AFC Wulfrunians 0-1 Highgate United
Highgate started the season brilliantly with a 1-0 win against AFC Wulfrunians at the Prestige Midlands Arena. A strike from Charlie Shaw in the second half settled the match and gave Highgate the win. Going to AFC Wulfrunians should be a tough test for visiting teams this season so Highgate picking up three points is encouraging for the season ahead.
A notable crowd of 163 supporters turned up for the opening league match of the season. The starting line-up for AFC Wulfrunians featured a mixture of players from last season such as Curtis Cocking and new signings such as Josh McKenzie.
Bewdley Town 1-4 Romulus
Romulus opened the season with a promising win against Bewdley town at Ribbesford Meadow on Saturday afternoon. A crowd of 80 supporters watched the Roms start their league season with a win, and they will be looking to build on it for this evening’s match against Tividale at Castle Vale Stadium.
New signing Stephen Palmer scored for the Roms in the 2nd minute from an excellent cross by Rob Hanna to get the visitors off the mark. Bewdley equalised in the 19th minute thanks to a goal from Josh Harrington to make it 1-1. Stephen Palmer scored again for Romulus in the 32nd minute as he scored from an excellent strike into the bottom right corner to go into HT 2-1 up.
Luke Keen scored from a good header early in the second half to make it 3-1 to Romulus and Rob Hanna scored late on to seal the win for the visitors and earn them the three points. The match was a brilliant way to start the season for Romulus and they should be looking forward to this evening’s match.
For Bewdley, Ben Worthington started as the number nine and Lewis Moseley was the skipper for the hosts. Despite the result they will be looking to build into the season and get a result against AFC Wulfrunians on Tuesday evening.
Dudley Town 0-2 Whitchurch Alport
Whitchurch started the season with an excellent result at Dudley Town and came out 2-0 winners. The visitors have proved to be a competitive team at MFL Premier level and were a tough test for Dudley to open the league season with.
A good crowd of 139 supporters turned up for the match at the Guardian Warehousing Arena in Willenhall to see how Dudley Town would do in step five. Matty Birchall scored in the first half with Ollie Pope scoring in the second half for Whitchurch to seal the match.
This was ultimately a match where Whitchurch showed their class rather than Dudley struggling and the visitors experience at this level showed. Whitchurch might be looking at the play-offs this season having finished 9th (22/23) and 12th (21/22) in their past two season in the MFL Premier. They play Wolverhampton Casuals at Yocking Park later this evening looking to build from Saturday’s result.
Northwich Victoria 2-2 Studley
Northwich started life in the MFL with a 2-2 draw against Studley at Wincham Park. The result is something to build on for the Cheshire club in manager Steve Pickup’s first league match of the season. The result is also a good one for Studley in Mike Fowler’s first league game, with the club looking forward to playing Coleshill Town in the FA cup on Friday night.
Studley opened the scoring in the 17th minute with Dan Noke finding the net from a free header from a corner to give the Bees an early lead in the first half. Ryan Jackson was on hand to give Northwich Victoria an equaliser in the 27th minute before Studley retook the lead in the 31st minute through Zac Guinan and went into HT with a 2-1 lead.
Sam Unwin scored for the hosts early in the second half in the 50th minute to make it 2-2. The match finished 2-2 in a competitive and entertaining match to open the season. The only incident of note near the end of the match was Studley defender Harry Lake getting a red card in the 81st minute to reduce the visitors to ten men but they duly held on for the result.
In terms of the team, Kev Excell started as the skipper for the Trickies with Adam Reid starting in goal for Northwich Victoria in their first match in the MFL. Studley’s starting line-up involved new signings such as John Mills and Zak Harbon starting for the Bees in what should be an exciting season for the club.
Stone Old Alleynians 1-1 Shifnal Town
Stone Old Alleynians started the season with a 1-1 draw against Shifnal Town and will look to build on the result throughout the season. The result was excellent for the hosts and getting points off the top teams should help them push for a comfortable mid table finish come the end of the season in a very tough division.
It could have been all three for the visitors with new signing Josh Hesson scoring for Shifnal deep into injury time in the 92nd minute to give Shifnal what appeared to be a late winner. However, Stone Old Alleynians managed to go up the other end and immediately equalise in the 93rd minute through substitute Jay Cooper in a dramatic finish to the match. A good crowd of 68 supporters turned up for the opening home match of the season for Stone Old Alleynians.
A notable player who started for Shifnal was Joe Ellis Cuff who was the skipper. He scored 22 goals for Shawbury United last season in MFL (Division One) and hopefully will provide the club with a bit of leadership up front throughout the season.
Tividale 0-0 Atherstone Town
Tividale showed a lot of character to draw 0-0 with an in form Atherstone Town at the Beeches on Saturday afternoon in manager Stuart How’s first league game in charge as manager. The club was coming off the back of a disappointing 4-1 loss to Rugby Borough in the FA cup and started the season with a tough test against Atherstone Town.
A good crowd of 104 supporters turned up to watch the match at the Beeches and Tividale showed a lot of positives to build on for this evening’s match against Romulus such as keeping a clean sheet. Louis Connor also stood out as the starting goalkeeper for Tividale and made some good saves to keep the clean sheet.
The Adders would probably have gone into this match looking to get a result in Jamie Hood’s first league match in charge and coming off an excellent win against Stone Old Alleynians last weekend in the FA cup. None the less, there are still things to build on for the Adders such as being solid at the back and getting their second clean sheet of the season.
Uttoxeter Town 1-1 Darlaston Town
Uttoxeter started the league season with a positive result against Darlaston Town at Oldfield Sports Ground. The visitors will be looking to compete near the top of the table this season so getting a result against them should be viewed as a good result for Uttoxeter. Eric Greaves scored late on for Uttoxeter in the 86th minute to give them a draw in Phil Adam’s first league match in charge of the club as first-team manager.
Khalil Harrison gave Darlaston the lead in the 80th minute before Uttoxeter managed to find an equaliser late on. Harry Clarke was sent off for the hosts deep into injury time but Uttoxeter managed to hold on for a good point against tough opposition. Darlaston will look to build on the positives in preparation for their match away to Lichfield City on Wednesday evening who impressed against Congleton Town at the weekend.
Wolverhampton Casuals 1-1 Stourport Swifts
Wolverhampton Casuals started the season with a positive result and managed to draw 1-1 against a quality Stourport Swifts team at Brinsford Stadium.
Most of the goalmouth action happened in the second half with the Cassies taking the lead in the 74th minute before Stourport Swifts equalised through a penalty by Drew Canavan in the 80th minute. The match finished 1-1 and both teams had positives to take from it.
The Cassies have made some good loan signings over the last week. Stan Amos has joined from Wolves academy as their starting goalkeeper with Tom Hurley joining on loan from Sutton Coldfield Town. In the main it’s quite a youthful looking team for Wolverhampton Casuals and it will be interesting to see how they do throughout the season.
For the Swifts, prolific striker Lee Chilton started their opening league game of the season. Stourport will look to build into the season with a league match against Studley away later this evening before consecutive home matches throughout the August bank holiday against Congleton Town on the 26th of August and then Uttoxeter Town on the 28th of August.
Round up feature written by Rhys Beardmore for the Midland Football League
The official news channel of the Midland Football League (founded 2014)