Midland Football League Newsletter
2nd December 2015
Westfields FC are sad to announce that one of their original founder members from 1966, Roy Chandler, has sadly passed away at the weekend. Roy was an inspirational inside forward and a quality player who after leaving school went to Cardiff City.
Roy came back in the mid ’60s and helped to form Westfields Football Club and was a founder member and also played for Lads Club and Credenhill in addition to Westfields. Roy was a talented inside forward and a real quality player who would score goals as well as make them for other players. He was an unselfish player with a lovely attitude towards the game. He was a big Hereford United fan as well as keeping in touch with Westfields Football Club over the past 49 years. He would watch Westfields, attend reunions and was to this day a member of the Executive/Supporters’ Club at Westfields Football Club. Roy will be sadly missed, not only by his family and friends but also by the football community in Hereford.
Coventry Sphinx Football Club are delighted to announce that Robbie Banks has been appointed as their 1st Team Manager. Banks replaces Luke Hopkins who stepped down last week. Club Chairman, Dannie Cahill commented, “since the departure of Luke we have received a lot of interest from well experienced managers from around the Midlands which clearly demonstrates just how far this club has gone in recent years and is a testament to everybody involved in the football club”
“Robbie is currently our Club Captain and since his arrival in the summer he has shown great maturity together with strong leadership qualities. He is also well respected by all the players which is a vital attribute to have. Although he falls short in managerial experience his attitude and professionalism since his arrival well makes up for it. With this in mind he has brought in well experienced back room staff to assist him. Managers’ careers have to start somewhere and we as a club have the confidence to help devoted players such as Robbie to get onto the managerial ladder. At this level Robbie’s appointment could be seen as a risk but the support he will get from everybody involved will help him grow into his new post. We all wish him well”
Upon his appointment a delighted Banks commented, “It’s a great opportunity for myself and I'm looking forward to getting started. I love the club and the people involved, it has an amazing set up from the bottom to the top and has a lot of ambition which I share” “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Luke and Chris who did a great job, for different reasons results didn't quite go our way but things don't always work out in football. Luke set the standards high in terms of application, good habits and professionalism which I have now inherited” “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Martin Ascroft, Lynton Wilkinson, Craig Reid and Tom Cudworth for stepping in at short notice to steady the ship during the transition period” “I'm very positive about our team and the players within it, I think we are currently under achieving and it's now my responsibility to ensure the team changes that which I'm more than confident we will”
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday, November 28th
Brocton 5 Heanor Town 5
Just when you think you’ve seen it all in this wonderful league of ours, you stumble across a game which has everything. That was the case at Silkmore Lane last Saturday. The weather was atrocious with torrential rain, gusty winds and a very wet surface to contend with. Before I discuss the game, I must doff my virtual hat to Terry Homer, the groundsman of Brocton, without whose expertise and care, we would not have seen such a spectacular game. Heanor arrived in Staffordshire in second place and hot on the heels of league leaders Hereford. When the two sides met earlier in the season, Heanor grabbed a point with a last-minute equaliser – we couldn’t see anything as dramatic could we? It was the visitors who started on the front foot and they took the lead in the 17th minute when a free-kick fell to Kieran Debrouwer whose finish was clinical. Jay Copper saw a shot well saved by Callum Barrett before Dave Berks forced a fine save from Ben Townsend at the other end. With 25 minutes gone, Berks hit a shot from 25 yards which beat Townsend but cannoned off the post. Berks and Sam Bell then combined but Bell ballooned his shot over the bar when an equaliser looked likely. Heanor’s response was immediate and a long ball found Cooper whose control and finish was of the highest quality. Back came Brocton and the woodwork again came to Heanor’s rescue. A shot by skipper Sean Kinsella was touched on the post by Townsend and then Gary Fife’s curling effort beat the keeper but hit the crossbar. Heanor certainly know how to counter attack and while Brocton were bemoaning their luck the ball was played through to Debrouwer who made no mistake. The half-time whistle came with everyone drawing breath but the second half was to surpass this 10 times over. Immediately after the resumption Brocton pulled a goal back when Fife slotted into the corner. It didn’t take Heanor long to re-establish the 3 goal cushion, 30 seconds in fact when Debrouwer turned provider for Nathan Kelly, another superb goal. Within four minutes, Brocton got their second. A quick break from berks sending Bell clear, and he beat Townsend and slotted home. We had to wait 6 minutes for another goal and again, Heanor restored their lead with Joe Naylor heading home a corner. Barrett made another fine save from Kelly as Heanor looked for more goals but back came the home side. Bell reached the by-line, his cross was nodded down by Paul McMahon and Dave Ablewhite squeezed the ball home at the near post. Barrett again thwarted Kelly before Brocton dreamed of the comeback with a fourth goal courtesy of a header from Bell. Bell went close again forcing a save from Townsend before the Badgers drew level, Veteran striker Paul McMahon heading home. Both sides went for the winner but the nearest we came was in stoppage time when Craig Holland headed over the Heanor cross bar. A remarkable game in diabolical conditions. Both sides played fantastic attacking football and credit to the referee who let the game flow. This was non-league football at its very best and a huge credit to everyone involved.
Nuneaton Griff have reached the 3rd round of the FA Vase for the first time in their history after a 4-2 replay win over Highgate United. With the game switched to Coleshill Town’s new 3G pitch, doubles from leading scorer Luke Shorthouse and from Aden Moore saw Griff through to an away tie at Pinxton.
With the weather taking its toll on 4 fixtures, leaders Hereford took the opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the table. With the new 3G pitch at Pack Meadow guaranteeing a game, Coleshill Town became the latest side to feel the full force of the Bulls as the visitors ran out 4-1 winners. Coleshill at least had the consolation of being the first side to score against Hereford in the league for 10 games when Luke Barlone netted in the 80th minute. 2nd placed Heanor Town were involved in a remarkable game at Brocton. The Lions three times led by 3 clear goals, 3-0, 4-1 and 5-2 before the Badgers staged a stunning fightback to drew the game 5-5. Shepshed Dynamo were the other big winners on the day, moving up to 4th place following a 4-0 win at Westfields. Matt Langham bagged another brace to take his season tally to 14. AFC Wulfrunians missed out on the chance of closing the gap on the leaders after they went down 2-1 at home to Stourport Swifts. Walsall Wood also missed their chance of closing the gap when they were beaten at the ML Safety Stadium by Long Eaton United by the odd goal in 5. Bottom club Continental Star picked up their 5th point of the season with a 2-2 draw at Quorn. It could have been even better for Star who led 2-0 but an equaliser 5 minutes from time earned Quorn a point. In midweek, Heanor Town travelled to Loughborough University and for the second time in 4 days had to settle for a point. They were grateful to substitute Alessandro del Genio who equalised in stoppage time. Long Eaton United are up to 7th after an emphatic 5-1 win over AFC Wulfrunians at Grange Park.
The big match between the top two went the way of leaders Coventry United thanks to a Ross Briscoe goal late in the second half. The score doesn’t tell the whole tale as Nuneaton Griff were down to nine men inside the first half. The win leaves United 7 points clear at the top with a game in hand. Lichfield City are up to 3rd after a 3-1 win over Southam United with Dave Yonwin scoring twice. Level on points with Lichfield are Bromsgrove Sporting who came away from Littleton with 3 points after a 3-0 win with Sam Wills getting a brace. Pelsall Villa are in the top half of the table after they came from behind to beat Atherstone Town 2-1. Racing Club Warwick eased themselves away from the bottom of the table and are up to 14th after a Chris Dusabe goal helped them beat Hinckley AFC. In the game between the bottom two, a solitary goal from Troy Wellan gave Bolehall Swifts all 3 points and left Stafford Town five points adrift.
4th placed Rostance Edwards were the highest side in league action this weekend and they maintained their position with a 1-0 win over Barnt Green Spartak. There were goals aplenty as Austrey Rangers and Fairfield Villa shared 8 between them. Sutton United were also in goalscoring form with a 4-1 win over bottom club Earlswood Town, Chad Duggan with a couple.
The undoubted result of the day came at Perrywood as second bottom Alcester Town ran rampant with a stunning 8-0 victory. There were hat-tricks for Matt Trinder and Matt Layton as Alcester jump three places in the table. Enville Athletic drop down to 13th after a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Inkberrow. Northfield Town had an opportunity to move into the top 4 but they had to settle for a point after a 2-2 draw at Coventrians.
Les James Challenge Cup
Smithswood Firs and Knowle progressed to the quarter-finals of the competition after good away wins. Knowle needed extra time to get past Burntwood Town while Smithswood scored 5 as they beat Barton United 5-2.
Hampton moved into the semi-finals after a 5-3 win over Paget Rangers with Gareth Evans scoring twice.
In the Worcestershire Junior Cup, Droitwich Spa went through after a 2-0 win over Welland but Badsey Rangers are out following a 7-3 home defeat at the hands of Worcester Raiders. FC Stratford had a comfortable passage in the Coventry Evening Telegraph Cup with a 5-1 win at FC Dunlop. Coton Green also scored 5, in a 5-2 win over BT in the Fazeley Charity Cup. One game in the Birmingham Saturday Amateur Cup, with AFC Solihull being knocked out, losing 3-2 at home to Triumph Athletic. Sporting Khalsa made progress in the JW Hunt Cup following a 2-0 win over Walsall Wood at the Aspray Arena. And now face Stafford Town in Round 2. Racing Club Warwick bowed out of the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup losing 4-2 at Gornal Athletic.
Bottom club Gresley have now closed the gap on the sides above them following an excellent 4-1 win at Evesham United. In the only other game to survive the weather, Cadbury Athletic won 3-2 at Continental Star.
Under 21 Divisions
The weather was the big winner with four games being postponed. In the North Division Tamworth are back on top after a 2-0 win at Basford United. In the Bowl, South beat North with Bedworth United 4-0 winners over Sutton Coldfield Town. Tipton Town had a morale boosting 3-2 victory in the Bowl over Walsall Wood
With leaders Hereford in County Cup action, attention turns to the chasing pack who will be striving to close the gap opened up by the Bulls. 2nd placed Heanor Town have dropped four points with two away draws this week and it doesn’t get any easier for the Lions with a tough looking fixture away to 6th placed Highgate United. 3rd placed Alvechurch have been devoid if action and will be hoping to get close the gap between themselves and the Bulls to 6 points when they travel to Stourport Swifts. Sporting Khalsa have 6 games in hand on the leaders and the first of those is a local derby at home to Walsall Wood on Saturday. The sides met in the JW Hunt Cup in midweek but with league points at stake, this could be a very close encounter. Bottom club Continental Star picked up a much needed point last week and they welcome Brocton to Dales Lane. The Badgers featured in that remarkable 5-5 draw with Heanor Town last week and a win for them could see them jump 4 places. There is another big game at the bottom of the table at Hillsfield as Rocester entertain Dunkirk. The Romans’ position may well be false as they have only played 14 games but a win will help them move away from the drop zone. Coventry Sphinx slide into the bottom four has been one of the surprises of the season and, under new management, they travel to Loughborough University hoping to restart their season. The students were unlucky in midweek against Heanor Town and will be favourites on their own patch. Boldmere St Michaels have turned the corner of late and they can continue their rise up the table when they welcome Long Eaton United to Church Road. Another side looking over their shoulder near the foot of the table are Quorn and they travel to inconsistent Lye Town who are tough to beat at home. Westfields are only 5 points above the drop zone and they will be looking for all three points when Coleshill Town visit Allpay Park. AFC Wulfrunians are having a good season, and they can cement their place in the top ten with a home win over Bardon Hill, themselves having a solid start to life in the Midland Football League.
Weather permitting, there is a full programme of fixtures in Division 1. Two games stand out for me. It’s 5th against 2nd as Leicester Road entertain FA Vase heroes Nuneaton Griff. Last time out in the league both sides suffered disappointment and both need a win to keep in touch with Coventry United. At the City Ground, 3rd placed Lichfield City welcome 6th placed Pilkington XXX. The Pilks are on a run of 7 straight wins but Lichfield have been winning and scoring heavily in recent weeks – this one could be a cracker. Leaders Coventry United have opened up a seven point gap and they will expect to maintain that when they welcome lowly Heather St Johns to Sphinx Drive. There should be a decent crowd at The Victoria Ground when the two best supported sides lock horns. Bromsgrove Sporting have a game in hand on the leaders and will expect home advantage to count against Hinckley AFC who were surprised at home by Racing Club Warwick last week. Stafford Town are 5 points adrift at the bottom of the table and they will have realistic hopes when they travel to Atherstone Town who are not in the best of form. Bolehall Swifts have clawed themselves off the bottom and they will expect to continue their improved form at fellow strugglers Southam United. Pershore Town are only 3 points above the drop zone and they travel to mid-table Heath Hayes. Three other games affect the middle of the table, Cadbury Athletic at home to Littleton, Racing Club Warwick at home to Pelsall Villa and Studley at home to Coventry Copsewood.
Only one place to be in Division 2 and that is at the Alvis Sports Club as 3rd placed Alvis Sporting Club welcome leaders Chelmsley Town. Alvis haven’t played a league game since October so Chelmsley have taken the opportunity to take over at the top. With only 1 defeat between them this season and both average more than 3 goals per game, this should be a great advert for Division 2. Rostance Edwards have maintained good form over the season and the 4th placed side welcome Austrey Rangers to The Old Red Lion. At the bottom, Earslwood Town have a solitary point to their name and they welcome Fairfield Villa to the Pavilions. The two teams above Earlswood meet at The Entaco as Feckenham host Barnt Green Spartak. Paget Rangers have games in hand of every side in the league and they travel to Coton Green looking to get some momentum. Elsewhere Hampton host Knowle with both sides separated by just a point.
Leaders Leamington Hibernian travel to a Perrywood side hammered 8-0 at home by Alcester Town last week. Alcester Town host Enville Athletic looking to build on last week’s win. Bottom of the table AFC Solihull are at home to Badsey Rangers, who themselves were beaten 7-3 in the County Cup last week. FC Stratford have slipped to 8th through lack of league games and they will want to put pressure on the leaders when they travel to Coventrians. Shipston Excelsior have had some good results of late and they entertain Redditch Borough with both sides on 10 points. Inkberrow entertain 2nd bottom Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons with a chance to move into the top half of the table.
Les James Challenge Cup
Division 3 Northfield own entertain 2nd Division Sutton United with a chance for a giant killing to gain a place in the quarter-finals.
Smithswood Firs and Barton United meet for the second week running in a cup competition. Smithswood were victors last week at Barton winning 5-2 and will be favourites to win at home.
Coventry United vs Rocester
Romulus vs Evesham United
Sutton United vs Continental Star
Brocton vs Gresley
Coleshill Town vs Lichfield City
Under 21 Divisions
H.O.W. Academy vs Bedworth United (U21S)
Kings Heath Concorde vs Stourport Swifts (U21S)
Tipton Town vs West Midlands Football Academy (BOWL)
Sutton Coldfield Town vs Heath Hayes (U21N)
Tamworth vs Anstey Nomads (U21N)
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