8 Jun 2017

League AGM – Friday 23 June

Notice to all Team Secretaries:

The League AGM will take place on Friday 23rd June at 19:30.

The venue for the AGM is as follows:

St Judes Church Hall

St Judes Road

Wolverhampton

WV6 0EB

29 May 2017

WMCFL – Division 2 Cup Final

Monyhull Church 4 – St Andrews Netherton 4 (Monyhull win 8-7 on penalties)

Congratulations to Monyhull on picking up the Division Two Cup after an enthralling cup final at Coseley.

Thanks to John Millist for the match report and photos.

Of all my years playing football, this is greatest game I have ever been a part of and I would like to think, it will go down as one of the greatest cup finals WMCFL has ever seen.
Things didn’t start so well, with the changing rooms being double booked and being told we would have to share a dressing room (awkward) to a less then desirable pitch. You would have thought it was more of a friendly! However, as both sets of players started to arrive, the tension and nerves were all too visible, Netherton looking to win the double and Monyhull, second best in the league and in both games against Netherton, looking to win their first bit of silverware. If the lead up to the final was low key, the game itself was anything but, in what was an incredible advert for the WMCFL, the game swung one way, then the other, which was great for the crowd of 65 gathered, but not great if you were the manager!
The first 10 minutes were spent with both sides finding their feet and getting into the game, neither wanting to make an early mistake but players eager to get on the ball and play football. The deadlock was broken when a ball from the right was flicked on by Oli Smith and headed home by Pete Mander to send the crowd into jubilant celebration. With the game now freely flowing both sides looked dangerous going forward and both defences having their work cut out. But it wasn’t long before the ‘hull found themselves 2-0 when Jake Parton curled a free kick in, over the wall and in to the top corner. Monyhull were in dreamland! But we had been here before, having previously taken a 1-0 lead against Netherton in the last league outing we lost badly, and as if just to remind us of that, straight from kick off Netherton came forward and their dangerous no.9 got in round the back and lobbed the on rushing Webber to pull it back to 2-1. The tide started to turn, Monyhull now were having to defend hard, the usual composed ball playing had gone, replaced with a sense of panic and trepidation. Netherton took full advantage to level at 2-2 with a near post shot in the area. Things weren’t looking good, Webber in the Monyhull goal was being kept busy and had to pull off a “worldie” of a save when an effort was heading for the top corner, only for him to push it wide. Another effort hit the post and was then cleared off the line by Aaron Chance. Eventually the pressure told, when a diagonal ball found its target who ran in past the full back and slotted it home. 3-2 Netherton as we came to half time.
But this game was far from over and the same spirit that has been a key part to our season was reignited and early in the second half, the explosive Tom Hales ran in past the full back and tucked it home for 3-3. Now it was Monyhull pouring forward, looking to press ahead and a ball which hit the bar and came down was judged to not have been over the line, though there seemed plenty of evidence to the contrary. The game was to take yet another turn as Netherton attacked and found the roof of the net inside the area after a bit of a scramble to give St Andrews a 4-3 lead. Surely that was it, surely that was game over. With not long left, Reeson and Reiss Chance entered the game to try and turn it around again. Reiss Chance has had a habit all season of scoring goals from the bench and with time running out, Jake Partonbeat the keeper to the ball in the area and squared across the face of goal for R.Chance to stick it home and level the game up once again. The last five minutes saw Netherton search for the winner, they pressed the ‘hulls back line, but an incredible defensive display kept any further chances away and the game went to penalties.
After 5 each it was 3-3 and still the teams couldn’t be separated and so it went to sudden death. Both sides had chances to win it but in the end all outfield players had taken and at 7-7, it came down to the keepers. Netherton went first and hit it wide, which meant substitute keeper Luke Hardman could write his name in Monyhull history. He shot low and hard, the keeper got a hand but it went in and finally this incredible game was over and the ‘hull had won the cup! Fair play to Netherton who were gracious in defeat and contributed to a fantastic game of football, they will give division one some problems next season. It seems fitting that first vs second played the cup final and played it so well. As for my lads, I am incredibly proud of how the played, how they handled themselves and how the fought. Not just on the day, but all season. Its been a pleasure to watch and manage them and am delighted that they have created this memory for themselves, the team and the church. What a day!!!
 
 

14 May 2017

WMCFL CUP FINAL

St Mary’s 1 – St Matthew’s Walsall 0

Congratulations to St Mary’s on winning their 4 WMCFL Cup final at AFC Wulfrunians last Saturday. The winning goal was scored by Andy Beeston, who also picked up the Man of the Match award.

Thanks to Simon Faulkner for the pictures from the day.

St Mary’s collect the trophy

Andy Beeston collects the Man of the Match award

The moment the winning goal was struck by Andy’s infamous white boot……

Goal celebrations 😀

More pictures from the day

 

 

 

 

14 May 2017

WMCFL – Division One Champions

Congratulations to Clarendon on achieving their 7th league title. Under the leadership of Sir Roger Moore (the knighthood is in the post Roger), Clarendon went through the season unbeaten in the league, scoring an incredible 112 goals!

31 Mar 2017

1st April – Predictions & Preview

It would be remiss of me not to start this weeks preview by congratulating Clarendon on securing their 7th Division One title last weekend. Their 5-2 win over Zion Athletic combined with St Mary’s being held at Rowley College meant they have built an unassailable lead at the top of the table. This weekend could see the Division Two title being wrapped up by St Andrew’s if they win against Renewal Solihull.

Division One:

Chawn Hill v St Mary’s – Chawn charge up the table continued with last weeks defeat of Charlemont and they can put pressure on St Mary’s for their league runners up birth if they can take the win over them this weekend. St Mary’s have won the previous 2 games against Chawn this season, the latest of these the 4-0 cup semi-final win two weeks ago.

Prediction: 1 – 3

City Church v Charlemont – City bounced back from their cup semi-final disappointment with a fine 6-1 home defeat of Wednesbury, which will secure them a mid table birth come the end of the season, removing any question of being dragged in to the relegation battle. Charlemont are in fight to retain their Division One status, and their back to back wins against the Zion’s in recent weeks have put them back in the mix to survive, plus they have games in hand.

Prediction: 2 – 2

Connect v Zion City – The bottom two meet at Saltley where Zion need the points to avoid losing touch with those above them. Connect put back to back draws together before their last game (a 5-0 defeat at Clarendon), but I did hear that Connect had Clarendon pinned at 1-0 for much of the game. Zion City games normally guarantee goals, so I’m predicting a high scoring game this weekend.

Prediction: 3 – 5

Maple Leaf v Clarendon – Maple Leaf’s shock win at St Matthews last weekend saw them stop the slide down the table and effectively secured their Division One status for next season. Clarendon have won 17 of their 19 league games this season and the meeting between the teams two weeks ago saw Clarendon hit Maple Leaf for double figures.

Prediction: 1 – 6

St Matthews v Zion Athletic – St Matthews came down from their league cup semi final win with a bump last week as they were beaten by out of form Maple Leaf at home. Zion probably need 2 wins from their final 3 games to secure Division One football next season, but have just 1 win in their last 9 league games.

Prediction: 2 – 2

Division Two & Division Two Cup:

Corinthians SK v Living Hope – Corinthians need a win to maintain their promotion hopes, currently trailing St Michaels in 3rd place by 4 points with a game in hand. Their last 2 league games have seen them draw twice to teams below them in the table. Living Hope are top of the bottom half of Division Two and can cement 7th place (above rivals Dudley Lions) with a win this weekend. These two teams met at the start of the season with Corinthians running out 3-2 winners.

Prediction: 3 – 1

Dudley Lions v St Thomas – Dudley’s win over Living Hope last weekend gave them hope that they can finish above them with a string end to the season and 3 wins in their last 4 games suggests this is a possibility. St Thomas are undefeated in their last 3 games and have found goals easy to come by. St Thomas won the reverse fixture back in September 2-1.

Prediction: 3 – 2

Holy Trinity v Selly Oak – Holy Trinity’s defeat at St Thomas last weekend means they must win this game to harbour any hopes of making it out of Group B. Selly Oak have won both of the league games between these 2 teams and are undefeated in their last 3 games and on the road are undefeated in their last 6.

Prediction: 2 – 4

Saint Michael v Brierley Hill AOG – Saint Michael are pushing for promotion this season and could pinch the runners up slot if Monyhull slip up in their final two games. Saint Michael have won their last 3 home games and are undefeated at home in their last 5 home games. Brierley Hill have struggled to get points recently having not increased their points tally since the win over Amblecote before Christmas.

Prediction: 4 – 0

St Andrews v Renewal Solihull – St Andrews can wrap up the Division Two title with a win over Renewal. St Andrews have won their last 9 games, stretching back to Christmas and have suffered defeat just once in their 18 league games. Renewal will want to finish the season strongly as a 4th place finish might result in a Division One birth next season dependant upon how things shape up in the close season. The other fixture between these teams (also held at Lode Lane) saw St Andrews run out 3-0 winners.

Prediction: 3 – 0

17 Mar 2017

18th March – Predictions & Preview

It’s Cup Semi-Final Weekend, with 4 teams battling it out at Moor Lane for a place in the final. In the league we have some interesting match ups, which could have a bearing on final league positions as we enter the last weeks of the season.

Many thanks to Dave Challoner of St Andrews for providing his predictions this week.

League Cup:

St Mary’s v Chawn Hill – St Mary’s returned normal service last weekend with a 5-2 home victory over Wednesbury. This is the 3rd successive season that St Mary’s have made it to this stage of the competition. Chawn continued their current hot streak with a 1-0 victory at Rowley, which pushed them up to 4th position in Division One. In the league meeting between the clubs at St Mary’s the home team came out winners 3-1.

Prediction:  Dave 4 – 0  Matt 3 – 1

St Matthews v City Church – Both of these team have had additional time to prepare for this semi final having not played last week (City haven’t played since 25/02). St Matthews are unbeaten in their last 3 games, which includes the 1-0 quarter final victory over Division One runaway leaders Clarendon. City have lost one of their last 8 games and are finding goals easy to come by in averaging over 3 goals a game since the turn of the year. The last league meeting between these teams saw a 2-2 draw at Rowheath on 17/12.

Prediction:  Dave 3 – 2  Matt 4 – 2

Division One:

Clarendon v Maple Leaf – With St Marys in cup action, Clarendon have the opportunity to stretch their lead at the top of Division One to 15 points this weekend, with St Mary’s having just 6 games left and Clarendon have a far superior goal difference that effectively gives them an extra point. Clarendon scored a regulation win over Connect last week in Handsworth. Maple Leaf have picked up 2 points in their last 8 games and are in what looks like a relatively safe 7th spot in Division One. However, Maple Leaf are just 5 points above 11th place and have played more games than those below them and are looking over their shoulder with a very difficult 3 games remaining this season.

Prediction:  Dave 5 – 1  Matt 5 – 0

Zion Athletic v Zion City10th v 11th at Brown Westhead Park this weekend, where both teams will be looking for a victory that will enable them to leapfrog Charlemont and climb out of the relegation zone. Zion dropped in to the relegation zone as a result of their 4-5 home defeat to Charlemont last week, succumbing to a very late strike by substitute James Wood. Zion City secured their first league win in 6 games defeating Maple Leaf 4-2 at home at weekend. The reverse fixture back in September saw Zion Athletic run out comfortable winners 6-1 in Wolverhampton, but something tells me this time it will be much closer.

Prediction:  Dave 3 – 3  Matt 2 – 2

Division Two & Division Two Cup:

Corinthians v Selly Oak –  Corinthians can make the most of St Michaels slip up last week to jump in to the final promotion position if results go their way this weekend. Corinthians haven’t played for 2 weeks, since their 1-1 draw away at Holy Trinity. Selly Oak occupy 6th place in Division Two, which will not change regardless of the result on Saturday. Last weekend Selly Oak took a point away from their trip to St Thomas.

Prediction:  Dave 4 – 2  Matt 3 – 1

Living Hope v St Michael – St Michael are now in a battle for the last promotion place and will be looking to bounce back from last weeks defeat to Renewal. St Michael have won their last 3 home games and have only suffered one defeat at home in 9 games this season to Division Two title hopefuls St Andrews back in November. After hitting a purple patch in the new year, Living Hope have suffered back to back defeats in recent weeks, last week suffering a heavy defeat to St Andrews at Hadley Stadium. Whilst recent form away from home is very good, Living Hope haven’t won at home in their last 6.

Prediction:  Dave 2 – 3  Matt 2 – 3

Renewal Solihull v Dudley Lions – Solihull scored an impressive 5-2 home win over St Michael last weekend and will be looking to back that up with a repeat of their league meeting with Dudley back in November when they ran out 7-4 winners at Lode Heath. Dudley have won their last 2 games, both games on the road, which will give them encouragement they can get a result this weekend. Dudley lost their first game in Group D to St Andrews, so they’ll need to win big and hope the final group result goes in their favour if they are to progress in the competition.

Prediction:  Dave 4 – 2  Matt 2 – 0

St Andrews v Amblecote Nomads – This games sees top verses bottom at Hadley Stadium on Saturday. St Andrews scored their 15th league win of the season in their 8-0 thumping of Living Hope to top the table and effectively secure promotion last weekend due to their healthy goal difference. Amblecote are on a 7 game losing streak and conceded their 100th league goal in their 3-1 defeat at Holy Trinity. Its been a difficult first season for Amblecote, but they should take heart that many of the teams in Division One started their WMCFL years with similar first seasons, learning from the experience and progressing in second and subsequent seasons, developing in to successful teams.

Prediction: Dave 7 -2 Matt 8 – 0

St Thomas v Brierley Hill AOG – A win for either team would see them jump up to 8th and top of the bottom half mini league in Division Two. St Thomas scored an impressive 6-1 victory in the reverse fixture at the start of the season. Brierley Hill have yet to secure a point since the turn of the year, suffering 6 consecutive defeats. Last weekend saw Brierley Hill lose 8-2 away at Monyhull in a Division Two Cup fixture.

Prediction:  Dave 4 – 2  Matt 3 – 1

10 Mar 2017

11th March – Predictions & Preview

Thanks to John Myatt of St Mary’s for providing his predictions for this weeks round of matches:

Division One:

Clarendon v Connect – Clarendon enjoyed a week off last week after their shock cup quarter final defeat and come in to this game refreshed and eager for the 3 points that takes them within touching distance of wrapping up the league title. Connect have remained unbeaten in their last 2 games and have found goals a little easier to come by, scoring 5 at Maple Leaf last weekend. The reverse fixture at Saltley saw Clarendon run out winners 6-0.

Prediction: John  12 – 1, Matt 7 – 0

Rowley v Chawn Hill – Rowley chalked up their 8th draw of the season on Saturday with a last minute penalty at home to St Matthews to secure a 2 -2 draw. One more draw and Rowley will equal the highest number of drawn games in a season since internet records began (2000). Chawn have won 5 of their last 6 games including their cup quarter final victory and are now up to 5th in the division with a game in hand on Wednesbury 3 points above them. Interestingly, unlike Rowley, Chawn haven’t been involved in a draw in their last 18 leagues games stretching back to March 19th 2016.

Prediction: John 4 – 2, Matt 2 – 1

St Mary’s’ v Wednesbury – St Mary’s have been stuttering of late, losing to ten man Clarendon and being held to a draw in normal time by Zion City in the cup quarter final. St Mary’s have a very strong record at home, conceding just 9 goals in 7 home league games. Wednesbury will be looking to complete the double over St Mary’s having won the reverse fixture 2-1 in September. Wednesbury are unbeaten in their last 4 league away fixtures.

Prediction: John 2 – 1, Matt 3 – 2

Zion Athletic v Charlemont – Zion have won just one of the their last eight league games and find themselves a point above the relegation positions. A defeat on Saturday to Charlemont will result in them slipping in to the bottom three. Charlement ended a 4 game winless streak with a win over Zion City last weekend. Charlemont have games in hand over those above them and will be keen not to allow a gap to build up between them and the teams directly above.

Prediction: John 2 – 4 Matt 2 – 2

Zion City v Maple Leaf – Zion City’s last league win came in January, when they defeated Maple Leaf by the odd goal in 9, in a thriller at Clapgate Lane. Zion have struggled to score goals at home, managing just 10 goals in their 7 league home games. Maple Leaf have yet to pick up a win in 2017 and will be hoping to stop their slide down the league table with a win, as their remaining 3 league games see them take on Clarendon twice and St Matt’s away.

Prediction: John 3 – 3, Matt 4 – 3

Division Two & Cup:

Holly Trinity v Amblecote Nomads – The divisions bottom two teams face off at NEW Academy. Holly Trinity ended a 4 game losing streak with a draw at home to Corinthians last weekend and have picked up 11 points from 8 games at home this season. As I think I’ve mentioned before, Amblecote are better on their travels than at home, picking up 6 more points and scoring 5 more goals on their travels than at home.

Prediction: John 4 – 3, Matt 5 – 3

Monyhull v Brierley Hill AOG – Table toppers Monyhull take on Brierley Hill in a division two cup game. In the league fixtures between these 2 teams, Monyhull have run out winners 23-0, so its a brave person that would tip Brierley Hill to pick up anything in this game! Monyhull suffered a scare (by their standards) away to Living Hope last week, scoring a 4-3 win. Brierley Hill have lost their last 5 games and are winless in 2017.

Prediction: John 7 – 2, Matt 8 – 0

Renewal Solihull v St Michael  – Renewal have performed well at home this season winning 5 of their 8 games, but come in to this game off the back of a home league defeat to title chargers St Andrews. St Michael’s have hopes of a top 3 finish and promotion to Division 1, facing competition from Corinthians for the final promotion berth. St Michael’s haven’t played for 3 weeks so might need an extra long warm up to prepare for this match. St Michael’s last away game saw them lose 4-2 at Corinthians.

Prediction: John 2 – 2, Matt 2 – 4

St Andrews v Living Hope  – St Andrews scored a 13-2 win over St Thomas last week, their biggest win of the season and average over 8 goals a game in their last 4 home games. Living Hope will have taken confidence from their narrow defeat to Monyhull last week, but come in to this game on a 3 match winning streak when away from home. St Andrews won the reverse fixture 5-0 when the sides faced each other in January.

Prediction: John 5 – 2, Matt 4 – 1

St Thomas v Selly Oak – St Thomas will be smarting after their hammering at St Andrews last week and have collected just 4 points from their last 6 league games. Selly Oak’s had won 4 games on the bounce before their defeat to Living Hope last time out. Selly Oak won the reverse fixture 2-1 back in October with Kieran Blake-Burke scoring a brace to secure the win.

Prediction: John 5 – 4, Matt 1 – 1

3 Mar 2017

4th March – Predictions & Preview

Back to league business this week, though the weather appears to have had an impact on this weeks fixtures with a couple of games already off (8pm Friday).

Steve Farley of Living Hope has kindly agreed to provide his predictions for this weeks round of matches:

Division One:

Maple Leaf v Connect – Maple Leaf are on a 4 game winless streak since the beginning of the year and their last 4 home games have yielded 28 goals. So, if you are local and free on Saturday morning, Clapgate Lane is the place to be for guaranteed goals. Connect collected their first point of the season last week at home to Zion Athletic and will be hoping to build on that result and collect more points at Maple Leaf.

Prediction: Steve  2 – 1, Matt 2 – 2

Rowley v St Matthews – Rowley earned a point at Wednesbury, their 7th draw of the season (I make the league record 9 draws in a season), however they remain unbeaten since the turn of the year. St Matts pulled off somewhat of a cup shock at Clarendon and will be looking to consolidate 3rd place as well as position themselves for any slips up from St Marys to pinch 2nd place.

Prediction: Steve 2 – 3, Matt 2 – 2

Zion City v Charlemont – Bantock Park hosts this clash in which both teams need 3 points to catch up with those above them. Zion forced extra time in last weeks cup quarter final at St Marys, which will give them belief despite the final result going against them. Charlemont’s last win came in the reverse fixture, winning by the odd goal in 11 at Hydes Road before Christmas, and are averaging over 3 goals a game on their travels.

Prediction: Steve 1 – 3, Matt 2 – 3

Division Two:

Amblecote Nomads v Dudley Lions  – Amblecote’s winless home form continued with defeat at the hands of table toppers Monyhull on Saturday. Dudley secured their first league win on the road at Brierley Hill last week and buoyed by that result and hopeful of another 3 point haul from their travels this weekend.

Prediction: Steve 4 – 3, Matt 1 – 3

Living Hope v Monyhull – Living Hope extended their unbeaten run to 4 games with last weeks defeat of Selly Oak. The defence has been a key feature of Living Hope’s recent success, securing 3 clean sheets in the last 4 games. Monyhull have been strong on their travels this season, securing 7 wins from the 9 games and have scored on average over 5 goals a game in away league games.

Prediction: Steve 6 – 0, Matt 2 – 4

St Michael v Holly Trinity – St Michael are unbeaten in their last 5 games at home, including a 4 nil defeat of table toppers Monyhull in January. Holly Trinity have struggled on their travels, picking up 4 points from their 10 away games, with the last point collected a 1-1 draw in November at Living Hope.

Prediction: Steve 5- 2, Matt 4 – 0

St Andrews v St Thomas – St Andrews have won their last 4 home league games and are undefeated in the league since October. St Andrews have averaged over 6 goals a game in home games this season. St Thomas have a better record on their travels than at home this season, securing 3 wins from their 7 league away matches.

Prediction: Steve 4 – 1, Matt 5 – 0

24 Feb 2017

25th February – Predictions & Preview

As well as the usual serving of Division One and Two fixtures, this weeks fixtures see the remaining 3 cup quarter finals played to see who will join Chawn Hill in the semi finals.

Stephen Richardson of City Church joins me in predicting the outcomes of this weeks round of matches:

WMCFL Cup:

Charlemont v City Church  – Both teams head in to this game off the back of home league defeats. Charlemont’s defeat at home to Chawn saw their first shutout since early November. City come in to this game off the back of their first home defeat since April 2016 at the hands of 10 man Rowley. Charlemont need to start winning to get themselves out of the relegation zone, whereas City will want to get back to winning ways in their pursuit of a top 3 finish.

Prediction: Steve  2 – 3, Matt 3 – 2

Clarendon v St Matthews  – Clarendon’s last gasp defeat of St Marys, despite ending the game with 10 men, pretty much clinched them their 7th WMCFL title in Handsworth last week. St Matts come in to this game off the back of a comprehensive 5-1 home win over Connect. The 2 league games between these teams have seen Clarendon run out winners 12-2 on aggregate, but this is the cup and as last weeks FA Cup ties showed us anything can happen in the cup!

Prediction: Steve  3 – 2, Matt 4 – 1

St Marys v Zion City  – With St Marys league title aspirations extinguished last Saturday, they can now firmly “focus on the cup”. The 2 league games between these teams this season have ended up with St Mary’s triumphing 2-0 on both occasions. Zion City have scored 17 goals in the cup so far this season and they’ll be hoping to continue that free scoring attitude in to this game and cause a shock.

Prediction: Steve  3 – 1, Matt 3 – 0

Division One:

Chawn Hill v Maple Leaf – Chawn come in to this game in impressive form, having won 5 of their last 6 matches in all competitions. Maple Leaf on the other hand have won 1 of their last 5, though the solitary win was an impressive 6-1 away win at Zion Athletic. The reverse fixture earlier this season saw Maple Leaf run out 3-1 winners at Clapgate Lane.

Prediction: Steve  1 – 4, Matt 4 – 3

Wednesbury v Rowley – Wednesbury are undefeated in their last 3 games, moving up in to 4th place with victory over Zion Athletic. Rowley ended a near 5 month wait for a win, with their defeat of City Church at Rowheath. The previous 3 games between these teams have harvested exactly 6 goals a game, the 2 most recent matches ending 3-3. What price a 3rd consecutive 3-3?

Prediction: Steve 2 – 2, Matt 2 – 3

Connect v Zion Ath – Connect continue to search for their first league point and can take hope that the closest they came to securing points this season came against Zion Athletic when they went down 3-2 back in September. Zion have won 1 of their 7 away games and need a win to pull away from the relegation zone.

Prediction: Steve 1 – 4, Matt 1 – 2

Division Two & Division Two Cup:

Amblecote Nomads v Monyhull Church – Bottom verses top kicks off the Division 2 preview. These teams have met twice in the league this season with Monyhull winning handsomely on both occasions. Amblecote will come in this game with increased confidence following the narrow loss last Saturday at 3rd place St Michael’s. Monyhull got back to winning ways last weekend, scoring 7 in their defeat of Holy Trinity.

Prediction: Steve 0 – 4, Matt 2 – 5

Brierley Hill AOG v Dudley Lions

Brierley Hill play their last home league match of this season against Dudley Lions. Brierley Hill are yet to earn a point this year, a run of 4 defeats in 2017 started at the hands of Dudley Lions in a 3-1 at the SW&B Academy. Dudley Lions have picked up 1 point from their 9 league away matches, but have managed 2 or more goals in 7 of 9 away games.

Prediction: Steve 2 – 1, Matt 2 – 2

Holly Trinity v Corinthians – Holly Trinity suffered a 7-2 loss at Monyhull last weekend, their 4th consecutive defeat since the turn of the year. Corinthians cup hopes ended with defeat at Chawn on Saturday, but in the league they are on a run of 3 successive wins and boast a decent away record, with just 2 defeats from 8 games on the road.

Prediction: Steve 1 – 3, Matt 0 – 3

Renewal Solihull v St Andrews – Renewal have been scoring lots of goals recently, averaging just under 6 goals per game from their last 6 matches, which included the 14 goal thriller with Corinthians in the first week of 2017. St Andrews are on a 5 match winning streak and have been scoring goals themselves, 29 goals scored in those 5 games. If this goes to form, it could be an epic!

Prediction: Steve 2 – 2, Matt 4 – 6

Selly Oak v Living Hope – Selly Oak have won 4 on the bounce, against the current bottom 4 teams in Division 2. The winning run has seen Selly Oak nearly double their seasons point tally and rise to 6th in the Division. Living Hope have won 3 of their 7 games away from home, but have scored the least number of goals away from home in the division. Defences could be on top in this game.

Prediction: Steve 2 – 2, Matt 1 – 1

17 Feb 2017

18th February – Predictions & Preview

We’ve had a week without freezing temperatures and significant rain, so after a near wipe out last week I’m hopeful that we’ll see all fixtures played tomorrow.

Roger Moore (WMCFL’s very own Sir Alex Ferguson) has kindly agreed to provide his predictions for this weeks round of games:

Division One:

Charlemont v Chawn Hill – Charlemont are a tough proposition at Hydes Road, losing just 3 of 8 home games with two of those defeats at the hands of the leagues top two. Chawn have 6 points from on their travels in 7 games, scoring 12 goals (6 of which came against Connect).

Prediction: Roger 2 – 2, Matt 3 – 2

City Church v Rowley – City are 1 of 3 teams in Division 1 who are unbeaten at home this season. Rowley have won just 1 of their 7 away games, scoring the second lowest number of goals away from home in the division.

Prediction: Roger 4 – 3, Matt 1 – 3

Clarendon v St Marys – WMCFL’s “El Classico” in Handsworth tomorrow. Clarendon unbeaten all season and averaging over 4 goals a game are on a title charge scoring 17 goals in their last 2 games. St Mary’s have to win to keep up the pressure on Clarendon and the record books show they have a very good record at Clarendon. St Mary’s have only conceded 4 goals on their travels this season.

Prediction: Roger 1 – 2, Matt 2 – 2

St Matthews v Connect – St Matts have had a strong first season in the top division, sitting 3rd and boasting the 2nd post potent attack in the division behind Clarendon. Connect are having a tough season and they will pick up points before the end of the season, but I think they’ll return from Walsall empty handed.

Prediction: Roger 5 – 1, Matt 6 – 0

Wednesbury v Zion Ath. – Both these teams have had indifferent seasons, having occupied 2 of the top 4 positions in Division 1 at the end of last season. Wednesbury have won 4 and lost 4 of their 8 home games this season, with the highlight inflicting St Marys’ only away defeat so far this season. Zion are the draw specialists away from home, drawing 4 of their 6 away games with their solitary away win coming at the start of September.

Prediction: Roger 1 – 3, Matt 2 – 3

 

Division Two:

Brierley Hill v Selly Oak – Brierley Hill have won 3 of their 9 home games this season, with those 9 games notching up a total of 59 goals in total. Selly Oak have a better away record than home record, winning 4 of their 6 away games and scoring 13 goals in their last 2 away games.

Prediction: Roger 1 – 3, Matt 1 – 4

Dudley Lions v St Andrews – Dudley have a good home record, despite their league position and have scored 3 or more goals in their last 5 home games. St Andrews are unbeaten on their travels this season, winning 7 of their 8 away games and have scored on average 5 goals a game – so this should be an enjoyable match to watch!

Prediction: Roger 0 – 5, Matt 2 – 6

Monyhull v Holly Trinity – Monyhull currently sit top of Division 2, having won 12 of their 18 games and scoring 84 goals in the process – the highest scoring team in WMCFL. Holly Trinity have won 1 of their 9 away games, the win coming away at Amblecote on the 2nd weekend of the season and are struggling for goals away from home.

Prediction: Roger 7- 1, Matt 5 – 0

St Michael v Amblecote – St Michaels have lost just 1 of their 8 home games, a defeat to St Andrews, and have conceded less than a goal a game at home this season. Amblecote are having a tough first season in WMCFL, but are performing better away from home securing a 4 – 4 draw at St Thomas in their last away game.

Prediction: Roger 3 – 1, Matt 4 – 0

St Thomas v Living Hope – 8th take on 7th at Streetley tomorrow, with St Thomas looking to leapfrog Living Hope with a win. St Thomas’ last home game saw them beat Holly Trinity 4 – 1, creating a buffer between themselves at the team at the foot of the table. Living Hope’s last away game saw them score 6 at Brierley, erasing the memory of the previous away game when they’d conceded 6 at table toppers Monyhull.

Prediction: Roger 1 – 1, Matt 1 – 2

27 Jan 2017

Zion City – Players Wanted

Zion City are looking for players to join their team.

If you or anyone you know is interested, please contact Arun on 07817 846740.

15 Jan 2017

Comedy Night – Chawn Hill Church

Church Hill Church are hosting a comedy night on Friday 10th February with John Archer @ 8:00pm

BAFTA-winning comedy magician, John Archer, is one of the few people to have ever fooled Penn & Teller.

As a winner of the Magic Circle Stage Magician of the Year, he’s the real deal. Derren Brown, Dynamo, and Tim Vine all say he is hysterically funny.

Tickets: £8:00 booked online.

This will be a great evening to invite friends and family to join you.

Steve Knight (Chawn Hill Church)

 

13 Jan 2017

Cup Draws

At tonight’s League Meeting, the draw took place for the quarter finals of the League Cup and the Division 2 Cup.

 

League Cup – Quarter Finals (Ties to take place 11th February 2017)

Clarendon v St. Matthew’s

St. Mary’s v Zion City

Charlemont Star v City Church

Chawn Hill Church v Corinthians SK

 

The fixtures for the Semi Finals are now also know.

Clarendon or St. Matthew’s v Charlemont Star or City Church

St. Mary’s or Zion City v Chawn Hill Church or Corinthians SK

 

Division Two Cup

This competition will take the form of 4 Groups, where each team will play the other teams in the group once (one game at home, the other away). The winners from each group will progress to the semi finals.

 

Group A

Amblecote Nomads

Monyhull Church

Brierley Hill AOG

 

Group B

Selly Oak Methodist

Holy Trinity

St. Thomas Aldridge

 

Group C

St. Michael

Corinthians SK

Living Hope Church

 

Group D

Renewal Solihull

Dudley Lions

St. Andrews Netherton

8 Jan 2017

WMCFL website – Your views wanted!

Having recently taken on the role of WMCFL e-secretary, I seeking your views on the WMCFL and our FA Full Time site. I’m keen to hear the views of players, managers and those associated with WMCFL as to what you think of the current content and welcome your suggestions on changes you’d like to see the site and the online presence of the league.

Please provide your feedback via the “Contact” form on this site or by email to matt.will7777@googlemail.com.

8 Jan 2017

League Meeting – Friday 13th January

A gentle reminder to all team secretaries / representatives, that the next league meeting is this Friday at Zion Centre, Halesowen. KO 19:30

3 Dec 2016

League Predictor: 3 December 2016

Two perfect predictions helped the Club Secs comfortably win last week’s challenge 14 to 8! Despite that I still lead 86-81.

This week Aaron Muffett from St Matthews Walsall has made the selections for the Club Secs.

 
  League Secretary Club Secretaries
Match Result Score Result Score
         
Charlemont Star v Coventry United Away 1-4 Away 2-3 AET
Maple Leaf v City Church Away 2-3 Away 1-3
Rowley College v Wednesbury Baptist Away 1-2 Away 1-5
St Mary’s v Chawn Hill Home 3-2 Home 7-0
Zion Athletic v St Matthews Away 1-5 Away 2-5
         
Corinthians SK v Holy Trinity Heath Town Home 4-2 Away 0-1
Dudley Lions v Saint Michaels Away 1-3 Draw 1-1
Living Hope v Brierley Hill AOG Draw 3-3 Away 1-2
Selly Oak v Monyhull Draw 3-3 Away 2-4
St Andrews v Two Gates Home 5-3 Home 4-1
         
         

 

As always it’s just fun…so enjoy your matches and prove us wrong!

 

Till next time

 

James

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29 Nov 2016

Team News: Living Hope Church

Thanks to Steve Farley of Living Hope Church for sharing the news below:

Callum Oakshott is the latest winner of Living Hope’s Elvis Gordon trophy. The award was presented on Sunday at Living Hope Church’s morning service attended by several players and their partners.

Elvis Gordon was a Black Country heavyweight judo legend who died at the age of 52 following a brave battle against cancer. He joined Living Hope Church and gave his life to the Lord after the cancer was diagnosed.
The 11-times British champion was one of the region’s best known and most respected sports stars.

Weighing in at 23 stone, he struck gold in the European Championships and Commonwealth Games, silver in the World Championships and competed in the Los Angeles, Seoul and Barcelona Olympic Games before retiring in 1992.

Elvis was a great advocate of fair play and commitment to the team and the Elvis Gordon award is given to a person who has given themselves to the club above and beyond the usual cause of duty.

Congratulations to Callum, without his hard work, vision and dedication this team would not run. Richly deserved my friend

LHC - Callum

25 Nov 2016

League Predictor: 26 November

No perfect predictions last week, however, I did win the round 5-4 to extend my lead to 78-67.

This week Ben Hart from Amblecote Nomads has made the selections for the Club Secs

 

 
  League Secretary Club Secretaries
Match Result Score Result Score
         
Charlemont Star v Rowley College Away 1-3 Draw 2-2
Chawn Hill v Connect Sports Home 3-0 Home 5-1
Clarendon v City Church Home 3-2 Home 4-0
St Matthews Walsall v Zion City Home 5-1 Home 2-1
Wednesbury Baptist v Maple Leaf Rovers QMC Away 2-3 Home 3-1
Zion Athletic v St Marys Away 2-5 Away 2-5
         
Amblecote Nomads v Living Hope Church Away 2-3 Home 3-2
Brierley Hill AOG v Holy Trinity Heath Town Draw 3-3 Away 1-6
Corinthians SK v St Thomas Aldridge Home 3-1 Home 7-2
Monyhull Church v St Andrews Netherton Baggies Away 4-5 Away 2-4
Renewal Solihull v Dudley Lions Home 3-2 Home 7-3
Saint Michael v Selly Oak Methodist Away 3-4 Home 5-3

 

As always it’s just fun…so enjoy your matches and prove us wrong!

 

Till next time

 

James

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22 Nov 2016

Match Reports

Aside from Pete Bennett of Rowley, who has been a regular contributor to the site, the match reports submitted to the WMCFL site have recently dried up. This is a request to everyone who visits the site and plays for / is involved with a WMCFL team to submit match reports via the site or by email to matt.will7777@googlemail.com.

Win, lose or draw its great to read the details behind the result!!

18 Nov 2016

League Predictor: 19 Nov 2016

A perfect prediction on the Selly Oak match has allowed me to put some breathing space between me and the Club Secs. I won the week 9-6, taking the overall score to 73-66.

This week Jason Marshall from Wednesbury Baptist has made the selections for the Club Secs

 

League Secretary Club Secretaries
Match Result Score Result Score
Brierley Hill v Charlemont Star Home 7-1 Away 1-5
Clarendon v Chawn Hill Church Home 6-3 Home 6-0
Connect Sports v Corinthians SK Away 0-3 Away 1-2
Maple Leaf Rovers QMC v St Matthews Walsall Away 3-4 Draw 2-2
St Marys v Zion City Home 4-1 Home 3-2
Zion Athletic v Rowley College Away 2-3 Away 1-2
Dudley Lions v Amblecote Nomads Home 2-1 Home 7-1
Living Hope Church v Holy Trinity Heath Town Home 3-2 Home 3-2
Monyhull Church v Renewal Solihull Away 3-4 Draw 4-4
Saint Michael v St Andrews Netherton Baggies Away 4-5 Home 3-2

 

As always it’s just fun…so enjoy your matches and prove us wrong!

 

Till next time

 

James

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Nov 2016

League Predictor: 12 Nov 16

Another low scoring weekend last week – I won 6-4 – putting me four ahead of the Club Secs overall (64-60).

This week John Millist from Monyhull Church has made the selections for the Club Secs

 

 
  League Secretary Club Secretaries
Match Result Score Result Score
         
Clarendon v Renewal Solihull Home 3-2 Home 5-1
Living Hope Church v St Marys Away 3-4 Away 2-4
Maple Leaf Rovers QMC v Chawn Hill Church Home 3-2 Home 2-1
Rowley College v City Church Away 3-4 Away 2-3
Wednesbury Baptist v St Matthews Walsall Away 2-4 Away 2-4
Zion City v St Andrews Netherton Baggies Away 2-5 Away 2-3
         
Amblecote Nomads v Monyhull Church Away 1-4 Away 0-3
Selly Oak Methodist v Dudley Lions Home 3-2 Home 3-1
St Thomas Aldridge v Saint Michael Away 1-4 Draw 2-2
         
         
         

 

As always it’s just fun…so enjoy your matches and prove us wrong!

 

Till next time

 

James

 

 

 

 

 

3 Nov 2016

League Predictor: 5 Nov 16

Another low scoring weekend last week – I won 6-4 – putting me two ahead of the Club Secs overall (58-56).

This week Pete Barks from Zion Athletic has made the selections for the Club Secs

 

 
  League Secretary Club Secretaries
Match Result Score Result Score
         
Charlemont v St Marys Away 1-3 Away 1-4
Chawn v Wednesbury Away 2-3 Home 3-2
Connect v Clarendon Away 0-6 Away 1-6
Rowley v Maple Away 3-4 Home 3-2
Zion A v City C Draw 3-3 Home 3-1
         
St Matthews v Brocton Home 4-2 Away 0-2
         
Brierley H v Monyhull Away 2-3 Home 3-1
Dudley v Corinthians Away 2-4 Away 2-4
 Holy Trinity v St Michael Away 2-5 Away 1-6
Selly O v Amblecote N Home 3-0 Away 2-5
St Thomas v Renewal Away 2-4 Draw 3-3

 

As always it’s just fun…so enjoy your matches and prove us wrong!

 

Till next time

 

James

 

 

 

 

28 Oct 2016

League Predictor: 29 Oct 16

Low scoring weekend last week – I won 7-3 – bringing me level with the Club Secs overall (52-52).

This week Robert Zaleski from St Michaels has made the selections for the Club Secs

 

 
  League Secretary Club Secretaries
Match Result Score Result Score
         
Charlemont v Zion A Draw 2-2 Away 1-2
City Church v Zion C Home 3-2 Home 4-2
Connect v Chawn Away 0-1 Away 0-3
St Matthews v Rowley Draw 3-3 Draw 2-2
         
Brierley Hill v St Andrews Away 2-4 Away 0-6
Living Hope v Nomads Home 6-1 Home 2-1
Renewal v Corinthians Draw 2-2 Draw 2-2
St Michaels v Dudley Home 5-1 Home 4-2
Selly Oak v St Thomas Away 2-3 Home 3-1
         
         
         

 

As always it’s just fun…so enjoy your matches and prove us wrong!

 

Till next time

 

James

 

 

 

21 Oct 2016

League Predictor: 22 October 2016

Better week for me I beat the Club Secs 13-11, thus reducing the overall gap to 4 points (45-49). Interestingly both the Club Secs and I correctly predicted that Monyhull v St Michael would end 2-2.

This week Pete Bennett from Rowley College has made the selections for the Club Secs

 

 
  League Secretary Club Secretaries
Match Result Score Result Score
         
Chawn v Zion A Away 0-3 Away 2-4
City v Connect Home 2-0 Home 4-1
Clarendon v Rowley Home 3-2 Draw 1-1
Maple v Charlemont Home 4-2 Home 2-1
Wednesbury v St Matthews Home 4-3 Draw 2-2
Zion City v St Marys Away 2-3 Away 1-5
         
Nomads v Brierley Hill Away 1-4 Away 2-3
Dudley v Renewal Away 1-4 Away 1-4
Holy Trinity v Living Hope Away 1-2 Away 1-2
Monyhull v Selly Oak Home 5-2 Home 3-1
St Andrews v St Michael Away 4-5 Home 3-0
St Thomas v Corinthians Away 3-5 Home 2-1

 

As always it’s just fun…so enjoy your matches and prove us wrong!

 

Till next time

 

James

 

 

14 Oct 2016

League Predictor: 15 October 2016

Last week was quite a week for the Club Secs with them getting full marks for the Charlemont and City Church results giving them a score of 12 to my 7. This brings the overall score to League Sec 32 Club Secs 38! A wider gap than last week but I can’t hear the operatic lady yet…

This week Rob O’Neill has made the selections for the Club Secs

 

 
  League Secretary Club Secretaries
Match Result Score Result Score
         
Charlemont v Clarendon Away 2-5 Away 1-3
Connect v Maple Away 0-2 Away 0-2
St Matthews v Chawn Home 1-0 Home 2-1
Wednesbury v City Church Home 4-1 Home 3-2
         
Rowley v Zion A Home 3-2 Away 2-2 – Zion win AET
         
Corinthians v Nomads Home 3-1 Home 3-1
Dudley v St Andrews Away 1-3 Away 1-5
Living v St Thomas Away 1-3 Away 0-2
Monyhull v St Michael Draw 2-2 Draw 2-2
Renewal v Holy Trinity Home 3-1 Home 3-1
Selly Oak v Brierley Hill Draw 1-1 Home 3-1

 

As always it’s just fun…so enjoy your matches and prove us wrong!

 

Till next time

 

James

 

7 Oct 2016

League Predictor: 8 October 2016

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to publish the League Sec and Club Sec predictions for last week, however in the week before the Club Secs scored 8 to my 6 bringing the overall score to League Sec 25 Club Secs 26! I’m behind but only just.

This week Steve Knight has cast his thoughts over the League and Cup matches:

  League Secretary Club Secretaries
Match Result Score Result Score
         
Clarendon v Wednesbury Home 3-2 Home 3-1
St Matthews v St Marys Away 3-4 Away 0-2
Charlemont v Monyhull Away 2-4 Home 3-2
City Church v Holy Trinity Home 2-1 Home 2-1
St Michael v Maple Leaf Home 2-1 Away 1-3
Living Hope v Dudley Home 3-2 Home 4-2
Renewal v St Thomas Away 1-2 Home 3-2
St Andrews v Nomads Home 6-1 Home 5-0
Brierley Hill v Corinthians Away 1-6 Away 1-7

 

As always it’s just fun…so enjoy your matches and prove us wrong!

 

Till next time

 

James

23 Sep 2016

League Predictor for 24/9/16

All of last week’s matches were played and in the Prediction Challenge the Club Secs managed to get full points on the St Matthews v Clarendon match. Well done! The scores for the week were League Sec 7 Club Secs 8, taking the overall scores to League Sec 19 Club Secs 18.

This week Andres Senior from Maple League Rovers QMC has done the predictions on behalf of the Club Secs, so here are both mine and his:

 
  League Secretary Club Secretaries
Match Result Score Result Score
         
City v Maple Away 2-5 Away 1-2
Connect v Rowley Away 0-2 Away 0-2
St Marys v Charlemont Away 1-3 Draw 2-2
Wednesbury v Chawn Home 3-0 Away 1-2
Zion A v Clarendon Away 4-5 Away 1-4
Zion C v St Matts Away 2-4 Draw 2-2
         
Brierley v Renewal Away 0-3 Away 0-3
Holy Trinity v Selly Oak Home 3-0 Home 2-1
Monyhull v Corinthians Away 2-3 Draw 3-3
St Mike’s v Living H Home 4-2 Home 2-1
St Toms v Dudley Home 3-0 Home 4-3

 

As with last week’s predictions it’s just for fun.

 

You’ll find match reports on this site at http://www.wmcfl.co.uk/matchday/match-reports/

 

Till next time…

 

James

16 Sep 2016

League Predictions 17 Sep

All of last week’s matches were played and in the Prediction Challenge neither I nor the Club Secs managed to get full points from any of the matches. The scores for the week were League Sec 4 Club Secs 6, taking the overall scores to League Sec 12 Club Secs 10.

This week Brian Follows from Renewal Solihull has volunteered to do the predictions on behalf of the Club Secs, so here are both mine and his:

 
  League Secretary Club Secretaries
Match Result Score Result Score
         
Charlemont v Maple Home 4-1 Draw 2-2
Rowley v Zion City Away 0-4 Home 3-1
St Matts v Clarendon Away 0-4 Away 1-5
Wednesbury v St Marys Home 3-1 Away 1-3
Zion A v Connect Home 5-4 Home 5-1
         
Corinthians v Brierley Home 2-1 Home 3-1
Holy Trinity v Monyhull Away 1-7 Home 4-2
Living Hope v Dudley Home 4-3 Draw 2-2
Renewal v Nomads Away 2-3 Home 4-2
Selly Oak v St Mike’s Away 1-3 Away 2-3
St Toms v St Andy’s Home 3-2 Draw 2-2

 

As with last week’s predictions it’s just for fun.

 

You’ll find match reports on this site at http://www.wmcfl.co.uk/matchday/match-reports/

 

Till next time…

 

James

 

9 Sep 2016

Prediction Challenge: 10 Sep 16

All of last week’s matches were all played and in the Prediction Challenge I managed to get full points from both the Chawn v Clarendon and Corinthians v Dudley matches giving me 8 points to the Club Secs 4. Andy didn’t fare so well, only managing to pick up single points from four matches.

 

This week Ian Baker from Brierley Hill has volunteered to do the predictions on behalf of the Club Secs, so here are both mine and his:

  League Secretary Club Secretaries
Match Result Score Result Score
         
Wednesbury v Connect Home 3-2 Home 3-2
Maple v Chawn Away 0-2 Draw 2-2
St Marys v Clarendon Home 4-2 Away 1-5
St Matts v Charlemont Away 3-4 Home 3-2
Zion C v Zion A Draw 4-4 Home 4-3
         
Nomads v Heath Town Home 3-0 Home 4-1
Brierley Hill v St Thomas Away 2-4 Home 3-2
Living Hope v Corinthians Draw 2-2 Away 2-4
Monyhull v Dudley Draw 2-2 Home 5-2
St Michaels v Renewal Draw 3-3 Home 4-2
Selly Oak v St Andrews Away 0-4 Away 2-5

 

As with last week’s predictions it’s just for fun, however, one of the Club Secretaries did tell me that my predictions were used as part of the team talk to spur the players on.

 

You’ll find match reports from last Saturday on this site at http://www.wmcfl.co.uk/matchday/match-reports/

 

Till next time…

 

James

1 Sep 2016

Prediction Challenge: 3 Sep 16

Here then is the first set of predictions. In a change to the advertised order we have Andy Wilcoxson (Charlemont Star) representing the Club Secs.

 

League Secretary Club Secretaries
Match Result Score Result Score
Charlemont v Connect Draw 4-4 Home 3-0
Chawn v Clarendon Away 0-3 Away 1-3
Maple v Rowley Away 2-3 Away 1-2
St Marys v Zion A Home 4-2 Home 2-1
St Matts v City Home 4-1 Home 3-0
Wednesbury v Zion C Away 2-4 Home 3-0
Nomads v St Michaels Away 1-3 Away 2-3
Corinthians v Lions Home 3-2 Draw 1-1
Holy Trinity v St Thomas Home 2-0 Away 1-3
Renewal v Monyhull Home 3-1 Home 2-1
St Andrews v Brierley Hill Draw 2-2 Away 1-3

 

On Saturday we’ll see how both of us have got on

27 Aug 2016

League Meeting

The next League Meeting is on Friday 2 September, commencing 7:30pm.

 

We will be meeting at Zion Church, Halesowen, B63 3AJ.

All Club Secretaries are expected to attend. If you can’t attend personally send a deputy.

Map link: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Little+Cornbow,+Halesowen+B63+3AJ/@52.4486529,-2.0503122,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x4870969365cb624d:0xfbb28c51e9106da9!8m2!3d52.4484785!4d-2.0479959

12 Aug 2016

Behaviour towards Match Officials

A reminder of new rules being introduced for the new season regarding behaviour towards officials , by players and managers.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/36844570

12 Aug 2016

City Church are looking for opponents for the evening of Thursday 18th August 2016

If you are interested please contact Stephen Richardson using the details in the handbook.

20 Jun 2016

Prediction Challenge – Final Post + Player Of The Season

It has been a while since an update but here we go….

The Prediction Challenge was a close run thing with the final score as follows:

Kovacs’ Kolumn 170 Club Secretaries 163

I hope you’ve enjoyed following it every week.

***********************************************************************************************

Player Of The Season Winners are as follows;

Division One Winner – James Chambers from Renewal Solihull

Division Two Winner – Callum Oakshott from Living Hope Church United

Congratulations to the pair of them.

***********************************************************************************************

Here are all of the individual Clubs Player Of The Season

St Mary’s – Ian Coleman

Zion Athletic – Leon Naylor

Clarendon – Stevon Richards

Wednesbury Baptist Church – Craig Abbey

City Church – Daniel Haynes

Rowley College – Christy McKenzie

Chawn Hill Church – Curtis Jordan

Charlemont Star – Jamie Holder

Connect Sports – Martin Lees

Renewal Solihull – James Chambers

Monyhull Church – Oliver Smith

Saint Matthew’s Walsall – Kevin Humpage

Zion City – Benjamin Wilkes

Maple Leaf Rovers Q.M.C – Kiran Kellman

Selly Oak Methodist – Kieran Blake-Burke

Dudley Lions – Stephen Devonport

Corinthians S.K – Daniel Byrne

Saint Michael – Janusz Cyran

Brierley Hill A.O.G – Glen Gibbons

Living Hope Church United – Callum Oakshott

Sandwell United – Luke James

St Thomas’ Aldridge – Luke Helsdon

Hawbush – Mitchell Pountney

***************************************************************************************

The Referee Of The Season was John Flavell

***************************************************************************************

So that’s it folks…20+ years involvement within the League technically comes to an end at this Fridays A.G.M.

Many thanks to everyone who has helped me along the way and I wish you all the best for the future.

**************************************************************************************************************************************

15 May 2016

Seasons Last Match Report Off Pete From Rowley

CHARLEMONT STAR 1 ROWLEY COLLEGE 2
15/05/2016
By Rowley College

So, the end of our twenty fifth season and I missed it, though I found myself relaying the salient details from mark through me in Manchester to Mike on Manor Way. And this is how it went:

Not playing particularly well. They’re on top

Not playing particularly well. They’re on top but we’re one up. Clivey scored

Not playing particularly well. They’re on top but we’re two up. Keeper saved a shot and Benna poked it home.

They’ve scored.

Don’t worry, we’ve won.

Thus we put a season to bed that had fallen asleep in front of the tele a few weeks ago and looks statistically worse than it was partly because we lost 6 points but also because with these we lost momentum. Matt Williams had a great home coming. We livened up the side with legs and youth. We never looked over our shoulders (always the foundation of footballing contentment). And most importantly we’ll be back next year, which brings me to a more important ‘ending’. Truth is Rowley would not be continuing (and truth is neither likely would the league) without the support over an extended period of Neil Kovacs (in fact the Kovacs brothers).

There’s so much I could say about Neil but most importantly I can express a genuine pride that I have him as a friend. Straight-talking, principled, compassionate, tireless, I doubt we’ll see his like again. He has been a driving force in a successful league at a time amateur football has been in general decline. He owes wmcfl nothing and we owe him everything and he deserves a rest. He was even a half decent referee!

This then is my tribute with apologies to Milton:

To the League Secretary Neil Kovacs, May 2016,
On the disturbing prospect of having a Kovacs-free wmcfl next season

Kovacs, our chief of men, who through a cloud
Not of work only, but detractions rude,
Guided by faith and matchless fortitude,
To peace and truth thy glorious way hast plough’d,
And on the neck of crowned Fortune proud
Hast rear’d God’s trophies, and his work pursu’d,
While South Road with sweat of Chawn imbru’d,
And Stevens Park, resounds thy praises loud,
And Wmcfl’s laureate wreath; yet much remains
To conquer still: rest hath her victories
No less renown’d than work. New foes arise:
The Early Night’, ‘the Late Lie-in’: free from the chains:
Of secretaries wanting registration numbers “NOW!”
Our love, thanks and respect: To you, Neil, we endow!

8 May 2016

Catch Up On Couple Of Match Reports

Quick catch up on Match Reports that have been submitted. We have 2 off Pete Bennett of Rowley dating back to the 16th + 23rd April.

***************************************************************************************************************

ROWLEY COLLEGE 0 CITY CHURCH 4
16/04/2016
By Rowley College

Bad day at the office, today in a season that is rapidly fizzling out. We weren’t terrible but we were lack lustre and somehow ended up heavily beaten in an otherwise close game. In our 601st game we seemed to have a strong enough team (and three subs) but, on a heavy farmer’s field of a pitch, we wasted the first half chasing shadows. City were much better than us and deserved their 1-0 lead (simple football, keeper lobbed).

However we were much better second half after Mark had opted for a more attacking formation with Christie and Sam up top and ran them ragged until uncharacteristic defensive frailties and verbal indiscipline left us 0-4 and with ten men. However, the latter was not the defining factor. We more than held our own at 10 v 11 but three poor goals (to concede) gave our otherwise solid second half performance nothing to play with. We had earlier thought we’d levelled things when Tom scored but was considered offside and at 0-2 Obi pulled off a great save from Ben Smith, but these were cold comfort by the end. Our only real satisfactions came from the long-awaited return of Nathan Hylton after nearly two seasons out and a man-of the match performance from Nathan’s former midfield partner Olly Staien.

All the best to City whose attitude was excellent. For us the summer can’t come soon enough: losing six points from W&P has punctured our momentum leaving us like a Premier team who has reached 40 points with a bit to spare but have not kicked on.

**********************************************************************************************************************

ST MARY’S 4 ROWLEY COLLEGE 1
23/04/2016
By Rowley College

Today a tribute to worthy champions because saving a Devon Lock style collapse that’s what St Mary’s will deservedly be. We managed to stop them having the perfect season a few weeks ago with a hard fought 2-2 but today we were well beaten by a better side. Though missing Ben Fowler and Clive we had a decent team out and were intent on keeping things tight but despite living with them up the slope we were undone by two first half goals. Both were perfect finishes, the second an imperious free kick from Shaun that gave Lee no chance.

We turned around disappointed but keen to have a go, moving to 4-4-2 to give the hard-working McKenzie some support. However they were even more dangerous up the slope, playing with momentum and grace. This is a team renewed. Four or five years ago they had rejoined the pack but now they are back setting the standards. They play football the right way and encourage one another to do so, back to front. Even after Phil had a clearance charged down, they didn’t stop using him as an extra outfield player. The ginger haired lad they had in centre mid today was brilliant: he ran the show alongside the usual suspects. Within fifteen minutes of the restart we were four down despite the best efforts of our excellent defenders and keeper.

Still we pressed with Olly and Ben working their socks off and Ben at least managed to score the goal of the game as a consolation: lofted drive on the turn that even Phil could only gape at! We will hope to get a positive result next time out to send us into the summer break. Meanwhile hats off to St Mary’s : a credit to this league!

7 May 2016

7th May – :-) :-)

Only one place to start with today’s catch up and that is with a massive congratulations to St Mary’s in becoming Champions of Division 1 and in doing so, become only the 2nd Club to win 3 Division 1 Titles in a row, matching Chawn Hill Church’s achievement in 1991, 92 and 93. We have had some fantastic teams over the years who have never managed to secure the 3rd title on the bounce so this is no mean task and cements St Mary’s as one of the top Clubs in history within the League. Can they push on next season and become the first ever Club to win it 4 times in a row? Well, they have gone unbeaten in the League all season so far, but they play one of the Clubs today, that could stop them achieving that aim for next season. Clarendon vs St Mary’s is a huge match this morning with the current Div 1 Winners playing the current League Cup Winners in a repeat of the League Cup Final and there is still something riding on the game. Clarendon need to repeat their League Cup victory over St Mary’s to leapfrog Zion Athletic and claim 2nd place in the table. Zion Athletic stay in 2nd place courtesy of a 2-2 draw with Clarendon last week and no doubt the Zion lads will be hoping St Mary’s stay unbeaten, at least for 1 more week. Zion’s last defeat was back on January 30th at the hands of St Mary’s and they have put a tremendous run of form together since then to keep themselves within a shout of 2nd place.

The other match in Division One sees Charlemont Star and Rowley College finishing their seasons off and unlike the other match there is nothing riding on this game apart from pride, (and that’s over rated). I know that a Match report will definitely follow from Pete Bennett of Rowley. (Apologies buddy that I have not kept up to date with entering them onto the web site but they will all be on here this weekend, apologies to anyone else who has also submitted one).

Division 2 is all sorted and despite Zion City losing to Dudley Lions last week, they still finish the season as Runners Up. Maple Leaf Rovers Q.M.C overcame the challenge from Selly Oak Methodist regarding 3rd place but the goal difference for Zion City was so superior before kick off that it would have taken a gargantuan score line for Maple Leaf to finish in 2nd place.

So St Matthew’s Walsall are Div 2 Champions and Zion City as Runners Up. Maple Leaf end up 3rd and in the other automatic promotion place but I am unsure whether they will be in the League next season as they have stated that they may not be. What may this mean to anyone else regarding next season. Well, not a lot really. The formation of the Divisions will be decided as always at the AGM and it is never normally as straight forward as the Rule Book dictates. The main reason for this is that at this moment in time we are unsure how many new Clubs may enter the League. We have set aside a meeting with all interested parties and I am led to believe that we have sent out 11 invites to the meeting. No doubt there will be a lot of dialogue over the next 7 weeks getting everything sorted for next season.

Division 2 also has two matches today and like the Charlemont Star vs Rowley game, there’s only the enjoyment element to play for in these matches.

So how is the Prediction Challenge going and what’s the forecasts for today. I have absolutely no idea how it stands between myself and the Club Secs as I haven’t had time to do an update for a while. I will wait until after tomorrows games and do an update then. Forecasts for the games today and for the final games next weekend are as follows:

Division One                                                                          Neil                Steve (Chawn)

Charlemont Star vs Rowley College                                      Away 1-2        Draw 1-1

Clarendon vs St Mary’s                                                         Draw 2-2         Away 2-3

Division Two                                                                          Neil                 Ian (B’Hill)

Living Hope Church United vs Dudley Lions                         Away 1-3        Draw 3-3

Selly Oak Methodist vs St Matthew’s Walsall                        Away 1-3         Away 2-4

May 14th

Division One                                                                         Neil                  Steve (Chawn)

Monyhull Church vs St Mary’s                                              Away 0-2         Away 0-5

Division Two                                                                         Neil                 Ian (B’Hill)

Saint Michael vs St Matthew’s Walsall                                  Away 1-3        Away 2-5

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30 Apr 2016

Quick Catch Up + Prediction Challenge

Unfortunately, I have not had time to keep up to date with my thoughts regarding all things WMCFL. This remains the same today as I’ve just finished yet another night shift at work and am back at work again tonight. So my bed is calling me!

With the little time I have, I would just like to add my congratulations to Clarendon on winning the Cup Final, beating St Mary’s 3-1 and in doing so, inflicting upon them, their first defeat of the season. I have to say, that in my opinion, Clarendon totally deserved their win and some of the football played was superb. St Mary’s battled hard but the power and pace that Clarendon had on the day aligned with some fantastic bits of skill meant they were worthy winners. Khali Barnaby bagged a hat trick on the day and I have to say, that in all my time of watching WMCFL Cup Finals, that this was probably the best I have seen.

With the season coming to a close, other things are also being decided. Congratulations also got to St Matthew’s Walsall on becoming Division 2 Champions. Their 6-1 win over Living Hope Church United last weekend means they cannot now be caught. They looked favourites for most of the season but Zion City suddenly started hammering Clubs all over the place and it was theirs to lose at one stage. However, I did say earlier in the season that they can blow hot and cold and unfortunately for them they blew cold at just the wrong time. Mathematically, they could still be caught in 2nd place, but there goal difference should keep them there. Maple Leaf Rovers QMC play Selly Oak Methodist today and should they win then they would be assured of finishing 3rd. A win for Selly Oak though would make for an interesting game the following week against St Matthew’s as a defeat there would mean 3rd place would be decided on goal difference!

Quite a few teams have already finished their season, but I have had it confirmed that 2 Clubs have played their final games in the League. We wish all the players and people that have been involved in both Hawbush and Sandwell United the very best for the future.

I am expecting St Mary’s to confirm themselves as Champions today, but there is also a huge game between Clarendon and Zion Athletic. Should Zion win, then they will finish 2nd and Clarendon 3rd.

Which leads me nicely on to the Prediction Challenge. With me stepping down from the League at the end of the season and with only 6 matches left in each Division I have decided that the 2 Club Secretaries from the 2 Clubs that have been in the League since it started would do the last predictions. I have asked Ian Baker from Brierley Hill A.O.G to do the remaining games in Division 2 and Steve Knight from Chawn Hill Church to do the same for the matches in Division One. I will just do matches for today though first and do the rest tomorrow.

Division One                                                          Kovacs           Steve (Chawn)

Charlemont Star vs St Mary’s                                Away 1-2        Away 0-2

Clarendon vs Zion Athletic                                     Draw 2-2        Home 3-2

Renewal Solihull vs Monyhull Church                    Draw 2-2        Home 2-1

 

Division Two                                                               Kovacs          Ian (B’Hill)

Dudley Lions vs Zion City                                           Away 1-2      Away 2-4

Selly Oak Methodist vs Maple Leaf Rovers QMC       Draw 2-2      Home 3-1

St Matthew’s Walsall vs Saint Micahel                        Home 3-0     Home 6-1

 

23 Apr 2016

23rd April

Just keeping the Prediction Challenge rolling along today. Fair bit to catch up on and update, hopefully, my Kolumn will have a little more to read tomorrow.

 

23rd April
Division One                                                                       Kovacs’          Pete (Rowley)
Charlemont Star vs Wednesbury Baptist                            Away 3-1       Home 3-1
City Church vs Clarendon                                                   Away 0-3       Away 0-2
Monyhull Church vs Zion Athletic                                        Away 0-5       Away 1-5
Renewal Solihull vs Connect Sports                                   Draw 2-2        Home 3-2
St Mary’s vs Rowley College                                              Home 2-0       Home 3-0
Division Two
Dudley Lions vs Maple Leaf Rovers QMC                          Away 1-3        Away 2-4
Living Hope Church United vs St Matthew’s Walsall           Away 0-5       Away 2-6

16 Apr 2016

16th April – Prediction Challenge

16th April
Division One                                                                      Kovacs’         Jason (Wednesbury)
Clarendon vs Connect Sports                                            Home 5-0      Home 5-0
Monyhull Church vs St Mary’s                                            Away 0-4       Away 0-4
Rowley College vs City Church                                          Home 2-0      Home 3-1
Zion Athletic vs Charlemont Star                                        Home 2-0      Home 4-1
Division Two
Corinthians S.K vs St Thomas’ Aldridge                             Home 3-1      Home 5-1
Living Hope Church United vs Dudley Lions                      Home 2-1       Draw 2-2
Selly Oak Methodist vs Maple Leaf Rovers QMC              Draw 2-2        Draw 3-3
Zion City vs St Matthew’s Walsall                                       Home 2-1      Home 4-2

8 Apr 2016

!!! Cup Final – ROADWORKS !!!

We have been advised that there are major roadworks regarding getting to the venue for tomorrows Cup Final. Diversions are in place. Please allow extra travelling time to get there.

 

There are road works on the A491 (the road that takes you off the Ring Road and up past the ground) which means there is a diversion in place as you can’t use the road to come off the ring road. The diversion takes you up the A458 in to Wollaston, turn right at the round a bout and then follow all the way down to a set of traffic lights where you turn right onto the A491 and the ground is about half a mile down on the right hand side.

 

 

 

5 Apr 2016

April 5th – Match Reports, Catch Up

Apologies to everyone that the Match Reports that have been sent in have not appeared on here recently. Other things have taken priority. Just to keep you informed, there will be some members of the Management Committee stepping down for next season and focus has been on this. I will add that I will be one of the people stepping down so not many more Kovacs’ Kolumns to come from myself. Anyway, we have the little matter of the Cup Final this Saturday and I am really hopeful that this should be a cracking game between Clarendon and St Mary’s. It’s £3 entry for adults and £1 for under 16’s. Personally, I am hopeful of a good attendance because in my eyes, if we had scheduled fixtures for the day people would be turning up for them so why not the League’s showpiece Cup Final ?

Anyway, my main apology would be to Pete Bennett who never fails to submit a report, bloke is top class in my eyes. There is also a report off Living Hope Church United when they played Sandwell and a couple off St Mary’s, including their report of the win over St Matthew’s Walsall in the Cup Semi-Final. I will start with the most recent and work back.

ROWLEY COLLEGE 1 ZION ATHLETIC 4
05/04/2016
By Rowley College

2nd April

This is the first time I have delayed my report this season, leaving a little more recovery time from the first game this season that we ended up well beaten in. We were faced by a strong Zion side crammed full of attacking players and intent but we are also a good side and once again played well. However with a strong, but bare eleven which had Craigy needing to play ninety minutes out for the first time since October, we were ultimately out run by a Zion side that brought on three strong subs (the third was Shaun Devenport!). Thus we had to take our medicine as Zion took us apart in the last twenty minutes with fluent football.

This was no bad reflection on our defending, Matty Stanton deputised effectively for Chrissy Staien, Williams was excellent, as was Joe (pitting his wits against the mercurial Naylor) and Clivey was man-of-the –match). Lee was also on top form, making two great saves one in each half. Zion started extremely well and put us under considerable pressure but we maintained a threat and took the lead half way through the half when Ben Smith knocked a good ball forward and Craigy’s persistence (he had a terrific first half) created a simple chance for Ben Fowler. Across the middle of the match this looked likely to be enough but we couldn’t kick on and in the second half they kicked back.

Leon is a player who would enhance any team and it was he who hauled Zion back into the game. First an angled volley, then earning a penalty (perhaps just outside the box) which he slotted home and finally a great delivery from a corner to provide the killer goal. Despite our shape and endeavour we were not coming back and when Leon was moved into the centre of things (surely his natural position) things became even harder. Shaun came on and might have had a hat trick: one well saved, one just wide and a brilliant finish from hardly a chance. The last twenty were torture but sometimes you need these moments to also indicate the progress you’ve made.

All the best to Zion.

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CLARENDON 3 ROWLEY 1
05/04/2016
By Rowley College

26th March

Cracking game with Clarendon today and much closer than the final score suggests. We lost a bench full overnight and found an emergency sub in Joshua Moseley who came on and did well: they had a strong bench (in anticipation of a Cup Final) but both teams had strong starting elevens. A squally wind and bumpy pitch made everything difficult so it was a testimony to both teams that this was a high quality game played at pace. We lost it in the first half when they had the slope and wind but matched them across the ninety minutes, which underlines how small the margins are against the best teams. None of our players deserved to lose today but Matty Williams, in particular, had scant reward for a magnificent performance against his former team-mates alongside the also excellent Chris Staien.

We started well and the returning Tom Cartin was only just thwarted by an alert Bigga, who also made saves from Christy and Ben. Clarendon though, as ever, were pressing all over the pitch and Sav was mercurial in midfield against Lee and Ben (a classy all action performance). They took the lead when a smart exchange between their two strikers resulted in a sharp finish which just eluded Lee in our goal. Given their ‘environmental’ advantage this was not a disaster and our plan to be solid up the slope was working (and we were making progress). However we were undone in five mad minutes which reminded us what a cruel game football can be.

First Ben Fowler hit a firm back pass that bobbled over Lee’s foot then shortly after, somewhat shellshocked by that misfortune we defended sloppily (the only time in 90 minutes) and found ourselves three down in a game that was otherwise completely even. Mark had nothing but praise at half time and pushed Benna up alongside the outstanding Christy second half and we went for it putting Clarendon under pressure for much of the second half. Benna had an early header wide and later beat three players and angled a shot that hit the underside of the bar. Clarendon defended heroically, particularly Junior at centre back and we just couldn’t get the goal to get us back in the game. The game became stretched with both sides going at it hammer and tongs. Then Christy got it wide, bamboozled Roger and pulled back for Ben Smith to drive home but that was it.

All the best to Clarendon in the final!

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ST MARYS VS ST MATTS (AND ROWLEY)
05/04/2016
By St Mary’s

12th March + 19th March

Rowley College vs St Marys

Firstly I will give a report on the game vs Rowley. As you will know this was the 1st game we did not win in WMCFL competitions this season and Pete as has always given a comprehensive account. Rowley were in this game throughout as we did not finish our chances. From our point of view (always going to be different) Andy Harris goal was a fantastic run and how he slotted it in from a tight angle I do not know (can I apologise for omitting praise for his hatrick from centre mid vs Solihull, all of which were bullets!). Before and most certainly after this we missed a host of very presentable chances, whilst Rowley always threatened on the break and had at least 2 very good clare through chances. Until 70 mins we had numerous chances to kill the game off at 1 v 0 however Rowley were always ‘in’ there and they gave us a great game for the final 20 minutes particularly once they equalised from a contested header (I think their striker would rather have it than me!). Green then struck a great free kick to let us think we would win with 5 mins left. However Rowley had been pushing for a while and grabbed the equaliser with a great header with virtually the last kick of the game. Rowley 2 vs St Marys 2

St Marys vs St Matthews – Cup Semi Final

Having never played the current St Matts we did not know what to expect and they came out of blocks quickly bossing the game with good football whilst never stretching our defence too far.

This lasted until the 70th minute when following an enforced change we finally made the break through with a pinpoint Green free kick. As we do, a 2nd goal followed quickly with good interchange between the Beesons leading to a cracking finish from Andrew ‘Tink’ Beeson.

Following us making another change at 2 – 0 there was then a very unfortunate incident as a free kick was swung in and their keeper and the other ‘Matt’ Beeson badly clashed heads.

This led to a 30 minute delay but due to excellent management from the officials, help from all sides and the venue, and great sportsmanship from St Matts we finished the final 4 minutes on the adjacent pitch. We really hope their keeper is ok as it looked very bad! (Matt is luckily ok)

When the game did restart ‘Tink’ scored an amazing goal flicking over the defenders and firing into the top corner to make it 3 – 0

It will be great to meet Clarendon in the cup final when we are sure we will meet their very best team!

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ROWLEY COLLEGE 4 RENEWAL SOLIHULL 1
05/04/2016
By Rowley College

19th March

Good result for us today. Solihull, as ever are a decent side who try to play football the right way, but we always had a bit too much fluency for them. Having not won for five games (three draws) it was important to get three points, but perhaps more important to continue playing the kind of football that has made for a much more successful season this term. Matt Williams was again an effective leader, getting us going early on a very cold morning. Defensively we were very good (Chrissy Staien very calm and collected again) against the real threat which Hadden and Chambers continued to offer but the drive was provided in the centre of midfield. Ben Smith was perpetual motion, Mackenzie class and guile and Olly Staien offered a man of the match performance of quality and purpose.

Starting up the slope we shook off a little early lethargy and got to our task. Christy put us ahead when he chased down their centre back, drew the keeper and slotted home. Fowler also had a couple of half chances while Solihull also offered their own threat. Half time 1-0. A second goal was always going to be important, particularly after Lee was forced to make a very good full length save. Again Christy was instrumental, exchanging passes before rifling in a shot that a Solihull defender could only help into the net.

We gave Sam Varney a much awaited first appearance second half and he didn’t disappoint. His movement was excellent, linking up well with Sammy and later Christy. He announced himself with a sharp finish into the roof of the net which seemed to put the game to bed. However james Chambers had other ideas and went on a run from half way that left half our team in his wake and Joe bringing him down for a penalty that Hadden converted (obviously). They then had a good ten minutes and threatened to get back in it. This was curtailed by a sumptuous chip from Olly which let Ben Fowler in to round the keeper and settle it. All the best to Solihull, it’s always a pleasure to see Phil and Brian.

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LIVING HOPE CHURCH UNITED 5 SANDWELL UNITED 2
05/04/2016
By Living Hope Church

19th March

LIVING HOPE 5-2 SANDWELL.

Today was a game neither team wanted to lose, with us having 3 ex Sandwell players and with the previous away draw it was always going to be a must win for both teams.

The 1st half didn’t really have any excitement, just a lot of end to end football with both keepers saving well and LHC hitting the bar, but both defences keeping the door shut. Then a good move from Sandwell found the forward who made it 1-0.
Both teams battled the remainder of the half but no more goals.

HT 1-0.

Football is a game of 2 half’s and today was a good example. Both teams again playing some really nice football with both keepers kept busy. Living Hope got a goal back when some good play down the wing helped Ralphy find a yard to whip in a cross that was met by the head of Bob. 1-1 game on.
Within minutes of getting level, we found ourselves 2-1 down.
We settled down and kept going and it paid off. A corner from Josh found Ralphy at the back post and he managed to hold off the defender and head the ball past a line of defenders on the line. 2-2.
Living Hope now had the belief that we could win this game, a good run from Lewis and he was brought down in the box, no complaints. Penalty. Callum was given the task and made it 3-2 although Myles in the Sandwell goal got a hand to it but it nestled in the net. With the lead at last in our favour we didn’t want to sit back so with some great defending and continuous attacks we forced a throw in, a flick on at the front post saw some indecision between the keeper and one of his defenders that allowed Callum unmarked at the back post to put the ball firmly in the net to make it 4-2 and grab his 2nd of the game. Sandwell continued to test our defence but LHC stood strong. Another attack found Callum running through on goal with the choice of a pass or getting the hat-trick, a pass was the choice to find Lewis who made no mistake and finally got his well deserved goal and ended any comeback from Sandwell.

Another 3 points and three wins from three after that horrendous mid season slump. The lads are beginning to believe in themselves again! Thank you to Sandwell for giving us a good game and thank you also to the officials who refereed the game really well.

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1 Apr 2016

Update 1st April

It’s been a busy week behind the scenes regarding the League this week, mainly regarding the Management Committee Roles for next season and preparations for next weekends Cup Final. So for me, whilst I have had some time off work to catch up with things, it has been spent on those issues rather than this Kolumn. However, once again, we keep the Prediction Challenge going and this week, Roger Moore from Clarendon is the challenger. I really hope to catch up with everything by this Sunday, so there may be a lot more to read then. As for now, here is a very interesting Prediction Challenge…see if you can spot what has never been predicted before?

2nd April

Division One                                                                           Kovacs’      Roger (Clarendon)
City Church vs St Mary’s                                                        Away 1-3     Away 0-3
Renewal Solihull vs Charlemont Star                                     Draw 2-2     Draw 2-2
Rowley College vs Zion Athletic                                             Draw 2-2     Draw 1-1
Wednesbury Baptist vs Clarendon                                         Away 1-3     Home 1-0
Division Two
Corinthians S.K vs Sandwell United                                       Home 4-1    Draw 2-2
Hawbush vs St Matthew’s Walsall                                          Away 0-6      Away 2-7
Maple Leaf Rovers QMC vs Saint Michael                            Home 2-1     Away 1-2
Selly Oak Methodist vs Living Hope Church United               Home 3-1     Home 2-1

25 Mar 2016

Happy Easter

Just the Prediction Challenge for today’s/this weeks update.

However, I will take this opportunity to wish you all a Very Happy Easter on this the Most Holiest of weeks.

26th March
Division One                                                                              Kovacs’       Steve (Chawn)
Charlemont Star vs Monyhull Church                                        Home 3-1    Draw 3-3
City Church vs Wednesbury Baptist                                           Away 1-3     Away 1-2
Clarendon vs Rowley College                                                    Draw 2-2     Home 2-0
St Mary’s vs Connect Sports                                                      Home 5-0    Home 4-1
Zion Athletic vs Chawn Hill Church                                             Home 3-2    Draw 2-2
Division Two
Living Hope Church United vs Maple Leaf Rovers Q.M.C          Away 1-3      Draw 2-2
Selly Oak Methodist vs Dudley Lions                                         Home 2-1      Home 4-1
St Matthew’s Walsall vs Brierley Hill A.O.G                                 Home 8-1     Home 5-1

18 Mar 2016

19th March Prediction Challenge + Tomorrows Results Update

Just got time for this weeks Prediction Challenge with this weeks challenger being Hawbush’s Simon Ashby who reckons he will score a last minute winner in their game tomorrow. As an aside, tomorrows scores will probably not be updated until late evening as James is away and I am at work.

 

19th March
Division One                                                        Kovacs’        Simon (Hawbush)
Charlemont Star vs Zion Athletic                         Away 1-3     Away 1-4
City Church vs Chawn Hill Church                       Away 1-2     Home 3-1
Clarendon vs Monyhull Church                           Home 3-0     Home 9-0
Rowley College vs Renewal Solihull                    Home 3-0     Home 5-1
Division Two
Hawbush vs Zion City                                          Away 0-3      Home 3-2
Corinthians S.K vs Maple Leaf Rovers Q.M.C     Draw 2-2       Home 2-1
Dudley Lions vs Brierley Hill A.O.G                      Draw 2-2       Home 3-1
Living Hope Church United vs Sandwell United   Home 3-0      Home 3-1
St Thomas’ Aldridge vs Selly Oak Methodist        Draw 1-1       Away 1-4

12 Mar 2016

12th March – Predictions + Some Match Reports

So, busy week again followed by me getting home from work around 8pm with a plan of action in mind. Relax for 30 minutes then start on some football stuff. WELL, things didn’t quite go to plan as I fell straight asleep waking up at 5am this morning!

I have the usual ever reliable match report from Rowley College followed by some reports off St Mary’s as they seemingly progress on towards another Championship Title.

ZION ATHLETIC 2 ROWLEY COLLEGE 1
12/03/2016
By Rowley College

I think we were a tad unlucky today in a game where both sides probably thought the other was there for the taking. Both were down to a bare eleven: their twelfth man arrived at half time and we had to persuade Stew Harvey out of retirement to provide cover from the bench. Our problem today was in Fowler and Smith (the two Bens), Clive and Tom (our four principal absentees) we lost our top scorer and much of our youthful energy (these lads are all under 25: our youngest starter today was 31!). Zion, on the other hand had Sean providing a constant threat and a lad I consider the best player in this league, Leon Naylor who proved to be the difference today.

In a game in which none of the three keepers had a proper save to make, Leon produced two quality strikes (low drive and proper 30 yarder) one in each half and was their major threat. However before the first of these we had both suffered the loss of our keeper and taken the lead. Within fifteen minutes Lee had to leave the field, Matty Williams deputising, bringing veteran Stew Harvey to the field moments after he’d told me that when South asked him to help us out he’d ‘fancied a bit of a run’. In fact he had to give us 75 minutes and did so with all his customary power and commitment, getting both a booking and a hand in the opening goal. He combined with Mark to set up Christy for 1-0.

In the circumstances I think we played pretty well. Mark has us well organised and he himself once again led by example. Defensively we kept them very much at bay despite having our centre back in goal for most of the game. Joe was outstanding and Chris and Matty Stanton settled well at centre back: Chris literally did not put a foot wrong and his brother continues to impress. We just failed to create real chances, lacking the extra running that being full strength would have delivered (this is the common complaint at this level: how often can you get your best eleven out?). Actually we didn’t come that close, nothing would quite drop and the saw it home. Best Wishes to Phil and Pete and the Zion lads.

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VARIOUS ST MARYS
12/03/2016
By St Mary’s

Apologies for a lack of match reports, I have not been able to find the time something I must improve on, so thanks to our keeper Phil Lutwyche who has sent me few that I have finally managed to put together and add a couple that were missing (the shorter ones…). We also lost 5 – 2 to Peugeot Millpool (Coventry Alliance) in the Quarter finals of the BCFA Junior Cup in Mid January. They were good team but we were also a bit rusty after no game for 6 weeks and had a few missing when ironically we had had a full squad the 3 times it had been called off! hopefully we can go even further next year.

St Mary’s 2 vs 1 Zion Athletic.
30th January 2016
St Mary’s verse Zion is always a great game to either watch or be involved in. This one was no exception.
We knew Zion would always try and play the ball round along the floor and be patient enough to wait to slot the through balls through for the pace up front. With this in mind we set up expecting this. With De Lacy sweeping up almost everything that came through.
Despite both teams really playing well and moving the ball, Zion earned themselves a penalty when a shot hit AJ on the arm from a yard away and the ref deemed it deliberate.
Devonport stood up to take the penalty which was easily saved by Phil in goal who having managed to hold onto the ball immediately pumped a ball up to Tink who slid a great through ball to Ian Coleman so slotted superbly to make it 1-0. Sucker punch!
As the first half ended, the second started, both teams playing well with us creating the better chances. Finally the goal came to settle our nerves after a great team effort. Keeping the ball well, passing thoroughly and a fake shot from Harris, lead to a run to the by-line who squared for Ali Davis to tap in. 2-0.
Zion did manage to get a goal to make the last 5 or 10 minutes nervous after a free kick was sent in by Leon Naylor and the big centre back headed back across goal for a tap over the line. We felt this was harsh as it seemed it should have been a foul on the keeper but the goal stood. 2-1.
A great win and with Wolves and Perton leaving us, means we’re only 1 point behind Wednesbury and play against them on our next league game.

Chawn Hill 2 v 4 St Marys
6th February 2016 WMCFL Division One
Away at Chawn on a boggy pitch in freezing, wind and rain was never going to be a classic! But fair play to both teams as we a managed to win in an encounter not full of flowing football but contested all the way through. We opened up a 2 goal lead by half time but were pegged back to 2 1 as Chawn exerted some pressure from set pieces. But we hit back almost immediately to finish the game with our 3rd and 4th goals, Alex Blackshaw getting his first goal since returning after a few years away from the WMCFL.
Chawn scored with the last kick of the game to make it 4 -2 after a deep cross was fumbled by stand in keeper Mike in very unhelpful conditions, falling straight to the Chawn striker who could not miss.

Brierley hill AOG 0 vs 6 St Mary’s FC
13th February 2016 WMCFL League Cup
A league cup quarter final is never easy and we made the long trip in near on sub zero conditions to find the lovely changing rooms at South Road waiting to greet us…
Both teams started well and after a few half chances we were unlucky not to take an early lead. Brierley Hill were restricted to long range shots which mostly went straight down Phils throat in goal. One lead to Phil saving and pumping a ball forward to Luke Weideman who finished with a pearler from just outside the area. 1-0.
As the same as last week, we had another dubious penalty decision go against us as the ref felt De Lacy had handled the ball when he stood up tall to block a cross.
The outcome was also the same as last week with Phil again saving with his legs to stop Brierley Hill getting back into the game. I think that is the 5th in a row Phil has saved, must be some kind of WMCFL record!?
Weideman was as clinical as ever in front of goal snatching a second and soon to be third for his hat trick. Myatt grabbed a 4th with a near post flick from a corner Weideman added his 4th and our 5th to round off a pretty one sided first half. Half time 0-4.
The second half went pretty flat with us thinking we had won it already. Brierley Hill then chased the game with everything they had forcing better openings and a few corners, as a whole we didn’t play well but had still done enough to add a 5th and 6th on a break late with Wiedeman getting his 4th and 5th of the match.
In a nutshell we deserved the win by the way we played but it could have/ should have been by a lot more if we played the same as first half.

Wednesbury Baptist 1 v 3 St Marys FC
20th February 2016 WMCFL Division One
We went in to today’s game knowing we would go back to the top of the pile with a win.
It was a good contest between two sides who really went at each other on a bobbly pitch and with a swirling wind.

The first break through came from a corner and Ali Davis managed to dive across and glance his header into the far corner for 0-1 although the keeper should have done better.

Typically as you go ahead, the opposition pick themselves up and work harder. This played dividends as wednesbury got an equaliser from a quick throw in and the striker managed to turn and lay off a ball his partner to slide in through a few bodies into the bottom corner. 1-1

The first half ended and a few words of encouragement from injured Weideman set us up highly motivated for the second half. We came out all guns blazing and got our rewards when Oldham was clipped from behind and we were awarded a penalty. The cool minded Ian Coleman stepped to take it and sent the keeper the wrong way to give us the lead again. 1-2.

It was pretty much a game of midfield battles and both teams really went at it, Wednesbury always chasing the game and after throwing everyone forward they had a free kick in a dangerous position. However we cleared the cross and broke with great intent unleashing Ben through one on one who beat his man with pace and stroked the ball home to ease our nerves with 10 minutes left.

A great win proving our depth in the team missing both Myatt at the back and our talisman Weideman.

St Marys FC 7 v 1 Renewal Sollihul
27th February 2016 WMCFL Division One
This match was a lot closer than the score line suggests, especially first half. Sollihull actually took the lead as we failed to get going. We were still creating more chances but could not take them and although we equalised fairly quickly it took until around 43 minutes for us to finally take the lead.
Second half we needed to be more clinical and had taken a 4 v 1 lead before an innocuous looking challenge left Locke with a dislocated shoulder and having used 3 subs we were down to 10 men for the last 20 minutes. However this seemed to make us concentrate and we played some of our best football of the match with the 3 subs having good games with Rudd and Ben Blackshaw scoring.

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Today sees our first League Cup Semi-Final taking place with Wednesbury Baptist facing Clarendon at Moor Lane. No forecast for this match but I hope both teams have a cracking game of football. No review or preview this week, (still need some more sleep), so here are today’s predictions. Last week saw myself and Steve from City Church both get 5 points each with us both predicting 1 correct score. Of today’s 10 matches, there is only a difference of opinion in 2 matches so correct scores could be important for me in trying to close the gap on the Club Secs. Jason from Wednesbury Baptist is the challenger today. (Some editing issues which I am not sure on but my predictions are first followed by Jason’s)

12th March

Chawn Hill Church vs Renewal Solihull                         Home 2-1     Home 3-2
Connect Sports vs Charlemont Star                              Draw 1-1      Away 1-2
Monyhull Church vs City Church                                   Away 1-3      Away 1-3
Rowley College vs St Mary’s                                         Away 1-3      Away 1-4
Division Two
Dudley Lions vs Hawbush                                             Home 2-0     Home 5-0
Living Hope Church United vs Brierley Hill A.O.G         Away 0-3      Draw 2-2
Maple Leaf Rovers Q.M.C vs St Thomas’ Aldridge       Home 2-0     Home 3-1
Saint Michael vs Zion City                                             Away 1-3      Away 2-5
Selly Oak Methodist vs Sandwell United                       Home 4-0     Home 4-2
St Matthew’s Walsall vs Corinthians S.K                       Home 3-1     Home 4-1

4 Mar 2016

4th March Update

No time this week to do a preview, (night shifts again)! However, just found time to continue with the Prediction Challenge. The gap now between me and the Club Secs is down to 4 points! I managed to get 2 correct scores last week with 6 correct results so bagged 10 points for the week. Roberto from Zion City also managed 6 correct results but no correct scores meant a total of 6 for the Club Secs. This week could be an interesting week as there are only 3 matches that me and Steve from City Church agree on. So here are our predictions followed by a couple of Match Reports from last weeks games. (Apologies for not being able to get these on quicker but time has been spent doing other stuff this week….it is an area that I am looking to improve on).

 

5th March
Division One Kovacs’ Steve (City Church)
Charlemont Star vs Connect Sports Home 2-1 Draw 2-2
Chawn Hill Church vs City Church Draw 2-2 Away 1-3
Clarendon vs Wednesbury Baptist Away 1-3 Away 2-4
Renewal Solihull vs Monyhull Church Home 3-1 Away 1-2
Zion Athletic vs Rowley College Draw 2-2 Home 2-1
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G vs St Thomas’ Aldridge Home 2-1 Home 2-0
Living Hope Church United vs Dudley Lions Away 1-2 Dtaw 1-1
Sandwell Unted vs Hawbush Draw 1-1 Home 4-0
Selly Oak Methodist vs Maple Leaf Rovers QMC Draw 2-2 Away 2-3
Zion City vs Corinthians S.K Home 3-2 Home 5-1

 

Match Reports:

WEDNESBURY BAPTIST 3 ROWLEY COLLEGE 3

By Rowley College

27th February

Another cracking encounter with Wednesbury today, producing six goals with them looking significantly stronger than when they beat us at our place three weeks ago. On a decent pitch we were able to some extent to set the record straight over what happened earlier in the mud and rain. We were welcoming back Chris Staien our talented centre back and was good today. Though we equalised with pretty much the last kick, I don’t think anybody can argue that we didn’t deserve something from the game today. We had the better chances, though they have ‘nous’ in abundance and a competitive mentality which allied to their undoubted ability almost won the day.

The foundation of our game today was strong individual performances from our older heads, Matt Williams, Mark Southall and Christy McKenzie, allied with a strong team performance anchored and directed by my man-of-the-match Lee Inett, who pulled the strings for us. Wednesbury are also strong in midfield: their 11 was a class act today and the first half saw a real battle in there which they shaded, particularly in the first half hour. In this period Wednesbury appeared to have more desire and though Christy and Olly had decent chances, the Baptists forged a 2-0 lead, the second a thumping drive from Abbey and we were mightily relieved to see Pete Falconer screw a 1-on-1 wide! Instead we were able to finish the half strongly when after a period of sustained pressure (Mark had one cleared off the line), Ben Fowler atoned for last week’s misses by classily megging a defender on the edge of the box and then simply driving home.

We knew there was plenty in this for us and said so at half time but we had an early blow, losing the industrious Ben Smith to an ankle injury just after the break. This didn’t deter us though and we dominated second half possession and put pressure on without creating clear cut chances. The game then was ‘visited’ by one of those moments that has no level. A good cross from the right was met by the excellent McKenzie with a goal-bound header. For all the world it was going in but their keeper made a brilliant leap to push it onto the post and then just as miraculously managed to get up and block the follow in. We wondered if it was going to be our day.

In fact it was, then wasn’t , then was again. Our pressure told when Christy chased down their defender and won the ball and Olly met the cross to level the scores. This came just as I was planning to throw Sammy on as a second striker but I didn’t have to wait long as we seemed to be intent on throwing it away as Martin Woodhall ran half the length of the pitch to put them back in front. Sammy went on to lead the line across a frantic last fifteen during which we besieged their goal (but were still susceptible to their threat on the break. And just as I’d given up the ball was pulled back to Mark who capped off a fine performance with a vital goal. Best wishes to Jase and his lads!

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ST THOMAS ALDRIDGE FC 0 ST MATTHEWS WALSALL 2

By St Thomas’ Aldridge

27.02.2016

St. Thomas Aldridge FC 0 St. Matthews Walsall 2

The third meeting between the two local teams was finely poised with St T’s hoping to draw upon the same spirit that saw them come back from 4-0 down to earn a well deserved point with a 4-4 draw earlier in the season in a result that in all honesty no one outside of St T’s expected. That result however was the start of a mini run of games that saw St T’s form read DDWWWLL in the last seven games which they would have expected to be taken into account when predicting the outcome of the latest meeting of the two sides. There was little doubt that St Matthew’s current form & recent results would make them favourites for three points but by the margins predicted was let’s just say questionable.

St T’s welcomed back Jake Lakin & Scott Tibbetts to the starting 11 meaning that unfortunately for Phil Rogers who had put in a good performance the week before vs Zion City at left back had to settle for a place on the bench. Surprisingly St Matthews who are currently in a great position to clinch the Division 2 title in their first season & are also in the semi final of the league cup only had the bare eleven, with a couple of players letting the manager down by being not turning up, but never the less it was still a strong eleven.

Both of the goals came in the first half, if you listen to the pundits on sky sports they often make references to champions needing an element of luck during the course of a season; decisions going their way, situations turning out in their favour, results going their way etc. For St Matthews it was one of those days where fortune favoured the brave, as a manager & as players, it is a bitter pill to swallow to come off the pitch suffering a defeat knowing that the opposition beat you without even scoring a goal.

Both goals in this defeat were scored by St Thomas players, two own goals, how bizarre is that, in fairness to St Matthews the first came as result of pressuring the defender in the air from a corner kick, as the ball came in Tommy Hoccom jumped highest to get his head to the ball before the St Matthews player only to see his header fly straight into the top corner past the keeper, at the other end this would have been a fantastic strike, but in your own net devastating.

The second was all of St Thomas’s own making, a breakdown in communication between goalkeeper & defender or should I say no communication between goalkeeper & defender. Josh Merrick has been in scintillating form again this season carrying on from his player of the year award last season & indeed it was his heroics in the 4-4 draw earlier in the season that was a major contributory factor to the spirit that saw the rest of the team play the way they did. But he openly & honestly held his hands up to the mistake that resulted in the second goal, as the ball came in, Scott Tibbetts waited for the call of the keeper to come & collect the ball, the call didn’t come so he assumed the keeper had stayed on his line, cushioning a back ward header towards the goal, he didn’t realise that the keeper was advancing towards his position to claim the ball this resultied in the ball looping over the keeper & straight into the net. A simple mistake & in fairness the number of goal scoring chances Josh Merrick has denied the opposition through superb goalkeeping this season & last season far outweigh the number of mistakes by a million percent.

The difference between the two teams on the day was how well each team used the ball, defensively (other than the two own goals) both teams handled what the other threw them with relative comfort, it was offensively where the difference between the two teams laid. St Matthews used the ball through midfield into attacking areas better than St T’s, with both defences holding their own both teams found themselves trying a fair few long range efforts. If you were keeping stats on attempts on goal/target St Matthews would come out on top of that duel by some way as St T’s struggled to make an impact in this area. A combination of good defending & poor decision making at times meant St T’s were once again left frustrated at the lack of penetrating offensive play.

The game was played in good spirits, & a good game to watch, with Zion City losing to Maple Leaf you would have to think that St Matthews are the only team that can stop St Matthews taking the league title with three games in hand & a two point deficit surely they can feel confident of getting the job done.

Good luck to St Matthews for the rest of the season in pursuit of the league & cup double, however in St Marys they face a tough opponent to reach the final. But there is no doubt that they are both the in form teams in their respective divisions so I wouldn’t bet against a hard fought game where either team could get the win.

26 Feb 2016

Update 26th February – Review and Challenge

This weeks Prediction Challenge comes from Zion City but their Club Sec has passed the responsibility on to their Team Manager, Roberto Gocan. (I did think Georgina would do this mind you).

I used to compare Clarendon to a steam roller who virtually beat everyone before them over a dominant decade in the League. Well, if they were a steam roller, St Mary’s must be something like a juggernaut with their form the past few seasons. A massive win last week over their nearest rivals Wednesbury Baptist almost has me ordering their Champions medals already. I don’t thnk even a Devon Loch style slip would see them through the title away. With that in mind, I am going for another win for them over Renewal Solhull tomorrow. Wednesbury face Rowley tomorrow and it’s not inconceivable that they could still challenge for 2nd place. Like Zion Athletic and Clarendon they do have games in hand but they are must wins. For Rowley though, I think Wednesbury will finish off their dreams of a 2nd place finish tomorrow. I fancy Zion and Clarendon to both keep their hopes alive with a win over Connect and City Church respectively. I am sure they will both be hoping for a Rowley win though! The last game n Div 1 sees Charlemont Star face Chawn Hill Church, if memory serves me right, these are normally close affairs. Charlemont do need to start picking up points as they remain in the bottom 2 and whilst they do have games in hand, 1 win so far is worse than I thought they would be doing. Head says a draw but I am going to go with a hunch and tip the Chawn lads to win.

Div 2 leaders Zion City are away to Maple Leaf whose early season dominant form seems to have become a distant memory. Zion have been sweeping all aside but as their recent 2-2 draw with Hawbush shows, they can still blow cold. I believe this is a must win for them and take them to do so. St Mattew’s Walsall, who are currently 2nd, face St Thomas’ Aldridge and I do not see any hope for Steve’s lads apart from keeping the goal tally down. A look at the table has made me change my mind on 1 prediction, with 3rd place Saint Michael not playing, if results go as I think then Selly Oak Methodist could leap into 3rd place with a win over Sandwell Utd. A draw was my first thought but now I am tipping Selly Oak to do just that. Dudley Lions travel to face Hawbush and a win may just keep their promotion hopes alive. The same can be said regarding Corinthans S.K as they face Brierley Hill A.O.G. I am tipping both Dudley and Corinthians to win. Think that’s all the games covered, now I am hoping they all get played!

27th February
Division One Kovacs’ Roberto (Zion City)
Charlemont Star vs Chawn Hill Church Away 1-2 Draw 2-2
Clarendon vs City Church Home 3-0 Home 3-1
St Mary’s vs Renewal Solihull Home 5-0 Home 4-0
Wednesbury Baptist Church vs Rowley College Home 3-1 Home 2-0
Zion Athletic vs Connect Sports Home 3-0 Home 3-1
Division Two
Corinthians S.K vs Brierley Hill A.O.G Home 2-1 Home 3-2
Hawbush vs Dudley Lions Away 1-3 Away 0-3
Maple Leaf Rovers Q.M.C vs Zion City Away 1-3 Away 1-2
Sandwell United vs Selly Oak Methodiat Away 1-3 Away 0-2
St Thomas’ Aldridge vs St Matthew’s Walsall Away 0-6 Away 1-7

25 Feb 2016

Prediction Challenge Update + Some Match Reports 25/02/16

I have been able to do a quick catch up regarding the Prediction Challenge between myself and the Club Secs. The last 4 weeks has seen challenges off Rob from St Michael, Adam From W’ton & P before they left the league and the last 2 weeks off John from Monyhull Church. I gained some ground by beating Rob 7-4 but lost the following week to Adam 1-3. The week after against John resulted in a draw 2-2 with only 3 matches played. John was my opponent again owing to that and I gained some more ground winning 7-3. The Club Secs still have the upper hand though leading 106-97 so far.

I’m glad to say we have more than 1 Rowley match report this week and I cannot think of anywhere better to start off with than Living Hope Church United’s report.

LHC 8 V 0 HAWBUSH

Bob Lee writes,

17th October 2015. LHC beat St Thomas 6-2. 9 league games later and 810 minutes without a win. Losing 9 Conceding 60 goals and scoring just 18, we come to today.
Turning up after the last few weeks of games being called off we walked the pitches to find 1 pitch playable. Luckily the weather has been nice this week and it was game on.

LHC got the game underway and both sides seemed to settle in quickly, with a few chances either end, LHC made the breakthrough with Bob netting after a good save from the keeper. This seemed to spur the lads on to create more chances and around half hour mark Bob was brought down in the box and the verdict was a penalty. Will admit it wasn’t the best penalty but it hit the net and that’s all that counts. 2-0. Not long after that a good few passes between Lee Ralphy and Bob with the flag staying down and the ball was put past the keeper for Bobs hat trick to make it 3-0 and put LHC in a position we have not been in for quite some time. Last 10 minutes of the half we created chances and was unlucky not to go in at ht with a bigger lead.
H.t 3-0

2nd half Hawbush seemed to wake up and they had a good spell of possession but any chance of a comeback was soon put to bed when a cross from the right was met by Jake to power home a superb header. 4-0. Not long after that Ralphy was sent through 1 on 1 with the keeper, with so much time he put it past him to make it 5-0. A few subs were made and on came Ben, Dec and the return of Callum shortly after. It didn’t take Ben long to score making it 6-0. Another well worked goal. Then the strangest thing happened. A cross came into the box and seemed to hit Conner 8 yards out. Luck was on our side as it sailed into the net to make it 7-0. (Although he claims he meant it) Within minutes of that (and us lads on sideline still baffled as to why Conner was in the box and had managed to score…….) Cal on his return managed to grab goal number 8. It seemed to take an age for the ball to settle for him to smash past the keeper and the defenders on the line.
Last few minutes we defended superbly as we had done all game to keep the well deserved clean sheet.
Ft 8-0

Massive well done to every player in red today. James was again superb in goal. The back 4 made life hard for the forwards, Daz and Jake clearing everything they had thrown at them. The midfield and forwards worked hard all game but mostly it was our determination to win every ball today. 1st 2nd 3rd 4th. Headers, tackles the lot. We looked like the team we were back in October and if we can play like that for the remaining games we will not only move up but our goal difference won’t look half as bad.
Thank you to Hawbush for a well battled game from a side who never gave in, and knowing how it feels to be on the end of some big defeats it says a lot about a team to keep going until the end, and we wish them good luck for the remainder of the season. Thanks to the ref and linesman who let the game flow well.

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Next up is the ever reliable report off Pete Bennett’

ROWLEY COLLEGE 2 CHARLEMONT STAR 2
25/02/2016
By Rowley College

Must give Charlemont full credit today. They played with 10 men for fifty five minutes and though we should have gone on and won the game, they stuck at it, never giving up and nicked a late point. To be honest they have become something of a bogey team for us: we seem to be more than capable of creating a hat full of chances against them and massively less capable of finishing them. That said they are a decent side, well-organised and well-run (Andy played it tactically perfect today) and with a stand-out player in Jamie Holder it is hard to reconcile Charlemont with their stats (only one league win).

Our disappointment today was tempered by the fact that we were really quite lacklustre, taking the whole of the first half to get out of bed. Mark tried to freshen things by offering Sammy and Tom starts but we were slow out of the blocks and Charlemont had the better of the early encounters. Despite playing down the slope we made little progress and, having forced a couple of corners Charlemont took the lead when a flick header from a corner somehow evaded Joe on the post. That stirred us a little and top scorer Fowler began a miserable sequence when their keeper saved at the front post. We were still huffing and puffing but creating chances and Mark and Ben Smith both had efforts cleared off the line. Their defensive bravery was once again a feature.

As the game drifted towards half time one of their lads got a red for a verbal misdemeanour and we responded with a little more intent. They seemed to have completed a satisfactory half when Ben Smith crossed for Sammy to rise majestically and power in a header with practically the last kick. This was exactly what we needed so we reflected at half time on both our lethargy and opportunity.

They got the tactical decisions right in the second half (they are always right when they work!) by realising (down the hill) that they needed to continue to try and win the game. This made for an open game that swung this way and that. It meant we never really settled to any rhythm though we did have a good spell midway through the half. Christie had come on and we were playing some decent link-up football with Ben and Mark driving from midfield and Tom and Olly wide. Ben Fowler was also cutting through them but his finishing even when clean through was awry today. There was one controversial moment where he appeared to have been caught by their last defender inside the box but the ref, perhaps mindful of having already sent one off waved play on.

The 11 versus 10 argument will rage on. Today I don’t think it made all that much difference: they were pretty consistent both halves, we were very inconsistent. Where it does affect you is in your head (they’ve got 10 so we’ll obviously win!) and this was no excuse for us because we weren’t desperately chasing a win because the game was 2-1 to us within 15 minutes of the restart due to an unlucky Charlemont defender slicing into his own goal from Rowler’s free kick.
No we spent the rest of the second half seeking the killer third but instead fell foul of an expert long throw and Holder header 8 minutes from time. All the best to Andy and his lads

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Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 Saint Michael 2

Brierley Hill team is long journey for us but with one target 3 point! There was no other option today as we want to be in top 5 this year.
We start game with straight strategy to do as much ball possession ion as possible and we carry on with this for good 45 minutes what gives us a lot great chances. Patryk Jasicki, Janusz Cyran or Tobiasz Cichy could easily open score sheet really quick but they fail in last touch or shoot.
With good control over pitch we give our self more space and more open shoot and first one was finished by Mateusz Puzniak who run to gap just to find ball and bet goalkeeper. With one goal up front we were a lot stronger and we push Brierley Hill over and over and Tobiasz Cichy again had great chance to score but he hit bar, Janusz Cyran missed by inches Patryk Jasicki made good 3-4 attempts but fail. We could easily winning them 3,4 goal but we manage only 2 as Janusz Cyran received ball from corner kick to back post and he power shoot to top left corner leaving goalkeeper no chance to save it. Good 2 goals and great 45 minutes we came off to break.

No subs been made and we come out with same 11 players to next half. Our game did not change but Brierley Hill start playing a lot better and our defance start having some problems with holding right wing and most of their chances came from there. With Radek Guterwil having yellow card we decided to change him and bring to pitch Kuba Czestochowski to avoid playing one man down. This was Kuba first game since our first season in WMCFL league and we was doing not bad but not enough to hold this great playing left wing of Brierley Hill. Shortly after he show up on pitch he find his name on book list with yellow card and it start to be danger. While both team were fighting for goals Brierley Hill come with contact goal shortly after we made our second sub and we change our lines a little bit. With one goal up front Brierley Hill start doing everything to find another but everything was cleared from defence or saved by Pawel Jarosz. On other end we produce some shoots or good team play but also good playing goalkeeper denied our attempt.
Brierley Hill could draw this game in last minute of game as Pawel Jarosz did not control long delivery to 5 yard but there was no one from Brierley Hill to tap ball to net. So after small horror at the end we delivery good 3 points!

It was pleasure to play with Brierley Hill as always and we are more happy to win with them as we lost last time at home to them!

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Not a massive increase in reports but a move in the right direction

19 Feb 2016

Special General Meeting + Prediction Challenge 19th February

With a Special General Meeting being called by the Management Committee of the League tonight, my time this week has been taken up with these matters. Due to this meeting I will not be doing an update until after this has finished. However, we do have this weeks Prediction Challenge continuing the Kovacs’ vs Club Sec’s battle. Although, like the Villa, I use the word battle loosely, like the Villa, I think I am getting a battering. When last I looked, (sure that’s a line from The Two Towers), 🙂 🙂  I was 14 points behind but that was around the 23rd January. (I will get an update on here by the morning). As mentioned last week, due to hardly any games played last weekend I have again asked John Millist from Monyhull Church to be this weeks challenger and he has sent me in his predictions. Now baring in mind we have a meeting tonight, do I put these on now or after the meeting? Will John, like others at the Villa, need to employ minders to attend the meeting following the publication of his predictions? Surely not!  🙂

 

20th February
Division One Kovacs’ John (Monyhull)
Monyhull Church vs Chawn Hill Church Away 1-2 Home 2-1
Renewal Solihull vs City Church Draw 1-1 Away 0-2
Rowley College vs Charlemont Star Home 2-1 Home 4-2
Wednesbury Baptist Church vs St Mary’s Away 1-2 Home 3-2
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G vs Saint Michael Draw 2-2 Away 2-3
Living Hope Church United vs Hawbush Away 2-3 Draw 2-2
Sandwell United vs Maple Leaf Rovers Q.M.C Home 2-1 Away 1-3
Selly Oak Methodist vs Corinthians S.K Draw 1-1 Away 1-2
St Matthew’s Walsall vs Dudley Lions Home 4-1 Home 3-2
Zion City vs St Thomas’ Aldridge Home 8-2 Home 3-0

12 Feb 2016

Update 12th February

Well the weather has been doing its best to play havoc with our fixtures and this remains very much the case for tomorrow as well. We already have postponements meaning there is only one game left in Division 1 and two matches in Division 2. Clarendon versus Zion Athletic in the Cup Quarter-Finals is also off and I would not be surprised to see some of those matches remaining being called off tomorrow. For what it is worth, here is this weeks Prediction Challenge with John from Monyhull Church being my opponent this week. (He will probably get another go at it next week as well, but doesn’t know it yet)!

12th February
Division One Kovacs’ John (Monyhull)
City Church vs Connect Sports Home 2-0 Home 3-1
Division Two
Saint Michael vs Selly Oak Methodist Away 1-2 Draw 3-3
Sandwell United vs St Thomas’ Aldridge Home 3-1 Away 1-2

 

Just the 1 Match Report from last weekend, Pete’s report from Rowley is another great read.

 

ROWLEY 2 WEDNESBURY 4
07/02/2016
By Rowley College

How easily you forget the pain of defeat! After seven straight wins we were keen to lock horns with a Wednesbury side who also have the winning habit. We went into the game pretty much full strength with only Clive missing suspended and knowing at least that our opponents were missing the influential Pete Falconer and as it turned out were pretty much down to a bare eleven with a couple of walking wounded. All this made us pleased that the pitch was playable (more of this later) despite torrential rain. Obviously this is our report so will focus on our disappointments and frustrations, but let me say from the start that Wednesbury are a very good side and today despite their ‘trials’, they deserved to win and did so objectively against the odds because they played most of the football.

Reflecting on the game with hindsight it now seems to me very much for us a game of two halves with the disasters of the second obliterating the promise of the first. We knew Wednesbury score plenty and concede some so we set up solidly and it worked well. We also got off to a great start when Olly pressurised their centre back and was brought down for a penalty. Christie made no mistake. As the game developed we looked comfortable. Matt was dominant at the back and was making good use of the ball as were Chris and Joe and Barber. Bena and Christie were probing, Olly was making progress and we were competitive in midfield. What we failed to do (partly the story of the game) was create a proper chance or ultimately to keep playing our way and be patient.

We had already pushed the excellent Craig Abbey back into midfield to get on the ball and looked comfortable despite their obvious quality. Then the first of a series of self-inflicted wounds which ultimately changed the game. Firstly Olly chased their keeper down and blocked his clearance. The ball ballooned into the air and Olly and the keeper ‘wrestled’ for it. We thought it a second penalty. The ref saw it all and waved play on. End of story. But not for us. We argued with the game for five minutes, lost our shape and by the time we surfaced it was 1-1 with their lad given room in midfield to drive a 30 yard ‘daisy cutter’ which helped by a greasy pitch evaded Lee on its way to the corner of the net. Now they were dictating the game and we were responding to their prompting. At half time the game was even.

We knew we were losing Lee our holding midfielder at half time to work commitments but with a full bench to their bare eleven we still very much fancied our chances. Therefore when the referee called the captains and secretaries to him and said that the groundsman was worried about the state of the pitch and did we want the game abandoned seeing as it was 1-1, we were keen to continue. Wednesbury understandably, as Jason admitted, would have shed no tears at that point (we would have been the same in their position). At that point the pitch was heavy but not unplayable and I’d never experienced an external intervention once a game is underway so it was unchartered territory (I wasn’t even sure what might happen if ‘our’ groundsman had got the game abandoned). In the best traditions of wmcfl both teams left the decision to Lee Ashman the ref who therefore made a decision without pressure to continue based only on the physical state of the pitch. Ironically of course if we could go back now we would have been wanting it off and Wednesbury not!

Second half we were down the slope with the wind and rain behind us against a tiring team but played as if this advantage would inevitably lead us home so much was overhit and on a deteriorating pitch we forgot the team we’d been when winning. They, on the other hand continued to create and good work from the excellent Martin Woodhall set up a stunning chipped second. Though stunned we did then have our best spell of the second half. I’d been expecting to make a change for Chrissy Staien’s injured calf early in the second half but Chris appeared to have recovered and with 20 minutes gone and us in arrears I sent on young Tom for Christie. Within minutes Ben had crossed for sub Tom to drive in with his left foot. The momentum was momentarily with us despite our poor showing since half time but quickly the tide (a pertinent metaphor) turned as Chris went down with the injury and no sooner had we used our third sub, Barber too succumbed and spent the rest of the game standing up front.

However a greater blow had also struck in this dark period as a ball in from wide which our reliable goalkeeper-skipper Lee would have dealt with 999 times out of a 1000 somehow passed through him and nestled in the corner. Thereafter we huffed and puffed but didn’t really look like scoring though after they added a classy fourth Benna did miss from a free header form 9 inches. Oh well these have to be taken on the chin. All the best to Jason and his lads! Thanks also to three excellent officials who braved the conditions!

5 Feb 2016

Prediction Challenge – 5th February

Well with what’s been going on the last couple of weeks the Prediction Challenge almost never happened this week! A massive thanks goes to Adam French from Wolverhampton and Perton who responded to the challenge at very short notice.

5th February
Division One Kovacs’ Adam (W’ton & P)
Chawn Hill Church vs St Mary’s Away 1-3 Away 1-4
Monyhull Church vs City Church Away 1-3 Away 1-2
Renewal Solihull vs Connect Sports Draw 2-2 Away 1-3
Rowley College vs Wednesbury Baptist Draw 2-2 Away 2-3
Wolverhampton and Perton vs Clarendon Away 1-2 Home 2-1
Zion Athletic vs Charlemont Star Home 3-1 Home 4-1
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G vs Hawbush Away 1-2 Home 3-0
Corinthians S.K vs St Thomas’ Aldridge Home 3-1 Home 4-1
Maple Leaf Rovers Q.M.C vs Saint Michael Draw 1-1 Draw 2-2
Selly Oak Methodist vs Living Hope Church United Home 4-1 Home 2-0
Zion City vs St Matthews’ Walsall Home 3-2 Away 1-3

5 Feb 2016

5th February – Update/Match Reports

Most of my free time this week has been taken up with addressing the Fixtures situation. With over 50 matches now rescheduled I really am hoping we do not lose any more games to the weather. Although as I type, it is blowing a gale and dark clouds are looming. I will be looking into the Prediction Challenge Update a little later tonight, but for now it’s time for a bit of a catch up for those of you who like reading the Match Reports that are sent in. I always look forward to Rowley’s Reports from my old buddy Pete Bennett and for those like myself, we have 4 reports from him dating back to the 28th November. It may seem a while ago but the reports are well worth a read. We also have a report on Wednesbury Baptists win over Charlemont Star on the same day. There are also 2 reports from Saint Michael which are more recent..both from January. It would be nice to see an increase in the Match Reports sent in every week. Anyway, with no further comment here you are:

ROWLEY COLLEGE 3 WOLVERHAMPTON AND PERTON 2
28th November

It’s a strange league this year with, St Marys aside, little consistency of results. Luckily we were not distracted by W&P’s sometimes indifferent recent results, preferring to prepare for the powerful and effective side we faced last year and we were right to do so: W&P were excellent today. On a heavy pitch they participated wholly in a full-blooded game of football that was good to watch, if painful because so close. My guess is that both sides would have agreed that a score draw would have been the fairest reflection of the action but equally that my gut feeling was that there would be a winner. These are, as we all know, satisfying games to win.

We welcomed Chrissy Staien back to replace the absent Joe, otherwise we fielded the team that beat Connect. We were prepared for a hard game and got a little more even that we bargained for as W&P started brightly down the hill. They breached our usually steadfast defence within the opening five minutes when their centre half, who looked to have plenty of pedigree, brought the ball out of defence, waltzed around a couple of challenges and drilled past Lee from the edge of our penalty box. This heralded a very shakey period for us that they bossed and they were most unlucky not to get a penalty when a scramble in the box saw a desperate challenge from Olly appear to down their lad. These are the frustrations of all football and the ref, Lee Small, was very much up with play and unwilling to accept whinging from either side. I don’t think he had a bad game. In fact I think the frustration of the penalty appeal was much more about W&P’s failure to go further ahead when they had us on the ropes.

This was compounded by the fact that even in this period we were creating chances and Ben Fowler in particular giving them problems. Also these chances were fashioned by confident passing football which in the end got us very much into the game. First young Tom pushed wide back post, then from a flowing move which left him free on the penalty spot he forced their excellent goalkeeper into a fine fingertip save. Christy also scooped one over following a fine flowing passing move. By now the game was an excellent advert for wmcfl with both sides at it hammer and nails. Approaching half time we got a clear penalty when Ben was tripped and Christy despatched it. Then we managed to get our noses in front when Ben breached their back line and finished clinically.

For many teams that might have been the killer blow. W&P might have done enough to go in ahead, in fact they ended up 2-1 down! We started the second half with the advantage of the slope and early doors Ben went around the keeper only to hit the post but this was not the end and W&P came back at us. It was a great test for Matt, Matty, Chris and Barber (who had his best game for us) at the back and Ben Smith, South (vital in the second half) and Olly(our best player on the day) in the middle. We were also dangerous but couldn’t get the third goal. The warning signs were there as Lee tipped a goal shot over before they equalised with an incredible twenty five yard chip which dropped perfectly over Lee’s head. That gave them a second wind and put everything back into the balance.

However there was to be a final twist connected to one advantage we had today: we had two subs and W&P a bare eleven. We deployed Nuni early in the second half and he gave them further problems but at 2-2 we sent on midfielder Lee Inett for Christy and pushed Nuni forward. Lee it turned out provided the crucial pass that sent in full back Chrissy Staien to cooly take the winner. All the best to W&P: a really good side.

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WEDNESBURY BAPTIST 5 – 3 CHARLEMONT STAR
28th November

What a difference a week can make in this beautiful game that we all love, last week against St Marys, we created far more chances and only managed to put one of them away, yet this week we come out scoring 5!

The Churchfields Derby would have been a great game for the neutral with both teams playing some good football and battling hard, maybe the fact that there were friends on opposing sides also added some fuel and desire to want the bragging rights but nevertheless a fantastic game to have been a part of.

The opening 20 minutes were fairly even with us shading possession in the more dangerous areas, the game being largely played in the middle, which Nick was absolutely bossing for us, showing us how much we missed him last week. Nick’s battling determination is what led to our first goal has he slid in to win his tackle and in turn knocked the ball into Pete’s feet who superbly with only one touch turned his marker and played the ball in behind the defender to release Tino who made no mistake with the finish 1-0. This had obviously knocked the wind out of the Charlemont players as this was the beginning of 4 goals in just under 5 minutes which put us firmly in control of the game! Firstly, Chris Thomas produced a Martin Skrtel-esque volley that centre halves shouldnt be capable of producing 2-0, which was followed by an own goal, which Jack tried to calm and no doubt the Star play would have much preferred but the general consensus from everyone when asked was that the only way it could be awarded was has an own goal, Sorry Jack! 3-0. Completing the rout was Craig, who straight from kick off pressured their defender into a bad touch with some excellent pressing high up the pitch then in his words used his ‘peripheral vision to spot the keeper racing off his line’ before producing an exquisite inch perfect chip with his weaker left foot (he wanted to make sure i got that part in) that left the keeper with no chance of stopping it hit the back of the net. The rest of the first half continued with Charlemont continuing to play their football and look for a way back into the game whilst we seemed to go off the boil a little (coasting on a 4-0 scoreline perhaps) the half ended on a high for us with some amazing footwork being shown by Tino who makes the ball look like its glued to his foot when he left 4 Charlemont players on the ground and unfortunately couldnt finish for what would have been a definite goal of the season contender had he finished off the move. Half time 4-0.

The second half started off pretty much the same as the first had ended with both teams competing heavily in the middle of the park until Nick had to come off with an injury following an heavy tackle from a Star player. This swung the midfield battle slightly has Sean got up to speed with the game and the ever dangerous Jay Holder dropped deeper to get on the ball and create things. Jay then went on to score a very well taken shot which moved in the air leaving stand in keeper Chris with little chance of saving it has it finally settled in the far bottom corner, this gave Charlemont some of their fight back and they upped their game yet again and it was there chance to enjoy some possession in dangerous areas. They got their reward when they scored their second after yet again some wonderful work out wide by Jay Holder who squared the ball across forcing our keeper into a very smart save but unfortunately the ball fell to another Star player for just a tap in, 4-2 and the game burst into life once more. I think this also woke us up from our slumber knowing that our comfortable 4-0 lead had been halved with the best part of 25 minutes still to be played and we started to get ourselves going again and another wonderful passing move ended up with Craig finishing his 2nd of the game and gave us back a 3 goal cushion 5-2. With around 15 minutes left of the game our top goalscorer so far this season Fidell returned from injury replacing Pete. This gave us a different approach to the game and we were unlucky not to add to our goal tally with some well taken attempts that just evaded the goal. With pretty much the last kick of the game Star got another goal back after a well struck free kick from Jay was parried away by keeper Chris resulting in a bit of a goalmouth scramble and a Star player getting the rub of the green to get the all important touch that managed to stroke it into the net. Full Time 5-3.

A great game of football for the neutral (there were quite a few there – one spectator had originally been walking his dog but decided to stop and watch, not one of your spies was it Neil ?) A great team performance to return back to winning ways following last weeks loss and full credit to Charlemont Star, a great bunch of lads who put up a fight even when 4-0 down if they continue to play the way they did today they will get themselves away from the lower end of the table easily.

A huge thanks to the officials as always, also.

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MONYHULL CHURCH 1 ROWLEY COLLEGE 5
5th December

Full credit to Monyhull in every respect. Firstly to John who kept us informed across a difficult weather week, including the possibility of switching if the worst came to the worst, through to an 8.15am pitch inspection to confirm a game before we travelled. Truth is that the notorious Rowheath sponge turned out merely soft underfoot but a seemingly hurricane-force wind did its best to ruin the game. Not since the almost legendary winds at Rowley College, where we once went in 4 nil down to a wind-assisted Chawn and ended up 4-4 when the wind equally obliged us second half, have I seen a game so affected by the weather. If anything it hurt the home side most since, as many have said, Monyhull are a good young footballing side and in their number 10 (Oli Smith?)have one of the best players I’ve seen this season. They pass the ball well and lack only a little in experience and perhaps a clinical touch upfront.

What we have though is a proper solidity and attitude which did us proud in these difficult conditions. Lee Inett came in for the absent Olly and had a good game in the middle as did Mark and Matt Stanton at the back continues to impress wherever he plays. This game was about the first half and our momentum. The wind howled in the direction of their right back as he faced up to Fowler our most dangerous player. Ben had been behind them twice early. The second time he forced a corner which he whipped into the ringer. Their keeper tried to punch but got little on in and it fell to Mark who poked it from close range into the roof of the net. Our keeper Lee often talks about the wind as a keeper’s least favourite conditions and do it proved for their custodian. No sooner had they got back involved it was 2-0 when a decent cross from Tom Cartin found itself into the net: it was a ‘gimme’. Then Christy was held for a fairly soft penalty and Monyhull knew it wasn’t going to be their day. Christy converted and when Mark got his second from another wind-assisted/keeper’s nightmare goal we were able to breathe more easily.

We were aware the second half would be harder and Monyhull did not disappoint but we were also able to fashion further chances with Ben Smith always an option going forward. They also had intent and also created chances. A penalty for hand ball gave them further encouragement and we had to remain on our metal to ‘keep the back door closed’. Matt Williams was a dominant force though today. Luckily we then seemed to get a second wind and despite being reduced to ten men we finished the stronger with Benna rounding the keeper and ‘creating’ an own goal (the lad was desperately trying to clear it) to make it 5-1. All the best to Monyhull and congratulations to our lads who once again delivered performance and result.

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WOLVERHAMPTON AND PERTON 1 ROWLEY COLLEGE 4
12th December

Another epic encounter with Wolves & Perton today which produced in difficult conditions a quality game with two teams intent on playing football. The score line did not reflect the closeness of the game: when they scored at 0-3 they were sure they could recover something from the game and we had to be very much on our mettle. However, paradoxically, while 1-4 was hard on W&P, it did not flatter us: we scored four good goals and might have had four more at least!

Thanks are due firstly to Jon Nelson who allowed the game to go ahead on a heavy pitch and then did his best to let the game flow. Still lacking Olly and with Stanton only fit enough for the bench, we pushed Clive into midfield and Fowler into the centre. This was technically 4-1-4-1 but functioned much more fluidly with Christy the fulcrum of a powerful attacking machine. When W&P started much the brighter, it was Christy who powered past their centre back and slotted us in front as part of a man-of the-match performance: his hold up play was excellent.

This was, however, most importantly a team effort from Lee in goal through two cracking full backs, Chris and Matt Williams (who ended with what looked like a wig of mud: think Action man with Eagle-eyes™ circa 1977), Tom and Clive wide, South and Ben central and Benna supporting Christy (and Matt and Sammy as subs). We are presently a difficult side to break down AND a side with goals (a decent combination). First half saw close efforts from Benna, Mark and Joe but also two more goals. Firstly a throw from the left was dummied by South to put in Benna who stroked it home. Then the McKenzie- Fowler forward combination linked for Chisty to set up Benna for his second.

The half time chat at 0-3 was upbeat but wary. It is a measure of their threat that we did not feel secure. We expected a reaction and got it but from both sides and we were still having the better chances on an increasingly muddy pitch. Christy was particularly frustrated when he fluffed his lines after Benna set him up in a flowing counter attack. Meanwhile our defence was heroic until one of their lads cracked in a beauty from outside the box . For ten minutes we were under siege and they were close on a couple of occasions. Then Clive, who was so upset last week by his red card, made amends by exchanging passes and then outpacing and outfoxing their back line and slotting in. Even then there was time for the busy Sammy to volley just over. W&P kept going until the very end: all the best to Adam and his lads. Happy Christmas from me: I’m off to Lapland with my family so won’t be around next Saturday.

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Chawn Hill Church 1 Rowley College 3

23rd January

Mike was off on his travels in the uplands today but in touch with the game by the wonders of technology!

mike-and-Phil

For those of us who have been in WMCFL a good while, a game against Chawn Hill will always be a big game. When we arrived a quarter century ago they were the dominant team, winning leagues and competing for everything and did so for a good many years. And that connection to the glory days still stalks the touchline in the form of Steve Knight who is currently doing a decent job of bringing Chawn back to the top table with a mixture of good young lads and familiar faces. Whether they are helped by their home pitch, which resembles a farmer’s field with posts, I don’t know. It looks like the pitch from the seminal British film Kes!

We were without Mark(flued up on the bench) as well as Clive and Stanton but exceptional efforts from Matt Williams, Barber and little Lee meant we maintained a strong starting eleven with Sammy Nelson leading the line and Christie dropping into midfield. We started well on a difficult surface and created a series of openings: Sammy, Ben Smith and Benna all missed one on ones. Chawn too though were at it and took the lead when Bedders powered in an excellent back post header from a corner. They then had a dominant twenty minutes and missed a couple of proper chances while we struggled a little with the conditions. However we were very much in the game and had the wherewithal to create chances with the two Bens, Fowler and Smith (man-of-the-match for me) looking particularly likely. I think it was Olly though who helped on the crucial through ball and Sammy who did everything right: chased on, steadied himself, drew the keeper and slotted it home. Half Time 1-1.

We were better and more dominant second half, more assured at the back (as usual) and playing more football in the middle where Christie was the organiser and Ben and Olly the energy while little Lee held things together. We began to exert pressure and missed a couple of chances. Young Tom came on and looked good and we ultimately sent Fowler down the middle as he provided the greatest threat though not before the game had turned in a moment. First Chawn, who never give up , seemed sure to retake the lead but with Lee stranded Barber miraculously cleared it off the line and then to rub slat into wounds Benna’s last act out left was to spot the keeper off his line and plant a lofted drive from 20 yards and wide into the far corner. New signing Brett came on and did well and thankfully Benna ran on to score his second and make the game safe, though Chawn caused us problems to the very end.

All the best to Steve and his lads and to an inexperienced ref who kept his head when not everything went right for him. We all have to start somewhere.

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Saint Michael 2 Dudley Lions 1

23rd January

Welcome back !!

Winter was full of rain and most of league games has been called off every week. 4 weeks break from football is usually bad for any team but also every player is hungry for play.
We were pleased to hear that game will be played and we came in good numbers and also few extra players came down to support us.

After good warm up set up by Pawel Smigielski we start up strong and we took control over the whole pitch. Our today football was a football I would love to see every week. Ball was going from player to player making Dudley Lions run a lot. Marcin Galuszka always took his time to drag their player in for extra 20 yards run. Short passes and great ball possession give us 1:0.
All started on our half a after 10-15 passes ball been delivered by Michal Rozalski in between 2 center back to Robert Zaleski who control ball on 11 yards and lob goalkeeper.
That give us extra boost and we carry on with this great football this day. Sadly we couldn’t fix more goals out of it.

This was first game where we just went for break to grab water as there was nothing to talk about.
All we could do it’s just carry on with what we done first half.

We start last 45 minutes not bad but not as good as first half. Also with Dudley Lions back to field with stronger football. 15 min in to that half Dudley Lions create some good chances but they didn’t finished them off and that was punished by us on other end when Patryk Jasicki break from left wing in to middle and with open pass to Janusz Cyran give him perfect chance on front of goalkeeper. Janusz put goalkeeper on floor and shoot to empty goal.
10 minutes later Dudley Lions find back of net. They won free kick 30 yard from goal on left side and they delivery ball in to far post where 4 of their players break thru and first to ball finished it off.
This was our bad line movement and we have been punished straight away.
They push more players in to middle and start playing 3-5-2 and that gives us change on counter strikes. Few of them should be finished by Arek Dabrowski but he was unlucky this morning and when finally he scored 3rd goal for us linesman show off side position.

Excellent football overall and well deserved win and 3 point. Keep working boys!!

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Saint Michael 0 St Thomas’ Aldridge 1

30th January

Hello everybody.
Saturday game has been lost after good game but unable to produce any goals. We start this game with couple changes to our first team and with good 3 subs ready to go in any time they need to be on.
First 45 minutes was mostly played on middle of the pitch as we straggle to put good 3-5 passes that reach others. Poor passing gives us bad ball possession so most of our attempt was ended up before 20 yard. Our left and right defenders was also struggling today with this so we were unable to start short or drive ball to wingers. A lot of misjudged pass and dribbling in between St Thoas’ Aldridge players was ended up with losing ball by ball and to build up anything good we had to work more and more still without result. St Thomas’ Aldrige has create some danger to our goalkeeper but he saved it or they miss their chances from corners.
Our chances was mostly saved by goalkeeper as shot was unprepared or weak that give goalkeeper no work at all to save it.

Second half we started a bit different. Kuba Wieczorek start as centre midfield pushed Robert Zaleski to upfront and Patryk Jasicki become winger. This was not bad move as 10 min in to game we create our best chance but Robert Zaleski blow it up. He was set up to open space by midfielder he took goalkeeper on full speed and make poor shoot that was saved by defender who was running back to support own goal. 65 minutes in to game we bring our first subs but first 10 mintues Tobiasz Cichy was not used at all by other players and he was struggling to show anything.
Then we took off Robert Zaleski and Arek Dabrowski goes upfront to fight for some goals but luck of chances he couldn’t produce any.
Also we took out Patryk Jasicki and replaced him with Adrian Milowski who bring some good fight at middle but making unprepared shoot 30 yard away from goals give us nothing then disappointment.
Once we took of Patryk Jasicki other players start using Tobiasz Cichy on other wind and we have had few good runs on this side but without good final pass or enough pass to give chance to other to have a go for goal.
We were pushing them all over to find this last breath and win this they come up with something most unpredictable. As they clear ball in to our 35 yard Marcin Galuszka run from goal to clear it off and Michal Proszek went on same ball with lack off communication ball went above them and next to that ball was runner from St Thomas’ Aldridge who place it to empty goal and produce winner goal 1 minute before the end. In my eyes, not a fair loss, but that’s football!

Heads up boys we still fighting for point.

29 Jan 2016

29th January, Web Site Issues/Update + Prediction Challenge

Apologies to anyone who has tried to get information off the site during the past 7 days. Unfortunately, this was beyond our control and took us until the early part of the week to ascertain what had happened. We found out, that because of an IT changeover the site was not on display and once that had been sorted out, any information that had been inputted since the end of November had been lost. (So much for once it’s on the internet it’s always on there)! Suffice to say, this week has been all about trying to get back to some sort of normality. It’s 7.45pm and so far we have managed to update most things. However, the suspension list is still ongoing, but hopefully it will be updated tonight. This leaves the little matter of the Fixture List! All Fixture Alterations that had been made recently have been lost and it is now a main priority to sort this out.  Fixtures for Saturday 6th February will remain as they are but there will be alterations from there on in. This is such a critical issue that it may not be until the middle of next week until I confirm all of the changes. (Shift pattern starts again tomorrow and I don’t want to be making any errors by rushing them through).

I will post some Match Reports from previous weeks that have been resent in to us when time permits.

One item I will do now though is this weeks Prediction Challenge with Rob from Saint Michael’s being my challenger.

So, a challenging week but one we are slowly coming to terms with.

Rowley College vs Renewal Solihull has already fallen foul of the weather tomorrow. I hope that you are able to get your matches on and enjoy yourselves.

 

30th January
Division One Kovacs’ Rob (St Michael’s)
City Church vs Wolverhampton and Perton Draw 2-2 Home 3-1
Clarendon vs Charlemont Star Home 3-0 Home 4-0
Connect Sports vs Monyhull Church Home 1-0 Away 0-1
St Mary’s vs Zion Athletic Home 2-1 Home 3-0
Wednesbury Baptist Church vs Chawn Hill Church Home 2-1 Home 3-0
Division Two
Dudley Lions vs Corinthians S.K. Draw 1-1 Away 1-4
Living Hope Church United vs Maple Leaf Rovers Q.M.C Away 0-5 Away 1-6
Saint Michael vs St Thomas’ Aldridge Draw 2-2 Home 3-0
St Matthew’s Walsall vs Sandwell United Home 3-2 Home 7-2
Zion City vs Hawbush Home 11-0 Home 8-1

29 Nov 2015

28th November Review

Received 1 match report so far from the ever reliable Pete Bennett from Rowley but it is in Division 2 where I start this weeks review, (off on nights in a bit so it may be in 2 parts).

Performance of the week without a shadow of a doubt has to be St Thomas’ Aldridge drawing 4-4 with St Matthew’s Walsall. A tremendous result as St Matt’s sit mid-table, only a couple of wins off 2nd place with a few games in hand and have only previously dropped points against Zion City. In St Thomas’ position it may not have been a win and 3 points but the single point they got means a win would take them off the bottom. So imagine how their lads must have felt at half time, bottom of the table, just 1 win all season and 4-0 down against St Matt’s. I’m not sure about performance of the week but it’s probably 45 mins of performance of the season, 2 goals for Luke Helsdon, 1 each for Jordan Sedgwick and Joseph Moriarty for the Aldridge lads meant the game finished 4-4. Quite a comeback for the bottom placed lads!

If St Matt’s are aiming for the top it could still be an important point gained though, as leaders Maple Leaf Rovers Q.M.C suffered only their 2nd defeat in Div 2 at the hands of Zion City, who themselves should be classed as Champion contenders. Oritse Jarrett for Zion and Kiran Kellman for Maple Leaf both scored twice but other goals for Thomas Queensborough, Darren Hill, Amrik Sanghera and Leigh Edwards for Zion City means they move into 2nd place only 2 points behind yesterdays opponents with a game in hand.

Brierley Hill A.O.G lose ground on the top teams being beaten by Corinthians S.K. Daniel Byrne and Philip Bostock scoring for Corinthians in their 2-1 win at South Rd, Josh Smith scoring the Hill’s goal. 3rd to 8th are only separated by 3 points so this result keeps Corinthians in touch with the other teams thinking about promotion.

A convincing 7-2 away win over Living Hope Church United keeps Saint Michael in that pack. Lukasz Liberadski hitting the net 3 times for his hat-trick. Rob normally sends a report in so look out for that. So a result that keeps Saint Michael in the hunt but probably ends Living Hopes hopes of getting promoted with this being their 5th consecutive defeat.

Part 2, with Pete’s report and hopefully some more, may follow tomorrow or Tuesday, but I’m off on night shifts now so following in Ed’s style……..More To Follow

26 Nov 2015

Saturdays Prediction Challenge

A poor week for me last week going for some hunches again getting only 5 correct predictions out of 11 games with zero correct scores. Aaron from St Matthew’s Walsall for the Club Sec’s fared better getting 7 correct predictions with 1 correct score. So 5 points for me and 9 to the Club Secs.

This weeks Challenger is Rob O’Neil from Selly Oak Methodist who says he is “pretty confident of results but not necessarily scores” With a full fixture list this week we have 4 matches with differing outcomes, maybe chance for me to gain some ground up on the Club Sec’s?

 

28th November
Division One Kovacs’ Rob (Selly Oak)
City Church vs Clarendon Away 1-3 Draw 2-2
Connect Sports vs Zion Athletic Away 1-3 Away 1-3
Monyhull Church vs Chawn Hill Church Away 1-3 Home 1-0
Renewal Solihull vs St Mary’s Away 0-5 Away 0-3
Rowley College vs Wolverhampton & Perton Home 2-0 Home 2-0
Wednesbury Baptist vs Charlemont Star Home 3-1 Home 3-1
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G vs Corinthians S.K Home 2-1 Draw 2-2
Dudley Lions vs Hawbush Home 3-0 Home 4-1
Living Hope Church United vs Saint Michael Draw 1-1 Away 1-2
Selly Oak Methodist vs Sandwell United Home 2-1 Home 3-1
St Matthew’s Walsall vs St Thomas’ Aldridge Home 7-0 Home 5-1
Zion City vs Maple Leaf Rovers Q.M.C Home 2-1 Home 3-2

24 Nov 2015

Review – 21st November, Divs 1 and 2

Part Two of last weekends review begins with 1 of 2 Match Reports from Division 2 and 1 of 2 received over the last 24 hours, (the 2nd regards the St Mary’s vs Wednesbury Baptist game). The first is off Rob from Saint Michael’s:

Saint Michael 2-4 Brierley Hill A.O.G

Our first half performance was really poor as we struggle to clear ball and each time Brierley Hill shot they score. Even delivery from corner kick has land on far post top corner and with that much luck we simple couldn’t do much about it.
Before Brierley Hill start scoring we have had few chances with Patryk Jasicki shot landed on post and couple more shots saved by goalkeeper. Also we were strong only on counter attacks.
We would like to forget about this 45 minutes so lets go straight to second half where we actually pick up game and we were able to do small come back.

We came out to second hald with 0:4 on board and there was not much to lose, we just put all on one card and with 2 new centre midfield we start playing better football.
Our first goal was scored by Mateusz Puzniak who finish small flick ball from Robert Zaleski with excellent header and there was hope that we can get back.
Not long after that Pawel Graczyk could score but great save from goalkeeper and ball went out on tips of his fingers.
When Janusz Cyran was trying to go pass defenders they foul him and our chance to score goal came even closer. Patryk Jasicki place ball 20 yards from goal and with superb shoot he give no chance to goalkeeper.
With 2 goals already on and 20 minutes to end we push and push a lot but great defending and first class goalkeeper gave us no chance to find more goal this morning.

Great to Brierley Hill for win but we will do our best to get back those point when we visit them at South Road.

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So a cracking away win for Ian Baker’s lads who having won their last 3 games put themselves in the mix regarding promotion places, currently sitting in 4th place as 1 of 3 teams on 18 points.

The leaders though are 5 points ahead of the Hill lads and 4 away from 2nd placed Dudley Lions. Maple Leaf Rovers Q.M.C smashed 9 goals past Sandwell United in their 9-2 win. Micah Lyons scored a hat-trick but even that took second stage to Kiran Kellman who hit the back of the net 4 times. Nathan Hayes and Simeon Ellis popped their other goals in. The goal scoring stats have been updated and Kiran Kellman has popped in 16 goals for Maple Leaf in the League so far, almost half of their total. It’s always helpful when you have someone who has a natural finishing instinct and he seems to have that at the moment.

Second placed Dudley Lions lost ground on the leaders with their opponents on the day, St Matthew’s Walsall having 3 different players scoring 2 apiece. St Matt’s have only lost the 1 game so far and whilst they currently sit mid table they do have a number of games in hand. Kevin Humpage was one of their players who scored 2 and he is only 4 behind Kiran on 12 league goals.

Living Hope Church United are fading away from the promotion race and it is their report next. It’s a joint report from Callum and Stephen:

Hawbush 7-3 Living Hope Church United

Living Hope decided to play with a Back three only to find themselves 3-1 down at half time. Second half we changed things around only to see our emergency signing substitute sent off for swearing after only ten minutes on the pitch. Our ten men battled on bringing the game back to 4-3. Sadly, chasing the game we eventually folded as we conceded a further three late goals. Congratulations to Hawbush who deserved their win. So LHC couldn’t break their current slide down the table, losing to bottom-placed Hawbush this morning, and ending with nine men. However, Josh Steventon opened his account with a brace in smooth fashion, with new boy Rion Francis-Mills also scoring his first for the club.

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Benjamin Walton bagged 4 goals for the Hawbush lads giving Hawbush a 3 point cushion from bottom placed St Thomas’ Aldridge.

St Thomas’ remain rooted to the bottom following a 5-0 defeat to Zion City, a win that takes them into 3rd place and like Brierley Hill sit on 18 points. Zion have their 2nd consecutive 5-0 win in the League and are currently the leading scorers in Div 2.

The final game to cover from Div 2 is Selly Oak Methodists 3-2 away win over Corinthians SK. A result that makes Selly Oak the 3rd team on 18 points but sitting in 5th place. 15 of their 18 points have come from their last 5 games, so definitely a team in form.

As mentioned above, I have received a Div 1 match report in the last 24 hours regarding the St Mary’s vs Wednesbury Baptist game from John Myatt of St Mary’s;

St Mary’s 5-1 Wednesbury Baptist

Since joining the league it was only a matter of time before Wednesbury were competing at the top of Division One and in our first league game against them we knew they would have a point to prove. We went in with a strong team although missing Lutwyche in the goal, luckily we managed to get Morton to cover as an emergency signing who played very well in tricky conditions.

We started up the hill and against a strong wind, but put in our best performance for a number of weeks. We largely kept a very good Wednesbury front line at bay, although they did force a number of corners and half chances, as well as enjoying good possession in midfield. At the same time we carved out a number of excellent chances to extend our lead on the break, which had been given to us by a calm Locke finish following a good run by Coleman on around 15 minutes. However some lax finishing meant that it was only 1 v 0 at half time. HT 1 v 0

Having battled first half we were able to exert much more pressure at the start of the second and once we forced a second through a Tink header from an excellent Harris corner we took the game away from Wednesbury, scoring regularly. Firstly a huge kick from Morton got taken over the defender in the wind and Wiedeman cut in from the left and slotted in. We then made a couple of changes which allowed Wednesbury to get back into the game and create a number of good chances ,and although Wiedeman added a fourth to settle nerves they made it 4 v 1 when our defence were too slow to react following a great Morton save and the ball was squared for an easy finish. This led to more pressure from Wednesbury as they sensed they could find a way back into the game with 15 minutes left, however a great passing moved found Tink on the right who beat his man and chipped the keeper from a tight angle (Having taken myself off I will give him this one as deliberate as I had a great view!), great finish!

Overall it was a fantastic performance, much improved on previous weeks. A long trip to Renewal Solihull next week who we have not played for a number of years so it will be an interesting game.

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I think that’s everything covered apart from the Prediction Challenge…..haven’t had time to check it yet so that will be in this weeks preview

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Last Saturday saw the 2nd Round of the Cup completed with Clarendon progressing through to the Quarter-Finals courtesy of a 4-2 win over Charlemont Star. Report of James from Charlemont.

We arrived at Clarendon ready for the League Cup game following last week’s postponement. The pitch was in a good condition despite being waterlogged only a week ago, but the blustery wind caused a lot of issues for both sides throughout.

We started the game quite slowly, as seems to be the case so often and we fell behind on 15mins to a headed goal from a corner. A free header at the back post – well taken but soft defending on our part to leave a free header 6 yards out. We quickly got ourselves back on level terms with Danny Holland scoring direct from a corner, with a little bit of assistance from the wind which foxed the Clarendon keeper as the ball sailed into the far post. We were dealt a blow before half-time as Haydn Ellis had to come off with a hamstring strain, to be replaced by Lewis Cox in a like-for-like substitution.

Half-time: 1-1

Once again we started slowly and fell behind for the second time in the game only 2 minutes after the break. Once again we showed a bit of fight to get ourselves back into the game and equalised through a well taken goal by Jack Evans, finishing coolly after Tom Collins had hit the post. This goal capped a fine display in centre-midfield by Jack. Soon after the goal, we had to shuffle our defence with Josh Chell coming off injured and being replaced by Brad Tiernan. Only 5 minutes later, we fell behind for a third time, another well taken goal by Clarendon, but another which we should have prevented. Into the last 15minutes, and we started throwing everything forward to look for another equaliser and force the game into extra-time. Chris James was sent on up front in place of defender Rich Stevens to add a bit more height and strength to the forward line and this nearly paid dividends as we created a few close chances. It was on the break though, that we were punished once again as Clarendon scored their fourth as we were pushing forward and left ourselves short at the back.

The final score was 4-2, but we can be pleased with how we fought throughout the game and on another day the scoreline could have been different. The game was played in a good spirit throughout, and we wish Clarendon all the best in their continued cup run.

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So with 2nd placed Clarendon playing in the Cup, leaders St Mary’s came up against 3rd placed Wednesbury Baptist. A win for Wednesbury would keep thing interesting at the top but once again St Mary’s showed how much quality they have with a convincing win. 2 goals apiece for Andrew Beeson and Luke Wiedeman with Thomas Locke popping in the other one were more than enough for them as they won 5-1, Craig Abbey slotting home Wednesbury’s consolation goal. After 8 games they are now 4 points clear of 2nd placed Clarendon and have a game in hand. They haven’t scored the most or even conceded the least but they sit top of the pile at the moment and that’s what counts.

Is it too early to be saying St Mary’s are Champions elect and the others are chasing 2nd place?

Well Rowley may well have their eyes on trying to get there. They are currently 7 points off it but do have 2 games in hand. Having had a few weeks off it would be interesting to see how they would perform after their time off. I will let Pete Bennett tell the tale:

Connect Sports 0-5 Rowley

It’s hard not to feel for Willis and Vernon who are going through one of those periods which come along every now and then where nothing goes right and even getting eleven players on the pitch seems each week like a labour of Hercules. There is a genuine affection for these guys shown by our senior players some of whom have played for Willis or had great battles with his teams. Based on a great season last year and a terrific performance against us earlier in this campaign, I’d tipped Connect to be in contention. They still have good players but are not getting enough of them consistently out and while this was by no means easy today we always looked likely to win the game. However with Martin Lees still leading the line with great skill and Robbie Hunter offering a captain’s performance in adversity (and great to see Jim Wilkes, a top bloke and terrific footballer who I think has answered the call) I’m sure they’ll come though.

We, though, are a difficult proposition for any team these days and despite missing Clive and Chrissy Staien from the back line we managed to steal ahead of St Mary’s in the least goals against stakes with a clean sheet. Our most consistent player Matt Stanton filled in at centre half alongside the imperious Williams and was as good as anyone. We were made to work but restricted Connect to a handful of efforts and we also have a very good goalkeeper.

The game was played on a large pitch with too much grass on it in a howling wind. For the first fifteen minutes it resembled beach football and neither side made much progress. Then we realised that there was plenty of room to keep the ball in and began to swing into action. We began to make progress but they defended well. The first goal is always important and we had the man for the job. Ben Fowler returned from the US in time for a substitute appearance last time out and scored. Since then we have had three weeks off. I joked before the game that I’d be happy if he could keep up the goal every 30 minutes ratio! By half time his average had gone below 1 in 30 mins. Firstly Barber hit a diagonal ball from right back and Ben met it back post and slotted it, then he was played in for a 1-on-1 with a similar result. As Connect tried to rally we continued a ruthless streak as Mark dropped a perfect free kick onto Matt Williams’ head for a 3-0 half time lead.

Second half they again continued to play their football but we finished it when Ben took a fine hat trick with a rasping drive. He also had time to miss a free header, slip another 1-on-1 just wide and get up to head beyond the keeper so that all their unfortunate lad could do was slide it into his own net.

All in all a good answer to the biting cold. Good to see Lee Inett back second half in midfield alongside the industrious Smith and Staien combination and for us to show some quality and respect to beleaguered opponents. I trust Connect will re-connect soon: they are a great club (in their many guises).

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So Rowley come good with a 5-0 win and as Pete says, now have the least goals conceded in Div 1. Then again, they have played 1 less game than St Mary’s but their average is just slightly better. (Maybe time for me to do another Entertainment Table)?

What about any other candidates? City Church are still considered outsiders in my eyes but goals from Nicholas Graham and Dave Glasby gave them a 2-1 win over Renewal Solihull and may be the only other team who could pinch 2nd. So for me. it’s all about the current top 5 as to who may end up in the top 2 places come seasons end.

Chawn Hill Church took full advantage of Renewal’s defeat leaving the Solihull side in the bottom three. Chawn beat Wolverhampton and Perton 5-2 and had 5 different goal scorers; Philip Knight, Joseph Knight, Mark Titheridge, Matthew Hingley and lastly, a player I had the pleasure to manage, Curtis Jordan. Nathan Lodge replied with 2 for the W’ton lads but the result gives Chawn something to build on in their relegation battle. W’ton still sit comfortably in mid-table and I would imagine that’s where they will be come seasons end.

Monyhull Church look to be heading back to Div 2 following a 5-0 defeat, this time losing to Zion Athletic, another team I expect who will be too good to be battling at the bottom but not good enough to threaten at the top.

Charlemont Star occupy the other relegation place at the moment but they do have games in hand.

Well that’s Div 1 and the Cup covered, Div 2 will follow tomorrow.

20 Nov 2015

A Late League Cup Match Report

No idea what happened but I’ve only just noticed a report submitted on the 18th regarding the St Matthew’s vs Maple Leaf Rovers Q.M.C game. Here is St Matt’s take on the game…

St Matthew’s Walsall 3-1 Maple Leaf Rovers Q,M,C

On Saturday we entertained Division Two pacesetters Maple Leaf Rovers in a game not only of importance for the League Cup but also a possible psychological edge in the Division Two title race.

With a couple of injuries and suspensions to contend with we managed to scrape together 11 players thankfully all of high quality including a return for goal machine Kevin Humpage after he missed our last game against Hawbush.

We started the game really well, passing the ball around quickly on the skiddy surface, almost camped in the Maple Leaf half. The only thing that was missing was the finishing touch although we were extremely unlucky when captain Andy Rowley hit the post with a 25 yard free kick, the rebound fell to James Scragg and he proceeded to thunder a volley at the crossbar before the ball was finally scrambled away.

We finally managed to take the lead around the midway point of the half. Kevin Humpage drilled in a corner from the right hand side and James Scragg met the ball perfectly with his forehead from around 8 yards out.

We had more chances to extend the advantage but Maple Leaf were to get the next goal. A through ball from Maple Leaf’s captain caused some hesitation in the home defence and Kiran Kellman nipped in for his seemingly obligatory goal.

Half time 1-1.

The second half started very much like the first, a barrage of pressure from ourselves but a little more wary of Maple Leaf’s pace on the counter. We managed to get our noses in front again and at the risk of sounding biased, it was a relatively simple yet beautiful goal. A long ball forward from the back was controlled instantly by Humpage who used his body well to hold off his defender and with the goalkeeper no more than 8 yards off his line, he produced a sumptuous chip over him from fully 35 yards which left the keeper with no chance.

Maple Leaf, to their credit, responded again and only a miraculous save from home goalkeeper Ben Scragg prevented it from being 2-2 when he put his body on the line as Kellman looked to convert an impressive cross from the advanced Maple Leaf right back (although he did admit quietly it was an intended shot!)

The game was really on a knife edge but we made it safe with 10 minutes to go. Some impressive possession play as the ball crossed the field twice before Humpage gave the ball to the hard working Hathaway and he escaped the clutches of his defender before smashing the ball home on his left foot from 15 yards.

3-1 it ended and into the quarter finals we go. A shout out to Maple Leaf who are a good, good side and we definitely knew we’d been in a game as we sat shattered in the dressing room afterwards. They try to play football the right way and in addition to that they’re also a friendly, sporting set of lads.

Also thank you to the referee and his assistants.

20 Nov 2015

League Cup Draw

The League Cup Draw was made tonight for both the Quarter-Final and Semi-Final stages of the Competition. The League Cup Fixtures page has been updated.

More To Follow:

A quick glance at the Draw sees St Mary’s, the current holders of the Cup keeping away from the remaining Division 1 Clubs with Brierley Hill A.O.G as their opponents in the Quarters. The winners of that tie will face the winners of an all Div 2 Quarter-Final tie between Corinthians S’K and St Matthew’s Walsall. St Mary’s will probably be pleased with that draw but should Brierley Hill overcome St Mary’s them a Division 2 side will be guaranteed a place in the Final.

The other side of the draw has also got some tasty games in it and it’s hard to predict who will come out of it in the Final. Zion City vs Wednesbury Baptist should be a cracking game and whoever progresses will have to play well again to make the Final. Clarendon play Charlemont Star in the morning with Zion Athletic waiting to play the winners.

So 3 Division 1 sides in one half of the draw and 3 Division 2 sides in the other. This for me is a very interesting Draw with maybe St Mary’s being the only slight favourites in their Quarter-Final Tie, but after that, anyone can win.

The beauty of the Cup.

19 Nov 2015

21st November Predictions and 1 More Match Report

I like to think that these predictions get talked about among the many people involved within the League and it is always my aim to try and get them on earlier than I normally manage, but other things just seem to crop up and it’s either late Friday night or early Saturday morning before I manage to get them on. Well, low and behold, I’ve managed to get them on here by Thursday night! So maybe something for you to chat about tomorrow night if you’re out and about with your team mates. With a League Meeting that the Club Secretaries will be attending tomorrow night it will be interesting to see what some of their comments are!

It’s only for fun, but I do hate to lose! Aaron Muffat from St Matthew’s is my challenger this week and we have differing opinions on 5 games. Here you are folks….

21st November
Division One Kovacs’ Aaron (St Matt’s)
City Church vs Renewal Solihull Home 3-1 Home 2-1
Connect Sports vs Rowley College Draw 2-2 Away 1-3
St Mary’s vs Wednesbury Baptist Away 1-2 Home 3-1
Wolverhampton and Perton vs Chawn Hill Church Draw 1-1 Home 4-2
Zion Athletic vs Monyhull Church Home 2-0 Home 2-0
Division Two
Corinthians S.K vs Selly Oak Methodist Draw 3-3 Home 2-1
Dudley Lions vs St Matthew’s Walsall Away 1-3 Away 1-4
Hawbush vs Living Hope Church Draw 1-1 Away 1-3
Maple Leaf Rovers QMC vs Sandwell United Home 2-0 Home 4-0
Saint Michael vs Brierley Hill A.O.G Draw 1-1 Draw 1-1
St Thomas’ Aldridge vs Zion City Away 1-5 Away 1-4
League Cup
Clarendon vs Charlemont Star Home 4-0 Home 3-1

One late Match Report from last week has been received and it is the tale of Wednesbury Baptists win over Renewal Solihull.

Renewal Solihull 1-7 Wednesbury Baptist

After last weeks narrow 4-3 away win over the same opposition we knew that if we wanted to progress in the cup we would have to produce a good team performance, our hopes were not aided with the news that we were going to be down to the bare bones (so much so we required 3 emergency signings just to be able to start with 11, albeit with myself, (Jase), on the bench as an emergency sub.

The game started off with us pressing high on Solihull’s back line and our early pressure paid dividends has a fantastic Sean Perry ball down the flank to Tino set him free to cut back to Fidell who unselfishly slid it across to Ian ‘Beale’ Whitehouse to tap in at the far post 1-0. Several minutes later the ever dangerous Tino beat his man and squared across the 18 yard box for Fidell to bury low and hard 2-0 up and around 75 minutes still to play. Calls of ‘Keep it tight next 5 Wednesbury’ come from keeper Carl and typically 2 minutes later Solihull cut the deficit. We didnt let this hinder our performance as we immediately from kick off attacked and took back our 2 goal advantage with another Tino assist and Fidell goal 3-1. Half time was looming and we felt that we were beginning to take a stronghold on the game which was strengthened after Fidell completed his hat trick – 3 goals from 3 shots, unfortunately his 100% strike rate ended a few minutes later when he volleyed against the post with the keeper beaten. Half Time 4-1.

We started the second half the same as we had finished it, knowing it was the cup we expected Solihull to throw everything at us so knew if we could extend the deficit that it would help us relax and also hopefully deflate them. Tino continued to cause havoc amongst the Renewal back four and was unlucky not to find himself on the score sheet when he beat 3 players only for the keeper to get a hand to the ball after putting him on the floor with a superb piece of skill. Unfortunately for us we then lost Fidell to injury which was a big blow and resulted in Beale moving up top alongside Pete and this proved to be a masterstroke has he went on to complete his hat trick with 2 very well taken goals – the first of the two was a scissor kick from a Tino cross going in off the underside of the bar and the hat trick completing goal was a great individual effort after being put clean through from yet another Tino assist 6-1. With around 15 minutes to go we were unlucky not to extend our lead further with the keeper thwarting us on several occasions and hitting the woodwork a few times. I then managed to get myself on the score sheet after Sean and Tino combined well on the edge of the Solihull box resulting in the ball looping into the air, jumping with the Solihull centre half I managed to beat him to it and guided it into the far bottom corner – watching it myself it felt like it had taken an age to nestle in the net but I was informed that it sailed in, a rare appearance and even rarer goal for myself but more importantly a confidence building win and great team performance from the lads.

Unfortunately I have to end on a sad note as this was Goalkeeper Carl’s last game for us as he reckons he will be hanging his gloves up now whilst he prepares for knee surgery next week. So I would just like to thank him for his fantastic contribution to the club from all the lads and wish him a full and speedy recovery.

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So that’s it for now. All being well the Quarter-Final Cup Draw will be on here late tomorrow night.

18 Nov 2015

14th November Review

Last Saturday had only 2 Divisional games with both of them being in Division 2. The first match saw Dudley Lions beat Sandwell United 3-2 to close the gap on leaders Maple Leaf Rovers QMC with only 1 point separating the two teams now, although Maple Leaf do have a game in hand. Dudley will no doubt be pleased to get the 3 points, putting pressure on the teams below them to keep winning their games. One of those teams who join the chasing pack is Saint Michael who won their game in hand on some of the teams above them and it seems to have been a convincing win at that. Report from Saint Michael;

Saint Michael 6-3 Living Hope Church United

Thanks to Living Hope players to show us how team should work even when defeated. They spent good 15 minutes after game running and talking as team should do!

There was only two league games this weekend and that give us chance to get back to fight for good place in league as we were one game less then most of team. We took that chance straight in first half what finished 5:0 for us and we simple dominate all around!
First goal scored by Patryk Jasicki was a long pass from Arek Dabrowski to Robert Zaleski but ball was placed a bit to high and luckily for us to their centre back. First to that ball was Patryk who shoot in middle of goal but right below bar and goalkeeper could not save it.
Patryk Jasicki was in good shape and he fallow his good day and next goal was in big part his great delivery in to box from corner kick where mix of players could not score or clear it but Kamil Lason find him self back to goal and tap it to Arek Dabrowski who finished it off from short range!
We have had many free kicks close to goal this Saturday and Pawel Graczyk scored from one of this chance when he shoot low strong ball towards goal and small deflection from wall help him out to place it on back of a net.
Next goal scored by Janusz Cyran was also Patryk Jasicki great pass to open space and Janusz give no chance to goalkeeper placing ball to far left corner.
Fifth goal was tap to empty goal by Robert Zaleski to make sure it’s in but to be honest if he did not it would probably goes in. When Patryk Jasicki was taking free kick ball deflect again from wall and were going between all to far post and Robert just jump from to tap it in.
Great 5:0 first half has finished!

We did not bring any subs on and we carry on trying to score more but defence of Living Hope get back to shape and goalkeeper saves some of good shoots!
While we were trying Living Hope pick up game and they scored their first goal 5 minutes in to second half and 10 minutes later another one and they pick up good spirit to force us to defence and start to be more worried about what happening around.
Our respond was again from free kick and this time Kamil Lason was delivering ball to far post on tall Robert Zaleski but it’s Arek Dabrowski who took all glory this time and with dive header he beat goalkeeper and scored his second goal this morning what is great for our centre back!
With 6:2 on board we introduce our new players to Saturday football that they could grab some valid experience. Kuba Wieczorek who played with us few games last season and fresh blood Tobiasz Cichy who came to England 2 month ago came in to play.

With both team trying to score some more goals game was more open and there could be a lot more in but only Callum Oakshott was able to finish with great calm precision shoot that give no chance to out goalkeeper.

Last on pitch was Lukasz Kaczmarek our super sub who came in 15 minutes before end to try his best to score and he could be on score sheet if Patryk Jasicki seen him while he was taking his shoot what was save by goalkeeper.
First half was our but second definitely taken by Living Hope final score to us but we have to work out more about our performance! Thanks and cya next week.

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So with no games in Division 1 and the 2 Div 2 games covered, we move on to the League Cup. 8 games were scheduled but this was quickly reduced to 7 with the Clarendon vs Charlemont Star match being postponed. The tie has now been moved to this Saturday hoping that we can complete the 2nd Round Cup games as soon as possible.

So, what about the 7 matches that did take place? Well, whatever the outcome of the postponed game we will have an even split in the Quarter-Finals with 4 teams from each Division. The Quarter-Final draw takes place at the League Meeting this Friday night and no doubt there will be some eyes glanced at how that turns out. If you’re that keen, I will try and get the draw on here when I get back from the meeting…have a look around 10.30pm!

Two Division 2 teams knocked out opponents from Div 1 and I got neither correct, although Daz did get Corinthians SK to beat Connect Sports in his predictions. I thought Connect had turned a corner but Corinthians ran out 6-4 winners in a goal feast of a game.  The Brierley Hill AOG vs City Church also saw the back of the net smashed loads of times but it was only 2-2 at the end of extra time with Brierley Hill winning through 5-4 on penalties. The other 2 teams to progress into the next Round from Div 2 are St Matthew’s Walsall and Zion City who both played in all Div 2 games. It seems like the Zion game was another cracker with them beating Selly Oak Methodist 5-3 after extra time, I’m led to believe it was 3-3 after 90 minutes. So maybe not the convincing win that I had forecast for Zion but a win nonetheless. Rob from Selly Oak said he was going to pin my prediction up before the game, well if he did, it did the job for 90 minutes at least. The other Div 2 tie saw current leaders Maple Leaf knocked out 3-1 by St Matthew’s Walsall. Both myself and Daz went correctly for a home win in this game and may well be the Div 2 team that the Div 1 Clubs may like to avoid in the draw?

Then again, the 3 Div 1 Clubs through so far will not be fearing anyone! Wednesbury Baptist Church had a thumping 7-1 away win over Renewal Solihull with Ian Whitehouse and Fidell Glanville both bagging a hat-trick, their other goal being scored by Jason Marshall. This sort of win will no doubt have them fancying their chances of making the Final. One team who know about recent Cup Final appearances, Zion Athletic, also make it through to the Quarters with a 5-1 win over Chawn Hill Church. I met up with a couple of their lads during the week before the match and they were quietly confident about winning and looking at the score suggests they were right to feel that way. The last tie of the Round saw Daz surprisingly go for a shock win for Monyhull Church in his predictions. I stayed with St Mary’s to carry on their impressive form and was correct to do so. With only our 2nd Report of the week, here is St Mary’s take on the game;

Monyhull Church 1-4 St Mary’s

Despite the ref sec’s prediction of a loss, and Locke and Wiedeman on the bench following a two week absence, we went into the game with a positive outlook. However despite controlling the match for the first 25 minutes we fell behind to another good Monyhull break with De Lacy putting an attempted clearance into our net, wrong footing Lutwyche with 2 attackers waiting to slot in.

Luckily, as tends to happen, this woke us up and our work rate improved and in the final 15 minutes of the half we upped our work rate and scored 3 goals. Firstly Coleman shot from 20 yards when the keeper maybe should have one better and then two brilliant goals with sharp interplay and fantastic finishes from Rudd and Coleman.

Second half we really should have carried on but our workrate dropped and despite Wiedeman and :Lockes introduction Monyhull continued to look dangerous and had a number of chances to make it 3 v 2 until a kick from Lutwyche forced the Monyhull centre back into an error and Wiedeman slotted in.

***********************************************************************

As for the Prediction Challenge, well it was 1 point each last week and it’s Aaron from St Matthew’s Walsall who will be supplying the Club Sec’s forecast this week.

Due to the rearranged Cup Tie there have been alterations to the Div 1 Fixtures. The web site has been updated but please check so that you go to the correct match.

 

 

13 Nov 2015

14th November, League Cup, Predictions, and Preview

Firstly, I have to correct a previous observation regarding last weeks predictions by Steve from Dudley Lions. I had stated that he had 4 correct results with no correct scores. He actually predicted a correct score, 4-2 to Sandwell, in the St Thomas’ Aldridge vs Sandwell match. With that in mind and the fact that I have some spare time before going on my night shift, I have managed to do an update on how the challenge is going. Well, it’s quite close but at the moment the Club Sec’s are leading. The League Cup is not included in the Club Sec’s Challenge but we are still having some fun with it.

Prediction Challenge Matches Correct Correct Total
Scores After 7th Nov. Forecast Prediction Score Points
Kovacs’ Kolumn 99 47 6 59
Club Secretaries 99 48 7 62
Individual Club Secs
Pete (Rowley) 12 7 0 7
Ian (B’Hill) 9 4 0 4
Andy (Charlemont) 11 5 1 7
Andres (Maple Leaf) 12 6 0 6
Brian (Ren Sol) 8 3 1 5
Daz (Ref’s Sec) 4 1 0 1
Steve (Chawn) 11 7 2 11
Pete (Zion Ath) 11 5 2 9
Jason (Wed Bapt) 10 6 0 6
Steve (Dudley) 11 4 1 6
99 48 7 62
League Cup Challenge
Daz (Ref’s Sec) 8 5 0 5
Kovacs’ 8 5 2 9

 

So, onto this weeks Challenge. Well, as most of the games are Cup fixtures I have once again asked Daz, the Referee’s Secretary to be my opponent this week and I must say if one of his predictions comes off then maybe he should have as award for ‘surprise of the season!’ No disrespect to their opponents but i really cannot see St Mary’s losing in their Cup game against Monyhull Church, but that’s what Daz has gone for. Could a Cup upset really happen tomorrow? Could Charlemont Star spring a surprise and overcome Clarendon? Well they drew 2-2 with them on Oct 24th so they will take confidence from that, but for me, I’m sticking with Clarendon. Have Connect Sports gone through their bad spell as they come up against Corinthians SK from Div 2? These are the ties I like to see, Div 2 against Div 1 and with Corinthians having only suffered 2 defeats, I believe that this could go either way. So have I predicted a draw? Nope, I’ve plumped for one of them to win 2-1. Renewal Solihull play 3rd placed Wednesbury Baptist in an all Div 1 clash. This should go to form, but Renewal, who are previous Cup Winners, can be a different beast in the Cup. (The Cup can throw up some fixture surprises and it has done so again as these 2 teams face each other again following their game last weekend). An all Div 2 match sees Selly Oak Methodist play Zion City, a team who I have previously commented on as a team who blow hot and cold, (a little bit like today’s weather)! Selly Oak are coming off the back of 4 straight wins and Zion have scored 17 goals in their last 3 straight wins, although they do let goals in as well. Having read this as I type, I’ve altered my thoughts and whilst I’m sticking with my prediction I have changed my mind on the score. Another all Div 2 clash sees current leaders Maple Leaf Rovers QMC travel to face one of the new teams this season, St Matthew’s Walsall. Both teams had 7 goal wins in the previous Round with Maple Leaf beating Hawbush 7-0 and St Matt’s overcoming St Thomas’ Aldridge 9-2. Both teams have only suffered 1 defeat this season so something has to give tomorrow, I think it will be close. The last tie sees Zion Athletic host Chawn Hill Church. I’m lead to believe the Zion lads are quietly confident about this one and who could argue with their Cup pedigree in recent years. Both teams drew a bye to get into the 2nd Round and with a Quarter-Final place up for grabs suddenly thoughts of a Cup Final appearance do not seem that far away. So can Chawn, who also have Cup pedigree, follow in their teams of old and win the Cup again? Well they have got to up their game beginning tomorrow if they are to do so.

Two Division 2 take place tomorrow with Sandwell United hosting Dudley Lions and Living Hope Church United travelling to face Saint Michael. I expected more from Living Hope but they have won the same as they have lost so it’s not all doom and gloom. But they really do need a win tomorrow if they are to force their way into the automatic promotion places. Depending how Dudley Lions do, a win could put them 2nd!

Dudley should be looking to cement their 2nd place position against Sandwell, a team they played 2 weeks ago and won 5-0. Will they repeat that feat?  Well, here are the predictions for this week:

14th November
League Cup Kovacs’ Daz (Ref’s Sec)
Brierley Hill AOG vs City Church Away 1-2 Away  1-3
Clarendon vs Charlemont Star Home 4-0 Home 4-2
Connect Sports vs Corinthians SK Home 2-1 Away 1-3
Monyhull Church vs St Mary’s Away 0-4 Home 2-1
Renewal Solihull vs Wednesbury Baptist Away 1-3 Away 1-4
Selly Oak Methodist vs Zion City Away 1-5 Home 4-3
St Matthew’s Walsall vs Maple Leaf Rovers QMC Home 3-2 Home 5-3
Zion Athletic vs Chawn Hill Church Home 3-1 Home 6-3
Division Two
Sandwell United vs Dudley Lions Away 1-2 Draw 2-2
Saint Michael vs Living Hope Church United Draw 2-2 Away 1-3

 

11 Nov 2015

Remembrance Day – 11th November

Below is the famous epitaph credited to John Maxwell Edwards regarding a lost battle in WWII.

 

“When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow we gave our today”

 

Today, we remember all those who gave their lives in wars past and present for our today and tomorrow.

A Soldier       poppy

 

10 Nov 2015

November 7th – Round Up

Once again a very busy weekend and week and with only a couple of reports in I start this weeks review away from our League.

St Mary’s did us proud in the BCFA Cup, (renamed but I still call it that). Here is John’s report of their game followed by a quick report from their game against Chawn the previous week:

St Mary’s 4-3 Hall Green United

I think this was St Marys first ever game in the BCFA cup, and we started with a win which should have been far more comfortable than it was. considering we were 3 v 0 up at half time.

We started well, knocking the ball around as well as we could on a sticky pitch whilst being careful not to allow Hall Green to break on us as they liked to push forward in numbers when given the chance. We got an early breakthrough with a rare Green goal. He received the ball on the edge of the area and placed a shot at the keeper who fumbled it into the net, not pretty but they all count!

We continued to press but following the goal became more lax in our play, then one good move found Andy Harris who slid the ball through for Tink to round the keeper an slide in for 2 v 0. Phil then provided an assist for Tinks 2nd with a huge kick allowing him to run clear and once again round the keeper to score. 3 v 0 half time.

Being 3 v 0 up we coasted through the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half however that can always be dangerous and with our workrate dropping Hall Green began to get ontop and we allowed a cross in from deep for the Hall Green Striker placed a superb header into the corner. This should have woken us up but a virtually identical goal 10 minutes later made it 3 v 2 and game on. At this point there were 10 minutes left and we could not seem to keep the ball with Hall Green going all out for a 3rd goal. However good work from Tink led to a free kick on the right and Green curled the ball to the front post where I (Myatt) managed catch a volley sweetly (with a full on toe poke) and the game seemed settled at 4 v 2.

Hall Green had other ideas and managed to force a 3rd with the last kick of the game when the ball fell at their players feet 3 yards out following a corner.

In the cup it is only the result which matters, but we will need to concentrate for the whole game in later rounds!

St Marys 3 v 1 Chawn Hill Church

A quick report on last weeks game vs Chawn Hill. This was a lot closer than it should have been due to very lax finishing. We created numerous excellent chances but could not manage to kill the game off and as always Chawn would not give in and kept coming at us. As the league observer stated it took us until at least 70 minutes to get the vital 2 goals with an O.G. and a Tink lob/cross (depending who you believe…) finishing it after we had earlier taken the lead and then given it up too easily. Again though it is the 3 points that count and we got there in the end.

****************************************************************************************

So whilst St Mary’s played elsewhere, could the chasing teams take advantage.

Well Clarendon keep the pressure on with their 5-2 win over bottom placed Monyhull Church. This result leaves them only 1 point behind St Mary’s but they have now played 2 extra games. 3rd placed Wednesbury Baptist also won their game away to Renewal Solihull but it would appear that this was no easy win. But as John states above, it’s the result that counts and a 4-3 win is better than being on the other end of that scoreline. Wednesbury themselves are only 1 point behind Clarendon with a game in hand. The top 3 could be interesting this year. Can Wednesbury carry their form all the way through the season or will they fade away like Connect did last season? Speaking of Connect, who have been struggling lately. Well they had a great 5-3 win over a rejuvenated City Church who had won their 3 previous League matches. This result puts Connect on the same points as City and makes their position in the table look a bit better. Wolverhampton and Perton jump above City up to 4th with their 5-2 win over Zion Athletic. W’ton had lost their last 2 games so this will be seen as 3 well needed points for them. The last match in Div 1 to cover is Chawn Hill Church vs Charlemont Star. This game is always well contested and normally close. With that in mind, I went for a draw in my predictions and it duly turned out that way, ending up 1-1. With both teams in the bottom 3 this result doesn’t really help either team, but they do have games in hand on Renewal Solihull who they can catch. So maybe a point gained is better than 3 going to a relegation opponent.

I mentioned the Prediction Challenge with the Chawn game, well I finally had a good week gaining some ground on the Club Secs. I managed to get 8 out of 11 games correct with 1 correct score whilst Steve from Dudley Lions got 4 correct with no correct scores….so it was 10 – 4 to me this week and after the drubbing I got off Steve Knight from Chawn the other week it was well needed.

Division 2 leaders Maple Leaf Rovers QMC open up a 4 point cushion at the top despite only managing a 1-1 draw with Corinthians SK who were placed 3rd before last weeks results. The Division is so tight that even though Corinthians managed a draw with the League leaders they now sit in 6th place. One of the teams to jump above them are Zion City who had a good 5-0 win over 2nd placed Dudley Lions who missed a chance to gain ground on Maple Leaf. Zion move into 3rd place, but the question remains, can they be consistent rather than hit and miss? Brierley Hill AOG move into 4th with a very creditable 4-2 home win against Living Hope Church United who have now lost 3 consecutive games. Selly Oak Methodist join Zion City and Brierley Hill on 15 points with a 2-1 win over Saint Michael. This is disappointingly the only match report received from our League this week, so a big thanks to Rob from Saint Michael, (who lost)!

Selly Oak Methodist 2-1 Saint Michael (edited)

For Their SACRIFICE.

For Our FREEDOM.

WE SHALL REMEMBER THEM!

Thanks for great contact to Robert O’Neil who contact few times and even on Saturday 3 hours before game to confirm that game is on.

The bad weather did not stop us from playing and we start short after a minute of silence. Both team show good skills and come up with some good chances. 20 minutes into the game and the weather changed with heavy rain and a cold blustery wind giving players less ball control. The Referee wanted to stop the game but after consulting both captains we carried on. This game could have been won by us but we were unable to finish our chances. Selly Oak on the other hand were stopped by an excellent performance from our goalkeeper, Marcin Galuszka who stopped some great shots with incredible saves.

Selly Oak had control of the play with it paying off, a great finish and 1-0 lead. They were next to score and make it a 2 goal cushion.

We woke up in the last 20 minutes with 3 substitutes coming on but it was a bit too late. We were still unable to score from open play but Janusz Cyran  ran quicker for ball than their goalkeeper with him fouling Janusz and the referee pointed to the spot. Arek Dabrowski put the ball down and score goal but their goalkeeper managed to get his gloves on the shot but it was too strong to save. In the last 10 minutes we pushed Selly Oak but we failed to score another goal.

Praise to Selly Oak for great game!

*******************************************************************

So, 2nd to 6th separated by only 2 points and the next 3 teams not far off. One of these teams is St Matthew’s Walsall who suffered a 6-2 defeat the previous week at the hands of Zion City. Would they bounce back? Yes, in emphatic style, blasting 9 goals past bottom but one Hawbush. No disrepsect to Hawbush but their defeat came as no surprise and sets up St Matthew’s to challenge for the top with the amount of games in hand that they have. The final match saw Sandwell United beat bottom placed St Thomas’ Aldridge 4-2. At the moment it really does look like being between Hawbush and St Thomas’ as to who will finish bottom.

 

7 Nov 2015

We Will Remember Them

All matches played today will have 1 minutes silence before the kick off as part of the football Remembrance weekend.

poppy

 

Saw this somewhere on the internet and whether it’s true or not I am not sure. However, it’s an interesting point about how to wear your poppy. My leaf will be positioned at 11 o’clock from now on.

A lovely military man selling poppies stopped me today and asked if he could reposition mine – while doing so he told me that women should wear their poppy on their right side; the red represents the blood of all those who gave their lives, the black represents the mourning of those who didn’t have their loved ones return home, and the green leaf represents the grass and crops growing and future prosperity after the war destroyed so much. The leaf should be positioned at 11 o’clock to represent the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the time that World War One formally ended. He was worried that younger generations wouldn’t understand this and his generation wouldn’t be around for much longer to teach them.

7 Nov 2015

Prediction Challenge 7th November

Well we have 11 games scheduled for today but after driving home this morning and with the rain still pouring down, I will be surprised if we manage to get any played today. But, just in case we do, and the fact that Steve from Dudley Lions has sent me his predictions in, we shall continue with this weekly challenge. Here goes, (just the predictions to day as I need some sleep):

 

7th November Kovacs’ Steve (Dudley)
Chawn Hill Church vs Charlemont Star Draw 2-2 Home 3-1
Connect Sports vs City Church Away 1-3 Away 1-3
Monyhull Church vs Clarendon Away 0-8 Away 0-6
Renewal Solihull vs Wednesbury Baptist Away 1-4 Away 1-4
Wolverhampton and Perton vs Zion Athletic Draw 1-1 Draw 2-2
Division Two
Brierley Hill AOG vs Living Hope Church United Home 2-1 Away 2-4
Maple Leaf Rovers QMC vs Corinthians SK Draw 1-1 Home 3-1
Selly Oak Methodist vs Saint Michael Home 2-1 Away 2-4
St Matthew’s Walsall vs Hawbush Home 3-1 Home 6-1
St Thomas’ Aldridge vs Sandwell United Home 1-0 Away 2-4
Zion City vs Dudley Lions Home 3-2 Draw 2-2

 

6 Nov 2015

Review – 31st October

Not much in the way of match reports this week. Only the 1 received from Saint Michael, it is available to view in the Match Report section. Not sure why the numbers of match reports dropped last week but even if it’s only a few lines about your game it is something of interest to others within the League. With only one report coming in I have delayed last weeks review hoping to get some others in, but alas, no. Therefore, here’s a quick review of last week…..

Quite a few players scored a brace last week but only 1 player managed to bag a hat-trick and in doing so his team managed a 3-2 win. So it’s a well done to Luke Williams of Brierley Hill AOG whose 3 goals helped win the local derby down at South Rd between Hawbush and Brierley Hill AOG. This result moves the Hill well away from the relegation area and maybe stalking horses in the promotion race.

Another team who may also be considered as promotion candidates are a team I cannot quite figure out. On the day they can beat anyone in their Division and have pace, skill and ability in abundance. When they click, they are top draw but consistency every season seems to be their downfall. Last week they showed their quality with a hugely impressive 6-2 away win over St Matthew’s Walsall, who are no pushover. Zion City’s Leigh Edwards and Darren Hill bagged 2 goals apiece with Rajan Halaith and Oritse Jarrett getting their other goals. Kevin Humpage scored 2 for St Matthew’s but to no avail on the day.

I still fancy St Matthew’s to be challenging at the top come seasons end, so could the others capitalize on their defeat? Well current League Leaders Maple Leaf Rovers QMC may consider that they dropped 2 points in their 1-1 draw with Saint Michael but reading the report it seems to have been a game that could have gone either way, so maybe a point gained and a result that keeps their unbeaten record intact since the first day of the season intact.

Living Hope Church United definitely slipped up losing 3-1 at home to a rejuvenated Selly Oak Methodist. Rob from Selly Oak says his squad is getting back to normal now so maybe another promotion hopeful to add to the list.

Dudley Lions improved their promotion chances with Stephen Devonport and Nathan Johns getting 2 goals each in their 5-0 win over Sandwell United, Lee Mills popped their other goal in. This result means Dudley move into 2nd place with Living Hope losing.

Another team taking advantage of Living Hope’s defeat were Corinthians S.K who had a 4-2 away win at bottom placed St Thomas’ Aldridge. This result pushes Corinthians into 3rd place and the promotion race is absolutely wide open. I can only really discount the current bottom 3 teams at the moment. So with just over a third of the season gone for most clubs, we still have 9 viable candidates for promotion. What a season for this Division, I hope it continues like this for ages.

More To Follow:

On to Division One and not all of the action was on the field of play. Whilst walking the dog over the fields at around 11.15pm, I received a call that would mean trying to unsuccessfully rejig a fixture approaching midnight the night before the game!!!

Travellers had decided that Churchfields Playing Fields would be their new temporary residence and after careful consideration it was decided to postpone the Charlemont Star vs Zion Athletic fixture. Never nice as a Fixtures Secretary to lose a game, especially when it’s not down to a waterlogged pitch. The situation at Churchfields remains the same and tomorrows game between Sandwell United and St Thomas’ Aldridge has had to be reversed. I have no idea why Sandwell Council have not used another venue for the Clubs that play there!

So, only 4 games in Division 1 were played and St Mary’s continued their good form with a 3-1 home win against Chawn Hill Church. We had a League Observer at this game and his report to me was that Chawn were unlucky on the day to not come away with a point and 2 goals in a minute near the end of the game didn’t quite show how close it was.

As for the League Observer, well when we get chance, we send them out to keep an eye on things, you may or may not know them as we do try and keep them incognito and get feedback off them relating to everything on the day. If it’s a man with a dog, it may even be me!

Wednesbury Baptist were without a game and Jason was probably glad that he didn’t have to predict his own teams result. We agreed on all but 1 game in the prediction challenge and Jason won by getting that one correct, so a narrow 1 point defeat for last week.

Clarendon took full advantage of Wednesbury’s free week and reclaimed 2nd spot with a convincing 6-1 win over Wolverhampton and Perton. Michael Miller and Stevon Richards both scored twice with Junior Stewart and Kemar Marsh scoring their other 2 goals.

Whilst the current top 3 look to be all on their own, a closer look shows that if other teams win their games in hand we could have a good little tussle at the top. City Church could be one of those teams. Their 6-4 win over Monyhull Church has moved them into 4th, but should they win their game in hand on Clarendon they would only be 2 points off them.

Renewal Solihull jump out of the relegation zone with a 3-2 away win at Connect Sports with 2 goals for Paul Mahon and Mark Hadden popping the other in. Connect I believe are still looking for players and even though they lost this game I think things have improved for them over the last couple of weeks player wise.

Well, I am in between night shifts so I’m off for some kip in a bit. Steve Rose from Dudley Lions is this weeks Prediction Challenger. If i get chance, I will whack the predictions on here later, if not, it will be in the morning after I finish work.

30 Oct 2015

Charlemont Star vs Zion Athletic 31/10/15 POSTPONED

Due to circumstances out of our hands Charlemont Star vs Zion Athletic is POSTPONED

Notice issued at 23.52hrs Friday Night

 

30 Oct 2015

Prediction Time and a late Match Report

This weeks Prediction Challenge is against Jason from Wednesbury Baptist which is followed by a brief match report form St Matthew’s Walsall regarding their match last weekend at the end. A quick glance at the prediction s shows that we both are in agreement regarding 9 of the 11 games so it may come down to who gets any correct scores.

(Edited due to Charlemont Star vs Zion Athletic being postponed late on Friday night which was one of the two games we differed on. So we agree on 9 out of 10 matches now……wonder if the double predictions will make the forecast losers want to prove us both wrong)!

31st October Kovacs’ Jason (Wed Bapt)
City Church vs Monyhull Church Home 3-0 Home 3-1
Clarendon vs Wolverhampton and Perton Home 2-1 Home 5-1
Connect Sports vs Renewal Solihull Draw 2-2 Draw 2-2
St Mary’s vs Chawn Hill Church Home 4-0 Home 6-1
Division Two
Dudley Lions vs Sandwell United Home 3-0 Home 3-2
Hawbush vs Brierley Hill AOG Away 1-2 Away 2-4
Living Hope Church vs Selly Oak Methodist Home 3-0 Home 5-2
Saint Michael vs Maple Leaf Rovers QMC Away 1-2 Away 3-4
St Matthew’s Walsall vs Zion City Home 4-1 Home 7-2
St Thomas’ Aldridge vs Corinthians SK Draw 1-1 Away 1-4

 

Sandwell United 0-5 St Matthew’s Walsall

By St Matthews Walsall

A shortened (and delayed) match report from us this week due to work commitments.

Saturday’s game was a strange one. Not the best conditions, Sandwell United only starting with 8 players (boosted to 9 after a few minutes, this including Myles in goal!), it was difficult for our players to get in the right frame of mind for the game.

To their credit, Sandwell actually came out of the blocks quicker than ourselves without really troubling our goalkeeper. We started to get into our stride around the 20 minute mark yet goals when they came were quite scruffy, one from a corner and a rebound from a save for the goalkeeper.

Better goals followed courtesy of Hathaway and Humpage and it was 4-0 at half time.

Humpage went on to complete his hat-trick in the early stages of the second half before we tried our best to self destruct by having 2 players sent off for not following the golden rule of the WMCFL, even though they’ve been told on countless occasions. (edit by League Secretary; a lot of people are under the misunderstanding that the WMCFL has its own rule regarding foul, abusive or offensive language. It doesn’t, dismissal for such offences should take place at any level of the game according to the F.A’s Laws Of The Game. The only difference with our League is that we instruct our Match Officials to apply it).

The game petered out to finish 5-0. A game played in good spirits for the most part. Credit to the Sandwell United team who never stopped, they have the makings of a good side if they can get 12/13 lads there every single week. Also, credit to the officials who all did well and we have no complaints at all with the 2 dismissals.

So onwards and upwards, hopefully a few lessons learnt and on to the challenge of Zion City on Saturday.

 

28 Oct 2015

October 24th – Review, Part 2

Another 3 match reports have filtered through and I begin the 2nd part of the review with a report from St Mary’s:

Zion Athletic 1-3 St Marys

We made the long trip down to Kidderminster with just myself (Myatt) and a crocked Andy Harris on the bench, which became just a crocked Andy when Coleman went down after 30 seconds… Even so we had a strong team out and it was an even game with defences on top until Zions centre mid let frustration get the better of him and they were down to 10 men. Even then it was hard to tell that Zion had 10 men as we struggled to create chances as they remained well organised. We were understandably keeping more and more possession and this eventually told when we forced a corner and Sheward curled it straight in via the slightest flick from a defender. It remained this way until half time and we could tell that Zion felt that they were still in with a chance.

Second half we played much better and controlled the game from the off but again Zion were resolute and we had to wait 20 minutes until Tink Beeson effectively ended the game with a bullet header from another Sheward corner.

Sheward then rounded off a great display by whipping in another free kick from the left which evaded everyone bar another slight flick from a Zion head and ended up in the far corner. (Weirdly when we played Zion away last season (i think) we also scored 3 goals direct from set pieces)

We then proceeded to relax thinking the job was done, and straight from kick off Zion reminded us it wasnt as we allowed Leon to run half the length of the pitch to the edge of the area unchallenged and curl the ball over Phil into the top corner.

This should have woken us up but with Zion going for it they sensed that they could get back into the game. Luckily for us it was not to be and we secured the 3 v 1 win.

********************************************************

So St Mary’s continue as pace setters in Div 1 and are sitting well placed to retain their title being 2 points in fromt of the nearest team and having played 1 less game. Last seasons close challengers Clarendon dropped points on Saturday, but do we have a new challenger appearing ? Wednesbury Baptist go into second place and maybe make this what looks like a 3 team race for the title. They do so, with a 4-3 away win at Chawn Hill Church, how Pete Barks predicted this I will never know!

Chawn Hill Church 3-4 Wednesbury Baptist Church

Saturday started as one of those days, where from the moment I woke up to see the rain pouring down, that you just knew nothing would go to plan. How correct I was!! Firstly what google maps said would be a 25-30 min drive for me took the best part of an hour and also i was fielding calls from most of the team asking how to get there (Safe to say that this was the first time any of our team had played here). After a call to local lad Chrissy T we finally found the entrance to the car park after his fantastic directions and rushed to the changing rooms to get ourselves prepared.

Due to the time taken finding the place the match started without us starting with our usual warm up and just like the weather we started the first half cold, and boy did we pay for this. With only 5 minutes gone Chawn scored with a bullet header from an inch perfect cross 1-0. Chawn gained momentum from this and continued to press as we failed to make the ball stick and in all honesty struggled to even string a few passes together. Chawn capitalised on this and extended their lead to 2-0 with a well taken finish from their number 9. We started to get a foothold as the half was drawing out and a lovely reverse pass from Fidell set Craig through to reduce the deficit with a well placed right foot shot into the top corner 2-1 and the game finally come alive with us starting to play some fantastic football which left Chawn at times chasing shadows. All credit to them though they did not let their heads drop and right on the stroke of half a long ball forward dropped kindly to their winger who cut it back to their onrushing player who finished nicely into the bottom corner.

Half Time 3-1.

Second half started pretty much has the first had finished (just without Chawn scoring a goal) we continued to play some free flowing football and within a few minutes of the restart Pete found himself with the ball at his feet and only the keeper to beat 3-2 and once again game on. Within 5 minutes of us reducing the deficit once again to one goal we found ourselves back on level terms after some lovely play by Fidell found Craig who finished for his second of the game 3-3. Fidell then once again caused the Chawn Hill defence problems this time resulting in him winning a penalty – Nick stepped up but was thwarted by a fantastic full stretch save from their keeper who had been superb all game. We continued to ask questions of the Chawn defence and we finally got our reward when after some lovely trickery from Tino we won a corner which Chrissy T nodded in for us to take the lead for the first time in the game. With the game drawing out Fidell who deserved a goal had one chalked off for offside which we thought was not the case (but as always we accept the officials decisions). We thought this might come back to haunt us as on the cusp of the final whistle the ref awarded Chawn a penalty for a bit of pushing and shoving in the area as both attack and defence jostled (One of those that if you give a penalty for it you would be giving penalties every 5 mins but once again we accepted the decision that was made) fortunately for us keeper Carl made a fantastic save to tip the penalty kick over the bar after it looked set on nestling in the top corner.

We managed one more attack before the end of the game but once again Fidell was unlucky was his effort hit the post and went out for a goal kick. Full Time 3-4. The old cliche ‘Game of two halves’ could not have been more fitting.

Full time 3-4 and I give enormous credit to the lads for their fighting spirit and determination to turn the game around and come away with 3 points when at half time it looked as though it would be nothing.

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So what looks like a great game of football ends up with Wednesbury moving into 2nd place above Clarendon. But at a cost!

Google Maps may have stated 25 minutes but a late kick off immediately leads to a fine! My advice, always allow extra time for finding venues and with the Saturday morning shoppers on the roads, allow even more time than  normal.

Could any of the chasing pack be dark horses in the title race? I really cannot see it, Rowley sit in 4th after their 3-0 away win at Rowley, (match report in part 1 of last weeks review), but they are a massive 8 points behind the leaders.

Wolverhampton and Perton slip below Rowley with 2-1 defeat to City Church, probably blowing W’tons lingering hopes of a title challenge. Ogochukwu Obiakor and Nicholas Graham scored City’s 2 goals moving them away from the relegation area for the time being. 6 points from their last 2 games making their position on the table look a lot better.

I think the last Div 1 game to cover this week is the Monyhull Church vs Connect Sports match. Monyhull win their first game of the League season with a 3-2 win over Connect and in doing so means every team has now won at least 1 game so far this season. If they can follow City Church’s lead and win 2 on the bounce they could be out of the relegation area. Just looked to see who their opponents are and it’s none other than City Church themselves.

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More to follow:

Just the 1 Match Report form Div 2 and it comes from Saint Michael:

St Thomas’ Aldridge 0-6 Saint Michael

On Saturday we visited St Thomas Aldridge on their ground. This was our first game with this team in our 3rd season so we’re going there with same attitude like to play a leader. Game score it’s not showing how good St Thomas players are so don’t be mislead.

Game started on time with huge rain and wind. We started a bit better and our team was able to create few chances but Kamil Lasoń did not finish them off. While we were trying to score some goals St Thomas was playing really well and they pass ball around pitch pushing us a bit to defence and doing some shoots on goal luckly for us none of them goes in.

First goal come when Marcin Gałuszka start from goal kick and he send ball to St Thomas half where Robert Zaleski flick it to Kamil Lasoń who run in to space and face only goalkeeper on his way. He mark shoot and when goalkeeper was on floor he ride all most in to goal.

This was only goal in first half as goalkeeper was doing great and defenders in both team was to strong to find open chance to score to anyone.

Soon after small break both team come back to pitch but that was our half as we pushed St Thomas in to deep defence and chance by chance we known that goals will come.

Open goal in 2nd half was great shoot from Patryk Jasicki who lob goalkeeper to give us 2 goals lead.

Then Arek Dabrowski comes out with even better shoot from free kick. 25 yards from goal and not strong shoot but ball bounced just on from of goalkeeper getting extra spin and jump over him and we’re 3:0 up!

4th goal was corner kick taken by Patryk Jasicki who delivery perfect ball to box and one of smallest player on pitch Radek Guterwil headed it in.

5th goal was again Radek who find him self in right place to finish a pass that goes thru whole St Thomas defence.

Last goal in this game was again corner kick played by Patryk Jasicki who strong deliver it just yard from nearside post and Robert Zaleski just by placing his head in score goal.

Both team got some chances in last 10 min of the game but none of them been placed on back of net. St Thomas was stoped by great performed Marcin Galuszka who save few lovely chances!

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So it’s a win for Saint Michael which moves them into 4th place, 3 points behind the next 2 teams and with a game in hand. But their is only 1 point difference between them and the 5 teams behind them.

St Matthew’s Walsall maintain their 100% record with a 5-0 away win at Sandwell United with Kevin Humpage bagging a hat trick. Sandwell did have a weakened team out on the day but St Matthew’s look strong title challengers for me.

Maple Leaf Rovers QMC won the battle of the top 2 with a 3-2 win over Living Hope Church United giving them a 5 point cushion between them and the next team. It’s looking good for them with around a third of the season played. For Living Hope, it’s their 2nd defeat of the season but they stay in 2nd.

Moving alongside Living on 13 points are Dudley Lions who missed the chance to claim 2nd spot as their own. However, a 1-1 draw away at Corinthians SK is a good result. Corinthians could have also claimed 2nd spot with a win so they will probably feel it’s points dropped being the home team and a result which has meant Saint Michael have now gone above them.

The last game in Div 2 saw Brierley Hill AOG travel over to Rowheath. A journey that ended up pointless for them with Selly Oak Methodist coming out as 3-1 winners. A result that has moved them above their opponents on the day.

With 2nd – 4th only being separated by 3 points and 4th – 9th separated by only 1 point the fluctuation in the table is huge at the moment. So every point is vital at the moment in this Division. A prediction nightmare for some of us!

 

 

 

25 Oct 2015

October 24th Review – (25th Oct)

Pete from Zion Athletic helps the Club Secs in their Prediction Challenge beating me by 1 point yesterday. Although I got more results right, Pete got 2 correct scores with one of them being the 4-3 win for Wednesbury Baptist away at Chawn Hill Church. Anyone who can forecast that sort of result probably deserves to win on the day.

Unfortunately for Pete his predictions fared better than his team did with Zion Athletic losing 3-1 to St Mary’s who stay top of the table with this win. Clarendon, who were 2nd in the table could only muster a draw against Charlemont Star. Have Charlemont suddenly rediscovered their resilience in defence again? Well here is the first Match Report of the week:

Charlemont Star 2-2 Clarendon

We started well taking the game to Clarendon but we conceded after their first attack with the ball going in off the post passing a diving Jamie Holder, 0-1. The rest of the first half was even with neither team able to capitalise on their possession or the opportunities which were created.

HT: 0-1

On 51 minutes we equalised after a pass from keeper Jamie Holder to Danny Holland on the left wing who coasted by the Clarendon full back and slotted the ball their keeper into the empty net, 1-1. It’s true what they say that goals change games, as at this point of the match we were looking very good going forward albeit Clarendon were always a threat going forward.

Our next goal came on 66 minutes when Haydn Ellis in midfield, dummied by James Grinsted, passed a diagonal ball through to the ever dangerous Danny Holland. After avoiding a couple of challenges he swung in a cross a couple of feet in from the touch line, unbelievably the ball avoided the Clarendon keeper, hit the far upright and crossed the goal line, 2-1.

Unfortunately for us we could not keep hold of the lead and conceded after their forward player avoided a tackle from Rich Stevens and scuffed the ball over our keeper into the net, 2-2. It was now game on with both teams creating opportunities. We had a couple of set pieces in dangerous positions but failed to work the Clarendon keeper with our keeper Jamie Holder pulling off a number of decent saves to keep us in the game.

FT: 2-2

Good luck to Roger and the Clarendon lads, we travel to meet them again in the League Cup round 2 in three weeks’ time. Next weekend we host Zion Athletic.

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So even though Charlemont stay in the bottom 3 this is a good result for them. Clarendon, however, may be disappointed with this result and drop into 3rd place.

Rowley College make it 6 points out of 6 with their 2nd win in seven days. A 3-0 win away at Renewal Solihull propels them up to 4th in the table showing what a couple of wins on the bounce can do. As always, the Rowley lads supply us with something more to read than just my thoughts.

Renewal Solihull 0-3 Rowley College

It’s always good to see Brian and Phil, their mix of enthusiasm and grim humour is something those of us who have been at it a while all understand. They always make you very welcome but their team never give you an easy time of it (perhaps the most unpredictable team in the wmcfl). They also seem to have an endless store of ‘proper’ footballers (Dennis Bailey and Darren Moore come to mind) and we were greeted on the car park with Brian and one of the Chambers twins (James I think) or as Mark identified him as “that lad who used to play for the Albion”. He played at the back for them and well within himself and showed his class by never giving the ball away and having a great attitude throughout.

What he made of the first twenty minutes of this game doesn’t bear thinking about because on a slippery grassy pitch in the pouring rain neither side offered much quality. We had kept faith with those who beat Chawn last week with Christie and Craig up front in an attacking formation and had plenty of intent without creating much. Then approaching the half hour we scored a poor goal which at least changed the game and everything after this was better. On the surface it was a goal scored by Matty Williams direct from a free kick from 30 yards however ‘pitch and put’ was a better description. Matty chipped it in and none of our players managed to touch it but neither could their keeper.

Solihull then had their best spell and put plenty of pressure on us before half time but we’re a good defensive unit these days. With three quality players on the bench we expected different from the second half and got it. Firstly young Tom Cartin, for me our man-of-the-match, drilled home a beauty as we began to play football and impose ourselves. Clive and Ben Smith came on to add fluidity and the chances followed: Matty Stanton had an effort well saved as did Christie from Olly’s cross and Craig continued to menace. They too had their moments but we were resolute.

Finally we welcomed Ben Fowler back from coaching in the states and he capped a cameo performance with a lofted drive for 3-0 and even had time to hit the post. Thanks to the referee and his Dad who stepped in last minute as a stand-in lino and all the best to Brian and Phil and the Solihull lads.

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More to follow:

 

24 Oct 2015

Predictions, 25th October

Update: Nearly 10 o’clock in the morning and with this rain I am hoping we do not lose many games to the weather!

 

After getting a right old bashing in last weeks challenge I think that the Club Secs/Ref Sec are now leading me by 35 points to 30 after 67 League Matches. So, I need to up my recent form. This weeks Challenger is Pete Barks from Zion Athletic who in his predictions goes for his own team to beat St Mary’s. I wouldn’t have expected anything different Pete. So here we go again, I will be eagerly awaiting the results from the matches and hopefully, like last week, we will have most of the scores on the site within an hour of your games finishing. If you get your Club Secs to send the result in immediately we may even have the results on here before you have managed to have taken the nets down….now that would be an achievement!!

24th October
Division One Kovacs’ Pete (Zion Athletic)
Charlemont Star vs Clarendon Away 1-4 Away 1-5
Chawn Hill Church vs Wednesbury Baptist Away 1-3 Away 3-4
Monyhull Church vs Connect Sports Draw 1-1 Away 0-3
Renewal Solihull vs Rowley College Away 1-2 Draw 2-2
Wolverhampton and Perton vs City Church Home 2-1 Away 1-2
Zion Athletic vs St Mary’s Away 2-4 Home 2-1
Division Two
Corinthians SK vs Dudley Lions Draw 1-1 Home 4-2
Maple Leaf Rovers QMC vs Living Hope Church United Away 1-3 Home 5-2
Sandwell United vs St Matthew’s Walsall Away 2-5 Away 3-6
Selly Oak Methodist vs Brierley Hill AOG Away 0-2 Home 3-2
St Thomas’ Aldridge vs Saint Michael Away 2-3 Draw 2-2

23 Oct 2015

October 17th Review

My shift has yet again meant a late catch up on the matches from last weekend.
The stand out fixture in Division 1 was obviously St Mary’s vs Clarendon. St Mary’s unbeaten record stretches back for a long while now and in the back of my mind I keep thinking they must lose soon and with that in mind I thought a strong Clarendon would be the match where this happened. But, as with most of my predictions last week I was proved wrong yet again.
Here is St Mary’s version of events of the match:
St Mary’s 2 – 1 Clarendon
It was Clarendon who had the brighter start with most of the possession, but with our closing and pressing we started creating chances. This allowed Clarendon to hit us on the break and were soon let through one on one but for a heavy touch from the centre forward let Phil come out and smother the ball from his feet.

This got us going and we got our first goal. It came from a poor throw from the keeper and it bounced up for Locke who hit it first time on the volley and it just sailed in straight as an arrow. Definitely a contender for goal of the season!

We fully deserved our second goal as our pressing finally paid of with great work from Tink, Locke and Coleman made the ball loose in the penalty area. A great finish from Coleman putting the ball into the top corner made us 2-0 up and a great foothold in the tie.

Typically Clarendon never gave up and got a goal back when one of many disputed offside shouts went their way, a cross from deep which evaded everyone and fell to where Junior Davis was lurking at the back post to tap in. 2-1

Everton Morrison will feel unlucky just before half time as he cut in from the left and rifled a right footed shot towards the far top corner, only for Phil to tip it over at full stretch. (Edit by Myatt – My dad who was watching described 3 ‘World Class’ Saves in the match by Phil)

The second half began as the first ended with Clarendon pushing for the all important equaliser. We absorbed the pressure and hit Clarendon on the counter, and without a mixture of poor finishing and last ditch blocks we could have scored 5!

The best part of the half for Clarendon saw them get their spell of the game midway through the second half with a few corners and long range shots. Phil had to be on his toes again to tip another shot wide after a bit of a goal mouth scramble.

We pretty much parked the bus and saw the game out from here, without any more problems being caused.

A great win and again a tremendous effort from all the lads from midfield pressing up the pitch all game and the back four who were as solid as always, even though we were missing Myatt at CB, Harris CM and others.
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So Clarendon now sit in 2nd place on 13 points but are now level on points with Wednesbury Baptist who had a good 2-0 win over Zion Athletic.
The tale of the game from Wednesbury Baptist:
Wednesbury Baptist 2-0 Zion Athletic
After last weeks 1-1 draw we entered our fourth home game on the bounce hoping to get back to winning but as with all games in Division One we knew it would not be easy against last seasons beaten cup finalists.

The game started off pretty evenly with both sides playing some lovely free flowing football, Zion’s big number 9 caused problems with the ball to his feet has he held up play well and ran into the channels tirelessly and proved to be a constant thorn in the side to our somewhat makeshift back 4. Our defence stood strong and dealt with the early tests Zion gave them which was good to see especially without our captain Si, Matty playing his first game for the team and Webby playing only his second game at centre back.

We began to take control of the game as our midfield enforcers Jack and Nick were winning pretty much everything and not allowing Zion to get past our midfield leaving Zion camped in their own half albeit for the occasional lump up field to the aforementioned number 9.

We applied enormous pressure on their backline who did well to keep us at bay for the majority until the stroke of half time where some lovely one touch passing involving Tino, Craig, Loz and Fidell resulted in their centre half fouling Craig inside the box and the ref giving the resulting penalty kick, up stepped Nick who gave the keeper no chance placing his shot into the bottom corner and scoring his first goal this season.

Half time 1-0.

Always a dangerous scoreline we wanted to get the safety net of a second and continued to press Zion high up the pitch straight from the restart but credit to them they dropped players behind the ball in numbers and defended well once more leaving us with very few clear cut chances to extend our lead. Has the half drew on we could sense our second goal was coming but we had a scare when a miss hit clearance from keeper Carl on the edge of his area fell to the Zion striker who bought it down and placed his shot over Carl but was thwarted by the superb Jona who had dropped back to chest the ball down on the line before making the clearance and maintaining our lead.

Has the hour mark approached Loz was struggling for breathe after a collision with a Zion defender and the return of Falconer (after missing him last week) was exactly what we needed as he drew defenders in leaving others more room to exploit. With the game ebbing out we continued to bombard the Zion goal but to no avail, we then survived another scare when it appeared their tricky little midfielder (who had now been pushed higher up the pitch) seemed to be through on goal until once again Jona saved the day with a fantastic last ditch tackle. ‘Last ten boys come on’ rang around the pitch as the Zion team were eager to grab an equaliser and we were searching for our second to ease the nerves, luckily for us it was the latter that occurred! A fantastic counter attacking run from Tino who must have taken at least 6 players out the game marauded from our half into the 18 yard box, unselfishly square to Pete who made no mistake in lifting the ball over the onrushing keeper to settle our nerves and get us back to winning ways 2-0. Securing things up we then gave a debut to newly signed Sean who solidified our central core for the remaining minutes. Full time 2-0 and a fantastic result for us.

Chawn Hill up next for us in what will be another tricky fixture, we were beginning to think the fixtures secretary had forgotten to give us any away fixtures, only joking Neil!! (edit by Fix Sec: Next Home match November 28th !!! Neil 🙂 )
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Wolverhampton and Perton take full advantage of Zion’s defeat jumping into 4th place with a 4-2 win away at Connect Sports. Connect seem to have lost a few regular players and after speaking with Willis there does not seem to be any reason for it. So whilst Wolverhampton gain ground on the top teams Willis is rebuilding Connect and is still looking for players. So if you’re looking for a nice Club and bloke to play under in that area get in touch with him. (See Club Page for contact details).

Speaking of Clubs who are struggling, Monyhull Church play Connect tomorrow and this may be as good a chance as they get to bag 3 points from a game. But they will have to improve on recent performances. Another defeat last weekend sees them rooted to the bottom of the table and in danger of being cast adrift. For Renewal Solihull though, it was a good 4-1 win that pushes them above Charlemont Star in the relegation area and in touching distance of the teams just above them.

Another team to leap frog Charlemont were their opponents on the day with City Church winning this encounter 3-1. A bonus here is that we have Match Reports from both teams, so first off with a short report is Charlemont followed by a lengthier report from City.

City Church 3-1 Charlemont Star
We conceded the first goal from a close range bullet header on 36 minutes with City Church taking the lead into the half-time break.

We started the second half much better and after 5 minutes Jamie Holder struck an unstoppable shot past the City Church keeper, 1-1 and game on. During this part of the game we were on top but couldn’t create the opportunities from the possession we had. Then we were caught with a sucker punch with City Church taking the lead on 72 minutes.

City Church extended their league in the final minute, 3-1 and game over for us. Next weekend we entertain Clarendon.

Thanks to the officials and all the best to City Church.
Now for City’s report:
After a confidence boosting win (AET) in the cup last week, the City Church players returned to Rowheath, and a freshly-mown pitch, for the arrival of Charlemont Star. Last season, the two teams enjoyed some very tightly contested games, with expansive football played by both sides. The first of the 2015-16 fixtures didn’t disappoint.

The first half saw both teams looking to spread the ball wide, with Jamie Holder looking to pose a consistent threat with his long-range passing ability. Having missed last weeks’ cup game, Luke Maggs returned from his travels and made a big impact for CCFC up and down the right flank. He’ll be disappointed not to have bagged himself a goal, or two, in the first half but some last ditch defending and impressive goal-keeping kept things level. However it was Maggs’ drilled cross that found the head of Obiakor, who nodded in from close range. Charlemont looked dangerous on the break and the CCFC defenders could only breathe a sigh of relief as the ball whistled past the post at the end of a flowing move. 1-0 to CCFC at the break.

Second half, the momentum of the game swung back towards Charlemont. After a quickly taken throw in, near the corner flag, and early cross into the box, the ball ricocheted to Jamie Holder on the edge of the box. Taking a touch past the City defender, he found the top left corner with a very well executed half-volley. Dan Thompson, who had had a quiet morning in goal otherwise, was unable to get near it, and Charlemont were very much back in the game. Having lost the rhythm of passing and movement that they had showed in the first half, City slowly began to regain their stride as the half progressed. After another very good performance by Dan Green, he was replaced by Nick Graham with 25 minutes left to play. Graham made the manager’s day, by breaking through the Charlemont defence and slotting the ball past the oncoming keeper. Renowned more for his work rate, than his goals, the team were delighted to see Graham add his name to the scoresheet.

Charlemont continued to play with a high tempo, looking to ask questions of the City defenders. City dealt with a period of attacking pressure well, including a free kick conceded just outside the box. However with the game becoming slightly more stretched in the final ten minutes, Enayat, using his pace, broke down the wing and smartly squared the ball to Maggs who slotted home to make it 3-1.

A good game, played with a great attitude and we look forward to another enjoyable fixture later in the season.
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We have seen a slight increase this week on Match Reports being submitted and I know that this is an area that we would all like to improve. So whether it be just a few words regarding your match, or a longer version, all reports are welcome. No Club epitomizes this more so than Rowley College and even when Pete isn’t there he makes sure we get something to read about. Here is their report:

Rowley College 4-1 Chawn Hill Church
Lee Roberts provides the report this week:

After last week’s disappointing result and performance we went into today’s game against Chawn wanting to make amends. We knew that today’s opponents wouldn’t make it easy with their battling qualities. After all they did do the double over us last season.

We started the game with an attacking team starting with Christie and Tom up front, South behind and Brad and Nuni wide, and this paid off as we started the brighter and scored early on from a corner (which we had worked on before the game). It was a great delivery from Nuni which found South rising highest at the back post with a powerful header flying into the top corner. Just the start we wanted.

Chawn reacted well and equalised with pretty much their first attack on goal. Sloppy defending from us let their winger (wmcfl stalwart Curtis Jordan-Pete) run into the box wide. He hit a crossshot which took a nick off Chris Staien, who was trying to clear and flew into the corner of the goal.

We were determined not to let this game slip from our hands so turned up the pressure and created several chances but just could not put the ball into the net. Christy had a couple of chances well blocked from Chawn defenders, and corners were proving to be a dangerous tool with a mass scramble resulting in clearances of the line, us hitting the bar and another great block from the Chawn defence. The best chance fell to Matt Williams, again from a corner but he could only head over from 6 yards out and the half ended 1-1.

South drilled into us at half time that we were dominating the game but must be more clinical in front of goal and to cut out the mistakes similar to last week and not throw the game away. However we started the half sloppily giving the ball away easily and Chawn put us under pressure without really creating any clear cut chances. We finally started to get our foot on the ball and began putting Chawn under pressure but that second goal didn’t look like it was gonna come until with 20 mins to go Christy was put through on goal and slid the ball low to the keeper’s right and into the bottom corner. 2-1 Rowley and nothing that we didn’t deserve.

Scoring that second goal gave us a lift and not long after we scored the goal of the game. The excellent Matt Stanton, moved further forward by South ran down the right hand side with no support and three Chawn defenders around him but he managed to evade them all to advance into the box and pulled back an great ball to Brad on the edge of the box. He skipped his defender and bent a lovely right footed shot into the bottom corner, an excellent finish 3-1 Rowley.

Chawn’s spirit seemed to drop after the third goal and it wasn’t long before we scored a 4th, Craig finding space and put through on goal one on one and expertly finished high to the keepers right to finish the game 4-1 Rowley.

Wasn’t pretty from us today but the three points was what was important and puts us into a decent position 5 games into the season a big difference to this time last season where we had lost all 5 games.

Well played to Chawn who battled and made it tough for us today, all the best to them for the rest of the season, onto Renewal Solihull next week!
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With only 1 Match Report from Div 2, that is where I will start this Divisions review.
Dudley Lions stay in touching distance of the top 2 with their 3-1 win over Saint Michael a match that according to our Referees Secretary was a “Good competitive game , played in the manner that you would expect from teams with in the WMCCFL.”
Here is Saint Michael’s Match Report:
Dudley Lions 3-1 Saint Michael
After last weeks defeat to Zion City and our loss in the league cup I was hoping that the boys would focus on this game and jump higher in league table.

Dudley Lions who love to play on small and narrow pitches did a great job to stop us from doing them any damage.

The first 45 minutes was one way towards our goal with a great opener from Dudley Lions. 10 minutes in to the game they passed the ball from right defence to left forward with 6 short passes and their striker made a perfect shot to the top right corner that even the net refused to stop the ball. This gave them more confidence and they carried on pushing forward more and more. Some time later they scored one more and I had a feeling that we would fail today badly. They delivered the ball into our box and all our defenders failed to stop the pass then out of nowhere their player put a leg in and we were losing 2-0.

To be honest we only put one shot on their goal in that half. Kamil Lason had a chance to beat their goalkeeper but their goalkeeper was in right place. Our worst 45 minutes so far this season.

This used to be our best weapon and when it’s not working we just lose our focus and game.

We come out after break with a good plan but to make it work we HAVE TO WORK ! While Dudley Lions were battling, our players thought they could win the game by talking. When they scored their 3rd goal the game was already over and there was nothing to lose so 20 mins before the end, 2 subs came on to try make some difference.

15 min before the end we scored a goal and Radek Guterwil was going to be happy, but the referee gave offside against a player that didn’t appear to take any part in the play. Radeks shot was from 11 yards and nobody seemed to move toward the ball which landed in back of net but the referee decided that one of our players who was closer to their goal obstructed the goalkeeper.

This was our wake up call and the Dudley Lions manager shouted to their defence after another attempt landed on the bar from an Adam Kryspin header.

Our first and last goal this morning was when the Dudley defence made a mistake and Kamil Lason showed his speed and with a left foot shot, finished it off giving goalkeeper no chance!

One goal was not enough today against Dudley Lions who played well and they took a well deserved victory.

Well done to both sides for fair game.
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So Dudley move on to 13 points but do not make up any ground on the top 2 who also both won.
Benjamin Berrows bagged 3 goals in Living Hope Church United’s 6-2 win over bottom placed St Thomas’ Aldridge with their other goals coming from Lewis Beardsmore, Darren Carter and Robert Lee. Living Hope have started life in the League really well but for St Thomas’ it looks like another hard season.
Maple Leaf Rovers QMC stay top of the pile with their 3-0 away win over Brierley Hill AOG with another 2 goals, (still no hat trick this season), Kiran Kellman. Will they still be top after tomorrows matches? I have just noticed that the top 2 play each other tomorrow, should be a good game.
Thomas Queensborough was another player who scored 3 in what appears to have been a goal feast of a match between Zion City and Sandwell United with Zion coming out on top 6-5 in this 11 goal thriller. A result that moves Zion into mid table security but leaves Sandwell, who also had Robert Gill hitting a hat-trick, in the bottom 3.
The final game in Div 2 saw Selly Oak Methodist gain 3 valuable points to take them out of the bottom 3 with 3-1 win over Hawbush. This takes them level on points with St Matthew’s Walsall! Then again, they have only played 2 games.
My original Prediction Challenger choice for last week was unable to commit to it so I picked Chawn Hill Church’s Steve Knight as a replacement. What a bad pick that was! Even though he was a late selection, he kicked me all over the ball park with is selections. Out of 11 matches Steve got 7 correct results with 2 correct scores and a clean sweep of results in Div 2. My forecasting was atrocious and something I have to improve on if I am to beat the Club Secs. So, 11 points to Steve and the Club Secs, giving Steve an average of 1 point per match predicted which I reckon could put Steve up for the award of Forecaster Of The Season…it will take a good week to beat that! Me, I got 3 points!!!!
Off to look at tomorrows games now!!!

16 Oct 2015

Hectic Week + Oct 17th Predictions

Well it’s been another frantic week with little to no time spare for the Kolumn. Shift pattern, tiredness and other things to do has meant I have had to concentrate on League business that goes unseen but needs to be done. So it’s nearly quarter to eleven at night as I start this update so it will be really brief, (hopefully anyway).

12 matches last week with 3 in Div 1, 1 in Div 2 and the First Round Of The League Cup having 8 matches. Only 3 reports from all of these games means not much to gather information from so I won’t pad last weeks review out any longer than required.

All 3 reports came from League Cup games with 2 of them from the same match. Thanks to Pete and Andy from Rowley and Charlemont Star respectively for their input. Here are their reports, beginning with the 3-2 winners report from Andy;

Charlemont Star 3-2 Rowley College

We started on the front foot with Jamie Holder scoring with a solo effort after 3 minutes, 1-0. Rowley equalised on 11 minutes from a corner which reached their centre back who struck an unstoppable shot into the goal, 1-1. Rowley then took the lead on 41 minutes when James Wood passed a square ball along our back line which saw the Rowley forward avoid the colliding Josh Chell and Brad Tiernan with him chipping the ball over our stranded keeper Allan Wilde into an empty net, 1-2.

We forced a corner on half time which Danny Holland delivered from the left hand side with James Grinsted heading home, in off the crossbar, 2-2 going into the break and all to play for.

HT: 2-2

Our first change came on 60 minutes with Stuart Smith being replaced by returning from injury Gary Lunt. The game ebbed and flowed with it mainly being played in our half and us defending resolutely to keep Rowley College at bay. The next substitution came on 70 minutes with James Rogers replacing James Wood. On 75 minutes the same combination which created our equaliser on half time struck again with Danny Holland swinging in a right wing corner with James Grinsted heading home passed the Rowley keeper, 3-2.

Our last change on 76 minutes saw Chris James replace Rory Taylor in a straight swap up front. Rowley by now were continually placing us under constant pressure with heroic defending from Rich and Josh at the back for us, literally put their bodies and in Josh’s case his face on the line. Gary Lunt unfortunately suffered a reoccurrence of his knee injury with him being mainly ineffective for the last 5 minutes. Rowley created a great scoring opportunity in the last minute but Allan Wilde got a great hand to the ball and guided the ball round the post. We held on to make it into Round 2 for the second consecutive season.

FT: 3-2

Well done to referee Brad Tonks and his two assistants and all the best to Pete and the Rowley lads!

Now for Pete Bennetts report;

One of those days today that leave you frustrated and dumbfounded with no-one to blame but yourselves. We weren’t at our best today but I think we were clearly the better side and I can honestly say that I never imagined we would lose this until the lino informed me we were in the third minute of added on time and 3-2 down!

I intend no disrespect to Charlemont (I’ll be interested in their account: I know it will be fair, Andy’s a top bloke and I sincerely wished him well). I am not suggesting they were lucky or giving their keeper man-of-the-match to underline our dominance. They were exactly as they were last season: a well-organised bunch of lads (a little younger and fitter than us) who worked for one another and kept themselves in the game (despite our dominance for long periods) long enough to win it. The pitch at Churchfields was bumpy and slippery which helped neither side but which perhaps put further emphasis on resolve!

I think there were two key moments that thwarted the positive energy we had going into the game. The first was a bizarre opening goal within five minutes which left our excellent keeper Lee with egg on his face. We’d got possession in midfield playing it around but when we worked it back to Chris Staien, he was closed down by two Charlemont players and forced back towards our goal. He looked for a simple back pass but in the meantime Lee had been distracted by a ball from another game and had chosen to recover it leaving him woefully out of position. Open goal. 1-0 down.

Mike was away this week so he was the one on the end of the phone. I told him of the disastrous start but also of our more than decent football and the confidence I had of getting back into it. We played some smart stuff with Nuni and Tom wide and South supporting Christy up top. Nuni forced a corner and then provided the cross for Matt Williams to crack it home. Tom chipped the keeper and shaved the post, Matt had a header just over and we were generally making progress. It looked as if a second goal would prove crucial and we managed it just before half when a really smart move let Tom in for a perfect dink over the keeper. That really should have been that.

Enter the second key moment. Within two or three minutes of us scoring, they were level: corner, flick header, in off the bar. Set pieces today were their only real danger (a fact reinforced later when they scored their winner in the same way). The second half we dominated and only heroic defending (the two centre backs were fearless in their willingness to put their bodies on the line) and wayward finishing stopped a rout. Brad caused them problems when he came on: Christie hit the post: Sammy almost forced one home from a ricochet: new boy Ian missed his kick at the vital moment: Olly pushed the pass button rather than shoot when in on goal. Finally Nuni got in and tried to make absolutely sure only for the keeper to make a fabulous save. Game over!

All the best to Andy and his lads!

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So Charlemont Star progress into the next Round and it does not get any easier for them. With the 2nd Round having already been drawn, they now face Clarendon who are looking impressive so far this season. Last week saw them play Connect Sports in a Div 1 fixture. I was at work when the results were coming through and I thought we had seen the last of these sort of score lines. I really was in shock and disbelief and I bet I wasn’t the only one when people saw the result! Andy Hughes scored Connects solitary goal and credit to them for getting one. If hat-tricks for Everton Morrison, Remel Johnson and Stevon Richards were not harsh enough on Connect then having Joshua Berry hit the net 4 times as well added to their day of woe. Clarendon had other scorers and in total notched 17 goals. Quick contact to see what had happened with Willis from Connect and things became a little bit clearer. Turning up with only 8 players was explanation enough. Willis is on the lookout for new players.

So Clarendon take advantage of St Mary’s playing in the Cup and go back to the top of Div1. How did last seasons double winners fare in the Cup? Well I predicted a 4-0 win for them but with the proviso that W’ton & Perton could produce a shock and they almost did taking St Mary’s all the way and only losing 4-3 on penalties! St Mary’s now have Monyhull Church away in the next round.

Drifting off from Div 1 and the Cup, only 1 game in Div 2 last week and it saw Luke Williams hit a hat-trick for Brierley Hill AOG in their 4-0 win over Selly Oak Methodist. This win pushes the Hill boys into 4th spot. Could they be genuine promotion candidates this season?

The other 2 games in Div 1 saw Wednesbury Baptist Church and Renewal Solihull draw 1-1 and Chawn Hill Church beat Monyhull Church 6-1 with another player, Curtis Jordan scoring a hat-trick for Chawn. A massive 3 points for them and maybe something to build on in their next game?

So that just leaves the remaining 6 Cup ties to cover. I will start with Zion Citys 4-3 win over Saint Michael as It is the only other report received. So here is Saint Michaels report of this game.

Zion City 4-3 Saint Michael

Hello.
Two week ago we struggled a lot with finding players to play but this week was even worse as we had to dig even deeper in reserve to be able to have 14 players. One of the subs is our other goalkeeper and the other is an 18 year old who just doing his first steps in to football. Last was our well known Lukasz Kaczmarczyk who we call “super sub” he is always there to help us. I was hoping that the 11 players would not get any injuries.

Game started and we saw Zion City were ready more then ever for this game, after they lost the league game to us. First 10 min was constantly attack from them on left and right and they were simply everywhere. But Zion City were unable to score a goal which was slowly giving us more space and that is where we were starting to cause them more danger. A long ball dropped over the back of their defence giving us at least corner kick. Patryk Jasicki grabbed the ball quickly and delivered it as fast as he could before players from Zion City were ready to stop it and ball placed yard from goal line was found by Janusz Cyran who just headed it in. It was only one of few our chances. One more chance came when Patryk Jasicki found himself in front of goalkeeper, he had a great shot over the goalkeeper but hit the bar.

At the other end Zion City were doing great job but they were unable to find the net and when the referees whistle went at the end of the first half we were winning 1-0.

After a quick break, we started the next 45 min but game did not change much.

Good 10 minutes in to 2nd half home team were pushing our defence to the limit and they played the ball to our goalkeeper who controlled it but then made a mistake. As he tried to pass player that was running at him he lost the ball and Zion City received a gift goal from us.

This was an extra boost for them and they put even more and more presure onto our defence. They wanted to win this game so much that we could see it in every square of pitch.

As we play only a shadow to them and they was in more ball possesion then we so they create lots of chances. Their goal come from free kick. Ball been delivery in to 5-8 yards and with great flick it passed everyone and went it to the far corner.

5 min later we gave them another gift when our defender was too late to the ball and he forced their player to the ground so referee whistled for a penalty and with clear shot to right we’re lossing 3-1 with just 25 min of 2nd half to go.

We had had to change something to get back so we used our only sub that we could this day and we changed our position a little bit and we hoped that it will work out.

YES! It did work out as few min after that we scored a goal with a delivery to the back post and there was Pawel Graczyk who had moved from left defence to the right wing and with a clear shoot he grabbed his chance.

That was when we woke up and our players were well motivated to push Zion City back to defence. Few more chances did not give us goal straight away but gave our back a bit more time to regenerate.

With more chances to score there need to be a goal at some point and yes we found ourselves with the chance to level a game 10 min before the end when Patryk Jasicki passed the perfect ball between Zion City’s defensive line and Kamil Lason ran to the empty space to find himself on front of goalkeeper where he beat him with nice shoot.

Nervous last 10 min was better played by Zion City and they found the winning goal a few mins before the end when one of their players had been left alone and with powerfull shoot he score to place us out from cup.

Great game! Well done for both teams for this lovely 4-3 game.

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Zion Citys reward for their win is an away trip in Round 2 against Selly Oak Methodist.

Leon Naylor was yet another player to find the back of the net 3 times last week in Zion Athletics 4-1 away win over Sandwell United. Zion Athletic have an impressive Cup record over the past few seasons and with Chawn Hill Church up next may fancy their chances of progressing further yet again.

St Matthew’s Walsall overcame local lads St Thomas’ Aldridge with what seems like an emphatic performance. Their 9-2 win now sets them up in the next round to face current Div 2 table toppers Maple Leaf Rovers QMC who in their Cup game beat Hawbush 7-0 with another player getting a hat-trick…Kiran Kellman popped in 3 for the Maple lads helping me get a correct score in the Prediction Challenge.

Corinthains SK also got me a correct score with their 3-1 win over Dudley Lions, but they did need extra time to do so. For them, it’s an away tie against Connect Sports.

I think the last game to cover is City Church’s 2-1 away win over Living Hope Church United. I really did think this could be an upset but the Div 1 team came out on top. City face another Div 2 team in the next round in the form of Brierley Hill AOG.

As for the Prediction Challenge, well I know I had a good week and beat my opponent but I need to add up the points total. Be back with more about that but as it’s now nearly midnight I have a dog who needs taking over the fields! (Hope the stars are out).

More to follow:

No stars, cloudy but no rain, so hopefully no problems with our pitches later today.

So last weeks Prediction Challenger was Darren Appleby the League’s Referee’s Secretary. Well I have just totalled up the scores and it was an impressive 11 points to me and 6 points for Daz. Two correct scores for myself correctly forecasting Corintians SK to win 3-1 and Maple Leaf Rovers QMC to win 7-0. However, the main challenge is in the League games with the Cup as a side issue. With my 2 correct scores in the Cup it’s not such a great week with me getting 2 points and Daz getting 1. Then again, after 3 consecutive weeks of losing by 1 point it’s a step in the right direction.

As I stated at the beginning of this write up, it’s been such a busy week that I had not even had time to think about getting a challenge in for this week. So, despite being busy himself today, a big thank you to Steve Knight from Chawn Hill Church who had the challenge thrown at him at around midday on Friday. It’s 1 o’clock in the morning and I’m just looking at my predictions! I do love putting my predictions down and then entering the Club Secs forecasts, (I never look at theirs beforehand), I like to see how much of a difference there is in our forecasts and just looking at this weeks we only agree on 2 teams winning! Anyway, due to the time no written preview with the predictions, just our forecasts. (Shame really because I have only just noticed that St Mary’s play Clarendon in what is a huge game in Div 1). Predictions:

17th  October
Division One Kovacs’ Steve (Chawn)
City Church vs Charlemont Star Draw 1-1 Away 1-2
Connect Sports vs Wolverhampton and Perton Away 1-3 Away 2-3
Monyhull Church vs Renewal Solihull Home 1-0 Draw 2-2
Rowley College vs Chawn Hill Church Draw 1-1 Away 1-3
St Mary’s vs Clarendon Away 1-2 Home 2-1
Wednesbury Baptist vs Zion Athletic Home 2-1 Draw 1-1
Division Two
Brierley Hill AOG vs Maple Leaf Rovers QMC Home 1-0 Away 2-3
Dudley Lions vs Saint Michael Draw 2-2 Home 2-1
Living Hope Church United vs St Thomas’ Aldridge Home 4-0 Home 6-2
Selly Oak Methodist vs Hawbush Away 1-2 Home 2-1
Zion City vs Sandwell United Draw 2-2 Home 3-1

10 Oct 2015

Connect Sports Seeking New Players

As the title states, Connect Sports are looking for some new players. If you are interested in joining this well established Club within the League then please contact Willis Mullin who is their Club Secretary. His contact details can be found on Connect Sports Club page in the Clubs Section of the web site.

9 Oct 2015

The Cup Starts Here + Tomorrows League Games

Well, for some teams, tomorrow sees the start of the Leagues Cup Competition. 16 teams are playing in the First Round with the remaining 8 teams who have a bye playing League matches. Footballers can be a superstitious lot….left sock on first, left boot on first, don’t tread on the touchline when entering the pitch before the match and such like. So with this in mind and with it being Cup week, I have decided not to involve the Club Secretaries in this week Prediction Challenge. My challenger this week is none other than the Referee’s Secretary, Darren Appleby.

We will start off with the League games though as there is a tasty game with Connect Sports playing host to Clarendon. I’m being bold on this one and going for an away win to Clarendon. I just think their tighter defence will be key in this game.

Wednesbury Baptist to beat Renewal Solihull seems an easier match to predict but Solihull need to get some more points soon. I cannot see it being tomorrow though.

I was leaning towards tipping Monyhull Church over Chawn Hill Church in light of the fact that Monyhull really turned them over in the Cup last season. However, they are finding it tough in the top flight but then again Chawn are also struggling again this year. I could be here all night pondering this one but I am going to go Monyhull to win 2-1, (got to change my original prediction now)!

Only the 1 game in Division Two and it sees Selly Oak Methodist rocking up at South Rd to play Brierley Hill AOG. A 3 goal margin win for Selly Oak would propel them above the Hill lads but I reckon the lads from Stourbridge will add on to their win from last week with a 2-0 win over Selly Oak.

So, on to the Cup we go and will there be any shocks? Well there are only 2 fixtures where a Div 1 team plays a Div 2 team with Living Hope Church United playing City Church and Sandwell United hosting Zion Athletic.

I really do not see any hope for Sandwell tomorrow and if Zion Athletic have their scoring boots on it could be a tough old 90 minutes for the Sandwell lads.

Living Hope vs City Church however, could be a very tight game and I am going for a shock here, (Daz is also going for one). City are not scoring many with only 5 goals in 4 games, whereas, Living Hope have 15 in 5. So I am tipping Living Hope to win in a close game. The only chance I think City may have is if they take the lead and then use their experience to shut Living Hope out.

How will the holders fare in their First Round match? I am tipping them to win 4-0 but strangely enough still think this is not a gimme by any stretch of the imagination. Wolverhampton and Perton could spring a major shock here, but I do believe that if St Mary’s do win it will be by a few goals with the way they are currently scoring, averaging 6 a game!

I’ve forecast a big win as well for St Matthew’s Walsall who play St Thomas’ Aldridge. Not far to travel in this game for them and the way they have started life in the WMCFL shows them to be a potent force in Div 2. (Congratulations to them on their win in the Staffs County Cup as well last weekend). St Thomas’ are struggling and I do not see it improving here.

Saint Michael beat Zion City 5-3 a couple of weeks ago in the League and are currently above them in the table so I have no rhyme or reason on why I’ve looked at this game and gone for Zion City to win 2-1! But if that’s my hunch then I am sticking with it.

A difference of opinion between me and Daz regarding the game between Dudley Lions and Corinthians S.K. Both teams currently have 9 points after 5 games in the League and it is a tough one to call. I’m going for Corinthians tighter defensive displays so far to tip this game in their favour.

Last weeks big winners Hawbush face top of the table Maple Leaf Rovers QMC and I think it’s going to be back to earth with a bump for the Hawbush team. Both predictions have Maple Leaf winning but I’ve gone for a bigger winning margin.

The last game in the Cup has Rowley away to Charlemont Star. Neither team played last week but both teams drew the week before with Rowley having a very impressive game against Clarendon whilst Charlemont drew with Monyhull. I do not see many goals in this game but think Rowleys experience will see them over the line in this game.

For the Cup Predictions, the score forecasts will be applicable to when open play has finished. So if a game goes into extra time the score will count after extra time has finished.

10th  October
Division One     Kovacs’ Daz (Ref Sec)
Chawn Hill Church vs Monyhull Church Away 1-2 Home 3-2
Connect Sports vs Clarendon Away 1-2 Draw 2-2
Wednesbury Baptist vs Renewal Solihull Home 4-0 Home 5-1
Division Two        
Brierley Hill A.O.G vs Selly Oak Methodist Home 2-0 Away 2-4
League Cup
Charlemont Star vs Rowley College Away 1-2 Home 6-2
Dudley Lions vs Corinthians S.K Away 1-3 Home 3-2
Hawbush vs Maple Leaf Rovers Q.M.C Away 0-7 Away 1-3
Living Hope Church United vs City Church Home 2-1 Home 3-2
Sandwell United vs Zion Athletic Away 0-8 Away 2-4
St Mary’s vs Wolverhampton and Perton Home 4-0 Home 3-0
St Thomas’ Aldridge vs St Matthew’s Walsall Away 0-6 Away 1-4
Zion City vs Saint Michael Home 2-1 Home 2-1

 

So, with good weather forecast, I hope you all enjoy your football tomorrow. I would advise players to get there a little bit earlier though as your Club Secretaries have been bombarded this week with statements from the League on what is and is not acceptable within the League and they may want to have a quick word with you before you focus on your game. One item I will mention is that I have reminded Club Secretaries that the 3 Cheers and hand shakes or the pre match handshake routine is mandatory and failure to follow this will result in a £50.00 fine. That’s just 1 of the many communications they have had this week!

7 Oct 2015

3rd October Review Updated 9th October

A mid-week review of the games played last Saturday due to my shift pattern. There’s not a lot to be drawn from in relation to how the games went as we’ve only received 2 Match Reports this week, 1 from each Division. John from St Mary’s supplies us with his version of events from their 5-1 win over City Church:

St Mary’s 5-1 City Church

Firstly can we pass on our condolences to the family and friends of Mikey Harper who passed away following a car accident last week. As far as I am aware he has not played in this league but a number of our squad play for the same sunday football team and say he was a great guy who will be sorely missed. It puts every game into perspective!

As is the norm in amateur football, once again we were missing players (some different ones this week) so I managed to sneak back into the starting 11 following our fantastic result away at Connect last time out. We also dragged former player Cook out of bed who was on a trip back from London to give us two on the bench.

The game started off fairly evenly although City had more possession down the hill and made their extra numbers in midfield count, esspecially once Harris went off injured after only 15 minutes and we had a very attack minded team on the pitch (although bringing in top scorer Wiedeman is never a bad move). With City dominating possession and hastling us all over the pitch, we resorted to hitting them on the break and after a couple of chances we finally went ahead when Locke got on the end of a good move and slotted the ball home into the far corner for 1 v 0. This is where we would normally take over, but City kept pressing and should really have equalised when their striker found himself clear through and Lutwyche pulled off a cracking save. I think that this was the catalyst for us to start playing and we could have had a couple more goals in the final 10 minutes of the half. HT 1v0

Half time brought another forced substitution with Sheward having to be replaced by Cook. We also had a re jig freeing up ‘Tink’ Beeson to push into his more usual forward role and giving us more shape as a consequence. We were much better in the second half, keeping the ball and probing down the hill at the City defence. The decisive 2nd goal came from a Coleman corner which was bravely headed in by Wiedeman who took a glove to the head. Then shortly afterwards an identical ball in was met by Tink to make it 3v0. City continued to pose a threat on the break, but it was a speculative shot which brough them a goal back with the ball bouncing 10yards out and shooting up above Lutwyche who made a fantastic save only for the ball to fall to the City winger 2 yards out in the middle of the goal.

Again this spured us on and we soon added a 4th and 5th through another great Locke finish and Wiedeman. Whilst City had given us a great game for 70 minutes I think that we should have added more in the final 20 with a number of great chances and a couple of very close penalty shouts. City did have one more good chance when a ball in from the right would have been an easy tap in but for Matt Beeson tracking back superbly to put the striker under pressure with the ball ending up over the bar.

Another great win and test for the strength of our squad. Cup action next week vs Wolves and Perton.

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As John says, a great win for St Mary’s who took advantage of the fact that some of their challengers at the top were playing elsewhere on the day. St Mary’s have started the season very impressively notching 24 goals already in only 4 games whilst keeping it tight at the back at the same time. They seem to have a few players who have found form in front of goal with Wiedeman, (6), Coleman, (6), Sheward,(3)  Harris, (3) and Beeson, (3), all on form. (Can you let Sherwood know the secret to scoring goals please lads)?

With all the scores in apart from Renewal Solihull vs Chawn Hill Church, Brian was leading in the prediction challenge due to a correct score so I was hoping for a 1-1 score line to come in to beat him on the day. Unfortunately for me the Solihull lads lost 2-1 which meant another narrow loss for me but I am sure that Brian would have swapped his prediction win in exchange for points in the league. A single Richard Floy goal was not enough as Matthew Hingley and an old pal of mine Curtis Jordan bagged all three points for Chawn.

The last game in Division 1 saw Andrew Oakes bag a hat-trick in Wolverhampton and Pertons 4-1 win over Monyhull Church. A big 3 points for W’ton & Perton as this moves them into mid table on 7 points. For the Monyhull lads it’s still tough going but looking at the table the 5 teams above them are no more than 3 points away and the battle at the bottom could once again prove to be a close fought thing.City Church, Rowley, Chawn, and Charlemont all currently look to be looking to stave off relegation with Renewal and Monyhull with the last 2 teams not having registered a win yet.

More To Follow: (Tea break time)

It will now be tomorrow for the rest of the review

8th October – Due to the demands of League Business elsewhere the continuation of last weeks review will be on Friday

Division Two Review:

Just the 1 match report sent in this week form Div 2 so that’s were I will start this brief review of last weekends games in Division 2, Living Hope Church United leapfrog Dudley Lions and move into 2nd place in the table with a 3-2 away win.

Dudley Lions 2-3 Living Hope Church United

Two great shots too good for the keeper from Lewis Beardmore who then unselfishly supplied Ben Berrows to score the winning goal ten minutes from time.

At the other end Dave ‘the cat’ had very little to do but saved us from defeat with two great pieces of work. Firstly running out the box to stop Lions’ number 9 in a run on goal, allowing Bob Lee the chance to clear. Then in injury time saving with his legs when Lions looked certain to score.

Before that Josh Steventon cleared off the line and the rebound saw Lions hit the post.

Apart from that LHC dominated but with countless shots going wide. A good performance from LHC who adapted well to the narrow pitch

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A brief report but it looks like a good win for Living Hope with Dudley coming up against a good goal keeping performance preventing them from possibly getting all 3 points.

Maple Leaf Rovers QMC maintain their place at the top with a 3-1 win over Selly Oak Methodist. With the current top 4 teams having played 5 game each they have a nice but narrow 2 point gap over them. But keep an eye out for St Matthew’s Walsall who have only played 2 games, having won them both.

Corinthians S.K keep the pressure on at the top with a very good team performance goal scoring wise with 6 separate players finding the back of the net in their 6-3 home win over Zion City and in doing so also leap frog Dudley Lions into 3rd place, albeit on goal difference.

Hawbush are the last team in the League to get off the mark with some points on the board, but my, they did it in style. A hat-trick from Mitch Poutney, 2 goals apiece for Mike Tyler and Jack Ball with Brett Ball and Tom Wylde also finding the net meant Hawbush scored 9 in 1 match. Sandwell United were weakened on the day with players out for various reasons but that’s park football for you. So a 9-3 win for Hawbush and this now puts them level on points with St Thomas’ Aldridge and Selly Oak Methodist and with such a big margin in their win has also closed the gap regarding goal difference as well.

A weird one for me regarding the St Thomas’s Aldridge vs Brierley Hill AOG game. I put my predictions down and then started to write my preview. When it came to this game I was doing the review and forecasting a 2-0 win to Brierley Hill only to realise that I had predicted a 0-0 draw. So a quick change in the review to match my prediction meant I got this one wrong! (Same as changing my mind with the St Mary’s game)! So a good away win for Brierley Hill AOG which moves them into mid table. For the Aldridge lads though, it’s another defeat and following last season it’s a habit they need to break as soon as possible.

In the Prediction Challenge I managed to get 4 correct results with Brian from Renewal Solihull getting 3 right. However, he correctly predicted St Mary’s 5-1 win over City Church meaning it’s another narrow win for the Club Secs with Brian beating me by 5 points to 4.

 

2 Oct 2015

2nd October

Well we have completed our first month of the season and I hope you are all enjoying the Kovacs’ versus Club Secretaries Prediction Challenge. (I hope some of you may have taken it on board within your own Club). Anyway 4 weeks into the season and it’s 2 weeks to me and 2 weeks to the Club Secs. The Club Secs have though forecast more correct predictions whereas I have managed to get more correct scores. Here is the table so far following last weekends games:

Matches Correct Correct Total
Forecast Prediction Score Points
Kovacs’ Kolumn 44 19 4 27
Club Secretaries 44 22 1 24
Individual Club Secs
Pete (Rowley) 12 7 0 7
Ian (B’Hill) 9 4 0 4
Andy (Charlemont) 11 5 1 7
Andres (Maple Leaf) 12 6 0 6

 

So at the moment I hold a slender lead over the Club Secs. Up to do battle for them this week is Brain from Renewal Solihull. Another true character within our League in my eyes. I have been on the touchline at matches with him and looking back over the years at some of the antics and frustrations from both of us on the side brings a massive smile to my face. Just the 8 games for us to have a bash at this weekend due to some of our Clubs playing in their County Cup Competitions. (All the best lads).

For me, the chance for St Mary’s to be back on top of the table after tomorrows games will be incentive enough for them to overcome City Church. Brian has gone for them to score more goals than I have and my initial thought was that they will score 5, but City can be hard to play when they are up for it….will they be so tomorrow?

A huge game between Renewal Solihull and Chawn Hill Church with both teams really needing to get 3 points out of this game. If Chawn lose, they will look like early relegation candidates. Renewal only have the 1 point to show for their efforts this season so the same applies to them as well. It’s hard to pick a winner here, so I haven’t.

Wolverhampton and Perton host Monyhull Church who are finding life tough in the top flight. I’m expecting a close game here as W’ton haven’t been scoring a lot and I’m going with a hunch that Monyhull may just get their first win in Div 1.

Maple Leaf, who sit top of Div 2, have Selly Oak popping over to their pitch who will be buoyed by their first win last weekend. I’m tipping top of the table Maple Leaf to get 3 more points from this game.

Dudley Lions sit joint top on points but come up against a good side in Living Hope Church United. It will be interesting to see how they respond to last weeks 8-1 hammering at the hands of St Matthews. I am going for an away win here.

Hawbush are struggling at the moment and I don’t see things improving so I am going for Sandwell to get a narrow win against them.

Another 2 teams sitting near the bottom of the table are St Thomas’ Aldridge and Brierley Hill AOG. The Aldridge lads are still struggling having lost 3 of their 4 games so far. The Hill lads aren’t doing much better having been beaten in 2 of their 3 matches. This could go any way but it’s a draw for me.

That leaves Corinthians SK vs Zion City as the last match of the week and I really cannot fathom Zion City out at all. Maybe they have the old Keegan approach of just playing entertaining football with the attitude that we will score more than you. Well if it’s goals you want to see, 27 goals in their first 4 matches means there matches are worth watching. Unfortunately, they have let in more than they have scored, 12 for and 15 against. I don’t think this will be a game where loads of goals are scored and I am going for a home win here.

So here are mine and Brians forecasts for tomorrow:

3rd October
Division One     Kovacs’ Ren Sol (Brian)
Renewal Solihull vs Chawn Hill Church Draw 1-1 Home 3-2
St Mary’s vs City Church Home 3-0 Home 5-1
Wolverhampton and Perton vs Monyhull Church Away 1-2 Home 2-1
Division Two        
Corinthians S.K. vs Zion City Home 2-1 Draw 2-2
Dudley Lions vs Living Hope Church Away 1-3 Draw 3-3
Hawbush vs Sandwell United Away 1-2 Draw 2-2
Maple Leaf Rovers QMC vs Selly Oak Methodist Home 2-0 Home 4-2
St Thomas’ Aldridge vs Brierley Hill AOG Draw 0-0 Home 4-2

 

The last few weeks we have managed to get the results on the site within an hour but this may not be the case for the next couple of weeks. I will be at work all day and I am unsure if James has other duties during the day. We will do our utmost to get them updated as quickly as we can.

 

30 Sep 2015

Saturday 26th Review – Part Two

5 matches covered in the first review from last Saturdays games. 3 more match reports have filtered through since Monday so we will start off with those. The first of which was what I considered would be a close game featuring 2 teams near the top of the table, Connect Sports and St Mary’s. So imagine my surprise when a 6-2 scoreline came up on my phone. Quick texts to Willis and John and all became apparent. Looks like it was a match where the depth of their squads came into play with Connect missing 6 regular players and St Mary’s missing 5. (Reckon we may need team updates before we do our predictions 😛 ). With John missing for St Mary’s their goalkeeper Phil Lutwyche has supplied their report of the game:

Connect Sports 2-6 St Mary’s

We went into the game missing a number of players including top scorer Wiedeman and player/manager Myatt, but it turns out Connect were also missing a similar number so I think we both came in worrying the other may turn up at full strength. It was Tom Locke’s first game in caretaker charge and what a first game:

Both teams started off at full pace with neither side really creating anything. This all changed when a silly free kick was given away in a dangerous position, Connect capitalised from a mix up and it somehow ended up in the net off the centre forwards back! 1-0.

This just spurred us on and we picked up our game chasing everything and playing really good 1 and 2 touch football. Rudd on the right wing had a very impressive game taking the ball to the by line numerous times. Likewise on the left with Coleman, who was eventually wrestled down in the penalty area to give us the chance to get straight back in to the match. Harris tucked the penalty away comfortably. 1-1.

Both teams then created a number of chances, from which Connect may feel they should have scored but for a good save from Phil after a offside claim. Then Coleman again took the ball in from the wing to squeeze in a second giving us the advantage. 1-2

We saw this out to half time and we all knew we had to keep this pressure up and chase everything if we were to go on and win the game.

Connect then changed things in the second half making 3 substitutions, putting 3 up top, and causing problems with their movement and ability to run with the ball so well. But following a great tackle from Green, and a quick break with good passing we earned ourselves a corner from which ‘Tink’ Beeson rose best from 6 yards to nod past the keeper. 1-3.

This period was when the match was settled, Connect seemed to have dropped their heads and it got worse as they were reduced to 10 men following a red card for foul and abusive. Harris scored an absolute stunner from well outside the box which bent itself in to the top left corner and things got worse for Connect as an injury meant they had 9 men having used all three substitutes with their bold half time change. 1-4.

We added a 5th through Coleman showing again his strength to ride through challenges and run at defenders. Sheward got our 6th through a great team move down the left and showing great composure to slot it in.

Connect did manage to grab a late consolation in the last seconds but our passion and grit for the game prevailed making it a comfortable win.

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So a massive win for St Mary’s and one they will have been pleased to have picked 3 points up from keeping their unbeaten record going. They now sit 1 point behind League leaders Clarendon but have a game in hand. A missed opportunity for Connect but like St Mary’s they also sit 1 point behind Clarendon but having played the same amount of games not forgetting that Wednesbury Baptist and Zion Athletic are also in the mix at the top.

The next report comes from Andy at Charlemont Star:

Monyhull Church 2-2 Charlemont Star

We conceded after 28 seconds, so the words keep it tight from the start went out of the window from the off. We pressed but always looked like we would be susceptible to the being caught on the break. We did manage to equalise on 28 minutes with Danny Holland scoring off a James Wood pass, 1-1. Monyhull took the lead again on 34 minutes and kept the lead until half time, 2-1.

HT: 2-1

Both teams created chances during the early period of the second half; we made a double substitution on 63 minutes with James Grinsted and Chris James replacing Haydn Ellis (injured) and James Wood respectively. On 75 minutes Danny Holland grabbed his second from a cross from Jamie Holder which was slotted home from a tight angle, 2-2. At this stage it could have gone either way with Monyhull missing some glorious chances to have picked up their first victory. Our keeper Allan Wilde made a big save for us in the dying seconds to secure us a point.

FT: 2-2

With no game for us next weekend it gives us an opportunity to recover from some early season injuries which we have picked up. Next game we entertain Rowley College in the League Cup.

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So a point each for Monyhull and Charlemont and whilst they do not seem important for Monyhull it is their first point in the top flight and can give them confidence that they can improve on that.

No report from the remaining game in Division 1 which was a 1-1 draw between Wolverhampton and Perton and Renewal Solihull. Whilst Renewal have seen action in the top division before I am sure that like Monyhull they will be glad to also get their first point of the season.

The last report received comes from Rob at St Michael’s regarding their 5-3 away win at Zion City:

Zion City 3-5 Saint Michael (edited)

Games with Zion City are always competitive games and this was no different. On Thursday the team sheet was ready but come Saturday morning we had 5 players who had dropped out.

Good work out before the kick off and then we started really well. Janusz Cyran over ran their defender and he was about to deliver the ball into the box when he got tackled and the assistant referee flagged for a foul. Free kick from right side 17 yard from goal was a great opportunity to set our high tower Robert Zaleski to goal. Patryk Jasicki took this free kick perfect and Robert free from defender that was after him header from 6 yards in to back post. It was less then 5 min of game. We did create more good chances but Zion City wake up also and start doing what they do best. Zion City took control over midfield what give them more space to delivery great balls left and right. One of that great chance was finished by them and half an hour in to game we draw 1-1.

Next goal was out of nothing when Adrian Milowski control ball around 35 yards straight from goal and what suppose to be delivery went on back of goalkeeper hands in to goal. Lucky goal but it was 2-1 for us.

Also this time Zion City did not stop thier game and great ball possesion. They came back in to game again with nice combination ball pass and game on again 2-2!

Right before end we manage to come up front and with few short pass on right side Robert Zaleski set up Tomasz Loch left leg perfect shot into the top left corner. Great goal that gives up 3-2 into half time.

In 2nd half both teams keep playing really good football and probably it was great for watching to our supporters as we found our self again on top of that when Patryk Jasicki pass to Robert Zaleski run on full speed left him right on front of goalkeeper who was trying to short his space but he manage to left foot it in to far post and ball hit net. 4-2 for us!

We start doing subs and we change our midfielders and one striker. 30 min was good time for them to settle in to game with good score on top.

4:3 and Zion City back on with more and more chances. Pushed us back and all we could best at that time only to clear ball away from our goal. When we though they will draw it again Kamil Lason done something amazing. He one touch control long ball ( still on our half ) from our defence to side line and out run all Zion City defence just to score 5th goal for us!! This was good 60 yards run by him that gave us more time to hold onto the win with 2 goals ahead!

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So Saint Michael sit 3rd in the table on 7 points from 3 games. With every other team having at least 3 points apart from Hawbush  any win seems to propel a team up the table. I think it will be a while before this Division takes shape.

No reports from the 3 remaining games but Selly Oak Methodist will be relieved to get their first points of the season. Goals from Kiran Blake-Burke and Daryl Brandy were enough for them to win 2-1 against St Thomas’ Aldridge whose only goal was scored by Luke Helsdon.

Sandwell United also managed their first win of the season with a 2-1 win over Corinthians S.K. So Sandwell continue with their fine form remaining unbeaten since the first week of the season.

The last match saw 5 goals split between Brierley Hill AOG and Dudley Lions with Dudley coming out as 3-2 winners and in doing so move into 2nd in the table on the same points as leaders Maple Leaf Rovers QMC.

In the Prediction Challenge I had a really poor week only getting 3 predictions correct but having 1 correct score. Andres from Maple Leaf had a great week correctly getting 6 results right but no correct score lines. So the 2nd defeat of the season for me albeit by 1 point.

28 Sep 2015

Saturday 26th Review – Part One

A very exhausting weekend culminating with a crash and sleep Monday led to me being woken up at 5pm. I am sure I would have slept through until Tuesday! So a little later in the day than I had planned for this review!

5 match reports in so far and whereas it wasn’t until Friday that I managed to get around to Div 2 last week it is where I start this weeks review off and it is testament to Simon Ashby that even though his team are struggling at the moment that he has sent a report in, (this is part of what makes the League different and special. People understand the collective feel of the League but it needs many roots and branches to have an input to make it successful).

Maple Leaf Rovers QMC 4- 2 Hawbush

Well I thought I should contribute a match report even though we sit rock bottom of both divisions without a single point and with plenty of goals conceded.

Sometimes football can be a tough sport! 30 minutes into our opening game against St Michaels it was 0-0 and the season looked rosy. Within the next 20 mins we had three players off through injury (Me included), and a player sent off and that has summed our season up so far.

Saturdays game was much like the previous 4! We have 29 players either signed or available for emergency signing and on Saturday we turned up with 11. Many of those unavailable are currently injured, with some away and some simply unavailable. Sadly for Hawbush as we continue with our ethos of using young lads from the same little community we don’t have the depth of squad to cope with one or two key absences.

So we turn up to now table topping Maple Leaf with our main 6 central defenders all injured or absent and to be honest it could have well been 6-1 to the home team by half time…… BUT we showed massive character to go in 1-1 at half-time after taking the lead with a cross come shot from Tom Wylde. And credit to the lads who played as they were immense! Lee Perks (striker), Jacques Pironnet (Centre midfielder) and Ryan Houghton (Full-Back) doing an amazing job as a back three, trying to withstand the pressure from Maple Leaf. We then had our other striker Tom Wylde at right wing back, with one of key central midfielder playmakers Mitch Pountney at left wing-back and both had very good games getting up and down the flanks all day.

In midfield Ben Holmes, Ross Brookes and Sam Smith did a good job in trying to control the game, with Brett Ball and Brad Smith up front trying to hold the ball up despite both being below 5ft 7! It was very much a makeshift XI so to get a respectable score was quite an achievement.

The second half was better for Hawbush with lots of passion and the two best early chances being created, but it didn’t really get much better than that. Will legs tiring and no subs available, Maple Leaf took control running out deserved 4-2 winners with Ben Holmes grabbing a late consolation for Hawbush with his first goal of the season from inside the box.

So for Hawbush we continue to enjoy the WMCFL journey but this is our third season now and having beaten almost every team at some point last year we were hoping to kick on this season, but as yet things have gone a bit backwards. We hope that as things move towards November we will get a full squad back, some of our invaluable players may return and competition for places will mean some much needed wins!

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So Hawbush, like Chawn Hill Church in Division 1 have yet to get their first point of the season but they do not seem to be lacking in effort and commitment. Hopefully their first point will not be far off as they manage to get players back. As Simon says, football can be tough, sometimes you can graft all day long and get no reward, but then again, my perception as I get older, that just being able to compete and play is reward in itself. So Hawbush sit at one end of the table whilst Maple Leaf carry on with their impressive start to the season sitting top of the table with 9 points from 4 games. Kiran Kellman popped up with another 2 goals on Saturday and now has 8 goals to his name having scored 2 goals in each of those 4 games. I wonder when he will get a hat trick this season?

Only 2 teams have not dropped any points so far, St Mary’s and new boys St Matthew’s Walsall, but having said that, St Matthew’s have only played 2 games so far. However, in those 2 games they have beaten current league leaders Maple Leaf and on Saturday demolished Living Hope Chuch. This was a match that I thought would be closer than it was but with an 8-1 scoreline to the Walsall lads it does look like they may be the ones to finish above if you want to be Champions. Aaron Muffat with their report:

St Matthew’s Walsall 8-1 Living Hope Church

After what has seemed like an age, we finally returned to League action this Saturday with the visit of early season pacesetters Living Hope Church United on what was a perfect morning for football. Showing a couple of enforced changes from our opening fixture, we started the game on the front foot, passing the ball quickly and crisply. It didn’t take long for us to take the lead and what a sweet strike it was from midfield schemer Nathan Hathaway. Some trickery on the edge of the box before shifting the ball onto his ‘weaker’ left foot and rifling home with the aid of a deflection.

Veteran forward Kevin Humpage then gave us a cushion with 2 quickfire goals. His first was after the Living Hope goalkeeper struggled to deal with an over hit long ball, leaving Humpage to tap into an empty net. His second was a much better effort, belying his diminutive frame to climb over his marker and power home a header at the back post after a sumptuous cross from Hathaway. Shortly afterwards, captain Andy Rowley was forced off after jarring his knee in a fair challenge with a Living Hope player.

Living Hope tried to get back into the game but our great use of possession restricted them to very few chances. They forced a couple of corners but these came to nothing and just before half time, we almost finished the game as a contest as Humpage won a penalty under a challenge from the goalkeeper and Aaron Muffett scored from the spot.

Half time 4-0.

The second half started in the same vein as the first with wave after wave of St Matthews pressure but it was actually Living Hope who got the next goal after a swift counter attack from a St Matthews corner ended in a shot which goalkeeper Ben Scragg could only parry straight to the feet of the Living Hope striker Beardsmore who made it 4-1.

Any hope of a Living Hope fightback was quickly put to bed when James Scragg broke from midfield to finish well and restore our 4 goal advantage before Humpage completed his hat-trick for 6-1 with his fifth in 2 games. A man very much in form.

The next goal was arguably the goal of the game. A long ball from Scragg was well controlled by Jack Nixon who spotted the goalkeeper off his line and hit a half volley at goal from no more than 10 yards into the Living Hope half which sailed into the net.

The goalscoring was complete in the closing minutes, another penalty awarded to us after the goalkeeper was penalised for another foul on Humpage. On this occasion it was defensive stalwart Daniel Holmes who stepped up to finish with aplomb from the spot.

Full time 8-1.

Fair play to Living Hope who kept going right until the end. All the best for the rest of the season, apart from the return fixture of course! Good performance from the officials too.

County cup action for us next week so another chance for teams to put some points between us and themselves. Hopefully a positive result from us to reflect well on the League. (edit Neil: we wish all our teams well in their County Cups games)

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So, 2 reports received from Div 2 so far and whilst I have observations to make regarding other results in that Division I will shift the focus to the other 3 reports received from Division 1. I mentioned Si Ashby earlier about the commitment to entering reports, well 1 bloke who again has not let us down is Pete from Rowley, albeit helped from members of Rowley themselves. Football is a passionate game and Rowleys passion shines through for me in their report with just a couple of points that you could easily pass over, (the need to be continually updated on how the game is going followed by 5 minutes of live commentary at the end of the game), top, top blokes in my eyes.

(A big thanks by the way in so much that we are now getting some more weekly reports in as this now gives Pete, (and others),  something to look at as well, but, as always, it would be great to get more reports in with the ultimate aim of every match being reported on. Can we achieve this?)

So, Rowley drew 1-1 with Clarendon and whilst this may seem like a bump in the road for Clarendon it looks like it could actually have been a good point for them against very determined Rowley. I stated in my preview that if Southall played at the back then they may have a chance but reading the report it looks like the lads who played there did brilliantly anyway. Rowleys report:

Rowley College 1-1 Clarendon

For the first time in twenty five seasons I faced the prospect this week of missing two Rowley games in a row (for the best of causes: my younger daughter Molly’s birthday). Nevertheless on the way up to Worcester where she’s just started university I received regular (and in the second half ten-minutely) bulletins from our other old stager Mike Ibrahim. In short it was: close game…they look good…we’re defending well…they look good…we’re 1-0 up…Lee’s playing well…they’ve equalised… Finally I phoned and Mike said: time’s up by my watch, stay on the line. Five minutes later I heard the whistle having had an exclusive radio commentary of us almost snatching it!

All this gives support to keeper Lee Roberts’ summary of the game: “Excellent performance today. We totally deserved a point, had to soak up some pressure and I made to make a couple of decent saves but we dug in and could have even nicked it at the end, their keeper making a great save from Christie”.

He also provided this report:

Here is my take on the game:

After a disappointing result last week against City we came into today’s game against Clarendon who had scored 17 goals in three games before today knowing it was gonna be a tough game, especially missing a couple of key players (Olly at a wedding and Joe and Ben away; Pete). For me personally I haven’t beaten today’s opponents since playing for Rowley and always know I have to be at the top of game if we are gonna get anything from the game.

Clarendon started the game the better and kept possession well as you would expect without really creating any clear cut chances. Former Clarendon man Matt Williams and Chris Staien were defending very well against their very dangerous front men.

We slowly started to get the ball down and play some good stuff and came into the game and took the lead late in the first half. Great pressure from Ben Smith and Tom Cartin led to Roger slicing his clearance from a low drilled cross into the back of the net, giving his keeper no chance.

Winning at half time, South talked about keeping our shape and not making the silly mistakes that have cost us previous weeks. We expected a Clarendon onslaught down the hill and they certainly came out of the blocks early keeping the ball well but our back 4 of Clive, Chris, Matt and Barber were resolute and myself making a real smart save down to my left. That’s why when they did equalise it was frustrating as it came from an own goal from the unfortunate Matt Stanton. A free kick curled in from the left, one of their lads getting a slight touch drawing me into a save with my left hand, with the ball bouncing and a few players going for the ball, Matt has swung his boot at it trying to hook out for a corner only to nutmeg myself and it trickle over the line.

We knew from here that Clarendon sniffed blood and would go for the kill, and naturally we were dropping deep to protect what we had but all of the lads dug in and put in a great shift and defended well restricting them chances wise. I had to make a decent save from a deflected effort and be quick off my line to make a saving tackle near the end. Clarendon may feel hard done by in not getting a penalty after Matt Stanton tumbled with their player, but we deserved that luck after what we put into the game and nearly won it at the end, with Christie curling a great effort only for their keeper to pull off a great save down to right to tip round the post.

After not getting what we deserved from our last two games, we definitely did today, we were more than good credit for our point. Mentions for the back 4 who were amazing today in restricting the best attack In the league in my opinion to very few clear cut chances. Also Ben, Matt S, Tom, Nuni, South, Christie and Brad coming on late on also put in a great shift and worked tirelessly.

A great confidence boost going into our enforced week break

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Some names seem to pop up year after year as goal scorers as in the case of Wednesbury Baptist vs City Church. Ogochukwu Obiakor popped up with 1 for City but to no avail as Wednesbury had Craig Abbey, Karl Lawrence and Martin Woodhall all popping with a goal each in their 3-1 win. (no Falconer on the score sheet though as I had forecast)! Both myself and Andres predicted a home win with me going for 3-0 and Andres opting for 2-1. Another loss for me to Andres but if Obi hadn’t have popped up with his goal it would have been a winning week for me, (ex international players should know better)! Anyway, here is Wednesbury’s report:

Wednesbury Baptist 3-1 City Church

After last weeks 4-1 loss to Connect Sports we wanted to bounce back with a good result and preferably a win but we knew it would be hard against a team who not so long ago were challenging for and winning Division 1.

We started off on the front foot and put City under instant pressure and could have been 1-0 up within the opening 5 minutes but last ditch defending and a good reflex save kept the scores level. The rest of the first half seemed to continue in the same fashion with City being reduced to shots from distance which Obi was more than capable of attempting, luckily for us he could get the distance but not the accuracy! (age old dilemma of power or placement).

Half time 0-0.

The second half started with us picking up where we left and we were now pinning City back resulting in all their players being in their own half. We got our reward for this constant pressure when Webby took a throw in which Craig managed to get his head to and provide a deft touch to send it into the top corner and away from the keeper. We continued to press and should have been at least 3-0 up albeit for some inspired goalkeeping. The ref then awarded a penalty for a fantastic save (this time made by their centre back with his hand) unfortunately for us the keeper once again denied us as he saved from Jacks effort.

City appeared to rally at this point and left me thinking that it was going to be one of those days, the warning sign came when City hit the post rather than putting it into the empty net as Keeper Carl was still getting back to position after saving from the initial shot. City got back on level terms not long after when a corner was drifted in and unsurprisingly Obi outjumped everybody to loop his header over Carl in goal and into the net. 1-1.

As the half continued we created chances but nothing clear cut, we made changes of our own at this point bringing on Martin Woodhall and Karl Lawrence for Webby and Fidell to mix it up a little. The changes paid off as Martin was running their tiring full back ragged and got our 2nd goal which was a superb individual goal taking on at least 3 players before his elegant chipped finish over the on rushing keeper who nearly got back to palm it off the line but Pete was already following in showing his true predator instincts if that had been the case. With about 15 minutes to go we survived another scare with a goal line clearance from Craig which shows how valuable the man on the post can be and also that he is just as important to the team going forward has he is at the back.

We finished the game off with our next attack when Marc ‘Jonah’ Jones continued his impressive start to life at WBFC with an inch perfect cross field path to Karl whose first touch killed the ball instantly and finished it with his second. 3-1 and game over as far as we were concerned as we then dropped Craig into middle and Nick into the back to give us a much more settled and structured look for the last 5-10 mins.

A much needed win after last week’s defeat and huge credit to the young referee today who showed experience beyond his years.

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So Wednesbury get themselves back on track and will be pleased with their start to life in Division 1 currently sitting 3rd in the table. For City though it’s 3 points from 3 games so far but a closer look into their results suggests that most of their games have been very close so far.

I mentioned earlier that only 2 teams had failed to pick up any points this season, Hawbush being 1 and Chawn being the other. Well, Chawn had better improve massively in defence because letting in 16 goals in 3 games is a recipe for relegation. Things were no better for them on Saturday but for their opponents, Zion Athletic, it was another good 3 points which may have looked unlikely prior to the game. Phil Deeley supplies us with Zions report:

Chawn Hill Church 1-3 Zion Athletic

Today we just managed to get a team together with a wedding looming and 2 players having to leave at half time. We managed to turn up with 14. I didn’t know what the formation was or where we were finally put the 2 goalkeepers that turned up, until 15 mins before kick off. We started comfortably but Chawn did a lot of pressing, but having Mike back and Jon Allen at centre backs we held firm and soaked up all pressure, probing and looking like we were going to score. After a period of where we were under some mounting pressure we broke and with cute link up play with Leon and Ethan, Ethan getting the return ball and placing in the net, (a year after this man has had with open heart surgery, an unbelievable recovery).
Chawn then pushed hard towards the end of the half with an old friend of mine Curtis, trying everything, but just didn’t happen. Again we soaked up the pressure then after a few passes in midfield Kit threaded Leon through (though I personally thought he had done to much after the play opening up for a left footed shot ) Brought it back on his right foot and slotted away in the corner for hopefully the first of many for the season. After 2 changes at half time due to the wedding we moved a few players about to keep pressure and keep the ball . Ethan finally was spent on about 55 mins and then our sub was on, then an energetic run from Marshy and an old injury meant we played over 30 mins with 10 men. Chawn threw everything at us trying to reduce the deficit, Chawn had a corner with the following pin ball and shoving in our box box which led to Chawn scoring and made the game interesting for both teams. We again soaked up pressure but we were confident of every mans ability and tried some good passing in midfield. We were again probing, then our man of the moment Kit, who when the ball is at his feet dropped a shoulder and drove up the pitch to thread the energetic Dave to round the keeper and set us home and dry. Although Chawn did try and resolve the score.

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More to follow regarding Saturdays Review and how the Prediction Challenge is going. But for now, it’s a little bit of me time.