Midland Football League Newsletter
8th October 2015
Long Eaton United manager Charlie Palmer has left the club to take over the reins at Evostik South Belper Town. Shaun Rickford has been put in temporary charge while the club plan for the long term future. Following on from Saturday's 4 - 2 victory, Alcester Town announced that James Robbins' assistant, Dave Poulson, has decided to leave the club. Poulson, who has previously managed Alcester Town for many years before stepping down following last season's disappointing finish, has decided that his time at Stratford Road should come to an end. Dave had guided the club through the Stratford Alliance and then into the Midland League. Alcester have reacted quickly and Tom Millward has been appointed assistant manager. On Non League Day, Paget Rangers are hoping to
break their attendance record when they host Knowle at The Trevor Brown Memorial Ground. To celebrate Non League Day, Sporting Khalsa have reduced admission prices for their big FA Cup tie against Spalding United hoping for a big following.
The draw has been made for the 1st round proper of the FA Vase. Ties are due to be played on Saturday 31st October
Highgate United vs Radcliffe Olympic (EMCL)
Loughborough University vs Uttoxeter Town (SCL)
Dunkirk vs Bromsgrove Sporting
Rocester vs Hereford
Coventry Sphinx vs Black Country Rangers (WMRL)
Wisbech Town (UCL) vs Alvechurch
Cleethorpes Town (NCEL) vs Westfields
Shirebrook Town (NCEL1) vs Sporting Khalsa
Coleshill Town vs Hucknall Town AFC (CML)
AFC Wulfrunians vs Harrowby United (UCL)
Racing Club Warwick vs Ellesmere Rangers (WMRL)
Nuneaton Griff vs Anstey Nomads (EMCL)
Quorn vs Clipstone Welfare (NCEL)
Boldmere St Michaels vs Coventry United
Long Eaton United vs Hinckley AFC
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday October 3rd
Bilston Town Community 1 AFC Wulfrunians 3
It’s the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Vase and there are a host of matches to choose from. One that stands out for me is the chance to visit Queen Street for the visit of AFC Wulfrunians. I was born and bred in Bilston and my first foray into non-league football was to watch the Steelmen. Since moving away, I had not visited Queen Street for some years, the last time in Stafford Rangers promotion winning season in 1999 – Rangers won the Boxing Day fixture 5-1 in front of a crowd of 675. Much has happened to Bilston in recent years since the club reformed in 2007. Originally playing at Bantock Park in Wolverhampton, they have now returned to their spiritual home which has been transformed thanks to the hard core of volunteers who are Bilston through and through. On entering the ground, you are immediately hit by one colour – Orange, wall to wall orange. Many groundhoppers love the appearance and the feel of Queen Street and it was clear to understand why. I took my position in the old main stand and was treated to an excellent game of football. Wulfs, being the higher ranked side, were firm favourites and could have taken the lead in the 2nd minute when a Ben Jevons effort rattled the crossbar. Wulfs dominated the early exchanges and took the lead in the 10th minute when Ricky Anslow headed home a Jake Sedgemore cross. Very little had been seen of the Steelmen as an attacking force but they grabbed an equaliser in the 33rd minute. Lewis Archer raced clear of the Wulfs defence and slotted home pas the onrushing Danny Tipton. Wulfs were back in front 5 minutes before the break when Sedgemore planted a free-kick into the net. Anslow had the time for three further chances before the break without adding to his tally. Archer forced a save from Tipton but Ricky Nicholls blazed the rebound over the bar in what was to be the Steelmen’s best opportunity. Wulfs’ third came on the hour mark, a whipped cross from Cameron Bridgen, controlled and finished by Jevons. From thereon it was a case of how many and a mixture of poor finishing and the woodwork, to deny Anslow and Jake Webb, kept the score to 3-1. A cracking afternoon, a good natured crowd of 146 and Wulfs through to the next round.
Tuesday October 6th
Wolverhampton Casuals 3 Brocton 2
A 5 minute journey from home makes Wolverhampton Casuals my ‘local’ team. Tonight’s game against Brocton is a 1st round tie in the Walsall Senior Cup. Both sides are at the wrong end of their respective league tables and were looking for a morale boosting victory. On a greasy surface both sides were intent on attack in a very open game. Brocton dominated the early stages without breaking through allowing Casuals to gain a foothold. Brocton keeper, Callum Barrett was forced into a fine save to thwart Daryl Westwood before Jay Holdcroft crashed the ball against the outside of the post for the home side. Brocton took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Sean Kinsella played the ball into the path of Matt Hardiman who ran on and struck a cracking 25 yard shot into the roof of the net. Liam Hughes should have equalised for Casuals early in the second half but his shot beat Barrett and the post. Casuals were now on top and were awarded a penalty in the 55th minute when Matt Dockerty was adjudged to have brought down Holdcroft in the area – from my viewpoint the linesman got it wrong as the tackle was made outside the area. Hughes took the penalty but Barrett pulled off a fine save. Ben Farrell had the ball in the net for Brocton but it was ruled out for offside. Casuals were level on the hour when Lewis Cooper’s cross was turned home by Brad Lewis. Things got worse for Brocton when Ben Farrell was shown a straight red for something he said to the referee. The 10 men were back in front in the 68th minute. Paul McMahon was pulled back in the area and Kinsella made no mistake from the spot. Casuals were not to be denied and they were back on terms 13 minutes from time when Cooper’s cross from the left evaded everyone and went in off the far post. With extra time looming, Liam Hughes gave Casuals the victory finishing off a cross from Cooper. A cracking cup-tie and another WMRL club worth a visit.
2nd Qualifying round of the FA Vase and a round of few shocks. There were three involving MFL sides and all were in favour of the opposition. Lye Town went down 4-2 at home to WMRL league leaders Cradley Town with Lye pulling two goals back in the final 10 minutes. Premier Division high flyers Stourport Swifts crashed to defeat at Walshes Meadow against WMRL Black Country Rangers, going down by 3 goals to 1. Division 1 basement side, Bolehall Swifts, were also subjected to a giantkilling as they lost a titanic battle at Step 7 Uttoxeter Town, the game going the way of the home side 4-3 after extra time. One other game went to extra time where Step5 Harrowby United edged past Leicester Road. Biggest scorers of the day were Nuneaton Griff who won 8-1 at Division 2 Coton Green, making their debut in the competition. Leading scorer Luke Shorthouse bagging 4 more for Griff. Hinckley AFC bounced back from their FA Cup defeat by putting 6 past Bromyard Town, Marco Adaggio with a hat-trick. Highgate United beat Wolverhampton Casuals 5-2 at The Coppice with Shane Benjamin helping himself to another double. Rocester also scored 5, as they knocked out Kirby Muxloe, Dan Brown with a brace. There was a remarkable game at Sphinx drive where Coventry Sphinx beat Ellistown and Ibstock United 4-3 despite missing two penalties. Craig Bannister scored another hat-trick for Sporting Khalsa as they eased past Wellington at the Aspray Arena. Alvechurch can’t stop winning and their latest victory saw them defeat Pilkington XXX 4-0. Hereford made their bow in the FA Vase and progressed at Bardon Hill courtesy of a John Mills penalty 15 minutes from time. Quorn, AFC Wulfrunians and Loughborough University all picked up good away wins at Barrow Town, Bilston Town Community and Retford United respectively. Dunkirk eased past Holwell Sports for whom former Premier League striker, Julian Joachim was on target. Four second half goals put Boldmere St Michaels into the 1st round proper as they defeated Stafford Town. Westfields needed an 88th minute winner from Phil Glover to beat Littleton, who had levelled from 2-0 down. Bromsgrove Sporting beat Dudley Sports in front of the highest FA Vase crowd involving MFL clubs, 261 at The Victoria ground. Racing Club Warwick put their disappointing league form behind them to beat WMRL Stone Old Alleynians 4-0. On Sunday, Division1 high flyers Coventry United beat Studley 2-0, Josh O’Grady again on the scoresheet, despite playing for 80 minutes with 10 men
Heanor Town have taken over top spot in the league following a 2-2 draw at home to Walsall Wood. Wood scored first and last through Dan Griffiths but Heanor now lead the table by a solitary point. Coleshill Town warmed up for their big FA Cup tie with a 3-0 win at Brocton, Demetrius Smikle with a couple. Sporting Khalsa are up to 6th following a midweek win at Quorn. Two Liam Turner goals helped Quorn back from a 2 goal deficit but Craig Bannister, with his 2nd of the game, gave Khalsa the points.
Atherstone Town climbed up to 10th in the table with a 3-0 win over Pelsall Villa, Kyle Turner with a brace. Cadbury Athletic are 9th after a solitary goal settled the game at Heath Hayes.
Polymac Packaging League Cup
Coventry Copsewood followed up a 5-0 midweek victory with a comfortable 3-0 win over visiting Heather St Johns, Ryan Harkin with a double. Coleshill warmed up for their FA Cup trip to AFC Fylde by putting 9 goals past Bolehall Swifts at Pack Meadow with Dean Rathbone helping himself to a hat-trick.
Chelmsley Town are 4 points clear at the top following a 4-1 win at Knowle, Chris Lloyd with a hattrick taking him to 13 for the season. Droitwich Spa remain 3rd but had to settle for a point at home to Austrey Rangers. Rostance Edwards are level on points with Droitwich after a 2-1 win at Feckenham. Earlswood Town are still searching for their first point after going down 3-2 at home to Barnt Green Spartak, who move up to 7th .
Smithswood Firs have a 2 point lead at the top of the table following a 4-0 victory at bottom side, AFC Solihull. Barton United are 2nd after a 2-1 victory at Enville Athletic. Northfield Town are up to 5 th with a 4-2 home over Perrywood. Alcester Town were another team to score 4, Matthew Layton’s double taking him to 8 for the season, as they won at Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. FC Stratford remain unbeaten although they could only pick up a point at Badsey Rangers, themselves with only one defeat. Shipston Excelsior beat former leaders Inkberrow 2-1 at London Road to move within 2 points of the top 6.
Division 2 high flyers Alvis Sporting Club were too strong for Fairfield Villa as they progressed 3-0, Thomas Maguire’s double taking him to 9 for the season. There was a good win for Hampton who defeated Sutton United 3-1.
Two of the top sides in Division 3 met at the Valley Stadium and it was home side, Redditch Borough who progressed with a 3-1 victory over Leamington Hibernian.
Plenty of County Cup action this week in the Birmingham Senior Cup, Walsall Senior Cup and the Coventry Charity Cup. Hinckley AFC scored 9 at Coventry Copsewood with skipper Luke Richards bagging 4. Walsall Wood and Pelsall Villa made progress in the Walsall Senior Cup with victories over Shifnal Town and Heath Hayes respectively. In the Birmingham Senior Cup Coventry Sphinx and Boldmere St Michaels bowed out in home defeats to Banbury United and Burton Albion respectively. Lye Town beat Alvechurch on penalties after the sides drew 2-2.
A huge weekend for two of our clubs as they face ties in the 3rd qualifying round of the FA Cup. Sporting Khalsa welcome Spalding United from the Evostik Division 1 South to the Aspray Arena and will fancy their chances of an upset. Spalding are unbeaten away from home in the league with 1 win and 4 draws but they got knocked out of the FA Trophy last weekend losing 5-4 at Newcastle Town. Khalsa are in great form and with Craig Bannister scoring goals for fun, a National league club could beckon for Ian Rowe’s men. Coleshill Town after knocking out three Step 4 clubs have a major task as they take on Step2 National North favourites AFC Fylde at Kellamergh Park. The Coasters lie second in the National North table and have won 4 of their last 5 league games. Home form has been a little patchy and should give Coleshill hope. Both sides have potent forward lines and this promises to be full of goals.
League leaders Heanor Town entertain Westfields hoping to maintain their position at the top of the table. Undoubted game of the day is at Edgar Street as 2nd placed Hereford face 4th placed Long Eaton United. Hereford have been in terrific form of late but the visitors have only lost once this season so will provide a stern test of the Bulls promotion credentials. 3rd placed Alvechurch have won their last 8 league games following the opening day defeat to AFC Wulfrunians and will expect to beat Dunkirk who have slipped to 21st place. Highgate United have found goalscoring easy of late and will be favourites to add to their tally against bottom club Continental Star. Stourport Swifts had a bad week last week and will hope to get back to winning ways against an improved Loughborough University. AFC Wulfrunians have slipped down the table and they face Boldmere St Michaels at Castlecroft with the visitors determined to move up the table. Bardon Hill and Quorn are firmly in the middle of the pack and a tight affair is expected in a Leicestershire derby. Inconsistency has been the name of the game for both Lye Town and Walsall Wood and it would be a brave man to predict the result. Rocester and Coventry Sphinx have been involved in some high scoring games of late and more goals are expected at Hillsfield. Shepshed Dynamo have four games in hand on the leaders and will expect to close the gap as they entertain struggling Brocton.
3rd placed Littleton can close the gap on the leaders with a home win over lowly Racing Club Warwick. Bromsgrove Sporting are hoping for a crowd in excess of 500 for their game against Pershore Town and a victory could see them in 3rd. Bottom club Bolehall Swifts will be hoping for a win at home to Studley to lift them off the bottom of the table. 2nd bottom Heather St Johns host Pilkington XXX desperate to halt a run of eight successive defeats. Pilks can move into the top 6 with a victory.
Paget Rangers are hoping for a record attendance when they welcome Knowle to the Trevor Brown Memorial ground. Leaders Chelmsley Town are at home to Fairfield Villa and will be expecting to maintain their 4 point lead. 2nd placed Alvis Sporting Club still have a 100% record and will face a tough battle with Barnt Green Spartak. Earlswood Town are still after their first point and they have a difficult task away to Austrey Rangers. Coton Green are back in league action after their excursion into the FA Vase and they travel to 2nd bottom Feckenham. Sutton United meet Hampton in the reverse of last weekend’s President’s Cup fixture which went Hampton’s way.
Leaders Smithswood Firs travel to Alcester Town whose confidence should be high after last week’s victory. Barton United will be hoping to take advantage of any slip from the leaders when they travel to Perrywood. AFC Solihull, after facing the league leaders last week have to tackle third placed Redditch Borough as they strive to get off the mark in the Midland Football League. Burntwood Town have games in hand on everyone else in the division and they host Northfield Town at Ravenhill Park. 7th meet 8th as Inkberrow host Badsey Rangers in a local derby while 13th paced Coventrians take on 11th placed Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons at Holbrooks Park.
Les James Challenge Cup
Division 3 Shipston Excelsior welcome Division2 Droitwich Spa to London Road hoping to upset the form book.
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