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

19 Mar 2019

Urgent Request – Volunteers Needed

We Need YOU! Fancy being part of a team? Birmingham Passion Play Stewards 2019.
BPP 2019 is an exciting venture taking place on 16-17-18th April between 12:30-2pm through Birmingham Centre. We need people to volunteer and with me steward the event, could that be you? If you’re interested, please contact me for further details at stevek@saltmine.org.
Steve Knight Chawn Hill FC

17 Mar 2019

Match Report – 16th March

I have updated the Divisional Results Pages today. I was all set with my cup of tea yesterday ready to bash away at the keyboard but unfortunately I was and still am having trouble getting on the web site. So whilst I have varied how I have got on here I think it’s best to get Pete Bennett’s Match Report on whilst I have the chance. Thanks to Pete for his continued match reports that gives us something else to read rather than just statistics.

Rowley College 3 vs 3 Saint Michael

Thanks first of all today to Tony Skinner. Having lost the referee and one assistant this morning, Tony, who is not refereeing this season due to an injury agreed to step off the line into the middle: he had a really good game. For the second time this season we played against and then with a raging wind but this time, due to the effort and endeavour of both teams, the game was not ruined: it was entertaining and enterprising.  I think in the end the 3-3 draw was a fair reflection on the game.

We had a number of absentees today but managed a strong eleven plus one sub.  We played against the wind and slope first half and set up accordingly with a 4-5-1 and every player put in a shift but also much more. From Pidd in goal to Josh ploughing a lonely furrow up front, I was properly impressed today with every player.  The point is that St Michael are an increasingly effective side, adding a little edge to the technical quality they’ve always had and they really put us under pressure with the wind at their backs: going close even in the first minute.  They now have more attacking potential and our back four and keeper had forty five minutes of concentration and courage.

Ten minutes in I found myself, as stand-in lino, at the centre of things when I flagged their centre forward offside as he (brilliantly) headed in from a perfect cross.  All I can say is I was perfectly in line and he was (if not by much) ‘off’!  Their mood was not improved when we then scored against both the wind and the balance of play. We were making the best of our disadvantage whenever we could. Hayden was having his best game in a Rowley shirt, Fin gets better every week and Ben Smith gave an all energy performance and Brad worked up and down all half. About 15 minutes in Fin and Josh combined to put the ball at Brad’s feet and he cut inside and hit a looping drive into the top corner.

St Michael came back at us with renewed energy and Mark offered sterling work as defensive cover and started to have more influence on the game. They bombarded our goal and we harried and blocked and fought.  They equalised with a good goal: good cross and firm finish and continued to press.  Finally and frustratingly just before the break they then went ahead from the first corner we failed to clear.  Turning around at 1-2 was an achievement: particularly managing to score against the wind!

We switched to a 442 with Mark joining Josh up front and made immediate progress. Within five minutes we were level as a cross into the box was met firmly by Mark who stepped across Ben to crash it home.  What we were discovering was that playing with the wind was more difficult than it seemed: too much of the second half for us was over-hit and out of control. We tried to force things by making a change and going for it: switching to a 3-5-2 formation. Sadly our sub’s first touch was a back header that split our defence allowing them like us to score against the wind and a terrific finish it was. The final twenty minutes was largely about us with Ben Smith delivering a man of the match performance driving us on. Appropriately it was Ben’s free kick that allowed Josh to rise like the proverbial salmon to head us level but we could do no more (and they broke with menace too). Because of our pressure (wind-assisted) we went off feeling a little deflated but in the context of the whole game we deserved no more. All the  best to Robert and his lads.

16 Mar 2019

16th March Preview + Prediction Challenge

If memory serves me right I predicted that the 4 challengers for the Division 1 title would become 3 with me expecting Life Central to overcome St Mary’s. Now St Mary’s may not have won but by drawing the match 1-1 they stay in the race and with Connect Sports game versus Clarendon postponed tomorrow they have a chance to gain ground should they win one of their games in hand. They come up against Charlemont Star who may just have one eye on next weeks Semi-Final, (well that’s what they would say in the papers regarding professional football but let’s get real here, this is parks football and players compete properly every week). So, a tough ask for St Mary’s who, in my mind, have had some slip ups this season. However, having said all that I believe that St Mary’s focus will now come into play as the business end of the season starts, so it’s a narrow win for St Mary’s for me.

As mentioned above, the Connect Sports vs Clarendon game is off which means that leaves Life Central as the only other top 4 playing and they come up against Chawn Hill Church. After last weeks 1-1 draw with St Mary’s, Life Central need to take all 3 points from this game to keep the pressure up on the chasing clubs. Looking at the League Table it would be easy to predict a Life Central win, but if Chawn win their 2 games in hand and win tomorrow there would only be 1 point between them. If they realise that, they should be up for giving Life Central a good game. Chawn took a bit of a thumping in the reverse fixture back in October losing 7-2. As A Chawn chap of many years it would be great to tip them for a win, however, prediction challenge points are at stake so I am going for Life Central to win and at least increase the gap between them, Connect and Clarendon.

Clarendons game last week was also postponed so the possibility of mid week games looms large for them. Connect lost the upper hand in the title race dropping points last week, losing 3-2 to City Church, who, when they get their full team out can be a match for anyone. I’m not confident that City’s game versus Selly Oak Methodist will be on tomorrow. Selly Oak also had their game postponed last week and will not want to miss out for a second week. I reckon that should the game get the go ahead City Church will come out comfortable winners.

Should Selly Oak lose, it will give Monyhull Church a chance to distance themselves from them, but they travel away to face St Andrews Netherton who are another Club like Chawn, having games in hand on the top teams. I’m not expecting them to challenge for the title, but looking at the losing column 2nd place could be up for grabs should the top 4 teams suddenly have a major blip. I’m confident that St Andrews will just stay in touch by beating Monyhull.

Rowley College host Saint Michael with neither team having anything to play for except wanting to win. Rowley are still in touching distance of the bottom 2 but I reckon results elsewhere will mean they won’t end up there. So, both teams can throw caution to the wind, (which hopefully will not be a major factor in tomorrows matches). Lots of attacking play and loads of goals, so 0-0! Only kidding, I reckon a Rowley win in a 7 goal encounter. It will also be nice to get a Match Report this week.

Division 2 sees Champions elect Amblecote Nomads come up against bottom placed Brierley Hill A.O.G, but with Corinthians S.K not playing, Amblecote cannot be crowned as Champions tomorrow. Amblecotes last 2 games after tomorrow are against Corinthians and Delph Athletic, not bankers at all. So whilst the table looks good for them at the moment a slip up tomorrow could be costly. However, Brierley Hill let in too many goals and tomorrow will be no exception. It’s a big win for Amblecote for me which will then see them looking out for Corinthians result against Christ Church Coseley the following week.

Christ Church will be hoping for a Corinthians slip up as they look to get 2nd place and they come up against Delph Athletic who like Charlemont Star may have an eye on next weeks Semi-Final, (I’m not going to repeat what I said above). Delph were on the wrong side of a 7 goal thriller last week against Living Hope Church United so has their bubble burst. Well, as much as I think they will battle, I also reckon that like Charlemont they will be going into next weeks Semi-Final on the back of a defeat. A Christ Church Coseley win, but only by the odd goal.

Conquerors of Delph last week, Living Hope may still be hoping to get 2nd place and as they face St Thomas Aldridge for the second time in a fortnight will fancy their chances of keeping the pressure on those above them. They won 3-0 the other week in this fixture and I reckon they will come away with all 3 points again.

I think that only leaves the Excel Church vs Dudley Lions match to preview. Like the Rowley vs St Michael game in Division 1 both teams here are safe and not in contention for promotion so it’s a game to attack, attack, attack, especially for Dudley because Excel have let in 80 goals so far! With that statistic in mind, I am going for a Dudley Lions win.

Apologies for this being posted so last, just after midnight, (so tomorrow becomes today in the above comments). Not only did the computer update take longer than anticipated but for some reason the web site went down whilst doing this. (That’s why it’s fairly long this week… kept typing until it was back up and running). This weeks Prediction Challenger is Ian Baker from Brierley Hill A.O.G.

16th March, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 2 Life Central 4
City Church 3 Selly Oak Methodist 0
Rowley College 4 Saint Michael 3
St Andrews Netherton 4 Monyhull Church 1
St Marys 2 Charlemont Star 0
Division Two
Amblecote Nomads 9 Brierley Hill A.O.G 2
Delph Athletic 2 Christ Church Coseley 3
Excel Church 2 Dudley Lions 7
St Thomas Aldridge 0 Living Hope Church Utd 3
******************************************************************
Club Secretary (Ian Baker from Brierley Hill A.O.G)
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 2 Life Central 2
City Church 4 Selly Oak Methodist 1
Rowley College 4 Saint Michael 2
St Andrews Netherton 3 Monyhull Church 1
St Marys 3 Charlemont Star 0
Division Two
Amblecote Nomads 3 Brierley Hill A.O.G 3
Delph Athletic 2 Christ Church Coseley 4
Excel Church 1 Dudley Lions 1
St Thomas Aldridge 0 Living Hope Church Utd 5

8 Mar 2019

Preview + Prediction Challenge – 9th March

I stated this last week and the seriousness nature of the statement means I will repeat it before this weeks preview and prediction challenge.

As League Secretary, I am now making this fact known publicly so that everyone is aware that standards of behaviour must improve. Be of little doubt that actions will be taken to make sure that this League meets its Mission Statement which is as follows:

To enable Christian and non-Christian men alike to participate in a capably organised league in a manner, both on and off the field of play, that is morally, decently and ethically sound of action and speech and is honouring to the name of Jesus Christ.

I have had some full and frank discussions over the past few weeks and need to state the following, this League will be run according to Christian values in line with the F.A’s Laws Of The Game. Anyone, whether it be an individual or a Club that fails to meet these values is at serious risk of no longer being a part of this League. This could be de-registration of an individual, expulsion of a Club or no entry next season. At the moment, there are certain individuals and Clubs who are at risk of the aforementioned sanctions. In closing this part, please enjoy your football but make sure your actions are worthy of partaking within this League, both on and off the field of play.

Only 3 games in each Division tomorrow, St Andrews Netherton vs Saint Michael has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. There may only be 3 matches in Division 1 but all the top 4 teams are in action, all of which will still fancy their chances of becoming Champions. Clarendon are only 3 points behind the joint leaders who are both on 37 points but Life Centrals goal difference puts them in top spot for the time being. Clarendon have 2 games in hand but they do still have to play the current top 2 teams. They face struggling Selly Oak Methodist tomorrow who I envisage having a tough day as Clarendon set about improving their goal difference. I don’t like saying this but I can see double digits tomorrow in this game if Clarendon set about the task in hand. (Rob from Selly Oak will print that out and that’s his team talk done).

Connect Sports have a slightly more tricky game against City Church, but like Clarendon, I expect them to win. I don’t expect a landslide of goals in this one but a comfortable enough win for Connect to possibly go clear at the top depending how the last game in this Division goes. Connect had an impressive win in my eyes last week overcoming a stubborn Charlemont Star side. By beating City Church they would be all set up for a great clash with Clarendon next week.

As I predict Connect and Clarendon to win, both teams are away at the same venue, Rowheath Pavillion. With the continued rain, I am just hoping we get these games played.

The last match sees Life Central host St Marys, who like Clarendon, have games in hand on the league leaders. Whilst this isn’t one of their games in hand, I do believe it to be a MUST WIN for them. Should Life Central win, I reckon St Marys would be ruled out as title contenders and it then becomes a 3 Club run in to be crowned as Champions. I reckon 4 becomes 3 tomorrow and go for Life Central to win and remain top of the table.

Three of the top four in Division 2 are in action with Christ Church Coseley having a break, (they only have 3 games left).

Amblecote Nomads are already figuring out when they might be crowned as Champions but it won’t be happening tomorrow. They face Dudley Lions in what should be a tough challenge. Dudley beat a team in form last week, overcoming Delph Athletic by a single goal. So, can they overcome the leaders? I don’t envisage many goals in this and reckon it will be a point a piece come the full time whistle.

Second place Corinthians S.K face Excel Church looking to cement their chances of ending up as Runners Up. With Brierley Hill A.O.G only having 2 games left, Excel have enough points in the bag to avoid finishing bottom. Corinthians should keep the pressure on the clubs behind them to keep winning by beating Excel.

Living Hope Church United are one of those clubs chasing and really need a win to maintain their challenge for promotion and possibly second place. They face a Delph Athletic side who lost last week but have been in impressive form recently. I watched some of Living Hopes recent defeat to Amblecote and was impressed that they still tired to play some good passing football and their attitude stayed positive all the way to the final whistle. Reading last weeks match report for the Dudley vs Delph match it would seem like Delph still played well even though they lost. Not sure on this but I’m going for Delph to continue their recent good form and slightly dent Living Hopes chances of a top 2 place.

Pete from Life Central is this weeks Prediction Challenger. No doubt the Selly Oak lads will be looking to see my actual score forecast and definitely going out to prove me wrong. (No pressure on you Clarendon).

 

9th March, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
City Church 1 Connect Sports 4
Life Central 4 St Marys 1
Selly Oak Methodist 0 Clarendon 10
*******
Division Two
Corinthians S.K 3 Excel Church 1
Dudley Lions 1 Amblecote Nomads 1
Living Hope Church Utd 1 Delph Athletic 2
*******
Club Secretary (Peter Allen from Life Central)
Division One
City Church 1 Connect Sports 3
Life Central 4 St Marys 2
Selly Oak Methodist 0 Clarendon 3
*******
Division Two
Corinthians S.K 2 Excel Church 2
Dudley Lions 2 Amblecote Nomads 3
Living Hope Church Utd 1 Delph Athletic 2

 

3 Mar 2019

2 Match Reports – 2nd March Games

Match Report off Joshua Briley from Delph Athletic

Dudley Lions 1 vs 0 Delph Athletic

Having played Dudley twice before & won once & lost once we came into this game knowing it would be a very tough game.

Dudley kicked off & straight away we had them on the back foot, our high pressing causing an issue for them on the ball which in turn gave us the upper hand. We had the better of the first half, having more of the ball & creating more chances – Our front 3 had several chances each & worked tirelessly to continue getting in behind the Dudley defence, unfortunately for us, the Dudley Defence hung on, with some great Goalkeeping & 4 Goal Line clearances from defenders preventing us taking the lead. Dudley then grew into the game a bit more & the first half opened up into an end to end half, Dudley hit the bar with a header although our new signing & man of the match Craig in Goal did get finger tips on it to ensure the deadlock was not broken.

0-0  at Half time.

The second half continued in the same way the first half ended, end to end with no team really on top or able to find any kind of rhythm, we did hit the bar through Joel Gooding & Jake Walton forced the Dudley GK into making a great save from a free kick just outside the box. Around the 85 minute mark Dudley then made what has to be an illegal substitution – There has to be protection in the game at this level for defenders, it’s simply unacceptable to have a player on the bench who is as quick as the young lad they brought on!!

This ultimately made the difference and a ball past our defence set the striker through on goal & he finished from a tight angle into the top corner. Lots of questions left for us after that goal – Was this Usain Bolt in a 17 year old’s body? If Dean our CB had set out last week would he have still beaten him to the ball? – Being just a couple of them.

We finished the game gutted to have lost, that puts an end to our unbeaten run which has lasted since November. Still lots of games left for us & we do have an eye on the teams above us.
On another day we could & probably would have been 4-0 up at half time, unfortunately today that wasn’t the case and Dudley’s last ditch defending won them the game. A good game all round really, played in a competitive spirit, shame for either team to lose as it was a tight game but as we all know if you don’t take your chances you open yourselves up for a result like this (& if your opposition has the fastest kid in the world to bring on it does make a difference).

We look forward to playing Dudley again in April – Next up though it’s Living Hope for us!

*******
Unsure if this is from Bob or Lee of Christ Church Coseley but thanks for the Match Report.
Excel Church 1 vs 9 Christ Church Coseley 
After last weeks disappointment we set out today to put that behind us and we did just that. Having played out a very tight 1-0 win not to long ago, we knew Excel had the players to frustrate us.
The 1st 15 minutes Christ Church was on top and looked likely to get the 1st goal, however with the 1st attack from Excel they took the lead. A free kick into the back post was put away and we found ourselves on top but a goal down. The goal seemed to not affect us and we continued to attack and 5 minutes later after some good work in the middle from Jordy and Mubin the ball found Craig on the edge who found the top corner with a delightful outside of the foot shot. Having got back level we started playing some nice 3 touch football with Scott Mubin and Jordy. Not long after we took the lead when Scott played in Craig on the left who curled the ball past the keeper and in the bottom corner. A good response and a well deserved 2 goals from Craig. Soon after we got a 3rd, a bit of luck with this goal. After Mitch out jumped 2 defenders and headed over the keeper the ball seemed to be creeping in only for the Excel defender to clear it off the line. Unfortunately he cleared into the face of Bob 2 yards out and the ball went in 3-1 ht.
2nd half we made a change with Nath coming on. We started the 2nd half with the same intensity but once again found Excel get through only for a fantastic save from Lee (stand in keeper) the ref pointed to the spot and gave a penalty. Excel unlucky to hit the post however I do think had it been inside the post Lee would have saved it as he was down to his right leaving no space for the ball to pass him, we cleared and set out getting more goals. We didn’t have long to wait as Craig was then brought down in the box an again the ref pointed to the spot (at this point a player on a hat-trick would normally step up, however Craig handed the ball to Nath which not many strikers on a hat-trick would do so massive fair play to him for that) Nath slotted away the pen to make it 4-1. Excel seemed to be tiring and with our energy we camped in their half for the last 25 minutes. Our 5th goal came from Nath after a ball in from Scott beat the defender in the box,  Bob knocked the ball past the defender only be taken down but with the advantage played Nath was there to poke home for his 2nd. 5-1.The next goal was 1 to forget for the keeper, and nearly miss of the season from  Bob. The keeper clearing the ball quick he hit his own player with the ball landing to Bob 4 yards out a simple task of the empty goal seemed to easy and he very nearly put the ball wide. (Relieved to see it land in the net) 6-1. The 7th followed shortly and another relieved player in Jordy. Having missed 4 or 5 shots he finally found the back of the net when a ball across from Nath found him on the edge he managed to hit the target and the net (now taking the nickname 1in10) Excel had no answer for our attacks and pace upfront, Luke breaking down an attack on the right sent a long ball over the top finding Nath, with him running through the 8th goal was never in doubt with a fine finish and his 3rd goal of the game. The 9th came shortly after Jordy an screeny breaking up play in the middle a ball out to Nath who crossed to the back post for Bob to lob the on rushing keeper and grabbing his 3rd goal. 9-1.ft
Thanks to excel for the game and as much as 9-1 isn’t a nice score to be on the end of, their lads took the loss very well, fair play to them and we hope they continue next season and hopefully get a few good results in the remaining games.

1 Mar 2019

1st March – All Things W.M.C.F.L + Prediction Challenge (Updated 9.20pm)

March 1st and to quote Sky Sports famous saying, “The Transfer Window Has Slammed Shut.” Yes folks, the squad you have now is what you have for the remainder of the season. No more transfers, (not that we get a lot anyway), but more importantly, no more players to be signed. The facility to emergency sign a player on a match day has now ended.

Whilst the Division One Title Race is still wide open it would appear that Amblecote seem to be Champions elect in Division Two barring a disastrous run in. However, as the title of this update indicates, this is All Things W.M.C.F.L and there is also another table that we, (the committee), look at every single week. It’s called the Fair Play Table and is based on cautions, dismissals and should there be any, misconducts. This is collated by the B.C.F.A and is monitored by the Committee to see if the standards we look to achieve are being met. At the beginning of January there was a League Meeting where all Club Secretaries should have attended. At this meeting, they were left in absolutely no doubt that standards had declined and were nowhere near where they should be. As League Secretary, I am now making this fact known publicly so that everyone is aware that standards of behaviour must improve. Be of little doubt that actions will be taken to make sure that this League meets its Mission Statement which is as follows:

To enable Christian and non-Christian men alike to participate in a capably organised league in a manner, both on and off the field of play, that is morally, decently and ethically sound of action and speech and is honouring to the name of Jesus Christ.

I have had some full and frank discussions over the past few weeks and need to state the following, this League will be run according to Christian values in line with the F.A’s Laws Of The Game. Anyone, whether it be an individual or a Club that fails to meet these values is at serious risk of no longer being a part of this League. This could be de-registration of an individual, expulsion of a Club or no entry next season. At the moment, there are certain individuals and Clubs who are at risk of the aforementioned sanctions. In closing this part, please enjoy your football but make sure your actions are worthy of partaking within this League, both on and off the field of play.

Last weeks win by Clarendon over St Marys keeps them very much in the title hunt and with both of these Clubs having games in hand it really is a 4 team title race at the moment. With Life Central having a break tomorrow it gives the 3 chasing Clubs a chance to catch up. I’m certain that Clarendon will overcome Monyhull Church and that St Marys will also beat Selly Oak Methodist but there’s a little niggle or hunch regarding Connect Sports versus Charlemont Star in my mind. This could be a preview of the Cup Final, with both teams in the Semi’s and on separate sides of the draw but tomorrow is all about the League. I should be saying a Connect win but just how resilient will Charlemont be? I’m playing my hunch on this one and going for a draw. I fancy a good game between Chawn Hill Church and St Andrews Netherton, I was hoping to nip down and see the second half but the works have altered my hours so unable to.. not happy! I’m leaning towards a St Andrews win, but not enough, so it’s on the fence and a score draw. The last Division One game sees Saint Michael host City Church and I was going to tip a City win, but then I remembered Martins match report from last week and their 12 match run. Having checked that, I’m now going for a Saint Michael win to keep City’s 13 match sequence going.

I managed to see a fair bit of the Amblecote Nomads versus Living Hope Church United match last weekend and whilst Amblecote ran out comfortable winners, Living Hope continued to try and play their football. Both teams were a credit to the League on the day. Tomorrow sees Amblecote also taking a break and I am sure they will be keeping a keen eye on the results of tomorrows games. I do not think that either Corinthians S.K or Christ Church Coseley will slip up in their games against Brierley Hill A.O.G or Excel respectively. Living Hope are not out of it just yet but they need to win a fair amount of their remaining games. My initial toughts were to tip them, but they are facing a rejuvenated St Thomas Aldridge whi i believe may just have enough to overcome them. So it’s a St Thomas Aldridge win for me. The last game sees Dudley Lions face Delph Athletic, another team who have improved this calendar year. They come up against Dudley Lions who are 1 point ahead of them having played an extra game. I never know what to expect with Dudley Lions, who had a very convincing win last weekend. So, my last prediction sees me with splinters again, sitting on the fence with a score draw.

My Challenger this week is none other than the famous Roger Moore, (no, not the actor), but the man from Clarendon. A person who has been involved in the League for many, many years and totally understands the requirements of this League. A genuine top bloke and a class footballer. Saying all that, I still hope to beat him. So here are our predictions:

2nd March, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 2 St Andrews Netherton 2
Clarendon 3 Monyhull Church 0
Connect Sports 1 Charlemont Star 1
Saint Michael 2 City Church 1
Selly Oak Methodist 0 St Marys 2
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 0 Corinthians S.K 3
Dudley Lions 1 Delph Athletic 1
Excel Church 1 Christ Church Coseley 3
St Thomas Aldridge 3 Living Hope Church Utd 1
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Roger Moore from Clarendon)
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 2 St Andrews Netherton 1
Clarendon 1 Monyhull Church 0
Connect Sports 2 Charlemont Star 1
Saint Michael 2 City Church 1
Selly Oak Methodist 0 St Marys 5
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 0 Corinthians S.K 3
Dudley Lions 1 Delph Athletic 1
Excel Church 0 Christ Church Coseley 3
St Thomas Aldridge 1 Living Hope Church Utd 2

 

 

26 Feb 2019

More Match Reports For 23rd February

Two more match reports received, the first From Martin Ogbourn of City Church.

Monyhull Church 2 vs 3 City Church  
In glorious early spring sunshine City Church managed to get the better of Monyhull at Row Heath in a frantic finale to the league game after 80 minutes of a tight battle.
City started the match strongly and took an early lead through Janny who curled a lovely finish passed the diving keeper. Shortly afterwards City were awarded a stonewall penalty that was well saved.
Despite being on top and demonstrating some good attacking play, City were unable to get the second goal after good saves by the Monyhull keeper.
Monyhull came more into the game as the half wore on, but City were disappointed not to have at least doubled the scoring before half time (HT 0-1).
The second half was more evenly matched, but neither side could find the finish, before a crazy end to the game. At around the 80th minute mark, Monyhull equalised, but almost straight away City again took the lead through substitute, Ian Monk with a far post finish. However, this seemed to spur Monyhull on, as they went down the other end and equalised for a second time.
The drama wasn’t finished yet as the game resembled an end-to-end basketball match at this stage with chances at both ends. In one attack, Monyhull almost took the lead for the first time in the match, but hit the post from close range.
With a couple of minutes left, City took the lead for the third and final time from another substitute, Isaac Horry who wrong footed the keeper inside the area. It was a good finish for the neutral, but not for the nerves of the coaches as defending went out of the window!
Overall, City deserved the three points on the balance of play, in my opinion. However, it was a good battle and could have gone either way at the end.
My man-of-the-match was Janny for his all-round play in his first start since October. Mel and Brad were also dangerous and the subs had an instant impact. Atkins linked play well and it was only spectacular saves which denied him.
All the best to Monyhull who have a good young squad. City look to break their 12-game league sequence of LWLWLWLWLWLW. We are consistently  inconsistent this season!

*******

Match Report received of Joshua Briley, Delph Athletic

Delph Athletic 2 vs 2 St Thomas Aldridge
Having not been at the game myself, I can only really rely on the text updates I got for this report, they came through our manager Matt Slater who was hoping to keep up his 100% win record as manager.
St Thomas are a team who we know can score goals & having played in an 8 goal thriller last time around we were looking forward to an exciting game.
From what I understand – this game was quite the opposite, with most of the messages I received reading along the lines oh ‘mmm very flat game’.
The breakthrough did come mid-way through the first half when Jake Walton in his 2nd start for the club put Ed Sutton through on goal for him to slot home to make it 1-0.
It didn’t take long for another goal to go in & this time it was the same combination again, another great Jake Walton through ball set Ed Sutton up, the St Thomas GK did manage to save his first shot but the rebound fell at Ed’s feet for him to make it 2-0 going into half time.
The Text’s dried up a bit in the 2nd half, St Thomas pulled it back to 2-1 with a penalty & then with about 20 minutes to go made it 2-2.
A poor performance from us in the end, over the past few months we have played in a very positive manner and played with lots of energy, it seems this was missing today & lots of missed chances costed us dearly. Still a point away from home though, which means we are still unbeaten since November.
Next week we travel to Dudley Lions who we have played twice so far, losing 5-1 in the league & winning 4-2 in the League Cup.
Both teams have plenty of games in hand on the teams above them and will certainly be looking at breaking into the top 4.

24 Feb 2019

Match Report – 23rd February

Match Report from Pete Bennett, Rowley College.

Rowley College 3 vs 2 Life Central

Having lost six on the bounce without being terrible, Rowley chose to buck the trend the week I was off teaching Research Methods to MA students (though my first thought of the morning was whether we’d got a goalkeeper!). This then is ‘hearsay’ but having written six ‘what if..’ reports in a row I’ll be damned if I’m going to miss out on a famous victory against arguably the best team we’ve played this season and some six weeks after the same team had beaten us 6-1 (does this give hope to Chelsea I wonder?). (edit: just kicked off at time of posting report, Neil).  Then I wrote “The problem today was Life Central just looked a really good side” and that “They showed the standards to which we must aspire”. Thankfully, we’ve kept at it and with a keeper freshly installed last week we did more than enough to get something at Chawn (who are having another comfortably impressive season): having Matt out of goal being as important as having a better keeper in it.

We were also able to add Mark, Clive and Jack to the side that competed well with Life Central and Josh, our centre forward had been excellent the week before. I was also lifted by Neil’s prediction that we’d get something, though Andy’s 1-3 seemed statistically more likely. It turned out to be a bit of a cracker with goals scored and disallowed, ebb and flow and Leon almost saving the game for them by running through most of our team!

By all accounts we defended well (as you have to) and offered plenty of threat.  Jack put us one up from the spot. We then conceded two sloppy goals which ruined our good work and had Mark enraged but had the resolve to come back and win the game with two goals from Josh (so well deserved). Game of plenty chances and action: Clive got a special mention but largely a terrific team performance.  All the best to Life Central who are still a really good team!  For the record this was our 20th game versus Life Central/ Zion Athletic:

Zion Athletic/ Life Central

20

8

2

10

43

53

We fared slightly less well against their other source club, Amblecote who were for a time our bogey team.

Amblecote

28

8

6

14

45

70

23 Feb 2019

Results – Fixtures – Divisional Results Pages Updated

Just after 2 o’clock and the web site Front Page Results and Fixtures have been updated. The Divisional Fixture pages and goal scorers has also been updated with all the information I have received. Some information has not been received yet but I am switching off and enjoying the sunshine whilst we have it.

Looking forward to hopefully receiving more than just Pete Bennett’s Match Report this weekend.

22 Feb 2019

23rd February – Prediction Challenge

Some gremlins earlier prevented me from getting on here earlier and time restrictions mean no time for a preview so it’s just me versus Andy from Charlemont Star in the Prediction Challenge.

23rd February, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Charlemont Star 1 St Andrews Netherton 2
Monyhull Church 1 City Church 1
Rowley College 1 Life Central 1
Selly Oak Methodist 0 Saint Michael 2
St Marys 1 Clarendon 3
Division Two
Amblecote Nomads 3 Living Hope Church Utd 1
Corinthians S.K 2 Christ Church Coseley 2
Dudley Lions 3 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1
St Thomas Aldridge 1 Delph Athletic 2
Club Secretary (Andy from Charlemont Star)
Division One
Charlemont Star 1 St Andrews Netherton 1
Monyhull Church 1 City Church 3
Rowley College 1 Life Central 3
Selly Oak Methodist 1 Saint Michael 2
St Marys 1 Clarendon 1
Division Two
Amblecote Nomads 3 Living Hope Church Utd 2
Corinthians S.K 1 Christ Church Coseley 2
Dudley Lions 4 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1
St Thomas Aldridge 1 Delph Athletic 3

17 Feb 2019

16th February – Match Reports

3 Match Reports in so far. First we start off with Pete Bennett’s report regarding Rowley’s 1-0 defeat to Chawn.

Chawn Hill Church 1 vs 0 Rowley College

When we came into the WMCFL in  1992, Chawn Hill were simply the best team and one of the most established. They remain  27 years later a WMCFL ‘name’ but who’d of thought that Rowley College would also end up as one of the league’s longest lasting clubs!  This was our 47th competitive encounter with Chawn and as always it was properly and in the best way ‘competitive’ (I was reflecting on this after the game with Curtis one of those ‘good lads’ Neil was speaking about at a recent meeting).  Chawn are currently very much in the ascendency, having now won six on the spin and 10 out of the last dozen. This is testimony to their identity as a team because players-wise I think the teams are evenly matched.

This was our second 0-1 defeat in a wind-effected game in a row but these were very different games. Here the wind and a slight slope gave each side in turn an advantage.  Chawn had it first half but we came out of the traps with intent with Mark and Josh up and plenty of attacking promise which brought their keeper early into action. Kev had brought the best present of all this morning: a goalkeeper who looked the business from the get-go.  This allowed Matt to come into a very effective back four with Clive, Kev and Joe and later Matty Stanton.  I think Matt was our man-of-the-match but Josh wasn’t far behind: having support up top really drew a performance from him and he  really deserved a goal for his efforts, particularly playing against Phil Knight who was their best player.

Josh crashed a shot onto the bar and had a close range volley brilliantly saved by their keeper but Chawn also had a period of real ascendency and we had to defend resolutely. Curtis hit a cracking shot into the top corner which Pidd brilliantly kept out and there was plenty of action in our penalty box. Still, with no breakthrough and us with the wind in the second half we looked reasonably set. However, they then got a goal when their lad evaded tackles in midfield, ran to the edge of our box and fired it right in the corner: lovely finish.  Still with the second half, a developing wind and the slope I was positive in my outlook.

Jack pushed on and Mark solidified the midfield and we threw everything at them. In the first twenty minutes of the second half we besieged the Chawn goal.  Josh shook the bar with another cracking volley and there were a number of goal-line clearances (one that might even have gone over!). The third time the bar was struck it bounced out to one of our lads who volleyed it in but sadly from an offside position (both sides provided scrupulous club linesmen today). Chawn were forced to dig in and play on the break, which they did really well.  We continued to press right up to the whistle, knowing it had been one of those days.  Within the spirit of a competitive game, the Chawn lads were first to admit we’d been unlucky. All the best to Steve and his lads and if that is to be Lee Bedford’s last game against us, I wish him a fruitful retirement (he’s been a great competitor!).

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

Next up is a Match Report from Christ Church Coseley, I think from Lee McGahan but not 100 per cent certain of that.

Christ Church Cosely 3 vs 0 Dudley Lions
After last weeks win we went into this game with a different mind set, knowing Dudley are very competitive we expected to have a busy Saturday morning. Christ Church set off on the front foot and within a few minutes we could sense an early goal and so it proved. A good bit of play in middle saw a ball hit Mitch MG in the face and fall to Craig who spotted Lewis in space on the edge, getting the ball under control he curled a lovely shot past the Dudley keeper to make it 1-0.
Dudley reacted with a few half decent balls around our defence but Amo was winning every tackle. Dean was using his strength to stop any balls through while Dan an Jordy cleared any balls up in between. With no real chances falling we sorted ourselves out and a ball through found Craig who again found Lewis 1 on 1 with the keeper and making no mistake made it 2-0.
A few free kicks came and went for Dudley but they never really threatened the keeper in the 1st half and we were a little off the mark with some of our shots. Midfield and defence stood solid and we went in at ht 2-0 up.
2nd half we made a change but it didn’t affect the balance of how the 1st half had gone, Dudley playing higher up left room for Lewis Craig and chambers to run into but we couldn’t find the net and the keeper kept the score down. As the half wore on both teams had a few good chances, Craig firing over for us and the Dudley forward somehow hitting the post and bar In 1 shot. Shortly after Dudley got in again only for a brilliant double save from Lewis denied Dudley a goal and we cleared the ball away. A lot of the 2nd half was played down our right (Dudley’s left) but both Chambers and Jordy managed to stop every ball getting past with perfectly timed tackles and headers. With 15 to go we won a corner Scott delivering onto the head of Bob but the header went over. 2 minutes later we had another chance and again Scott found Bob who headed towards goal an the defender on the line miss timed his kick only to help the ball on the way into the net. (Claimed that 1 as it was on target) 3-0.  At this point we just needed to make sure we was 1st to everything and cleared our lines and that’s exactly what we did until the ft whistle went finishing the match 3-0.
Big thanks to the officials today. We had a young Referee in the middle who was fantastic making some great decisions allowing the game to flow.
*********************
Last Report received so far is from Joshua Briley from Delph who continue their impressive form beating Corinthians S.K
Delph Athletic 4 vs 1 Corinthians S.K

The Delphs returned to league action with a tough game against 2nd place in the table Corinthians SK. Having played them twice so far in our short history we’ve scored 1 & conceded 11 against them so we didn’t need any further warning of how tough of an opposition Corinthians can be.

The game started in beautiful February sunshine & within the first minute a great Corinthians move resulted in the first goal of the game. Corinthians are a well organised team that move around a lot & drag you out of position, it’s this that led to the first goal & It took us a while to get used to it but after 20 minutes or so we finally started to come into the game as our midfield 3 of Jack, John & Grant started to gain control. On the 30 minute mark a Corinthians clearance was met confidently by John Beall in the air who played the ball to Jake Walton, he sent a ball over the top of the Corinthians defence for Ed Sutton to run onto who beat the keeper & made it 1-1 going into half time.

The 2nd half started in the same way the first half finished – with us just on top & not allowing Corinthians time to play the ball around. Their defence were up against the slope, wind & sun in the second half, that, coupled with the relentless pressure our front 3 put on them meant it was only a matter of time before we managed to break them down.

10 minutes into the 2nd half we had a goal disallowed for offside & only a minute later we had the ball in the back of the net again courtesy of Jake Walton, who pounced onto a loose ball in the box to knock it around the Corinthians Keeper. Not long after & we made it 3-1, another good ball over the top from Jake Walton put Nat Harding through on Goal & he made no mistake from inside the penalty area. After some fantastic defending from Joe, Dean & Joel we managed to hold off all that Corinthians could throw at us & anything that did get through was dealt with comfortably by Matt in Goal. Around the 75 minute mark we won a free kick just inside the Corinthians half. Grant Esp stepped up to knock it into the penalty area & the ball bounced all the way into the top corner. 4-1.

Jake Walton was our man of the Match. He caused problems for the Corinthians defence for the whole game, he set up 2 goals & scored 1 in his first full 90 minutes for the Delphs.

Credit to the 3 officials who ran the game really well – I personally made sure they earned their money by making sure they were penalising my terrible foul throws – there was at least 5 of them, much to the delight of the lads on our side who I’ve berated for giving away so many foul throws at the start of the season!

15 Feb 2019

Preview + Prediction Challenge – 16th February

They say a week is a long time in football, well it is enough for me to change my mind regarding the postponed Quarter-Final Cup game from last weekend. My head has overruled my hunch and I am now going for a Clarendon win.

A hastily rearranged match sees Chawn Hill Church play Rowley College and I reckon it will be another disappointing week for Rowley with Chawn’s younger legs seeing them run out winners.

Life Central who will also be disappointed following their Cup knockout last week, (which happened 30 seconds from the end of extra time), will be fully focused on the title race now and I expect them to bag a comfortable win against bottom placed Selly Oak Methodist.

St Mary’s are still in the race for the title but have slipped off the pace recently. Saint Michael are their opponents tomorrow and I reckon St Mary’s wobble will continue and both teams will get a point apiece.

Connect Sports will also be looking to keep the pressure on at the top and still harbour ambitions of the double. They play St Andrews Netherton who on their day play some great football but I do wonder about their competitiveness in such games. I reckon they may fancy this but i’m sitting on the fence with another draw predicted.

Charlemont Star will be in a great mood following their win last week to secure their semi-final place in the Cup and whilst they do not score loads of goals I believe their defence is what they build on. I don’t expect them to let any in tomorrow and will come out as winners against Monyhull Church.

Amblecote Nomads took a massive step last weekend to becoming Champions with a convincing win over Living Hope Church United. With Corinthians S.K also slipping up against St Thomas Aldridge means it is now back in Amblecotes hands. They do not play tomorrow but will no doubt be looking how the others fare in their matches.

Corinthians S.K really need to win if they want to keep the pressure on, but they come up against Delph Athletic, a team in form and who will be over the moon with their semi-final qualification last week against Division 1 opponents. I’m sitting on the fence again and going for a draw.

Christ Church Coseley should have a tougher match than last weekends game against Brierley Hill AOG facing Dudley Lions. I never know what to call with Dudley Lions, but Christ Church Coseley must keep plugging away hoping that Corinthians SK may slip up whilst also trying to stay ahead of Living Hope Church United. I’m going for a Christ Church win.

Living Hope Church United need to get over their disappointment of last weeks defeat to Amblecote Nomads and come up against another team who blow hot and cold in Excel Church who can beat top of the table one week then lose to bottom the next. I’m tipping Living Hope Church United to keep the pressure on with a win.

Brierley Hill AOG had great praise from Christ Church Coseley last week for their battling performance with 9 men and never giving up for the whole 90 minutes. They face St Thomas Aldridge who had a good win last week against Corinthians SK and in doing so sent Brierley Hill AOG to the bottom of the table. Two consecutive wins for St Thomas Aldridge scoring 4 in both games, have they suddenly found a winning formula? I’m tipping them to make it 3 consecutives wins by beating Brierley Hill AOG.

(So that’s my forecast for tomorrows games. On a personal note, I am heading off to watch Villa vs Albion tomorrow so I do not have much time in between work and heading off up there. I will try and get the scores inputted as quickly as I can for the Front Page but it’s looking like 1pm will be the cut off time for that. If Clubs can get their results in as quickly as possible it would help me massively tomorrow).

Tomorrows Prediction Challenger is Robert Zaleski from Saint Michael. So what scores have i gone for and what has Robert predicted? Here you go…..

16th February, 2019
Neil Kovacs
League Cup
City Church 0 Clarendon 4
**
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 2 Rowley College 1
Life Central 5 Selly Oak methodist 0
Monyhull Church 0 Charlemont Star 2
St Andrews Netherton 2 Connect Sports 2
St Marys 1 Saint Michael 1
**
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 0 St Thomas Aldridge 3
Christ Church Coseley 3 Dudley Lions 1
Delph Athletic 2 Corinthians S.K 2
Living Hope Church Utd 4 Excel Church 2
**************************
**************************
**************************
Club Secretary (Robert Zaleski from Saint Michael)
League Cup
City Church 1 Clarendon 4
**
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 3 Rowley College 1
Life Central 6 Selly Oak methodist 0
Monyhull Church 1 Charlemont Star 3
St Andrews Netherton 2 Connect Sports 2
St Marys 4 Saint Michael 1
**
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 0 St Thomas Aldridge 2
Christ Church Coseley 2 Dudley Lions 1
Delph Athletic 1 Corinthians S.K 3
Living Hope Church Utd 3 Excel Church 0

10 Feb 2019

Some Match Reports, 9th February

3 match reports in so far and thanks to those who have contributed. The first is from Joshua Briley from Delph Athletic who made it into the Semi-Finals of the Cup with a 3-1 win over Selly Oak Methodist.

Match Report Form – Selly Oak Cup QF.

Coming into this game our recent form was played 5 won 4 & drawn 1.  With us on a winning streak & Selly Oak sitting bottom of the division above we went into it knowing we had every chance of beating them & causing an upset.

The game started on a windy morning & it was obvious from the warm up that to do anything in this game the ball would have to be played on the ground – this worked in our favour as we as a team generally try to play the ball around & keep possession.

Straight from kick off it was clear that we were a team playing with more confidence than our opponents.

Our front 3 put the Selly Oak defence under immense pressure to ensure that they didn’t have any time to pick passes.

For the first 10-15 minutes we were on the front foot, pressing aggressively all over the pitch & keeping possession well.

One thing we continue to make progress on is translating possession into chances – today was yet another improvement with our attackers & midfielders all having some good chances in the first half as we beat the Selly Oak defence for pace on numerous occasions.

The breakthrough came around the 20 minute mark when a Grant Esp Corner fell at the feet of Ed Sutton, who took a wild swing at it for it to roll 2 foot forward to Nat Harding, who took another Wild swing at it & it progressed another foot closer to goal, only to fall at the feet of Joel Gooding who in true centre back fashion made no mistake from inside the 6 yard box & put his foot right through the ball – 1-0 Delph.

After this we knew Selly Oak would look to apply some more pressure onto us, which we handled with great discipline.

The wind was a real factor in the first half & The Selly Oak GK was having no fun kicking up hill & into it & at the 30 minute mark Joe Bluck took full advantage as the GK kicked one out his hands. He got the better of the Selly Oak LB & struck a shot from just outside the area that flew into the far top corner – 2-0 Delph at HT.

The 2nd half continued in the same manner – Our nice football & aggressive pressing not letting Selly Oak get any kind of rhythm to get back into the game.

On the 60 minute mark we had a free kick which found it’s way to Nat Harding, who took the ball to the dead ball line & squared it back across goal for Resident Tap in Master Jack Slater to pop up with the third Goal of the Game. 3-0.

From there we made a few changes which in truth upset our rhythm & discipline – we were no longer comfortable on the ball & with Selly Oak starting to apply some more pressure they did find what turned out to just be a consolation goal through a quality strike into the Right top corner which left Matt K in Goal for us with no chance. 3-1 with 20 minutes to go.

The last 20 minutes were by no means pretty football from us, we knew what we had to do & it’s a proud moment for any team to see a game out from that position but for us after giving away so many leads at the start of the season & making so many mistakes that lead to Goals it was fantastic to see the discipline shown from all 15 squad members.

Joe Bluck was voted our man of the Match for his non-stop running.

Onto the Semi-Finals & Charlemont Star.

*******

It would appear that the wind was also a major factor in our next report which is from our ever reliable Pete from Rowley who starts by reminiscing of a day when Rowley played Chawn in a 4-4 blustery day game.

Horrible conditions today , bringing back memories of the Rowley College pitch on Rowley hill (where famously we played Chawn and went 4-0 down in a gale and got back wind-assisted to 4-4). (edit: I remember it well having been there that day, it was terrible to play in, Neil).
Let me first admit to the difficulty of writing this report because I am gutted by today’s result: both teams were aware of the opportunity opened up by the cup draw (I mean in  terms of who the winner might avoid in the semis!) and sadly this was decided in a quite unsatisfactory way. I am not speaking of the injustice of it but rather the particular cruelty of the wind which largely ruined the game so that two good teams battled against the conditions rather than playing the football they wanted to. I know Andy feels the same as we spoke about it before, during and after the game: this is not a complaint: games are not called off because of high winds though they made much of the game today effectively unplayable. The first kick from their keeper’s hands (it made 15 yards and went straight out of play!) was a clear indication of what was to come.  I think both teams deserve great credit for sticking at it and either team could have snatched this or indeed lost it without feeling that it was much of a game (the point, of course, is to win these games and I wish Andy and his lads every success going forward.

I think we were the dominant team for much of the game but this was partly contextual.  We had expected to field a full 16 and ended up with only 14 which sadly didn’t include our keeper or centre forward: Matt deputised again in goal and Jack had to play striker (a lad of slight build against two big centre halves. With intent we chose to play with the howling wind at our back in the first half and predictably had plenty of attacking momentum, though it was often impossible to ‘take enough off’ our through balls and stop them skipping through to their capable keeper. I might have made him man of the match, not because he made a string of saves but because in a game of practically no saves (Matty had no shots to save today) he made two vital interventions. In the first half he just beat Jack to a through ball and then followed up to tackle at least a couple of our lads following up.  Then, late in the game he made the game’s only real save to block Jack’s shot.

By then we were 1-0 down, ironically against the wind with Parker and Matt deceived by the wind holding up a through ball, leaving their lad a tap in (a calamity to add to our general misery) and a man down with Parker sent off on the hour.  Early doors I’d been sure the wind would have at least gifted us a goal/ chances and thought we’d need to take advantage so their goal was a body blow. However the wind was so bad (and inconsistent) that neither side gained much advantage (save in clearing the ball perhaps) and both halves were a struggle for both teams.  The fact that we dominated the final half an hour was testimony to our commitment (Mark dropped into a back three with Chris and Kev and we tried to be offensive with the rest) but also to Charlemont’s realisation that they didn’t need to do anything more than they were doing in conditions where it was mighty difficult to do anything. We had menace but nothing clear cut after Jack’s chance and I knew it was up when their centre half went flat on his face and the ball trickled through to their keeper.  Our man of the match for me was Clive who covered every blade (run close by Mark and Chris).

I think without the wind this would have been a really good game and who knows we may have lost 3-0: sadly today it turned into a lottery

*******

The last report received so far, (more would be nice), comes off Lee McGhan from Christ Church Coseley who keep themselves in the mix for promotion with a 7-0 defeat of Brierley Hill A.O.G who now sit bottom of the table.

Christchurch 7-0 Brierley Hill A.O.G

Christchurch 7-0 brierley hill After our last game needed a 97th minute goal to get us a point we wanted to go into this week with more desire and passion. Brierley hill turned up with 9 players and full credit to them lads the 9 made us work for the 3 points. With the wind battering both teams we set off at a good pace with some great chances created but nothing troubling the keeper. Around 25 minutes we finally had the ball in the net and with our youngest goalscorer Mitchel Mcgahan getting his 1st for the team after a cross from Lewis found him unmarked to header home, at 16 he plays sometimes years ahead of his age. A few minutes later he found himself in 1 on 1 only to see the ball go over the bar. By this time Christchurch had set up camp in the hills half and created chances but some good defending and a few good saves we couldnt find that 2nd goal. On about 35 minutes a quick throw down the right released bob who crossed for Lewis, with 1 touch he set himself and fired home  2-0
Shortly after Lewis made it 3-0 and the ref blew for ht.
Few changes at ht saw mubin and Scott come on and straight away we went looking for a 4th. Making the extra 2 men count we attacked in numbers but a few over hit passes and a few wild shots we couldnt seem to find the goal. Around 60th minute mubin sent Bob through 1 on 1 but a brilliant double save from the keeper prevented him scoring only for mubin to follow in on a lose ball an score the 4th. Brierley hill created a great chance to get a goal but the ball wouldn’t drop for the forward and for a moment it looked like we had 9 men. We cleared our lines and settled down. Last 15 minutes we had the edge and another goal from mubin from the edge a header from Bob and a penalty for the hatrick for Lewis saw a comfortable 7-0 win at ft.
It’s always tough when you have 10 men but to start and play 90 minutes with 9 is hard. All credit to brierley hill today as they worked hard and at times made it look like 11v11. Fantastic spirit an those lads who played today are a credit to the team and should not be down hearted with the result at all. Great effort.
As for us we stay in 3rd and are doing what we need to do. Stay in touch with the top few teams. Do think 1st is out of reach for any of the teams with amblecote pulling away but with games left to play it’s not set who will finish 2nd 3rd or 4th. Could be an interesting couple of months. But, its football..  anything is possible.

9 Feb 2019

Prediction Challenge 9th February

Well, last week was a complete wipe out with the frost and as I type away at nearly midnight all I can hear is wind and rain thinking please do not let us have any postponements tomorrow, especially as it is Cup Quarter-Final day and some interesting games elsewhere in the League. I’ve not done a preview for ages but with my illness hopefully getting better and the magic of the Cup, especially how the draw has worked out with who you would consider to be favourites on the one side of the draw means it’s all very interesting. But first a little something from Pete Bennett of Rowley College.

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

Clarendon 6 vs 1 Rowley College

Mini-report

I wasn’t at our 666th game because I was teaching Research Design to Masters students but I’ve produced this bit of ‘hearsay’ because it might be better than nothing and maybe it might respectfully encourage others to see that submitting a report doesn’t have to mean 500 words: two or three sentences gives us all a snapshot of what is going on.

We played Clarendon today, a team we have good relations with, usually good games against and have only beaten once in 29 attempts, though to find 12 draws having only scored 28 goals is an achievement. Truth is they have been consistently better than us and mostly the standard to aspire to and that has usually brought out the best in us.

P

W

D

L

F

A

Clarendon

29

1

12

16

28

83

In 29 games we have only had six ‘wallopings’ but sadly the latest came today. When I knew that our new keeper was injured and our trusty deputy (and centre back) was abroad I feared the worst but Mark said we were competitive for the first half an hour, that our two stand in keepers (Jack and Chris) didn’t let us down but that we just didn’t play well. It didn’t feel like a 6-1 to him. Parker had a sound debut and Bradley returned with a goal (we were one up!).  All the best to Squaddie and Roger and their lads.

***

(edit: Apologies to Pete for not putting this on the site earlier, things have been hard for myself lately but as I alluded to earlier, hopefully things are progressing in the right direction. This should mean the site will be back up to speed which has really been a bug bear for me whilst being bad. So, as Pete says, please send some reports in, even brief ones will do).

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

Now, where were we? Oh yes, the magic of the Cup and we can only really begin with Delph Athletic vs Selly Oak Methodist. This looks to be a classic Cup Tie with a lower League team against a team a Division higher but who are struggling. Out of the eight teams left Delph Athletic are the only Division 2 side left in the Cup and I seem to remember that Joshua Briley’s wife didn’t think they would get past the last round of the Cup as it was his Prediction Challenge that week, (November 17th), and he left that one to his wife. Well, Delph Athletic are in fine form with 4 consecutive wins whereas Selly Oak Methodist have been struggling of late. They did however smash 15 goals past their opponents in the last Round but I do not think that likely in this match. I’m going for the magic of the Cup to continue with a 3-1 win to Delph Athletic. Whoever does make it through that tie will face either Charlemont Star or Rowley College with the latter having won the Cup in 2001. Charlemont Star are faring better in the League but Rowley do possess more up front but then again Charlemont have a good defence. This could go all the way to extra time and penalties but the Prediction Challenge is based on 90 minutes. It’s so tough to call, but I will go with Rowley’s experience and a 2-1 win for them.

The other half of the Cup Draw is just as interesting with the current top 3 teams in there. City Church are also in there and should not be easily dismissed, especially if they can field their strongest team. It’s Life Central versus Connect Sports, 1st vs 2nd and boy I would love to be at this tie, (unfortunately I am working and really am gutted to miss watching this one). I am anticipating a quality match and a few goals as well. I have changed my mind many times on this one, once again I think experience will pay and go for Life Central having been in this situation many times before, but, the magic of the Cup and a hunch has me backing Connect. Well, it’s approaching 1 a.m and I have to decide! Experience again for me and a 3-2 win for Life Central. City Church host Clarendon in the other tie and whilst Clarendon would appear to easily be the favourites I would not write off City Church with them proving they can beat the best with a 2-1 win over them on 5th January. Can City Church repeat that and move into the Semi-Finals? Again, experience keeps coming back to me and says Clarendon. Their 17-0 win in the First Round looks like they do have their minds on this Competition. My head says Clarendon my hunch says City Church, so, 2-1 City Church.

Apologies to teams in Division One and Division 2 as my preview of these games will be quite rapid.. 12.30 am and I need to be up again at 5am.

Only one match in Division 1 with Chawn Hill Church hosting Monyhull Church. Chawn are the favourites for this and that is where my prediction goes, but it is only by the odd goal in five, 3-2 to Chawn.

I stated a few weeks ago that it was Amblecote Nomads title to lose. Well, they had a blip and it’s still all to play for but Amblecote do have points in the bag already which is always a bonus. However, many more slip ups and it gets interesting. The chasing pack have games in hand and tomorrows opponents, (it’s today’s opponents now whilst typing this), are Living Hope Church United. This is, I believe, a must win for them if they have any hopes themselves of being Champions. I think that they will win this match 3-1 and keep this Division very interesting. Corinthians S.K sit in 2nd and face bottom placed St Thomas Aldridge. I really only see a Corinthians S.K win here with them running out 6-1 winners. Should those 2 results happen it gets closer at the top. Christ Church Coseley sit in 3rd but I believe the title to be out of their reach and a promotion tilt to be their remaining aim. They face struggling Brierley Hill A.O.G and I do not see any improvements for Ian’s lot from there. Christ Church Coseley to stay in the race for promotion with a 5-0 win. Excel Church versus Dudley Lions is the last fixture in Division 2 to be mentioned and whilst Excel may still be looking over their shoulder I believe neither team will finish bottom. I am going for an Excel 2-1 win.

So, approaching 1am and the preview is done. As stated earlier, I hope to be getting on top of this sort of thing so that people can read this earlier on a Friday night rather than later than that. But, we will see. Also a quick reminder, please send some match reports in to keep this site more interesting. Prediction below:

 

9th February, 2019
Neil Kovacs
League Cup
Charlemont Star 1 Rowley College 2
City Church 2 Clarendon 1
Delph Athletic 3 Selly Oak Methodist 1
Life Central 3 Connect Sports 2
**
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 3 Monyhull Church 2
**
Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 5 Brierley Hill AOG 0
Excel Church 2 Dudley Lions 1
Living Hope Church Utd 3 Amblecote Nomads 1
St Thomas Aldridge 1 Corinthians S.K 6
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**************************
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Club Secretary (Dave from St Andrews Netherton)
League Cup
Charlemont Star 3 Rowley College 2
City Church 1 Clarendon 2
Delph Athletic 2 Selly Oak Methodist 2
Life Central 4 Connect Sports 0
**
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 2 Monyhull Church 0
**
Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 3 Brierley Hill AOG 1
Excel Church 2 Dudley Lions 4
Living Hope Church Utd 3 Amblecote Nomads 3
St Thomas Aldridge 2 Corinthians S.K 2

 

2 Feb 2019

2nd February, 2019

ALL GAMES POSTPONED

25 Jan 2019

Prediction Challenge 26th January

Well, I have finally managed to update the information regarding how the Prediction Challenge is progressing. It took quite a while having to update 7 weeks information. Having tempted you with that, it will not be until over the weekend that I will report on how it’s going, (I want to do a good review of it if possible plus early to bed tonight as I have to be up at 4am)!  But for now, here is the Prediction Challenge for the matches tomorrow. Thanks to Steve Helsdon for his forecasts this week.

26th January, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Charlemont Star 1 Chawn Hill Church 3
City Church 3 Monyhull Church 2
Clarendon 2 Rowley College 1
Saint Michael 1 Connect Sports 0
Selly Oak Methodist 1 St Andrews Netherton 5
St Marys 1 Life Central 5
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Division Two
Amblecote Nomads 2 Dudley Lions 2
Corinthians SK 4 Brierley Hill AOG 0
Living Hope Church 2 Christ Church Coseley 3
St Thomas Aldridge 1 Excel Church 2
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**************************
**************************
Club Secretary (Steve Helsdon from St Thomas Aldridge)
Division One
Charlemont Star 2 Chawn Hill Church 0
City Church 3 Monyhull Church 2
Clarendon 4 Rowley College 1
Saint Michael 0 Connect Sports 4
Selly Oak Methodist 1 St Andrews Netherton 5
St Marys 2 Life Central 3
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Division Two
Amblecote Nomads 2 Dudley Lions 2
Corinthians SK 4 Brierley Hill AOG 2
Living Hope Church 2 Christ Church Coseley 1
St Thomas Aldridge 3 Excel Church 1

23 Jan 2019

1 More Match Report – 23rd January

Thanks to Joshua Briley from Delph Athletic for this match report.

Christ Church Coseley 1 vs 3 Delph Athletic 

The Delphs came into this game off the back of 4 consecutive games without defeat. We knew this game would be more of a challenge than our previous few games as Christchurch sat 2nd in the league on the morning of our game. This coupled with the fact they gave us a 5-1 hammering in our first game of the season meant we knew we were in for a difficult task.

This week also saw us lose 3 players to a fellow Division 2 outfit, not only were these 3 players who have a wealth of 11 a side experience but more important than that these were 3 players who turned up every week & always put in a good performance.

In truth, this has brought the remaining squad together as each & everyone within it has stepped up. We started the game with a strong starting 11 & 3 good quality subs, with stand in Manager Matt Slater in charge for the game.

The game kicked off in cold conditions & within 3 minutes Christchurch had taken the lead. A wonderful ball from the Christchurch number 7 from just inside his own half flew past our defence (Definitely down to the greatness of the pass rather than Manager Josh Briley being out of position at left back – Maybe), the Christchurch Winger who got on the end of the ball then squared it across goal only to find one of two Christchurch strikers at the back post unmarked to make it 1-0.

At this point we thought we were in for a long game & you’d be forgiven if you’d have predicted a big win for Christchurch at that point.

Christ Church dominated the early part of the game as we just couldn’t seem the settle on the ball, however the first time we did manage to attack the Christchurch defence Nat Harding was put through on goal & managed to tuck home to make it 1-1.

We then grew into the game finding lots of possession all over the pitch, one thing we knew at the start of the season was that as a team we can certainly play the ball around quite well due to a number of our players having played together since they were teenagers on 5 & 7 a side games – Transferring that to grass & 11 a side has taken time but in recent games we have been able to outplay our opposition throughout the game.

This game was no different & deep into the first half a wonderful driven pass from our right Back Joe fell to the feet of Nat Harding who turned his marker & slotted home to make it 2-1.

At half time we led 2-1 & knew that at times throughout our season we had been in this position before & failed to see the game out.

A quick change in midfield & we were back out on the pitch dominating the play. We then extended our lead through a lovely team goal with numerous people involved, the ball found itself worked right through to the back post for Mark Harrison to slot home from just outside the 6 yard box to make it 3-1.

From there on in we showed the kind of resilience we’d been looking for all season, we made no sloppy mistakes which have often lost us games & our best form of defence as a team was attack, Nat Harding found himself through on goal several times and on another day may have had another couple goals to his name.

The Game then ended 3-1, a best performance of the season so far from the Delphs & a solid management debut from Matt Slater (Supported tactically by substitute Matt Kindred). Finally a run of games where we feel we have got the points we deserved.

Another good game against Christ Church Coseley, who in truth were not at their best today, we look forward to playing them again later on in the season.

On 30th November we sat bottom of the table with 4 points, having played 8, won 1, drawn 1 & lost 6.
We now find ourselves sat in 6th position with 17 points having played 13, won 5, drawn 2 & lost 6.

The team have grown a lot since the start of the season & it’s fantastic to see people coming on so quickly, we have a great character & atmosphere within the team so far & we hope the current form can continue on whilst we look to keep climbing the table.

(edit: Not only did Delph Athletic take all 3 points but they also received a glowing reference from Christ Church regarding the fact that they cleared all their own litter up and left no mess whatsoever. Again, these are the standards expected and required within this League. I spend enough time moaning at Club Secs regarding the standards being met so when someone makes a point of praising other Clubs for doing this then maybe I should also praise them, well done).

20 Jan 2019

2 Match Reports 1 Cracking Game – 20th January

2 match reports from the same game and both seem to indicate that it was a match that had everything and played in the right spirit that this league expects. Thanks to Martin Ogbourn from City Church for the first report which is followed by Pete Bennetts from Rowley College.

Rowley College 3 vs 4 City Church
This was the third tight game in a row for City Church which has been decided by the odd goal against very different opponents. This demonstrates  the quality and competitiveness of the league. Today’s match was a strange affair which could have gone either way. It was played in tricky cold conditions.
The match started fairly evenly without many opportunities from open play, before Rowley scored from a good run and finish as they started to get on top down the slope, midway through the half. This was orchestrated by their clever number 7 who caused a lot of problems in midfield. However, City were able to equalise before half time with a quality curled finish into the top corner from McCarthy from outside the box (HT 1-1).
The game seemed to have been sown up after three quick goals from City at the start of the second half. Hunter produced an exquisite chip, McCarthy scored his second after tireless closing down of the keeper, and the third was a Hisgett back heel from about a yard out after an accurate free kick from Atkins had been parried.
Both teams had further chances as Atkins had a goal disallowed and Chattaway saved twice on to the woodwork to deny Rowley strikes. It seemed the game would meander out, but a penalty to Rowley given with about 15 minutes left and duly dispatched, led to a barnstorming finish. A third Rowley goal soon followed, but although there was the odd scare, City were able to hold out for the 4-3 win, which is only our second league away win of the season.
It was a credit to both sides for a really good competitive, hard-fought game. Some of the finishing and build up play from both sides was notable, and it was played in a decent spirit.
City’s man-of-the-match was McCarthy, but there were lots of notable performances throughout the squad such as Thomas, Cashmore and Chattaway. City move on to Monyhull next week as we seek to find some consistency in our up and down season. Good luck to Rowley for the rest of the year.

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Pete’s report:

I’ve been spending some time recently transferring the Rowley archive (my hand-written record of all our results and line-ups since 1991 collected in old mark books) onto spreadsheets.  I’m about halfway through with line-ups but already have a spreadsheet of results which allows me easily to look at how we’ve done against opponents over the years.  Our rivalry with City Church goes back to 2006-07 when we hotly contested the second division title with a team inspired by Louis Quaintance and the McKennas and including Martin Ogbourne and Joe Melia. Ever since we have always had competitive games (one season we lost 7-5 and won 6-4 in the two fixtures) and went in  today with the following ‘history’:

P W D L F A
City Church

25

13

1

11

55

66

 

 

 

The gap is now closer as they won today with the odd goal in seven in a slightly strange game which had many of the distinctive features of Rowley-City games (some decent football in muddy conditions, great competition and sportsmanship) but also a kind of sporadic ‘one side then  the other’ being dominant quality.

The first half was from a more conventional game between good sides.  They played good football up the slope with Dan showing his usual class and we matched them in a half of few chances.  We were short of a specialist striker but delighted to welcome Dave Banner our new goalkeeper and thus to see Matty Williams back at centre half.  This meant a rare outing at left back for Chris Staien, a position he made his own in  our most successful period as a club early this century (now there’s a phrase): he was terrific today.  In fact we had a good number of impressive performances in a game that looked for all the world to likely be a 1-0/1-1/2-1.  Thus when we got the first goal I was delighted.  It came on the counter with Nick driving half the length of the pitch and then playing in our most improved player Fin to finish beating the keeper into the corner.

They were straight back at us but I was confident that we could hold out and build on the vital advantage.  Sadly a slip by Matt (I mean he slipped over) gave them a chance and the lad finished beautifully.  Frustration was further heightened when Ken came a post’s width from restoring our lead late on.

Jack came on second half and was brilliant again but before he could have much impact we’d thrown the game too far away to recover it. I don’t want to misrepresent what was a chaotic half in many ways  but the truth is that we finished thinking we’d deserved a point and City, having been 4-1 must have wondered how it ended up so close.  This is because in a crazy ten minutes at the start of the half we made three ‘proper’ mistakes and City took full advantage.  First Kev failed to cut out a through ball which put Robbie Hunter in on goal: his chip was excellent though! Then poor Dave in his first game let a free kick slip out of his hands for a City tap in.  Finally a series of uncertain actions culminated in Matt playing a short back pass and Dave’s attempted clearance ballooning in off their forward.  They also had one disallowed for a slightly soft foul.  Their pressing was excellent in this period but we also had much to do with our own difficulties.

After their keeper had made a great save to tip over Hayden’s free-kick, Mark and Joe came on as we moved to a more attacking formation with Jack playing up and started to get on top.  There were a number of decisions which provoked discussion on the side (and I mean honest and good natured between the two coaching staffs) including the penalty which got us back into the game which I thought was more than soft (though Jack said after the game that there was contact).  This is absolutely not a criticism of the ref (Jack scored and we sensed a point was on) but rather an indication of the spirit of the game. Thereafter we threw Shola on and went for it with immediate impact as his shot was blocked out to the tireless Matty Suffield to fire home.  Though we did hit the inside of the post, we couldn’t recover the ground we’d recklessly lost.

All the best to City and special mention to one of their substituted players who recovered the ball and threw it promptly back to us even when we were threatening to get back into it: these are the standards Neil was talking about at the last League Meeting, methinks!

18 Jan 2019

One frustrated contributor – Prediction Challenge 19th January

One very frustrated Neil Kovacs, in so much that illness is still having an effect on the time I can spend on here. So much I wanted to do over Christmas and the New Year but sadly it’s bitten the dust. 4 weeks of being bad is getting a little annoying! I’m hoping to be getting over the worst of it and can update stuff…especially how everyone has been doing in the Prediction Challenge. But, as of tonight, it’s just the forecasts again. Thanks to Rob from Selly Oak Methodist for this weeks challenge. (I’m just hoping tomorrow’s results keep an exciting Division One title race continuing and whilst Div 2 looks like it’s Amblecotes to throw away, the chase behind them is close….and then there is the very interesting Cup Draw….. one annoyed contributor who would have liked to have expanded more on this stuff)!

19th January, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 2 Charlemont Star 1
Clarendon 4 Saint Michael 1
Life Central 1 Connect Sports 2
Monyhull Church 2 Selly Oak Methodist 1
Rowley College 2 City Church 2
St Andrews Netherton 0 St Marys 2
Division Two
Brierley Hill AOG 1 Living Hope Church 2
Christ Church Coseley 3 Delph Athletic 1
Dudley Lions 2 Corinthians SK 2
Excel Church 1 Amblecote Nomads 4
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Club Secretary (Rob from Selly Oak Methodist)
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 3 Charlemont Star 1
Clarendon 4 Saint Michael 2
Life Central 1 Connect Sports 1
Monyhull Church 2 Selly Oak Methodist 3
Rowley College 1 City Church 2
St Andrews Netherton 2 St Marys 2
Division Two
Brierley Hill AOG 0 Living Hope Church 3
Christ Church Coseley 2 Delph Athletic 0
Dudley Lions 1 Corinthians SK 3

15 Jan 2019

Match Report 12th January

Brierley Hill AOG 1 vs 3 Christ Church Coseley

Many thanks to Lee McGhan from Christ Church for this report..

After last week’s win we went into this game naming an unchanged team, with prayers of keeping 11 blokes on the field and not having a repeat of the last visit to South road.
Christ Church started bright and within minutes had created a couple of chances but nothing testing the keeper to much, while the other end Conor didn’t really have much to do. On around 30 minutes Christ Church had a goal ruled out for offside and we could sense a goal was coming. However it came at the wrong end for us. Brierley Hill winger beating 2 men on the edge he found the back of the net with a nice finish.
Christ Church continued to attack and with a header from Craig and 1 from Bob both saved it looked like we would end the half 1-0 down until Scott broke free down the left and sailed a perfect cross on to the head of Lewis to send us in level at ht. Just what we needed and deserved.
2nd half we stepped up the tempo with every ball over the top or attack from brierley hill we had a white brick wall in dan dean Josh and Dave stopping everything. A few more chances went our way but the keeper kept us out with a few more brilliant saves. With a few changes to personal we pushed for that 2nd goal and not long after we finally got it. Craig producing some great strength to hold of 2 defenders before lobbing the on rushing keeper. 2-1
Shortly after we made it 3-1, a low corner missed the players at the front and found Bob unmarked 5 yards out to poke home.
Brierley hill still didn’t give up and with a few minutes left was awarded a penalty and with a chance to make it 3-2 the Brierley Hill forward went for top corner power but the ball sailed 2 foot over the bar. A sigh of relief from us and after a few more passes and a free kick sailing out of play the ref blew for full time.
3-1 to the lads.
A tough tackling game today but an all round solid display. The lads who came off the bench got up to speed with the game and we never looked like we would lose once we got the goal back.
Defence was solid today nothing troubled the back 4 and they was in control from start to finish.
Man of the match was Dan Broxholme (although giving a penalty away and falling over his own feet 😂😂😂😂) he was 1st to every header and made some massive challenges to keep the opposition out.
Well done lads that’s 2 in 2 for 2019. Let’s keep this going.

11 Jan 2019

Prediction Challenge 12th January, 2019

Well, the Prediction Challenge is back this week. Due to illness last week I was unable to devote any time to it. However, Bob from Christ Church Coseley did send me his predictions as shown below. He managed to score 3 points for the Challengers. I’ve had to change it from the Club Secretaries as this weeks challenger is none other than the League Chairman, Graham Brazier. He volunteered at tonight’s League Meeting then realised it needed doing straight away! The League Cup Quarter-Final and Semi-Final draws were also made at the meeting. (Updated on Fixture Page)

 

5th January, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Charlemont Star Selly Oak Methodist
City Church Clarendon
Life Central Rowley College
Monyhull Church St Andrews Netherton
St Marys Connect Sports
Division Two
Christ Church  Coseley Excel Church
Delph Athletic Brierley Hill AOG
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Club Secretary (Bob from Christ Church Coseley)
Division One
Charlemont Star 2 Selly Oak Methodist 1
City Church 1 Clarendon 3
Life Central 2 Rowley College 2
Monyhull Church 4 St Andrews Netherton 1
St Marys 1 Connect Sports 0
Division Two
Christ Church  Coseley 5 Excel Church 0
Delph Athletic 3 Brierley Hill AOG 1
12th January, 2019
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Charlemont Star 0 St Marys 2
City Church 3 Saint Michael 1
Clarendon 1 Connect Sports 3
Selly Oak Methodist 1 Chawn Hill Church 5
St Andrews Netherton 0 Life Central 4
Division Two
Amblecote Nomads 5 St Thomas Aldridge 0
Brierley Hill AOG 1 Christ Church Coseley 2
Excel Church 2 Delph Athletic 2
Living Hope Church Utd 1 Corinthians SK 2
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League Chairman Graham Brazier
Division One
Charlemont Star 1 St Marys 3
City Church 2 Saint Michael 1
Clarendon 2 Connect Sports 2
Selly Oak Methodist 0 Chawn Hill Church 3
St Andrews Netherton 1 Life Central 3
Division Two
Amblecote Nomads 4 St Thomas Aldridge 0
Brierley Hill AOG 1 Christ Church Coseley 3
Excel Church 1 Delph Athletic 2
Living Hope Church Utd 2 Corinthians SK 2

10 Jan 2019

Couple Of Match Reports 5th January, 2019

City Church 2  Clarendon 1
Many thanks to Martin Ogbourn from City Church for this match report.

Today City Church played their first match for a month and it ended in a fully deserved three points after another hard-fought battle with Clarendon at Row Heath. The expected heavy frost didn’t materialise to allow the game to go ahead in still conditions.
The match started with Clarendon on the front door foot as City couldn’t retain possession or clear their lines. Clarendon took the lead after sustained pressure through a decent run and finish.
However, this seemed to wake City up with improved intensity, passing, and attacking play. Several chances were created such as a Haynes half volley which stung Obi’s hands (in the Clarendon goal), a decent Atkins shot saved and the woodwork was also struck. This was before Atkins superbly chipped Obi before half time, minutes after Obi was booked for handling the ball outside of the area as the ball went narrowly wide from a break.
City ended the half on top and could have doubled their scoring. Clarendon continued to look dangerous with their forwards and midfield interplay. Chattaway had to be at his sharpest in goal as well. At half time it was 1-1 and the game remained in the balance.
Clarendon started the second half strongly in a see-saw battle and they hit the bar and Chattaway pulled off a great one handed save. There was some last ditch City defending and blocks which were part of an excellent defensive display.
However, City weathered the early storm again and with substitutions and fresh legs the City attacking threat increased with good opportunities and moves. The winner came from a lovely finish by Bradley Walsh who slotted past Obi with about 15 minutes left. City finished strongly and were able to see the game out without any major alarms for the 2-1 win.
Overall it was a really good battle between the sides, and team performance by City. Andy Thomas and Sheppard were immense at the back, and Green and Hunter in front of them vied for man of the match award. In the attacking third both teams carried a threat and there were three good goals.

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Life Central 6 vs 1 Rowley College

Match Report from Pete Bennett, Rowley.

Happy New Year to all in the WMCFL!  This was not the start I’d planned.  We were a little short and the cold snap couldn’t save us but we pitched up in Kiddy with a decent enough eleven (and Mark as an emergency sub only) only to find the League Champions in excellent form. I think we played mostly well with lots of positive individual performances but even full strength we would have had a game on. As it turned out we were short at the back most significantly with Matty Williams continuing in goal and Ken having to fill in as a makeshift full back.  Lee Roberts, our stalwart keeper has sadly had to call it a day after 217 games in the Rowley goal: I dedicate this to him with all the best for the future.  We were also missing Clive, Joe, Jack and South but I can’t grumble about what was done in midfield and forward (Josh, Matt, Fin, Ben, Nick and Hayden were all terrific today) or for the endeavour of our defenders.

The problem today was Life Central who just looked a really good side and played three up for the whole game and became more dangerous the more we took the game to them.  Shawn remains a very good player and Leon is still the best player in the league but I was impressed with the whole team today: I thought they all played well and would pick out the right back and the number 5 who was everywhere.  They also played aggressively which is the way we like to play and this was a real physical contest played in the best spirit. We knew the first goal would be vital because it was already obvious that they were at their most dangerous when we were attacking them. We looked capable of getting it (as they did) in the first 35 minutes of ebb and flow.  We had defended really well with Kev and Chris right at it but once they scored we had a wobble and they were 2-0 up by half time.

We re-organised at half time, had the talk about ‘next goal’ and then conceded it within a minute of the restart. Game over?  By no means in terms of endeavour but we played into their hands ironically by having much of the play and putting them under considerable pressure: Josh, Hayden, Ben and Nick all went close (Matty Stanton missed a sitter). Meanwhile they broke in numbers and before we knew it we were six down (five 1 on 1s!) despite Matt’s best efforts.  South was forced reluctantly on by an injury and managed the goal we clearly deserved just before time.  My natural response to our players who had played well was ‘that was never a 6-1’ but that it not to say there was anything lucky about their victory but rather that this was a closer game than you might think decided by ruthless finishing and great quality from Life Central. They showed the standards to which we must aspire

9 Jan 2019

9th January – Update

Due to illness the web site will be properly updated as soon as possible.

Club Secretaries please be reminded of the League Meeting this Friday, (please check email for further information).

Next round of the League Cup will be drawn at the meeting.

31 Dec 2018

31st December, 2018

Well, it’s almost time to say goodbye to another year and as we do the Management Committee would like to wish each and every one a Very Happy New Year.

24 Dec 2018

Christmas Eve Update – 1 Match Report

Apologies that the site has taken me a while to update, however, all Divisional Results pages have now been updated with their goal scorers. The tables are also up to date. 9pm on Christmas Eve so I will wish you all a Merry Christmas.

I have intentionally held back the last Match report of the season as I didn’t expect anymore to come and so it is that my old mate Pete Bennett from Rowley has the final word before Christmas. (I believe he may have been panicking because it’s from their match against Connect Sports on the 8th December, but fear not Pete, your reports will always feature).

 

Connect Sports 2 Rowley College 1
Quite unlucky this morning against top of the league, which emphasizes our recent improvement.  Missing Lee, Shola, Connor and Hayden already  we were stretched to the limit when  Josh was called into work first thing this morning.  That reduced our striker count to nought and to make it worse our best pick for the job from Midfield, Matty Suffield, failed a fitness test and though gamely giving it a go lasted all of ten minutes. Luckily Nick is back in the fold (and into action quicker than he imagined).  Fin went up top as a false ten and did well but you always have to work harder as a team when you’re lacking that sharp edge and physical presence up.

Incidentally we’d made a good start and looked likely, even having the ball in the net when Fin , South and Ben opened them up and Ben finished, though narrowly offside.  Midfield was class today with Clive and Ben candidates for man-of-the-match and South and Nick, Jack and Fin all made contributions.  Connect struggled to get going but when they did they knocked us decisively from our stride and when we resettled we were two down, undone by mad ten minutes.  It started with a well hit free kick, right in the top corner which Matt turned onto the bar (he did really well) but (in the words of Alan Smudger Smith in FIFA18) “he was nor well served by his defenders” and Connect followed up to score and then added a second  and we went to pieces at the back for 10 minutes and might have thrown the whole game.

Add to this South tweaked a hammy and was off at half-time and you see a game sliding from view.  We took a breath and went for it, pushing Jack who’d forced a good save from their keeper just before half time, right down the middle: a slight lad against two Connect centre backs.  This left a youthful midfield of Ken , Fin, Nick, Ben and Clive.  For the next half hour I felt we were the better team and was proud of our attitude and performance.  Jack ran them ragged getting in four or five times: all good efforts but only one goal (rounded the keeper top score).  Total credit to their keeper though: he didn’t look like an athlete but his positional play was good

Connect played on the break and were always dangerous, sent on their best player (Seb) but had little joy until a late penalty which Matty saved!  They played out the last fifteen minutes very well, though and despite one last chance for Jack , they saw it out.  I thought the referee Peter Giddings was excellent today: always clear and in control. Always good to see Willis and Vernon: top blokes: all the best to Connect: hard game but always in the right spirit!

 

22 Dec 2018

Prediction Challenge 22nd December – Dylan Carter Living Hope Church United

Only two games remain on the fixture list and with last weeks schedule being decimated by the weather I have asked Steve from Chawn to have another bash at the Prediction Challenge, so here we go. This is followed by an update on Dylan Carter from Living Hope Church United.

22nd December, 2018
Neil Kovacs
Division Two
Amblecote Nomads 3 Christ Church Coseley 3
Excel Church 2 Corinthians SK 2
****************************************************
****************************************************
Club Secretary (Steve Knight from Chawn Hill Church)
Division Two
Amblecote Nomads 2 Christ Church Coseley 1
Excel Church 0 Corinthians SK 3

 

Praise God. I am pleased to announce that Dylan Carter of Living Hope Church United is well on the mend after his horrific car accident. Dylan Is improving so quickly that he hopes to be allowed home soon. Thank you everyone for your prayers and support, especially his current and former team mates and even players who don’t know him.   May I also take the opportunity to wish everyone in our wonderful footballing Family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

God Bless

Steve Farley, Living Hope Church United

14 Dec 2018

Prediction Challenge – 15th December

With matches already off due to the frost I am just putting on the Predictions for tomorrows matches and hope that some actually get played. Thanks to Steve from Chawn Hill Church for this weeks challenge.

15th December, 2018
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Charlemont Star 2 City Church 0
Chawn Hill Church 3 Selly Oak Methodist 1
Clarendon 2 Life Central 1
Connect Sports 2 St Andrews Netherton 1
St Marys 4 Monyhull Church 1
***************************************************
Division Two
Corinthians SK 5 Delph Athletic 0
Excel Church 1 Amblecote Nomads 2
****************************************************
****************************************************
Club Secretary (Steve Knight from Chawn Hill Church)
Division One
Charlemont Star 2 City Church 3
Chawn Hill Church 4 Selly Oak Methodist 0
Clarendon 1 Life Central 2
Connect Sports 3 St Andrews Netherton 1
St Marys 5 Monyhull Church 0
Division Two
Corinthians SK 5 Delph Athletic 1
Excel Church 0 Amblecote Nomads 2

7 Dec 2018

Prediction Challenge – 8th Decemebr

Apologies to the Club Secretaries who have yet to have a go at the Prediction Challenge but whilst I was at work today I really could not remember who had already had a go and there was no time to mess about. So, Phil from Corinthians SK gets a second chance. Other Club Secs will get their chance. Unfortunately, once again I am racing the clock. I am off to Lanzarote again this weekend and not back until Monday so whether the site gets updated I cannot 100 per cent confirm. (However, I will try my best). At the time of posting this, (22.24 pm), I have to be up at 2.30 am to head to the airport so it’s a rush job. Some matches have already been postponed and we only have 5 games still left. Oh, and if you get a decision that goes against you tomorrow, remember, even top flight officials get it wrong… (by the way, did I mention I am a Vila fan, hahaha).

8th December, 2018
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Connect Sports 4 Rowley College 3
Life Central 5 Charlemont Star 2
****************
Division Two
Amblecote Nomads 5 St Thomas Aldridge 0
Brierley Hill AOG 1 Living Hope Church Utd 6
Delph Athletic 1 Excel Church 2
******************************************************************
******************************************************************
Club Secretary (Philip from Corinthians SK)
Division One
Connect Sports 2 Rowley College 1
Life Central 2 Charlemont Star 3
****************
Division Two
Amblecote Nomads 3 St Thomas Aldridge 1
Brierley Hill AOG 0 Living Hope Church Utd 2
Delph Athletic 1 Excel Church 3

2 Dec 2018

Match Reports – 1st December – Prayer Request

Living Hope Church United 4 vs 1 Excel Church 

Thanks to Stephen Farley for this report.
I would like to dedicate this match report to one of our players Dylan Carter who is seriously ill in QE hospital after a terrible Road Traffic Accident. (edit: Steve has asked that our big footballing family to say prayers for healing and a speedy recovery).
The lads left the changing rooms saying ‘let’s do it for Dylan’ and the game was all over after 20 minutes as we put 4 goals away in rapid fire succession scored by Jason Marshall, Callum Oakshott (pen) , Shane Parker and Ashley Turner.
There’s  nothing more to add really except for saying that when the late great Bill Shankly said football was more serious than the matter of life and death he was sadly very wide of the mark.
Get well soon mate we need you.

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Monyhull Church 0 vs 3 Rowley College

Thanks to Pete for this report.

On a day of ‘interesting results’ we concluded our three game series against Monyhull which started badly for us with a 0-4 reverse at home and ended today with a second deserved victory in three weeks. This also marked three wins in a row for us for the first time since the opening of the 2016-17 season when we won four out of five out of the blocks (and 13 points) and Ben Fowler scored 11 goals including three hat tricks.  Oh how we’ve missed Ben (any team would) who has spent a year and a half in the Antipodes but was back today (sadly on a visit home, not for this season)to appear as a second half sub.  He came back to see us starting to put our season back together after an indifferent start.  So much at this level depends on fielding something like your best team and this is not straightforward.  Monyhull were short of their best player today while we played for the third time this season without our very capable goalkeeper: they lost 3-0 and we won (in fact we’ve won all three but do we need Lee fit? Yes, we do). What we’re getting is a team spirit across a squad of players.

Monyhull have this and all the right attitudes: they are on a journey and getting better as their team grows up together. They always try to play football and have both skill and determination. While I think we were the better team today, this wasn’t over until we scored our third with just over ten left.  We started up the slope at a muddy Rowheath and were involved in a very even first half: both sides fighting the conditions and largely just failing to create clear cut chances.  Clive, Hayden and man-of-the-match Ben Smith were all doing their utmost to make the ball work in a muddy middle so it was left to our wide players Matt and Jack to provide the threat in conjunction with Josh who battled all day to get others involved. Jack is a special player: he has time and touch and he had his most productive game for us today, adding intensity and pace to his usual flair. On the other side Matty Suffield was using every opportunity to join up with Josh and it was a combination of Josh (hold up and lay off), Ben Smith (threaded ball) and Matty (run on and toe-poked finish) who got us the vital first goal.  Mark, who wasn’t well enough to play today was delighted at half time with our confidence and composure. He warned against complacency down the slope, but as we all know complacency is like a dog which comes when called!

We spent the first fifteen minutes of the second half playing as if we were 2-0 up rather than making sure we got the second. It appeared like our game plan for being 1-0 up in a close game was to make the game open and end to end and Monyhull were up for that.  This was a very well earned clean sheet and our defender were excellent today, marshalled by Matt in  goal, Chris, Kev and Joe gave everything and Matt Stanton had one of his best games in a Rowley shirt, both with the ball and without it.  We created and spurned chances with Matty shooting on sight but only giving their keeper relatively straightforward stuff.  Clive and Ben were driving from midfield and Jack was everywhere and never hurried.  Monyhull had their fair share too and brave defending and last ditch tackles kept our goal intact.

Cue Ben Fowler.  Having scored on his last appearance for us in April 2017, it was almost inevitable that he would repeat the feat and ten minutes into his return he was slipped in by Josh and, one on one, gave the keeper the eyes and scored a vital goal.  This did not make it safe though and Monyhull came again but the extra goal allowed us to play on the break with Ken coming on for a well-deserved cameo performance and exchanging passes with Fowler who played in Jack for a deft dink over the keeper which rounded off a terrific day for him.

All the best to Monyhull who are a credit to this league and to Brian Linguard who reffed with subtlety, always seeking to let the game flow (I think it’s called ‘old school’)

1 Dec 2018

Prediction Challenge – 1st December

Well the rain may help the green grass grow but it also causes us problems with postponements. I have been pleasantly surprised that with all the rain we have had recently that we have not had too many games postponed. Will that continue today? Well, St Andrews Netherton versus Saint Michael is already off, let’s hope that is the only one. Although I admit to anticipating more games being called off. Last week saw Rob from Selly Oak bag 6 points compared to my 4 in the Prediction Challenge, He was boosted by correctly predicting the Life Central vs Clarendon score. So the gap has closed with the score being 61 to 57 still in my favour. Thanks to Ian Baker for being this weeks challenger.

1st December, 2018
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Clarendon 5 Charlemont Star 0
Life Central 4 City Church 2
Monyhull Church 1 Rowley College 1
Selly Oak Methodist 0 Connect Sports 7
St Mary’s 5 Chawn Hill Church 1
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 Delph Athletic 2
Corinthians S.K 2 Amblecote Nomads 1
Living Hope Church Utd 2 Excel Church 1
St Thomas Aldridge 1 Dudley Lions 3
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Club Secretary (Ian Baker from Brierley Hill A.O.G)
Division One
Clarendon 4 Charlemont Star 1
Life Central 2 City Church 2
Monyhull Church 1 Rowley College 3
Selly Oak Methodist 1 Connect Sports 4
St Mary’s 5 Chawn Hill Church 1
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 4 Delph Athletic 1
Corinthians S.K 3 Amblecote Nomads 3
Living Hope Church Utd 3 Excel Church 1
St Thomas Aldridge 1 Dudley Lions 4

30 Nov 2018

30th November – Update

Huge apologies, (especially to Pete Bennett who tends to be the only regular match report contributor every week), but the match report from last week has been delayed due to me having to spend time on a multitude of issues this week concerning serious issues within the League. One night alone, I spent 5 hours on two certain issues. This does have an impact on what I else I can get done and I must admit to being seriously frustrated this week. To the extent of even wondering if coming back was such a good idea? However, when a storm happens there is plenty of rain and from that rain the green grass grows. The green grass that we love to play football on. With that in mind, here is Pete’s report from last week and also one from Joshua Briley of Delph Athletic. There are also some more off Joshua that he had saved but forgotten to send in, (better late than never, cheers Joshua).

Rowley College 5 St Andrews Netherton 2

I enjoyed today’s game and would have done irrespective of the result (and all three options were possible in the course of the game) because it was a ‘proper’ game of football played in ideal English conditions and it was enterprising and physical (though always the right way).  St Andrews are a very good side, the best with St Mary’s we’ve played this season, with good players and a fluent way of playing.  They worked the ball from the start and had a decent chance within minutes which under pressure their lad slid wide, giving our stand-in keeper Matty Williams something to think about.  We though gave as good as we got and Josh hit the crossbar with a great effort before contributing with Matt to Hayden’s goal (chipped the teacher from the edge of the box).

Everybody did well for us today but South, Ben and Josh stood out for me, ensuring that we were always not only in the game but also carrying a threat.  I’d give South man-of-the-match though because he gave us much needed nous against a team which had it in spades.  They came back  (down the slope) and a full-blooded game developed which was interrupted only by one of their lads getting a red for a misplaced word (officials were great today: Cal let the game flow and had no choice with the red but these slips of the tongue give no pleasure to either team).  It threatened to ruin a very good game, instead it gave St Andrews a second wind and before half time an equaliser.  This was frustrating and overshadowed the quality of our performance.

As Kev had to go at half time, South switched to centre back alongside captain Chris and the mercurial Jack stepped in for the first time for a month. Down the slope, a man up and playing pretty well we knew we had to get a result. However St Andrews had other ideas and with Chris Hunter dropping into midfield where Robbo was also excellent and two willing runners kept up top they started the second half the better side. This put massive pressure on our younger players and Fin and ‘new’ Matt along with Hayden did well today in difficult circumstances. Our two full backs were excellent also.  We knew we had positive changes to make second half and both Andy and Connor contributed from the bench but before these interventions Matt Suffield restored our lead.  Traversing the pitch twenty odd yards out he shifted the ball out of his feet and struck an unstoppable shot from outside the box: a classic strike. That should have that but with the quality they have I knew we needed another so I was delighted when Ben ‘sashayed’ into the box and fired home.  No such thing,  for with more than 10 left to play we conceded a needless penalty which Hunter dispatched. We were then helped by a second red card which allowed us to better keep the ball and finally put it to bed. Firstly Andy set up Josh for a well-deserved goal and then intricate passing between Jack, Josh and Connor put the latter in for 5-2.  This was not a 5-2 but it was a hard fought victory against a good side. Good luck to Dave and his lads.

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Delph Athletic 0 Amblecote Nomads 2

Having drawn 1-1 against Amblecote a few weeks back we went into this game with a hint of optimism.

The game started in nervy fashion with neither team really able to get the ball down & play any kind of entertaining football.

In the opening 15 minutes Amblecote had an extra man in midfield & made it count, winning the first, second & third ball on most occasions. This meant a slight tweak to our formation to try to deal with the Amblecote central midfield dominance. The change of formation did do us some favours & we were able to start to win some of the battles in the middle of the park. What didn’t do us a favour was a corner which our GK Josh met with a strong punch, only for the ball to bounce off an Amblecote head on it’s way out of the penalty area & find it’s way in our net to make it 1-0. Very much the story of our season summarised in one goal.

A moment of so later we went on a nice move down the right hand side, with RB tom linking well with Grant Esp who rounded an Amblecote defender & was brought down on the edge of the box. Grant was making his recovery from a shoulder injury & unfortunately for him the Amblecote Defender landed on top of his bad shoulder. (A Dislocated shoulder, tissue damage & pulled ligaments later & Grant is back at home feeling very sorry for himself).
From the resultant Free-kick Nathan Johns forced a world class save from the Amblecote GK who rose well to the top Right corner to keep us out.

From then on until mid-way through the second half unfortunately I didn’t see much of the game as Grant needed medical attention, but as the ambulance arrived & we walked down from the pitch towards it we heard the Amblecote lads cheering as they made it 2-0.

For the remaining 30 minutes we finally started to bring the ball down & play to our strengths. Whilst Amblecote were fairly dominant in the first half in central midfield we managed to create lots of space out wide with Dave Harrison putting in a classic Dave Harrison performance & running up & down the line for the 90 minutes non-stop.
We continued to press Amblecote for the duration of the half & enjoyed a large spell of possession over the final 30 minutes, Nat Harding went closest for us with a nice strike from distance which hit the top of the bar.

Amblecote did create a few counter-attacking chances only for Josh Prentice to keep several 1 on 1’s out & maintain our hope of getting back in the game.

In truth, the Amblecote defence was too solid for us to breakdown, we managed to maintain a lot of possession but couldn’t quite translate that into clear goal scoring chances & that cost us dearly here.

Another game in which we haven’t been outplayed or outclassed but have come away with nothing.

Still lots to work on in our first season but we’ve come a long way since our first few friendlies, with people learning more & more about their roles with each game that goes by.

Some big games now against teams around us – Brierley Hill & Excel so those games should be a good measure of where we are at In the league.

A Mention must be made for 1 of Amblecote’s Players/supporters/substitute’s who stayed with our injured player whilst he was down & then offered to run the line for us until the Ambulance came, big thanks to him.

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3 more reports from Delph Athletic’s matches.

13th October

Dudley Lions 5 Delph Athletic 1

After getting our first win of the season the week before against St Thomas we came into this game optimistic of getting a result & building some momentum – It’s fair to say Dudley had other idea’s & made us pay for not turning up.

It didn’t take long for them to show their dominance on the pitch & show a much greater level of maturity on the ball. It was 3-0 at half time & it has to be said the lead was well deserved.

Going into the second half we tried to shut up shop & stop Dudley’s dominance in midfield, it worked well for 25 minutes or so with John Beall getting a goal back after he rose highest to meet a Grant Esp Free Kick & head home to make it 3-1.

Dudley then stepped it up a gear & after Grant Esp limped off injured & we were down to 10 men they really made us pay.

Before long they had stretched our defence several times & made light work of us in the last 15 minutes meaning the game ended 5-1.

We game off being well beaten by a much more experienced team & if ever there was a lesson not to be complacent this was it.

Much work to be done for the Delphs!

3rd November

Corinthians 5 Delph Athletic 0

Similarly to the Dudley lions game – we came into this game with optimism after drawing against Amblecote the week before.

Once again we were left with a skeleton squad & started with only 1 fit sub.

The first half was a really good battle with neither team able to take advantage – In truth we probably had the better chances with Nathanael Harding going close once or twice.

His running in the first half was excellent & he made it very difficult for the Corinthians team to play out from the back in their usual fashion.

Half time 0-0.

We started the 2nd half looking to maintain our solid performance at the back whilst looking to create a few more chances, for the first 20 minutes of the 2nd half the game continued to be a battle in midfield with neither team making their dominance felt.

Unfortunately for us Corinthians have an impressively large squad & several substitutions added too much energy into their team for us to handle.

Around the 65 minute mark they took the lead & then in the blink of an eye it went from 1-0 to 5-0.

We managed to limp to the final whistle without conceding again but the damage was done in the 10 or 15 minutes that proceeded the first goal.

Another harsh lesson for us to learn – Lots of positives taken from the first 65 minutes but unfortunately for us football is a 90 minute game.

We play Corinthians again in a few weeks so will be looking to field a larger squad & match them for the full 90 this time.

17th November – League Cup

Dudley Lions 2 Delph Athletic 4

Bouyed on by the manager’s wife’s prediction of a Dudley Win the delphs went into their first ever WMCFL cup game with much to prove. Having been completely turned over by Dudley a few weeks ago we were eager to show that we can match some of the teams that sit above us in the league.

With 3 new Emergency signings added into the squad we started the game in a positive way & it wasn’t long before we made it 1-0 through Ed Sutton.

Dudley then found their stride & deservedly equalised before making their dominance in midfield known, once again they got the better of us to take a deserved 2-1 lead into half time.

The 2nd half started in a similar fashion with a real battle taking place in midfield. Around the 65 minute mark Joel Gooding rose to meet a header which found the back of the net & made it 2-2.

The Delphs then started to show the character we’ve been looking for all season, the effort put in was incredible against a really good Dudley team. Every Delph player on the pitch showed real passion & maturity to win their personal battles & not drop their heads when we went behind.

This was then rewarded when Jack Slater slotted in the 5th goal of the game & made it 3-2 to us.

Dudley were then fighting to get back in the game but we didn’t let them & after some solid play Ed Sutton scored his 2nd of the game to make it 4-2 & seal a great win for us.

Lot’s of improvement from the last time we played Dudley & certainly a bit more firepower than our game against Corinthians. We look forward to playing Dudley again in December.

Onto the next round of the league cup which is a great achievement in our first season.

We now look ahead to the remaining fixtures for 2018 which see’s us battle against some of the teams around us in the league table where we will be trying to get some more points on the board to end the year on a high & climb off the bottom!

23 Nov 2018

23rd November – Prediction Challenge Review And This Weeks Challenger

Well, week after week I have been saying an update is coming and week after week I have had no time to do it. (If I told you my routine since the beginning of September you would be amazed I’ve got anything done… looking back I’m not even sure how I have)! Anyway, I digress. We have now gone 12 weeks into this season and there have been 108 matches played in that time, (League and Cup). At the moment it is still a close run thing between myself and the Club Secretaries with me currently in the lead 57 points to 51. Out of the 106 matches I have managed the mighty sum of getting 4 correct scores,(one of them was 6-0)! The Club Secs have outdone me here with 5 correct scores between them. Looking at some statistics I wonder how we got any at all! So far this season there has been an average of 5.15 goals a game. (Switch off the tv and watch a WMCFL game is what I say for entertainment). The League Cup leads the way with an average of 6.69 goals per game, 2nd comes Division 2 with 5 goals per game with Division 1 not far behind with 4.88. Looking at these numbers maybe the days of a 1-1 forecast have bitten the bullet but we will see in a bit. Rob O’Neil from Selly Oak Methodist being this weeks opponent. As for past challengers, how have they fared? That will be part two methinks because once again the clock is against me.  For now, here are this weeks forecasts. Time permitting I will try and do a preview. (late Friday night, edit: sorry folks no time for one this week)

24th November, 2018
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Charlemont Star 1 Monyhull Church 2
City Church 3 Chawn Hill Church 1
Connect Sports 2 St Marys 4
Life Central 3 Clarendon 3
Rowley College 1 St Andrews Netherton 3
Saint Michael 2 Selly Oak Methodist 4
Division Two
Delph Athletic 1 Amblecote Nomads 3
Dudley Lions 2 Christ Church Coseley 2
Excel Church 3 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1
Living Hope Church Utd 3 Corinthians S.K 2
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Club Secretary (Rob O’Neil from Selly Oak Methodist)
Division One
Charlemont Star 2 Monyhull Church 2
City Church 3 Chawn Hill Church 1
Connect Sports 1 St Marys 1
Life Central 1 Clarendon 2
Rowley College 0 St Andrews Netherton 3
Saint Michael 2 Selly Oak Methodist 3
Division Two
Delph Athletic 0 Amblecote Nomads 4
Dudley Lions 1 Christ Church Coseley 1
Excel Church 1 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1
Living Hope Church Utd 2 Corinthians S.K 3

 

 

18 Nov 2018

Match Report – 17th November – Pete Bennett

The ever reliable Pete from Rowley College provides us with his insight on Rowley’s 2nd Round Cup Tie with Monyhull Church yesterday. I love Pete’s reports because win, lose or draw, you never sense any sort of bias in them and the fact that he puts the effort in virtually every single week to do a report. He gets the inclusivity of the League and how people love to hear how games have happened rather than just a scoreline. I doff my hat to you kind Sir.

Rowley College 2 vs 0 Monyhull Church

Very much a revenge mission today for a real drubbing that Monyhull gave us in the league.  We thought that the 4-0 last time might have made them complacent but none of it: they were every bit as good today but we were so much better. The key were players at the heart of the team who missed the last encounter. Firstly Matty Williams who alongside today’s skipper Chris Staien created a secure base for everything and a bulwark against Monyhull’s dangerous forward s (together with Kev and Joe) and ably assisted by Lee who was immaculate today: confident and when required (at vital moments) agile and brilliant. Secondly , the player manager who provided the presence and stability that we so lacked last time and finally Clive, who rarely fails to demand my ‘man-of-the-match’ tag. Today he went head to head with their best player (and one of the league’s most accomplished) Oli Smith and I feel had the better of things and massively limiting Monyhull’s capabilities.

This was still a difficult game and we also got performances from three who found the first encounter one to forget: Kev was first to everything and both Ben and Josh were terrific today and ended up bagging our two goals. We were once again missing a clutch of players which gave another start to Ken, (who did well) and brought Adam and new signing Matt to the bench.  Meanwhile we set up 4-5-1 with Matty Stanton right hand side of midfield and Josh holding it up up-front.  Kicking down the slope we had decent early intent but the game was pretty even.  One thing we sought to exploit was our height advantage and our first chance came when South flicked on and Josh brought a great save from their keeper.  We were also benefiting from the attention Josh and South were attracting as targets and the chief beneficiary was Matt Stanton enjoying his unfamiliar role in midfield.  Matt brought a good save from the keeper and put chance high and wide in the first half alone. This was either side of our goal which was assisted by Matt (who threw it in) and their full back who inadvertently headed it on for our smallest player Ben Smith to head in.

We started the second half then 1-0 and up the hill and brought on our latest acquisition Matt Suffield after five minutes: he was strong and able and made a real difference.  Matt Stanton had another couple of chances before he left the field and shortly afterwards Josh ran beyond their centre half and fairly thumped it home for a well-deserved goal.  This ‘cushion’ was almost short-lived when they created a great chance and Lee made a vital one-handed save.  I thought we were really good second half, though Monyhull gave everything.  Andy the ref was also good and when he blew his whistle I realised we’d won at home for the first time this season.

16 Nov 2018

Prediction Challenge – 17th November

A more detailed review of the challenge will follow tomorrow. However, for tonight, it’s just the predictions for tomorrows games.

Thanks to Joshua Briley and his wife for their forecasts. (He couldn’t forecast his own Cup tie and asked his wife to do so… she wasn’t confident and went the same way as myself. So 2 people to prove wrong for the Delph lads tomorrow. Hahaha).

 

17th November, 2018
Neil Kovacs
League Cup Round Two
Dudley Lions 3 Delph Athletic 1
Rowley College 3 Monyhull Church 1
St Marys 3 Connect Sports 1
St Thomas Aldridge 1 Selly Oak Methodist 3
Division One
Clarendon 5 Chawn Hill Church 1
Saint Michael 1 Life Central 1
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 Amblecote Nomads 2
Christ Church Coseley 3 Excel Church 2
Club Secretary (Joshua from Delph Athletic)
League Cup Round Two
Dudley Lions 3 Delph Athletic 1
Rowley College 2 Monyhull Church 3
St Marys 2 Connect Sports 1
St Thomas Aldridge 1 Selly Oak Methodist 4
Division One
Clarendon 4 Chawn Hill Church 1
Saint Michael 2 Life Central 5
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 Amblecote Nomads 3
Christ Church Coseley 5 Excel Church 2

9 Nov 2018

One Minutes Silence – Prediction Challenge – Kovacs Kolumn

22296 Private John William ARMSTRONG, Killed in action 1st July, 1916 – Aged 22

21450 Private Henry ASHWORTH Killed in action 1st July, 1916 – Aged 29

12287 Private Joseph BOWDEN Killed in action 1st July, 1916 – Aged 18

865 Sergeant William Archibald BURCHELL Killed in action 1st July, 1916 – Aged 33

24092 Private George CLARK Killed in action 1st July, 1916 – Aged 26

13762 Private Robert DALEY Killed in action 1st July, 1916 – Aged 38

2081 Corporal William Daniel GRIGGS Killed in action 1st July, 1916 – Aged 26

12274 Private Charles HUDSON Killed in action 1st July, 1916 – Aged 24

1912 Sergeant Arthur Edward LUCKETT Killed in action 1st July, 1916 – Aged 25

1923 Corporal William QUINN Killed in action 1st July, 1916 – Aged 31

926 Sergeant Albert ZALA Killed in action 1st July, 1916 – Aged 29

 

Please do not just glance at the names above, please have another good look at each name and the age that they died. 11 names, enough to make up a football team. But these 11 names formed a different team.

On the 1st July, 1916 they were ‘Soldiers In Arms’ at the Battle Of The Somme. Their names are listed in the Battle Of The Somme, Roll Of Honour, 1st Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers.

I only chose these names and the regiment because the battle they lost their lives in was being talked about on Radio WM as I was driving home recently. But the 11 names above could be replaced with thousands upon thousands of names who have given their lives in all wars over the years. This Sunday will be exactly 100 years since the end of the First World War.

There will be a One Minutes Silence before all of the matches in the West Midlands Christian Football League. Look at the list above again, pick just one name out and remember his name and the age that he died. During the one minutes silence, remember him and remember the others that gave their tomorrow so that we could have our today.

 

I feel it right that there is no write up this week regarding the Prediction Challenge, but thanks to Andy from Charlemont Star for his forecast.

10th November, 2018
Neil Kovacs
League Cup Round Two
Ambecote Nomads 0 Clarendon 9
Charlemont Star 3 Chawn Hill Church 1
Living Hope Church Utd 1 City Church 3
St Andrews Netherton 1 Life Central 3
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 2 Excel Church 1
Christ Church Coseley 3 St Thomas Aldridge 1
Corinthians S.K 3 Dudley Lions 2
Club Secretary (Andy from Charlemont Star)
League Cup Round Two
Ambecote Nomads 1 Clarendon 3
Charlemont Star 3 Chawn Hill Church 1
Living Hope Church Utd 2 City Church 1
St Andrews Netherton 2 Life Central 1
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 3 Excel Church 1
Christ Church Coseley 4 St Thomas Aldridge 1
Corinthians S.K 3 Dudley Lions 1

9 Nov 2018

Postponed Matches – 10th November

Rowley College vs Monyhull Church Postponed

6 Nov 2018

Match Report – 3rd November Updated 8th Nov

Amblecote Nomads 0 vs 1 Living Hope Church United

Match Report from Stephen Farley, Living Hope Church United.

I wasn’t at the game on Saturday but nobody’s done a report so I thought what a great idea I’ll send a report in anyway. Always a risky proposition and apologies if I’ve missed something brilliant. Obviously it was a tight game pitting our wits against the unbeaten league leaders but we took the lead in the first half around the half hour mark. We should have had a penalty by all accounts but the referee played on to allow Ashley Turner to rifle home his third goal in two games so well done Ref!  Amblecote had their chances to equalise and we had to ride our luck at times,  most notably a free kick from twenty five yards that looked to be going over, dipped and hit the bar.  Defender Dylan Carter cleared one off the line after a goal mouth scramble and Goalkeeper James Farley parried a shot that saw an Amblecote striker put the rebound over the bar with the goal at his mercy.  Still a clean sheet is a clean sheet and a rare commodity in this division. Well done guys on pulling together for a great team effort and commiserations to Amblecote who put up a fine performance.

Game in three words : Was not there

 

Rowley College 2 Charlemont Star 5

Match Report From Pete Bennett, Rowley College.

Having been forced into a change of pitch this week onto the large 3G pitch we train on at Four Dwellings, we’d hoped to address our poor run of home results.  Instead we found ourselves with a mounting list of absentees as the week went on that left us short and then dogged us during the game as players with injuries started to feel the full force of the large pitch.  It is a surface for younger legs and this season we have our fair share though sadly not today where work commitments robbed us of Brad, Fin, Hayden and Jack (in  addition to full backs Matt and Joe). This meant asking winger Ken to play right back and adding Tom Cartin’s brother Andy as an emergency signing (and he did well). Charlemont looked more than  happy with the surface and played very well today.

My view is that we were architects of our own misfortune in the first half leaving us too much to do in the second half with deteriorating resources.  We certainly had as much offensive intent as they did and created as many chances but found ourselves two penalties to nil down. At this point we were playing decent football out from the back and through an active midfield which included Mark, Ben Smith and our man-of-the-match Clive and into Connor and Josh who were excellent.  We had shots but failed to really test their stand-in goalkeeper until a period of concerted pressure led to a couple of corners the second of which dropped to Connor who skilfully hooked it home.  Five minutes to half time and the game was on the turn!  Sadly we then shot ourselves in the foot by conceding a scrappy goal just this side of the half time whistle (their lad went through three or four of ours before slotting it home).

Second half was a bridge too far and I have to give credit to Andy’s lads who were terrific as an attacking force, particularly on the break and our back lads (including keeper Lee who was excellent again) who defended earnestly.  Our offensive capability was significantly blunted by injuries to Ben , Mark and Shola but we kept going even after they had added a sharp fourth (the lad with a decent head of hair up front is a very good player).  Shola stormed onto an attempted clearance to thump in a second for us which opened some hope of a repeat of the 5-4 we enjoyed last year coming from behind.  This was further fanned by an injury to their keeper which put in a genuine ‘rookie keeper’ but though we had pressure we couldn’t make it count and they finished it last minute with the perfect breakaway goal.  All the best to Andy and his lads: worthy winners.

2 Nov 2018

Prediction Challenge – 3rd November

Well yet another midnight bashing of the keyboard with my thoughts regarding todays matches. Chawn have suffered consecutive defeats and whilst it was close the previous week they took a bit of a hammering against Life Central. They face Saint Michael who also took a heavy defeat a couple of weeks ago but had a creditable draw versus Rowley last week. I’m taking Chawn to win this one. Clarendon remain one of only 3 teams unbeaten in the whole league and look as though they will be there or thereabouts again come seasons end. They face a St Andrews team who will be full of confidence following their big win last week. However, tomorrows opponents will be a tougher nut to crack. I expect St Andrews to fall short in what should be an entertaining encounter…Clarendon win. Dropping into Division 2 sees another unbeaten team in Amblecote Nomads come up against the leading goal scorers in that Division, Living Hope Church United, although there is not much in it. I think there may be new leaders by the end of play tomorrow and whilst I think Living Hope will win this clash I don’t think they will claim top spot. Looking elsewhere I reckon that Corinthians S.K will assume the role as leaders with a home win over Delph Athletic. Delph had a good result versus Amblecote last week but I do not anticipate the same this week. Current Division 1 leaders, Connect Sports face City Church who had a convincing win last week. Can they do it again against the current top boys? Well, like most teams at this level, a lot depends on whether you can get your best team out on a regular basis. I’m not expecting loads of goals in this game because both teams are decent in defence, (what’s that? 5 each)! I’m going for Connect to nick it by the odd goal. My hunch last week, Monyhull, fell just short in a 2-1 defeat to Connect and face another top team today in St Marys who are also unbeaten so far this season. I’ve predicted a 3-1 win to St Mary’s but having just looked at the League table have noticed they have only let in 2 goals in 5 games, now that’s impressive. I’m sticking with it though, Monyhull to breach their defence at least once. Brierley Hill in Division 2 notched up only their 2nd win of the season scoring 5 in the process! They are away today against Dudley Lions whose 8 games so far have averaged 5.5 goals. I’m not expecting that many and am going for a 3-0 win for the Dudley lads. The last game in Division 2 sees Excel play St Thomas Aldridge with both teams having won just 1 game each so far this season. So who will get their 2nd win? Both defences concede a fair bit and there isn’t much to chose between the attacking stats. On the fence for this one, a score draw. 2 games left to predict in Division 1 so I will start with Selly Oak Methodist versus Life Central. Selly Oak have taken two thumpings on the trot and Life Central appear to have loads of goals in them especially with a very convincing win over Chawn last week, Leon Naylor for them in his 6th consecutive league game. So it all points to a decent win for Life Central…or does it? Hunch time, score draw it is. Rowley College versus Charlemont Star is the last one to look at and both teams appear to have very similar attack and defence stats. I’m not sure whether Rowley will be going up the rollercoaster or hammering down the other side but I always think of Charlemont, (maybe incorrectly), as a good steady team. With this in mind, it’s yet another score draw for me.

This weeks Challenger is Phil Bostock from Corinthians S.K.

 

3rd November, 2018
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 4 Saint Michael 0
Clarendon 4 St Andrews Netherton 0
Connect Sports 2 City Church 1
Monyhull Church 1 St Mary’s 3
Rowley College 1 Charlemont Star 1
Selly Oak Methodist 2 Life Central 2
Division Two
Amblecote Nomads 1 Living Hope Church Utd 3
Corinthians S.K 4 Delph Athletic 1
Dudley Lions 3 Brierley Hill A.O.G 0
Excel Church 1 St Thomas Aldridge 1
Club Secretary (Philip from Corinthians S.K)
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 3 Saint Michael 1
Clarendon 3 St Andrews Netherton 0
Connect Sports 2 City Church 2
Monyhull Church 0 St Mary’s 2
Rowley College 3 Charlemont Star 3
Selly Oak Methodist 1 Life Central 4
Division Two
Amblecote Nomads 2 Living Hope Church Utd 3
Corinthians S.K 3 Delph Athletic 1
Dudley Lions 1 Brierley Hill A.O.G 2
Excel Church 1 St Thomas Aldridge 3

 

31 Oct 2018

Extra Match Report – 27th October

Corinthians S.K 1 Living Hope Church United 2

Written by Josh Steventon, Living Hope Church United.

The weather got us off to a real cold start with some thick snowflakes dropping down but the game kicked off to a bright start. The Hope took the lead early on with some lovely ball play, which Bash Turner thundered home with a left footed piledriver from twenty yards, so much so the ball came out of the back of the net and carried on rolling for several yards.  The game was end to end and Living Hope continued to threaten with several long throws from Chuck Webb while The home side were threatening on the break, pushing the away defence to their limit calling for desperate clearances at times.  Corinthians equalised half way through the first half with a lovely diagonal through ball that split the back line allowing time for their striker to play the ball underneath Goalkeeper James Farley. Living Hope enjoyed some neat midfield play at times and looked comfortable knocking the ball about led by talisman Callum Oakshott but it was Bam Bam Bash again with a second identikit death strike after being teed up by Shane Parker.

At the start of the second period the Home team made a couple of changes, adding more firepower in the centre of the pitch.  Stalemate endured though and both teams created most of their goal line chances from some  impressive long throws.  Not much to report on in the second half as both teams dug in and neither team could make the most of the play to further the score. A mention to Jack Whitehouse who made his Hoper debut in defence adding some real coolness at the back.

Goals:
Turner: 2

Game in 3 words: Hope Getting Better

29 Oct 2018

Match Reports – 27th October

Delph Athletic 1 vs 1 Amblecote Nomads

Match Report from Joshua Briley, Delph Athletic:

After taking a heavy beating the week before vs Dudley Lions. The Delphs were intent on re-grouping against top of the league Amblecote Nomads.

With a depleted squad (2 Emergency signings – Nat Wallis & Liam Walton) & 2 players over 45 in the match day squad (Matt Slater & Liam Walton) the Delphs started the game the same way we had played throughout pre-season, but had not yet done in the league campaign.

We were well organised at the back, with lots of movement in midfield & options going forward. The football once again flowed really nicely with John Beall & Luke Thompson finding themselves controlling the midfield right from the start of the game. On Many occasions this season we have outplayed teams in the middle of the park & this game was no exception. Ben Mee & David Harrison were often found out wide with lots of space out wide. Matt Kindred in goal was always keen to start the football from the back, finding Jack slater & Liam Walton at full back to start the possession play from deep.

Whilst we had so many players away, we did struggle with creativity – Although we had the majority of the ball in the first half there were only half chances with a John Beall Volley & a Nat Wallis shot.

For the majority of the first half the Delphs continued to do the basic things we had been trying to in previous weeks, there were no Amblecote runners left untracked, there was lots of positive talking on the field & for the first time in our short history, there were no foul throws in the first half!!

On the stroke of half time Amblecote gave away a free kick not far from the edge of their penalty area. Nathanael Harding stepped up after watching Luke Thompson Blaze an earlier free kick well over the bar. Nat struck the ball sweetly, and with a generous deflection from the Amblecote wall the ball found it’s way into the top corner.

Half time – 1-0.

In the second half Amblecote came out looking to strike back, they saw more of the ball & forced some great saves from Matt Kindred in goal from long shots.

The Delphs continued to perform well though & the 2 Nat’s upfront were consistently providing an option for everyone to look too.

Stand in Manager Grant Esp then decided to make a change, with David ‘Mo Farah’ Harrison making way for Jamie chapman – If ever there was a risk for a foul throw, this was it.

Not long after his introduction to the game at RB, Chapman was getting well stuck in with some solid defending. This was until the time came for him to stand in & take a throw in on the half way line. It’s a well known fact that Jamie has very weak wrists due to a break in his teenage years. There are also rumours that he is starting a campaign to use a size 3 football instead of a size 5 football. In truth, the extra weight of the size 5 football took its toll on Jamie and his throw in resulted in the Delphs first & only foul throw of the game.

The Delphs continued to try to play nice football in the second half however the depleted squad started to tire which meant Amblecote were able to carve out some long distance chances which if they weren’t blocked by Joel Gooding were saved well by Matt Kindred.

On around 75 minutes Amblecote then won a corner which was whipped in towards the goal mouth – This saw a scramble to the ball & GK Matt Kindred unfortunately didn’t make the connection he’d intended and the ball flew into the net directly from the corner. 1-1

From there on the challenge was clear for us, Whilst we are learning a lot about 11 a side we have at times this season been a little naive when trying to hold onto games. Today was the exception & what we hope will be the start of some momentum.

From the moment Amblecote Equalised they never looked like taking the lead, it was all the Delphs from then in.

2 more substitutions for the Delphs (Ed Sutton on for Nat Wallis & Grant Esp on for Jack Slater – Both players came on whilst carrying injuries).

On 90 Minutes Grant Esp then went on a run down our Left hand side, he took on a few players and laid the ball off to Nat Harding who struck a left footed shot just inches wide of the top right hand corner from the edge of the box. The Full Time Whistle then blew. 1-1 FT.

Yet another game this season we have come away from feeling we should have taken more from it but a lot of promise from this game, I’m sure if you’d have offered us a 1-1 draw at the start of the game against top of the league we’d have been happy with it, but to come off the pitch feeling very disappointed not to win tells you a lot about the game & us as a team.

Good to see the lads starting to build on the things we speak about in pre-match team talks. We’re slowly learning to do the basics & if we can remain as organised & controlled as we did against Amblecote whilst adding in some of our missing more creative players we have no doubt that we can start to carve our results in the league.

Our Iconics Man of the Match for this game was Nathanael Harding for his non-stop running up front.

Next up Corinthians SK away from home who currently sit in 2nd Place in the league having just narrowly lost 2-1 to 3rd place Living Hope Church United.

 

Saint Michael 2 vs 2 Rowley College

Match Report from the ever reliable Pete Bennett, Rowley College

That we should have won this game three times over (and I reckon it was the third ‘winning draw’ we’ve had this season and it’s made a massive difference to where we find ourselves) is of no consequence in comparison to the delight (and relief) I feel about our performance, particularly with reference to last week’s debacle. Everything that was missing then was present here in spades. On a narrow but flat and firm Academy pitch in a game that kicked off in a mini blizzard, we restored our self-respect and identity. Though missing four offensive players, we were both positive and effective and might have had a hat-full.

St Michael, of course, are a side who want to get it down and play in true continental style and it was pleasing to see us go head to head with this in midfield where we had been so poor last week. With Clive back to hold, Mark was able to field a strong four with himself and Fin in the middle and Ben and Hayden wide. All had terrific games today as did Josh up top, leading the line with power and style and it was difficult to pick a man-of-the match for us today (always a good sign). I’d probably give it to Ben Smith , though in doing this I am giving further question to why I took him off with 15 minutes to play.

By then he’d caused them numerous problems down the right including setting up the goal that sent us in 1-0 despite playing up the hill and against the cold wind.  We’d looked good from the start but the goal was the culmination: Haydon won it, Clive slid Ben in and his cross was tucked away by Josh.  By this point St Michael’s hadn’t had a shot though two quickly followed and Lee was again on top form with a stretch having been wrong-footed and a full-length save. We then sought a penalty for what those close claimed was a clear hand ball, though nether Andy (who was again excellent) nor the lino had a clear view of it any more than we did on the side.  The appeals masked a chance for Josh that the keeper brilliantly saved.

Second half and the game should have been over as we over-ran them. Ben shot over when he should have squared it, Josh headed past after an exquisite first time pass in from Mark (who just got better and better) and Josh then drove wide having done everything right. Then against the run of play a smart counter attack brought them an equaliser and before we could get over the shock a freak bounce flicked off the newly arrived Matt Williams’ head to deceive Lee and leave them a tap in. We did not hesitate: we pushed Mark up alongside Josh and he quickly volleyed an equaliser though despite having time we just couldn’t manage a winner and even had a late scare when they had the ball in our net (thankfully via a hand).  So frustrating but also so much better than last week!  Good luck to St Michael’s for the season.

26 Oct 2018

Catch Up, 20th October + Prediction Challenge 27th October, (update 8.50a.m)

This time last week I was nicely settled in Lanzarote in lovely warm weather. Since coming back I have not had any free time to update the site. Well, not until now, late on Friday night. So first things first, here are the match reports received from last weeks games.Followed by the Prediction Challenge.

Rowley College 0 – 4 Monyhull Church

Match Report from Pete Bennett, Rowley College.

I thought I had to work this weekend so was initially delighted at the fact that not having to meant I could get down to witness the next stage of our season’s journey. Coming on the back of a 4-1 away win I was once more full of hope. Despite missing Jack and Matty Williams we lined up strongly with three good subs and a desire to be on the front foot. Thus for the first time in many a long year we won the toss and kicked down the slope with an attacking 4-1-3-2 formation. We knew Monyhull were a decent side having played them when they were first promoted and seen them give Clarendon a good game last week on an adjacent pitch at Rowheath. And so they proved to be: a bunch of lads who are maturing together: they were well-organised, committed and fluid. In Oli Smith they have a really good quality player but he was by no means the only one. All of my moaning about us takes nothing away from John’s lads who were on the top of their game.

By 12.15 they had murdered us subjecting us to a humiliating 4-0 defeat at home (a place we have taken 1 point at in five matches while unbeaten away). I’d never have believed this for the first half an hour where both sides had been pretty even and our slight physical superiority had given their back line problems, though we had also had a couple of scares with Lee diving bravely at their forward’s feet and another passed just wide. I thought at that point that if we could just get a goal up we’d have a good chance of imposing ourselves and we had a gilt-edged chance when Shola played in in-form Josh but he could only stab it directly at their keeper. His and our frustration grew as we failed to create more and they stunned us with two good goals from outside the area (the first a real beauty).

The problem was we just didn’t respond and things got quickly worse. Though Mark made a change at half time and Fin came in and did well, we were generally laboured and they looked more likely to extend their lead (Lee made a terrific save just after half time). We then lost Shola and a third to a classic centre forward’s header and just had no answer save frustration and petulance. Mark’s emergence did galvanize things and we managed a sustained period of pressure but we seemed to be lacking in something (Andy, the ref, who was excellent, said he thought we’d given it up second half: something he’s not witnessed before). Their 4th was another smart finish from just outside the box and 4-0 I’m ashamed to say was thoroughly deserved. Wished I’d had to work!

(edit Neil Kovacs, work or football, win, lose or draw, always football).

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Dudley Lions 1 – 5 Living Hope Church United

Match Report from Callum Oakshott, Living Hope Church United

Last weekend saw LHC concede 4 early goals to Christchurch Coseley and were determined that seven days on they would return to winning ways.

The scoreline doesn’t do justice to the end-to-end game this was. Yet, the hosts were unable to capitalise on the few clear chances they created early on, whilst the LHC defence largely dealt with everything that was thrown at them.

The opening goal came from an Ashley Turner free-kick on the right-hand side, which was slightly flicked on into the path of Chris Webb, who fired the ball home for his third of the campaign. Before long, LHC were awarded a penalty, which Callum Oakshott duly tucked away.

With the break nearing, the hosts did manage to capitalise on the visitors losing concentration, setting up an interesting second-half.

Tasked with scoring early, LHC forward Shane Parker found the net within ten minutes of the restart. Looking more comfortable with their two-goal cushion, LHC started to push more. The effort paid off, as Dean Cutler threaded a ball for Oakshott to run on to, before slotting under the keeper.

Dudley Lions didn’t give in and looked to find a way through the LHC backline. Yet, the game was well and truly put to bed when captain Neil Ward launched an outside-of-the-right-boot shot that curled its way into the top right-hand corner.

Goals: Webb, Oakshott (2), Parker, Ward

Game in three words: Just that bouncebackability.

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Prediction Challenge 27th October

Early Saturday morning and as most of you get ready to prepare for the rollercoaster that is called football I will try to do a quick review for the games today. Only 8 matches scheduled and with neither the top 2 in Division 1 playing Connect have a chance to regain top spot versus Monyhull Church. I would have gone with a Connect win but after reading Petes report from last week it has muddled my thinking, Monyhull are obviously maturing as a side but I do wonder if they can match the strength that Connect have? I don’t think so but my muddled thinking has Monyhull as my hunch of the week so it’s a win for Monyhull. Chawn Hill Church have an interesting game away to Life Central, A mid table clash but both teams could really do with a win to push them away from the threat of looking over their shoulder at the prospect of a relegation battle. Tough to call and unusual for me I am going for a score draw. Two teams who are looking to forget last weeks results play each other today with Rowley visiting St Michael with the hosts languishing at the bottom and the visitors mid table. Although Rowley, like Life Central and Chawn are looking over their shoulders having only managed 8 points from their 8 games. Reading Petes reports each week it would appear that they are a work in progress and like a rollercoaster are up and down, much like Petes feelings. St Michael are struggling for goals and their defence is letting in far too many goals. I expect plenty of goals in this game with Rowley coming out on top. 3 points for either Selly Oak Methodist or City Church would put pressure on the teams just above them and possibly propel them up to 5th or 6th but again, like St Michael they both seem to struggle to score and concede too easily. So, will it be a day for the strikers to lift their team away from the prospect of a relegation battle and if so, which ones will do best? I am tipping Selly Oak to run out winners in this by a 2 goal margin.

On to Division 2 and last week saw the only team without a win this season finally do so with St Thomas overcoming Brierley Hill, (something I predicted then initially inputted a Brierley Hill win in on the front page, apologies to the lads at St Thomas for that). So can they make it 2 wins in 2 games against today’s opponents Dudley Lions? Well, I reckon Dudley will be a tougher nut to crack than the Hill were last week and the Thomas lads will fall short today. A 2 goal margin win for Dudley to keep their faint promotion hopes alive. As for Brierley Hill, well another tough home fixture against Christ Church Coseley who will be looking to make up ground on the teams above them after their defeat to Amblecote last week. I don’t expect many goals here but I do forecast the visitors going home with all 3 points. Unbeaten Amblecote Nomads travel to Delph Athletic and it would take a brave person to predict a Delph win. I would love to say this is my hunch of the day but having already used that up on Monyhull then I have to go with Amblecote remaining unbeaten and bagging all 3 points in the process. Corinthinas S.K are also unbeaten but come up against far tougher opposition versus Living Hope Church Utd. Both teams average for scoring is 4 goals a game but Corintians have by far the best defensive record in this Division. But can it remain that way after today? Living really need to get all 3 points to maintain pressure on the top 2 but definitely need to make sure they avoid defeat otherwise a gap appears at the top. I am going for a narrow home win for the Corinthians lads. So what are the actual score forecasts? My thanks to Ben from Amblecote who is the Prediction Challenger today. (I aim to update on how the challenge is going over this weekend now I have some free time). Here goes folks:

27th October, 2018
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Life Central 2 Chawn Hill Church 2
Monyhull Church 3 Connect Sports 2
Saint Michael 2 Rowley College 4
Selly Oak Methodist 3 City Church 1
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 Christ Church Coseley 2
Corinthians S.K 4 Living Hope Church Utd 2
Delph Athletic 1 Amblecote Nomads 4
St Thomas Aldridge 1 Dudley Lions 3
Club Secretary (Ben from Amblecote)
Division One
Life Central 2 Chawn Hill Church 4
Monyhull Church 0 Connect Sports 6
Saint Michael 1 Rowley College 1
Selly Oak Methodist 3 City Church 2
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 Christ Church Coseley 4
Corinthians S.K 2 Living Hope Church Utd 1
Delph Athletic 1 Amblecote Nomads 5
St Thomas Aldridge 2 Dudley Lions 2

18 Oct 2018

Prediction Challenge – 20th October + Late Match Report 8th September

Absolutely no idea how the Prediction Challenge went last week as I have not had any free time to check it, but my initial thoughts when receiving the results last week that boy oh boy the write up must have inspired some of you to go out and really prove me wrong. I enjoy doing the write up and I hope you enjoy them, but unfortunately there is no time to do one this week. Work, family and much needed sleep has left scarcely any time for this. Add in, that I am away to Lanzarote again early Friday to see my lad Mark means a write up is out of the question. There may be a delay in the results from Saturday being entered but I will see what can be done. Hopefully, things will get back to where I want them to be when I get back, previews, reviews, etc. Thanks To Steve Rose from Dudley Lions for a very rushed Prediction Challenge. One last thing folks, enjoy your football.

 

20th October, 2018
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Charlemont Star 1 Life Central 1
Chawn Hill Church 2 Clarendon 2
Rowley College 1 Monyhull Church 1
Saint Michael 1 St Marys 3
St Andrews Netherton 1 Selly Oak Methodist 1
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 2 St Thomas Aldridge 3
Christ Church Coseley 1 Amblecote Nomads 3
Dudley Lions 3 Living Hope Church Utd 2
Excel Church 0 Corinthians S.K 3
Club Secretary (Steve from Dudley Lions)
Division One
Charlemont Star 2 Life Central 4
Chawn Hill Church 2 Clarendon 3
Rowley College 3 Monyhull Church 3
Saint Michael 1 St Marys 4
St Andrews Netherton 3 Selly Oak Methodist 1
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 3 St Thomas Aldridge 1
Christ Church Coseley 4 Amblecote Nomads 3
Dudley Lions 3 Living Hope Church Utd 3
Excel Church 1 Corinthians S.K 6

 

Apologies to Dave and the lads at St Andrews Netherton for only just adding this match report from September 8th. It did not come directly to me and I have only just picked it up.

September 8th.

St Andrews Netherton 4 Charlemont Star 1

After having a big squad last week it was a case of rotating the squad and letting everyone get game time.

After beating last seasons champions on match day one, match day two pitted us against last season cups finalists and we knew we was in for another tough game. It was vital we started well. Last season we struggled early doors against pretty much everyone and often had to climb mountains but we started well again and could have gone a goal up early doors. We lost Taughy early doors to a back injury and it meant Jack Jefferson come off bench earlier that expected. Jeffy made an instant impact setting Robbo free to smash the ball home to make it 1-0 Just before the half time interval we doubled our lead and it was that man Robbo again, a great ball in from New recruit Hydie. Hydie has been a revaluation at Right back and has increased the average age of the squad by 12 years. We trebled our lead after the interval and it was Robbo with his hat trick a with a low shot. A great turn and finish by Jamie Holder made it 3-1 But within 5 minutes Chris hunter got his first league goal of the season and made the game safe.

Thanks to Andy and his team for a great game we look forward to a return fixture later on in the season.