1 Nov 2020

Breaking News 1st November – Match Reports 31st October

******* All W.M.C.F.L Fixtures are POSTPONED until 5th December. *******

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As the League moves into a 4 week curtailment of fixtures I am pleased to say that we continue to receive a few Match Reports.

Apologies that it has taken me until early evening to get them on here but it’s been a busy day. First off we have Bob from Christ Church Coseley detailing their 4-0 win away to Brierley Hill A.O.G moving them into 2nd place just behind Monyhull Church whose match was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Brierley Hill A.O.G 0-4 Christ Church Coseley

Today we headed over to South Road to face brierley hill, with the rain pouring down on the journey over it never entered my head that the game would be called off and it wasn’t. Once again south road holding the water away.

Both teams started well with a lot of the play being in the midfield with both sides battling away and both defences stopping anything in the final 3rd. A few chances for either side came an went, jord causing trouble on the left and josh finding space on the right it was always looking like we would grab a goal and we did. Nas found a yard or 2 of space on the edge and fired a low shot into the corner to make it 1-0.
Settled down the next 10 minutes went the same as the previous 20. Around 35 minutes in a long throw from josh found bob who controlled the ball down and fired a ball into the roof of the net to make it 2-0. We came close to a 3rd shortly after when chambers crashed a shot against the crossbar after a brilliant run.

Ht 0-2

2nd half was much better from ourselves. More in control and created more chances jord nas bob josh all coming close an josh having a shot goal bound hit his own player on the way. Maybe when things like that happen you start to think 2 goals is all we would get. As the 2nd half continued fresh legs helped us keep control of the game. Both sides then weathered a storm. The rain coming down that much even ducks didn’t hang around and went for shelter. Last 10 minutes brierley hills legs had gone and a ball into our own “Benjamin Button” clive parkes saw him fire past the keeper to make it 3-0. With a minute left the game was put truly to bed screeny picking the ball up 20 yards out and again firing past the keeper. Ft 4-0

Just like to thank the ref for today who let the game play well , and the hill lads an Ian for another brilliant game of football, I’ve said this before, its always a pleasure to play against these lads no matter what score is at ft they walk off smile and they always give 100%. Nice to see some old faces still floating around and hopefully they will be around for a few more years.
Another clean sheet and 3 points for us.

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Next up, we have a report off Martin Ogbourn from City Church.

Charlemont Star 1-4 City Church

It was an enjoyable match this morning despite the horrendous weather conditions which ended in a crazy hailstorm before the sun came out on the drive home!

City Church gained an important and deserved three points away to Charlemont in today’s match at Churchfields. For the second time in three games, City should have been out of sight by half time after starting strongly and creating some good opportunities, including hitting a post. City only had a scrambled goal to show for their efforts at half time despite dominating possession and strikes on goal (the goal scorer was Joe Cannon). HT 0-1.

At the start of the second half, Charlemont came out strongly and had a good spell pushing City back, but two well worked goals in quick succession, created by Dan Haynes with a lovely through ball and Brad Lynch with a rare left footed cross, put City 3-0 and looking comfortable. They were scored by Joe Cannon and Nick Graham.

However, at this stage the game became a bit end-to-end as both sides had further chances. John Sheppard (deputising in goal) made a couple of important saves together with some good defending, after Charlemont pushed players forward. Charlemont did pull one goal back at about the 70th minute mark to give them hope, but Dinanga restored the 3-goal cushion to put the result beyond doubt, with a lovely finish from a tight angle late on. (FT 4-1)

Both sides deserve credit for a decent contest in the poor weather conditions played in a good atmosphere. It was a solid all-round team performance by City and man-of-the-match was Cannon, closely followed by Haynes.

Hopefully we can all get back to playing again soon so we can all enjoy the physical, mental and social benefits of Saturdays morning football. Thanks to the League Committee, volunteers and officials for enabling the season to start at all in the circumstances. Best wishes to Charlemont for the rest of the season (whenever that restarts!).

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The last report I have received comes off Pete Bennett regarding their 6-1 defeat to current table toppers St Andrews’ Netherton.

Rowley College 1-6 St Andrews’ Netherton

It’s not often you sit down with any kind of relish to write up a 6-1 defeat but after last week’s humiliation this was a performance of real character and no little ability.  It was always going to be a big ask for all of our players to get back involved at the same ground seven days after that thrashing but the 11 that pitched up today did themselves and our club proud.  Last week’s result hid nothing, this week’s was in no obvious sense a reflection of the game. Saint Andrews succeeded because of the extra quality they have particularly forward but we created enough chances to be much closer and if Shawn had been wearing a Rowley shirt today he would likely have equally helped himself to a handful of goals

In absolutely atrocious conditions both teams gave their all, playing open attacking football and we made them show how good they are by a resolute defensive display and competition all over the pitch.  It is testimony to Dave’s lads that their forward play produced great goals even though we were infinitely better at the back, boosted by the return from injury (rushed back) of the 44 year old player manager and ably supported by Billy, Clive and Chris.  Mark was immense and only their very best in terms of movement from Shawn, Rion and Robbo was going to breach us today.  They got it absolutely right twice in the first half after Steve Cartwright, excellent today, had given them a harsh penalty (ball to hand: new version of handball but hard to take when you’re up against it).

We dealt with most else because with Jamie away we had to call on Jay, our top scorer, to play in goal.  We ‘knew’ he was a keeper elsewhere {and higher] on Sundays but boy was he!  This lad has been great for us as an attacking midfielder and we accept he is playing for us because he wants to play outfield but boy, is he a terrific goalkeeper: agile, decisive and kicks the length of the pitch.  He had no chance with any of the goals, which shows the quality of their finishing.  And sadly that was the major difference: in every other area of the game we were matching them, even after Chris got injured making a great tackle twenty minutes in and negotiated the rest of the game on just over one leg.

The centre midfielders, Shola and Hayden worked tirelessly in a bog in the middle of the pitch and our attacking players gave their back lads a full game’s worth of work.  With Fowler one side, linking up with Billy and Matty Suff, who has never been better in a Rowley shirt and Jack, full of tricks and workrate linking with Connor we opened St Andrews up frequently.  My only frustration is that having created half a dozen chances (and good ones) across the first half, we went in 0-4 because it could have been 4-4.  And that continued second half as we had the slope and more chances, though they defended heroically intent on the clean sheet and scored a couple more on the break.  We finally got the goal we more than deserved when Mark went up for a corner and nodded back for Shola to force over the line.

I think St Andrews are the best team in this league but we proved to ourselves today that we’ve got good players and the character to dig in when things are not going for us (an understatement).  No-one epitomised this more than Mark Southall, who has been playing in this league since 1992 (gulp!) and Chrissy Staien whose first season was the year we won the league (2001-02) (it’s been all downhill since).  What happens next, given today’s notice, is anybody’s guess so let’s make the most of it.  The last two weeks have been somewhat traumatic but also a good test of perspective: the attitude has been great on both sides, there’s been some terrific football (mostly theirs but…) and I’ve been reminded how I’ll miss it when it’s gone!

30 Oct 2020

Preview 31st October Matches

This weeks plans mean an early preview for tomorrows matches and a limited one at that. last weeks review was brief but covered mainly included within the Match Reports that were published earlier in the week. I will issue the following reminder before I do the preview.

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30th October – League Requirement

Before leaving home to attend a match, players (or parents/ guardians on behalf of) and staff members should assess whether they have any symptoms of COVID-19, for example, a high temperature or fever, a new continuous cough, new unexplained shortness of breath, loss of taste, or smell etc.

Anyone showing any of the above symptoms should stay home and not attend any sessions when they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have had close contact with a person with COVID-19.

******* League Instruction – NO CHANGING ROOMS TO BE USED *******

As the world continues to come to terms with whatever is going on with Covid it pinged into my mind how good it is to have football back and some sort of normality in the world. So, whatever your participation tomorrow, enjoy it, even if you are losing. To quote Pete from Rowley recently, “This is disappointing but it’s still better than a trip in a mask to the Merry Hill!”

It was a bit of a shock to the system when news of Clarendon’s win over Connect Sports filtered through last week, especially as I had initially misread it and put it as a 12-3 win to Connect ! Another shock was not that St Andrews’ Netherton had beaten Rowley College but the size of the defeat, a thumping 12-0. There was a time when results like this happened regularly but not of late.

With Clarendon, who moved into 2nd place with that win, and Connect Sports not playing this week this gives St Andrews the chance to extend the gap at the top of the table. Their opposition tomorrow? Rowley College again! Not sure what the Rowley mindset will be for this one but whatever it is I am sure that it will not be enough to prevent another defeat.

I tipped Chawn Hill Church to finish 2nd but this is looking doubtful now. However, they could move into 2nd place tomorrow should they overcome Saint Michael who have yet to get any points, but they have only played 2 matches. I am going for a home win here.

Charlemont Star host City Church in what both teams will be thinking is a winnable one for them. Not a lot of goals going forward for either team but both do let in a few. This one could be any scoreline! Initially I was going for a low scoring match but as I type this I have changed my mind and also changed my winner of this encounter.

Tomorrow’s matches will mean a third of the season will have been played and I reckon this is where things will take more shape and none more so than in Division 2.

Monyhull Church are setting the pace this season and clubs need to keep them closer than they currently are. There is a pack of clubs chasing them but Monyhull need to be reigned back to keep it close. Can Delph Athletic do this tomorrow? It is within their capabilities but I think that the Monyhull steam train will keep on chugging along for another week.

Christ Church Coseley are one of those team in the chasing pack and they will look to be closing the gap as they come up against Brierley Hill A.O.G who have lost their opening 3 matches. It’s an away win for me here.

A look at the table shows that Selly Oak Methodist are also in that pack and like Christ Church currently sit on 7 points. They will also be aiming to move onto 10 points as they come up against Living Hope Church United. So Selly Oak are 2nd on 7 points but have a minus 4 goal difference, not sure if it’s just me but that looks strange. My mindset says they will still have a minus goal difference after tomorrows fixture but will have 10 points.

St Thomas’ Aldridge are still a puzzle to me this season, averaging 2 goals both ways per game so far. If they are really going to challenge this season I reckon it must start this weekend. They come up against a good team in Dudley Lions who sit mid-table on 6 points from their 3 games. I think this match will be a measure of where both teams will be come seasons end.

Things being what they are on a personal level this weekend means my time is limited. I try to have an open window of an hour to enter the results, etc each week. Delays in receiving information delays this. I hope to be able to let you know the results asap but there may be some delay. It’s a fluid situation as I am unsure on what tomorrow brings. I also need to do an update on the Prediction Challenge, this will be done on Sunday. As for that, well….

Thanks to Lee McGahan from Christ Church Coseley for being this weeks Prediction Challenger.

31st October, 2020
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Charlemont Star 3 City Church 4
Chawn Hill Church 3 Saint Michael 1
Rowley College 2 St Andrews’ Netherton 8
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Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 0 Christ Church Coseley 3
Dudley Lions 2 St Thomas’ Aldridge 2
Monyhull Church 4 Delph Athletic 2
Selly Oak Methodist 3 Living Hope Church Utd 2
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Club Secretary (Lee McGahan from Christ Church Coseley)
Division One
Charlemont Star 2 City Church 3
Chawn Hill Church 3 Saint Michael 1
Rowley College 1 St Andrews’ Netherton 6
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Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 0 Christ Church Coseley 4
Dudley Lions 3 St Thomas’ Aldridge 1
Monyhull Church 3 Delph Athletic 2
Selly Oak Methodist 4 Living Hope Church Utd 2

 

25 Oct 2020

Review/Match Reports 24th October

Six matches played yesterday and I have already received some Match Reports. I must admit that this is one area that I am happy appears to be improving in that we do not just get Pete’s report to read each week, it’s great to hear how other matches have gone.

Only 2 matches have no report and one of them is my performance of the week, Clarendon’s 3 vs 2 win over Connect Sports. I really did not see that coming. You know Clarendon have always been good sometimes beyond good but I really thought Connect would be unbeaten all season. For me, we now have a proper challenge for the top of the table. That leaves St Andrews Netherton as the only team in Division 1 with a 100 per cent record and we have 2 reports from this match. The first from Gez Mullholland of St Andrews and the second off Pete from Rowley.

St Andrews Netherton 12 vs 0 Rowley College
St Andrews Netherton produced another stunning performance on Saturday morning, romping to an emphatic 12-0 victory over Rowley College. Shawn Devonport and Rion Francis-Mills both bagged hat-tricks in a game which also saw six other players register their names on the scoresheet. The resounding result extends St Andrews Netherton’s 100% start to the WMCFL campaign and keeps them three points clear of second-place Clarendon having won four from four. Chris Matton nodded in his first goal of the season after just five minutes and Devonport fired home his first of the morning just nine minutes later. Matthew Waterhouse then converted Gez Mulholland’s corner from the right – tapping in from the edge of the six-yard box to leave the hosts 3-0 up inside 18 minutes. Devonport rounded Rowley’s stranded stopper on the half-hour mark to make it four and Tomas Adams’ powerful finish from 18 yards made it five 34 minutes in. St Andrews made it six less than 60 seconds after the restart. Richard Thomas-Robinson notched for the fourth consecutive game, converting from the edge of the area. Substitute Rion Francis-Mills was quick of the mark after coming on, scoring his first after 57 minutes. Three minutes later strike partner Devonport completed his treble, slotting into the bottom corner from 15 yards. The ninth goal was provided by fellow sub Warren Grant with just over 20 left on the clock, and just moments later, Francis-Mills made it ten with his second of the game. St Andrews added a further two goals in stoppage time. Francis-Mills became the second player to bag a hat-trick, following in Devonport’s footsteps. And the final goal of the game came courtesy of Lewis McGee who calmly stroked home with his left foot from ten yards out.

Pete Bennett’s report:

Sometimes you wish you’d taken a vow of silence rather than making the commitment to write a match report win lose or draw! It was one of those games today: they don’t happen very often and sometimes you think they’ll never happen again!  Ironically the first of the four times in nearly 700 games we suffered the ignominy of the double digit defeat was in our very first game in 1991.  Then we also conceded 12 without reply but the ref recorded the score as only 11 and also as with this fixture we were down to face the same opposition the following week (we lost 2-3 and had a goal disallowed).  That was in the Wolverhampton Amateur League, the second was in our second season in the wmcfl (1993-94).  That was to the great Walsall Olympic side, again 12-0 (same as today, 0-5 by half time) in a season we’d also won 16-2.

We also achieved double figures twice against Solihull in successive seasons (both 10-0) and in 2002 as league champions beat Chawn 11-0.  However by the time we recorded our third double digit against, Chawn had won the league and we’d been relegated (2009 Lighthouse Lions 0-10).  Of course you think that’ll be the last time because we’re a settled side always competitive.  The last time we rained in the goals (16-0 in 2012) Rockmount turned up short and in disarray.

Be great if I had such an excuse for today’s humiliation but the truth is we weren’t significantly short: Okay, Shola,  Jay and Mark would certainly have made a difference but we had a good side out and particularly in offensive positions we have some very good players but Saint Andrews were simply much better than us today.  When you can bring Rion Mills on from the bench you know you’re likely to win something!  We defended badly as a team today rather than suffered from poor performances from our back players: Matt Stanton, Chris, Matty Smith and Brad were not responsible for this thrashing but the whole team particularly from set pieces defended without substance, without leadership and on two or three occasions without a clue!

 I’ve always thought Saint Andrews were as good at team as we play but before today my feeling has been that perhaps they played a little bit too much football and therefore always gave you a chance to play as well.  Today they were ruthless but we contributed to our own downfall particularly up the hill in the first half.  It’s never easy to admit that you are playing against a superior team but this Saint Andrews team appear to have no obvious weakness and though I think we played well in spells and particularly going forward the truth is we didn’t score a goal: we came up against a resolute back four while at the other end their forwards ran riot.  Shawn bagged a hat trick of course, fifteen years after he did the same to us as a skinny kid for Brierley Hill!

One thing about amateur football despite the cliches( ‘ win the second half’, ‘play for pride lads’) is that it’s not really feasible when you’re 5 down as we were by half time to shut up shop and resolutely work to keep the score down.  What happens and happened is that you become more and more open in the reckless pursuit of a goal and I felt very sorry for our back four in the second half because they were largely exposed down the hill by the rest of the team searching that elusive goal.  As I said when you play against a superior side the game plan has to be to make it difficult for them, to make them earn their goals.  In the first half they scored two good ones and we gifted them another three.  Everything that came into our box from wide was liable to be a goal today.  I counted three at least from corners simply not defended.  As I said is about the whole team.  It’s a hard lesson: I hope we can learn it.  I really wish Dave and his lads the best, they play the game the right way and will take some stopping, starting next week!  Perhaps we need to enter Tier Three!

No report from the match where Chawn Hill Church beat Charlemont Star 4 vs 0 to move them into mid-table.

3 matches in Division Two and we have a report from each one. Like St Andrew’s Netherton, Monyhull Church have a 100 per cent record following their 6vs 2 win over Living Hope Church United, Josh Brown bagging a hat-trick in the process. No report from Monyhull but thanks to Steve Farley from Living Hope Church United for his account.

Monyhull Church 6 vs 2 Living Hope Church United

It’s been a difficult seven days for LHC, first a 7-0 thumping last week, then Callum stood down as manager. Cue a massive reorganisation and the appointment of a new manager, then today we had to play top of league who so far have won all their games, scored 19 and only conceded 2. Easy! I thought we acquitted ourselves really well and everyone pulled together and gave their all. New manager Lee Ralph scored our first goal from a thirty yard free kick when we were 3-0 down and Owen Sprigg converted with a well taken penalty at 5-1 after Josh Mauldridge was kicked in the penalty area. In defence Dan Price and Dylan were tenacious and Sam Crook put a shift in to be our joint MOTM with keeper James Farley who made some memorable saves. On paper it doesn’t look a great result but the reality is that we battled til the end and never gave up. Two hundred per cent better than last week and we look forward to further improvement!

Christ Church Coseley move into second place with their 3-0 win over St Thomas’ Aldridge. The lockdown and early end of last season seems to have had an impact on St Thomas as they were almost guaranteed to be Champions last season but they are struggling so far this season. Christ Church Coseley were one of the chasing pack at the time though and whilst they have some chasing up to do on Monyhull Church results like this will give them confidence to do so.

Thanks to Bob from Christ Church Coseley for his Match Report.

Christ Church Coseley 3 vs 0 St Thomas Aldridge
We welcomed St Thomas to churchfields today for  a fixture that over the last few seasons has seen a fair few goals.
The 1st 10 minutes both sides sent balls forward but both defences stood firm not allowing anything through. Around 15 minutes in some good work in the midfield released nas who crossed a dangerous ball between keeper an defender for bob to poke home to make it 1-0. From this we built and had a few more chances and limited st thomas to a few that new keeper jake saved easily. With 30 mins played again the midfield for us put in some good work with the ball eventually getting to craig out on the left, with 3 players around him he managed to dig out a cross into the box and again on the end of it was bob to make it 2-0. Feeling settled we went searching for a 3rd only for it to be ruled out for offside. This didn’t dampen our search and a few minutes later the 3rd came. A clearance by nas was knocked on sending chambers through getting to the by line he pulled a cross back into the path of Jordan who made no mistake from 12 yards.
Ht 3-0
2nd half was a lot quieter, st Thomas had a lot more possession but deano and dave at cb stopped most things with st Thomas having a few shots 1 going over and 1 being saved brilliantly down to jakes right. Up the other end chambers went close with a shot just over josh passed a shot to the keeper (if the wind wasn’t behind it i doubt it would have reached the keeper) and Jordan hit the post. We made a few changes and saw the game out comfortably in the end. Ft 3-0
A solid performance all round on a wet and windy day. Credit to st Thomas who never stopped all game and didn’t make a 3-0 win as easy as its written here. We wish them all the best, along with the 3 officials who did a good job overall.
The final report received so far comes off Josh Prentice from Delph Athletic regarding their 3-0 defeat to Selly Oak Methodist, a team who bounce back from their 8-0 defeat last week. Delph however, appear to be a bit hot and cold at the moment.
Delph Athletic 0 vs 3 Selly Oak Methodist
Poor game from start to finish today, first half Delph started sloppy and never found any rhythm with the ball and were too passive without the ball. Around 20 minutes into the half Selly Oak win the ball in the middle of the pitch and play a simple ball inside Delphs full back which their winger runs onto and cuts the ball across the box for a simple finish 10 yards out. This didn’t spur Delph into life to try and fight their way back into the game and the pattern continued for the rest of the half and Selly Oak come in at half time with a deserved 2-0 lead.
Changes were made to personal and shape, Delph improved slightly but still too sloppy in possession, created a few half decent chances but with pushing more men forward Selly Oak were finding gaps on the break and missed a few glaring chances one of which hit the bar from 3 yards out, around 70 minutes in they scored a third goal and ultimately that’s how it ended today. Time to roll sleeves up and move onto next week and put right the wrongs

23 Oct 2020

23rd October Update

Before leaving home to attend a match, players (or parents/ guardians on behalf of) and staff members should assess whether they have any symptoms of COVID-19, for example, a high temperature or fever, a new continuous cough, new unexplained shortness of breath, loss of taste, or smell etc.

Anyone showing any of the above symptoms should stay home and not attend any sessions when they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have had close contact with a person with COVID-19.

******* League Instruction – NO CHANGING ROOMS TO BE USED *******

Before I start with the review/preview I want to remind people about the importance of following the above statement. We have had to postpone some matches and will continue to do so even if it is only as a precautionary measure, which has been the case so far.

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St Andrew’s Netherton took advantage of Connect Sports not playing last week moving into top spot with a very good 3-1 win over Clarendon. So it’s 3 wins from 3 for them and they come up against Rowley College tomorrow who have struggled for the past couple of weeks. I think St Andrew’s will still be top this time tomorrow.

It does not get any easier for Clarendon as they come up against Connect Sports who will be looking to maintain their 100 percent start to the season. It seems strange to think of Clarendon as not being part of the top 2 but I do think Connect are simply on another level.

Chawn Hill Church sit in 4th place following their 2-0 win over City Church which was their first win of the season. They come up against Charlemont Star who also got their first win last week with a good 2-0 victory over Rowley College. As early as it is in the season I reckon getting a 2nd win to maintain confidence is important. Charlemonts defence is still suspect for me so I fancy Chawn to get their 2nd win.

Monyhull Church ran out 8-0 winners over Selly Oak Methodist and amazingly they had 8 different goal scorers! They come up against Living Hope Church United who themselves were on the wrong end of a 7-0 scoreline last week. I only see one outcome here.

Jordan Parkes notched a hat-trick in that 7-0 match as Christ Church Coseley managed their first win of the season over Living Hope. They come up against St Thomas’ Aldridge who have not started the season as well as I expected. I reckon this could be a close game but it’s a Home win for me.

Nathan Flavell bagged a hat-trick for Brierley Hill A.O.G last week but that was not enough to prevent defeat to Dudley Lions who also had Dan Douse hitting the net 3 times for his hat-trick with Dudley Lions winning 6-3. Both teams are not in action this week.

Delph Athletic had a good 2-1 win away at St Thomas’ and will be looking to move further up the table and will fancy their chances as they play Selly Oak Methodist who will be looking to prevent a repeat of last week. I still see a Delph win though.

Thanks to Steve Rose for being this weeks Prediction Challenger.

24th October, 2020
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 3 Charlemont Star 1
Connect Sports 3 Clarendon 1
St Andrew’s Netherton 4 Rowley College 1
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Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 3 St Thomas’ Aldridge 2
Delph Athletic 3 Selly Oak Methodist 1
Monyhull Church 4 Living Hope Church Utd 0
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Club Secretary (Steve Rose from Dudley Lions)
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 4 Charlemont Star 2
Connect Sports 3 Clarendon 2
St Andrew’s Netherton 5 Rowley College 1
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Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 3 St Thomas’ Aldridge 1
Delph Athletic 4 Selly Oak Methodist 2
Monyhull Church 6 Living Hope Church Utd 1

 

18 Oct 2020

Match Reports, 17th October + Couple Of Older Ones

A few match reports from yesterday’s matches. Thanks to Gez Mullholland from St Andrew’s Netherton who kicks them off this week.

Clarendon 1 vs 3 St Andrews Netherton

St Andrews Netherton claimed an impressive 3-1 win at Clarendon to send them top of the WMCFL table and extend their perfect start to the campaign.

Eye-catching strikes from Ben Davies, Richard-Thomas Robinson and Lewis McGee were enough to secure a third successive triumph and three well-earned points in Handsworth.

The returning Davies hit the opener early in the first half. Tidy footwork from McGee allowed him to tee up the technician from the edge of the area, with Davies stroking home a curler into the far corner.

Clarendon equalised shortly after but there was more than a hint of fortune about it. An unfavourable bobble resulted in the ball falling to the feet of the forward who slotted it home into the bottom corner.

The visitors were back in front shortly after the restart. Thomas-Robinson, who also notched in recent wins over Chawn Hill and Saint Michael, scored for the third game running to restore St Andrews’ advantage. His strike from inside the area clipping the underside of the bar before nestling in the net.

Clarendon pushed for an equaliser but a combination of solid defending, assured goalkeeping and a wastefulness in front of goal kept the away side ahead.

And with time almost up,McGee sealed the three points with his second goal of the season. The forward delicately lifted the ball over the stranded keeper with seconds left on the clock to send St Andrews top of the tree after three games of the 2020/21 campaign.

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Thanks to Pete Bennett for his match report.

Charlemont Star 2 vs 0 Rowley College

No great feast of football today I’m afraid In a second frustrating defeat for us.  No offence to Charlemont (in fact the opposite) but I think we had better players today but not the better team.  Charlemont lack a little of the flair they’ve had in recent seasons but they were well organised, hard working and it goes without saying difficult to beat.  We have good quality attacking players but they were almost completely nullified today by terrific defending from the Charlemont boys.  That’s in no way to suggest that we dominated the game because we didn’t or that Charlemont were lucky because they weren’t: frustratingly both teams cancelled each other out and we went in at half time with neither goalkeeper having had to make a serious save.

Mark compared the game to Stoke versus Burnley and everybody got his point.  The problem is that once again first half we had been labouring and lacklustre certainly second best.  We went out after half time with greater intent and were on the whole much better in the second half than the first ironically since we then proceeded to lose the game.  We turned up with a full bench today and we used it though to no avail, though the subs all impressed.  Ben Smith came in to deputise for the injured Kev (now in recovery) and did well.  The problem was our transition through the departments of the team which kept pour forward players starved of service.

 Charlemont weren’t much better at this but they tended more frequently to go directly from back to front and what they did brilliantly throughout the whole game was to press and give our lads little time on the ball.  Our former player Dale Smith who’d come to watch told me early on in the game but I already knew that “This feels like a one nil”.   I think Charlemont scored with their only shot on target well header in fact that looped into the far corner, that is apart from the penalty we conceded shortly afterwards. Meanwhile I think we had one shot on target when their keeper saved well, one on one with Shola.  Shola was once again brilliant and we had decent performances across the team especially in the second half but we were never quite convincing and I never really believed that we were going to get back in the game. This is disappointing but it’s still better than a trip in a mask to the Merry Hill!

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Thanks to Josh Prentice from Delph Athletic for the following match report:
St Thomas’ Aldridge 1 vs 2 Delph Athletic

The first half finished with not much in terms of chances but a header from Jack F converted a Dean freekick. Delph Athletic then gave a silly penalty away on the stroke of half time which was put away just out of reach of goalkeeper Craig. 1-1 at half time was pretty much deserved for both teams.
Delph Athletic started to create more going forward and took the lead after about 65 minutes to go 2-1 ahead. Jack F intercepted the ball on the half way line. A nice give and go with Rich and then a ball through to Nat. Nat took the ball under control calmly and a little chip around the keeper saw it end up in the back of the net.
St Thomas started to put the pressure on to get the equaliser but after missing some good chances Delph managed to hold on to see out a 2-1 victory in a good defensive display.
*******
3 More Match Reports, (3rd, 10th and 17th October), received Off Bob From Christ Church Coseley beginning with their first match off the season.
3rd October

Selly Oak Methodist 1 vs 1 Christ Church Coseley

A tough game today saw us drop points on 1 hand but then on the other hand it could easily have been 3. With a handful of key players missing through injury and losing a player in the 1st 5 minutes, and a few new faces in the team we knew the morning ahead would be tough, and it was. Selly oak started bright but didn’t trouble the Christchurch back line much until around 35 minutes when a corner was met with a volley on the penalty spot resulting in the ball going over the man on the line and hitting the net. 1-0 Selly oak.

Not to be put off by this the lads stuck to the plan and didn’t panic, with the midfield getting more of the ball we started to build up some good attacks only to be stopped by the echo of the ht whistle

2nd half pretty much went the way of the 1st half with both sides creating chances but not managing to finish in the final 3rd, maybe a talking point that selly oak should have been down to 10 men but as we saw and heard the bad word wasn’t that bad and not directed at anyone we wanted this to be 11v11 still and the ref decided a warning was OK. (We no its rules but common sense with what was said and how it was said and how quiet it was said favoured the selly oak player on this) . Selly oak came close when a defensive mistake saw the selly oak striker round the keeper and poke the ball goalbound only for it to be cleared off the line by callum, making up for his error with a brilliant clearance. With the final stages closing in Christchurch threw a lot at selly oak and with 8 minutes left a ball was pumped back into the area with jake cheating a ball through to Jordan who finished brilliantly to make it 1-1.  Few more chances came as we pushed for the winner but it wasn’t to be. Overall we could have walked away with 3 points or with 0 points tats how this game went. So a draw was probably a good result for both sides and fair.

Massive thanks to selly oak for the hospitality and game played in good spirit. Look forward to the home game. A mention to the ref also who had a big decision to make in this game and not all refs use common sense and listen to players, but fair play to him on this occasion for doing both.

Ft 1-1

*******
10th October
Christ Church Coseley 1 vs 6 Monyhull ChurchNot much to report on from our side for this, not because we lost, but when you do lose 6-1 and your keeper is given man of the match it says a lot about the performance. but also because we produced nothing to really talk about. By the time we pulled a goal back through nas it was already game over with 5 minutes to go.. all so we thought. But monyhull added 2 more in the last 5 minutes, 1 from the spot and far post header on ft. Take nothing away from the Hull as they fully deserved the win and the scoreline (which could have been 15 or 16 had lewis in goal for us not saved so many shots)

*******

17th October

Christ Church Coseley 7 vs 0 Living Hope Church United

After last weeks game we knew another performance like that would be unacceptable. With a few changes made to the 11 we got going from the whistle, by 15 minutes racing into a 3-0 lead with Bob an jordon grabbing goals to settle any nerves. By ht it was 5-0 Jordan completing his hatrick and bob getting a 2nd.

Ht 5-0

2nd half we added 2 more goals through screeny, a fantastic free kick and a strong run past the lhc defence firing past the statue keeper. Lhc heads dropped and the last 20 minutes we knocked the ball around neatly with little pressure on us. The game ended. Having been on the end of a defeat the week before we all no exactly how cal an the lads can be feeling. Its not nice but its how you react to a defeat that counts. So 3 games in 1 win 1 draw an 1 loss. Not how we planned it but then not much that was planned this year has gone right.

Ft7-0

17 Oct 2020

Review and Preview, 17th October

Before leaving home to attend a match, players (or parents/ guardians on behalf of) and staff members should assess whether they have any symptoms of COVID-19, for example, a high temperature or fever, a new continuous cough, new unexplained shortness of breath, loss of taste, or smell etc.

Anyone showing any of the above symptoms should stay home and not attend any sessions when they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have had close contact with a person with COVID-19.

******* League Instruction – NO CHANGING ROOMS TO BE USED *******

Hectic week and a busy Friday means it’s just gone half eleven and due to a busy Saturday I need my bed as soon as possible. Therefore, it’s a very brief report from me this week. I would like to say thank you to the other contributors with their Match Reports each week,it’s great not to only have Pete Bennett’s one to read.

Another week and another 3 points for Connect Sports and also another hat-trick for Leon Naylor, (4 in fact) as Connect smashed 8 goals past Charlemont, something I did predict correctly, however, Charlemont did hit the back of the net once which cost me in the Prediction Challenge. No other players notched a hat-trick in Division 1,

Craig Oldfield scored 2 for St Andrew’s Netherton as they sit in 2nd place on goal difference after their 6-2 win over Saint Michael. It is hard to judge St Andrews on this result as Robert from Saint Michael was struggling to even get a team out due to outside influences, (more on that later).

3rd place belongs to Clarendon, again only on goal difference though as they have also won their first 2 matches.  Kenardo Ellis bagged 2 goals in their 3-2 win over Chawn Hill Church who due to injuries played the last 30 minutes with 10 men.

City Church got their first win of the season against Rowley College, 2 goals apiece for Ivan Torro and Benjamin Cutting helping them to run out 4-2 winners. Reading Pete’s report it came over as quite an exciting game in the end but with City deservedly ending up as victors.

Division 2 sees only 1 team with a 100 per cent record, Monyhull Church smashed Christ Church Coseley 6-1. Oli Smith scored 2 in what appears to have been a very comfortable win.

After losing 6-2 the previous week Living Hope CHurch United were on the other end of a similar result. Callum Oakshott the only other player to get a hat-trick and Sam Crook also weighing in with 2 goals in their 6-0 demolition of Brierley Hill A.O.G.

Fair play to Delph Athletic, they were first in with their Match Report last week and this despite losing 4-2 to Dudley Lions. Ash Turner notching twice for them as Dudley get their first points of the season.

The first week saw me give Selly Oak Methodist the Result Of The Day…well, knock me down with a feather as they get it again this week. Their 2-1 win over St Thomas’ Aldridge  shocked me when the scoreline came in. (Probably not as good as Aston Villa’s 7-2 win over Liverpool, let’s not go there lol). But, for me, maybe a re-evaluation of Selly Oak Methodist as I did predict them to struggle and finish 7th! They actually sit in a good 2nd place with 2 fine results behind them. I’ve not even looked at the Prediction Challenge yet … bet I go for them to lose again hahaha.

Well past midnight so it’s a fast forecast for me.

As mentioned above, Saint Michael struggled to get a team out last week due to ramifications of the Covid instructions. Unfortunately, despite his best efforts this weeks match versus table topping Connect Sports has had to be postponed. Following detailed discussion with Robert regarding players awaiting test results and who they had been in contact with, I came to the decision as League Secretary to postpone the match. This will obviously be a fluid situation as things continue to change. Indeed, Rowley College are now having to source another venue as they have now had their current venue, (Holly Lodge School), withdrawn from them by Sandwell LEA. As a League, we will endeavour to keep on top of any situation as it evolves.

So, with Connect not playing, we might see someone else sit on top of Division One, (it seems ages since that happened).

In fact, as I have just looked at the Fixtures, we most definitely will as 2nd placed St Andrew’s Netherton travel to play 3rd placed Clarendon with top spot beckoning for the winners. A draw would see St Andrew’s go top on goal difference. I have no idea on what to do here but based on the fact I tipped St Andrew’s to finish higher than Clarendon plus I do think they carry a greater goal threat, it’s an away win for me.

Rowley College travel to play Charlemont Star in a match that will kick off at 10.00am and not the normal 10.30am. All Club Secretaries have previously been advised in a League Meeting that where more than 1 match is played at the same venue there will be different kick off times. Rowley got caught cold last week but almost pinched something from the game. I know it’s early in the season but I cannot see Charlemont scoring a lot of goals and for this reason it’s another away win from me.

The last game sees Chawn Hill Church host City Church who were quick out of the blocks in their victory over Rowley. Can they do the same against Chawn who are looking to get their first points of the season. Again, absolutely no idea on this. Chawn have lost by a single goal in their 2 matches against top opposition. City had a cracking result and performance last week but did suffer badly the previous week. I’m tempted to go City, head says draw… sentiment says Chawn. No idea yet! (I really do just make this up as I go along)!

I was just pondering where to start with Division 2, either table topping Monyhull Church or Selly Oak Methodist who for me have had the 2 outstanding results so far. You couldn’t make this up….they are playing each other, must admit it gave me a chuckle. So, have Selly Oak Methodist done enough to change my mind or will Monyhull Church overrun them and keep their 100 per cent record intact. Quick look at the Table and i’m going for Monyhull, they seem to carry a bigger goal threat.

Despite losing last week St Thomas’ Aldridge sit in 3rd place and will be looking at closing on top spot. As will another 3 teams who all have 3 points, one of them being their opponents Delph Athletic. Their Match Report indicates a poor performance from them which should be better this week, to quote from the report, ” It was not a good enough performance from Delph, but mistakes will be learnt from and the team will be ready for next week to try put all those wrongs to right!” I’m actually going to go with them on this one and predict a win for them by 2 clear goals.

Dudley Lions will also fancy their chances of moving on to 6 points as they travel South Road to play Brierley Hill A.O.G who have let in 6 goals in each of their previous matches. I’m not going for 6 again but I do think it’s a win for Dudley Lions.

Talking of 6 goals in a match leads us to the last match where 1 team let in 6 last week and the other scored 6. Christ Church Coseley host Living Hope Church United who could also move on to 6 points should they win. I’m still tipping Christ Church Coseley to get their season up and running with a win.

Well it’s just past 1am so maybe not a fast prediction at all. Just got to look at what I think the scores will be now!

Thanks to Andy Wilcoxson from Charlemont Star for doing the Prediction Challenge this week, (at very short notice I should add).

17th October, 2020
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Charlemont Star 1 Rowley College 4
Chawn Hill Church 3 City Church 2
Clarendon 2 St Andrew’s Netherton 4
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 2 Dudley Lions 5
Christ Church Coseley 4 Living Hope Church Utd 2
Selly Oak Methodist 1 Monyhull Church 3
St Thomas’ Aldridge 2 Delph Athletic 3
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Andy Wilcoxson from Charlemont Star)
Division One
Charlemont Star 3 Rowley College 1
Chawn Hill Church 2 City Church 1
Clarendon 2 St Andrew’s Netherton 2
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 Dudley Lions 3
Christ Church Coseley 2 Living Hope Church Utd 3
Selly Oak Methodist 2 Monyhull Church 4
St Thomas’ Aldridge 2 Delph Athletic 1

 

 

 

 

 

13 Oct 2020

Another Match Report For 10th October

Thanks to Gez Mullholland for the following Match Report:

St Andrew’s Netherton 6vs2 Saint Michael

St Andrew’s Netherton soared to 6-2 triumph against Saint Michael on Saturday to secure a second consecutive WMCFL victory.
Warren Grant, Chris Hunter, Richard Thomas-Robinson Chris Hall and Craig Oldfield (2) were all on target in what was a dominant and eye-catching display from Dave Challoner’s men in Bilston.
St Andrew’s started brightly and had several chances to take an early lead. James Townsend, who switched from between the sticks at Chawn Hill to the central striker, Gez Mulholland and Richard  Thomas-Robinson all saw efforts saved by Saint Michael’s stopper.
But the breakthrough didn’t take too much longer to arrive. Mulholland’s cross from the left was met by the towering Grant who nodded into the bottom corner with less than 20 minutes on the clock.
St Andrew’s had several chances to further their advantage before the break, but they wasted a string of  favourable opportunities to double their lead.
And Saint Michael made them pay moments before half-time. A cross from the right found its way to back post where Przemyslaw Gorka was waiting to fire home from inside the area.
St Andrew’s, frustrated by the half-time scoreline, came out firing after the restart.
Another pin-point cross, this time from Thomas-Robinson, was powerfully met by skipper Chris Hunter who buried his header beyond the reach of the goalkeeper.
Thomas-Robinson then added a third from inside the six-yard box before super-sub Craig Oldfield stroked home a fourth from 25 yards.
Fellow substitute Chris Hall bagged his first St Andrew’s goal – a fine finish from an acute angle inside the penalty area – to make it five.
And number six wasn’t far behind. Oldfield tapped in from an identical position to Thomas-Robinson.
Saint Michael pulled one back late on but it did little to deter from what was another very impressive performance from St Andrew’s Netherton.

11 Oct 2020

10th October – Match Reports

Couple of Match Reports received with the first from Josh Prentice regarding their match with Dudley Lions.

Delph Athletic 2 vs 4 Dudley Lions

Delph Athletic looked to take the momentum from last weeks win into this week against local rivals, Dudley Lions.
Delph kicked off the first half with intent, controlling the tempo, creating chance after chance displaying their best 45 minutes played so far with: high intensity, individual battles, winning second balls, but found themselves going into the half only winning 1-0.
Dudley Lions made some changes at half time and came out firing on all cylinders ensuring the second half was played at a higher tempo. Although Delph got a second goal through a fine strike from Jack Slater, Dudley ensured they took their chances and found themselves 4-2 up with 25 minutes to go.
It was not a good enough performance from Delph, but mistakes will be learnt from and the team will be ready for next week to try put all those wrongs to right!

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

The second report comes off Pete Bennett from Rowley College. Nice to see 2 Clubs sending in Match Reports even though both were on the wrong end of the result.

City Church 2 vs 4 Rowley College

One issue with club match reports is that they are obviously one- sided and while acknowledging this I try my best to see the game also from the other team’s point of view.  As I said at the end of last week’s game the final score can be a little misleading and this was reinforced today by Steve Cartwright the ref who said to me on the final whistle “you almost did it”.  We had been 3-0 down at half time got back to 3-2 with half the second half to go and looked capable of retrieving the result in an exciting finale.  What Steve also said was that “equally mind you they could have been six or seven up by half time!”: right again: that is a fair reflection of this game.

We came into the match confident but already with a small squad slightly short and it’s not about how many you have or you have missing but rather about how those missing players impact on the shape of the team.  We were without Ben Smith today, our engine in midfield and Hayden the player who would naturally have replaced him and Billy also had a knock and lasted only till half time.  This is not an excuse it’s just the way it goes.  We knew we were a little light in the middle and principally this meant us lacking control in the game and protecting our back line on a day they were not at their best.  However, that said  Shola once again was a candidate for man of the match he was outstanding!

Rather in reverse of last week City Church caught us cold and we had a warning within the first 5 minutes:  sadly as the poet Steve Turner says “History repeats itself: it has to: no one listens “!  Having let their leftwinger in on goal thwarted by a brilliant save from Jamie, 5 minutes later we did it again and this time he made no mistake.  No wonder then but when this happened a third time and we went two down, those of the side were pulling out their hair (all those who had hair) We just weren’t at the races in the first 20 minutes : they had more chances and Jamie made more saves.  Then when we got back in the game (I think everybody forward played well today) we conceded what turned out to be the vital/frightful third.  Jamie will blame himself for spilling the ball but it was once again poor defending that allowed the chance to be created and anyway Jamie blocked the shot that resulted from his slip only for their number 10 (who I thought was their best player and with whom we enjoyed considerable banter from the side) to absolutely smash in the deciding goal.  When Ben Fowler pull the good save from their keeper, in fact a very good save, I had a feeling that it wasn’t going to be our day but with the slope to come…

With last season’s top scorer Josh returning after being missing last week on the bench and the skilful Matty Suff we were at least going to make a fist of it.  Down the slope we changed the formation and went all out.  Initially there was little change and City had chances before we did but once we got into motion the game was very much even and we very much had momentum.  Josh is always a handful and he was ably supported by Jackie who was really on his game today, Jay, who continued the good work of last week and Ben Fowler who when he dropped slightly deeper was even more effective: all of this driven by Shola from midfield.  Matty Suff also added class and quality.  And the goals came.  Good break Jack got it wide cut it into the box and Josh realising the best he could manage was a shot at the keeper brilliantly dummied and Jay gloriously ghosted in exactly where their player had done in the first half to crash home the first goal.

We were immediately at them again.  On this occasion the ball broke from midfield Josh forged in on goal seemed sure to have a go himself but instead clipped a perfect pass into Jack’s path and Jack drove it in.  Not only did we think we could get a draw at that point we thought that we might even nick it. I say nick it because this does not cancel out the fact that as Steve said we might have got in at half time five or six down.  I think City defended really well in the latter part of the game.  Yes it was a packed defence but it was brave purposeful defending: lots of blocks.  When Josh finally had a chance he cracked a great shot and their keeper made a terrific save.

 City though continued to be dangerous on the break: they have pacy players wide and the game worked itself to a pretty thrilling conclusion, sadly marred by a pretty shocking looking injury and concussion to our centre back Kev O’Reilly (in fair competition for a high ball: there was not even a foul involved.  He was taken directly afterwards to A&E and he’s doing well though with a face full of stitches  (thanks for the concern from the City lads, much appreciated!)  This was with six minutes to go.  Mark went on and we continued to press but as often happens if you don’t get the equaliser the opposition break as they did in pretty much the last minute and scored a fourth to settle their nerves and bring the game to a disappointing conclusion for us but a victory I think on balance City church deserved.  This is in a great tradition: some years ago we shared two 7-5 games (they beat us 7-5 and we beat them 7-5) and this was that kind of open game: there could have been more goals.  All the best to Martin and his boys: we go again next week.

9 Oct 2020

Review and Preview + League Instruction

Before leaving home to attend a match, players (or parents/ guardians on behalf of) and staff members should assess whether they have any symptoms of COVID-19, for example, a high temperature or fever, a new continuous cough, new unexplained shortness of breath, loss of taste, or smell etc.

Anyone showing any of the above symptoms should stay home and not attend any sessions when they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have had close contact with a person with COVID-19.

******* League Instruction – NO CHANGING ROOMS TO BE USED *******

I was pleased and surprised last week in so much, that even after all the rain that had come down we did not lose a single match on our opening week of football. Unfortunately for me though, Pete from Rowley has taken the lead for the Club Secretaries getting 5 predictions correct compared to my 4, with neither of us getting a correct scoreline.

Both Divisions have a familiar look to them with Connect Sports and St Thomas’ Aldridge sitting top in their respective Divisions. Connect made light work of City Church with Leon Naylor bagging his first hat-trick of the season in their 7-1 win. Another player to bag 3 was Jack Daniel for Rowley College in their 4-1 win over Saint Michael. They say the Table does not lie but I think there is a glitch in the system as Rowley should actually be 2nd and not 3rd on goals scored. (Something for me to chase the website chap up about, only just noticed it)! Clarendon also won by a 3 goal margin overcoming Charlemont Star who I did predict would struggle this season. A tighter affair saw St Andrews’ Netherton beat Chawn Hill Church 2-1, something that throws my seasons prediction into doubt. So, we have 4 teams all with 3 points in Division 1, it could be 4 with 6 points following tomorrow having just had a quick glance at tomorrow’s matches…more study required before my prediction.

Division 2 didn’t see any hat-tricks but 2 players netted twice in Delph Athletics 6-2 win over Living Hope Church United, Simon Carswell and Nat Harding being those players. Ash Hamer also netted twice in St Thomas’ Aldridge’s 6-1 win over Brierley Hill A.O.G. The St Thomas defence letting me down as I predicted a 6-0 win! I believe Monyhull Church snatched all 3 points in the final moments of their match against Dudley Lions to make them the 3rd team on 3 points. The result of the day for me was Selly Oak Methodist drawing 1-1 against Christ Church Coseley, I had forecast an easy win for Christ Church but it did not turn out that way at all.

Loads still to do so it will be a very brief preview for tomorrow’s games.

I fully expect another steamroller performance from Connect Sports who play Charlemont Star, I just simply do not know how many goals to predict them to get! That will take Connect to 6 points, something I fancy that Rowley College will be on as they travel to Rowheath to play City Church who will be looking to keep a tighter defence than last week. I also take St Andrews’ Netherton to be sitting on 6 points as my inside information leads me to believe it could be a weaker Saint Michael side than normal. (Note: St Andrew’s Netherton vs Saint Michael has a venue change and will take place at Saint Michael’s home venue). The last game sees 2 WMCFL Historical Big Guns meet each other with Clarendon hosting Chawn Hill Church. I predicted Chawn to finish 2nd but even after 1 game I am wavering a bit, especially as a late dismissal last week for 2 yellow cards will rob them of one of their influential players… I am struggling with this one.

If one match has me struggling in Division 1 then all 4 matches do so in Division 2. Leaders St Thomas’ Aldridge have what I would have considered to be an easy win over Selly Oak Methodist prior to last weeks result but if push comes to shove, then it’s still a narrow win for St Thomas. Delph Athletic also knew where the back of the net was last week but will it be so easy against Dudley Lions? Probably not, but it’s still a win for Delph from me. I must admit to still being in a bit of a shock regarding Christ Church Coseley drawing last week, something they can ill afford to do if they have ambitions to be top of the pile. Monyhull Church obviously play until the final whistle winning late on last week. Can they do the same tomorrow, I am leaning towards Christ Church, just not enough. So it’s a draw for me. The last match sees Brierley Hill A.O.G host Living Hope Church United with both teams looking to get their first 3 points of the season, will there be a winner ? Not for me, it’s a draw again.

Thanks to Steve Helsdon from St Thomas’ Aldridge for being this weeks Prediction Challenger.

10th October, 2020
Neil Kovacs
Division One
City Church 1 Rowley College 3
Clarendon 2 Chawn Hill Church 2
Connect Sports 8 Charlemont Star 0
St Andrew’s Netherton 3 Saint Michael 0
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 2 Living Hope Church Utd 2
Christ Church Coseley 2 Monyhull Church 2
Delph Athletic 3 Dudley Lions 2
Selly Oak Methodist 1 St Thomas’ Aldridge 2
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Steve Helsdon from St Thomas’ Aldridge)
Division One
City Church 1 Rowley College 3
Clarendon 2 Chawn Hill Church 0
Connect Sports 5 Charlemont Star 0
St Andrew’s Netherton 4 Saint Michael 2
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 2 Living Hope Church Utd 3
Christ Church Coseley 1 Monyhull Church 2
Delph Athletic 2 Dudley Lions 0
Selly Oak Methodist 1 St Thomas’ Aldridge 3

7 Oct 2020

3rd Match Report – 3rd Oct

Another match report received from St Andrews’ Netherton

Chawn Hill Church 1-2 St. Andrew’s Netherton Baggies

St. Andrew’s Netherton Baggies came from behind to record an opening day victory against Chawn Hill Church as WMCFL action returned for the first time in eight months.

St. Andrew’s fell behind in the first minute but strikes from Richard Thomas-Robinson and Lewis McGee before the break were enough to seal three well-deserved and hard-fought points at a sodden St Mary Stevens Park.

The hosts made a flying start and were awarded a penalty inside 30 seconds. Stand-in goalkeeper James Townsend, usually spotted at centre-half, made a terrific stop down low to his right to keep out the spot-kick, only for Chawn Hill to keep the rebound alive and fire in past the deputy No.1 from the edge of the area.

But St. Andrew’s responded well and were level shortly after. Thomas-Robinson picked out the bottom corner with a free-kick from 20-yards to make it 1–1.

And it wasn’t long before the visitors found themselves in front. Good work down the left-hand side resulted in the ball falling to the feet of McGee who slotted the ball beyond the keeper and a Chawn Hill defender from inside the penalty area.

St. Andrew’s almost added a third shortly before the break. Skipper and WMCFL veteran Chris Hunter’s dipping half-volley from 35-yards sailed over the goalkeeper’s head but crashed back into play off the crossbar.

The away side had further chances to extend their lead with Ben Davies, Rion Mills and Tomas Adams all going close.

The second-half proved to be a tense and tight affair, with neither side creating too many chances.

Mills once again went close for St. Andrews, while sub Matthew Waterhouse fired straight at the keeper from the edge of the box.

At the other end, Townsend comfortably collected numerous crosses as Chawn Hill launched several aerial attacks in an attempt to draw themselves level.

But the home side’s chances of earning a point in the season-opener came to and end in the 90th minute when their captain was shown a second yellow for a late challenge on St. Andrew’s sub John Rodger.

6 Oct 2020

2nd Match Report For 3rd October

Second Match Report comes from Pete at Rowley College

Saint Michael 1 vs 4 Rowley College

Firstly let me say that it’s great to be back and thanks to everybody at the wmcfl for making this happen safely.  There are many new challenges to get used to but what isn’t altered is the game itself and it was great to see two teams get back to playing attractive competitive football.  To be honest I didn’t expect the game to be on, what with rain all day Friday and more forecast for Saturday morning but Robert went down early to inspect and gave the thumbs up.  When we arrived we were pleasantly surprised to see a pitch in perfect condition and the 96% chance of rain holding off to ensure a first half played on a good surface and dominated by us.

I promised our wide player Jay Daniels a mention in the report for being honest enough to remind us he owed a pound subs from before lockdown, suggesting that he might also feature by doing something on the pitch.  He certainly didn’t let me down scoring a hat trick in a man of the match performance.  It was Jay indeed who got us up to the perfect season’s start, collecting a ball on the edge of the box in the first minute and hitting a deadly strike through the defender’s legs and into the far corner.

This started a purple patch for us where we caused their defence multiple problems. Ben Smith running from midfield caused chaos in their back line and with Fowler on his game we seemed set for a dominating performance.  This was confirmed when we scored a good second. Ben Smith made a run in the channel and played it back to Jay who knocked a perfect cross onto the head of Fowler who planted it in the corner of the goal.  This was the start to the season that we dreamed of:  we attacked at will and Saint Michael were struggling to provide us with any problems. Billy was having a very good game just behind the striker and Jack was always dangerous.  The team was powered by Smith and Shola in midfield: Shola was one of three at least who I could easily have given man of the match to.  We also looked comfortable at the back with Kev and Chris flanked by Brad and Stanton.  Brad has taken to full back like a fish to water and was once again impressive.  I think we deserved more than 2-0 at half team though St Michael came to life at the end of the half.

I spoke to Mike Ibrahim on the phone at half time and told him about our first half dominance before going to run the line.  When I phoned from the car again it at the end of the game to tell him that we’d won four goals to one I had to emphasise the degree to which this was not a simple continuation of our control because with the torrential rain that threatened to drown the game came a substantial Saint Michael recovery and for long periods they dominated the bull and stretched us.  Not long into the second half they got a goal back.  The ball broke down in midfield and their centre forward was played in and he sensibly shot across Jamie low and hard.  Though Jamie will think he might have done better it was exactly the place a goalkeeper doesn’t want the shot in these conditions.

The game became a little scrappy but they were having the best of it.  I know that because of the relief we felt on the side when we got the vital third goal.  Brad cleared the ball unconventionally from a corner and set Jack away down the right he beat the goalkeeper to the ball outside of the area and then skilfully cut back the perfect pass for the ever willing Jay to sweep in.  By this time Hayden was on I’m doing well as was Joe.  The intent of the game never ceased and its effort and intensity, ably refereed by Mo Islam (full marks today Mo!).  The rain also never abated.  Finally in the very last minute Jay evaded two defenders wide and bore down on their goal. Fowler was screaming for a pass in the centre and Jay used this to give the keeper the eye and crashed the ball in front post for a brilliant hat trick.

All the best to Robert and his lads who played the game in great spirit as ever.  Arrangements at the ground were great though we all got a baptism of fire (well rain) when trying to cope with the after-match routine without changing rooms in the pouring rain!  Soaked to the skin I sat in my car, the last Rowley person on the carpark and realised I hadn’t as usual got the teamsheet photographed and Whats-apped (and I’m the only sec who doesn’t have What’s App) because usually this would have been done sitting in the dry.  Thus I had to call on my daughter to get the job done.  We live and learn I guess!

4 Oct 2020

Match Report – 3rd October

Hopefully the first of many Match Reports off various Clubs this season, but the first one comes off Josh Prentice from Delph Athletic regarding their win over Living Hope Church United.

Delph Athletic 6 vs 2 Living Hope Church United

Delph Athletic started the new 20/21 season well with a 6-2 win over Living Hope Church.
Whilst both teams seemed to have a nervous start, Delph took advantage of having a free man off a whipped cross and Jack Follis headed the team into a 1-0 lead.
After the restart, Living Hope came out strong and piled on the pressure and found pockets of space and punished Delph because of their poor organisation and went into half time 2-1 up.
Whilst struggling to take hold of the second half, Delph made substitutions and changed into a 4-4-2 where they then started to find their rhythm and control the tempo of the game. After making a darting run and cut back by George Grant, Delph were awarded a penalty which was taken confidently by Luke Williams.
With their tales up, Delph went on the hunt for more and were in total control of the game, taking full advantage of a tiring Living Hope side.
As a result, Si Carswell and Nat Harding slotted home 2 goals each to ensure the win was confirmed.
Whilst the score line might be convincing, the overall performance was below par and Delph look to build upon this week into next where they host local rivals Dudley Lions.

3 Oct 2020

Football Is Back – Weather Permitting – Season Preview + Prediction Challenge

Well folks, today hopefully sees the start of our new season and some things never change.

It’s past 1am in the morning and I am still way behind on things to do such as my seasons predictions and this weeks Prediction Challenge.

But before I move onto those points I will take this opportunity to remind people that we are now in a new time of how we approach our matches and our actions prior, during and after each match.

I will take this chance to remind people firstly of the following:

Before leaving home to attend a match, players (or parents/ guardians on behalf of) and staff members should assess whether they have any symptoms of COVID-19, for example, a high temperature or fever, a new continuous cough, new unexplained shortness of breath, loss of taste, or smell etc.

Anyone showing any of the above symptoms should stay home and not attend any sessions when they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have had close contact with a person with COVID-19.

Obviously this is due to Covid-19. Each Club will have done a Covid-19 Risk Assessment and anyone attending will be made aware of what is entailed within these.

As I need my bed and have to be up early to carry on with other football related issues I will have to hurry through my seasons forecast.

We bid farewell to Amblecote Nomads, Corinthians S.K and St Mary’s and as we move into next season it will be 2 Divisions of 8 teams. With these 3 teams leaving Division 1 I think it’s harder to predict the relegation area than the top.

I cannot see anyone stopping Connect Sports from being Champions, I thought the same last year but was persuaded to change my mind, (foolish me, because Connect were a slam dunk to finish last season as Champions in my eyes). So, will we have any new challengers for them or will they just steamroller everyone out of the way? Well, I once saw a steamroller going down a decline on Kidderminster Ring Road and a car overtook it and then pulled straight in front of it, only to have to pull up at an island around 30 yards further down the road. I have never heard a steamroller blast their horn so much and I was relieved that the car got out of the way in time because it would have been flattened, (I was not the driver of the said car by the way)! Well, I saw that in real life and I believe I will see similar this season as Connect totally dominate Division 1.

St Andrews’ Netherton flatter to deceive. I am sure they have more in their locker than they deliver and whilst I think it’s 2nd or 3rd for them, but I would not bank on 2nd.

You can never discount Clarendon but last season they were more like Manchester City than Liverpool, (Connect Sports). A team in transition and discovering what it is like to lose on a more regular basis than usual. Threaten for 2nd ? Hmm, not for me just yet, 4th.

I have a sneaky feeling that a WMCFL ‘sleeping giant’ might actually awaken this season and whilst they will not win the League, with a bit more application and concentration in each and every match I believe they might actually get 2nd over St Andrews’ Netherton. Like the Dwarves reclaiming Erebor in The Hobbit, it will be a battle every week but for Chawn Hill Church I can see 2nd place as a prize they can achieve.

I discounted Rowley College too easily last season predicting that they were bankers to go down. Boy, how they proved me so very, very wrong. I actually believe that the Division will be a harder one to play in with no easier games to play and everyone playing at a decent level. So, do I stick with my belief from last season or did Rowley do enough to convince me to change my mind? I definitely think that 2 teams will finish beneath them so it’s 5th or 6th for Rowley…. not sure which.

One of the 2 teams I believe will finish beneath Rowley will be Charlemont Star. Over the years they have proven to be a very stubborn team to break down but for me and to quote The Style Council. This will be the season where ‘The Walls Come Tumbling Down’ and I see Charlemont finishing bottom in 8th place.

That leaves City Church and Saint Michael and I did say I expected at least 2 teams to finish below Rowley. So which of these will it be? Saint Michael flew out of the blocks last season but fell away alarmingly after a while, although they had already bagged enough points to stay safe. In what I consider to be a tougher Division this year I cannot see any easy points for them, or indeed anyone, but when push comes to shove I think that they will finish above City Church and actually pip Rowley for 5th as well.

So that only leaves 7th place and City Church, a position I predict that they may well pin up and aim to prove me wrong come seasons end. I’m not sure if City have an aging squad or a new influx of youth which has led me to believe the former and that’s why I say 7th for them.

Well, 2am and still bashing away at the keyboard.. so much for a quick prediction!

On to Division 2 and this will be closer than Division 1.

I see a possible 3 teams challenging to be Champions but I will just come right out with it and say it’s St Thomas’ Aldridge for me. If the can keep their consistency from last season I believe they will take the title. I don’t think there will be that much in it though and a couple of slip ups may well see my prediction fail. 1st.

Of the other 2 challengers I see being involved I reckon Christ Church Coseley will be Thomas’ biggest threat. On their day they can beat the best in this Division but to win the title they cannot afford a single slip up. 2nd.

Delph Athletic I am led to believe can play some great football and can in no way be discounted from having a shot at the title. I just wonder about the strength of depth at the back for them and reckon goals let in will be their downfall. 3rd.

What of the chasing 5 teams, can anyone of those threaten? I cannot see it in all honesty.

One of only 2 ever present Clubs, Brierley Hill A.O.G, (Chawn being the other), well, not a chance they will will challenge at the top. I hate to bash a team before the season has even started but I really do see their battle as being one of not ending up bottom. Best thing is that their leader Ian Baker just loves playing football.. it’s great to win or maybe even draw. But even if you lose it’s still great to be able to play football. A vague tale from the past should remind us of this. I believe a football team were losing and there was some moaning going on whereby the manager looked at his players and said the following, ‘there’s a chap in a wheelchair watching this match, how much would he love to be able to be out on this pitch and play football’? It’s all about perspective folks, football is a great game to play and Brierley HIll AOG are a beacon of light for me irrespective of how they do. However, it’s still an 8th place for them from me.

4th to 7th could be anyones in this Division but I have to predict something so here goes with the remaining teams.

I don’t see many goals being scored by Selly Oak Methodist who have had a bit of a torrid time over the past few seasons. This will continue and it’s 7th place for me.

Whilst Living Hope Church United do have goals within them unless they have managed to improve at the back then too many goals let in will cost them. 6th for me.

That leaves Dudley Lions and Monyhull Church for 4th or 5th. Now this is a tricky one. I reckon Dudley are a more battling team whereas Monyhull can produce some lovely attacking football. Again though, it’s all about being tight at the back and I think Dudley may just be a shade better in that department. So it’s Dudley Lions 4th and Monyhull Church 5th for me.

So that’s it, nearly 2.30am and that’s my seasons prediction.

I will give my weekly preview a miss this week as it is quite late plus as the rains continues to bash down I do wonder if we will actually get any football played. However, whilst there is to be no preview there is the weekly Prediction Challenge and thanks to Pete Bennett from Rowley College for being this weeks Challenger, especially as I only asked him after last nights lengthy League Meeting, (ever reliable is Pete… I hope his match is on so that we get at least one Match Report). So here it is;

 

3rd October, 2020
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Charlemont Star 1 Clarendon 4
Chawn Hill Church 2 St Andrews Netherton 1
City Church 0 Connect Sports 6
Saint Michael 1 Rowley College 1
*******
Division Two
Delph Athletic 4 Living Hope Church Utd 1
Dudley Lions 2 Monyhull Church 2
Selly Oak Methodist 1 Christ Church Coseley 4
St Thomas’ Aldridge 6 Brierley Hill A.O.G 0
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Pete Bennett from Rowley College)
Division One
Charlemont Star 2 Clarendon 4
Chawn Hill Church 3 St Andrews Netherton 1
City Church 2 Connect Sports 5
Saint Michael 2 Rowley College 2
*******
Division Two
Delph Athletic 2 Living Hope Church Utd 3
Dudley Lions 3 Monyhull Church 5
Selly Oak Methodist 4 Christ Church Coseley 2
St Thomas’ Aldridge 5 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1

 

18 Sep 2020

18th September – League Update 6.30p.m

Whilst Grassroots Football has been granted exemption from the ‘Rule Of 6’ and ‘Lockdown Instructions’ the Management Committee of The West Midlands Christian Football League have deliberated long and hard about whether our League should commence, especially in light of the Local Lockdown announced last Friday regarding Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull.

We felt that the overriding factor that the heath, safety and well being of anyone involved within our League is of paramount importance. With that in mind, we decided that we would keep the postponement of fixtures in place for a further two weeks and review the situation regarding commencing our fixtures on the 2nd October.

Unlike a lot of other ‘local’ Leagues, our teams come from various areas of the West Midlands and we felt that this also had to be factored into our decision making. Participants may have ended up travelling from an area under ‘local lockdown’ into other areas which were not. Something that we believe is currently being advised not to do if possible.

A further update will be posted on here the week beginning Monday, 28th September.

Be Blessed and stay safe,

Neil Kovacs

League Secretary

11 Sep 2020

11th September – League Statement

League Secretary Statement.
Due to the Government announcement regarding a Local Lockdown in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull the WMCFL has taken the decision to immediately postpone all fixtures, effective 3pm Friday, 11th September, 2020.
As soon as a clearer picture becomes available regarding grassroots football then we will advise accordingly.
Due to the lateness of the decision made today by the Government and with a lack of time to seek any clarification it was agreed that this was a decision that needed to be made immediately.
Be Blessed,
Neil Kovacs
West Midlands Christian Football League

4 Sep 2020

4th September – NEW SEASON UPDATE

Following a Special General Meeting it has been agreed that the League will have 2 Divisions of 8 teams playing each other Home and Away. Fixtures will commence on Saturday, 12th September.

Covid-19 restrictions will be in place at all matches and Risk Assessments will have been made beforehand.

All participants must familiarise themselves in regards to this. Each Club has a Covid-19 Secretary and you should contact them if you have any query regarding the rules and restrictions due to Covid-19. You should also follow all Government Guidelines during your travel to and from any fixture and also whilst in attendance at any match.

20 Mar 2020

20th March – SEASON POSTPONED

Please be advised that due to the continued health risks regarding Covid – 19, the Management Committee have made the decision that all fixtures will now be postponed for this season. All Club Secretaries were notified of this decision on the 19th March, 2020 and the reasons for making this decision were explained to them. As per the League Rule Book, all results and statistics will be expunged. These are times that none of us have seen before and strong leadership needs to be taken. The Management Committee have made the correct decision in my mind and I personally thank them for all their time that has been taken up regarding this.

Finally, we all love playing football, but in reality, we all love our family and friends more. We simply cannot risk anyone catching the coronavirus and by postponing all of our fixtures means it removes one more opportunity of this disease spreading. Please do all you can to stay safe and healthy whilst also considering other peoples health as well.

Be Blessed and stay safe and well.

Neil Kovacs

West Midlands Christian Football League Secretary

8 Mar 2020

Match Report off Pete Bennett,

Rowley College 1 vs 1 Chawn Hill Church

Another epic encounter between these two well-matched teams, played in the best of spirits with both sides giving everything to try and win the game. What I call a proper game of football and just like our last two encounters (a 1-0 each way) nothing to choose between the two sides. We had Chris out so Clive and Mark paired up at centre back and played really well against our old mate Curtis who is always a handful. Shola and Ben Smith ran themselves into the ground in midfield and Josh who was my man of the match for a tireless performance, kept the pressure on up top.

They were the better side down the slope. We started slowly and Jamie had to make a good save with his feet and watch their centre back power a header over the bar from a corner. We played on the break and with decent intent but their goalie is a sweeper keeper (‘Ray Clemence’ is the reference for my generation) and three or four times good moves were nipped in the bud by decisive action. Jake got into the game 20 minutes in and show what a handful he is by a couple of pacey runs and a terrific shot touched onto the bar: also after losing the ball in midfield he chased back and put in the tackle of the game to prevent Curtis getting a shot off. Half time: 0-0 and for us the slope to come.

We were much more at it second half particularly after Matty and an influential Romeo joined the fray. Chawn did not relent either though and showed what a good side they are: Curtis brought a good save from Jamie and their young winger got in only to not quite find a clean contact on a bumpy pitch. We were playing decent football now and had the ball in the net but chalked off for offside (which it was). Steve and I were running the line: good for the coffers perhaps but in such a tight game it was not comfortable and I realise how lucky we’ve been to normally have three officials over many years.

This had 1-0 written all over it with the possibility of a mistake so plenty of tension but no let up of pace and momentum. 15 minutes left and we concede a corner and a powering header leaves us flat footed. Can we respond? Certainly: Clive runs forward from centre back to the right edge of their box, cuts back inside onto his left and delivers a gold star ball to the front post and Josh meets with his head. There were still chances both ends and Tom Certain had an impressive cameo but 1-1 was about right. All the best Chawn and to Cal who reffed it perfectly!

7 Mar 2020

Due to the continued bad weather and other issues relating to fixtures there will be a complete review of all matches left to be scheduled. Please be advised that alterations will be made.

7 Mar 2020

Just this weeks Prediction Challenge for now, no football played last week and time spent doing administration on other issues meant I sparked out and just woke up to do this at 4am. Thanks to Ben from Amblecote Nomads for being this weeks Prediction Challenger.

7th March, 2020
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Amblecote Nomads 1 Clarendon 3
Charlemont Star 1 St Mary’s 3
Connect Sports 4 St Andrews’ Netherton 3
Corinthians S.K 1 City Church 2
Rowley College 2 Chawn Hill Church 3
*******
Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 3 Selly Oak Methodist 1
Dudley Lions 1 Delph Athletic 3
Living Hope Church Utd 5 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1
St Thomas’ Aldridge 2 Monyhull Church 1
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Ben Hart from Amblecote Nomads)
Division One
Amblecote Nomads 1 Clarendon 4
Charlemont Star 2 St Mary’s 5
Connect Sports 3 St Andrews’ Netherton 4
Corinthians S.K 1 City Church 1
Rowley College 2 Chawn Hill Church 1
*******
Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 3 Selly Oak Methodist 1
Dudley Lions 2 Delph Athletic 2
Living Hope Church Utd 4 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1
St Thomas’ Aldridge 7 Monyhull Church 0

29 Feb 2020

29th February – All Matches Postponed

24 Feb 2020

Match Report – 22nd February

Once again, thanks to Pete Bennett from Rowley for his match report.

Corinthians S.K 1 vs 6 Rowley College

As I’ve been away in floody Herefordshire, I missed todays’s encounter so this report will be short and based on ‘hearsay’! Mark wanted it to be known that despite the score (and we may have had more), Corinthians are a good side but as with a good many young and/or promoted clubs they play very open which is great for the spirit of the game but means that against well-organised teams you tend to ship goals and therefore need to score plenty. Though our best spell was the opening 20 minutes in which we did everything but score, Corinthians having weathered the storm then had a couple of chances, one well saved by Jamie, which could have made the game very different. As it was we then scored three in ten minutes or so and the game swang our way. Even then a good shot just before half time sent them in at 1-3 and with hope. Luckily for us two more goals just after half time killed them off. Everybody was decent for us but the four forward players caught the eye, sharing the 6 goals: two for Fowler, a good one from Josh, a chest in from Jack and two from our m-o-t-m Jake. Excellent also from Michael Clarke the ref.

22 Feb 2020

Quick Preview – 22nd February

In all honesty I am not expecting any matches to be played this week and will be pleasantly pleased if some are. Two matches have already bitten the dust and with my expectations low plus the fact that other football stuff is taking all my time up it really is a quick preview.

I expect we will know who will be progressing from Group ‘A’ in the ‘Division 2 Cup’ as it’s a banker win for Delph Athletic who play Brierley Hill A.O.G and as I am going for Living Hope Church United to beat Dudley Lions then that would mean both victorious clubs on the day would be in the semi’s. With the Monyhull Church vs St Thomas’ Aldridge match postponed, Christ Church Coseley in Group ‘B’ will also be looking to secure their place in the semi’s and can do so with a win, which is exactly what I am going for.

A huge match at the bottom of Division 1 sees Charlemont Star host Amblecote Nomads, a win for either side may just keep their hopes alive of Division One football next season. I think it will end up all square but I hope there is a winner just to put a little bit of pressure on the teams above them both.

In reality I do not see the next 2 teams above them being caught but City Church will be looking over their shoulder should they lose to Saint Michael who started the season really well but have faded as the season has progressed. Sitting on the fence for this one and going for a draw. Clarendon are the other team down there but their fixture against Chawn is off.

The next match sees my pre-season tip for bottom face the team who currently occupy that position. Corinthians S.K host Rowley College and I can repeat now that my choice for Rowley to finish the season in bottom has absolutely no chance of happening especially as I expect them to break the 20 points barrier with a convincing win. This really is a must win game for Corinthians S.K and if they could pull it off it would give them a glimmer of hope. I cannot see it happening though.

An interesting match sees 3rd play 4th with St Mary’s hosting St Andrews Netherton. Should Saint Michael drop points then both of these sides will be looking to take advantage in chasing down 2nd place. I am going for St Mary’s experience to see them take the 3 points.

Thanks to John Myatt from St Mary’s for being this weeks Prediction Challenger.

This week seems to have been bad news followed by more bad news regarding the health of people within the League. I would ask that people remember and pray for everyone and their families who are involved within this League in whatever capacity, players, spectators, referee’s, Club Officials and League Officials. I know some Clubs say a prayer before their match, I would ask you to remember the aforementioned regarding their health.

Be Blessed Everyone, Neil Kovacs

 

22nd February, 2020
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Charlemont Star 3 Amblecote Nomads 3
Corinthians S.K 1 Rowley College 4
Saint Michael 2 City Church 2
St Mary’s 4 St Andrews’ Netherton 2
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘A’
Delph Athletic 5 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1
Living Hope Church Utd 3 Dudley Lions 2
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘B’
Christ Church Coseley 3 Selly Oak Methodist 1
*******
*******
Club Secretary (John Myatt from St Mary’s)
Division One
Charlemont Star 5 Amblecote Nomads 1
Corinthians S.K 1 Rowley College 5
Saint Michael 3 City Church 2
St Mary’s 2 St Andrews’ Netherton 1
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘A’
Delph Athletic 6 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1
Living Hope Church Utd 2 Dudley Lions 2
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘B’
Christ Church Coseley 5 Selly Oak Methodist 1

8 Feb 2020

Late Preview + Predictions – 9.20am

Very quick preview as I am unsure how many people will actually get to see it as it’s almost preparation time for today’s matches but here goes.

Delph Athletic can secure their place in the semi finals of the Division 2 Cup with a win over Dudley Lions who themselves will be looking for a win to give them a fighting chance of getting there as well. Living Hope Church United will be looking to leapfrog Dudley should they overcome Brierley Hill A.O.G. I reckon by the end of play today Delph will achieve their aim with a win and that Living Hope may have to settle for a point.

Group ‘B’ sees the top 2 play each other with Monyhull Church hosting Christ Church Coseley. The other match in the group sees St Thomas’ Aldridge play Selly Oak Methodist. I fully expect A St Thomas win in that game which will apply some pressure on the 2 teams above. A win for Christ Church would see them through but I am going for a Monyhull win to really keep it interesting in that group.

Only one place to start in Division One and that is with Connect Sports versus Clarendon who have been the only team to take any points off Connect so far this season. My initial thought was a win for Connect, but it’s time to play a hunch and I am actually going for a narrow Clarendon win, absolutely no idea why I just have a feeling they may just edge this one.

Should that happen, St Mary’s would need to keep winning to have any hope of catching Connect. They face bottom placed Corinthians S.K who will be up against it today. St Mary’s comfortable winners for me today.

Early season pace setters Saint Michael play City Church who on their day can be a match for most teams. I’m going for a draw in this one.

St Andrews’ Netherton play Amblecote Nomads and for me it’s a simple win for St Andrews but I do believe that if they are not focused then Amblecote could get something from this match. It is definitely not a walk over.

Last game sees Chawn host Charlemont Star and i never have a clue what to do regarding Chawn with them either winning or losing. Charlemont Star have started scoring but they still have an average of 3 goals conceded per match. I am going for a score draw.

Thanks to Dave from St Andrews Netherton for being this weeks Prediction Challenger. (I know others still need to have a go but I was rushed and was actually on the phone to Dave at the time so simply asked him. Be assured, every Club Secretary will get their turn).

8th February, 2020
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 2 Charlemont Star 2
City Church 1 Saint Michael 1
Connect Sports 1 Clarendon 2
Corinthians S.K 0 St Mary’s 4
St Andrews Netherton 2 Amblecote Nomads 1
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘A’
Delph Athletic 2 Dudley Lions 0
Living Hope Church Utd 1 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘B’
Monyhull Church 2 Christ Church Coseley 1
St Thomas’ Aldridge 2 Selly Oak Methodist 1
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Dave Challoner from St Andrews’ Netherton)
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 3 Charlemont Star 1
City Church 2 Saint Michael 0
Connect Sports 2 Clarendon 1
Corinthians S.K 0 St Mary’s 3
St Andrews Netherton 2 Amblecote Nomads 0
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘A’
Delph Athletic 4 Dudley Lions 1
Living Hope Church Utd 4 Brierley Hill A.O.G 0
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘B’
Monyhull Church 2 Christ Church Coseley 0
St Thomas’ Aldridge 2 Selly Oak Methodist 0

7 Feb 2020

Prediction Challenge Tomorrow

Prediction Challenge is delayed until tomorrow morning

4 Feb 2020

Another Match Report

Thanks to Lee McGahan for his match report from Saturdays match against Delph Athletic
Christ Church Coseley 4 vs 2 Delph Athletic
Christ Church Coseley welcomed Delph Athletic to Churchfields this morning knowing that a win by 2 goals would see us move back up into 2nd place we knew this game would be tough. We have faced Delph a number of times now and we know they are a really good side. With the wind playing havoc the 1st half started with Christ Church with the wind behind them we knew we would need to take advantage of this. It didn’t take long before we took the lead when a free kick out on the left was whipped in by Josh D, finding the head of Bob with the keeper saving only to push the ball back into the open space for Bob to get the rebound and put us 1 up. This settled us down and we started to play the ball around in the middle keeping Delphs attacks down to minimum with some great work in the middle and defence. it was soon 2-0 after some good play in the middle Smithy knocked a ball over the top for Bob and what followed was roll back of the year with the biggest playground shin rolled volley that seemed to dip over the Delph keeper and landed in the back of the net. (Personally I’m gonna say I meant it lol)
At 2-0 both wingers looked dangerous and both went  close with 1 shot going inches wide from Nas and Craig firing over from the edge we looked like every attack could result in a goal. With about 8 minutes of the half left our concentration slipped and a Delph player found some space in the middle skipping past the midfield and defence before firing low in the corner past the keeper. 2-1. This gave Delph a bit of confidence and they finished the half stronger.
2nd half we made a change and with the wind against us we knew it was going to be a long 45 minutes. For 15 minutes we felt the pressure and couldn’t manage to get the ball out of our half. Delph capitalized on this when the number 8 struck a shot from about 25 yards that hit the underside of the bar and just crossed the line. So again from 2-0 up we found ourselves pegged back and under pressure. Delph came close again an the number 8 nearly mirrored his goal however his shot came back of the bar and we cleared our lines.
Then came probably 2 saves of the game when Lewis got down to his left to push a shot away destined for the back of the net and a free kick destined for the corner was cleared off the line by Jake. Our determination and patience then paid off with the midfield winning a few balls the break was on, Jordan skipping past the Delph rb and putting the ball across to Bob who completed the hat-trick with a tap in. I think that was pretty much our 1st real attack in the 2nd half and we were back in front. Delph then looking for a reply pushed forward and a few more chances came our way but last man defending from both sides stopped either strikers scoring. With 5 minutes left and looking more calm we broke again with the never stopping engine in the middle found a ball out to Nas who had moved upfront, he went into the box an clipped a ball up to the back post for Clive to nod home to give us the 4th, It could have been 5 a minute later with Nas again delivering a ball into the box and Jordan tried the over head kick but didn’t connect quite right an the ball went wide. (Trying to out do his dad)
Ft. 4-2
Today was another tough game but once again another top draw performance, under pressure 2nd half we showed we have a lot in us to battle until the end. Taking nothing away from Delph today as they will walk off probably disappointed not to have got anything from the game. Any neutral watching today would have seen a very good game. Onto the Div 2 Cup next week and we will again be looking for a win to guarantee a semi final place.(hopefully the rain stays off and it’s not a wasted trip to Monyhull)
Man of the match was tough because no player deserved to not get it however we can only choose 1 player and that was Screeny.
Back in today after being dropped last week and putting in a monster performance in the middle with Craig Tom and later on Reece an Nas. Brilliant attitude and display from all today.

2 Feb 2020

Match Report – 2nd February

Thanks to our ever reliable Pete from Rowley for this match report

Chawn Hill Church 0 vs 1 Rowley College

Chawn are a good team and they have made progress in exactly the right way by seeing their redevelopment as a long term project and having the patience to invest in youth and see them flourish. You can now see a group of lads who are improving together and coming to their prime together. Our development has been a little more haphazard but we too have a core of good players of about the right age (and some older ones still doing a decent job).  This made for a fascinating and good quality game of football, the sort of game that it is particularly satisfying to win because you know you have had to work so hard for it.  And that base line of complete commitment was demonstrated by both teams today and I have to give particular praise to our lads as there were only eleven of them so everybody had to put in a full shift (including Romeo playing his first game of the season and Lancey who’d been looking for 25 minutes!).

We had quite a few missing today, including all of our goalkeepers and half of the defence but what we did have was plenty of individual quality, a commitment to work as a team and a decent bit of tactical nous from Mark.  It also needs people to play out of position.  Billy did that by switching centre mid for left back and had a storming game.  Jack, who is our most naturally gifted player swapped this for a pair of gloves and a different coloured shirt and he was different class. In front of him our regular two defenders, Chris and Joe, competed, blocked, cleared and intercepted from first whistle to last.  The games was played on ‘the bogs’, a farmer’s field with lines and a slope and our first important win was the toss which allowed us to soak it up first half and conserve our energy.

They came at us while we played on the break.  Josh and Ben up top were brilliant today: their link up work was excellent and they were always a handful for Chawn’s also excellent centre backs.  Add to this the energy of Hayden and the trickery and tenacity of Jake (getting better all the time) and I was confident we would carry a threat. First half though was much more about defensive capability and Romeo and Shola (man-of-the match on  a day with many candidates) were magnificent.  The work that Shola got through today was astonishing. Last year we battered Chawn down the hill to no reward and first half Chawn had a portion of that feeling, hitting bar and post and calling on Jack and the back lads to put their bodies on the line. If we could just keep it level at half time…

The plan seemed to be working as with more attacking intent down the slope we began to impose ourselves on the game.  With Shola, Jake and Hayden driving and right back Lance also delivering quality ball forward we had the ball where we wanted it: up with Josh and Ben. Three moves stand out which show the quality of both sides and the margins in this ‘classic one-nil’. Firstly Jake fizzed it into Josh who played a delicate reverse ball to play in Ben but the centre half made a brilliant block. Later Shola played the ball of the game cross-field and into the box to put Josh in and his thunderous shot was brilliantly saved. And in between, the vital moment: lance to Jake wide who advanced and knocked a ball into the box on to Josh’s head for Josh to cushion a header back to Ben who flicked it beyond the defender and crashed it home. A goal fit to win the game.

Unless, of course, Chawn could get it back and they came at us gain with everything. The last ten minutes were particularly hairy with Jack making a brilliant save at their attackers’ feet.  The whistle brought relief and satisfaction in equal measure. All the best to Steve and his boys!

1 Feb 2020

1st February – Prediction Challenge

An absolute frantic day and whilst normally I would be keen to bash the keyboard after midnight my will to do so has completely gone, it’s been that sort of day and I know tomorrow will be similar. So, for my own sanity it’s off to bed but before that it’s thanks to Robert Zaleski for this weeks forecasts in the  Prediction Challenge.

1st February, 2020
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Amblecote Nomads 0 City Church 4
Chawn Hill Church 2 Rowley College 2
Corinthians S.K 1 Charlemont Star 2
Saint Michael 2 St Andrews Netherton 2
*******
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 0 Monyhull Church 4
Christ Church Coseley 2 Delph Athletic 2
Selly Oak Methodist 2 Dudley Lions 1
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Robert Zaleski from Saint Michael)
Division One
Amblecote Nomads 1 City Church 6
Chawn Hill Church 2 Rowley College 3
Corinthians S.K 2 Charlemont Star 3
Saint Michael 3 St Andrews Netherton 3
*******
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 Monyhull Church 6
Christ Church Coseley 2 Delph Athletic 5
Selly Oak Methodist 2 Dudley Lions 2

27 Jan 2020

Match Report – 27th January

Thanks to Lee McGahan for this match report.
DivIsion Two Cup.
Christ Church Coseley 3 vs 2 St Thomas Aldridge
After last weeks game getting called off we headed back to home this week to face St Thomas On a fresh rolled and painted Churchfields pitch. With 3 games in League and Cup against these bringing a win each and a draw we knew today would be a tough contest.
Both sides started bright with chances either end but nothing really troubling either keeper, around 15 minutes in St Thomas had a 5 minute spell which saw us concede 2 goals from nothing and see the bar get rattled twice in 30 seconds. With the madness settled down that seemed to spark us into life, with Craig winning a midfield battle he found Chambers out on the wing who delivered a dangerous ball into the box between keeper, cb and Craig who came out on top prodding the ball into the net, 1-2.
Shortly after this and with a hat full of chances for us we finally pulled level when a ball through found Bob onside and 1 on 1 to slot past the keeper. 2-2.
With the last 10 minutes of the half we again had chances that on another day could easily have seen us go in at half time with a 4 or 5 goal margin. However ht came and it stayed at 2-2.
2nd half Christ Church lads came out stronger but we knew we would have to convert 1 of our chances at least this half as St Thomas are dangerous on the attack, we found this out when the number 9 found himself bearing down on Lewis but before he could shoot Dan made a last ditch tackle (probably the best tackle he has put in for us) the ball was cleared and the danger was gone. Christ Church then set about patiently building up attacks with a period of 20 minutes or so St Thomas couldn’t get near the lads to form any sort of attack for themselves, moving the ball around and using every inch of the field Dean set Chambers off an as he went into the area he was sandwiched between 2 defenders, the ref pointed to the spot but then (and fair play to him as not many refs seem to do this)  he went and spoke to the linesman (it was clear for those closer that it was outside the box) and he overturned the decision and gave a free kick, correct call. With more chances and good possession we finally got a deserved 3rd goal. New signing and man of the match Jordan had been none stop causing issues down the left all game and after a melee in the box he managed to get a shot on goal which was cleared out (var wasn’t needed for this as it was clearly over the line, and fair play to St Thomas manager who was running the line as he put the flag up to signal the ref to say it was a goal) 3-2. Comeback complete. The last 15 minutes the lads dug in and put in the overtime to make sure we walked away with the win. With the last minutes ticking away we controlled the play and didn’t allow St Thomas any more chances. The ref blew and it was smiles all around.
Ft 3-2.
Fantastic effort and character shown by all today. The lads deserved the win from start to finish. Even at 2 down we still didn’t panic or make rash decisions we was patient and it payed off. That’s 3 from 3 in the Div 2 cup with 12 goals scored 4 conceded and max points. Couldn’t ask for much more than that. Onto next week when we face Delph. A win is a must if we want to keep in touch with the top because a win for Delph puts us 6 points behind with 4 games left, it would almost certainly not see us finish 2nd unless those above lost all remaining games and we won ours.. we keep going though as everyone knows with football, anything can and will happen.

24 Jan 2020

24th January – Preview

No Division Two matches tomorrow as the Division Two Cup resumes, hopefully all of the matches get played which will mean we reach half way in the Group Stages. Brierley Hill A.O.G host Delph Athletic whilst Dudley Lions have Living Hope Church United visiting their patch. Should both home sides win it would be hard to see them not making the next stage of the Competition. It wouldn’t be all over but it would be a huge ask for the other sides to overtake them. Living Hope must come away with at least a draw to give them any hope whatsoever. They do possess a stronger goal threat than Dudley, but, like the Villa, they need to tighten up defensively. If Dudley can find their goal scoring boots they should win but I am tipping this to end up all square. I only see one result in the other match and it does not bode well for Brierley Hill A.O.G. Delph will almost certainly be in the next round as they run out comfortable winners.

Group ‘B’ is all to play for. Whilst St Thomas’ Aldridge are running away with Division 2 their defeat against Christ Church Coseley previously in this Competition has really opened up this group. Monyhull Church travel, (and I use that term lightly), to face Selly Oak Methodist who have yet to register a win in this Cup. Fresh from beating Rowley College last week Monyhull will really fancy their chances here to keep things interesting. Should Christ Church repeat their win over St Thomas it would leave them in a good position but If results go as I think, then 3 teams will be on 6 points midway through the group stage. It’s a Monyhull and St Thomas’ win for me.

In Division One, ‘Champions Elect’ in my eyes, come up against the team by who all others are measured such has been their dominance over recent years in Clarendon. There have been many great teams over the history of this League but Clarendons list of honours is the biggest. I would normally say this would be a great clash, but in all honesty, I believe that Connect Sports dominance this season is such that they will win this game easily.

St Mary’s are Connects only real threat and even that is stretching it a bit. They face Corinthians S.K who even if they managed a win would remain in the bottom 3, just like Charlemont Star and Amblecote Nomads. Those 3 teams need to get some wins if they are to put pressure on the teams above and stay in Division 1 next season. I don’t see Corinthians getting anything tomorrow though.

Charlemont had a good win against Corinthians last week to move themselves off bottom spot but I was surprised to see they scored 5 ! Can they carry this forward ? Well, they come up against a solid Saint Michael who were so strong early in the season but are struggling of late. I see points for going any which way in predicting this match, so I will sit on the fence and forecast a draw.

St Andrews Netherton travel to face City Church who will be buoyed by their league Cup win on penalties last week against Saint Michael. St Andrews have in no way been the team I expected them to be and also the team that some of them thought they would be. I tipped them to be Champions following a pre season chat with some of them, (should have stuck with my original choice of Connect but was too easily persuaded). Whilst typing this I have changed my mind on this match and I am now going for a City win.

The last match sees Chawn Hill Church travel down the road to play Amblecote Nomads, (a match I may just pay a visit to, I can smell the bacon and egg sandwich from the nearby cafe already… hahaha). Chawn had a bit of a thumping in their last match against Connect but had previously beaten Clarendon the week before. So which Chawn will turn up here ? A look at the League Table shows they are not exactly setting the world alight in an attacking sense only scoring 14 in 8 games. Amblecote also struggle to score whilst also struggling to keep the ball out of the net at the other end. The recent reverse fixture saw a narrow win for Chawn and I am just gong for them to edge this one as well.

No game for Rowley College this week which is always disappointing as this will mean no match report off the ever reliable Pete Bennett. Will anyone fill the void created by this ?

Thanks to Lee McGahan from Christ Church Coseley for being this weeks Prediction Challenger. (I will be updating this over the weekend and also updating the man of the match awards on the individual Fixture Pages).

 

25th January, 2020
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Amblecote Nomads 1 Chawn Hill Church 3
Charlemont Star 1 Saint Michael 1
City Church 3 St Andrews’ Netherton 1
Clarendon 0 Connect Sports 3
St Mary’s 3 Corinthians S.K 1
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘A’
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 Delph Athletic 5
Dudley Lions 2 Living Hope Church Utd 2
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘B’
Christ Church Coseley 1 St Thomas’ Aldridge 3
Selly Oak Methodist 0 Monyhull Church 4
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Lee McGahan from Christ Church Coseley)
Division One
Amblecote Nomads 1 Chawn Hill Church 3
Charlemont Star 1 Saint Michael 2
City Church 2 St Andrews’ Netherton 3
Clarendon 1 Connect Sports 4
St Mary’s 4 Corinthians S.K 2
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘A’
Brierley Hill A.O.G 0 Delph Athletic 3
Dudley Lions 3 Living Hope Church Utd 2
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘B’
Christ Church Coseley 4 St Thomas’ Aldridge 3
Selly Oak Methodist 1 Monyhull Church 3

 

20 Jan 2020

Couple of Match Reports – 20th January

Our ever reliable Pete from Rowley College sends in his contribution for everyone to read this weekend. It’s a shame that his is normally the only report but we do have 2 reports in this week, so Pete does have something else to cast his eyes over. I hope this trend continues as I understand Pete’s feeling knowing that you put a lot of effort in but then you have little to read yourself.

Rowley College 2 vs 3 Monyhull Church

I guess I write these reports to record the ups and downs of amateur football (and Rowley are a club of ups and downs!).  I write them chiefly for our players and obviously from our point of view (sadly I very rarely these days have the pleasure of reading any other perspective).  I try to make these accounts as honest as I can and try not to make excuses when we, like today, get beaten: a bitter blow in the cup.

This was not a giant-killing: we knew very well that Monyhull are a good team: they beat us 4-0 last season and might have done something similar this morning.  We were on a good run and had a strong 15 available, though sadly not the injured Mark Southall who has brought us such stability at the back recently: this proved costly today.  Unfortunately nothing much went right, starting with me forgetting that I had the nets and having to go home and get them.  This transferred into the game where too many of our better players were not quite at it.  The frustration was that despite the fact that Monyhull were the better team and overall deserved to win, we were offered a chance to win this game and fluffed our lines.

With Jamie at work we brought Fabian, a capable keeper, in for his debut and I’ll be surprised if Monyhull don’t make him man-of-the-match.  For 35 minutes Monyhull played us off the park and should have been out of sight.  I counted at least five goal-preventing saves including a worldie when their lad hit a dipping drive and he tipped it over one-handed.  Mark was going crazy on the touchline yet we conceded only once, from a header at a corner. When Squaddie arrived to watch after 25 minutes I admitted we should have been already out of the cup!  However we found our feet in the last 10 minutes and were suddenly dominant and Fowler had a couple of chances.  Though we’d been average, Shola and Hayden were both impressive and Hayden forced a good save from their keeper.

We had stern words at half time, threw top-scorer Josh into the fray and lost Chris to exhaustion (he’d spent 36 hours getting back from Poland via the Czech Republic).  Within 5 minutes we were two down and looking down the barrel.  The game got a little scrappy and then almost inexplicably we were back in it. First Hayden hit a firm daisy-cutter which squirmed under the keeper and then within five minutes the Monyhull defence went missing and Josh scored an equaliser.  From then on there should have been only one winner and we had 15 minutes looking like we could do it with lots of action in their box.  However they found a second wind and a second header from a corner proved decisive, leaving us very flat.  All the best to Monyhull and thanks to Cal and his team.

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

City Church 1 vs 1 Saint Michael (City Church won 8 vs 7 on penalties after extra time)

It was a really exciting and quality Cup tie today between St Michaels and City Church. Both teams gave 100% whilst fighting through 120 minutes of fluctuating fortunes. In the end it was like two boxers who had punched each other to a standstill, although we were only separated by penalties rather than by the judges scorecards.

The game started in lovely sunny conditions on a perfect 4G surface (thanks to St Michaels who had use of their home pitch). St Michaels started very well with passing and attacking play, and scored one good goal, but could have had others after striking both posts with slick passing. City rode their luck during the first half with a mixture of last ditch challenges, saves or profligate finishing keeping the score line down. However, City came into the game as the half drew on and were able to create some good openings of their own, including a disallowed goal for offside and another post struck after a decent move. The final shot or pass was lacking. It was a very open half of football and we were happy to get to half time without anymore damage. (HT 0-1)

At the half time interval, City made some adjustments for the second half and started with greater intensity and possession. It was certainly a game of two very different ‘halves’ as City had the majority of the play and goal threat in the second period. There were further disallowed goals (at both ends), the goalkeeper palmed a shot onto the bar, and headers went over the bar, as well as other missed chances inside and outside the box for City. St Michaels stood strong and defended well and were still dangerous on the counter-attack, as they dropped deeper and deeper. Just as it seemed, it wouldn’t go in, Nick Graham rose to head home for City with only about 5 minutes to go and take the tie into extra time.

During extra time it remained fairly open, but both defences stood strong and prevented any changes to the scoreline. Understandably, cramp, fatigue and injuries seemed to slow things down. Overall I felt that City had the greater possession and threat during extra time, but St Michaels continued to carry a threat. The pattern of the second half transferred to extra time.

The game went to penalties as the deadlock couldn’t be broken after the additional 30 minutes. Nerves didn’t seem to affect any of the players as there were 18 penalties by both sides and the quality on show was very high. Only one player missed the target and each keeper made one save each, but apart from that the standard on show was excellent under pressure. Watkins and Richardson were particularly notable for two calmly taken penalties. It’s a shame it came down to a missed penalty by the 18th player to decide the match after 120 keenly contested minutes as City finally won 8-7 after the shootout.

Overall, City were relieved to get through to the quarter finals for the 12th time. Both teams deserved a lot of credit for their commitment and desire, as well as the quality of the football on show. My man-of-the match was Dan Haynes, closely followed by Andy Thomas, but all 16 players for City played their full part today. Thanks to St Michaels for hosting the match and contributing to such a great match. Also thanks to the ref, Phil who did well without any assistants. We all needed a lie down after an eventful morning!

18 Jan 2020

18th January, 2020

A hectic week again leaves me bashing the keyboards at 2am and truth be told, I have not the will to do a preview, basically because I reckon a large majority of matches will not be played due to the continuing rainfall which has saturated local parks pitches.However, on the chance that some matches may be played, Dave Challoner from St Andrews’ Netherton has kindly accepted the offer to be this weeks Prediction Challenger.

18th January, 2020
Neil Kovacs
League Cup
City Church 2 Saint Michael 1
Delph Athletic P St Andrews Netherton P
Rowley College 4 Monyhull Church 2
Selly Oak Methodist P Clarendon P
*******
*******
Division One
Charlemont Star 2 Corinthians S.K 2
Chawn Hill Church 3 St Mary’s 2
Connect Sports 11 Amblecote Nomads 0
*******
*******
Division Two
Dudley Lions 1 Christ Church Coseley 3
Living Hope Church Utd 1 St Thomas’ Aldridge 3
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Dave Challoner from St Andrews Netherton)
League Cup
City Church 1 Saint Michael 3
Delph Athletic P St Andrews Netherton P
Rowley College 4 Monyhull Church 2
Selly Oak Methodist P Clarendon P
*******
*******
Division One
Charlemont Star 3 Corinthians S.K 1
Chawn Hill Church 2 St Mary’s 3
Connect Sports 6 Amblecote Nomads 0
*******
*******
Division Two
Dudley Lions 1 Christ Church Coseley 3
Living Hope Church Utd 2 St Thomas’ Aldridge 0

17 Jan 2020

17th January, 2020

Apologies to Pete from Rowley for the delay in publishing his report from last weeks match, things are always a bit hectic for me in January.

Amblecote Nomads 0 vs 2 Rowley College

Happy New Year to all in the WMCFL! Having started 2019 in Springfield Park with a 6-1 defeat at the hands of Zion, it was satisfying to come out of this morning’s trip to Kiddy with three points. We were missing our top scorer Josh and Jack but still fielded a strong fourteen and needed to against a youthful and skilful Nomads side. With Jamie now established in goal and a settled back line, we’re looking a much more solid proposition and goals have not been a problem. Today though was a strange game to describe.

Firstly let me say it was played in good spirit by both sides and excellently reffed by Stephen Palmerini. Nomads are a mobile and skilful side and had much of the momentum of the game, particularly in the first half where they caused us lots of problems. We were slow starters and over-run in midfield so we depended on resolute work from Matt and Joe and particularly Mark and Chris (my man-of-the-match). What we did have though was experience and about half a dozen good chances to score: credit their keeper but also a cross wind and poor finishing. This aside it was their half but thankfully 0-0.

We were significantly better in the second half, though we created fewer clear cut chances. Hayden made a positive difference and Shola, Brad and Ben Smith all had positive impacts. Nomads continued to threaten in a game where the first goal was always going to be vital. Enter Ben Fowler: played in twice for faultless finishes for 8 in the last 8. Nomads never stopped but hardly tested Jamie: I wish them well for the rest of the season. Good result for us: Cup next week.

11 Jan 2020

11th January, 2020 – Preview

Following the League Meeting last night, it was the dreaded case of, ‘I will just rest my eyes for a minute’ then lo and behold it’s 4am and the Prediction Challenge needs doing !

Amblecote had a good 5-3 win over Corinthians S.K last week to get themselves off bottom of the table, they come up against Rowley College today, who I forecast to end the season in that place. Today will see that forecast totally bite the dust as Rowley will have a convincing win and at their half way stage of the season be safe from any relegation threat. Amblecote really do need to win this game if they are to have any realistic chance of staying up but I cannot see that happening.

Curtis Jordan from Chawn Hill Church had the rarity of scoring a hat trick against Clarendon last week and I cannot in all honesty remember when someone last did that against them or if anyone ever has? It was a good win for Chawn and with a third of the season gone for them they could still be in the battle for second place. They face Connect Sports today, the current League Leaders who have a 100% record and look like the new Liverpool, a juggernaut of a team who just keep winning. Can Chawn put the brakes on this juggernaut? My head says no, but it’s time for a hunch and if Chawn want it badly enough maybe, just maybe, they might get a draw.

Saint Michael who were top for quite a while have faded of late and will be looking for a win to boost their confidence. They come up against Clarendon who I predicted would finish 4th. I’m minded to go for a Clarendon win so that they close the gap on those just above them and join the group of teams chasing Connect Sports. It’s still hard to get away from the habit of just saying a Clarendon win, it’s a little like saying Man City will lose. I’m not going that far and reckon that Saint Michael will reverse their current form with both teams coming away with a point each.

Before the pre season meeting I had it firmly in my mind to predict Connect to be Champions, only to be persuaded following that meeting by some of the St Andrews’ Netherton players that they were up for the challenge and would finish top. I should have stuck to my original thoughts as they currently sit nearer the bottom than the top. There is still a lot of football to be played yet but their is no way they will end the season as Champions, indeed, they need a win against Corinthians S.K to push themselves away from having to look over their shoulders at the bottom of the table. A win for Corinthians would enhance their own chances of moving away from there. Corinthians are scoring 2 a game but this is still not enough to bag the points every week. Both teams have defensive frailties but I just see St Andrews scoring more so it’s a win for them.

St Mary’s face Charlemont Star with the weather having impacted upon both clubs having only played 6 matches each. I tipped Charlemont to end up in a comfortable mid table position but they really have to have a huge change in form to achieve this. Their ever reliable defence is shipping 3 goals a game whilst they are struggling to find the net at the other end of the pitch. St Mary’s, well they are St Mary’s, a team who have loads of goals in their team and a resilient defence. I really do only see one outcome of this fixture and it does not bode well for Charlemont.

Division 2 goes on the back burner this week with the Division Two Cup games taking place. This is based on 2 groups of 4 with matches played home and away with the top 2 in each group progressing to the Semi-Final stage.

Only one match in Group ‘A’ which sees Living Hope Church United host Delph Athletic. The reverse fixture in this group match saw Delph come out as 3-1 winners and it is hard to see it ending up as any other than a Delph win, which would put them in a strong position to progress to the semi’s. However, whilst the table would look good for them and Dudley Lions should that happen, you should not rule out Brierley Hill A.O.G or Living Hope from also getting into the next stage of the competition.

In Group ‘B’ St Thomas’ Aldridge suffered their only defeat of the season and will be looking to make sure they don’t end up chasing the top team by overcoming Selly Oak Methodist who themselves cannot easily be dismissed having turned their fortunes around moving off the bottom to mid table in the League with 3 consecutive League wins. But this is the Cup and I take St Thomas to edge this one.

Christ Church Coseley host Monyhull Church in the remaining match of the day and Christ Church will be looking to push on after their impressive win over St Thomas’ Aldridge in this Cup. It’s hard to call this one as Monyhull have really suffered fixture wise having only played 6 fixtures so far this season in our League due to the weather and other contributing factors. They did have a convincing 4-0 win over Selly Oak in this Cup so whoever wins this tie will be putting themselves into a strong position to progress. This could be a cracker of a match and having typed the above I have changed my predicted score but not who I think will win. Who is that? Well, the answer to that is below.

Well, at 4am I thought I would just post the Prediction Challenge on here and head to bed. Then it was, hmmm let’s just do a quick preview. 5.30am and it’s time for bed. Hope you enjoyed the preview.

Thanks to Joshua Briley from Delph Athletic for his predictions this week.

11th January, 2020
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Amblecote Nomads 0 Rowley College 3
Chawn Hill Church 1 Connect Sports 1
Saint Michael 1 Clarendon 1
St Andrews Netherton 3 Corinthians S.K 1
St Mary’s 2 Charlemont Star 1
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘A’
Living Hope Church Utd 1 Delph Athletic 2
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘B’
Christ Church Coseley 4 Monyhull Church 2
Selly Oak Methodist 1 St Thomas’ Aldridge 3
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Joshua Briley from Delph Athletic)
Division One
Amblecote Nomads 1 Rowley College 2
Chawn Hill Church 2 Connect Sports 4
Saint Michael 3 Clarendon 3
St Andrews Netherton 3 Corinthians S.K 0
St Mary’s 4 Charlemont Star 1
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘A’
Living Hope Church Utd 0 Delph Athletic 2
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘B’
Christ Church Coseley 2 Monyhull Church 3
Selly Oak Methodist 2 St Thomas’ Aldridge 2

4 Jan 2020

4th January – Results Pages Updated

Delay in updating results today. I normally like to get them done as quickly as possible but other things took priority today.

3 Jan 2020

3rd January, 2020

So, it’s a New Year and with it hopefully far more football. It’s been driving me mad typing ‘Postponed – Waterlogged Pitch’ week after week. I can only imagine how frustrating it is for everyone to want to play only to end up not doing so. In all my years with Chawn I don’t think I ever knew a season this bad for postponements. With no football means not much to go off regarding a preview but if my predictions prove correct then Connect Sports will have one hand on the Division One trophy and St Thomas Aldridge doing the same with Division Two. Can Saint Michael and Christ Church Coseley prove me wrong ? I’m also going for Amblecote Nomads to finally move off the bottom with them beating Corinthians S.K while Charlemont Star lose to City Church. The winners of the Chawn Hill Church vs Clarendon match will move away from the relegation fight but I’ve gone for a draw which may have both of them looking at other results. I’m going for Delph Athletic to overcome Living Hope Church United to apply pressure on the top 2 who play each other and the last match sees me going for the home side with Dudley Lions beating Selly Oak Methodist.

Thanks to Rob O’Neill from Selly Oak Methodist for being this weeks Prediction Challenger.

4th January, 2020
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 2 Clarendon 2
City Church 2 Charlemont Star 1
Connect Sports 4 Saint Michael 1
Corinthians S.K 1 Amblecote Nomads 3
*******
*******
Division Two
Delph Athletic 3 Living Hope Church Utd 1
Dudley Lions 3 Selly Oak Methodist 1
St Thomas’ Aldridge 2 Christ Church Coseley 1
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Rob O’Neil from Selly Oak Methodist)
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 2 Clarendon 2
City Church 3 Charlemont Star 0
Connect Sports 4 Saint Michael 1
Corinthians S.K 2 Amblecote Nomads 0
*******
*******
Division Two
Delph Athletic 2 Living Hope Church Utd 0
Dudley Lions 1 Selly Oak Methodist 3
St Thomas’ Aldridge 3 Christ Church Coseley 3

17 Dec 2019

Match Reports – Christ Church Coseley + Rowley College

Apologies to the lads from Christ Church Coseley, (match report from 23rd November), and Rowley College, (7th December and this weeks match report) for the delay in getting these on our site.  But,as the old adage goes, better late than never.

23rd November

Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 vs 3 Christ Church Coseley

With what seemed like an eternity of a break due to games postponed and rescheduled and then having the charity game last week, we finally got back to the pitch for a league game this week with an away trip over to Stanley Road, Stourbridge, with weather only ducks like, (even they decided not to sit out in it today). With only one suitable pitch it was agreed by both teams and match officials to source another venue. Fortunately, another pitch was found which was only a couple of minutes away.

With both sides finally ready and a quick warm up the game was underway, Coseley quickly set the pace and dominated possession early on. After some good defending from the Hill and a few half chances we managed to dig out our 1st real sight on goal with Clive finding space 10 yards out, he put his shot inches the wrong side of the post and Hill breathed a sigh of relief. After a few more half chances we seemed to be, somehow going in at ht 0-0 until Brierley Hill broke through and with Deano tracking back he caught the attacker and the ref gave a free kick just on the edge which was placed into the bottom right to give a score at ht of 1-0.

2nd half we could see the energy in our lads was going to be a big thing as the game wore on, and again a few chances came and went before we won a corner, Nas floated the ball to the back post and Bob nodded past the keeper to make it 1-1. It wasn’t long after that with some good work down the wing from Chambers who put a ball into the box, with the keeper just beating Bob to it the ball dropped to Josh who hit a half volley down the middle of the goal to make it 2-1. Hard work had paid off. A few subs were made, including the return of Tom, who spent all last season and this season to date out injured. (Good to see the lad back)
The game was sealed 2 minutes later when a ball in the box found it’s way to Chambers who heard the screams (along with everyone in a 5 mile radius of south road) of Jordy shouting to lay him off. He did and Jordy produced a fine finish from about 25 yards that the keeper had no chance of stopping.. the game continued but apart from 1 more chance Brierley Hill didn’t really threaten our goal, but the 1 chance did mean Lewis had to be alert. A fine header into the top corner saw a few players celebrate only to then see Lewis somehow pull off a top corner (camera) save. Keepers don’t ever get the mention they deserve but today a few times Lewis pulled off some wonderful stops. People only ever remember the goals conceded not the saves that can win points.

With 1 more chance left to mention falling to Chambers who went for power in the bottom right only to see the ball hitting the top of a tree in the top left of another postcode in another country !

Ft 3-1

Huge thanks to the lads at Brierley Hill for agreeing to pitch swap and for the enjoyable morning. I don’t think anyone on either side came off without a smile. Just how football should end.

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

7th December

Saint Michael 2 vs 4 Rowley College

A really good quality game today, helped inevitably by the full 4G pitch: it really is like watching a different (and higher quality) game. Though I prefer the thrills and spills of muddy pitches, you can only say that a decent surface does encourage a game with more control and finesse and both sides had this today. To be honest we were delighted even to be there as illness and seasonal unavailability left me as close as I’ve ever been to forfeiting the fixture (we were struggling by Thursday even to have the minimum of 7). As it turned out only one emergency signing was needed: Billy (who debuted today) and Jake (who debuted as a sub last time out) have been training with us so were not the ‘mates of mates’ who often make up the numbers on these occasions. I say this because both sadly learnt the hard way about the zero tolerance on swearing today and I want to make clear that both were matters of carelessness rather than indications of bad character (both are good lads).

Billy was one of eleven today who might have been our man-of-the-match: he was class alongside Ben Smith, who got out of work to put in a magnificent performance all over the pitch. Magnificent also was Clive hurrying forward his return from long term injury to form a formidable central defensive partnership with Mark: they were sorely tested by St Michael’s skilful forwards but never mastered. All of this in front of our stand-in goalie Jamie who looked anything but in the opening minutes with a fine one-handed save to set him up for an outstanding morning. He was ably supported by Joe, who’d climbed out of his sick-bed to play and a rejuvenated Matty Stanton. The veteran Stanton has not been at his best this season (the stretching routine he practices just to play is agony to watch) but today, pound for pound he was the best of us on a day everybody was terrific: two goal-saving tackles particularly stand out. And I haven’t yet mentioned our front four for whom the surface was a godsend: Jack full of guile and strength, Jake who grew into the game, Fowler who was always a danger and Josh who continued a fantastic run of goals and performances. Also sub Lancey who came from a night of celebrations (!) to offer us a decisive option late in the game.

I say all of this to emphasise how good we needed to be to beat a St Michael’s team who have really kicked on this year and who are always a test football-wise. They look after the ball and have quality and touch everywhere. We needed to be at our best and thankfully started early when Josh scored a genuine worldie: outside the box, right hand side: top corner: no goalkeeper in the world would have saved it. However, before we had much time to enjoy it they’d scored a cracker of their own from 30 yards. It was terrific to watch with both sides full of attacking intent. Josh hit a post with a header he might have buried and then skilfully flicked on Jack’s deft free kick to produce a great save from their keeper. St Michael’s also had pressure which paid off when their lad fired home from close range after a couple of blocks. Cue Josh again, driving in from an acute angle: 2-2.

Both sides had goals chalked off for offside either side of half time but I felt as the second period progressed we were getting on top. Josh was then brought down for an obvious penalty that Jack coolly dispatched and we had a couple of fairly comfortable chances that we failed to put away. This became more vital when Billy was dismissed and we had to re-organize with Fowler very effective alongside Ben in centre mid. St Michael’s came at us with gusto but we stood firm and still managed a threat. Josh literally ran himself into the ground and was replaced by Lance who used all his experience and nous to keep three defenders always busy. It was a tough and tense last 15 alleviated only when Lance broke away three minutes from time rounded the keeper and sealed the deal. All the best to Robert and his lads who played a full part in a good game and to Joe Glendon who reffed it very well.

14th December

Rowley College 3 vs 1 Charlemont Star

It was a surprisingly playable pitch today, despite the heavy rain but still at the ‘Farmer’s Field’ end of the paradigm after last week’s sumptuous 4G. Luckily, though battered by every kind of weather, we kept our momentum and 11 of the 12 from last week (and the incoming was the brilliant Chrissy Staien) and managed to get and stay ahead of a Charlemont team lacking matches and their most dangerous striker. Andy’s lads always give you a game and that was certainly the case today.

I was pleased to see Alun Inett at the game this morning: Al played for both sides (at the same time as Charlemont were previously a Sunday team) with great distinction scoring goals for them and stopping them for us (centre back and then keeper). Pleasingly he was able to see our improvement from last season and all three departments played well today in front of Jamie, our stand-in keeper. Down the hill with effectively four full time attackers we were a constant threat and really should have been out of sight be half time.

The two Josh scored (for 12 in 8 starts) were particularly pleasing for how they were worked with first Ben Smith (our man of the match for me) and then Shola unselfishly playing the final pass. In between we’d managed to miss a couple of sitters, a penalty and their keeper had made a couple of fine saves. This looked to have been costly when they equalised ten minutes before the break: their forwards always looked lively but the goal was a scramble and against the pattern of play. Defensively we’d been great with Matt Stanton again on form and a flued up South, Clive and Chris very much at it.

Up the hill and bad weather swirling we knew we’d need another and played counter attacking football against Charlemonts’ determined offense. Again we had chances and their keeper made a couple od saves. Billy and Ben provided terrific support from which we broke with pace and skill. Finally Josh and Ben Fowler combined to send Fowler in for a measured finish. Both then missed easier chances to remove further tension from my aging heart! All the best to Andy and his lads and to three friendly and effective officials. Merry Christmas to all in the WMCFL!

13 Dec 2019

13th December

Well, we finally had some football matches played last week but I have no time to do a review or preview except to say that 2 matches have already been postponed due to the weather. So it’s just the Prediction Challenge for this week. Thanks to Willis Mullin for doing it this week.

14th December, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Amblecote Nomads 1 Saint Michael 1
Rowely College 2 Charlemont Star 1
St Andrews Netherton 3 Chawn Hill Church 2
*******
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 St Thomas’ Aldridge 4
Dudley Lions 1 Living Hope Church Utd 2
Monyhull Church 2 Christ Church Coseley 4
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Willis Mullinfrom Connect Sports)
Division One
Amblecote Nomads 1 Saint Michael 3
Rowely College 2 Charlemont Star 1
St Andrews Netherton 2 Chawn Hill Church 2
*******
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 0 St Thomas’ Aldridge 4
Dudley Lions 3 Living Hope Church Utd 0
Monyhull Church 2 Christ Church Coseley 3

6 Dec 2019

6th December

With no football played recently it wasn’t until walking back from work that I suddenly thought about the Prediction Challenge. So, in a rush I contacted Pete from Rowley who answered my late request for help regarding this, (cheers matey). Apologise to Club Secretaries yet to have a go… you will. Had to be a rush job as I have no time for anything else apart from the forecasts this weekend. 2 matches have already bitten the dust for tomorrow, I really hope we get some matches played.

7th December, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 4 Amblecote Nomads 1
City Church 1 Connect Sports 6
Saint Michael 2 Rowley College 2
*******
*******
Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 3 St Thomas’ Aldridge 1
Living Hope Church Utd 2 Selly Oak Methodist 0
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘A’
Brierley Hill A.O.G 2 Dudley Lions 2
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Pete Bennett from Rowley College)
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 4 Amblecote Nomads 1
City Church 2 Connect Sports 5
Saint Michael 2 Rowley College 2
*******
*******
Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 2 St Thomas’ Aldridge 3
Living Hope Church Utd 2 Selly Oak Methodist 1
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘A’
Brierley Hill A.O.G 2 Dudley Lions 4

4 Dec 2019

4th December – 15 Years On

It is 15 years ago today that Kevin Kovacs sadly died and following this the League established the Kevin Kovacs Memorial Match such was his stature within the League, (although he never knew it himself). The original matches were played near the anniversary of the date of his death but then got moved to create a sort of Community Shield type of event. However, it is my belief that as time has moved on this tribute to him had declined in it’s status and clubs were simply arranging friendlies on the same day. Something needed to alter and the decision to move it back to near the date of his anniversary was agreed and the venue also altered. There will be those that remember Kev and those who never knew him. However, for those that didn’t I have posted a few of the comments received following his death. There are many, many more in the archive section of the former web site pages. If you read these you will understand that this person deserves to be remembered by this League. Indeed, as a few people commented, if it were not for Kev the chances of this League still going would have been in doubt. This picture of Kev really does sum him up. A good book, his animals and a cup of tea. Only thing really missing is him wearing some football boots lol. So here are a few tributes to Kev and why we choose to remember him on one particular Saturday each year.

Part of Ed Walkers comments who was the web sec at the time:

Football can be quite a cruel game at times; people get hurt and quite often there’s a lack of sympathy and emotion save for the scoreline or the referee. My mum used to say that footballers don’t cry, but I’ve shed many tears since I heard the news. He said to me on the way home in the car, ‘Ed, I’m 47, what have I done with my life?’. I suppose I can answer some of that for him.

He left an indelible impression on the WMCFL. He came into contact with literally hundreds of players, managers, referees, secretaries. It’s fair to say looking back, there may not have been a WMCFL if it wasn’t for him. He was warm. A great conversationalist, an intellectual. I loved this side of him, he had an opinion on most things, although he was quite prepared to listen to others’ views. We spoke every Saturday night. He’d let me know the scores from the day’s games so that I could update the website and in latter months it was the other way round. Quite often these chats would go on for ages whilst my tea got cold. Up until his dying days he was interested in what was happening. He tried to include as many people as he could in the football. There were many times when I’m sure his encouragement kept teams in the League, although he knew when to draw the line.

He was passionate and competitive. On the field, he took the games very seriously, whether he was watching or participating. He even played in a number of games after he was diagnosed. I remember one conversation I had with him. He told me that he’d asked the doctor who had informed him of the leukaemia if he could still play football, but forgot to ask ‘Am I going to die from this?’. I’m going to miss you Kev and so will the League. You were a Christian and a gentleman.

Pete Bennett – Manager and Club Secretary, Rowley College FC – When we joined the league in 1992, Kev was one of the first people I spoke to and I recall our telephone conversation as though it was yesterday. He stressed the competitive nature of this ‘Christian’ league and that became for me a rule of thumb: he was competitive I’m sure to the very end. That is how I’d like to remember him most as someone who believed passionately in healthy competition: as part of that all-conquering Chawn team of the early nineties (in our first match against them we played out of our skins and lost 3-0!) but more significantly as that team aged and gradually broke up as a man who championed his beloved Chawn through thick and thin, where others would have given up and called it a day. I’ll really miss that enthusiasm. Best wishes from the Rowley boys!

Jadon Silva –  Then Club Secretary, Amblecote Christian Centre FC – Kevin was one of the nicest people who I had contact with in Christian football, indeed football as a whole. At games it was always great to play against him – he was competitive yet a true gent. Off the field he was always so helpful, working tirelessly to ensure that the League as we know it runs as smoothly as it does. We are thankful to him for the work he has done for the League. Kevin will be deeply missed by all who knew him. All at Amblecote FC pass on our deepest sympathies to his family.

Rob Hill –  Former Club Secretary, St. Thomas’ and  current WMCFL Treasurer – When St Thomas’ joined WMCFL some years ago it was my first experience of running a team in a league that was affiliated to a County FA. Needless to say I was completely ignorant of procedures, rules and regulations etc. How lucky I was therefore to have a person like Kev to guide me through the admin maze. Kev was always approachable, friendly, helpful, polite and above all a great encourager. Kev never made me feel a nuisance with my petty queries and seemed to have an abundance of patience and wisdom. He loved the game of football and cared passionately about the league for whom he was a tireless worker. Kev will be sorely missed by so many and all at St Thomas’ send our deepest sympathy to his family.

Andy Massey, Bilston Beacons Club Secretary and formerly of West Bromwich Beacons – I was lucky enough to play against Kevin and his Chawn team mates on more than one occasion in my first few seasons with the Beacons. Kevin was a tough competitive player who would regularly beat me in both aerial challenges and on the floor, usually resulting with me on the floor as well! These tackles were nearly always accompanied by a quick apology and a helping hand to my feet…what a gent! Kev loved the game of football, but more importantly he loved the opportunities it gives for people to meet and enjoy each others’ company. Kevin’s work both on and off the field has contributed to his legacy that is the WMCFL as we know it today. As secretary of Bilston Beacons I can only thank him and his family for the hours he has put into the league to enable us all to play this wonderful game. Kevin will be sorely missed by everyone…being dumped on my backside after a tough tackle will never be the same again!

These are just a few comments made by people upon hearing the news of Kev’s death 15 years ago, there are many, many more.

Unfortunately, Kev’s match this week was postponed because of a frozen pitch. With all the rain we have had lately Kev would have had a laugh that it was the frost and not the rain then settled down with a cup of tea and a good book.

24 Nov 2019

Match Report, 23rd November

Rowley College 2 vs 5 City Church

Thanks to the ever reliable Pete Bennett for his match report regarding this weeks match.

A chastening experience for us this morning as City caught us cold after four weeks of inactivity and were ruthless in what otherwise was a pretty even match. I want to offer no excuses, we were missing Josh and the departed Finn but had a strong side and plenty of attacking intent.  City had a plan, which is all very well at this level, but which today was very well executed.  It was based on a high press and loads of endeavour and it was absolutely the difference because it gave the impression that they just wanted it more while we played within ourselves, were largely neat and tidy and trailed 4-0 at half time.

We were shell-shocked to be honest because it in no sense felt like that kind of game. We’d started well with Shola holding it up well and Fowler rampaging down the right and Hayden breaking it up in midfield. When they scored a scrappy goal from a corner it seemed like a setback but as we pushed forward so they caught us on the break (and I mean purposefully with four or five runners).  Their striker was pacy and tricky alongside Dan’s culture and guile and three further shots produced three further goals while we failed to find the killer ball.

At half time we didn’t need harsh words but we did need a way forward.  Ben Smith dropped in at the back and Mark pushed forward to provide presence in the middle and it seemed to work immediately.  We had most of the second half, pretty much City’s only second half chance provided a further goal though. Either side of this Fowler scored two back: first played in by Matty Smith then set up by Shola’s tireless work. They were all good second half with Brad once again the pick of the bunch both defensively and offensively. Not easy to take but congratulations to City and thanks to ref Andy who had a really good game today.

Just to echo what Neil said about next week’s commemorative game (edit, Club Secretaries received a communication from me yesterday, more will follow on here later this week): Kev was the League secretary who welcomed Rowley to the WMCFL in 1992 and instrumental in the success and continuation of the league but also a really good bloke (even when he kicked you he’d shake your hand afterwards!): greatly missed and rightly remembered.

22 Nov 2019

22nd November

Only one match was played last week and that was one more than I expected ! Congratulations go to Division Two Dudley Lions who beat Division One Chawn Hill Church 3-2 after extra time to progress into the Quarter-Finals.

Very, very quick preview as time is short.

A huge match in Division One sees St Mary’s host Connect Sports who appear to be unstoppable at the moment. Whilst it is early in the season I do believe this is a must not lose game for St Mary’s whose defence will have to be at their best against a formidable Connect attack. Sitting on the fence and opting for a draw.

Current leaders Saint Michael travel to face Chawn Hill Church who are near the bottom of the table. I’m expecting a Chawn bounce back following their Cup exit last week but I still do not think they will get all 3 points. If I was to tip a winner it would be Saint Michael, but again, it’s a draw for me.

Clarendon have bounced up the table with a couple of wins and they face bottom placed Amblecote Nomads. Could this be time for my hunch of the day ? No, not this time for me. I expect Amblecote to have a battle on their hands and tip Clarendon to take all 3 points.

Rowley College vs City Church is the last fixture in Division One with both teams sitting middle of the table on 7 points. A win for either team would give them confidence about moving away from a relegation battle. I did predict Rowley to finish bottom but I think their stronger attacking form will get them the win here.

We move to Division Two now and it’s getting a bit tighter at the top now.

Christ Church Coseley will be looking to apply pressure on the top two especially as they come up against bottom placed Brierley Hill A.O.G. They cannot move into the top 2 spots but I do believe they will win this match. For Brierley Hill A.O.G, I just cannot see where the goals are going to come from.

St Thomas’ Aldridge who are top on goal difference host Dudley Lions who will be boosted by their win in the Cup last week. A win for Dudley would again keep things tight at the top and I am so torn on what to predict. I’m going for exactly that.

Delph Athletic who are 2nd, play Living Hope Church United who are 1 of 3 teams to have only managed one win so far this season. 30 goals in Living Hopes 4 Divisional matches so an average of 7.5 goals per match ! I don’t predict that many in this game but do tip Delph to win.

The last match sees Monyhull Church travel to face Selly Oak Methodist and for those of you who know where both teams play will see the funny side of that statement. I do not see a lot of goals in this game and wouldn’t be surprised to see either side win. But I am not sitting on the fence here and tip Monyhull to bag all 3 points.

Thanks to Stephen again from City Church for being this weeks Prediction Challenger.

23rd November, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 2 Saint Michael 2
Clarendon 7 Amblecote Nomads 1
Rowley College 3 City Church 1
St Mary’s 2 Connect Sports 2
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 Christ Church Coseley 3
Living Hope Church Utd 1 Delph Athletic 3
Selly Oak Methodist 1 Monyhull Church 2
St Thomas’ Aldridge 1 Dudley Lions 2
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Stephen Richardson from City Church)
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 1 Saint Michael 3
Clarendon 3 Amblecote Nomads 0
Rowley College 1 City Church 2
St Mary’s 2 Connect Sports 2
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 0 Christ Church Coseley 3
Living Hope Church Utd 1 Delph Athletic 2
Selly Oak Methodist 1 Monyhull Church 2
St Thomas’ Aldridge 3 Dudley Lions 1

16 Nov 2019

!6th November

We actually managed to get some matches played last week but it’s not looking so good for this week with only 2 matches currently remaining, both being League Cup games. Already through to the next round are St Mary’s, Connect Sports and Living Hope Church. Connect Sports look the real deal as they continued to average 6 goals per match with a mean defence to boot. So my hunch of a Cup shock by Christ Church Coseley did not pan out. I thought I had played it safe tipping Division 2 leaders St Thomas’ Aldridge to overcome Living Hope Church United, but alas, I was wrong yet again as Living Hope won 2-1. It looks like St Mary’s had a steady win over Amblecote Nomads, no reports but a 4-0 scoreline would suggest as much.

One game was played in Division Two with Dudley Lions overcoming Brierley Hill A.O.G 3-0 for their 2nd Divisional match win pushing them into mid table.

Whist we did manage to get some games last week, I am not all hopeful that we will this week. As stated above, only 2 scheduled matches remain and my main thought would be that if any match is played how badly will it cut up the pitch for future weeks. The rain we have had so far this month and especially this week is proving somewhat problematic regarding scheduling and rescheduling matches. (I told the new Fixtures Secretary it would be an easy role once he had sorted everything at the start of the season. Like my predictions, that looks to be something I got wrong as well but keep up the good work Ben).

Division One plays Division Two in both matches of the League Cup with Chawn Hill Church hosting Dudley Lions and St andrews Netherton travelling to face Delph Athletic. I am playing it safe this week predicting both Division One teams to progress.

Thanks to Stephen Richardson from City Church for being this weeks Prediction Challenger. (Due to the lack of matches I will be asking Stephen to do this again for next weeks games). Current update is that the Prediction Challenge is level at 37 points each.

 

16th November, 2019
Neil Kovacs
League Cup
Chawn Hill Church 2 Dudley Lions 1
Delph Athletic 1 St Andrews Netherton 4
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Stephen Richardson from City Church)
League Cup
Chawn Hill Church 3 Dudley Lions 0
Delph Athletic 1 St Andrews Netherton 3

9 Nov 2019

9th November – ONE MINUTES SILENCE

Remembrance Weekend.

Before we move onto football issues, everyone is reminded that it is Remembrance Weekend and therefore there will be a One Minutes Silence before every match.

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

Only 1 match survived the weather a couple of weeks ago with Clarendon beating League Leaders Saint Michael by 3 goals to 2 moving them back into the top half of the table.

No matches last week as it was decided to postpone them as it clashed with England playing in the Rugby World Cup Final. This was classed as a major sporting event and whether you like rugby or not it was decided that considering all factors it was the correct thing to do.

Onto this week and we have already lost 2 matches to the weather with Rowheath being waterlogged. So City Church vs Corinthians S.K in Division One and Selly Oak Methodist vs Clarendon in the League Cup will need to be rescheduled. This leaves 4 matches with one in Division 2 and 3 League Cup games. My mindset is that I expect all of the matches to fall foul of the weather but hopefully that will also be a forecast I get wrong !

Brierley Hill A.O.G host Dudley Lions and whilst both teams struggle to score I reckon the weather will have an effect on that in this game and go for at least 7 goals in this game with Dudley taking the 3 points.

The League Cup sees St Mary’s travel to face Amblecote Nomads and I only see one winner here with St Mary’s continuing their unbeaten run.

Another unbeaten side, Connect Sports travel to 2nd Division Christ Church Coseley and having netted 30 times in their 5 games so far will fancy their chances of progressing at Christ Churches expense. I can’t really believe I am typing this, but it’s the Cup, so it’s a shock win for me for the home side.

Living Hope Church United host Division 2 leaders, St Thomas’ Aldridge and again, like the previous forecast, I just wonder if the weather will be a leveller. After due consideration and a cup of tea, I have gone with the sensible side of my head and tip St Thomas to progress.

I have asked Andy from Charlemont Star to be this weeks Prediction Challenger again as there was only 1 match played when he did it a couple of weeks ago. (If we lose all the matches again this weekend I think I will hold him back to the end of March before asking again), hahaha.

 

9th November, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 2 Dudley Lions 5
*******
League Cup
Amblecote Nomads 1 St Mary’s 3
Christ Church Coseley 3 Connect Sports 2
Living Hope Church Utd 1 St Thomas’ Aldridge 4
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Andy Wilcoxson from Charlemont Star)
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 Dudley Lions 4
*******
League Cup
Amblecote Nomads 0 St Mary’s 3
Christ Church Coseley 2 Connect Sports 5
Living Hope Church Utd 2 St Thomas’ Aldridge 3

29 Oct 2019

2nd November All Matches Postponed

The decision has been made that ALL W.M.C.F.L matches will be postponed this Saturday, 2nd November, 2019.

25 Oct 2019

25th October

Off for a break this week so unfortunately no time at all for a review and preview. Just a quick mention that Jordan from Monyhull Church got 6 out of 7 matches correct in the prediction challenge last week and I managed to get 5. I did finally manage to get not just 1 but 2 correct scores so last weeks points were 6 for the Club Secretaries and 9 for me making it now 34 points for me and 32 to the Club Secretaries. This weeks challenger is Andy Wilcoxson from Charlemont Star.

(The web site will be updated when time permits this week).

25th October, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 4 Amblecote Nomads 1
Clarendon 2 Saint Michael 1
Connect Sports 3 City Church 0
Corinthians S.K 2 St Andrews Netherton 5
St Mary’s 2 Rowley College 2
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘A’
Brierley Hill A.O.G 2 Living Hope Church Utd 1
Dudley Lions 1 Delph Athletic 2
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘B’
Selly Oak Methodist 1 Christ Church Coseley 3
St Thomas’ Aldridge 2 Monyhull Church 1
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Andy Wilcoxson from Charlemont Star)
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 3 Amblecote Nomads 1
Clarendon 2 Saint Michael 1
Connect Sports 3 City Church 0
Corinthians S.K 0 St Andrews Netherton 2
St Mary’s 3 Rowley College 2
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘A’
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 Living Hope Church Utd 3
Dudley Lions 2 Delph Athletic 4
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘B’
Selly Oak Methodist 1 Christ Church Coseley 5
St Thomas’ Aldridge 3 Monyhull Church 2

 

20 Oct 2019

Match Report – 19th October

Thanks to the ever reliable Pete from Rowley College for his report on yesterday’s match against Clarendon.

Rowley College 2 vs 6 Clarendon

What a strange game football is! We thought we were up for today’s game and the WMCFL’s most consistent challenge, having proved that we have goals and energy and having been competitive in every game this season. Clarendon turned up in drips and drabs with Squadie and Roger on the car park, as we’ve all been at times, checking players in. At the very least this might have made for a sticky start for them but within seven minutes we had committed the most effective self-sabotage I have seen in many a long year. This ultimately unpleasant surprise came a little while after the confirmation that Clarendon had managed to tempt Matty Williams, our former centre back out of retirement. Though slightly taken aback let me officially thank Matt who in his two spells with us (11 starts, 7 goals) always gave total commitment to the cause and was a key member of the team that won the Division 2 championship without defeat (and included our only competitive win against Clarendon in the cup QF).

Matt and Roger did well enough today but more significantly they did a good bit better than our own defenders in key moments. By half time there was nothing to say but at each stage this was about mistakes rather than one side being so much better than another. Clarendon need no encouragement and they have no more consistent supporter of their skill, approach and attitude than me but today we effectively gave them the game while ironically for much of the time giving them a game. Despite Mark’s meticulous preparation this game was lost in four sloppy moments: two needless corners followed by a) free header followed by two non-challenges for 1-0 then b) disaster for Pidd from the inswinging corner: he helped it in. Seven minutes and a mountain to climb which increased when from their first proper attack they scored from a decent shot (though we should have blocked it).

The game then settled down and Matty Suff was just wide with a rasping drive. Half an hour in and it felt like a 1-0 game: CUE our second meltdown. First Savage scored a decent headed goal and then we lost all shape and purpose for five and conceded two more tap ins (properly poor defending). 6-0 by half time was beyond comment. Hayden came on and did well and our decision to hold back the talented Jack Guy for the second half was made to look foolish. Jack was excellent and at the centre of all we did well and better and making a case with Shola (he worked tirelessly) and Brad, who just gets better every week for our m-o-t-m. Winning the second half is no win at all but it’s better than more suffering.

We were more competitive second half and Jack and Shola were involved in Josh neatly finishing to keep his goal in every game run. Then Brad, who gets my m-o-t-m designation threw long and South who had returned from injury as a sub nodded in. Too little too late but plenty to learn. Pidd also made a couple of decent stops which will do him the world of good. Another difficult game next week. All the best as ever to Clarendon and thanks to Andy and his assistants.

19 Oct 2019

19th October

12 hour days at work leaves little time for football stuff and when the little time I actually have is spent dealing with disciplinary issues makes for one very grumpy League Secretary. Such has been my week and with working Saturday as well means virtually no time for me to do my normal review/preview. The individual Fixture Pages have now been updated, as for updating Man Of The Match entries, well I will have to see how I feel when I finish here.

Connect Sports definitely seem to be the team to beat with their 9-1 demolition of Corinthians S.K showing they mean business this season. However, Connect still sit in 2nd place because Saint Michael continued their fine form courtesy of a 2-2 draw with St Mary’s and whilst they did not win this match it appears to show that they are up at the top on merit with some good performances thrown in as well. They come up against Corinthians this week who will be hoping to bounce back from their defeat last week. Can Saint Michael stay at the top ? I reckon they will need to win to do so because Connect play bottom placed Amblecote who lost 4-1 to City Church last week. Amblecote are finding it tough in Division 1 and I do not see it improving this weekend. A harder match for City this week as they face a St Mary’s side looking to maintain their 100 per cent record having won all 4 games played so far. Both of these sides have good defensive records so this may be a close one to call. St Andrews Netherton had a good win over Chawn Hill Church, 5-2. Are they finally performing how I thought they would ? Well, they face Charlemont Star next, who like Chawn, I always consider tough to beat. I don’t think St Andrews can afford to lose another game all season but Charlemont have their own issues to deal with…. the bottom of the table is very interesting this season. I look at the bottom and the 2 most successful teams within the League are currently in the bottom 3. Chawn have had their ups and downs over the 40 years they have been part of the league. However, Clarendon, now that’s a different matter. Having known only success it is so strange seeing them near the bottom of the table with 1 win and 3 defeats in their 4 games so far. A couple of wins quickly changes how you view things though and they come up against the team I predicted to finish bottom in Rowley College ! Whilst Pete’s reports indicate that they are performing well they have still also only managed to win 1 game so far. What I am confident about is that there will definitely be goals aplenty in this match.

The Division Two teams return to league action this week after playing the first round of their Division 2 Cup matches last week. Current leaders, St Thomas’ Aldridge face 2nd placed Delph Athletic and will be looking to get back to winning ways after losing to Christ Church Coseley last week. Delph suffered for me what was a shock defeat to Selly Oak Methodist a couple of weeks ago but returned to winning ways in the Cup beating Living Hope Church United 3-1. I reckon Delph need to win this one if they are to maintain any hope of being Champions. 5 wins out of 5 for St Thomas would really see them setting the pace in Division 2. Monyhull Church, will be interested in the result of that match as they try to stay in touch but they really just need to focus on their own games first. Having beaten Selly Oak Methodist 4-0 in the Cup they now face Dudley Lions who also had a cracking win in the Cup overcoming Brierley Hill A.O.G 6-0, scoring more in that 1 match than in their 4 league games so far. Dudley will be need to maintain their goal scoring prowess of last week to move up the table. Will they though ? The bottom 2 placed teams face each other with Living Hope Church United travelling to face Selly Oak Methodist. Like Dudley, Selly Oak seem to struggle in front of goal whereas Living Hope know where the net is, unfortunately for them though, that applies to both ends of the pitch. Christ Church Coseley host Brierley Hill A.O.G and like Monyhull will also be keeping an eye on the St Thomas vs Delph result. Which Brierley Hill will turn up, the one that struggled last week or the one from 2 weeks ago who battled hard and only just lost ? Christ Church will probably fancy their chances in this game. I am just hoping that should they win I am not on the receiving end of a video being sent to me just after midnight ! The goal was a screamer mind you hahaha

Anyway, if I have missed anyone out apologies, but it’s nearly midnight once again and I have to be up in 5 hours for work.

Tomorrow sees me with a very limited opportunity to update scores, 12.15-12.45. It may be a little while after this that scores get updated.

Last weeks Prediction Challenger, Phil from Corinthians S.K scored 4 points matching my score, so it’s currently 26 – 25 to the Club Secretaries. Thanks to Jordan Armstrong-Sly from Monyhull Church for this weeks challenge.

19th October, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Amblecote Nomads 0 Connect Sports 5
Rowley College 3 Clarendon 2
Saint Michael 3 Corinthians S.K 1
St Andrews Netherton 4 Charlemont Star 1
St Mary’s 2 City Church 1
*******
Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 4 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1
Monyhull Church 1 Dudley Lions 1
Selly Oak Methodist 3 Living Hope Church Utd 2
St Thomas’ Aldridge 2 Delph Athletic 3
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Jordan Armstrong-Sly from Monyhull Church)
Division One
Amblecote Nomads 1 Connect Sports 6
Rowley College 2 Clarendon 3
Saint Michael 2 Corinthians S.K 1
St Andrews netherton 4 Charlemont Star 1
St Mary’s 3 City Church 2
*******
Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 3 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1
Monyhull Church 2 Dudley Lions 1
Selly Oak Methodist 2 Living Hope Church Utd 2
St Thomas’ Aldridge 2 Delph Athletic 0

13 Oct 2019

13th October – Update

First of all, before I start with the actual Match Reports I would like to say a big thank you to Pete, (Rowley College), Steve, (Dudley Lions) and Bob from Christ Church Coseley for sending me their match reports today. I do like to get them in early so that people can have a good read of them on the Sunday, (slightly delayed getting them on here due to other issues, car related). So again, thanks guys.

I’m starting off with the Division 2 Cup games, firstly, the one received from Christ Church Coseley.

St Thomas Aldridge 0 vs 4 Christ Church Coseley

Today’s game saw us take on St Thomas, sitting top of the table, undefeated and scoring goals for fun. We knew we would have to be at our best today. With 2 key players missing, (striker Lewis and gk Lewis) we had to call on Scott to go between the sticks and a swap around with the front saw Mubin back after suspension to go upfront.
The game started with both sides working each other out for the 1st 10 minutes with St Thomas edging the possession. Around 15 minutes in we were forced into an early change as Mubin had to come off. This didn’t unsettle us and after both sides had created some chances St Thomas probably should have taken the lead with a shot going in the top corner, but Scott managed to claw it out and away to keep the scores level. On around 30 minutes after some good play in the midfield the ball was passed out to Chambers on the wing, he beat a player and crossed a dangerous ball into the box which Bob got his head to sending the ball over the keeper and into the net. 1-0. A minute or so later Nas managed to break free on the left cutting into the box he fired across the keeper only to be denied a goal by the post. A few more chances came and went without testing the keeper and our defence kept the busy St Thomas forwards quiet, limiting them to some long range shots.
Ht 0-1

2nd half got under way and St Thomas came out again for the 1st 10 minutes better then us but they still couldn’t find a way past Scott or the back 4. Knowing we can break quick we did exactly that, with Josh picking the ball up just over half way he put in a cross and found Bob at the back post who sent his header past the keeper to make it 0-2. With plenty of time left St Thomas again threatened our goal but once again defence and midfield limited them to what they could do, back up the other end we won a corner, Nas found Clive who nodded the ball on to Bob who’s tame shot was half cleared back to Clive who fired back at the keeper, he saved well but only pushing the ball out to the feet of Craig who tapped in from 3 yards. 0-3 with 20 minutes left of play. St Thomas still didn’t give up but again clearing our lines well the ball found Josh on half way, he passed to Chambers who cut inside onto his right foot and unleashed probably the best goal I’ve seen for years. A good 35 yards out maybe more, bending mid flight and hitting the roof of the net. (The video evidence is worth a watch) that sealed the game for us as St Thomas seemed to lose any hope of a comeback and with 5 minutes left we created a couple of chances but couldn’t add anymore, so at that the ref blew for full time.

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

Second report also comes from the Division Two Cup off Dudley Lions.

Dudley Lions 6 vs 0 Brierley Hill A.O.G 

As relaxed and laid back as we were last week, we were the polar opposite this week.

The pre match talk revolved around reminding the guys that there will be no easy games this season, and a demand was made to treat our opposition, both that day and for future games, with respect but to play with a much higher level of urgency and commitment.

This seemed to do the trick with us flying out of the traps and racing into a 3-0 lead inside the first 15 minutes, with goals from Craig Abbey and a brace from Sam Parkes.

There’s always a problem going so far ahead so soon into the game, but after one or two reminders during breaks in play, the Lions lads listened and continued to control the match till half time and go in with the score 3-0.

The half time talk this week was all about maintaining our tempo and concentration, which to be honest we did, so when George Newton picked up his 4th goal in 6 games to make it 4-0, it was time to make a couple of substitutions and give the players who had put so much in, and who were carrying little niggles, a break and see what the lads on the bench had got to offer.

Additional goals from Connor Edwards and Charlie Davidson allowed us to make further substitutions, and it was great to be able to give a bit of game time to one of those lads, Sam Overfield, who was playing his first competitive game in some time after injuries.

Again, credit must go to Brierley Hill for not laying down completely, and they should really have scored in the dying moments when Lee Ralph rolled back the years and hit a lovely pass through to Robbie Cox who raced through one on one with Josh Davies, but Josh was determined to keep a clean sheet and pulled off a smart save to deny the ‘Hill what would of been a consolation goal.

Onwards and upwards to next week where we make the trek across Birmingham to play Monyhull Church.

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

Final report today moves us back into Division One and over to our ever trusty reporter from Rowley.

Charlemont Star 0 vs 3 Rowley College

This was a very satisfying morning’s work for us against a well-organised and capable Charlemont side. With players returning from injuries and absence we were able to fill the bench with experience and quality and this added a certain momentum to all we did. This was, as ever, a difficult game and the fact that by the close we had deserved a 3-0 score line was testimony to us getting most things right rather than any ease in our victory.

We generally kept faith with last game performances but were happy to be able to welcome Piddy back in goal (he was great today) and to offer Shola a run in his natural 10 role. We know we have goals but at times also a fragility: today the former trumped the latter. Josh and Ben Fowler are already striking up an understanding up top and within minutes Ben had forced a save which Josh couldn’t quite follow up. We were already exerting a good deal of control but Charlemont were always lively and dangerous. Bradley was having another all-action performance at full back involved in everything.

The teams exchanged blows: Fowler shaved the post and Matty Suff crossed dangerously while at the other end Piddy made a good save from a fierce shot. Matty Smith b(now dubbed Dale after his famous father because we have three Matts and all are Matt S) was struggling with a knock and had to make way before half time but Ben Smith alongside him grew into the game to deliver for me a m-o-t-m performance. He started the move that led to the vital first goal, working the ball back to Chris Staien who feinting to play Brad in wide instead drove a lofted pass into the channel to find Josh well clear and just onside. Despite having too much time and a suspicion that he was offside, he kept his head to score his seventh of the season. Ben Smith also played Matty Suff in with a delicious reverse pass but he blazed off as did Josh later when Fin played him in just after coming on. Half time was easy: carry on and reap the rewards of a strong bench but one goal is never enough.

Cue a very good half. Fowler everywhere causing havoc, solid at the back and Ben Smith pulling the strings. Then enter that box of tricks, Jack: a couple of sublime touches then having the confidence to pick up the ball and convert a sure penalty for an unwise challenge. Hayden also came on to impress and after Ben Smith got a deserved goal with a back post header there was even time for the veterans: Southall and O’Reilly. Referee Jack Cutler enhanced the occasion with an excellent performance as did Andy’s lads who played a full part.

12 Oct 2019

12th October, 2019

Connect Sports overcame current leaders. Saint Michael, quite convincingly last week running away 5-0 winners whereas their opposition this week,  Corinthians S.K, suffered the pain of being knocked out of the League Cup on penalties against Monyhull Church. I am going for Connect to continue their fine form with yet another win.

(A special mention for Robert Zaleski the Saint Michael Club Secretary who submitted a match report despite their defeat having not done so in their previous 4 matches, having won them all. It’s nice to see that even in defeat people send in a match report…. although I wouldn’t have minded some reports when they were winning as well hahaha).

Saint Michael face another tough test this week coming up against St Mary’s who I reckon will win, and if Connect also win then we will have 3 teams all on 12 points at the top of the table.

“the attacking players of St Andrews who, with 1 goal in 2 games appear to be a bit like a spent firework ?” Those were my words on the 28th September in Kovacs Kolumn. Well, last weeks 12-3 win over Amblecote Nomads has me wondering if St Andrews Netherton have finally found the answer to their goal scoring issues. I think I will know a little more after they play Chawn Hill Church, who should prove to be a tougher nut to crack. Chawn had a good win in the League Cup last week beating Charlemont Star. I said at the start of the season that I expected them to have a good season. For me this is a very interesting match. I’ve already done my prediction but may well change it by the end of typing this!

Charlemont Star will be looking to bounce back from their defeat and may well fancy their chances against a Rowley College side I had written off pre season. Rowley look to have enough goals in their side to prove me wrong, but at the moment the relegation area for me, will remain interesting until the last match of the season. I reckon Rowley will win this one though.

Amblecote Nomads are finding life tough in Division One being the only team in the whole league to come away with a win. Can they get it this week ? Well, they face City Church who will be riding high in confidence having managed to get their first win last week by beating Clarendon 2-0. Amblecote could get off the bottom of the table with a win but I think they will still be their after tomorrows match. (Thanks to City Church for sending me in their team photo last week, see below. It is also now on their Club Page and it would be nice to get team photos for all teams).

Division 2 teams take a break from their Divisional matches this week but will be busy playing in the Division 2 Cup matches. It was decided to introduce this Competition rather than have them just play each other more times in Divisional fixtures.This week sees the first week of these matches and for those teams that may already be thinking that promotion may be beyond them, the maybe Cup glory is there to be grasped. (Match Result stands at Full Time for the Group Stages… No Extra-Time or Penalties required).

Delph Athletic will be looking to recover what all others would have classed as a shock defeat to bottom placed Selly Oak Methodist last week. Again, thanks to Joshua for his match report which reflects that Selly Oak totally merited their win and that Delph need to up their game. They come up against Living Hope Church United who had a free week last weekend. Like Selly Oak, they are near the wrong end of the table. So could this be 2 surprise results regarding Delph ?

The other match in Group ‘A’ sees a repeat of last weeks fixture where Dudley Lions beat Brierley Hill A.O.G 3-2. Steve from Dudley sent in a match report and once again the insight gained from this leads me to conclude that this is going to be another close match. I am going for a reverse of last weeks match winners.

St Thomas Aldridge stay on top of the League courtesy of Selly Oaks win but the focus now is their Cup game against Christ Church Coseley.  I’ve just clicked into my prediction sheet to see what I had this down for and it was blank ! A draw it is then… hahaha !

An interesting game at Rowheath sees Monyhull Church, fresh from their win over Division One side Corinthians S.K last week face Selly Oak Methodist who got their first win of the season against high flying Delph. I went for a Selly Oak win but I am not sure they travel well ? Wonder what I decided ? Well, the Predictions are below… thanks to Phil Bostock from Corinthians S,K for being this weeks Challenger. I gained 1 point on the Club Secretaries last week scoring 4 points to Steve Helsdons 3, current running total is Club Secs 22, myself, 21.

 

12th October, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Charlemont Star 1 Rowley College 4
Chawn Hill Church 2 St Andrews Netherton 3
City Church 1 Amblecote Nomads 1
Corinthians S.K 1 Connect Sports 3
St Mary’s 3 Saint Michael 1
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘A’
Delph Athletic 2 Living Hope Church Utd 0
Dudley Lions 1 Brierley Hill A.O.G 2
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘B’
Monyhull Church 1 Selly Oak Methodist 2
St Thomas Aldridge 2 Christ Church Coseley 2
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Phil Deeley From Corinthians S.K)
Division One
Charlemont Star 3 Rowley College 1
Chawn Hill Church 1 St Andrews Netherton 3
City Church 4 Amblecote Nomads 2
Corinthians S.K 2 Connect Sports 2
St Mary’s 3 Saint Michael 1
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘A’
Delph Athletic 5 Living Hope Church Utd 2
Dudley Lions 1 Brierley Hill A.O.G 2
*******
Division 2 Cup Group ‘B’
Monyhull Church 3 Selly Oak Methodist 0
St Thomas Aldridge 3 Christ Church Coseley 2

 

 

9 Oct 2019

10th October – More Match Reports

Thank to Joshua, Steve and Robert for their match reports regarding their games.

Delph Athletic 0 – Selly Oak Methodist 1.

We came into this game knowing that the league table didn’t reflect the quality that Selly oak had. We knew we’d be up against a physical side who can get the ball down & play. We also knew we would have to perform much better than we had done in our previous win against Dudley.

Straight from the off it was apparent this was not the case, we spoke before the game about battling in 50/50’s & working for each other off the ball – these simple did not happen for us & the first 10 minutes we were chasing shadows.

Selly oak then found 3 or 4 players unmarked after a corner at our RB position & managed to get a cross in for an unmarked header to fly past our Goalie – 1-0 Selly Oak without even a hint of a challenge from us.

From there our defence grew into the game again but unfortunately for us we never got going.

Selly Oak controlled much of the ball although never again challenged our goal – We finally had a shot on target in the 85th minute when a well marked move found Rich unmarked in the middle but his header didn’t trouble the keeper.

2 weeks running & we have been controlled by our opposition in both games, albeit we haven’t given away many goal scoring opportunities at all.
In truth, this game could have probably played on for another 6 hours & still finished 1-0.

Fair play to Selly Oak who came into this game bottom of the league which isn’t an easy feeling.

Onto the Division 2 cup next week for us & hopefully with a full squad already available we can right some wrongs from this game!

*******

Dudley Lions 3 Brierley Hill AOG 2

I wrote in a previous report from our recent game against Brierley Hill how hard working they are with that good old fashioned ‘never say die’ attitude. Add that attitude to another couple of signings, notably Nathan Flavel, and youve got yourself a proper handful of a busy team.

The ‘Hill have combined a great mix of experience, mostly the back four and centre mids, with an energetic front line to go with their persistant chasing wingers.

We spoke before the start of the game about the importance of pushing for goals to reward our play (we have lost games despite being in front) so to start off reasonably well and take a 2-0 lead through Craig Abbey and George Newton was the reaction l was after.

However, someone forgot to tell Brierley Hill to surrender, because surrender they most certainly did not!

Urged on by an enthusiastic bench and management, they managed to pull one back just before half-time with Nathan Flavel running on to a smart through ball and dispatching the ball neatly.

A few minutes into the 2nd half and the ‘Hill were back level, game on!

Our boys then decided to wake up a bit and put into action what we’d spoke about at half time, and we were rewarded with what turned out to be the winner after a period of dominant play, where George Newton decided to smash his shot against the bar from a yard out, then nearly take off the eventual scorers head, Connor Edwards, who responded quickly to the rebound.

I’ve said it before, and l will say it again, Brierley Hill are not a team to be underestimted this season, as we did at times admittedly, and l am sure the remaining games against them will be just as interesting as the first 2 have been.

*******

Saint Michael 0 vs 5 Connect Sports

I have not written single report for ages now but I feel like I want to write this time. We did not win the game so that is not to show glory of our good game and earning points more likely is to point that in my opinion we have meet next league winners.
Saturday morning weather was perfect to play football no rain no high winds what we was expected. We come out to this game with 3 players missing from our starting team due they went for week holiday to Poland yet we come out with good team to try fight for point.
First 10 min of the game was time where both teams was checking on each other but Connect Sport create in that time 3 great chances to start scoring spread but they was not able to finish it off our goalkeeper hold the ground and save them or they miss target.
We played defensive and counter attacks. Where we found our few chances but we were unable to finish it off as well. They best player on pitch number 16 Liam was tearing apart our defense on right on left on middle it was hard to keep him away from ball. He have create most of Connect Sport chances yet none of them scored. 10 min before first half we have conceived first goal but not from mistake or great Connect Sport passing but from little shoot on goal that was deflected by their player and went in between goalkeeper and 2 players that were standing on line. First half finished in small 0:1 to Connect Sport and we were hoping to come back in 2nd half with something to score.

Once we started 2nd half we started to push a bit more and try to take ball away quicker then in first half and we manage to find few mistake from opposition but yet we couldn’t pass thier good defense or goalkeeper. Best chance came when goalkeeper spit out ball in 5 yard box and Patryk Jasicki was first to get there but his shoot was across goal 1 yard away from goal line and no one near to put leg in. First subs and more push but that finished bad for us we open up to much and Connect Sport players found more space up front and there we go few few kick ball bounced around goal and bag with goal open up for good. Finally their best player scored as well when he found him self on front of empty goal when ball deflected by goal keeper went straight on his head. This is big time lesson for us yet after good start of the season that no one was ready for. I wish Connect Sport all the best and I think they will win the league this year.

In week time we are going to meet ST Mary and there will be another hard game but lets hope we will give a go and carry on with winning.

4 Oct 2019

4th October – Review and Predictions

A shorter review and preview this week.

Last week saw Saint Michael overcome St Andrews Netherton 4-3 to maintain their impressive 100% start to the season. They come up against Connect Sports this week and should they win that then must start coming under consideration for the title. It’s early days in the season but are they the new Leicester City. Connect probably need to get something from this game to enhance their title credentials. I will be awaiting this result with a lot of interest.

Amblecote Nomads had their first win of their season snatched away from them with the last kick of the game last week when drawing 3-3 with Rowley College. The last kick of the game being a penalty for Rowley to grab a point. However, it’s their first point of the season, now, can they build on it against St Andrews Netherton ? It may be a bit early in the season to clash this as a relegation clash but both teams sit at the bottom of the table, so yes, at this moment in time this could be a decisive match for either side.

It’s unusual to see Clarendon lose such has been their dominance of recent seasons. But like the leaves falling off the trees when Autumn comes around maybe this is the wrong season for them having already lost 2 games out of their 3 matches so far. They travel to face City Church but my mind has wandered off from the match and quickly thought ‘will the games at Rowheath be on with all the rain we have had’ ?  I hope so. City Church are also languishing near the bottom having 1 point from their 2 games. Having looked at that I am mindful to change my prediction ! Bit no, I will stick with it.

Just one game in Division Two sees Selly Oak Methodist host Delph Athletic and again I wonder if this will be played. Selly Oak are continuing to struggle whilst Delph will be looking to take advantage that other Clubs near the top are not playing in the League. I think that they will be out on their own at the top after tomorrows matches.

Only 4 Divisional matches being played because the road to the League Cup Final starts this weekend. The First Round sees 3 fixtures being scheduled so that the next round will consist of 16 teams. The Second Round has already been drawn and is visible on the League Cup Page in the Fixtures/Results Section.

Brierley Hill A.O.G had a convincing win last week and none more so than Nathan Flavell who scored all 6 of the Hill’s goals. When you have someone who knows where the net is you are never out of contention. Again, having written this I am mindful to change my forecast. Last week saw Dudley Lions team talk fail regarding keeping an eye on prolific strikers. Do so again and they will not be progressing.

We do have a Division One versus Division Two tie in newly promoted Corinthians S.K hosting Monyhull Church. Corinthians have settled well in Division one and last weeks 5-2 win over Clarendon will give then lots of confidence going into this match. I mentioned about goal scorers earlier and Monyhull do possess a goal scoring threat. Another game that has me now thinking that maybe I should do my write up before my predictions !

The last match in the Cup sees last seasons losing finalists, Charlemont Star host Chawn Hill Church who have won the Cup numerous times but the last time being back in the year 2000. I think this will be very tight game.

Last weeks challenger, Steve Knight from Chawn beat me 4-3 meaning the Club Secretaries currently lead 19-17.

Thanks to Steve Helsdon for being this weeks Prediction Challenger.

 

4th October, 2019
Neil Kovacs
League Cup
Charlemont Star 1 Chawn Hill Church 2
Corinthians S.K 3 Monyhull Church 1
Dudley Lions 2 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1
*******
Division One
Amblecote Nomads 2 St Andrews Netherton 4
City Church 2 Clarendon 2
Saint Michael 1 Connect Sports 3
*******
Division Two
Selly Oak Methodist 0 Delph Athletic 4
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Steve Helsdon from St Thomas’ Aldridge)
League Cup
Charlemont Star 2 Chawn Hill Church 1
Corinthians S.K 4 Monyhull Church 2
Dudley Lions 3 Brierley Hill A.O.G 0
*******
Division One
Amblecote Nomads 2 St Andrews Netherton 5
City Church 0 Clarendon 3
Saint Michael 2 Connect Sports 3
*******
Division Two
Selly Oak Methodist 1 Delph Athletic 4

 

4 Oct 2019

4th October – Match Report

Gremlins with the web site meant I was unable to publish the following match report which was received in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Thanks to Steve Rose from Dudley Lions for his continued reports.

Delph Athletic 2 vs 0 Dudley Lions

After playing Delph 4 times last year, we came into our 4th game this season with both teams having conceded only 4 goals each so we sure were looking forward to this one.

After an initial cagey spell with both teams finding their feet, then Delph took an early lead following a deep freekick to an unmarked Ed Sutton who smartly dispatched his shot into the net, not the ideal start to a game, especially when your pre match talk was all about keeping it tight for the first 15 minutes and not letting players the quality of Ed see much of the ball!

We pretty much, yet again, dominated the remainder of the 1st half, but a lack of a good old fashioned ‘gamble’ form the forward line meant several crosses went into the box but no one to tuck them away.

Second half was a fairly evenly contested piece, but yet again our attempts to pull back the equaliser were proving to be elusive.

When you’re playing a team like Delph, whose forwards can sometimes pressure you into mistakes, you try to keep things tight, not give the ball away…..unfortunately, one or two of our boys missed that memo!

The 2nd, and decisive, goal came courtesy of one such pressurised mistake. After losing the ball, the Delphs forward burst through one on one with Josh, who saved smartly only for the rebound to fall to Ed Sutton again (the player we said to try and keep quiet!) who tucked it away.

Despite that goal, we tried get back into the game, but the Delphs defensive line and game management held strong, and the score ended 2-0.

Onwards and upwards, Cup football next, with us playing host to Brierley Hill AOG

1 Oct 2019

1st October – Match Reports

Thanks to Pete Bennett from Rowley for the following report.

Rowley College 3 vs 3 Amblecote Nomads

I was off teaching this morning so missed another exciting game involving our lads. Here then is a summary of three accounts (Mark, Chris and Dale).

Two competitive teams shared 6 goals. We thought we had the best of it but Nomads both defended well and were efficient in front of goal (3 goals from 4 chances).

We were once again rather patched up and missing our keeper: thanks to Jamie for standing in and doing well.

Matt Smith impressed on his first start alongside Ben Smith.

We opened the scoring up the slope with Josh bagging his 6th in 4 starts. They scored a ‘rifled’ equaliser but we continued to press. Chris made a mistake common these days in the Premier League by playing too much across the back and finding only their centre forward then Joe equalised with a long ball forward which evaded everyone (comedy of errors). There was some controversy late on (no criticism of the ref or our opponents) around the award of a free kick which led to their third goal. This led to us trying out the sin bin (X2) and attempting a recovery with 9 men. But we did. Last minute penalty which Ben Fowler converted (for 3 in 3 this season). Breathless stuff.

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

Also my thanks go to Joshua Briley from Delph Athletic for this match report.

Delph Athletic 2 vs 0 Dudley Lions 

We came into this game off the back of 3 wins out of 3. In all of those games we have conceded within the first 10 minutes & found ourselves behind so we were keen to buck the trend at the 4th time of asking against Dudley.

We played Dudley 4 times last season & knew that we would encounter a tight game. They are a big physical team that can play the ball around on the ground but are also highly dangerous when their deep lying playmaker starts to ping balls over the top of a defence.

The game started quite slowly in the first few minutes, we then won a free kick just inside the Dudley half which was whipped in by Grant Esp to the back post where an unmarked Ed Sutton took it first time on the volley to make it 1-0.

From there, Dudley controlled the whole of the first half, although our back 4 reduced them to only being able to make chances from shots from distance.

The second half continued much like the first with Dudley controlling the ball & not letting us play football at all with some relentless pressing & tracking back, much like the first half though, our defence stayed resolute & Dudley never really had a clear goal scoring opportunity.

With around 15 minutes to go Nat Harding then tackled a Dudley defender who had the ball at his feet & burst away towards the Dudley goal, he rifled a left footed shot from the left side of the box across the keeper who saved really well, only for the ball to fall at the feet of Ed Sutton who tapped it home to make it 2-0.

The game played out in the same manner, we just couldn’t really get started at all in the game but luckily for us we defended well for the full 90 minutes to earn a much deserved first clean sheet of the season.

29 Sep 2019

29th September – Match Report

Christ Church Coseley 4 vs 1 Living Hope Church United

After a poor performance last week we knew today we would need to step it up and although Living Hope Church United lost heavily last week we knew that no two weeks are ever the same at this level or in this league..

We started well with some good attacks down both wings finally paid off when Chambers got free on the right to cross for Bob who made it 1-0 inside 10 minutes.
We were awarded a free kick after their goalkeeper handled outside of the penalty area with the resulting free kick taken going narrowly wide from Screeny.
It could have been 2-0 when again a ball across the box fell to Bob 10 yards out only for his shot to be sent back out to the wing. Around 25 mins in and once again down the right Lewis Beardmore latched onto a ball through from Jordy to finish in the bottom corner to make it 2-0. 40 mins in and it was 3-0. A throw in from Jordy falling to Lewis B who managed to turn and fire the ball past the stranded their keeper, a very neat finish considering he had his back to goal and 3 defenders on him. We kept pushing and every attack we had we looked dangerous with Chambers very nearly finding the net with a scorpion kick that went inches over, as the ht approached we got to about a minute before ht another ball across the box found Bob again back post with what looked like a simple finish only for him to get his feet on the wrong legs (in the words of Paul Merson) and somehow managed to put the ball wide.
Ht 3-0

2nd half started with Living Hope Church United coming out a lot stronger and created a few more chances but not much troubled the keeper until a lack of concentration and maybe the laziness we saw last week snook in and lhc found the back of the net. 3-1.
This woke us up again and after a few more good attempts and attacks came to nothing. We thought we had a good shout for a penalty, we thought our player had been brought down when Bob had rounded the keeper in a 1 on 1 situation but the match officials saw it differently.
The game was then sealed when for the 3rd time Jordy found Lewis B in the box and he made no mistake firing the ball across the keeper into the bottom corner to complete a well deserved hat-trick. A few more missed chances came (mainly Bob who still had his feet on the wrong legs) and the ref called time on a game that had started to fizzle out on the last 10 minutes.
4-1 ft.

We wish lhc all the best and now go into a weeks break to regroup and maybe some extra shooting practice for myself.

28 Sep 2019

28th September

Well, now I am a year older I wonder if it will make me wiser and help with my predictions. At the moment it’s not looking too good.

I tipped St Andrews Netherton to win Division One and even though it is early in the season I think that last weeks thumping at the hands of Connect Sports, (who I tipped to be second), has left St Andrews to be a little bit like Tottenham in the Premiership… looking from afar at the title. However, unlike Tottenham, St Andrews could still muster a tilt for the title but their game today is a must win for them and it’s not an easy task with top of the table Saint Michael their visitors. They have played 3, winning all of them by a 1 goal margin, maintaining their good defensive form with another clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Amblecote Nomads last week. They are not a free scoring team and like the Arsenal team of yesteryear seem to be building their season on a strong defence. Will it hold up against the attacking players of St Andrews who, with 1 goal in 2 games appear to be a bit like a spent firework ?

2 games played, 11 goals scored and 6 points in the bag with a big victory in my eyes last week smashing 6 past St Andrews. This is a strong start from Connect Sports, although they did ship in 4 goals in their first match. Is this the Kevin Keegan version of Newcastle United in our League? We will just set out to score loads and see how we do in defence? They come up against a normally resilient team in Charlemont Star who did not play last week. Charlemont have however conceded 5 goals in in their 2 games so far. Should Saint Michael slip up in their game Connect will be waiting to claim top spot in a match where I think they will carry on in their free scoring play.

St Mary’s will also have their eyes fixed on top spot having also played 2, won 2 and in the process overcoming Clarendon a couple of weeks ago. Has my tip for them to finish 5th got them fired up right from the off this season? They host Chawn Hill Church who admitted getting off to a slow start in their first match, a defeat against Corinthians S.K but bounced back with a 3-2 win over City Church last week. If Chawn want to continue progressing into one of the upper echelon of clubs then they simply have to start winning these games but I am certain St Mary’s will see it as a chance to show that they are still one of the main contenders in this Division. Having netted 3 times in both of their games so far this season you simply cannot write them off.

Out of the two promoted teams Corinthians S.K are doing slightly better having managed to get 3 points out of their 3 matches. They lost their first game 1-0 to current league leaders Saint Michael, then beating Chawn as mentioned above. However, last week was a bit of an awakening as they lost 4-1 to Rowley College who in doing so also managed to get their first 3 points of the season. Corinthians come up against a Clarendon side who did not play last week but will be keen to stay in touch with the teams currently at the top. They should still be within striking distance after this match.

Pete’s weekly  match reports for Rowley College suggest that they have a vibrant but experienced side when everyone is fit and I know Pete is keen to prove my prediction for them to finish bottom totally wrong. they face the only pointless team in Division 1 hosting Amblecote Nomads who seem to be struggling with the step up from Division Two. Played 3, lost 3, 2 goals for and 7 against is Amblecote Nomads record so far and they are coming up against a team who know where the net is, having scored 10 in their 3 matches. A glimmer of hope for Amblecote is that Rowley have also let in 9 goals in those 3 matches but my mind takes me back to the scene in ‘Return Of The King’ when Pippin asks Gandalf if there was any hope for Frodo. HIs reply ‘There never was much hope, just a fool’s hope’  Frodo actually came out on top ! Will Amblecote ?

Not to be outdone by Connect and Rowleys goal scoring prowess in Division One, St Thomas’ Aldridge are absolutely smashing the net so far this season bagging 20 goals in their 3 matches hammering 10 past Living Hope Church United last week. This has also helped them to 3 wins from 3 and because of their ability to find the net means they sit top on goal difference. Next in line for the juggernaut that is St Thomas are Monyhull Church who also know where the net is having scored 10 goals in their 3 games. It’s an interesting game this one. If Monyhull win it tightens things up at the top but if St Thomas win they would create a little bit of breathing space at the top. Can Monyhull stop the juggernaut?

One team who will be keenly looking at the result of the above match are Delph Athletic who currently sit between both teams in 2nd place. Like St Thomas’ they also have a 100% record beating Monyhull in the first game of the season in the process. 3,3,4, no that’s not their formation, (well I don’t think so anyway), but that is the amount of goals Delph have scored in their games, so again, another team who know where the net is. Their 4-1 win last week was against Christ Church Coseley but if Bob’s match report for Christ Church was anything to go on it’s hard to judge that result. Delph host Dudley Lions who managed to get their first 3 points of the season last week with a win over Brierley Hill AOG, the previous week though they narrowly lost 1-2 to St Thomas so they appear to be quite good defensively. Delph will be looking to push on but like Monyhull, Dudley could make it really interesting at the top should they win.

Living Hope Church United have basically been blown away in their last 2 matches letting in 10 against St Thomas last week and 5 the previous week against Monyhull and yet it started so good with a 6-0 win over Brierley Hill AOG in their first week of the season. As mentioned above, Christ Church Coseley were poor last week losing 1-4 to Delph and like Bob who wrote the report I personally expected better than that, especially as I tipped them for the title. Well for those that know these names, Velma, Daphne, Fred and Shaggy you will know that there is one missing and like the result of this match I haven’t got a Scooby Doo !

Two teams with zero points so far face each other so that situation will change. Brierley Hill AOG, coming off a 0-3 defeat to Dudley Lions play Selly Oak Methodist who lost 1-3 to Monyhull Church. This is a weird one to judge because between then they have let 23 goals but only scored 3. Which will come out on top at the end of the game ? The defensive side of each team or the attacking side ? Yet another Scooby Doo match for me.

So, a couple of Scooby Doo matches for me but I am unsure on what this weeks Prediction Challenger makes of all the games above. How I do mine is to do the write up first, then do my predictions and only then look at the challengers forecasts. Thanks to Steve Knight from Chawn Hill Church who sent me his predictions in on Thursday. (It’s been bugging me all day looking at 1 unread message on my phone) finally I can open it at 2.20 am Saturday morning !

28th September, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Clarendon 4 Corinthians S.K 1
Rowley College 5 Amblecote Nomads 0
Connect Sports 4 Charlemont Star 0
St Andrews Netherton 3 Saint Michael 1
St Marys 3 Chawn Hill Church 2
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 Selly Oak Methodist 3
Christ Church Coseley 4 Living Hope Church Utd 3
Delph Athletic 2 Dudley Lions 2
Monyhull Church 2 St Thomas’ Aldridge 3
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Steve Knight from Chawn Hill Church)
Division One
Clarendon 4 Corinthians S.K 1
Rowley College 3 Amblecote Nomads 2
Connect Sports 3 Charlemont Star 1
St Andrews Netherton 1 Saint Michael 1
St Marys 1 Chawn Hill Church 2
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 2 Selly Oak Methodist 1
Christ Church Coseley 3 Living Hope Church Utd 1
Delph Athletic 2 Dudley Lions 1
Monyhull Church 3 St Thomas’ Aldridge 4

 

 

27 Sep 2019

All things WMCFL – 27th September

Frantic week means that this is the first chance I have had of sitting down at my computer and getting anything done. It’s just gone midnight so it’s now the early hours of September 27th. A very special day for me as it’s my Birthday and to quote Kool And The Gang ”

There’s a party goin’ on right here
A celebration to last throughout the years
So bring your good times, and your laughter too
We gonna celebrate your party with you

Well, if you class being awake at this time playing catch up and having a computer and cup of tea as a party then I am living the high life hahaha. At least I can make myself chuckle, whereas the first match report received last week came from Bob of Christ Church Coseley who definitely did not enjoy their match last weekend.

Delph Athletic 4 vs 1 Christ Church Coseley

Hi Neil just a short report this evening as I cant find much good from our game today.

A goal from new signing Clive was pretty much all I can say was good about us today. Delph were not in a football match today, more of a light training session and fully deserved the win. A good bunch of lads and although ourselves have been tipped to win the league, unless we pull our fingers out I can see it being a 2 horse race between St Thomas and Delph themselves. (Looking forward to that fixture as well)

As for us, Slow. Lazy. Poor. Lack of communication lack of effort No team work cost us today, a goal for Clive on his debut and some solid defending means he stood out for me today. Onto next week.

I was going to edit it as I thought it maybe harsh and may not help team spirit. However, on reflection I thought no, this shows a chap who is gutted about a defeat and the manor of it. He may be right, he may be wrong about the teams effort on the day. No doubt that will be a conversation for inside their dressing room. But the bloke sounds gutted and like him, most of us that have participated in the league over many years will know exactly how he feels.

I also received a report for the same game off Mark Harrison for Delph. This came via what’s app which I then had to send to messenger and then forward to my email. (Please just email me Match Reports)!

Delph started slowly, like all the games so far this season allowing Christ Church to get on the ball early in the game. After Christ Church sent a few balls into the box and not dealt with effectively by Delph, Christ Church finally broke the deadlock when it was put back into our own box instead of being cleared under little pressure.

From this moment Delph seemed to grow into the game and found a lot of space moving the ball round the pitch. After 2 penalty shouts were turned down, the ref gave one, which Ed Sutton scored, putting the ball past the keeper who dived the right way.

Delph kept playing with the ball on the floor and causing Christ Church a lot of problems, this time the build up wasn’t very pretty as the ball bounced back off Ed when played forward but fell kindly to Brad Robert’s about 30 yards out which he took a touch and hit a half volley lobbing the keeper into the top corner. It’s early in the season but may be a contender for goal of the season.

Delph started the second half the way they finished the first with lots of possession and chances. Free kick was whipped in from the right hand side which was flicked on by Centre back Joel Gooding and finished at the back post by Rich Esp.

The 2 goal cushion seemed to open the game up which allowed for Nat Harding to come on as sub and use his pace. Scoring with a neat finish after a flick on from Rich Esp

The next Match Report came off Pete from Rowley College.

Rowley College 4 vs 1 Corinthians S.K

I have been married for 35 years and have been involved with running Rowley for 28, having one more child (4) than Rowley have trophies (3). I offer this information because today I was reminded of the benefits of long term relationships in terms of providing a sense of perspective and history. Today I was stood on the touchline with one of Rowley’s founding fathers and one of the most significant players of our first decade Dale Smith (82 goals in 160 starts) on the occasion of his son Matt’s debut for Rowley. We now play at Holly Lodge (where Dale used to teach a lifetime ago) which is a stone’s throw from West Smethwick Park where Dale and I played in a team with a young Mark Southall in Rowley’s first successful semi-final (4-1 vs AFC Zion: Dale scored). When I mentioned it, Dale provided the date verbatim: 8th Feb 1997: what a memory for football? No, Matt was born the very next day!

Anyway, the game rose to its historic occasion. Once again we were patched up having to call on retired anchor-man David Burke, a popular character who steadied things in the middle and provided protection for an under strength back four who nevertheless looked very solid. We were up against Corinthians’ youthful well-organised side, who were terrific in attitude, movement and technique. They are a good side and this game could have been very different had we not scored at exactly the right times. This was predicated on our potent attacking threat of Jack, Brad, Fowler and Josh. Josh has been our most consistent performer this season, a model of power, skill and control (Ben Fowler said he was unplayable today) and might have been our m-o-t-m in all three games. The opposition gave it to him today but I am going to make him wait because Fin was unbelievable today in centre mid!

The case for Josh starts with his involvement in all four of our goals. The vital early goal came via a free kick expertly delivered to Josh’s head and then knocked down to Ben Fowler to finish. Cue great response from Corinthians which made our second just before half time also timely. Good work by Lance and Jack led to Brad clipping it back and Josh’s challenge allowing Ben to pop in his second. There was no complacency at half time, since we’d played well in all of our games with nothing to show.

The second half was Josh’s. He crashed in the needful third and with Jack and Ben was involved in everything. We made changes. Brad swapped to full back and was just as good. Matt Smith had a classy debut, tidy but he’ll need to be more vocal: Matty Suff had a good run down the left; Adam was tidy this time as full back and Ken had a terrific run up top. By then Josh had ghosted in for his second and had volleyed in what might have been a great hat trick but it was flagged offside. They also stole in for a deserved goal: they played well and were always a handful and that was it. Dale was impressed, particularly with our forwards and he knows a thing or two about that and his lad had enjoyed his debut. All the best to Corinthians who were a credit to the league and to the officials.

The last match report received came off Steve from Dudley Lions.

Dudley Lions 3 vs 0 Brierley Hill AOG

At the third time of asking, the lions finally picked up our first 3 points of the season, and our first clean sheet since March 2nd last season (against Delph Athletic….who we have next week).

After narrow defeats in our first two games, it was understandable that the lads started off the game with a little apprehension, so it was good to see us keeping the ball for decent periods of the game.

The deadlock was broken midway through the first half with a neat finish in the penalty area from a corner, scored by George Newton.

George then thought he’d added to his total 5 minutes later with a lovely piece of control just on the penalty spot, only to place his shot wide of the post. The same player forced the keeper into an absolute class save a few moments later, getting down to his right and palming the ball round the post for a corner.

After another period of good possession football, debutant Connor Edwards then finished neatly to send us into the break 2-0 to the good after some good play from captain Adam Davies Schucke, who won pretty much everything in the middle of the park against Brierley Hills veteran Lee Ralph.

Brierley Hill made a couple of changes 2nd half which did bring about a decent period or two of play from them, one in particular when another regular old face, Mark Smith, found himself free in the box, only for Terry Shaw to pull off a smart save.

After making a couple of substitutions ourselves, it was the turn of young Charlie Davidson to race on to a through ball midway through the 2nd half to finish smartly to make it 3-0.

We’ve played Brierley Hill more times than any other team in the WMCFL and, coupled with their semi mergence with the now folded Excel from last season, they are always a credit to those associated with the team in their never say die attitude, a credit to the league.

This was proven when, in the dying moments of the game, their keeper had to leave the field of play due to injury and, such was Brierley Hills determination to see the game out, an outfield player volunteered to go between the sticks for the final few minutes.

Huge thanks again to our opponents for cleaning up after themselves both on and off the pitch.

So, that’s the Match Reports done and once again, many thanks to all the contributors who do this, my apologies it has taken me until now to get them on here this week.

Pete from Rowley was the Prediction Challenger for last last week, how did he fare and did he beat me? Well, we both got 5 matches correct but failed to get any correct scores. Steve Knight from Chawn Hill Church is this weekends challenger.

It’s nearly 1am and whilst I am tempted to just put the predictions out there I really do want to try and do a review of last weekends matches and a preview for this weekend. Not sure that there will be time for that, being my Birthday and all that, (have I mentioned it yet)? But, I will try my very best to get these done, so once again it may be a late one done in the early hours of the morning.

As for now, time for bed then work.

I really do think that there should be a New Law passed where you do not have to go to work on your Birthday. Maybe an online petition for the future… hahaha.

20 Sep 2019

Prediction Challenge – 21st September

Poor form for myself last week only getting 2 out of 7 matches correct. Steve Rose from Dudley Lions fared slightly better scoring 3.

St Mary’s and Saint Michael sit at the top of Division 1 both with 2 wins out of 2 to maintain their 100 per cent record. St Mary’s had a very good win against Clarendon whilst Saint Michael beat Rowley College. Chawn Hill Church got their season underway but Corinthians S.K made sure it was not to be a bright start for them to this season by beating them 2-1. Amblecote Nomads were on the wrong end of the result in their match against Charlemont Star meaning their start to life in Division 1 this season has started with 2 defeats. Division Two also sees 2 team with 2 wins out of 2, St Thomas’ Aldridge and Delph Athletic both have 6 points but St Thomas’ goal difference is far superior. They had a good win over Dudley Lions last week whilst Delph had a steady win over Brierley Hill AOG. Monyhull Church had a very convincing win away to Living Hope Church United to get their first win of the season. I won’t ignore the fact that there was 1 abandoned game, (Selly Oak Methodist vs Christ Church Coseley), suffice to say that a full investigation into this is already underway.

We now move onto matches played tomorrow and I will start with Saint Michael. Can they maintain their impressive start to their season, take advantage of St Mary’s not playing and move clear at the top of the table ? They come up against Amblecote Nomads who are chasing their first points of the season. It would be easy to predict a Saint Michael win and I am going for that.

Connect Sports are the only other team who can maintain their 100 per cent record but are away to St Andrews Netherton in what I classed pre season as the 2 teams that would be competing for the title. St Andrews got a point in their first match and they will need to improve on that should they believe they could be possible title winners. Connect would be 5 points clear of St Andrews should they win and that is a huge incentive. I’m not certain about this one, but have to go with a St Andrews win if my tip for the title is going to stand a chance of coming true.

Rowley College, another team looking to get their first points of the season come up against Corinthians S.K who beat Chawn Hill Church last week to get their season up and running. If Rowley can get their full team out I reckon they will achieve their aim of getting their first points of the season.

The last match in Division One sees Chawn Hill Church host City Church, like Amblecote and Rowley, Chawn also have zero points and will want to change that. City Church got a good point against St Andrews in their only game so far and will regret not taking all 3 with a missed penalty in the second half. I class both teams as being what I would call ‘solid and efficient’ and with this in mind I am going for a draw.

Leaders St Thomas, (who I tipped to finish 5th), have got off to a flying start, which will look more promising if they overcome their opponents tomorrow, Living Hope Church United. There has been a lot of goals in both Living Hope’s matches, I think this will continue tomorrow and I also predict St Thomas will remain top continuing their 100 per cent record.

Delph Athletic, (who have also won both their matches), will be looking to go top should St Thomas slip up. They face Christ Church Coseley who will be looking to stay in touch with the current top two teams. I am going for a score draw here.

Two teams looking to get their first points of the season come face to face with Dudley Lions hosting Brierley Hill A.O.G. Dudley have lost both of their games 2-1, losing their first game with the last kick of the game. Brierley Hill, have problems defensively having let in 9 goals so far this season. I only see one outcome here with a comfortable Dudley Lions win.

The last game sees Monyhull Church play Selly Oak Methodist and Monyhull have already proven they have goals within their team. Selly Oak let in 8 in their first match of the season versus St Thomas and I think their defence will struggle again tomorrow. It’s a Monyhull win for me.

So, what scores have I gone for and what does this weeks challenger go for. Thanks to Pete Bennett from Rowley College for his predictions this week. Also a quick thank you to all of those that continue to send in match reports, Pete does this week in week out, win, lose or draw. I hope others continue like this.

21st September, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 2 City Church 2
Rowley College 4 Corinthians S.K 2
Saint Michael 3 Amblecote Nomads 1
St Andrews Netherton 3 Connect Sports 1
*******
Division Two
Delph Athletic 2 Christ Church Coseley 2
Dudley Lions 5 Brierley Hill A.O.G 0
Monyhull Church 3 Selly Oak Methodist 0
St Thomas’ Aldridge 4 Living Hope Church Utd 2
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Pete Bennett from Rowley College)
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 2 City Church 2
Rowley College 4 Corinthians S.K 3
Saint Michael 2 Amblecote Nomads 1
St Andrews Netherton 3 Connect Sports 3
*******
Division Two
Delph Athletic 3 Christ Church Coseley 2
Dudley Lions 2 Brierley Hill A.O.G 2
Monyhull Church 4 Selly Oak Methodist 2
St Thomas’ Aldridge 3 Living Hope Church Utd 1

18 Sep 2019

1 More Match Report – 18th September

Thanks to Steve from Dudley Lions for this match report.

Dudley Lions 1 vs 2 St Thomas’ Aldridge

After a little spot of gardening, (vandalised pitch, gotta love the locals), we finally got to start our 2nd match of the season against high scoring St Thomas Aldridge.

For the second game running we took the lead midway through the first half and again, at times, looked comfortable on the ball, but we found ourselves pegged back by St Thomas’s very busy front line, particularly their number 10, so it was no surprise when we found ourselves going in at half time 1-1 after a lightning counter attack caught us napping.

The 2nd half saw us again dominate for long periods, only for us to fall behind 2-1 after 55 minutes. St Thomas, having made all their substitutions, then saw one of their subs injure himself and thus had to play the remainder of the game with 10 men. This should have made life easier for us and surely meant we would not only equalise, but possibly go on to claim all 3 points, but resolute defending, poor finishing and the crossbar went on to prove otherwise.

Big thanks to Steve and his lads for the game today, and I’d also like to say a further thank you to St Thomas for clearing up after themselves both on the pitch and in the changing rooms, it was a massive help.

17 Sep 2019

Match Reports 14th September

Hectic weekend where family issues took priority over the web site. Tried updating as much as possible when I had some free time, (not a lot). Just a couple of match reports this week which is disappointing after the amount we had last week. Hopefully this will improve over the coming weeks.

Delph Athletic were the first to send in a match report early on Sunday morning. Many thanks to Joel Gooding who was their captain on the day.

Delph Athletic 3 vs 1 Brierley Hill A.O.G

2 Games so far this season, 2 goals conceded In the first 2 minutes of the game, 2 missed penalties, but ultimately, 2 Wins from 2.

It was a very sloppy start from the Delphs, conceding in the opening exchange down the left with a complete lapse in concentration and communication in the box leading to a simple finish for the Brierley Hill striker well taken in the corner.

The first half continued to be quite a slow half which lacked energy and chances – broken up with lots of niggly fouls.
Halfway through the half Nat slipped through to Rich who crossed it to the back post where Will finished it nicely to bring the scores level. The next best chance of the half came when Nat turned there defender got tripped and won a penalty.
Nat stepped up and scuffed a shocking penalty wide of the the right post.

The start of the second half wasn’t much better, with Delph lacking sharpness and Brierley Hill camped on the edge of their box allowing pressure with nothing coming from it. With around 15 minutes to go intricate play led to Nat slipping into the box and driving the ball across the box which Ed gambled on and finished well at the back post. From then Delph were very much in control, and no communication between the Brierley Hill centre half and goalkeeper led to Nat chipping the ball over the defender and finishing into an open goal. All in all a lot to improve on for Delph in the next game but a well battled win and a deserved 3 points.

Grant Esp was our Iconics UK Man of the Match.

Tough few games coming up starting with Christchurch Coseley this coming Saturday.

*******

Second match report gomes from ever reliable Pete Bennett of Rowley College.

Rowley College 2 vs 3 Saint Michael

Very different game from last week despite the similar outcome. We really are suffering the most appalling injury crisis at the time you least expect it at the very start of the season and with a couple of lads unavailable (including Fowler) and one no-show we were sadly pushed beyond our limits today. That is to take nothing away from St Michael, who beat us for the first time this morning: they are a good side and were ruthless in front of goal while we were strangely laboured.

Thankfully we welcomed Piddy back in goal but defensively were missing three of our best defensive players: South, Kev and Clive. This was then confounded when our best defensive player Chris Stain tweaked an existing thigh strain after only five minutes: how he lasted the 90 at the level he did was miraculous and without him this would have been a stuffing, methinks! Trouble was when one of our starters didn’t show we were left to cope with a shortage of match fit players. One of these was Matty Suffield, who’d come for a ‘run’ and had to start and battled through a half nowhere near all there.

Yet we started like a house on fire with Ben and Fin biting into the tackle in midfield and setting up both Jack and Matt with good chances one-on-one. Jack’s miss was the only blemish on an excellent performance today: he is a very good player and applied himself brilliantly. Josh too worked tirelessly and with great discipline leading the line. Gradually though St Michael wore us down with their tidy football and proved horribly clinical in front of goal with three unsavable finishes in the first half with the slope. Big Robert got the first from a classy header and all three goals were well worked. Up against it we laboured and were exposed rather though Jack continued to torment them with a man-of-the-match performance.

After strong words (we were hurting mentally and physically) we knew we had to have a go down the hill. We went more direct and certainly had the better of the second half, though also losing Shola to injury didn’t help. Lance made a positive return after three or four years away and Adam was busy when he came on. You always think there’s a chance that getting one back might change the balance of the game but we in truth had few chances: Brad touch a touch when faced with a fairly open goal and their lads blocked it and their keeper made a brilliant point blank save from Josh’s powerful header. Josh deserved a goal today and got one from another good header within the last ten minutes. Excitement certainly and more when Jack converted a late penalty but it was just too late. St Michael deserved their victory so all the best for Robert and his lads and thanks to the match officials (all properly good today!).

13 Sep 2019

Review + Preview

Well, this time last week most teams were getting ready for the start of the season and I was beginning to think of my yearly forecast and then my weekly Prediction Challenge. Fast forward 7 days and I am not so certain of a couple of my yearly predictions, namely the top and bottom of Division One. Have I misjudged how strong St Andrews Netherton were going to be and have I also misjudged Rowleys lack of a goal threat this season ? Reading the match reports that came in over the week, (many thanks to all the contributors in this area), it would appear that Rowley do indeed possess a goal threat and that St Andrews need to take their chances. Indeed, City could have taken all 3 points having a penalty saved in the 2nd half and if they repeat their form from their match last week will finish mid table. Adam Ricketts from Connect was one of 3 players to start the season with a hat trick and those goals were needed to help overcome Rowley. Elsewhere last week, the 2 promoted teams, Amblecote Nomads and Corinthians S.K, both suffered defeats and will be looking to get their first points of the season as quickly as possible. This meant that Saint Michael and St Mary’s both started off with wins with St Mary’s looking the more comfortable victory. Clarendon start the season with a 3-0 win over Charlemont and don’t seem to appear in any rush to let go of their title.

Goals, goals and more goals for St Thomas Aldridge and Living Hope Church United. 3 hat tricks last week and two of those came for St Thomas Aldridge players, Jak Barnes and Matthew Woods both hit the net three times to set St Thomas Aldridge top of the table with their 8-1 demolition of relegated Selly Oak Methodist. It could be a long season for Selly Oak if they don’t tighten up at the back. Another team who struggled at the back last week were Brierley Hill A.O.G who suffered a 6-0 defeat to the hands of Living Hope who had five different goal scorers. It’s great to get both teams versions of events from a match so it’s an extra thank you to Christ Church Coseley and Dudley Lions. Another match that seemed to have everything including a last minute winner. Christ Church will be really pleased to have bagged 3 points from this match. Slight glitch on the web site, (which is being looked into), but Delph Athletics 3-2 win over relegated Monyhull Church places them in 3rd place due to scoring more goals than Christ Church. Like Selly Oak, Monyhull will be looking to improve sooner rather than later.

So, how did the Prediction Challenge go ? Ben from Amblecote Nomads managed to get 5 predictions correct, I managed to get 7 out of the 9 correct. However, Ben did manage to get the Christ Church vs Dudley Lions score correct and bagged 3 points for that. So, after 1 week of the challenge it’s 7 points each.

It’s the turn of Steve Rose from Dudley Lions this week so what do both predict for this week ? More to follow.

Back again for the preview…

Only one place to start with this weeks predictions and that’s with Clarendon vs St Mary’s. Both teams got their season off to a winning start last week but who might be the first to drop points this season ? I’ve gone for Clarendon to finish above St Mary’s this season so to assist that Clarendon win, so that’s what I have gone for. Steve has opted for St Mary’s.

Chawn Hill Church are the last team to kick off their season and are away to promoted Corinthians S.K. This is an interesting one for me in so much that whilst it is their first match of the season I believe it to be a must win for Chawn if they have high hope of having a good season. For Corinthians, I think if they can get something from this game then it will give them something to build on. Both Steve and myself have gone for a narrow win for Chawn.

Like Corinthians, Amblecote will also want to get some points as early as possible and they face a strong defensive team in Charlemont Star who will also want to get something from this fixture after losing 3-0 to Clarendon last week. I’ve gone for a draw but Steve has picked Charlemont to bag 3 points from this game.

Only 4 games in Division One this week and the last game sees Rowley College play Saint Michael. Despite predicting Rowley for the drop I have gone with them to win this one but only by a narrow margin. Steve has also tipped Rowley but predicts a more convincing win.

High scoring St Thomas Aldridge are away to this weeks challengers team, Dudley Lions. So, as you would expect, Steve has opted for a Dudley win. I’m sitting on the fence for this one and going for a high scoring draw.

Living Hope Church United will probably find this weeks opposition a tougher nut to crack than last week and I do not envisage them scoring 6 again here. Steve thinks there will be 6 goals in the game, split evenly between both sides. I think there will be 5, so you need to look below to see who I have as the winners.

We both think Selly Oak Methodist will struggle again this week versus Christ Church Coseley, both opting for an away win.

That leaves Delph Athletic vs Brierley Hill A.O.G as the last match. Again, we have both opted for a big win and have both gone for Delph. However, as I type I have a hunch that the ‘Hill’ could get a draw ! My hunches were awful last season so I am sticking with my original forecast.

So here you go folks, here are mine and Steve’s predictions.

 

14th September, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Amblecote Nomads 1 Charlemont Star 1
Clarendon 2 St Mary’s 1
Corinthians S.K 1 Chawn Hill Church 2
Rowley College 2 Saint Michael 1
*******
Division Two
Delph Athletic 4 Brierley Hill A.O.G 0
Dudley Lions 3 St Thomas Aldridge 3
Living Hope Church Utd 2 Monyhull Church 3
Selly Oak Methodist 1 Christ Church Coseley 3
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Steve Rose from Dudley Lions)
Division One
Amblecote Nomads 1 Charlemont Star 3
Clarendon 2 St Mary’s 4
Corinthians S.K 2 Chawn Hill Church 3
Rowley College 5 Saint Michael 2
*******
Division Two
Delph Athletic 7 Brierley Hill A.O.G 2
Dudley Lions 4 St Thomas Aldridge 2
Living Hope Church Utd 3 Monyhull Church 3
Selly Oak Methodist 2 Christ Church Coseley 5

 

12 Sep 2019

2 Match Reports – 12th September

Second Match Report for today comes from St Andrews Netherton.

St Andrews Netherton 0 vs 0 City Church

Tipped by Neil to be Champions this season alongside a sense of optimism and confidence following a very impressive Pre season we simply failed to turn up against a very disciplined City Church side.

We lined up 4-3-3 with Hunter up top alongside the 3 new additions Lawley, Rion & Shawn with Ben D and Robbo playing CM, the lineup designed and expected to score goals. The first half was mainly one way traffic in honesty with City mainly playing on the counter, City played a back 5 with one holding in front and the evergreen Hunter being box to box and they made it very difficult for us, that being said we still created opportunities, Joe Lawley in particular getting into 2 good positions and firing wide, Robbo going very close from range and Shawn firing wide from the edge of the box, also a possible penalty claim from a pull back but the officials saw it differently.

Half time team talk was very much to keep doing what we were doing but to focus on being better with that final ball.

Second half and minus a 2 minute spell at the start of the half we were poor until late on, rarely troubling the City Keeper with our final ball continuing to disappoint and we rushed most half chances that were presented to us and in truth with 20 minutes to go it was now City who looked more likely to score, they countered very well as we pushed more men on and had the best opportunity to win it when they were awarded a penalty. Dan Atkins stepped up with his trusted left foot but Biggie saved onto the post with a great save. City again had some good half chances from range as the game got stretched but we did miss a few good half chances late on, Hunter and Robbo had half chances with headers and Robbo agonisingly had a good chance just miss the post before late on. Hunter missed a chance with a scissor kick that went just over and that was it, a 0-0 which you don’t see very often at this level.

City came with a game plan and deserved their point, a very disciplined performance and I’m sure they will be fine this season. For us, not the end of the world but it did feel like 2 points dropped. A free week this week then a clash with Connect which will no doubt be a classic.

*******

Thanks to Steve Rose from Dudley Lions for another Match Report.

Christ Church Coseley 2 vs 1 Dudley Lions

The great Pete Cook (ask your folks) once said : “I love football. Football is a cruel mistress. She’s more than a mistress, she’s a wife, she’s a mother, she’s a daughter, she’s an errant child. She can make you laugh, she can make you cry, she can bring tears to your eyes, she can bring blood to your shoulders, she can bring the kettle to the boil. Because football … football is about nothing unless it’s about something. And what it is about … is football.

That quote sums up how we all felt at the final whistle of what was, in all honesty, an absolutely cracking game of football.

Starting out with no less than 4 goalkeepers in our 14 man squad (surely a record?) We set out with a game plan to enable us to cope with Christchurch’s usual dominant midfield play and rapid counter attacking style and, to be honest, it worked quiet well.

After some useful exchanges in the early stages, the Lions began to edge the midfield battles, so it wasn’t really a surprise when we took the lead from a corner with a bullet header from George Newton in the 1st half. As the half continued, both teams had chances to score, but both keepers pulled of excellent saves to keep the score at 1-0 to the lions.

2nd half followed pretty much in a similar vein, and we knew that a 1-0 lead was never really going to be enough, so the award of a penalty half way through the half was an ideal opportunity to put a bit more breathing space between us…..but Christ Church’s keeper pulled off an excellent save, getting down low to parry the shot and clear the subsequent rebound.

This lifted the Coseley boys and they raised their game, so a defensive mistake to allow them to equalise was hardly ideal. With both sides determined to get the winner, it made for a great last 20 minutes, and with what we thought would be the final attack of the match, we had an opportunity to take all 3 points, but the keeper had other ideas. With time running down, Christ Church’s keeper caught and rolled out the ball in one movement to set off a counter attack which, heartbreakingly, resulted in us conceding an injury time goal which turned out to literally be the last kick of the game.

Delerium ensued, as it should be……its passion, its football….and the boys were truly gutted to be coming away with nothing, but we walked off the pitch with our heads held high and the acknowledgement form the opposition of what a great game they’d been involved in. But, like the great Pete Cook said….Football can be a cruel mistress

9 Sep 2019

1 More Match Report

Another Match Report received today, thanks to Joshua from Delph Athletic.

Delph Athletic 3 Monyhull Church 2

The season starts for us with 4 home games, the first being a real challenge against recently relegated Monyhull.

We had played them twice in pre-season with us both picking up a narrow win so we knew it would be a tight game. Both teams tend to try to get the ball down & play football & I think they will be right up there come the end of the season, they are a very technically capable team who can really drag you out of position with their off the ball movement.

A lot of absentees meant that some of our new recruits got a chance to put a marker on the team & get their first competitive start.

I wasn’t at the game but below is the report given to me by one our management committee who were present:

‘We went 1-0 down within 2 minutes of the first half then scored after 15.

We then missed a penalty through Rich with 10 minutes to go in the first half but by that point we had grown into the game & were playing some good football.

1-1 at HT.

Half time we spoke calmly and it really helped as in the second half we really turned the performance on.

The Effort, Communication & positioning in the 2nd half was really impressive for us. We got 2 quick goals through some really nice play & the relationship up front between Nat & rich was really dangerous for us.

Nat went on to win our Man of the Match vote.’

A shout out to our debutants – Rich, Will, Brandon & George. They all had great pre-seasons for us & have all been top additions to our squad & should make competition for places really tough. Looks like those who were away will have to really fight to get their places in the team back.

So a first win for us in the new season. We’re hoping we can start this season in the form we finished last season. It took us until December to get our second win of the season & climb off the bottom of the table so we are hoping for a slightly different fate this season. Next up for us it’s a Home Derby against Brierley Hill A.O.G who we share a home pitch with this season.

8 Sep 2019

First Match Reports Of The New Season

A new season upon us and hopefully the beginning of more match reports being received this season. I will start off with the first one that was received late last night. So Callum from Living Hope Church United gets under way this season.

Brierley Hill A.O.G 0 vs 6 Living Hope Church United

A fantastic start to the season for LHC as they keep a clean sheet and take all three points from Stanley Road, on the opening day of the season. Goals from debutants Sam Crook (2), Ricky Evans, and Greg Timmington, in addition to Simon Carswell and Callum Oakshott, saw the visitors comfortably claim victory as they controlled the game for large spells.
Thanks to Brierley Hill for a great, competitive game, and to the officials for managing the game well.

Whilst the first report of the season was brief, I did state at the League Meeting that even brief reports are great to have. On to the second report received which is from our ever reliable Pete from Rowley College, who is may be disappointed not to be the first contributor this season with his report received just after midnight. Reading his report, it looks like I may have misjudged them for the forthcoming season, but I have to stick with my forecast. So here is Pete’s report in what must class as the ‘Match Of The Day’

Connect Sports 5 vs 4 Rowley College

Extraordinary game today between two teams intent on attacking football and already I have been through the full range of emotions. This process started before the game when we woke up to the news that our already depleted numbers (half a dozen out with injury or unavailability) had been compounded by the loss of our goalkeeper. With no obvious replacement we were forced to call on Tom Cartin who was not fit enough to play out but offered to have a go between the sticks. Mark also had to press himself into service at centre back, though far from fully fit. This was frustrating because we have some exciting young players and were today welcoming back (from two years down under) one of our best players from recent years, Ben Fowler. Frustrating too to be playing a strong team like Connect who have supplemented their quality with a couple of lads from Life Central including the mercurial Leon Naylor.

What I know we have this year is goals (a problem for a couple of years) and Mark set up again very positively with Fowler just behind Josh and Jack and Hayden wide. The early signs were pretty awful. Shaken, as you often are by these kind of late disruptions, we conceded possession and then a mess of a goal to a fluent and confident Connect side. Was it to be one of those mornings? Nothing of the sort, though looking back that first five minutes was as crucial as the injury time winner they got to edge us out by one in nine! Put simply we embraced misfortune and took a full part in a cracking game and not just as a matter of spirit but also quality. Not often you have four or five players who could genuinely have been man of the match but we certainly did today. Luck was not with us today, which is not to say that Connect were lucky.

Having started so well and looking continually capable of scoring more Connect were shaken to find themselves twenty minutes later 2-1 down. Truth is that once we got into gear we looked just as dangerous as them and my first Rowley m-o-t-m candidate was involved in both of our first half goals: Mark Southall. Both goals came from corners: first Mark headed powerfully onto the bar and Josh skillfully swept it in, then he scored the best goal of the game when he volleyed a corner straight in unstoppably. I thought we had the game at that point, I must admit because we were impressively ‘at it’ both offensively and defensively, though with the latter we were always at full stretch. Sadly we were the dealt more misfortune when this proved precisely true when Mark made a fantastic block to deny Leon a certain goal but injured himself in the process (he later reflected: “I should have let them score: it would have been less costly”).

The incident occurred just after Connect equalised when they bundled one in from a corner. A word about Tom at this point who by being prepared to pitch up and take the gloves meant we were able to be competitive at all: he was great, dealing with the general duties really well. He is, nevertheless, not a goalkeeper and this gave Connect a real advantage at set pieces. However, this was not decisive, rather it was the five minutes we spent firstly with ten men, hoping Mark could return, a period in which Connect took the lead followed by the readjustment of the team in the absence of an obvious replacement during which they scored an attractive fourth when Leon lofted a cross field ball and their centre forward powered in a classic back post header. We were gutted and glad to hear the half time whistle.

There was no negativity in Mark’s team talk and I stressed that all that has hurt us were external factors: football-wise we’d been more than decent. This was the cue for a stimulating half of football which we gradually came to dominate though Connect were always dangerous. Chris Staien was immense, Ben Smith all over the pitch and with Fowler back in his traditional right wing berth we took it to them: Shola moved to number 10 and was very effective. However, there were three more players who made a particular contribution in the second period. Firstly Jack who terrorised Connect down the left and might have had a penalty late on. He was ably supported by Josh who delivered the perfect, controlled centre forward performance, physical, competitive and productive: it was he who forced home our third after competing in the air with the keeper.

Man-of-the match though had to go to Brad Rogers, a winger playing first right back and then left: a magnificent performance combining defensive tenacity with attacking intent and range of passes. He was a player who didn’t deserve to be on the losing side and when Jack crashed in an equaliser, a cool head in a crowded penalty area, it looked as if he wouldn’t be. But there was one last twist in this exciting game as in injury time their m-o-t-m ran the length of the pitch to hit a shot that squirmed through poor Tom’s legs. All the best To Willis and Vern with whom I once again enjoyed good natured banter and to all the players who showed the proper control so as to ensure the sin bin wasn’t opened! Welcome back to all!

The 3rd Match Report came in very early this morning and thanks to Christ Church Coseley for their contribution.

Christ Church Coseley 2-1 Dudley Lions

Finally after what seemed like the longest summer of waiting, the season was here. A minutes silence was held before ko and with everything ready to go the ref blew and the season started. From the 1st 10 minutes we started slow and Dudley had a few chances but couldn’t find the net. We then woke up a bit and started to get into the game. Lewis and Chambers both making good runs and putting balls into danger areas only for the flag to go up or Dudley to clear it. The 1st goal came from a Dudley corner, a perfect cross headed powerfully past the keeper giving them a deserved lead. A few minutes later it should have been 2-0 but the Dudley forward flashed his shot inches wide after we had been caught asleep again. (Our story of the 1st half) both keepers made some fantastic saves and we went in at ht 0-1 to Dudley.

2nd half we changed the formation and this seemed to give us more of an attacking option, and we had chances to score but the final 3rd we struggled to get it past the defence or keeper and the 1 chance we did get the ball in the net the linesman flagged for offside.
Then on around the hour mark Dudley got awarded a penalty, it looked  a bit soft in my opinion, more of a clash of legs as both players tried to get a foot on the ball sending both players down the ref saw it differently and pointed to the spot. Dudley’s forward sent the ball towards the corner but Lewis got down quick and put a big right hand in the way to save it and we eventually managed to clear it.
This seemed to be what we needed to kick us back into the game, on the 70th minute we finally pulled a goal back through Craig, who found himself in the box with work to do he managed to fire a low shot into the bottom corner. This gave both sides a bit of extra fire and either side could have scored with both having chances. With the game looking like it would be a point each the ref told us we were into the last 40 seconds, Dudley had 1 last attack and sent players forward, a ball into the box was collected by Lewis and he quickly rolled it out to Screeny who hit an inch perfect ball through the defence to find Lewis B, (who was onside for the 1st time), he ran clear of the defence and put the ball into the top corner. Que.. last minute celebrations. With that the referee blew his whistle and we had managed to snatch all 3 points..

A fantastic game for the neutral as this was end to end and maybe we didn’t deserve to win but that’s football. I’ve been in games over the years and it’s a gutting experience to lose right at the end but fair play to Steve and the Dudley Lions lads, as they all shook our hands after when some teams would just walk away. (edit; this is exactly the standard required, so praise where it is due, Neil),
A big thank you goes to the officials who over all didn’t get much wrong and allowed the game to flow.
Ft Christchurch 2-1 Dudley Lions

So 3 Match Reports in so far, hopefully more to follow. I keep saying these reports make our League different and keep the web site interesting. Off for a bit of family time now. Will there be any more to follow later ?

 

7 Sep 2019

All Things W.M.C.F.L – It All Starts Again Today

Before the start of each season the W.M.C.F.L begins there is a League Instruction that states that on the opening day of the season there will be 1 minutes silence before the matches start. We do this to remember people who are no longer with us, whether they be League related or friends/family. It is also a chance to contemplate on how blessed we are that we have good health and are able to participate in the League. Sadly, this week, I have been informed of the death of a young person who had played within this League. Mitchell Poutney had played for Hawbush who are no longer in the league but also played for Brierley Hill A.O.G. I would ask everyone tomorrow to pray for Mitchells family and friends during their 1 minutes silence tomorrow.

There was a League Meeting tonight and thanks go to all of those Club Secretaries/Representatives and Management Officers who give up their valuable time to help the smooth running of this League. Without these people there would be no League and no football for everyone to enjoy. Please do all you can to support them during the season.

So, once again, the midnight oil is burning as I bash away at the keyboard pondering my forecast for the season.

Division 2 has 8 teams and this season they will only play each other twice in the League meaning a 14 match season. (A Division 2 Cup has also been introduced meaning more competitive matches for them). So, over a 14 match season there is less chance to slip up if you want to be Champions. How will the relegated teams fair and what about those who came so close to promotion last season. Well, it’s a new season. indeed it’s the start of our 40th season.

So a special mention to 1 of only 2 teams to have played in every single season, Brierley Hill A.O.G. Ian Baker’s men have struggled in recent years but the joy of the game means they are here yet again. Unfortunately for them, I reckon it will be another year spent in the lower parts of the Division and my forecast is 8th place for them.

At the opposite end of the table I am expecting Christ Church Coseley to win the Division with their closest rivals being Delph Athletic who will finish in 2nd place.

I do not think that any of the relegated teams will be near the top , indeed, I expect both to continue to struggle with Selly Oak Methodist 7th and Monyhull Church 6th.

Dudley Lions are my tip to finish just outside of the promotion places in 3rd, closely followed by Living Hope Church United in 4th.

This means that to complete my forecast, St Thomas’ Aldridge will be 5th.

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

‘They’re changing guards at Buckingham Place, Christopher Robin went down with Alice’

A famous couple of lines from the poem ‘Buckingham Place’ written by A.A Milne, probably more famous regarding Winnie The Pooh. What’s the relevance of this ? Well, like the guard being changed in the poem, I reckon that there will be a changing of the guard within the W.M.C.F.L this season in Division One.

Before quantifying the above statement, like Division 2, I think it only right to start with the other team to have been represented every season within the League, like Brierley Hill A.O.G, Chawn Hill Church were Founder Members and have been ever present, being quite successful during that time. Can they add to their total of 5 Division One Titles this season ? I would love to say yes, but I believe there to be stronger teams in the frame this season. I am however going to apply a little bit of pressure on them and say that if, like most teams, they can field their strongest team out every week, that they may be part of the ‘Changing Of The Guard’ pressure applied and it’s a 3rd place finish for them.

Now, regarding A.A Milne’s lines from his poem. I really believe that this season will see Clarendon and St Mary’s finish outside of the top 2. These 2 teams have dominated in recent seasons, but as the seasons change from Spring to Summer, then Autumn to Winter, I feel that both teams have had their Summer flourish. For Clarendon, I was thinking 3rd, but I have given that to Chawn, so it’s 4th for them. St Mary’s, like Clarendon will remain a top half team but should finish in 5th.

So, who will be replacing them ? Well, it pains me to say it, but I am certain it will not be Rowley College, who I reckon have the trapdoor to Division 2 ready to be swung open. It’s an 11th place prediction for them from me this season.

As for the newly promoted sides, I think that one of them may join Rowley in the relegation places. Which one though ? I’m going for Corinthians S.K to end up 10th.

I reckon the other promoted side, Amblecote Nomads will have enough about them to finish in 8th spot and Saint Michael will be sandwiched in between them and Corinthians finishing 9th.

Charlemont Star and City Church should both finish comfortably in mid table, Charlemont in 6th and City in 7th.

That leaves 2 teams, Connect Sports and St Andrews Netherton. I believe that both of these will complete the ‘Changing Of The Guard’ with both finishing in the top 2 places. But who will be Champions ? Both have strengthened massively, especially with both clubs having ex Life Central players adding to their already strong squads. I know Leon Naylor has gone to Connect among others, but I also know that Shawn Devonport has gone to St Andrews, who have also added Rion Francis-Mills to their squad. No pressure on Shawn or Rion, but it’s this factor that just sways me to say, St Andrews Netherton to be Champions. Shawn has previously been the highest goal scorer in two different seasons, 43 goals in 2008/9 and 41 in 2009/10. If he can replicate those figures 10 years on from then I reckon my forecast may well turn out correct.

So, that’s my forecast. Some of you may well print it out as an incentive to prove me wrong, others may well think ‘what planet is he on’ ? Whatever your thoughts, please remember, this is just for fun.

It’s just turned 1am and I need my bed, (up again at 5am). I did want to cover the introduction of ‘Sin Bins’ but your Club Secretary can inform you about this if you have any queries. I am hoping that results will be on the site tomorrow but this depends on how quickly I receive them. I only have a 20 minute gap just before 1pm tomorrow due to work and my Granddaughters 2nd Birthday celebrations.

To finish off for now, it’s onto the weekly Prediction Challenge and my thanks go to Ben Hart from Amblecote Nomads, this weeks challenger.

6th September, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Charlemont Star 1 Clarendon 3
Connect Sports 5 Rowley College 1
Corinthians S.K 0 Saint Michael 2
St Andrews Netherton 5 City Church 1
St Mary’s 3 Amblecote Nomads 1
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 Living Hope Church Utd 2
Christ Church Coseley 2 Dudley Lions 2
Delph Athletic 3 Monyhull Church 1
St Thomas’ Aldridge 2 Selly Oak Methodist 2
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Ben Hart from Amblecote Nomads)
Division One
Charlemont Star 1 Clarendon 3
Connect Sports 4 Rowley College 1
Corinthians S.K 2 Saint Michael 2
St Andrews Netherton 3 City Church 0
St Mary’s 1 Amblecote Nomads 1
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 0 Living Hope Church Utd 5
Christ Church Coseley 2 Dudley Lions 1
Delph Athletic 1 Monyhull Church 1
St Thomas’ Aldridge 3 Selly Oak Methodist 2

6 Sep 2019

Prediction Challenge

With the new season less than 24 hours away, some eyes may be looking for the weekly Prediction Challenge. Well, this tradition will carry on in the new season but firstly, who came out on top last season ? Did the Club Secretaries and Management Committee Officers win, or did I triumph in this yearly contest ? It was another closely fought contest with only 7 points between the two parties. Unfortunately for me, I was on the wrong end of this result with the Club Secs and Management Officers beating me, with the total scores being 146 vs 139. Never liking to lose, I wondered whether my illness may have played a part, as there was one week where I was too ill to enter any scores. (Clinging to any hope or chance to sneak some credit, hahaha). Sadly, VAR confirmed to me that for that week, I may have possibly got a maximum of an extra 5 correct predictions meaning 5 extra points if I failed to get any correct scores. So, defeat it is and a hearty congratulations to all of those that took part. So, just as we do following our matches in the League, win, lose, or draw, it’s:

3 Cheers for the Club Secretaries and Management Officers… Hip, Hip, Hooray!   Hip, Hip, Hooray!   Hip, Hip, Hooray!

Like all defeated contestants, all I can do is concede that my opponents were better than me, but that I gave it my best shot. But, I will go away, and come back again giving it my best efforts. (This should be an automatic response from anyone who participates within our League, come what may, following any of our matches). Fortunately for myself, I do not have to wait long to try and turn defeat into victory. The season kicks off in 16 hours and the Prediction Challenge is back up and running. My first challenger is the League’s New Fixtures Secretary and Amblecote Nomads Club Secretary, Mr Ben Hart. He has already sent his forecasts in, (not looked at them yet, never do until I have done mine). So, what do we both have to say about the games tomorrow ? Well, like a good book should leave you with a cliffhanger moment at the end of each chapter, time is short and I have run out of time due to having to attend a pre season League Meeting in an hour. Predictions and all sorts will be on here later.

21 Aug 2019

Kevin Kovacs

The Kevin Kovacs Memorial Match scheduled for this Saturday has been POSTPONED. It will be rescheduled for later in the season.

4 May 2019

prediction challenge May 4th

The final weekend of matches concerning Division One and Two.

Sorry but no review of last weeks games or a preview for this week due to me being in Cape Verde and very limited internet and phone access. I will be relying on email results and where I am located will also impact upon how quickly I can get the results on here. Anyway, the final weekend for the prediction challenge sees Pete Bennett finish the season off. So here goes….

4th May

Neil Kovacs

Division One

Selly Oak Methodist 0 vs 6 Clarendon

Division Two

Delph Athletic 3 vs1 Living Hope Church United

Dudley Lions 3 vs 1 St Thomas Aldridge

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

Pete Bennett from Rowley College

Division One

Selly Oak Methodist 1 vs 4 Clarendon

Division Two

Delph Athletic 4 vs 2 Living Hope Church United

Dudley Lions 6 vs 2 St Thomas Aldridge

28 Apr 2019

Update 28th April – Match Report

Think everything is updated. I am now off for a 10 day break but I will try and keep on top of things but no guarantees. A quick email check before heading to bed shows that the ever reliable Pete Bennett from Rowley has indeed sent me his match report before I jet off.. as always, many thanks Pete

Rowley College 1 vs 2 Clarendon

First of all congratulations to worthy champions!  (edit: Champions elect Pete. Should Selly Oak Methodist win 4-0 or by a 5 goal margin next week, then St Marys would be Champions, Neil Kovacs). This is never an easy league to win and this year has been no exception with four teams to my eyes capable of winning it (and making a decent effort to do so).  Sadly we have been observing this battle from afar this season and, having beaten one of the challengers recently, we once again proved today that we are competitive against the best so to be sweating on relegation on the last day is just not good enough from our point of view.

It’s hard not to speculate in these positions and we knew that what we needed today was to make this a close game but that didn’t mean being negative and we set up positively. Our plan was not to think about events elsewhere but rather to do everything to solve our own problems but we knew even a narrow defeat would make it very difficult for Monyhull.  By full time it was Clarendon waiting for the final whistle but only because our whole sixteen had given everything and I commend them for it.

Here was a game that a vicious wind couldn’t ruin though there were one or two comic moments where the simplest of passes proved impossible.  Clarendon were straight at us up the slope and Chris cleared off the line in the first minute.  Chris played at full back and was one of six excellent defenders for us today (including Pidd and Joe as sub) with matt Stanton, Matty and Kev they went toe-to-toe with those talented Clarendon forwards.  Clarendon were really at it in the first half at their fluent best but they met with a wall of defensive resolve and the only goal of the first half when it came was a magnificent lofted drive from 30 yards (Pidd had no chance). Meanwhile we were providing them with problems of our own due in no little part to a man-of-the-match performance by Ben Smith, who set us at our opponents with a mixture of driving runs and artful through passes. On one such attack Josh went round the keeper only to have his shot brilliantly blocked by Roger with Matty Suff’s follow up narrowly wide. Then Ben went through himself and his dipping drive was just over. At half time we were 0-1 but not downhearted against a better team.

We made progressive changes, firstly at half time with Shola and Hayden introduced to positive effect. Shola has spent half the season injured and you could see today what we’ve missed: he held the ball up with quality and got others involved. We really took it to them up the hill with the recently birthdayed 43 year old player-manager, Fin and Clive creating a solid base in the middle. They. Of course are always dangerous and in our only rash moment of the morning Matty took out Quinn (who was as excellent as ever) to allow the same player to strike a good penalty just out of Pidd’s reach. We had a nervous five minutes but were quickly back at it and when Jack came on we gained that extra bit of flair and guile. He was literally everywhere and we started to exert some real pressure and Shola headed us back into it. I was fairly confident 1-2  would be enough for us as it was for Clarendon but there was no sense that either side settled for anything. Our keeper was running to the half way line to take a free kick forward in the 90th minute.  We still had one more chance when supersub Ken outpaced their defence but just couldn’t find a finish. Though losing the game today, we put in a performance on our own account that bodes well for the future against the team who set the standards.  Congratulations to Roger and Squaddie who run their club so well and are good blokes and to Andy and his officials who ran everything so well.

Season 28 beckons even as 27 is coming to an end but I’d like to wish everybody in the WMCFL the very best and particularly to ‘Bedders’ who as Neil has said has been a ‘proper competitor’ for many a long year. I remember in particular many battles against us with Mark Southall, often bruisingly physical but always ending with a handshake and mutual respect. All the best, mate!

27 Apr 2019

Prediction Challenge – 27th April

Apologies for the slow update on the site this week. It’s been a hectic week.

The trials and tribulations of being a Club Secretary came to my mind after last weeks result came in that Connect Sports had ended their season with a win over Clarendon. On hearing this, my mind immediately thought of Willis and what might have been had they not forfeited their game against Life Central due to a lack of players. Most Club Secretaries will have been there, Friday night or Saturday morning and struggling to get a bare eleven. It’s not to say that Connect would have won that game but if they had, they would have secured 2nd place and really applied the pressure on Clarendon to get 4 points from their last 2 games. However, that’s the past and as things stand St Mary’s stay top courtesy of Connects win. Clarendon have 2 games to play and their first is against Rowley College who are also battling for points in their relegation battle. I think for Pete Bennetts men it will be a case of finding out how Monyhull Church have fared in their game as I cannot see Rowley getting the single point they need. Clarendon win for me.

Monyhull Church face St Andrews Netherton who were on the wrong end of a 6-2 scoreline last week against Saint Michael, a team they had beaten 3-1 the previous week. There is also a 6 goal difference that is in Rowleys favour, so if Monyhull do win I am sure they may be checking the Rowley result and score. With both Monyhull and St Andrews averaging just over 5 goals in each game and the fact that Monyhull need 3 points leads me in the direction of a very attacking game with lots of goals. But can Monyhull do it? My head says no and even my normal hunch about backing the underdog is not kicking in on this one. It’s a St andrews win in a 6 goal game.

Saint Michael will find the defence this week a tougher nut to crack than last week. Only Selly Oak Methodist have scored less goals than Charlemont Star in Division One which leads me to state that their strength is having a well organised defence. It’s still possible that should other results go their way Charlemont could end up in 6th place but they would need all 3 points. I don’t think this will happen and each team will finish the season with a point apiece in a score draw.

As I am typing away at 2.45am the rain is hammering down and my mind is pondering if any games will be off or if hopefully most teams will be finishing their season later on today. Only Selly Oak and Clarendon in Division One are due to play next week, although there are 4 teams finishing their season next week in Division Two.

Chawn Hill Church and City Church play there last match of the season and as a rumour has come to me that a certain Lee Bedford may be hanging up his boots after this match. If it’s true, then as an old manager of his I would like to state on the record that he always did me and Chawn proud. Competitive, matched with a will to win, but also always done in the correct manner. He is what I would call in my time, a proper Chawn player. On to the match… both teams sit comfortably in the table although Chawn may need the win to secure 5th place. A point may be good enough but St Andrews and there goal difference is really close so Chawn really need to go for the win. City will also be aiming to win to at least maintain 7th spot and possibly jump into 6th should St Andrews lose. I’m going for a Chawn win.

Champions elect Amblecote Nomads face Delph Athletic who had a good 6-0 win over an understrength Brierley Hill A.O.G on Wednesday night. I went for an Amblecote win last week but of Ben adopts the same selection policy as he did last week I really don’t know what to do. I think he might, so it’s a Delph win for me.

The last game sees Living Hope Church United host Dudley Lions. Both teams have 2 matches left to play and whilst there is not a lot to play for, Living Hope may still need some points to ensure they finish the season in 4th place. Dudley Lions and Delph will still be aiming for that spot. I think that incentive may be enough for Dudley to just edge a close game. Dudley win.

Thanks to Stephen Richardson from City Church for being this weeks Prediction Challenger. This means that all Club Secretaries have now had their go. I have absolutely no idea on who is leading but will update when I can. I am off to Cape Verde in the early hours of Sunday morning for 10 nights so there may be a delay in the site being updated but I will see what I can do.

(No pressure Pete but I am hoping you’ve sent me your report before 7am on Sunday).

27th April, 20109
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 3 City Church 1
Rowley College 1 Clarendon 2
Saint Michael 2 Charlemont Star 2
St Andrews Netherton 4 Monyhull Church 2
**
Division Two
Amblecote Nomads 1 Delph Athletic 3
Living Hope Church 1 Dudley Lions 2
******************************************************************
Club Secretary, (Stephen Richardson from City Church)
Chawn Hill Church 1 City Church 2
Rowley College 0 Clarendon 3
Saint Michael 1 Charlemont Star 3
St Andrews Netherton 2 Monyhull Church 0
**
Division Two
Amblecote Nomads 3 Delph Athletic 1
Living Hope Church 1 Dudley Lions 1

26 Apr 2019

Resurrection and Salvation

Jesus has risen from the dead! The greatest news mankind has ever heard are these – Jesus Christ has risen from the dead as he Promised!

Matthew 28:5 – 9

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshipped him.

We also have this promise of salvation from God.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 

19 Apr 2019

Good Friday – Prediction Challenge 20th April

1 Peter 2:24, “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

Mark 9:31, because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”

John 3:16-17, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

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

Just the actual predictions this weekend. Thanks to Martin Ogbourn from City Church for this weeks challenge.

20th April, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Connect Sports 1 Clarendon 3
St Andrews Netherton 4 Saint Michael 1
**
Division Two
Corinthians S.K 2 Amblecote Nomads 3
******************************************************************
Martin Ogbourn from City Church,
Division One
Connect Sports 2 Clarendon 2
St Andrews Netherton 3 Saint Michael 1
**
Division Two
Corinthians S.K 2 Amblecote Nomads 3

 

 

 

14 Apr 2019

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter that begins the Holy Week and is the day that we remember when Jesus entered Jerusalem.

Matthew 21:1-11 (Jesus Enters Into Jerusalem)

21. 1. As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred, and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

13 Apr 2019

Match Reports – Catch Up – Updated 14th March

Here are some match reports that have been sent in recently, firstly Pete Bennetts contribution regarding their match last Saturday followed up with 3 match reports from Joshua Briley of Delph Athletic. I have now added on this weeks report from Pete.

St Mary’s 3 vs 1 Rowley College, (13th April, 2019).

Not a full report today, as I was off to work just after the hour by which time I’d seen all the goals, watched two good teams struggling to cope with the wind and a frankly ‘rubbish’ pitch (a technical term in amateur football) and got thoroughly frustrated at our inability to ‘punch our weight’ in this league this season. We played St Mary’s first game of the season when they were the best team we’ve played this term and we gave them a decent game. Today they were a bare, but strong, eleven and played well on a pitch that suited them even less than it suited us but we had enough today to get the point we technically need to be safe on  our own  account and we blew it.

Kicking up the slope against the wind on the bumpiest of pitches we just needed to compete and we largely did and broke when we had the chance with Shola showing plenty of class up top.  St Mary’s tried to keep the ball as ever but also uncharacteristically used a measure of ‘route one’ and effectively creating a couple of good chances.  They had momentum but we added to this by conceding two comic goals. Firstly Pidd completely misjudged an ‘up and under’ which rather than soaring over bounced up into the roof of the net. Then Hayden conceded the softest penalty I’ve seen in 30 years when he went down in instalments and managed to knock their lad over with no need! Shola then warmed Phil’s hands with a lofted drive.  2-0 at half time: self-inflicted!

This was not over though because we now had the wind and slope and plenty of chances in the fifteen or so minutes I saw.  We were having plenty of advanced possession and Jack, Ben and Shola all had chances. We got a goal back when Ben forced it in after a scramble only to immediately concede when Ralph took on half of our team and won.  I walked away contemplating a last day of the season which may come down to goal difference.

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

St Andrews Netherton 3 vs 1 Rowley College. (6th April, 2019).

Really good game of football today, which is the norm against St Andrews who are a team committed to playing football. They are a really well organised collection of technically adept and experienced players but they always give you a chance, as if playing the game the right way always takes precedence over grinding out results.  This is my only rationale for why they aren’t much higher in the league.  With an awareness that the relegation trap door is mostly but not entirely closed and both of our first choice centre backs absent (and Clarendon and St Mary’s still to play) we knew that this couldn’t merely be a leisurely end of season affair. When we found ourselves 3-0 down at half time, we may have been looking at a disaster but the attitude of the lads across the game and particularly the second half meant that by the end St Andrews were happy to see it out.

In the first 25 minutes Dave’s lads passed us to death: we couldn’t get the ball and when we did we were unable to keep it. They were just excellent but our lads were resolute and we allowed them few chances and when they did get in our keeper made a good save. By then they were already 1-0 up  with a corker: hardly a chance rather a formidable finish from the edge of the box. Then gradually we started to get into the game  with Josh always offering options (he was dangerous and disciplined today) and Brad and Matty Suffield providing attacking intent wide.  When Clive sent Matty clear on the left his cross was straight across the six yard box just out of Josh’s reach and at last we’d got them thinking.

Ironically (this is football after all) as we became more competitive, they became more ruthless.  Having failed to properly force home their dominance they threatened to kill us off firstly with a worldie: 25 yarder: unstoppable!  Then just before the break their lad rode a great recovering tackle from Kev and despite a brave save from the keeper squeezed in the rebound.  Even so Fin almost got one back immediately but just couldn’t force Brad’s expert chip over the line.  It was a difficult team talk because 0-3 down is a hard one to gloss but we’d worked hard and played well.  Mark made a decisive change, dropping himself to centre back, where he was superb (belying his 42 years alongside my man of the match Kev ) and Ben Smith provided a slogan for the second half: “Let’s just go out and enjoy it”.

Ben was instrumental in our greater threat in a midfield driven by Clive and with Fin terrific as ever. I think we dominated the second half though St Andrews always carried a threat and our defence had to be as good as it was with Matt Stanton and Joe also playing their parts.  What we had through was productive attacking intent and progressive substitutions with Shola returning to support Josh and Hayden offering drive on the left and Ken on the right. When we scored with 15 left (Josh’s reward for a terrific shift) it was clear the game wasn’t done but they defended desperately and well and we couldn’t make our good work pay.

I was proud of our lads today: they never gave up inspired by a player who started playing for Rowley before some of our lads today were born.  I also thought it was a decent advert for the quality of our league, supported by excellent officials in Jack, Steve and Mo against an opponent who are a credit to our league.

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

Delph Athletic 2 vs 0 Christchurch Coseley, (16th March).

After the disappointment of a 2nd loss in a row last week against living hope & the small matter of a cup semi-final next week we were keen to make sure we put in a good performance today to build some momentum.
As soon as we arrived at our home pitch we realised just how windy it was, this meant it would be a day for football on the ground, which really suits us.
With a full squad we started to game on the front foot & pressed Christchurch Coseley all over the pitch & It wasn’t long before we started to create a few chances.
We forced a Corner & it fell at the feet of Ed Sutton who stabbed goal-ward for Jack Follis to tap in to make it 1-0 after about 15 minutes.
Our opposition then grew into the game & started to get on the ball a bit more, after a fantastic break saw them hit the bar we broke quickly on the counter & a ball over the top was ran onto by Nat Harding & Ed Sutton with Nat winning the race & taking the ball round the goalie for 2-0 after 25 minutes.
From there we really took control of the game, with our midfield putting in exceptional performances to ensure we maintained dominance on the ball.
HT – 2-0.
The 2nd Half continued in the same way the first half ended, Christchurch were playing with the wind meaning we were expecting a few balls over the top but in truth they couldn’t quite work out the wind & so it hampered their game.
Christchurch did try to move up a gear in the 2nd half but a solid performance from our defenders ensured that everything was dealt with comfortably. We continued to work hard on & off the ball with some great chances being created & unfortunately missed.
We held onto the 2-0 lead & whilst we were disappointed not to add to our first half goals it was a really good performance from everyone defensively to keep the clean sheet.
That’s our 3 games of the season against Christchurch now completed, with us winning 2 & them winning 1, both teams end on 6 goals scored & 6 goals conceded.
All 3 games have been really enjoyable to be a part of – Lots of goals, strong tackles & good football played but most importantly both teams have played & spectated in the true spirit of Jesus Christ. We look forward to playing against them again next season.
*************************************************************************************************
Charlemont Star 2 vs 1 Delph Athletic, Cup Semi-Final, (23rd March, 2019).
After a convincing win against Christchurch the week before we came into this game with high hopes.
The game started well for us, we put Charlemont under really high pressure right from kick off & it worked in our favour as they were not able to get comfortable on the ball during the first 20 minutes or so.
During this time we were playing the ball around the pitch really well & created several chances that should have been converted.
Around 15 minutes in we had a corner that was floated dangerously into the back post & bounced through with no-one making contact, this was a clear sign that we may be able to get something from set pieces. A few minutes later we had another corner & once again the ball was played into the back post but this time a scramble ensued & the ball seemed to cross the line but the goal was not given & play continued. At this point we felt fairly hard done by, and a few moments later we won a free kick out on our right wing, the ball was put in & knocked on by one of our strikers and we felt it had bounced into the net at the back post. The referee pointed to the kick off but unfortunately for us didn’t blow his whistle & as charlemont start played on, much to our disbelief we thought we had had the ball in the back of the net again but still found ourselves at 0-0. (edit on this report: I spoke to the match officials involved on the day of the match regarding this decision. The referee did indicate a goal by the signal of his hand but looked over for confirmation off the assistant referee who indicated that his decision was that the ball had not entirely crossed the line… Neil Kovacs, league Secretary).
In typical fashion of football, charlemont then started to grow into the game & after we extinguished a few of their breaks they managed to swing a lovely cross into the back post from the right hand side that found the unmarked striker to head home for 1-0 at half time.
At half time we made a few changes & things picked up for us as we started the second half, we managed to find a breakthrough about 10 minutes into the 2nd half through Nat Harding.
From there we really grew in confidence & utilised the counter attack to create chance after chance after chance, all of which somehow managed to be saved or went wide.
With 5 minutes to go Charlemont then won a corner & had a man free to head home to make it 2-1, they managed to hold onto their lead & knocked us out the cup.
Overall a really frustrating day for us, 2 goals that may have been, 2 goals conceded that we should have had marked up but most importantly lots of clear cut chances missed.
Good Luck to Charlemont in the final, the day out on the whole for us was a great experience and all of the Charlemont team were a pleasure to play against.
*******************************************************************
Delph Athletic 2 vs 1 St Thomas Aldridge. (30th March, 2019).
In Stark contrast to the previous 2 games, in this one, we were awful.
We couldn’t pass, we couldn’t track runners, we couldn’t shoot & we definitely couldn’t communicate on the pitch.
That being said, whilst everyone generally put in a below par performance, the effort put in was exceptional & everyone put a real shift in.
We took the lead early on after another great corner from Grant Esp was met by Jack Follis.
Ed Sutton then made it 2-0 shortly after with a lovely strike from the edge of the box.
St Thomas played some really nice football all game & in truth completely deserved the points. For us it was a real positive, we’ve felt hard done by in lots of games this season and felt we deserved more on many occasions so it was about time we didn’t deserve to win but managed to, an important 3 points for us & next up Dudley Lions.

12 Apr 2019

13th April – Prediction Challenge

Just the Prediction Challenge forecast for the time being. Challenger this week is Willis Mullin from Connect Sports.

I hope to do a preview but I am unsure if this will be possible. Same again regarding publishing recent match reports, no problems with the web site just illness and limited time again. (I hope to get these on by the morning but cannot guarantee to do so).

Quick previews, (I hope). Another big week in Division One so where to start?

Well, I have decided to start with St Marys who play their last game of the season against Rowley College. I’m absolutely certain that St Marys need 3 points to stand any chance of winning the title but they face a Rowley side who still need a point to guarantee that they stay out of the relegation places. If Rowley are to get a point, then I also reckon that this game is their best chance to do so, I can’t see them getting anything in their last match. St Mary’s title challengers, Clarendon, still have to face current 3rd and 4th placed teams so still a lot to do for them. St Marys need 3 points to make that task even harder. I’m torn on this one because my head says St Marys, but, and isn’t there always a but? I would love to know where, and if, Mark Southall will be playing? If he is in defence, I reckon his footballing knowledge, organisational skills and will to win may get them that much needed point. I’m going for a draw.

Another team playing their last game of the season are Life Central who travel to Clarendon and should they manage a win would go above Clarendon. I really cannot see it happening though. Clarendon seem to have the momentum whereas Life Central have faltered at just the wrong time. Life Central had been in with a chance but have slipped away by losing their last 2 games. Can they end their season on a positive note? Well, it doesn’t get much harder than Clarendon does it? Having lost only twice this season I do not think it will be 3 by the end of tomorrows match. I am expecting a Clarendon win which puts pressure on St Marys to get something against Rowley.

Another team who for so long looked as though they may be champions were Connect Sports. But like Life Central, they too have slipped up in their last couple of games and dropped points. They come up against a Chawn Hill Church side who may still harbour hopes of finishing 3rd should they win both of their remaining games and results elsewhere go their way. A while ago I would have had this as a nailed on win for Connect but I am uncertain now, especially as Chawn have done quite well recently against the top sides beating Life Central and only losing to a last minute penalty against St Marys. Connect can still mathematically get to 44 points which puts pressure on Clarendon and St Marys. It’s a narrow Connect win for me.

Nothing much to play for in the last match in Division One which sees Saint Michael host St Andrews Netherton. The former are safe and will probably finish in their current position. The latter however will be looking to end the season in the top half and should they win their remaining 3 games maybe they could, like Chawn, have their eyes fixed on 3rd place. 38 points could be enough for 3rd? Well we should know more after tomorrows matches. If it is still possible, then I reckon St Andrews will still be in the race for it because I am opting for a St Andrews win in this game.

Whilst there are all sorts of permutations in Division 1, all the main things are already settled in Division 2, (subject to ratification come seasons end).

Corinthians S.K had a narrow 1-0 win over St Thomas Aldridge last week but the 3 points gained from that match meant they moved into 2nd place and cannot be caught by any other side. Whilst Amblecote will finish first, which they have looked like doing for some considerable time, the battle between Corinthians and Christ Church Coseley for 2nd place has been great to watch. They come up against a Delph Athletic side who are on a decent run and will be looking to finish as high as possible.  Corinthians can tick the Job Done box now they have secured 2nd place but will they take their foot off a little bit and allow Delph to nip in for a nice win? Sitting on the fence and going for a draw.

The last game to preview this week is St Thomas Aldridge vs Dudley Lions and I can honestly say I have not got a clue which way to go on this one. St Thomas have 2 games left with both of them against Dudley Lions, however, even should they win both games they will still finish the season in 7th place which back in November I think they would have taken. Dudley need to win all their 3 remaining games to move above Living Hope Church United. But even then, results would need to go their way in other matches. As said earlier, I would not be surprised at any result here so you know where I am going with this one…. yes, it’s a draw fro me.

Early hours in the morning and fatherly duties are calling, (or as I call it, Dad’s taxi). Whilst I have done the preview, last weeks match reports will have to wait but they will be on for you read tomorrow evening.

 

13th April, 20109
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Clarendon 5 Life Central 0
Connect Sports 2 Chawn Hill Church 1
Saint Michael 1 St Andrews Netherton 4
St Mary’s 2 Rowley College 2
**
Division Two
Corinthians S.K 2 Delph Athletic 2
St Thomas Aldridge 1 Dudley Lions 1
******************************************************************
Club Secretary, (Willis Mulin from Connect Sports)
Division One
Clarendon 2 Life Central 1
Connect Sports 2 Chawn Hill Church 1
Saint Michael 0 St Andrews Netherton 4
St Mary’s 3 Rowley College 1
**
Division Two
Corinthians S.K 3 Delph Athletic 2
St Thomas Aldridge 0 Dudley Lions 2

6 Apr 2019

14:05 Site Updated

Apologies to those looking for results but I was that tired this morning that i took the computer to work and left my phone at home! Front Page and Divisional goal scorers are now updated.

Also apologies to Rowley College. I’m sure in my preview I said that they only had Clarendon to play after today. However, they actually have 2 games to play, the other being St Mary’s. So they still have 2 tough games with both teams currently sitting in the top 2 positions.

6 Apr 2019

Preview + Prediction Challenge 6th April

I was just going to do the Prediction Challenge this week as it’s another late contribution and I am up at 5 o’clock. But with only 5 matches being played I changed my mind and decided to do a very quick preview of these games, (I hope), so here goes.

The top 3 in Division One all dropped points last weekend with Clarendon closing in on them all. I’m struggling to see past Clarendon as Champions even with them having 5 games remaining. Can Charlemont slow down their challenge? Much as I say Charlemont are well organised they are still a mid table side and I expect Clarendon to win.

Current table toppers St Mary’s could be displaced if Clarendon do win and they fail to pick up at least a point, (just noticed that should that happen, Clarendon would go top), St Mary’s go to City Church and both Club Secretaries will be wondering the same thing… who will turn up? Will it be the bare 11 or our strongest squad for the day. Having communicated with people from both Clubs it would seem that this has been an issue all season. St Mary’s really need to win their last 2 games to set Clarendon a target of 46 points and I am not sure they will do so. It’s a draw for me.

The last match in Division 1 sees me knowing that I will receive at least 1 match report this week. Yes, Rowley College are back in action and they travel to face St Andrews Netherton who had a very impressive result last week. It may have been a draw but it was against a very good side in Connect Sports. I think St Andrews could win all their remaining games and end up in 6th or even 5th place. So the challenge is there for them to do this. For Rowley, well they still need 1 point to ensure that they do not end up in the bottom 2. So, another big challenge for them. My head is saying a St Andrews win but it’s just gone midnight and my hunch brain has kicked in! Not a win for Rowley, but a draw which would give them that much needed point and as Rowley face Clarendon in their last match, they really do need to get that point today. Otherwise they will be hoping todays opponents do not lose to Monyhull Church.

Just 2 matches in Division Two and all eyes from Christ Church Coseley will be on the Corinthians Sk result. Christ Church finished their season last week with an impressive 7-0 win over Living Hope Church United. This ended Living Hopes promotion chances but will it be enough for Christ Church? Corinthians have 3 games in hand needing 3 points to grab 2nd place. Their first obstacle is St Thomas Aldridge and looking at their other 2 remaining games this is probably their best chance of making 2nd place their own. St Thomas have had a much improved second half of the season. Both teams have won 4-2 in their previous matches this season, so not an easy call to make. It’s a narrow win for Corinthians for me.

The last match sees Dudley Lions hosting Delph Athletic, (Joshua from Delph has sent me 3 match reports this week which I have not had time to put on here yet, these should be on here tomorrow, apologies Joshua). Back to the match.. a Delph win would close the gap between these 2 teams with both maybe harbouring hopes of even catching Living Hope. Both teams have produced plenty of goals in their respective games all season so we should expect at least 4 goals in this fixture. So that’s what I am going for…split evenly between both teams, a 2-2 draw.

This weeks challenger is Roberto Gocan the League’s Fixtures Secretary.

 

6th April, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Charlemont Star 0 Clarendon 4
City Church 2 St Mary’s 2
St Andrews Netherton 3 Rowley College 1
Division Two
Corinthians S.K 2 St Thomas Aldridge 1
Dudley Lions 3 Delph Athletic 2
******************************************************************
Fixture’s Secretary, Roberto Gocan
Division One
Charlemont Star 1 Clarendon 3
City Church 0 St Mary’s 2
St Andrews Netherton 1 Rowley College 1
Division Two
Corinthians S.K 2 St Thomas Aldridge 1
Dudley Lions 2 Delph Athletic 2

30 Mar 2019

Preview + Prediction Challenge

So my plans for today totally fell apart upon receiving a message from my daughter saying “are you still coming round for tea?” Now this was the first that I knew of this and the fact that there was also a job that needed Dad/Grandads assistance that had been forgotten to be mentioned during the week meant that I got home around 10pm. Quick close of my eyes and it’s suddenly nearly midnight! So apologies but this weeks preview will be very brief.

Only 2 matches in Division Two with Christ Church Coseley playing their last game of the season against Living Hope Church United.  Christ Church can confirm at least a top 3 finish should they win which I believe they would have settled for at the beginning of the season. I must admit to expecting more from Living Hope and whilst they can still aim for second place I reckon that defeat for them will end those hope. Christ Church win.

The second game in Division 2 sees last weeks beaten Semi-Finalists, Delph Athletic face an improving St Thomas Aldridge. I am informed that Delphs match against Charlemont Star was a really good game and that Delph missed some great opportunities to score, having four one on one chances… or maybe it was good goalkeeping? Anyhow, I think that because they had a good performance they will not be too deflated and will overcome St Thomas.

Five games in Division One and I begin with the aforementioned Charlemont Star who host City Church. Charlemont will be on a high reaching the Final, but will they be able keep the momentum going. Both teams have 3 games left and this really is a middle of the table clash. I think that City may just want it a bit more as they can certainly aim for a higher finish than mid table if others slip up. City Church to win.

Life Central travel to face Monyhull Church and I will say right from the off that I fully expect a Life Central win. This may keep their very slim hopes of winning the title going for an extra week but I really believe that their loss to Chawn Hill Church a couple of weeks ago extinguished their hopes of becoming Champions. Monyhull still need points to avoid being bottom, although I still expect Selly Oak Methodist to finish there as they play Clarendon in their final game. Comfortable Life Central win for me.

Chawn Hill Church failed in their efforts to prevent St Marys from taking top spot last week, but it took the last kick of the game to win it for St Marys and it was a penalty kick that sealed all 3 points for them. Steve from Chawn was gutted, as like Delph he assures me that they missed chance after chance. Well, Chawn are away to Saint Michael who need to start picking up some more points to ensure they do not end up in the bottom 3. Saint Michael won the reverse fixture 1-0 earlier in the season but something tells me it will be Chawn that take all 3 points. Chawn win.

The other losing Semi-Finalist last week were Connect Sports who before then were in the race for both the Cup and the Division One Title. Well, as the saying goes, ‘a week is a long time in football’ and this weeks results could have a massive bearing on where the title ends up. In my view, this is a must win for Connect, in fact I would go so far as to say they have to win all 3 of their remaining games to have a chance of being Champions and even that may not be enough with 46 points. St Andrews Netherton stand in their way first and I have to admit, like Living Hope, I did expect more from them this season. they play some good football but I think they need to be more competitive. For this reason it’s a Connect Sports win for me and for them to then look at the last game that I have not mentioned yet.

The last match to preview is surely the ‘Match Of The Day’ with St Marys hosting Clarendon. Clarendon are currently 6 points off the top but do have 6 games to play. However, 3 of those are against the current top 3 sides in Division One! So, if they are to add to their already impressive trophy tally they will have to do it the hard way. St Marys must be thinking that win this one and they will have one hand on the trophy. I think a St Marys win would near enough end Life Central and Connect Sports challenge, (although they would not be out of it mathematically). I really struggle to back against Clarendon and a win for them would keep the title race wide open still. But it’s ‘hunch time’ again and I’ve changed from my original thought and am going for a St Marys win.

(So much for this being brief)!

Having challenged the Chairman a few weeks back, (and lost), I got to thinking that some of the Committee are Club Secretaries so why not include some of the rest of the other Committee Officers. With this in mind, this weeks Prediction Challenger is Darren Appleby the Referee’s Secretary.

 

30th March, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Charlemont Star 1 City Church 3
Clarendon 1 St Marys 2
Connect Sports 3 St Andrews Netherton 1
Monyhull Church 1 Life Central 4
Saint Michael 1 Chawn Hill Church 2
Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 2 Living Hope Church Utd 1
Delph Athletic 3 St Thomas Aldridge 2
******************************************************************
Referee’s Secretary, Darren Appleby
Division One
Charlemont Star 2 City Church 2
Clarendon 3 St Marys 1
Connect Sports 4 St Andrews Netherton 2
Monyhull Church 1 Life Central 4
Saint Michael 2 Chawn Hill Church 1
Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 1 Living Hope Church Utd 4
Delph Athletic 5 St Thomas Aldridge 1

23 Mar 2019

Champions-Elect + Cup Finalists + Match Report

Congratulations to Amblecote Nomads, who, following Corinthians S.K defeat today are now Champions-elect for Division Two. Also congratulations to both Charlemont Star and Clarendon on reaching this years League Cup Final.

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

Match report received from Bob of Christ Church Coseley who also wanted to pass on congratulations to Amblecote Nomads.

Just want to say a massive congratulations to Amblecote for winning the league. It was good to see nearly the entire team make the journey over this morning to watch. Fantastic effort from them.

Christ Church Coseley 3 vs 0 Corinthians S.K
Having lost 2 games to Corinthians this season we went into this full of confidence that no team would beat us 3 times this season.

The first 10 minutes Corinthians had the better of possession and chances but our back 4 of Jordy, Dean, Dan and Amo looked solid and with Lewis in goal controlling his area Corinthians struggled to find a way past with only a couple of chances that never really troubled us. Christ Church then awoke and from 20 minutes in it was us that created the chances and last ditch defending and some poor shooting stopped us taking the lead until 8 minutes from ht when a ball broke in the box, Mitch Mg beating the keeper to the ball and then seemingly having his ankles and legs taken from behind. The ref took a moment to think before pointing to the spot. With 20 goals so far up stepped Lewis B to put the ball firmly in the back of the net, top left, and in his own words “keepers just dont save them kind of penalties” very true. With that breakthrough we didn’t settle and before ht we could have made it it 2 or 3 but we went in at ht leading.
Ht 1-0
Ht team talk was mainly voiced on knowing Corinthians would come out the 2nd half and try to level up and again for a few minutes they had the better chances but some fantastic defending again from the back 4 they was left frustrated. With Corinthians coming forward in numbers it left Craig and Lewis up top with a lot of space, Craig holding the ball up well and bringing others into the game works well for us. He may not score many this season but his strength and effort is worth a goal or 2 a game and normally it’s his strength and hold up play that brings a goal or a chance on goal. With 25 minutes left we won a throw just in line with the penalty spot, Craig throwing it into Bob who flicked it on and over the keeper to make it 2-0.
Now we have had 2-0 leads at this stage in games and walked off with a point but today we stood strong and whatever Corinthians threw at us we dealt with including a fantastic tackle from Josh drew, with the striker ready to pull the trigger 10 yards out Josh made probably the tackle of the game, taking the ball of the strikers toes and away from the goal. With 10 minutes left Corinthians came forward again but running into Jordy an Bob we got the ball back and Jordy split the defence with a fantastic pass into Lewis who 1on1 took his time and placed the ball past the keeper to make it 3-0 and goal 22 of the season.
Even at 3-0 today the lads kept battling and didn’t put a foot wrong. Screeny and Jack both coming on and straight away settled into the pace of the game with some fantastic tackles. With the last minutes passing we could have scored another couple but with the ft whistle blowing we come away with 3 points and a clean sheet.
Today’s man of the match was a tough decision as any 1 of the lads could have been given it. But mubin got the vote, his Tackles won, headers and all round game play today was fantastic and it was his birthday so happy birthday mate

That sees Amblecote Nomads crowned league winners and overall deserved, (edit: not crowned yet but they are Champions-elect). Having seen them myself  come into the league and keep going when results didn’t go their way it shows what hard work can produce. Well done to all at Amblecote

With 1 game left for us a win will guarantee us 3rd place and a slip up from Corinthians may see us end up 2nd, and for a 1st season with some lads who have not played much 11 aside or much competitive football it’s a massive achievement not just for bob Lee an daz but all of the lads. Either way, come next week we can all walk off the pitch proud of what we have done this season.

22 Mar 2019

Preview + Prediction Challenge, 23rd March.

Indulged myself  in watching a bit of Riverdance before doing this weeks preview and prediction challenge. Made we wonder how much fancy footwork we might see on display at tomorrows games. I always think that whilst nice footwork skills are good it doesn’t always transfer onto a full sized pitch and is more suited to 5 a-side stuff. Mind you, ‘Captain Super Jack’ might change my mind  🙂

On to our football tomorrow and there’s really only 1 place to start and that is with the Cup Semi-Finals with 2 matches that could go either way. The first sees 2 teams maybe thinking of doing the ‘Double’ with Connect Sports playing Clarendon. I’m really unsure of predicting either match because I can see positives for each and every club. I think that Connect may not end up as Champions in Division 1 but I do think they will finish off Clarendons hopes of a ‘double’ in a very narrow match. It’s a match that may well need extra time, but it’s Connect in the Final for me.

The second Semi sees 2nd Division Delph Athletic play 1st Division Charlemont Star. Both teams have very similar stats in their respective divisions. This one may go all the way to penalties, but the prediction challenge is based on 90 minutes and being pushed, I will go for Charlemont to be the other finalists. So I am forecasting a Charlemont Star vs Connect Sports Final. This weeks prediction challenger is Ben from Amblecote Nomads who has predicted a Delph Athletic vs Clarendon Final with Clarendon needing extra time.

On to Division One and whilst 4 teams still remain in the hunt for the title its beginning to look to me as though some of those challenges may be fading. Life Central suffered a huge set back last week losing to Chawn Hill Church and now have 2 games left to play. One of those is against Clarendon and that is a must win for them but I don’t see them as Champions now come seasons end. Last weeks conquerors, Chawn, could however do them a favour as they play current 2nd placed St Marys at home. This is a huge game for St Marys, a win would elevate them into top spot and set it all up for next weeks match vs Clarendon. Chawn have other ideas though. I said last week I would like to predict them to win but lacked the belief they would do so. They also have to play Connect in a few weeks so their games may have some bearing on where the title ends up, plus they will be looking to finish the season as high as possible. My heart says Chawn but once again, not quite enough. I will plump for this to be a draw.

Selly Oak Methodist host Monyhull Church with both teams languishing at the bottom of the table. This is must not lose for Selly Oak, to do so would see them confirmed in bottom place. Their minimum aim must be at least a draw but a quick look sees that their remaining game is against Clarendon so actually I believe they need to win this match. It;s not beyond the realms of possibility that Monyhull could catch Rowley by winning their 3 remaining games and hope Rowley, who have tough matches, fail to get any more points. Should they lose tomorrow and also lose the other 2 matches left then they would end up bottom. This for me is ‘THE’ match to decide last place. I am going for Monyhull to win, I just cannot see Selly Oak getting a goal.

The last game in Division 1 sees City Church host St Andrews Netherton in what looks a basic mid table clash. City Church should just be playing for the fun of it now, currently safely placed in 6th assured of 1st Division football next season. St Andrews have a fair few games left and should be looking to win them all to elevate them as high as possible. Like Chawn, could a series of scorelines end up with them in 3rd place or could they dream of pinching 2nd? Both teams could still amass 43 points. I expect St Andrews to bag the first 3 of these points which would place them in 6th.

As stated earlier, my challenger this week is Ben from Amblecote and the only match they will be interested is is Christ Church Coseley vs Corinthians S.K. Should Corinthians fail to win then Amblecote will be Champions elect. With that in mind my prediction for that game will be last  🙂

Excel Church will be the first team to complete their fixtures this season travelling away to face St Thomas Aldridge who have moved away from the bottom with some good form of late. Their last match saw them beat off Living Hope Church and I see no reason why their accumulation of more points will stop tomorrow. Excel have let in an average of over 3 goals a game, something I expect will also happen in their last match. It’s a St Thomas win for me.

Living Hope Church United really must improve after last weeks result if they harbour any hope of trying to finish 2nd or even 3rd. They face a Dudley Lions side who like City Church in Division 1 sit comfortably in mid table. This could be tricky for Living Hope but I take them just to shade it.

Christ Church Coseley vs Corinthians S.K will have Amblecote players all over the result and some may even be going to watch it as they have a free weekend. Will they be Champions elect or Corinthians keep the title race alive, especially as they play Amblecote Easter weekend on April 20th. (Some matches have needed to be scheduled for that weekend, in agreement with the Club Secretaries). It’s still possible that Corinthians could push it all the way and if they also beat them then Amblecote would need something against Delph Athletic in their final game. Christ Church will be looking to win their last 2 matches and hope Corinthians stumble in their last 4 matches hoping they could finish 2nd. An inferior goal difference helps Corinthians so a big win for Christ Church would help that situation. Another game that’s a tough call, but I am going for a Corinthians win whick would keep Amblecotes celebrations on hold.

Thanks to Ben Hart for his predictions this week. (I will be aiming to do an update on this over this weekend).

23rd March, 2019
Neil Kovacs
League Cup Semi – Finals
Connect Sports 2 Clarendon 1
Delph Athletic 1 Charlemont Star 2
*******
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 2 St Marys 2
City Church 1 St Andrews Netherton 2
Selly Oak Methodist 0 Monyhull Church 3
*******
Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 1 Corinthians S.K 3
Living Hope Church Utd 2 Dudley Lions 1
St Thomas Aldridge 4 Excel Church 1
Club Secretary (Ben from Amblecote Nomads)
League Cup Semi – Finals
Connect Sports 2 Clarendon 2
Delph Athletic 3 Charlemont Star 2
*******
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 2 St Marys 1
City Church 0 St Andrews Netherton 3
Selly Oak Methodist 0 Monyhull Church 0
*******
Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 2 Corinthians S.K 2
Living Hope Church Utd 4 Dudley Lions 3
St Thomas Aldridge 3 Excel Church 1