Castle Vale Town were looking to get a result yesterday afternoon at CV Stadium to continue their excellent form in the league. The Spitfires had picked up 12 points from their last five matches and were coming off the back of four consecutive away wins in the league. They have been one of the standout teams in the division this season and were 4th going into this match.
Meadow Park have gone a bit under the radar in division three but were comfortably in mid table in 10th. The visitors have been good since joining the MFL in the summer and have a lot of quality throughout the team. The Worcester club had picked up 9 points from their last five matches which included a league double over Birmingham Tigers.
The atmosphere prior to kick off was friendly and relaxed with both supporters and club officials looking forward to the match. The weather was mainly overcast throughout the afternoon with the match being one of the few not to be postponed due to the challenging conditions caused by storm Ciaran over the weekend.
Starting line ups
The starting line-up for Castle Vale Town featured Alex Bowen starting in goal and Jordan McKenzie captaining the team up front. The formation looked like a 3-5-2 with Jordan McKenzie and Alex Henry playing as a front two and being supported by Joshua Pitters and Idris Oyeniyi on the wings.
There were no changes from the team that started against Solihull Sporting last weekend. New signing Andy Matthews was named on the bench.
Meadow Park’s starting line up included Eden Haining starting in goal and Mason Taylor captaining the team from midfield. The formation appeared to be a 4-3-3 with Connor Powell playing up front as the number nine and being supported by Ellis Blakemore and Harvey Neath on the wings.
There were three changes from the team that started against Gornal last weekend with Bailey Eades coming into the team and starting at centre back alongside Jake Eversham.
Castle Vale Town started the match the stronger of the two teams and had a few good half chances to open the scoring in the first fifteen minutes. Callum Storer had a shot at goal that went wide in the 2nd minute with Jordan McKenzie also having a shot go wide from a good position in the 11th minute.
As the first half progressed Meadow Park were gradually growing into the match and had some decent chances to take the lead.
Harvey Neath looked dangerous on the left and was causing the Castle Vale defence a number of problems. He cut inside and shot narrowly wide of goal in the 17th minute. Mason Taylor also took a brilliant free kick that was well saved by Alex Bowen in the 22nd minute.
The match looked like it was going into half time 0-0 before an unbelievable passage of play that involved four goals in four minutes. Castle Vale Town took the lead in the 39th minute through a well worked corner which was played into Alex Henry who managed to score at the near post to make it 1-0.
The second goal was a moment of genuine quality and arguably the goal of the match. Idris Oyeniyi accelerated with the ball from midfield and unleashed an excellent shot into the top right corner to make it 2-0 to Castle Vale Town in the 40th minute.
Meadow Park managed to find a response a few minutes later by capitalising on a mistake to get back into the match. Luke Smith had a header picked up by Jacob Waterfield on the edge of the box who finished well into the bottom left corner in the 41st minute to make it 2-1. This gave the visitors a foothold in the match which would prove key in the second half.
Castle Vale Town managed to restore the two-goal lead immediately to make it 3-1 and this involved a moment of quality from the hosts. An excellent ball was played to Idris Oyeniyi on the right who accelerated down the flank and slotted past the goalkeeper one on one into the bottom left corner to give Castle Vale Town a two-goal lead. He was brilliant out on the right and was constantly making things happen for the hosts.
The first half concluded a few minutes later with the Spitfires taking a 3-1 lead going into the break.
The second half was a little less open than the first and a bit more tense with Castle Vale Town looking to preserve their lead. The weather throughout the second half was freezing and it was raining heavily throughout large portions of the 45 minutes.
The best chance of the opening 15 minutes of the second half fell to Joshua Pitters on the left who got into a good position before having a header go wide in the 53rd minute.
Meadow Park were starting to build a bit of momentum in the second half and showed a lot of character to get back into the match. The visitors were linking up well going forward and probably shaded the second half on the balance of play.
Alex Bowen had an excellent game in the Castle Vale goal and made a string of good saves to keep the lead intact going into the latter stages of the match. The best one was an instinctive save from a shot by Ellis Blakemore which was palmed away for a corner in the 65th minute.
Meadow Park managed to score from the resulting corner with Jack Sutcliffe heading the ball into the far post to make it 3-2 and set up an interesting finish to the match. Substitute Tarus Zaman had a good chance to score for Castle Vale Town but shot over the bar near the 70th minute mark.
The visitors were starting to put a wave of pressure on the Castle Vale goal and Ellis Blakemore was fouled for a penalty in the 76th minute. Mason Taylor stepped up and converted the penalty well into the bottom left corner to make it 3-3.
Harvey Neath had a late chance to win it for Meadow Park but had a shot go wide in the 84th minute. Both teams worked hard off the ball to limit the chances in the last ten minutes, and it finished with a final score of Castle Vale Town 3-3 Meadow Park.
Castle Vale Town played well in this match and will be slightly disappointed not to get the win. Idris Oyeniyi was excellent in this match and looked dangerous out on the right. He was positive on the ball and was trying to make things happen for the Spitfires. He’s got that bit of quality on the ball to open defences and constantly got Castle Vale up the pitch.
Luke Smith was brilliant at the back and was reading situations well to clear the ball away from danger and break up promising attacks. Oliver Priestley had an underrated game at the back and was making some good tackles and interceptions for the hosts.
Meadow Park were good in this match and showed a lot of resilience to come back from 3-1 down to get something out of it. Bailey Eades was good at the back and headed dangerous ball out of the box. He also made a brilliant block to prevent a goal in the first half and was reading the game well throughout.
Jacob Waterfield looked good from midfield and was linking up the play well. Harvey Neath looked excellent out on the left wing and was a real attacking outlet for the visitors throughout the match.
Overall, this was a good match to watch despite the challenging weather conditions. It was a brilliant advert for division three and featured a lot of brilliant play from both teams. Both Castle Vale Town and Meadow Park showed a lot of quality on and off the ball and showed why they are having good seasons in division three.
FT score: Castle Vale Town 3-3 Meadow Park
Man of the Match: Idris Oyeniyi (Castle Vale Town)
Match report written by Rhys Beardmore for the Midland Football League
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