City Church 2 Amblecote 1

 “Another exciting WMCFL season drew to an enthralling close at Row Heath today for City Church in glorious sunshine. This was no tame end of season encounter with its fair share of hard tackles, running, good football and perspiration from both sides. 
 
 A shock start to the game saw a City red card (for swearing by one of our new players) after 2 minutes. Subsequently, we were still reorganising and in a bit of a daze for the first part of the game. During this spell Chattaway kept us in the game with some fine saves. Slowly we got ourselves a foothold in the game, but it was Amblecote who took the lead from a header after a good long pass from Silva. At this stage, 0-1 down with only 10 men on the hottest day of the year versus a team fighting for survival it could have spelt disaster. However, City showed character, and shortly afterwards City struck back with a ‘screamer’ from the marauding Thomas from 2 feet out! Half time arrived and it was 1-1 with all to play for in the second half.
 
 The second period started with City the stronger side and having the better of possession. However, inevitably Amblecote were creating chances with three of four gilt edges ones missed. City had their moments as well with Obi putting in a hard shift as the lone striker. The winner finally came from a good run and shot from substitute, Yeo who finished with aplomb. There was a frantic end to the game as Amblecote poured men forward and missed more chances from close range as the game became stretched. City finished strongly though with openings of their own including a Yeo header which struck the crossbar after good work from Snelgrove. Other clear opportunities were missed at both ends. City held on for an incredibly hard fought three points to end a mixed season on a high. 
 
 In nine seasons this was one of our gutsiest performances. We have struggled to get a team out these past two weeks and the squad has been stretched with the backlog of fixtures. We had another changed side today with players playing out of position, and had to reorganise again after 2 minutes. Everyone of the 13 who took the field were immense today and never stopped running and putting the effort in. Man-of-the-match could have gone to any number of players; Chattaway, Richardson, Thomas, Nick Graham, Obi or Campbell in his last game. Conrad is a wmcfl stalwart who has won several leagues and cups with different clubs, and has always been a positive character off the field as well! We wish him well. 
 
 We also wish Amblecote well for their final game. We always have good, competitive games v them and they are a decent bunch of lads. 
 
 In conclusion, 5th position in the league is not where City want to be, but considering it has been a transition year it is a positive ending with young players stepping up to the mark. The league has been very competitive again this season and although we have taken points off all the top 4, we have been too inconsistent and drawn too many games. In the end it means its the 6th consecutive season City have been in the top 5 and only St Mary’s and Clarendon can match that during the same period (and the only other club still in Division 1 unbroken is Amblecote!). 
 
 Congratulations to St Mary’s, Chawn Hill, Living Hope and Zion for their successes. Thanks to the committee, officials, coaches, secretaries, volunteers, supporters and players who make this league what it is. Finally, we give all thanks, praise and glory to God for enabling us to enjoy football, and most of all for sending Jesus Christ! May everyone connected to wmcfl have a great summer. 
 
 Martin Ogbourn

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