Midland Football League Newsletter
16th December 2015
The draw for the 4th round of the FA Vase has been made with ties scheduled for January 9th.
Hereford vs Leicester Nirvana
AFC Wulfrunians vs Pinxton / Nuneaton Griff
Cleethorpes Town vs Alvechurch
Coleshill Town vs Dunston UTS or Seaham Red Star
The game at Edgar Street sees the MFL leaders Hereford host the leaders of the United Counties League, Leicester Nirvana. Both teams have similar records, score goals and don’t conceded many. Promises to be a cracker. AFC Wulfrunians will be favourites as they take on a side from either Step 6 or Step 7 (at the time of writing the replay hadn’t taken place). With Wulfs in good form particularly at Castlecroft, it would be good to see a decent crowd. Alvechurch have a difficult trip to play Northern Counties East Cleethorpes Town. Cleethorpes have already beaten two MFL sides this season in Westfields and Racing Club Warwick but they are likely to find the Church a more difficult proposition. Coleshill Town have an intriguing tie against one of two Northern League sides. Gateshead based Dunston UTS will be favourites to get through to round 4 as they have home advantage over Seaham Red Star – their game has been postponed twice due to waterlogged pitches. Coleshill have had an excellent season in FA competitions and there is a great opportunity to reach Round 5.
Earlswood Town Football Club has, regretfully, had to relieve first team manager Nigel Fry of his duties. After a long run of unsuccessful results, which have culminated in the first team occupying bottom spot in the Midland League division 2, without a league win to date, the committee decided that it was time for a change. The committee would like to thank Nigel for all his work and commitment put in over the past couple of seasons and wishes him well. We are pleased to announce that Keith Green has accepted the vacated post and will take over the reins as manager of the first team with immediate effect. Keith will announce his management team in due course.
Travels of the Press Officer
No press officer games this week as I have been laid low with man-flu! Normal service will be resumed next week.
Hereford were made to fight all the way by Premier Division rivals Brocton as a 2-0 victory sent them through to round 4. Goals in each half for Mustapha Bundu and Joel Edwards were enough for the Bulls. AFC Wulfrunians faced an awkward trip to North West Counties Alsager Town but emerged with a 2-0 victory and a place in the 4th round for the first time. First half goals from Richie Palmer and Jamie King settled it for Wulfs and they could easily have had more. High riding Alvechurch won the all Premier Division tie at Walsall Wood by 3 goals to nil. Danny Ashton gave Church the lead in the 7th minute and then two Karl Edwards goals settled it to send Church through. A second-half Dean Rathbone hat-trick helped Coleshill Town to a 4-3 victory at Step 7 Uttoxeter Town. The winning goal came in the 4th minute of stoppage time after the home side had equalised just a minute before. Coleshill had to contend with a hostile home crowd and a number of flares being thrown onto the pitch – a worrying trend in non-league circles.
Sporting Khalsa took advantage of the leaders inactivity to close to within 9 points of Hereford with 4 games in hand. It was 0-0 at the break against Stourport Swifts but goals from Tesfa Robinson and Marvin Nisbett in a 5 minute spell in the second half gave Khalsa all three points. Lowly Coventry Sphinx were on the wrong end of a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Lye Town. Second half goals from Alex Dallison and Kieron Northwood settled the game in the visitors favour. Gane of the day was undoubtedly at Hollywell as Loughborough University beat Bardon Hill 7-2. The visitors took an early lead bu the Students bounced back with Alun Webb scoring twice and Ben Ward-Cochrane with a hat-trick.
Only one game went ahead in Division 1 and Leicester Road move up to 3rd with a single goal victory over Heath Hayes courtesy of a Tom McGlinchey effort in the 40th minute.
The fixture was decimated by the rain but in the one game to get played Paget Rangers stunned host Austrey Rangers running out 6-3 winners. Veteran striker Mark Bellingham grabbed a hat-trick and there were two more for Dan Carter.
Alcester Town continued their remarkable run of goalscoring form with a 7-2 win over bottom side AFC Solihull. The visitors took an early lead but goal machine Matt Layton scored yet another hat-trick to move Alcester up to 9th and only 7 points off the top. In the only other game to go ahead, Badsey Rangers move up to 5th after a 2-1 home win over Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons.
Polymac Packaging League Cup
Alvechurch have set up a tasty 3rd trip to Hereford with a 1-0 win at Coventry Sphinx, a recent signing from Rushall Olympic, Nick Wright, with the goal.
In the Fazeley Charity Cup, Barton United made progress after a 2-1 win over Burntwood Town. Stafford Town were short on numbers when they travelled to Northern Premier Division Rushall Olympic on Tuesday and, unfortunately, the three division difference together with the missing players told as the Pics ran out 11-0 winners. An excellent victory in the JW Hunt Cup for Rostance Edwards who beat WMRL AFC Bridgnorth 2-1 at Crown Meadow. Hinckley AFC were knocked out of the JW Hunt Cup losing 2-1 at Wolverhampton Sporting.
League leaders Coleshill Town were grateful for their 3G pitch as they beat Solihull Moors 2-0 to extend their lead at the top of the table.
Under 21 Divisions
Bedworth United took over leadership of the South division beating previous leaders Stourport Swifts 4-1 on the 3G pitch at The Oval. Bromsgrove Sporting solidified 3rd place with a 1-0 win over Leamington. In the North division, top hammered bottom with Sutton Coldfield Town 7-2 winners over Tipton Town. Walsall Wood move up to 3rd with a 3-0 away win at Anstey Nomads.
League leaders Hereford take their long winning run to the Black Country to face an inconsistent Lye Town. The home side are yet to draw in the league this season and if they can stop the runaway Bulls, that would be a major achievement. Game of the day is massive at the top of the table as 3rd placed Heanor Town entertain 3rd placed Alvechurch. Alvechurch have the best defensive record in the league but I can see lots of goals in this one as there have been 93 goals in the 20 games played by Heanor this season. 4th placed Sporting Khalsa have won 11 league games on the trot to close the gap on Hereford to 9 points. They will fancy their chances of making it 12 when they travel to Hillsfield to face Rocester. Khalsa won the reverse fixture 4-0 in November although expect this to be a much closer game. Shepshed Dynamo are 5th and still harbour outside hopes of the title as they welcome Walsall Wood to the Dovecote. The Wood were knocked out of the FA Vase last weekend and will want to bounce back as quickly as possible. Highgate United are another side with 4 games in hand on the leaders and 12 points in those games would make it interesting at the top. On Saturday, they travel to Coventry Sphinx languishing in 20th place and looking for their first points under new manager Robbie Banks. AFC Wulfrunians are enjoying an excellent run in the Vase and will be favourites to pick up 3 more league points at home to lowly Quorn. Coleshill Town are benefitting from the installation of their new 3G pitch with games being postponed left right and centre. At least, they know they will be in action on Saturday when they entertain a revitalised Brocton at Pack Meadow. Two of the bottom four meet at Allpay Park as Westfields host Continental Star. A win for the home side will set them up nicely for the Boxing Day trip to local neighbours Hereford. Two sides with good recent form meet at Hollywell when Loughborough University and Boldmere St Michaels lock horns. This should be a good one for the neutral. Two mid-table sides meet in Derbyshire as Long Eaton United welcome Stourport Swifts to Grange Park. Form favours the home side but this could go either way. 2nd bottom Dunkirk travel down the M1 to face Bardon Hill who are only 9 points ahead of them. An away win would add to the congestion at the bottom of the table.
Four teams are tied in second place and three of them have the chance to close the gap on leaders Coventry United this week. Nuneaton Griff travel to Cadbury Athletic wanting to get their league season back on track after picking up 4 points from the last 12. Leicester Road face another local derby at Atherstone Town, however, they will turn up in good form in front of goal. Bromsgrove Sporting have continued to keep pace at the top of the table but they travel to a Coventry Copsewood side who have suddenly found the way to goal. Sporting have a miserly defence and it could be stretched by a resurgent Copsewood. Bottom club Stafford Town have another tough assignment at home to Hinckley AFC who cannot afford too many more off days if they are to stake a late challenge. Southam United have slipped into the bottom four and they have a tough fixture away to Heath Hayes. Pershore Town are one place above Southam and they face host high-flying Pilkington XXX, themselves sitting just outside the top 5. Two mid-table sides meet at the Beehive as Studley entertain Racing Club Warwick while at The Old Bush, 14th place Pelsall Villa welcome 7th place Littleton.
Droitwich Spa will take over the leadership of Division 2 with a win at home to second-bottom Feckenham. Rostance Edwards could reach the summit themselves should Droitwich slip up and should they win at 5th placed Sutton United.
In form Alcester Town have scored a remarkable 20 goals in the last three games and they take this form to 7th placed Shipston Excelsior. League leaders Leamington Hibernian face a tough trip to 5th placed Badsey Rangers, a win for the home side bringing them level on points. A slip from Leamington will give Redditch Borough the chance of taking over at the top providing they win at struggling Enville Athletic. Bottom side AFC Solihull picked up their first point recently and will be hopeful of adding to that tally when they host Inkberrow. FC Stratford have only been beaten once in the league and a victory over Burntwood Town would close the gap to the top.2nd bottom Perrywood host 4th bottom Coventrians with a win for either moving them well away from the foot of the table.
Les James Challenge Cup
Paget Rangers and Fairfield Villa meet at Church Road for a place in the quarter-finals. Looking at their respective league records, expect this to be a close run thing.
Continental Star vs Romulus
Coventry United vs Solihull Moors
Brocton vs Rocester
Evesham United vs Coleshill Town
Lichfield City vs Cadbury Athletic
Under 21 Divisions
Bromsgrove Sporting vs Stourport Swifts (U21S)
Bedworth United vs King’s Heath Concorde (U21S)
Tamworth vs Walsall Wood (U21N)
Tipton Town vs Anstey Nomads (U21N)
Basford United vs Heath Hayes (U21N)
H.O.W. Academy vs Gornal Athletic (Bowl)
Leamington vs Sutton Coldfield Town (Bowl)
West Midlands Football Academy vs Newcastle Town (Bowl)
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