AFC Bridgnorth 3-3 Heather St John’s
AFC Bridgnorth got a momentum building draw against play off chasers Heather St John’s at Crown Meadow on Saturday afternoon. The hosts were on a run of five consecutive losses coming into this match, so a draw is a welcome result to build some confidence. The result closes the gap on Wolves Sporting in 17th to five points.
Heather St John’s had to come back from behind twice to get a point against AFC Bridgnorth. The result leaves the Leicester side 4 points off the play offs with a positive goal difference of plus 18.
The grounds people at AFC Bridgnorth did well to get this match on at the weekend with the challenging weather throughout the week.
Hinckley AFC 4-0 Coventry Copsewood
Hinckley extended their lead at the top of the table with a convincing win against Coventry Copsewood at Kirkby Road. An excellent crowd of 390 supporters turned up to watch Hinckley’s 10th home win of the season which is a club record attendance. The win creates a 15-point gap over Ingles in 2nd who had their match postponed at the weekend.
The hosts took a 1-0 lead going into half time thanks to a goal from Isa Abrahamu on the 19th minute. They scored three goals in the second half thanks to further efforts from Lewis Rankin, Kyron Green and Jack Edwards to win 4-0 against a good Coventry Copsewood side.
From a Coventry Copsewood perspective, there’s no shame in losing to the league leaders. Despite being comfortably in mid table, the visitors could have a big say on who finishes in the play offs as they play Allscott Heath and Wednesfield over the next month.
Paget Rangers 1-2 Bilston Town
Bilston got a crucial win against Paget Rangers at Coles Lane at the weekend to keep their play off push on track. The win leaves the Steelmen in 6th with a one-point gap from Allscott Heath in 5th. A brilliant crowd of 152 supporters turned up on Saturday to watch Bilston get their 5th away win of the season.
The visitors started the match well and took a 2-0 lead thanks to first half efforts from Soms Sibanda and Adam Nazir. Paget responded in the second half and got a goal back to set up a nervy finish, but the Steelmen held on for the three points.
Paget have been playing well over the last few weeks despite their league position. They were close to getting something from this match and Bilston goalkeeper Joe Gilbert produced some good saves to get the win.
It offers hope for Bears supporters that they can still stay up. They have a huge match against Wolves Sporting on the 24th of February which is a good chance to reduce the six-point gap.
Smethwick Rangers 3-2 Nuneaton Griff
Smethwick got an eye-catching win against Nuneaton Griff at the Trevor Brown Memorial ground on Saturday to have a chance of staying up. A crowd of 44 supporters turned up to watch Smethwick get their third home win of the season. The win now makes it eight points off Wolves Sporting in 17th. It could be a big result if they can build on it over the next few weeks.
A brace from Callum North and an effort by Jake Wilkes gave Smethwick the three points. The players stepping up from the set up at Boldmere St Michaels U21s have been the main positive of a tough season for Smethwick with Callum North also impressing in the MFL U21s division this season for the Mikes.
It’s been a tough month for the visitors with the exception of the eye catching 1-0 win against Bilston Town at Queen Street. The Heartlanders are comfortably in mid table and in no real danger of going down with a 13-point gap over the bottom three. Their one of the clubs who can have an eye on building for next season at step six.
Alcester Town 3-1 Littleton
Alcester got a win against Littleton at Stratford Road on Saturday to cement their position in the top five. The win leaves the Romans in 4th with 31 points and is a good way to bounce back from their exit in the Les James Challenge Cup last weekend to Knowle.
A brace from Adam Bourn and a solo effort from Jake Wicketts gave the hosts their 6th home win of the season. The hosts have been excellent at home this season with six wins from nine matches in the league.
Dan McArdle scored what proved to be a consolation effort from an excellent free kick in the first half for Littleton. The Tonboys have been competitive in step seven and it’s just a matter of picking up results to give themselves a chance of staying up.
They have Alcester at home and then Coventrians away over the next few weeks. There’s currently a five-point gap to make up over Fairfield in 14th.
Birmingham United 2-0 Cadbury Athletic
Birmingham United continued their good home record at the Valley with a win against Cadbury Athletic at the weekend. The result was the Blinder’s sixth home win of the season and leaves them comfortably in the top three on 42 points.
The win was sealed by a brace for new signing Ricardo Richards who joined the club from Alcester Town last week. One of the main positives for Birmingham United has been their recruitment and they have signed a lot of good players who know the level over the last few months.
A top three finish would be an excellent achievement come the end of the season and something to build on for next season.
The visitors are still in mid table despite the result and have a 10-point gap over the bottom two. They have some good opportunities to pick up points over the next few weeks with matches against Coventrians and Inkberrow.
It’s been a transitional season from the chocolate men with one eye on the bigger picture and building on the positives for next season.
Lane Head 2-0 AFC Coventry Rangers
Lane Head got an excellent win against AFC Coventry Rangers at the weekend to cement their position in the top half of the table. A notable crowd of 53 supporters turned up to Bloxwich United on Saturday to watch Lane Head get their fifth home win of the season.
Substitute Claudio Shimmer scored a brace for Lane Head in the second half to leave them in 5th with 29 points. It’s been an excellent season so far from the hosts who were looking to stay up and establish themselves at step seven with a new management team in place.
AFC Coventry Rangers' problems on the road continued and it’s been an issue for the club this season. One win from six matches away from home has prevented the visitors from challenging for the top three. It’s a shame as their home form is excellent with eight wins from nine matches.
AFC Birmingham 0-4 AFC Solihull
AFC Solihull got a crucial win against AFC Birmingham at Illey Lane in Halesowen on Saturday to extend their lead at the top of the table. The win creates a nine-point gap over Feckenham in 2nd and a 13-point gap over Northfield Town in 3rd. An excellent crowd of 75 supporters turned up to watch AFC Solihull get their tenth away win of the season.
All four of AFC Solihull’s goals came in the first half to wrap up the win. MD Shimul scored the opener before an effort from Owen Williams made it 2-0 in the opening 15 minutes. Jahvan Howell scored a quick-fire brace to make it 4-0 after 25 minutes and seal an impressive win for the visitors.
The result still leaves AFC Birmingham in the top six which is a good achievement. Promotion might be a stretch at this stage, but they are more than capable of finishing in the top four with a few games in hand over Castle Vale Town in 4th.
Gornal 6-0 Birmingham Tigers
Gornal got a momentum building win against Birmingham Tigers at the Wombourne Leisure Centre at the weekend. The result was Gornal’s fourth home win of the season and leaves them not too far adrift of Leamington Hibernian in 13th. The club are transitioning to step eight football this season and have not looked too bad in a competitive division.
Their main issue has been on the road with seven consecutive losses away from home. None the less, their building in the MFL and looking at the bigger picture. Overall, it’s been a good first season at this level from the hosts.
It’s been a challenging season for Birmingham Tigers in division three and their away problems continued here against Gornal. Twelves losses from thirteen matches and a total of 69 goals conceded away from home leaves the Tigers bottom of the league.
None the less, they are capable of competing away as shown with the notable 1-1 draw at Continental Star a few months back.
Round up feature written by Rhys Beardmore for the Midland Football League
Shawbury United were looking to get a result yesterday afternoon at the Shrewsbury Town Community Hub to cement their position in the top half of the table. The hosts were in 10th and on a run of four consecutive wins coming into this match. The Shropshire club have been one of the form teams in the division since the new year and have grown into the season.
Chelmsley Town were looking to cause an upset yesterday against Shawbury United to climb up the table. It’s been a tough season for the visitors away from home with just one win from ten matches coming into yesterday. None the less, they were comfortably in mid table and had a bit of breathing space over the bottom three with an 11-point gap over AFC Bridgnorth in 18th.
The atmosphere around the Shrewsbury Town Community Hub was positive and relaxed prior to kick off with both sets of supporters looking forward to the match. There was a commendable amount of Chelmsley Town supporters who made the trip up to Shropshire to cheer the team on. The Café next to the pitch was also welcoming and well presented with a good selection of beverages to choose from.
The ground is fairly accessible to get to by public transport for casual groundhoppers across the West Midlands. Supporters can get the 27 bus from Shrewsbury bus station, get off at Brooklands PH and walk across Meole Brace roundabout to the ground. It’s between a 10–15-minute walk from Brooklands PH bus stop to the ground and it’s just left of Shrewsbury Town’s main stadium.
Starting Line ups
Shawbury United’s starting line up included Max Williams starting in goal and Emmanuel Williams captaining the team from central defence. The formation appeared to be a 4-2-3-1 with Eric Mensah leading the line up front and being supported by Marcus Dillon and Cody Rimmer on the wings.
There were three changes from the team that started against Stapenhill last weekend with Andy Haynes coming into the team and playing in central defence alongside Emmanuel Williams.
The starting line-up for Chelmsley Town featured Liam Moss starting in goal and Corey Solomon captaining the team from central defence. The formation looked like a 4-3-3 with a front two of Chris Gumery and Oliver Jeeves being supported by Kaine Williams in the attacking midfield role.
There were four changes from the team that started against Coventry Copsewood in mid-week with Tom Hackett coming into the team and playing in holding midfield.
Shawbury started the first half well and took the initiative early on to cause Chelmsley Town a few problems. They were linking up well in the final third and were just missing that final ball to unlock the Chelmsley defence. The best early chance for the hosts fell to Seth Ellis who narrowly shot wide following a good ball into the box.
The visitors also had a few notable chances to take the lead in the opening five minutes. The best chance fell to Oliver Jeeves who got into a good position in the box before shooting wide. It was a promising move by Chelmsley and a crucial moment in the match as Shawbury managed to take the lead a few minutes later.
Following a quick attacking move, an excellent ball was played to Marcus Dillon on the right flank who finished well across Liam Moss into the bottom left corner to make it 1-0 to Shawbury United in the 7th minute. It was a moment of quality on the ball from the hosts and underlined why their having such a successful season in the league.
Shawbury started to assert themselves on the match following the goal and were starting to get into a rhythm when building attacks. David Howells gave them that composure on the ball from holding midfield and was linking up well for Shawbury to give them a control of the match.
To Chelmsley’s credit they were doing well to contain Shawbury in the opening 20 minutes and limit the clear-cut chances in front of goal. The visitors always had a chance in the second half if they could keep the scoreline close going into half time. Corey Soloman was reading the game well defensively and managing to clear dangerous ball away at the back.
None the less, the Shawbury pressure eventually told, and the hosts made it 2-0 in the middle of the first half. Following an attack on goal, Cody Rimmer was the quickest to react to a second ball in the box and finished well to double the hosts’ lead.
Shawbury had some good chances late in the first half to make it 3-0 going into half time and effectively seal the three points. Cody Rimmer made an excellent run down the left flank and cut inside before having a curling shot well saved by Liam Moss on the half hour mark. Jack Howse also came close through an overhead kick in the box that went over the bar minutes before half time.
The hosts were in control of the match at the end of the first half but there was some hope of a Chelmsley comeback in the second half with the score still at 2-0.
A moment of genuine quality early in the second half effectively sealed the match for Shawbury United. Seth Ellis played an excellent ball to Eric Mensah on the edge of the box who finished brilliantly to make it 3-0 following a neat passing move by the hosts. Shawbury’s quality on the ball really stood out yesterday and the third goal was just another example of it.
Chelmsley were chasing the match from then on and looking to get any positives out of it for future matches. Situations like yesterday are good opportunities to assess the squad and bring on players that could play a pivotal role going forward. A few players impressed from the bench for the visitors in the second half which was encouraging.
Al-Mohamin Traore looked good since coming on and playing at right back. He did well to track his runners and defended well at the back to keep the scoreline down for the visitors. Alfie Chetwin also looked promising up front and was getting into some good positions around the box.
Shawbury did have a few notable chances to make it 4-0 in the second half with substitute Reece Jacobs playing well in the final third. He had some half chances to score and was regularly getting into good positions in the box. The best chance came when he had a header excellently saved by Liam Moss to keep it at 3-0 following an excellent ball into the box.
Not long after, the referee blew for the full-time whistle for Shawbury’s fifth consecutive win in the league which moves them up to eighth in the table.
Yesterday’s match was more a case of Shawbury playing well rather than Chelmsley struggling. Richard Brown has done an excellent job as manager, and they played well as a team. The hosts have gradually grown into the season and there’s a nice balance in the team with quality on the ball and leadership off it.
Emmanuel Williams had an underrated match at the back for Shawbury and lead the team well. He made some key interceptions and tackles in the second half to keep the clean sheet intact. Harry Woodburn also played well at right back and was looking to make things happen on the ball.
Both Marcus Dillon and Cody Rimmer were a threat on the wings throughout the afternoon. David Howells was brilliant from holding midfield and linked up well to build attacks for the hosts.
There was a lot of effort and endeavour from Chelmsley despite the defeat. Their still clear of the bottom three and staying up would be a successful season for the visitors in a competitive division.
FT score: Shawbury United 3-0 Chelmsley Town
Man of the match: David Howells (Shawbury United)
Match report written by Rhys Beardmore for the Midland Football League
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