the one point and they travel to 5th placed Sutton United who won the reverse fixture 4-1. In the other league game, Austrey Rangers host Fairfield Villa in a mid table clash.
The leadership of Division 3 has been shared around somewhat this season and with 5 points separating the top 7 clubs, I am sure this will continue. Current leaders Leamington Hibernian travel to lowly Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons looking to cement their number 1 spot. To highlight how close the league is, 7th placed Northfield Town could go 3rd with a big win at Coventrians. 13th meet 15th as Perrywood entertain Alcester Town. A win for either would see them move well away from basement side AFC Solihull. Enville Athletic welcome Inkberrow to Hall Lane – a win for the home side seeing them leapfrog the visitors.
Les James Challenge Cup
Two of the top three in Division 3 meet with Barton United hosting Smithswood Firs. A chance for a giant killing at Ravenhill Park when Burntwood Town welcome higher division Knowle, with a quarter final place at stake.
Two quarter finals in the Presidents Cup this weekend. Second division front runners Alvis Sporting Club are red hot favourites at home to Feckenham while Hampton and Paget Rangers look well matched in the other tie.
Continental Star v Cadbury Athletic
Coventry United v Lichfield City
Evesham United v Gresley
Rocester v Brocton
Romulus v Coleshill Town (Trophy)
Under 21 Divisions
Leamington v West Midlands Football Academy (U21S)
Bromsgrove Sporting v Anstey Nomads (Bowl)
Gornal Athletic v Kings Heath Concorde (Bowl)
Heath Hayes v H.O.W. Academy (Bowl)
Bedworth United v Sutton Coldfield Town (Bowl)
Tamworth v Basford United (U21N)
Tipton Town v Walsall Wood (Bowl)
Midland Football League Newsletter
19th November 2015
Droitwich Spa Football Club is delighted to announce that Peter Lemon has been appointed as its new Chairman. Peter's appointment is part of the wider process of strengthening the leadership team which began last year with the appointment of joint managers Wayne Oliver and Mark Owen. Peter Lemon added: "I am honoured to take on the role of Chairman. During the past year the club has achieved a great deal and there is a real buzz surrounding the team. I truly believe that the club is in a very strong position to continue improving in all aspects both on and off the pitch." Departing club Chairman Ben Pheasant added: “I am sad to be stepping down but felt the time was right and I’m very proud of having helped move the club into a much stronger position. I met with Peter to discuss the future of the club, and I know he will do a fantastic job."
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday November 14th
Bardon Hill 0 Hereford 2
My first ever visit to Bardon Hill and I certainly chose the right day for it weather wise, NOT. The rain had started before I left the Black Country and the nearer I got to Bardon the worse it got. With visions of a late postponement, it was with a sense of trepidation that I entered the ground. Thankfully, the pitch seemed to be holding up but I also send that an awful lot of people would get a soaking today. Normally, on a match day, I partake of the hospitality offered by the host club and enjoy catching up with officials from both sides as we look forward to the game. On this occasion, and I apologise to my friends at both Bardon hill and Hereford, I decided to get myself a seat in the stand and to stay there. With the weather deteriorating and the fans streaming into the ground, I was rather glad I took that decision. The conditions with a gale force wind, driving rain and a heavy pitch looked as though this would be a real test of Hereford’s title credentials, and we weren’t to be disappointed. Following an impeccably observed one minute silence following the Paris terrorist attacks the game got under way. Hereford dominated the early stages with two inswinging corners causing panic in the Bardon Hill defence. Pablo Haysham had a decent chance for the Bulls but cleared the crossbar with his effort. Leading scorer John Mills was finding the underfoot conditions to be something of a challenge as he knocked the ball past Bardon Keeper Tom Gutteridge but the ball ran away from him. Mike Symons showed some nice control but the end shot was saved by the keeper. It was all Hereford, and Joel Edwards fired over the bar before Haysham saw another effort saved. Bardon Hill first real attempt came from Dean Withers whose shot was blocked and then Rich Hanslow forced a comfortable save from Harvey Rivers. Just before the break, Symons teed up Rob Purdie but he placed his shot wide and the sides went into the break level. With the wind now at
their backs, more was expected from Bardon Hill in the second half. In fact, it was Hereford who got the breakthrough in the 51st minute. Seconds after missing the target with another effort, Mills latched onto a long ball from Rob Green and slid it past Gutteridge to the delight of the large travelling support. Green almost undid the good work by missing the ball allowing Kyle Fowkes through on goal. Fowkes should have done better but blasted the chance over. A low cross from Rob Mulonga took a deflection and landed on top of the Hereford crossbar as Bardon strived for an equaliser. The decisive goal came 10 minutes from time when Max Kontic-Coveney’s cross was bundled in by Symons to double the Bulls lead. Hereford comfortably saw out the clock to record their 13th consecutive league win and their 9th consecutive clean sheet. In filthy conditions, both teams served up a full blooded game of football. Hereford will see this as a signal to the rest that they can mix it in the worsening winter conditions. Considering the weather, a great turn out of supporters from both sides and a good advert for the Midland Football League.
Tuesday November 17th
Walsall Wood 0 Sporting Khalsa 0 (Abandoned after 29 minutes)
Storm Barney hits the country and high winds are causing chaos everywhere. Walking into the ML Safety Stadium it is obvious that conditions will be difficult. Khalsa had the ‘advantage’ of the gale force wind behind their back as we kicked off and it was very clear that controlling passes was going to be nigh on impossible. Khalsa leading scorer Craig Bannister hit the post with a 25 yard effort and adopted a shoot on sight policy to take advantage of the conditions. In the 18th minute, Mike Nelson’s cross come shot hit deceived Lee Evans and bounced back off the bar. Carlo Franco’s follow up was well saved. Franco then saw another shot saved as The Wood were struggling to get the ball out of their half. When they did, excellent work from Joey Butlin saw Max Black’s effort blocked by the Khalsa defence. We then witnessed a clearance from The Wood defence bend like a boomerang and go careering towards their own goal. The referee had seen enough and called both managers over. Players from both sides had been complaining about the wind and he said the correct decision was to abandon the game. The managers shook hands and we departed the main stand for safety! The game promised a lot but the conditions gave the officials no choice.
League leaders Hereford were made to work all the way to earn their 13th successive league win at a wet and windy Bardon Hill. Two second half goals from John Mills and Mike Symons maintained Hereford’s lead at the top. 2nd placed Heanor Town hammered Boldmere St Michaels 7-2 at the Town Ground. Highlight for the Lions was a hat-trick inside 7 minutes in the second half for Alex Brown. 3rd placed Alvechurch kept up the pressure on the leaders with an impressive 4-1 win over Shepshed Dynamo, with 3 goals in 5 first half minutes turning the game their way. Highgate United stay 4th after a comfortable 4-0 win over Quorn, Ricardo Richards with a couple. Sporting Khalsa beat Lye Town 1-0 in the Black Country derby courtesy of Craig Bannister’s 25h of the season. AFC Wulfrunians are up to 6th after Kyle Brady scored all 4 in a 4-1 win over Long Eaton United at Castlecroft. The big game at the bottom went the way of Dunkirk as they won 4-1 at Continental Star who are now 6 points adrift at the bottom. Coventry Sphinx move up two places following a 2-1 win at Stourport Swifts. Brocton drop to 19th when a Dan Griffiths goal 4 minutes from time gave Walsall Wood all 3 points. Rocester are 17th following a 4-1 defeat at Coleshill Town, Reece Leek scoring the first two for the home side. It’s been a bad week for Loughborough University who suffered another heavy defeat, this time at the hands of Westfields. Westfields ran out 4-0 winners with Craig Jones bagging a double including a trademark free-kick. Alvechurch kept up the pressure on the top two with a 3-0win in midweek over Westfields. It was all square with 13 minutes left but goals from Connor Deards, Leigh Downing and Karl Edwards gave the points to the Church. Highgate United lost touch with the top 3 as a Luke Barlone double, the winner 4 minutes into stoppage time, gave all the points to Coleshill Town.
In the game of the day, leaders Coventry United came back from a goal down to beat Bromsgrove Sporting 3-2 and extend their lead to 4 points. Leicester Road where the day’s big winners, 7-3 at home to Racing Club Warwick, Jake Holt on the mark with a couple. Pilkington XXX are level on points with Leicester Road after a 1-0 win over Littleton, their 7th successive league victory. Bolehall Swifts are off the bottom after a remarkable game against Pelsall Villa. Villa had eased into a 2-0 lead before Swifts replied with 4 goals to move up to 19th place. Stafford Town replace them at the bottom after a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Studley, despite taking an early lead through Ryan Baxter. A good win near the bottom of the table for Heather St Johns with a single goal all that was required to beat Cadbury Athletic. Southam United’s slide down the table continued with a 5-1 home defeat at the hands of Coventry Copsewood. In the A5 derby, Hinckley AFC won 2-0 at Atherstone Town, Sean Williams and Nathan Walker with the goals. In midweek, 7th and 8th fought out a 1-1 draw at St Johns Park as Hinckley AFC hosted Littleton.
Only one game in Division 2 and for the second week running Droitwich Spa were amongst the goals. Bottom club Earlswood Town were their victims as Spa ran out 9-1 winners, James Lemon remarkably getting a double hat-trick.
The encounter between the bottom two went the way of visitors Perrywood with a 2-0 victory at AFC Solihull. Barton United missed the opportunity to go top as they were held 1-1 by FC Stratford. Badsey Rangers are up to 4th place after a 3-1 win over Shipston Excelsior. At Ravenhill Park, Burntwood Town and Inkberrow shared the points in a 6-goal thriller.
Les James Challenge Cup
Feckenham are through to the quart final after a 2-1 win over Coventrians at the Entaco.
Last Saturday saw plenty of fixtures in the Birmingham Saturday Vase. Northfield Town, Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons, Hampton, Smithswood Firs, Chelmsley Town, Coton Green and Knowle all made progress. Unfortunately, there will be no cup success for Redditch Borough, Enville Athletic, Leamington Hibernian, Alcester Town, Austrey Rangers and Sutton United who all bowed out of the competition. In the Staffordshire Vase, there was success for Rostance Edwards, Lichfield City and Heath Hayes with a 100% success for the MFL. Alvis Sporting Club continued their fine season with a 4-1 victory over Triumph Athletic in the Coventry Charity Cup. In the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup both Barnt Green Spartak (at Blackheath) and Paget Rangers (at home to Fairfield Villa) booked their place in the next round. Paget Rangers racked up 8 goals without conceding against Red Star Amla in the JW Hunt Cup. In the Leicestershire Challenge Cup, Shepshed Dynamo made progress with a 2-0 win at Kirby Muxloe but Bardon Hill are out, losing 2-0 at neighbours Coalville Town.
The top two both scored 5 goals away from home. Leaders Coleshill Town won 5-1 at Coventry United while second place Solihull Moors won 5-0 at Sutton United. There were also away wins for Lichfield City, at Cadbury Athletic, and for Romulus at Rocester. The only side to win at home were Brocton who beat Evesham United 3-2.
Under 21 Divisions
In the only league game played, Bromsgrove Sporting were beaten 2-1 at home by West Midlands Football Academy. In the Bowl, H.O.W. Academy won 3-0 at Kings Heath Concorde while Sutton Coldfield Town and Leamington drew 1-1.
This weekend sees the 2nd round of the FA Vase and 15 of our clubs remain in the competition. The Midland Football League is guaranteed 4 teams through to the next round but will expect a lot more. Of the four all Midland League ties, there is an intriguing game at the Pingles Stadium. Division 1 high flyers Nuneaton Griff welcome Premier Division promotion chasers Highgate United in what promises to be an entertaining clash. There are three all Premier Division ties and they are all difficult to call. Inconsistent Coleshill Town welcome Dunkirk to Pack Meadow. Both teams come into the game on the back of good away victories but the form book is definitely on the side of the home team. Coventry Sphinx and Brocton are both at the wrong end of the table and a good run in the Vase could be just the morale booster they need. They meet at Sphinx Drive and this is a game that could go either way. AFC Wulfrunians have hit a rich vein of form and they travel to Quorn with some confidence of progress. Quorn have struggled of late but home advantage could count. Another tight one. A big game with two sides in great form at the top of their respective divisions takes place at The Town Ground as Heanor Town welcome Leicester Nirvana. Nirvana have lost just the once in the league this season and they have a healthy lead at the top of the United Counties League. Heanor have been in tremendous goalscoring form of late and I expect their support to be the twelfth man to get through to the 3rd round. Premier Division league leaders Hereford welcome West Midlands League 2nd placed Haughmond to Edgar Street in what could be a tricky tie. Hereford are on such a fantastic run of form that it is hard to see anything other than a home win. Alvechurch are another premier Division side in great form and they have a winnable tie at WMRL 4th placed AFC Bridgnorth. Crown Meadow is a difficult pace to visit and Bridgnorth are in decent form themselves but I expect Alvechurch to have too much firepower. There could be another tight game at the ML Safety Stadium when renowned FA Vase competitors Walsall Wood welcome UCL side Holbeach United. Holbeach have already beaten MFL opposition this season knocking Stourport Swifts out of the FA Cup and cannot be taken lightly. This is a game that has extra time written all over it. Long Eaton United have a home tie against Pinxton and the difference in league status points to a home win. Division 1 Racing Club Warwick face the long trip to Cleethorpes Town and the draw couldn’t have been much more difficult. With Cleethorpes flying high in the NECL, a Racing Club win would be a major giantkilling. One FA Vase game on Sunday sees Division 1 leaders Coventry United welcome Uttoxeter Town to Sphinx Drive. Both clubs were giantkillers in the previous round but United hold all the aces and should progress.
With so many sides in FA Vase action, Sporting Khalsa have the opportunity to close the gap on the leaders when they welcome Rocester to Aspray Arena. At the bottom, basement side Continental Star entertain 20th placed Boldmere St Michaels in a huge game for both sides. A win for Star closes the gap on Dunkirk while a win for the Mikes could see them jump three places. Shepshed Dynamo have had a poor run of results and they will want to arrest the slide when they travel to Lye Town, themselves in a decent run of form. Bardon Hill and Westfields are both too close to the drop zone for comfort so there is a lot at stake when the two meet in Leicestershire.
With the top two on FA Vase duty. 3rd placed Leicester Road can close the gap but what a game to choose to do it, away to Hinckley AFC. This is a really tasty local derby and there will be no ground given in the battle for supremacy. 5th placed Lichfield City can go 4th with a win at 7th placed Littleton. A home win sees the places reversed. Bromsgrove Sporting are looking for a higher place and will expect to beat Atherstone Town at The Victoria Ground. At the bottom, changes on and off the pitch has seen Bolehall Swifts climb off the bottom of the table. They can move further away from bottom spot with a win at fellow strugglers Pershore Town. Bolehall’s rise has seen Stafford Town take over last place and they have a tough local derby with Heath Hayes at Evans Park this week. Heather St Johns have been in the bottom three for some time but recent form gives them some encouragement as they travel to another struggling side, Pelsall Villa. The other games sees two mid table sides lock horns as Cadbury Athletic entertain Studley.
The endless round of cup ties continue with just three games in Division 2. In the last two weeks, Droitwich Spa have scored 15 goals at home without reply so it may not be the best time for Knowle to be visiting. 2nd bottom Feckenham host Hampton knowing a win would take them 9 points clear of basement side Earlswood Town. Fairfield Villa are one place ahead of Feckenham and a win at home to Coton Green could take them 3 places higher.
Leaders Smithswood Firs are back in league action and they travel to mid table Shipston Excelsior. Depending on results elsewhere, Leamington Hibernian could go top if they beat Burntwood Town at home. Badsey Rangers can keep the heat on the top three with a win at lowly Perrywood while Enville Athletic welcome Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons, a win for either side moving them away from the bottom
Les James Challenge Cup
Inkberrow host Redditch Borough with a place in the quarter finals at stake,
Quarter final of the Presidents Cup as Austrey Rangers host Division 2 leaders Chelmsley Town, in what could be a very close encounter.
Coventry United v Evesham United
Sutton United v Brocton
Gresley v Lichfield City
Solihull Moors v Continental Star
Romulus v Coleshill Town (Trophy)
Under 21 Divisions
Kings Heath Concorde v Bromsgrove Sporting (U21S)
Stourport Swifts v Leamington (U21S)
Anstey Nomads v Tipton Town (U21N)
Heath Hayes v Tamworth (Bowl)
Basford united v Sutton Coldfield Town (Bowl)
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