Boldmere went into last evening’s match with a bit of momentum having beaten Birmingham Tigers 5-0 on Saturday. The Falcons were looking to build on that result in their match against Balsall and Berkswell and get a run of form going at home.
The visitors were playing their opening match of the season with the hope of building on last season’s fourth place finish. Similar to Boldmere, the Hornets will be looking at challenging near the top of the table come the end of the season.
The atmosphere at the club was welcoming and friendly prior to kick-off, with the clubhouse a brilliant place to have a casual chat with fellow supporters in a relaxed environment. The commitment shown by the referees, managers, players and people at the club was brilliant for a mid-week fixture at MFL Division three level. The programme offered by the club was helpful for getting a bit of insight for supporters who were new to the club.
James Wilson started in goal for Boldmere and defender Dean Reilly was the skipper for the Falcons. There were four changes from the starting line-up that played against Birmingham Tigers with a notable change being Jake Coleman coming into central defence. The formation looked like a 4-2-3-1 with Mark Roe leading the line as the number nine and being supported by Adriano Robinson and Aaron Evans on the wings and Connor Duke in the number 10 role.
The opening game line-up for the visitors involved George Gane starting as the goalkeeper and defender Lewis Proctor being the skipper for the Hornets. The formation appeared to be a 4-2-3-1 with Pete Bailey leading the line as the number nine and being supported by Leon Edmond on the left wing. Overall, the visitor’s line-up featured eight players that played for the club last season and contributed to the Hornet’s successful 4th place finish in MFL Division three.
The first 25 minutes of the match were mostly cagey with both teams working each other out. It took a while for any goalmouth action with the game gradually getting more stretched as it went on.
Balsall had a chance at goal that was well saved by James Wilson in the Boldmere goal before a moment of quality gave the hosts the lead. A quality long ball was played to Adriano Robinson on the right-hand side who lobbed the ball into the net mid-way through the first half to open the scoring for Boldmere in the 28th minute. Balsall had the chance to respond with Pete Bailey having a shot that narrowly went wide from a good position.
There was a decent turnout of Balsall supporters for a mid-week game which was commendable and they made a fair bit of noise throughout the match. Just as Balsall were starting to build a bit of momentum in the first half, Boldmere managed to score again in the 35th minute. The goal came from a brilliant free kick taken by Aaron Evans that went to the left-hand side of the box where Adriano Robinson was on hand to bundle the ball home.
Throughout the first half Boldmere looked good going forwards and linked up well when building attacks. Balsall also had moments where they looked threatening with Pete Bailey holding up the play well for the visitors and getting shots away. Connor Duke had a great chance to give Boldmere a 3-0 lead in the 39th minute which went narrowly wide and would have made the second half more comfortable for the Falcons.
Defender Tommy Black had numerous chances for Balsall on set pieces throughout the second half and stood out for the visitors. He had a chance early in the half which came from a free kick into the box that went narrowly wide. Balsall were much better going forwards in the second half and started to build some momentum to test the Boldmere defence.
Leon Edmonds had a good chance in the 61st minute when he cut inside before firing wide of the post.
Balsall managed to make a breakthrough in the 67th minute with Tommy Black finishing brilliantly from a set piece to reduce the lead for Boldmere. This set up a nervy 15 minutes for the hosts with Balsall in the ascendancy and looking to equalise and get something out of the match. The best chance fell to Tommy Black who had an excellent header to the top left corner saved brilliantly by James Wilson in the Boldmere goal in the 70th minute. This proved to be a key moment in the match.
Just as Balsall were looking like getting something, Boldmere showed a moment of quality when it mattered. Adriano Robinson made a clever run and George Gane took him out to concede a penalty. Adriano Robinson took it and finished into the middle of the net to make it 3-1 and effectively seal the match for the Falcons in the 83rd minute. The Falcons scored again in the 87th minute with Aaron Evans capping off a great move by finishing into the bottom right corner following an excellent through ball that underlined Boldmere’s quality.
Balsall had a late chance to reduce the lead with Lewis Proctor heading over the bar from a corner. Not long after that the referee blew for full time, and it finished Boldmere Falcons 4-1 Balsall and Berkswell.
Boldmere were excellent in this match and showed that they have the quality to be in and around the top end of the table come the end of the season. It’s going to be a long season in a newly expanded 17 team division, but the signs are looking good for the Falcons both on and off the pitch. The club feels united with the shared goal of getting Boldmere promoted come April.
Jake Cameron was brilliant at the back and read situations well to break up promising Balsall attacks. Adriano Robinson had a great game and scored a hat-trick. He has a lot of ability on the ball and made things happen. Aaron Evans on the wing also played well and was making clever runs off the shoulder to stretch the play and find open spaces.
Balsall showed a lot of promise despite the defeat. The standout player for the visitors was Tommy Black who was brilliant in the air and constantly headed balls away from danger. He’s also a noticeable threat from set pieces which should serve the visitors in good stead throughout the season in tight matches. Leon Edmonds impressed on the wing and carried the ball up the pitch well to start attacks. Kyle Smith also had an underrated game at left-back and looked good going forward as well as blocking balls into the box.
Away supporters should not feel too disheartened by the result with Boldmere looking like a tough place to go for away teams this season. The Falcons haved scored a total of nine goals in two matches and have conceded just one goal at home so far. The Falcons will look to make it a fortress throughout the season and have three home matches coming up in the league and the Les James Challenge Cup.
Both teams look set for interesting seasons competing in MFL Division three and both are worth following throughout the season.
FT score: Boldmere Sports and Social Falcons 4-1 Balsall and Berkswell
Man of the match: Adriano Robinson
The official news channel of the Midland Football League (founded 2014)