17 Jun 2021

Division One Cup – Match Report and Catch Up

Following last Saturdays matches and the 2 mid-week games in the Division One Cup here is where we are at the moment. In Group ‘A’ Clarendon only need a draw whereas their opponents in the last match this coming Saturday, Chawn Hill Church need a win. Following last Saturdays draw with Clarendon, St Andrews’ Netherton could not qualify for the Final but still put in a good performance with a 1-1 draw with Chawn Hill Church last night.

Group ‘B’ is oh so different, with an outside chance of any one of the 3 teams able to make the Final following last nights 4-0 win for Charlemont Star against Rowley College. A match that Pete Bennett in his Match Report below classes as one of their worst results in the 30 years of being in the League. Whilst all may seem lost for them they could still qualify with a 5-0 win, or any win with a 5 goal victory over City Church who they play this Saturday. It’s a massive ask but it’s been a strange season so far, although I do think this is doubtful myself. A 2-0 win for Rowley would see Charlemont Star qualify whereas a 2-1 or 3-1 win for Rowley would see City Church qualify. Like Clarendon, City Church can discount all of those permutations and possibly many more by simply getting a draw which will see them through. I must admit I am looking forward to this result, but my mindset says it is City Churches place in the Final to lose. I believe it’s going to be a City Church versus Clarendon Final.

Rowley College 0 – 4 Charlemont Star

This was one of the worst results and most disappointing days in all of our 30 year existence. I never saw this result coming and there are no excuses.  We were a little short and Star were mob-armed but more importantly they were completely up for it and by the time we thought about playing the game they’d effectively won it.  Jack started in goal.  He’s a perfectly good goalkeeper but made one of those mistakes which are only catastrophic in that area of the pitch.  In the five minutes that followed we lost our heads and we were soon three down.  Thereafter on a very hot evening we huffed and puffed but never really got going.  Star just played their normal game and scored a fourth fairly late on.  We then rounded the evening off by missing a penalty. Ah well!  There’s always next year!

Unfortunately, I have to head off for my afternoon shift now so Division Two review preview will be tomorrow morning.

 

 

16 Jun 2021

16th June – Cup Predictions

Two mid-week Division One Cup Group matches tonight. On afternoon shifts so just the predictions for now.

Thanks to Ian Baker for being the Prediction Challenger today.

16th June, 2021
Neil Kovacs
Division One Cup Group ‘A’
Chawn Hill Church 2 St Andrews’ Netherton 3
*******
Division One Group ‘B’
Rowley College 3 Charlemont Star 2
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Ian Baker from Brierley Hill A.O.G)
Division One Cup Group ‘A’
Chawn Hill Church 3 St Andrews’ Netherton 5
*******
Division One Group ‘B’
Rowley College 4 Charlemont Star 1

11 Jun 2021

11th June Update

Been a hectic week for all sorts of various reasons so here are all things WMCFL over the last 7 days and for Div 1 over the last season.

Firstly, I finally found some time to collate statistics regarding Division One and I can now confirm the following:

Division One Player Of The Season – Remmel Johnson from Clarendon

Division One Leading Goal Scorer – Shawn Devonport from St Andrews’ Netherton with 16 League Goals

*******

St Andrews’ host Clarendon in each teams 3rd match in the Division One Cup with St Andrews needing a win to stay in it. Clarendon had a convincing 5-0 win over Chawn Hill Church last week, albeit Chawn only had 10 players and hit the woodwork in the first minute. One minute later Clarendon had scored and were 3-0 to the good at half time. I was present for the first half and it was great to see some football and meet some people from the League who were present. I had to leave early doors in the second half due to other pressing issues. This result means Clarendon have it in their own hands but I know after meeting up with Roger Moore the other night that they will be taking nothing for granted. It’s an interesting group that’s for sure.

Group B is also wide open following Rowley College’s 2-1 win over City Church. Each team has won 1 game each after that result and it just shows that there are no bankers to win in this League. Here is a delayed Match Report regarding Rowley’s win over City Church, received from the ever reliable Pete Bennett.

Rowley College 2 – 1 City Church

This always looked likely to be a tight group and with three games played and three different winners this is clearly the case.  When Mark phoned me first thing this morning we had a bare 11, including himself and without a goalkeeper, knowing we needed at least a point today to keep any hopes of progress alive.  Things looked pretty bleak.  However, by the time I reached Dudley Wood, things had improved with the news that Hayden was after all going to be able to play some part (he arrived just after kick off) and that Jake was able to give us a half as long as he took it easy.

Jake has been great for us as a free running attacking option, always looking to take people on and score goals but as recently has had to tone it down because on Saturday afternoons he plays at a substantially higher level as a goalkeeper.  Today he immediately offered to go in goal and our prospects considerably improved.  It is no criticism either of Jamie or any other Rowley goalkeeper to say that the difference Jay made in this respect was formidable and this was not about shot stopping (he had no shots to save that Jamie wouldn’t have saved) it was about control, talking and distribution.  Our two veteran centre backs, Kev and Chris (who were excellent) both separately said to me after the game how much easier it was with the reassurance Jay provided.  Distribution both from the hand and off the deck was a real weapon today and that was the basis for our success.  In fact he stayed for 75 minutes and laid the foundation on which we built very well today.  This was needed in what was a really good game between two good teams.

With Brad suspended and Matt unavailable we brought in Clive in front of the back four and Ben Smith slotted in for another excellent excursion at right back.  Again this was a luxury having a centre midfield player who was competitive but more importantly capable when he has the ball, prompting our constructive football  predicated on Shola’s continuing excellence in centre mid alongside Tom Cartin, who had a really good game today in the position that he says is his best.  We  then worked offensively through the tireless Ben Fowler and two top quality performances from the wide players Billy (he gave every single scrap he had today)and Jack (he just seems to get better and better:  his subtlety and deceptive weight of p0ass was a highlight for me of the game.

Against this City brought their usual commitments,  both to one another and playing the game with control and  polish.  I think we were better team but there wasn’t much in it.  What we did was create the better chances,  genuinely we had enough of these to have clear daylight.  Our goals when they came were good ones but they probably didn’t come from our best chances! The first was a centre forward’s header from Shola from a great cross I think from Billy straight onto his head: penalty spot, keeper no chance.  This is also what City needed against our goalkeeper and that’s what they also delivered because just when I thought we were exerting some control their lad produced a proper moment of magic.  Joe was hesitant on the edge of the box and the lad hit an unstoppable volley into the top corner which no keeper would stop.

This was frustrating because it did come two minutes after Fowler rounded their keeper and had his shot cleared of the line.  Before half time Ben was there again this time hitting the foot of the post so we went in half time feeling positive but frustrated.  There was certainly nothing wrong and with Hayden ready to enter the fray in the second half I felt we could get something.  This proved a significant factor having Hayden’s power, determination and drive.  He gave us an extra wind and he set up the winning goal for Billy who slotted home where a few minutes earlier he had hit his shot just wide. Fowler also had chances but his work rate in the game more than justified his selection.

This was the best kind of performance when you get both the hard work and commitment and good quality football produced.  City of course weren’t finished.  Because we hadn’t finished it off we had an uncomfortable 15 minutes after Jake left, though luckily Mark was able to go on and see the thing through.  Luckily, I guess City imagined that our replacement keeper Jack was in common parlance ‘not a keeper’: in fact he’s pretty capable (he has filled in on a number of occasions and not conceded) and were perhaps a little over-eager to test him out.

We knew that winning the game kept things theoretically in our hands so it was important to hang on and we did though City made a monumental effort forcing a couple of corners.  From one of these Jack palmed out to the edge of the area where their load hit a great shot that flew horizontally from his foot (aka Cantona V Liverpool in the cup final) but Chrissy Staien was there to head away so we got the three points.  All the best to Martin and his lads and to Steve Cartwright, an excellent referee and his assistants.  Midweek next versus Charlemont.

So with the Division One Cup bubbling along nicely how are things in Division Two.

Well, Monyhull Church failed to keep their 100 per cent record intact as Selly Oak Methodist inflicted their first defeat of the season on the, and it was an impressive one at that with Selly Oak running out 5-1 winners. This result keeps Selly Oak Methodist in the hunt but I would still be backing Monyhull Church for the title especially as there last 2 matches pit them against the current 2 bottom sides and I am expecting them to win both of those. After saying above there are no bankers, here is me saying just such a thing. Hahaha.

Selly Oak wrap their season up with 2 matches against Dudley Lions who also have these matches as their final fixtures. For me, this is all about who ends up as Runners Up but Dudley will need to win both matches to do this. They are more prolific up front than Selly Oak have been so far this season so don’t discount this from happening.

Even if Living Hope Church United do win their last 2 matches they cannot improve on their current position of last but one. But their opponents tomorrow, Delph Athletic could move into 5th place from 6th in their last match of the season but need a win to do so.

Brierley Hill A.O.G finish their season off with a daunting task ahead of them. The lads from the Hill who sit bottom with 1 win all season, albeit recently, travel to face Monyhull Church the current leaders. Can Brierley Hill A.O.G finish with a win to really make things exciting at the top?

St Thomas’ Aldridge and Christ Church Coseley finished off their seasons last week with St Thomas just edging it with a 2-1 win. It’s been a strange old season and I am sure both teams would have been hoping for better. But, unlike last season where we had to cancel completely, at least we have had some clubs complete their season and others almost at the same stage. It may not have been great having to have a break but at least we came back and were able to carry on. I’m mindful that the positivity of being able to get out again and play the game helps with the mental health for some people and for the likes of the lads from Brierley Hill who achieved their first win, well, just imagine how great they felt. So, it’s not all about where you end up. For this season at least, it’s all about being able to participate. This is applicable not only to the players but everyone else involved within the League, Match Officials, Club Officials and spectators. As Euro 2020 kicks off in a bit, it’s just been great to have our own football back.

Thanks to Joshua Briley from Delph Athletic who is this weeks Prediction Challenger.

12th June, 2021
Neil Kovacs
Division Two
Dudley Lions 2 Selly Oak Methodist 2
Living Hope Church Utd 1 Delph Athletic 3
Monyhull Church 8 Brierley Hill A.O.G 0
*******
Division One Cup Group ‘A’
St Andrews’ Netherton 3 Clarendon 3
*******
Division One Group ‘B’
Charlemont Star 1 City Church 2
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Joshua Briley from Delph Athletic)
Division Two
Dudley Lions 1 Selly Oak Methodist 3
Living Hope Church Utd 1 Delph Athletic 3
Monyhull Church 6 Brierley Hill A.O.G 0
*******
Division One Cup Group ‘A’
St Andrews’ Netherton 4 Clarendon 2
*******
Division One Group ‘B’
Charlemont Star 2 City Church 2

4 Jun 2021

4th June

Well, I received Pete’s Match Report from their match a couple of weeks ago, (it was delayed, technical issues then time constraints for me). Now, I would normally put that on straight away but not this time!

Why not you may ask? Well, something I love to see finally happened last week so that’s where I will begin. Losing hurts, but to keep going week after week and finally getting a victory is fantastic. Only one team had failed to win a match so far this season, but finally, Brierley Hill A.O.G got a win to their name this season meaning every team has won at least one game. Delph Athletic, who they beat last week may not see it that way but a strange twist in the fixtures sees a reverse of that match again tomorrow. Can the lads from The Hill make it 2 out of 2?

St Thomas’ Aldridge play their last match of the season tomorrow against Christ Church Coseley, (who also play their last match) and how things can change in 18 months. St Thomas’ looked nailed on to be Champions for me before last season was cancelled due to Covid and they simply have not been able to regain that form this season, although they pushed Monyhull Church all the way last weeks, eventually losing 3-2. Christ Church will end up in 4th place whatever the result of this match, maybe something they were aiming higher for at the beginning of the season.

Should Brierley Hill make it 2 consecutive wins then Living Hope Church United will be glancing over their shoulders as there may then only be 1 point separating them should they lose to Dudley Lions tomorrow. Dudley will be looking to close the gap on Selly Oak Methodist as they try and chase them down for 2nd place.

Selly Oak play Monyhull Church who will be looking to seal the title with a win and maintain their 100 per cent record. The only team to do so this season.

Football throws up some strange things and in our League non more so than St Andrews’ Netherton having a 100 per cent record of 10 wins from 10 in their Divisional season. But having played 2 Division One Cup games they have lost 1 and drawn 1. You would have made them favourites in their group but with Chawn Hill Church and Clarendon in there as well, it’s what I would have called the Group Of Death. Don’t discount St Andrews though and I am sure they will eagerly looking at the result of Chawn Hill Church vs Clarendon tomorrow.

In Group B City Church look favourites for me after their 3-1 win over Charlemont Star last week. Who themselves beat Rowley College 2-1 the previous week, (see report below). Rowley need a win tomorrow, it’s as simple as that for me.

***There may be a delay in the results tomorrow***

22nd May 

Charlemont Star 2 – 1 Rowley College

One of the frustrations of Amateur football is the variable availability of players.  We suffered that frustration when we most needed to avoid it in a competitive cup game against a Charlemont team understandably lacking confidence after some poor results.  This galvanised them to greater effort on a day we had four starters missing, all legitimately working, and they just happened to be the front half of our team: Ben Fowler,  JJ and  Jake as well as missing Hayden’s energy.  This meant we went into the game with five defenders and six midfielders and were always trying to find a way of giving their defenders real problems.

We tried Shola up first but missed his drive in the middle of midfield and were forced finally to make a change when Star took a 2-1 lead towards the end of a fairly scrappy first half.  Neither side had much penetration but to be fair Star scored two decent goals: the first from free kick unnecessarily conceded (Jamie got a hand to it but it was well struck) and then from a shot from the edge of the area by their big centre forward which just beat the keeper into the corner.  Between these goals Shola had been barged over in the box and Jack converted a penalty. I feel we’d been taken aback a little by missing personnel and two-one half time was about fair.

Mark made decisive changes in the second half bring Shola back into the middle then Jack got on the ball and largely ran the second half.  In fact we played very well particularly going forward which just underlined the need we had for a genuine forward player.  Billy and Brad both delivered decent balls into the box but we lacked a fox in the box.  Brad’s quality is the norm for this season and he was delivering another man of the match performance that is until he was red carded for a loose tongue: this accolade I then passed on to Jack who backed up by the endeavour of Ben and Shola took the game to Star.  Defensively Chris and Kev were solid throughout: they had a couple of shots but if anybody was going to score it was us.  Even after the sending off the only impact of the red card was the game slightly petered out.

Even so in the very last minute Jack beat three or four players on the left hand side of the box pulled it back.  Tess jumped over it and Ben strode in to stroke in from the penalty spot what looked like a certain equaliser had it not been for a n instinctive Banks-like save from their keeper.  It’s these moments that make the game what it is.  Great to see Andy!  Look forward to doing this again with some forwards!

Thanks again to Stephen Farley for being this weeks Prediction Challenger, fewer matches so he has had 2 opportunities.

5th June, 2021
Neil Kovacs
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 Delph Athletic 1
Living Hope Church Utd 1 Dudley Lions 5
Monyhull Church 1 Selly Oak Methodist 1
St Thomas’ Aldridge 2 Christ Church Coseley 2
*******
Division One Cup Group ‘A’
Chawn Hill Church 0 Clarendon 3
*******
Division One Group ‘B’
Rowley College 1 City Church 3
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Stephen Farley From Living Hope Church United)
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 2 Delph Athletic 1
Living Hope Church Utd 2 Dudley Lions 1
Monyhull Church 4 Selly Oak Methodist 2
St Thomas’ Aldridge 2 Christ Church Coseley 3
*******
Division One Cup Group ‘A’
Chawn Hill Church 2 Clarendon 4
*******
Division One Group ‘B’
Rowley College 2 City Church 2

28 May 2021

28th May

Illness has seen me struggling recently with keeping on top of Kovacs’ Kolumn and this remains very much the case this week as well so it’s a short one this week. Monyhull Church remain the only team to maintain a 100 per cent winning record with their win over Delph Athletic, (Match Report below). St Andrews’ Netherton lost their 100 per cent record losing 3-2 to Chawn Hill Church in the Division One Cup. Charlemont Star overcame Rowley College 2-1 in Group ‘B’ of the same Cup. Selly Oak Methodist beat Brierley Hill A.O.G 5-1 to keep the pressure on Monyhull Church with Dudley Lions winning 1-0 against Christ Church Coseley to keep them in the hunt more so for 2nd place rather than the top. St Thomas’ Aldridge and Living Hope Church United bagged a point apiece in their 1-1 draw.

Clarendon sealed Runners Up in Division One with their 3-2 win over City Church.

Just the Match Report received off Joshua Briley from Delph Athletic and the Prediction Challenge below. Neither the mind or body are up to much at the moment. Enjoy your football folks.

Delph Athletic 3 – 8 Monyhull Church
‘A game against Monyhull is always a tough one. The way they are so fluid in their formation with some brilliant off the ball movement makes them very difficult to defend against.
The game started as expected, we were sitting quite deep & allowing Monyhull to have the ball & try to break us down.
We were then playing on a counter attack when we won the ball back, which we did to great effect around 10 minutes in when Ed Sutton broke through & put us 1-0 up.
Then on 15 minutes, a lack of discipline meant we were down to 10 men after our holding midfielder swore at himself after a misplaced pass. This changed the whole dynamic of the game & the extra space that Monyhull had on a pretty big pitch meant they ran riot, going in at half-time 5-1 up.
We put another central defender in at half time so that one of the 3 could push out to the Monyhull number 10 who always likes to drop back to collect the ball. This worked to great effect as we managed to pull back 2 goals in quick succession, Dan Ferguson with a lovely strike from just outside the left hand side of the box & Jack follis with a header that crept in just under the bar.
Another lapse of discipline meant we were down to 9 men temporarily due to a Sin Bin. The extra men & the fact our injured players were not allowed to be substituted meant that Monyhull’s movement just got the better of us, as they ran out & scored another 3 goals.
The game ended 8-3 with both teams wondering what would have been if we hadn’t been reduced to 10 men so early on.
Congratulations to Monyhull who continue their charge for the title & look destined to play in Division 1 next season.
For us, this has been a fairly disappointing season. Inconsistent numbers mean we’ve been making emergency signings most weeks just to get a squad together. We now have 3 games left & have to target 20 points & positive goal difference to build for next season.’
Thanks to Stephen Farley for doing this weeks Prediction Challenge.
29th May, 2021
Neil Kovacs
Division Two
Delph Athletic 1 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1
Living Hope Church Utd 2 Christ Church Coseley 2
Monyhull Church 2 St Thomas’ Aldridge 2
*******
Division One Cup Group ‘A’
Clarendon 2 St Andrews’ Netherton 2
*******
Division One Group ‘B’
City Church 2 Charlemont Star 2
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Stephen Farley From Living Hope Church United)
Division Two
Delph Athletic 3 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1
Living Hope Church Utd 3 Christ Church Coseley 2
Monyhull Church 3 St Thomas’ Aldridge 2
*******
Division One Cup Group ‘A’
Clarendon 2 St Andrews’ Netherton 1
*******
Division One Group ‘B’
City Church 3 Charlemont Star 0

21 May 2021

21st May – Catch Up

Been a bad week regarding getting stuff done on here and my apologies go out mainly to Pete Bennett who, whatever the result always gets a Match Report in on the Sunday. So, irrespective of other stuff that happened last week I will begin the ‘Catch Up’ with Pete’s report regarding their match against Chawn Hill Church.

Rowley College 1 – 2 Chawn Hill Church

Chawn had the better of us today, as they did more marginally in the first game at their place and yet like then we had the chance to get something from a game they should have been out of sight in.  They are always a difficult side to play because they are a team and they work for one another and like most teams have a couple of better players who make them tick.  What we learned today what’s the real value of our long serving centre back Chris Staien who was away in Cornwall with his family leaving a round hole (he is a manager with Krispy Kreme doughnuts) in the middle of our back four.  Clive came in to deputise but lasted only 15 minutes sending Joe freshly back from injury, one day beyond his 40th birthday into a 75 minute shift when he might have wanted and expected 20!  It was not that our defenders were individually poor but as a unit we left something to be desired and with three veterans out of four this got worse as the game progressed.

The first half was very even on a big wide pitch at Dudley Wood.  Neither side really managed to turn their efforts into constructive football.   Danny Knight was causing us problems down their left from full back forcing us to move Fowler out right to push Danny back.  This resulted in our and probably the half’s best chances: Ben first beat five players and blazed over and then cut a great ball back that neither JJ nor Jamal could get a touch on.  At that point Jamie didn’t really have much to do in goal.  The second half for him would be very different.

We started with good intent with Jay and Brad continuing to be lively but with Shola and Hayden over run in midfield and our back four strung out across the pitch, Chawn began to create openings.  Much was channelled through our old mate Curtis whose intelligence and ability to step both in and out of things caused our defenders significant problems.  When Ollie got in and scored a one on one my heart sank: the first goal in Rowley Chawn games is usually scored by the winners.  Today like the other week the first two were both scored by Chawn but not before they’d given us a torrid time with Jamie making two great saves from one on ones and also diving full length to block a drive at the front post.  When Danny Knight cut back and got the goal he deserved we felt quite sorry for ourselves but this was no time to lick our wounds and Mark made positive changes with Jack, Tom and finally himself added to the Rowley offence.  This led to three efforts from our man of the match Jay.  He worked tirelessly for the whole game and gave their defence much trouble when we sent him down the middle.

I spotted their keeper before the game because he’s not the tallest but he is a goalkeeper and a really good one. Jay got in three times flanked by defenders and twice their keeper made excellent saves and follow ups.  Finally he got the goal he deserved and left Chawn hanging on a little , even taking it to the corner flag after seeming such comfortable winners.  This is what makes the game fascinating! Thanks to the WMCFL for enabling this season to be completed.  Thanks also to the officials who communicated clearly and with good humour.  Looking forward now to a competitive Cup group with Charlemont and City Church.

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

Again, not really much time for a full review and preview. So it really is a short version tonight.

St Andrews’ Netherton made it a perfect season making it 10 wins out of 10 with Shawn Devonport bagging 5 in that match. I have been informed he is the ‘Leading Goal Scorer’ for Division One, but I have not had time to confirm it yet. The 9-0 win over City Church put paid to City’s chances of the Runners Up place but they do still have some influence on that outcome. Chawn Hill’s 2-1 win over Rowley College has them currently in 2nd place but Clarendon’s 7-2 win over Charlemont Star also has them sitting on 18 points. So, a draw will be good enough for Clarendon to nip in and get 2nd in the last match in Division One this season. Whilst City Church play Clarendon in the final game the other 4 Clubs will kick off the Division One Cup.

Monyhull Church removed one of their main challengers with their 3-0 win over Dudley Lions. Will Monyhull match St Andrews’ Netherton in winning all of their games? They currently have 9 wins from 9 played. Whilst Dudley Lions hit a bump in the road last week, Selly Oak Methodist keep the pressure on at the top with an emphatic 5-1 win over Delph Athletic who play Monyhull tomorrow. Selly Oak face bottom placed Brierley Hill A.O.G who are still looking for their first points of the season following their 6-1 defeat at the hands of Christ Church Coseley. St Thomas’ Aldridge move clear of the bottom positions with a 3-0 win away to Living Hope Church United. They face them again tomorrow and will be looking to further improve their points tally whilst Living Hope will be looking to avenge last weeks defeat.

A reminder that although Covid Lockdown Criteria has recently changed the WMCFL will still be maintaining the stance that Changing Rooms Are Not To Be Used. This stance will remain in place for the remainder of this season.

Thanks to Jordan Armstrong-Sly from Monyhull Church for being this weeks Prediction Challenger.

22nd May, 2021
Neil Kovacs
Division One
City Church 1 Clarendon 2
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 Selly Oak Methodist 4
Delph Athletic 1 Monyhull Church 3
Dudley Lions 2 Christ Church Coseley 1
St Thomas’ Aldridge 2 Living Hope Church Utd 1
*******
Division One Cup Group ‘A’
St Andrews’ Netherton 2 Chawn Hill Church 2
*******
Division One Group ‘B’
Charlemont Star 1 Rowley College 2
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Jordan Armstrong-Sly from Monyhull Church)
Division One
City Church 2 Clarendon 2
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 Selly Oak Methodist 5
Delph Athletic 0 Monyhull Church 4
Dudley Lions 3 Christ Church Coseley 1
St Thomas’ Aldridge 4 Living Hope Church Utd 1
*******
Division One Cup Group ‘A’
St Andrews’ Netherton 4 Chawn Hill Church 0
*******
Division One Group ‘B’
Charlemont Star 2 Rowley College 1

 

14 May 2021

14th May – Update

Apologies to Rowley College and St Andrews’ Netherton who provided Match Reports for last weeks matches. Unfortunately, circumstances with myself has meant little to no time for football stuff over the last week. So, albeit a little late, here is the first of these reports, received on Sunday, which was as ever received off Pete Bennett from Rowley College regarding their reverse fixture against Clarendon seven days after they had beaten them the previous week.

Rowley College 2 vs 4 Clarendon

Another cracking game today down at Mary Stevens park and just as close as last week (Clarendon scored the 4th of the last kick of the game).  This was end to end exciting, attacking football and the fact that we felt disappointed to come away with nothing against a Clarendon side playing great football shows how we have progressed.  Lacking Hayden and Jack (our thoughts are with him)from last week we brought in Clive and Jamal and stuck to our 442.  Clarendon had Matty in goal and a bunch of lads intent on revenge for last week’s defeat.  Having beaten them only twice in 20 years expecting to beat them twice in a fortnight was probably not a good bet but this was an even game but one in which both sides were intent on winning.

 We started up the slope on a damp farmer’s field of a pitch and made some early progress. Jamal was just short of setting JJ up with a header across the goal and Fowler and Jay looked lively wide.  The slope did make us sit back a little and Clarendon were playing well getting into their stride meaning another busy time for our back four led ably by Chris. The first goal was a penalty: we thought ball to hand but it was there to give.  Jamie dived the right way but Twin’s was a good penalty.  Still the game was even but Clarendon then took a massive step towards winning it by scoring a spectacular gold when a flowing move ended up with Twin crushing in the perfect volley on the most difficult of surfaces.  As half time approached we looked a little punch drunk and Mark was keen to point out but we needed to get back to the standards we set the previous week.

This we did immediately from the kick off putting Clarendon under pressure.  From our first corner Brad delivered and Roger was the unfortunate scorer off his back.  Our plan for the second half of course was built around the idea of an early first goal and as I got through to Mike Ibrahim on the phone telling him the news we were suddenly level when a ball into the box was poked in by JJ

Now we had a game: end to end physically uncompromising but played in the best of spirits. Jamie made a couple of good saves and we pushed their defence to the limit.  There was genuinely nothing in it.  Then we had a couple of decisions go against us and lost our heads a little, ending up with two players in the sin bin: there’s never any excuse for dissent even though provoked.  While we were down to 9 Clarendon chipped straight in from a free kick out wide with what effectively was the winner.  Not that we gave up, having a really good headed goal by Jay chalked off for a push from a corner.

The second half was a massive effort for both teams and I think we deserved something though as I said the desire to  attack on both sides looked likely to produce a winner.  Great to see Clive back and to see us once again properly competing against a properly good side.  The goal; they got last kick certainly flattered them but all the best to Roger and his lads for a good game played to in the best of humours.

The second match report, received on Tuesday, was off Dave Challoner of St Andrews’ Netherton regarding their 9th win out of 9 beating bottom placed Charlemont Star.

St Andrews’ Netherton 9 vs 2 Charlemont Star

St Andrew’s Netherton are now just 90 minutes away from becoming West Midlands Christian Football League “invincibles” after taking Charlemont apart 9-2 on Saturday morning. (League Sec edit: joining other clubs who have achieved this feat. Invincibles definition – too powerful to be defeated or overcome).
Shawn Devonport helped himself to another hat-trick and super-sub Jord Mitchell bagged a brace, with Lee Hughes, Craig Oldfield, Tom Adams and Rion Mills also finding the net on a day the champions made it nine wins from nine.
Hughes, Oldfield, Devonport (3) and Adams put the hosts in complete control at the break, going in 6-0 up.
But Charlemont delivered a spirited second-half showing and capitalised on two mistakes to bring the score back to 6-2 shortly after the restart.
Those goals forced a response from Challoner and Wright’s men and a familiar name on the scoresheet in recent weeks popped up with another pair to restore the six-goal cushion.
Candle king Jord Mitch slotted home one smart finish before following it up moments later with a courageous one from close range.
And the rout was completed in the dying stages when Mills nodded home a right-wing corner.
Victory on Saturday at home to City Church and St Andrew’s will complete the perfect ten.

The final Division One match last week saw Chawn Hill Church keep their hopes of 2nd place alive with a very good 3-2 win over City Church.

Tomorrow sees 4 of the 6 Division One teams complete their Divisional fixtures for this shortened season with City Church playing Clarendon to complete all the Division One fixtures the following week. For me, Chawn Hill Church will have to win their match against Rowley College and hope results go their way in the other fixtures remaining. Clarendon should beat Charlemont so it could all go down to the last match of the season to decide who finishes second. City Church cannot be discounted from second place but they will have to do it the hard way. Knowing they face Clarendon in the final match they have to win their penultimate match to really stay in contention. Who have they got in that one? No other than St Andrews’ Netherton who will be aiming to win their last match to make it 10 wins out of 10 games. They beat City Church a couple of weeks ago with a 90th minute Shawn Devonport goal after being behind 2-0. St Andrews’ know how to win, will they keep that run going tomorrow?

The most surprising thing for me last week was when I was woken up with a message at 8.52a.m stating that Living Hope Church United vs Monyhull Church was off following a Referee Pitch Inspection at 8.40a.m. The beginning of May and we have a match postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. There were pictures to prove it but I never thought I would see the day when a match was postponed for that reason in May! It just adds to what has been a strange year.

So, with Monyhull not playing, could Selly Oak Methodist and Dudley Lions take advantage and close the gap on them?

Well, Selly Oak did just that with a 2-1 win away to St Thomas’ Aldridge and in doing so are now just 2 points behind the leaders.

Dudley Lions also didn’t mess about with a convincing 6-0 thumping over bottom placed Brierley Hill A.O.G with Dan Douse notching another hat-trick making it 13 goals scored in 5 matches since the re-start.

Delph Athletic travelled to play Christ Church Coseley in a reverse of their fixture the week before, a match in which Christ Church won 3-1. Well, a reversal in the fixture and also a reversal in the result as Delph triumphed 3-1 and a result that closes the gap on the team just above them, Christ Church Coseley.

I fully expect that gap to stay as Christ Church host Brierley Hill A.O.G whilst Delph travel to play second placed Selly Oak. If results go as expected I expect the gap to increase. I am struggling to see where the lads from Brierley Hill will get that elusive first win and I also expect Selly Oak to continue putting pressure on at the top of the table.

Hopefully we don’t get any rain overnight and the Living Hope Church United vs St Thomas’ Aldridge fixture takes place. Two teams who are struggling at the bottom end of the table and both will be hoping to get the 3 points here. Tough one to call.

The last match could keep things interesting as an in form Dan Douse and his Dudley Lions team mates travel to play Monyhull Church. A win for Dudley would spice things up at the top and could even allow Selly Oak a chance to leap frog Monyhull to be top. So, Monyhull Church will need to be on their ‘A’ game and show what it takes to stay up there. With Moyhull scoring 39 goals in 8 matches and Dudley scoring 37 in 9 games, wonder if this could be a 0-0. Hahaha!

Thanks to Stephen Richardson from City Church who is this weeks Prediction Challenger.

15th May, 2021
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Clarendon 6 Charlemont Star 1
Rowley College 2 Chawn Hill Church 3
St Andrews’ Netherton 2 City Church 2
*******
Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 6 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1
Living Hope Church Utd 1 St Thomas’ Aldridge 2
Monyhull Church 2 Dudley Lions 3
Selly Oak Methodist 3 Delph Athletic 1
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Stephen Richardson from City Church)
Division One
Clarendon 3 Charlemont Star 1
Rowley College 2 Chawn Hill Church 4
St Andrews’ Netherton 2 City Church 2
*******
Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 3 Brierley Hill A.O.G 0
Living Hope Church Utd 1 St Thomas’ Aldridge 1
Monyhull Church 3 Dudley Lions 1
Selly Oak Methodist 2 Delph Athletic 1

 

7 May 2021

Quick Review 7th May + Preview Added At Midnight

Apologies for the lateness of providing the following, various reasons but here we go anyway.

With 3 teams still in with a chance of becoming Division 1 Champions before a ball was kicked last week, St Andrews’ Netherton, Clarendon and City Church we start off with the first match report received off Pete Bennett from Rowley College.

Clarendon 0 vs 1 Rowley College

Clarendon remain the benchmark in this league, the team who consistently season after season compete at the top of the league.  The fact that in perhaps nearly twenty seasons this is the only second time we have beaten them is news in itself.  I always relish the challenge and in years gone by for long periods when they were genuinely the dominant force we fared against them as well as anyone.  There are lots of draws and close encounters in the Rowley versus Clarendon record.  Sadly in recent years we have been much less successful, having earned but one point in the last seven games in a run that has seen us concede 6 three times.  Even last season when we were going pretty well with this young and hopefully developing side they beat us 6-2 and showed us how far we still had to go.

This morning we once again set ourselves up against the standard and the most satisfying thing beyond even the result was that we were able to properly compete with this fluent, agile, skilful competitive Clarendon team.  We fielded three largely attacking, skilful flair players in JJ Jack and Jake and all showed they were up for the physical challenge.  The young referee turned out to be old school allowing the game( 70s style) to be physical (causing some squealing for easy fouls on both sides!)which might theoretically have suited Clarendon’s all action style.  In fact this was the aspect of the game in which we most obviously matched them and it happened from minute one to minute 90 and meant the for once I can genuinely say that every one of our players put in a very significant shift, the prerequisite for being able to play football against this excellent team.  With a couple of defenders missing we asked Ben Smith to play right back which he did for 70 minutes magnificently one of a number of leaders on our side.

Clarendon had early sorties but we were defensively robust: Chris was always in the right place and Kev competed for everything. Brad, at left back continued to make his case for being our player of the season both defensively and offensively: the quality of his delivery is now becoming a real weapon.  In midfield Hayden was inspired and inspiring and Shola tackled everything that moved with Ben Fowler dropping in and offering 90 minutes tireless effort we were able to get our flair players often into the game.  In the first half we had significantly more of the constructive football and their keeper was significantly busier than ours though once again Jamie Mitchell distinguished himself with a tidy unflappable display in goal for us.

Clarendon have good quality players everywhere and in Roger and Matt have a couple of wmcfl Hall of Fame nominees but in JJ, our man of the match we have an intelligent skilful and fleet footed forward.  Our game plan was to get him running in the channel against our former centre half and leader: whatever your quality as a player there is a point where pace just wins out.  It came halfway through the first half and once JJ was in there was no catching him: he finished with expertise.  This game wasn’t over: Clarendon always have a goal in them (or 6)

When we started the second half a little tentatively they started to exert some pressure on us.  However every one of our lads including the subs Jamal and Billy were committed to the cause today and although Clarendon had plenty of possession and efforts they didn’t manage to make our goalkeeper make a serious save and again we had the better chances.  Looking for a second win in 20 years the last 15 minutes passed awfully slowly on the Rowley bench.  It was a properly competitive game played in good spirit the Clarendon lads were incredibly gracious at the final (while promising to do us next week). I was proud of every Rowley player today and the work that Mark did on the side keeping them at it.  Of course side beating the` best sides is always satisfying particularly when you deserve it and I think we deserved it today.  Look forward to next week’s return at Stanley Rd .

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

So, with Clarendon ruled out of the chase we had City Church vs St Andrews’ Netherton with a match report received from both teams. The first is off Martin Wright for St Andrews’ Netherton followed by one received off Martin Ogbourn for City Church.

City Church 3 vs 4 St Andrews’ Netherton

An overcast April morning saw the champions elect (as dubbed by Neil Kovacs) arrive at Rowheath Pavilion for a game that could see them clinch the league title for the first time.
City Church are always an organised and proficient team and we have never had anything but tough games on their compact Selly Oak pitch.  Today was no different.  And before the action unfolds it’s fair to say that this game was our biggest test of the season.
Both teams started brightly and had chances, however, it was City Church who fired themselves into the lead with a well taken goal with the lead soon being double from an in swinging corner.  Much like the pitch, we faced an uphill battle to get ourselves back into the game.
St Andrew’s got a foothold in the game with a goal from a well worked corner with with Matt Waterhouse flicking on a Chris Hunter corner for Warren Grant to head home.  This was followed in our very next attack after the game restarted with Lee Hughes being bought down just inside the box for a penalty.  This resulting spot kick was Cooley dispatched by skipper Chris Hunter to make it 2-2.
Half Time 2-2
The next goal in the game was crucial and it went to City Church with a great run to the back post and finish from a well crafted move and cross down their left flank.  This is the first time this season that we had been under this much pressure.
A change of shape and personnel once again freshened the team and with a renewed verve an vigour we once more set about chasing the game.  The equaliser came from another Chris Hunter corner, not long after he had hit the cross bar himself with an audacious shot from just under the right edge of the penalty box, as Warren Grant rose to power home his second headed goal of the game.
In sport to win you can’t be scared to lose and St Andrew’s looked for the winner while our opponents ran down the clock, so today, the fortune did favour the brave.  A courageous tackle in our own defensive third from
Steve Hyde, a short pass to Richard Thomas-Robinson who released, with pin points accuracy, Shawn Devonport down the left, cutting inside on his right foot found the bottom corner of the City nets in the last minute of the game.  The Christian League veteran showed class and composure in the most pressured of moments to win the game and what would turn out to be the league after Clarendon dropped points against Rowley.
Full Time 3-4

City Church made us earn today’s result.  All of the team although maybe not mentioned in the report played a massive part in today’s results and the whole 20 man squad in what’s been a difficult year with the tribulations of Covid it has been a great release to be back at football and something so positive for all of us.
Dave Challoner who has masterminded this season’s success with his trusted coaching team took the communication from Mr Kovacs confirming  the title and we proudly sign off….

St Andrews Netherton Baggies
WMCFL 2020/21 Champions

Martins Report,

First of all congratulations to St Andrews for their well-deserved title after an unbelievable season.
It was an amazing hard-fought game this morning at Row Heath which ended with an 89th minute winner for St Andrews when they took the lead for the first, but most important time in the match.
City started well in the first half and took a 2-0 lead through a good move and finish by Ivan, and a perfectly placed corner by Graham which beat everyone, including the St Andrews keeper. St Andrews were edging possession and passing well without troubling the City keeper, Chattaway, but they found a way back in through a foul on the edge of the area. A penalty was awarded and taken well (1-2). St Andrews then scored a header from a corner to equalise and at half time it was 2-2 at the end of a finely balanced half.
St Andrews came out strongly at the start of the second period and pinned City back for 15 minutes or so. However, City regained a foothold in the match and had chances of their own with Atkins scoring a good far post header after a quality run and cross from Janny.
The lead didn’t last long though as another corner was headed in to leave it 3-3 and a frantic ending.
The problem was as we pressed for the winner (the draw was no good to us), it meant we left gaps and although we had some pressure we also had a few warnings with close offside calls, before a ball over the top went to Shawn Devenport who ran through and finished well on his right foot. 3-4 and not enough time to respond, leaving St Andrews celebrating wildly and City players on their knees. This snapshot encapsulated the raw emotions of football even during a Covid-truncated season.
The celebrations from St Andrews were a back-handed compliment, but it was immensely disappointing to have led 2-0 and 3-2 and compete so well without getting anything from the match. St Andrews found a way to win with a large quality squad and that is why they are league winners.
City Church still have second place to play for, but we need to keep the level of performance high. Janny was my man-of-the-match, but Atkins linked the play well and every player played their heart out so I can’t fault the attitude or commitment. We go again next week v Chawn Hill in another tough game.
************************************************************

So, congratulations to Dave Challoner and his merry men from St Andrews’ Netherton. No doubt they will now aim to go unbeaten all season, we will see if they can achieve that. With only 2 games left, I think they will.

The last game in Division 1 saw Chawn Hill Church run out easy winners against a struggling Charlemont Star who lost 7-0 and who also move bottom due to Rowley’s win over Clarendon. Chawn move into 2nd place with 3 teams on 12 points, but City Church and Clarendon both have a game in hand.

Unlike Division 1 which is nearing completion, Division 2 still has some way to go yet but Monyhull Church do look like ‘Champions Elect’ for this Division. Like Chawn Hill they also found the back of the net 7 times in their win over bottom placed Brierley Hill A.O.G.

Second placed Selly Oak Methodist continue to chase them should they slip up with a steady 3-0 win over Living Hope Church United.

I’m not sure if Selly Oak will be looking upwards or over their shoulder as Dudley Lions also continue their fine form with a 5-2 win away to St Thomas’ Aldridge. I cannot see any other team challenging for 2nd place.

Christ Church Coseley look the best of the rest and sit comfortably in mid table following their 3-1 win away to Delph Athletic.

A shortened review much to my displeasure but unfortunately my time needs to be spent elsewhere on football stuff.

Preview of tomorrow’s games to follow later, or more than likely in the early hours of tomorrow.

Preview:

Just a quick preview as it’s late and I do not anticipate being up early in the morning.

City Church vs Chawn Hill Church is probably the match of the day tomorrow with both teams looking to strengthen their claim for 2nd place. Although City lost last week I have been swayed by their impressive performance against St Andrews’ Netherton and gone against Chawn.

Clarendon also have a chance of 2nd and it’s a reverse of last weeks fixture as they travel to face Rowley College who beat them 1-0 last week. I went rather foolishly in the end for a Clarendon win then, guess what? I’m going for a Clarendon win this week as well.

The last game sees St Andrews’ Netherton who will be confirmed as Champions come seasons end, (mathematically confirmed at present), come up against rock bottom Charlemont Star. I have absolutely no doubt about this match, just on how big the margin of the win will be.

Division Two table toppers Monyhull Church come up against Living Hope Church United in a match where again I don’t see a problem with picking a winner, just about the margin of victory.

2nd place Selly Oak Methodist travel to St Thoams’ Aldridge and originally I had the Selly Oak lads to win 3-1. But a quick look at the table and it’s another mind change for me based on the fact that they do not score loads of goals or let in many for that fact. I think this will be a tighter game than I first thought.

Can bottom placed Brierley Hill A.O.G get their first win of the season? Well, they come up against a side who definately (Ian Buckells, Line Of Duty, if you know, you know), know where the back of the net is. Dudley Lions should wrap this match up. (As an extra Line Of Duty piece of information, the actor who played Ian Buckells is an avid Aston Villa fan. Did you clock the comment on where his money was being held in his interview? Holte End Holdings. Hahaha, best part of the night for me that was).

The last match sees another fixture reversal from last week as Christ Church Coseley host Delph Athletic. I was unsure on this one last week, (see last weeks preview), but I did get it correct. So, I will stick with another Christ Church win this week.

Thanks to Steve Knight from Chawn Hill Church for being this weeks Prediction Challenger

8th May, 2021
Neil Kovacs
Division One
City Church 3 Chawn Hill Church 2
Rowley College 1 Clarendon 2
St Andrews’ Netherton 8 Charlemont Star 0
*******
Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 3 Delph Athletic 1
Dudley Lions 4 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1
Living Hope Church Utd 0 Monyhull Church 4
St Thomas’ Aldridge 1 Selly Oak Methodist 1
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Steve Knight from Chawn Hill Church)
Division One
City Church 1 Chawn Hill Church 2
Rowley College 2 Clarendon 1
St Andrews’ Netherton 6 Charlemont Star 0
*******
Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 2 Delph Athletic 2
Dudley Lions 4 Brierley Hill A.O.G 0
Living Hope Church Utd 0 Monyhull Church 5
St Thomas’ Aldridge 2 Selly Oak Methodist 3

 

 

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

 

30 Apr 2021

30th April – Preview for 1st May

The week that never went to plan, so I’m going to stop saying when I aim to get things done from now on and just bump along… enjoy the ride!

As stated in the weeks earlier review of last weekends games St Andrews’ Netherton are close to securing the title and tomorrow they face one of the two teams that could stop them. So, a win for them against City Church will rule City out of the running and only leave Clarendon to push them. (I do believe that Connect Sports may have pushed them all the way, but you can only beat what’s out there). I really cannot see anyone beating St Andrews’ so it’s another step towards their aim at the start of the season for the ‘Champions Elect’ tomorrow. It would be great from a neutrals point of view to see a City Church win and keep it interesting, but I just cannot see it. Prove me wrong City Church?

The Clarendon lads will be looking at that result but they still have to concentrate on getting their result first. They come up against a Rowley College side who have managed only 1 win this season and whilst Pete’s Match Reports regularly say they have played well it’s getting the results that count. It’s a Clarendon win for me here.

Charlemont Star, like Rowley, also only have 1 win this season and they also face a good side in Chawn Hill Church who I thought would have done better this season. Then again, it’s not been a normal one has it? I’m expecting Chawn to overcome Charlemont but I do think they will need to work hard to do so, it will not simply be turn up and get the points.

No disrespect to the Brierley Hill A.O.G lads but I do think that Monyhull Church will get a victory, it’s just a matter of how much effort they want to put in to get the goals. Brierley Hill will always give of their best but the difference between them and Monyhull will show tomorrow. I’ve gone for the Monyhull win but not by a huge score though.

Selly Oak Methodist will keep the pressure on Monyhull as they come up against 2nd bottom Living Hope Church United who have two victories to their name this season but will not be adding another one to it tomorrow. For Selly Oak, I reckon the title is probably Monyhull’s but they will need to keep winning if they want to end up as runners up.

Dudley Lions are the side that may push for 2nd place as the top 3 sides now seem almost certain to end up there. Dudley travel to face St Thomas’ Aldridge who simply cannot replicate their fantastic form before last seasons lockdown. They will prove difficult to beat but Dan Douse seems to have recently found some goal scoring form for Dudley and that should tip the game for me.

Christ Church Coseley have drifted off from being in the top pack and travel to play Delph Athletic in a match with a 10am kick off. Not sure why but I’m going for a Delph victory which would move them above Christ Church Coseley. ACTUALLY, let me correct that! It’s funny what your mind does as you get older. I thought I had gone for a Delph win but looking at my Predictions I have actually gone for a Christ Church Coseley win. So, there, you have it officially confirmed… I’ve totally lost the plot but it’s a Christ Church Coseley win for me! It is actually the only game where me and this weeks Prediction Challenger differ on who wins. I will eagerly be awaiting the result of this match now!

As mentioned last week. Rather than input each individual result as they arrive I have now adopted a wait until ALL the Results and information is in. So basically, everything depends upon who is the last to send me the relevant information. It’s not a decision I took lightly, I have indeed loved doing instant updates as soon as they come in but unfortunately sometimes I was waiting around for absolutely ages, (couple of hours sometimes and longer occasionally). I cannot and will not now devote that sort of time and commitment to updating the scores, etc. I will be ready and waiting as the matches finish but I will also have a cut off where the computer simply gets turned off. By the way, this is not a moan at the Club Secs, I’ve been there and done it all. They do a fantastic job and have loads to do. I do just wonder how much support they get off their squad. Indeed, I wonder if they are appreciated enough?

This weeks Prediction Challenger is Dave Challoner from ‘Champions Elect’ St Andrews’ Netherton.

1st May, 2021
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Charlemont Star 1 Chawn Hill Church 3
City Church 2 St Andrews’ Netheton 4
Clarendon 3 Rowley College 0
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 0 Monyhull Church 7
Delph Athletic 1 Christ Church Coseley 2
Living Hope Church Utd 0 Selly Oak Methodist 3
St Thomas’ Aldridge 1 Dudley Lions 3
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Dave Challoner from St Andrews’ Netherton)
Division One
Charlemont Star 1 Chawn Hill Church 2
City Church 0 St Andrews’ Netheton 3
Clarendon 4 Rowley College 0
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 0 Monyhull Church 5
Delph Athletic 2 Christ Church Coseley 0
Living Hope Church Utd 1 Selly Oak Methodist 3
St Thomas’ Aldridge 1 Dudley Lions 3

 

 

28 Apr 2021

Review 23rd April + Couple Of Match Reports

I had stated that I was going to do a review of Saturday’s matches on Sunday. Things obviously didn’t pan out that way and I will admit to enjoying the sunny weather. I note elsewhere on the internet that St Andrews Netherton state that 1 more win will secure the title, however, whilst it might probably be enough due to their goal difference, it actually would not do so as 2 other teams could still catch them on 24 points. City Church are one of those sides and stayed in the hunt with a 2-1 win over Rowley College. Pete Bennett’s Match report was received on Sunday and it was an eventful day even before a ball had been kicked. Here’s Pete’s report:

Rowley College 1 vs 2 City Church

After 30 seasons you think you’ve seen it all but the latest instalment of our nomadic existence brought surprise and horror to a sunny Saturday morning.  Our latest port of the call was Amblecote Recreational ground (don’t book this!), but when Chris and I climbed the rise towards the pitch we found a perfectly marked playing surface but no goal posts!  What could we do? With City in transit and our lads arriving bemused. Luckily one of the first people I bumped into in my blind panic was referee Steve Cartwright.  Rather than accepting his half fee and going home Steve’s first thought was where we could go and play.  As I might have expected, Dan, martin and the lads from City were just as understanding and supportive.

Chris and I wasted no time and ‘reccied’ Wordsley park, establishing a beach-head (appropriate term for a bumpy dusty track, though this ‘beach’ also had dandelions and a considerable) and calling the others to join us.  Luckily, for once, COVID restrictions helped and we were ready for only a slightly delayed kick off.  After all that we settled into an enjoyable and competitive game (our Cup group seems likely to produce tight encounters between well-matched teams).  We chose to go up the hill first half and despite conceding an early goal, following Kev’s misplaced pass had the better of it.

Both are full backs played really well today: Matt defensively and Brad offensively.  We had a purple patch in the first half attacking at will with Jake Jay Jay and Jack, fizzing balls across their box.   Ben Fowler worked hard just behind them and Hayden was everywhere.  The response to lots of balls into their box was lots of good defending particularly by their centre backs, also and a terrific save by their goalkeeper when Shola hit a 25 yard screamer through a crowd of players: these normally go in.  Just before half time we made our pressure pay.  Firstly Jack attacked down the right and we had a good shout for a penalty but two minutes later their full back was not warned of Jack’s rapid approach and over he went.  Jake stroked in the penalty we went in at half time feeling confident: on top with the slope in our favour  second half.

In fact at the turn around City came into their own and they then had their own purple patch attacking up the hill well.  We huffed and puffed and tried to work out why we weren’t using the slope to our advantage!  City’s dominance culminated in a headed goal just after Hayden had been replaced by Ben Smith. Ben was a terrific bundle of energy as we then decided it was time to wake up, spending the final third of the game largely in their half throwing the kitchen sink at it. Ben and been joined by the brilliant Tom Cartin who was skilful and everywhere.  If I was able to be completely objective (which I’m not) I would describe this as a classic away win, because having attacked enterprisingly when they had the ball, City then defended resolutely and at times heroically.  Two or three vicious goal-bound efforts were blocked by lads putting their bodies on the line for their team.  The closest we got was when Shola got in chasing a bouncing ball, a nightmare for their centre back, but the keeper and then the defender made brilliant blocks.

Disappointing for us as we clearly think we should have got something from the game.  Full marks to City for making sure we didn’t.  And thanks to everyone for making sure the morning was not a complete disaster

The second Match report was received today from St Andrews’ Netherton and the ‘Champions Elect’ made light work of Charlemont Star running our 5-1 winners. Here is the report sent in by Dave Challoner:

Charlemont Star 1 vs 5 St Andrews’ Netherton

St Andrew’s Netherton’s charge towards the West Midlands Christian Football League title gained further momentum with a thumping 5-1 win at Charlemont Star on Saturday.
Warren Grant bagged a brace, Lee Hughes added his second goal in as many appearances, skipper Chris Hunter scored a screamer and forward Shawn Devonport’s impressive performance was rewarded with being the final name on the scoresheet.
The visitors made the perfect start in Sandwell, going ahead after less than 15 minutes. Charlemont’s goalkeeper fumbled a powerful strike from the edge of the area and Grant was on hand to tap in from close range.
And it was two moments later when fellow forward Hughes found time and space on the left hand side of the penalty area, before slotting into the far corner with his right foot.
Dave Challoner and Matthew Wright’s table-toppers had to wait until early in the second 45 for their third of the morning. A pin-point left-wing corner from Hunter was emphatically nodded high into the net from Irishman Grant to further strengthen St Andrew’s’ grip on the game.
The pick of all five goals was undoubtedly the fourth; a humdinger from Hunter from the best part of 30 yards out. The captain ran on to a perfect tee-up by Ben Davies and lashed home into the top corner, proving class is permanent and age is merely the number of years the midfielder has graced the football world with his presence.
Sloppy defending allowed the home side a route back into the game towards the end, but the four-goal lead was restored just minutes later when Devonport’s powerful left-footed finish from inside the box after an expert first touch thundered beyond the ‘keeper to make it seven wins from seven.

I did say earlier that 2 Clubs could match St Andrews on 24 points with the other Club being Clarendon, a Club who have previously chased teams down to win the title. No report on their 3-2 win over Chawn Hill Church but this is a good win for them to keep them in the hunt.

Moving on to Division 2 and no Match reports received for any of these matches.

Monyhull Church move past the half way stage of the season with another convincing win to maintain their 100 per cent record. A 4-1 win over Christ Church Coseley probably ends any lingering hopes that they may have had about a Title push.

Selly Oak Methodist are the closest challengers to Monyhull and whilst there is still a bit of a gap, their 4-0 win over Brierley Hill A.O.G does keep the pressure on. For Brierley Hill it’s now getting to the point where you begin to wonder if they will go all season without a win.

Is 7 points too big a gap to make up half way through the season? Well, Dudley Lions look like they will be giving it a go and will be full of confidence as they have recently scored 10 goals in their last 2 games, notching 7 this week against Living Hope Church United with Dan Douse following up his brace from the previous week with a hat-trick this week.

The last match saw Delph Athletic and St Thomas’ Aldridge play out a 1-1 draw. The result doesn’t really do much for either side and if this was the Premiership the old quote of the players already being on the beach may have been used. But, this is grassroots football and I am sure both sets of lads will be putting the utmost effort in for the remainder of the season.

Prediction Challenge will updated tomorrow.

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

23 Apr 2021

23rd April Part One + Part Two

Just a very quick word about last weeks matches and tomorrows games. (Lack of time and Dad’s Taxi at 11pm plus no intention of staying up into the early hours).

St Andrews’ Netherton march onwards towards the title after beating Clarendon 3-2 last week. It would appear to have been a good game according to the Match Report. It would take a slip of Devon Loch magnitude for them to now not win the League. They face Charlemont Star and this will be another 3 points for St Andrews’. Charlemont fared better than I thought last week only losing by the odd goal to City Church, whereas I predicted it to be more. I think they will be busier in defence this week.

City Church moved into 2nd place with their 2-1 win and will be looking to hold onto that spot as they face a Rowley College side who are struggling for goals. It’s between them and Charlemont for me, as to who ends up bottom. I just have a sneaky hunch that Rowley will get something from this.

Chawn Hill Church vs Clarendon, well, these 2 teams are the most decorated within our League and now the ‘So Called Super 6’ English teams have decided not to join the ESL, I am left wondering when their phones will be ringing asking them to join. Seriously though, both teams on their day still play some quality football. With Connect Sports not rejoining I thought these 2 would be the next best challengers. This is a tough one to call!

I believe if i rush to get this done before being ‘Dad’s Taxi’ it would be a disservice to Division 2. So even though I did state above that I had no intention of bashing the keyboards in the early hours, it looks like this is what I will be doing. So, catch up late on or in the morning when my thoughts on Division 2 will be revealed and hopefully this weeks Prediction Challenge will be done.

Part Two

Past midnight, but here we go with Division Two.

Whilst Monyhull Church look good for the Division Two Title, I think it’s worth bearing in mind that for most of the teams in this Division tomorrows/today’s matches mark the half way point of the season. So there is all to play for still.

Monyhull come up against a Christ Church Coseley side who appear to be struggling to find any regular form but on their day cannot easily be discounted. If they want to make a challenge then I believe it must start today. They will have been disappointed to lose to current 2nd placed Selly Oak Methodist last week and really need to be firing against Monyhull, who themselves has a good win over St Thomas’ Aldridge. I see this being won by an odd goal.

I thought Brierley Hill A.O.G might bag their first win last week and after 70 minutes they were leading 1-0. However, a Man Of The Match performance from Ryan Roberts who came on a substitute totally changed that with the score ending up 3-1 to Living Hope Church United. As ever, I queried the MOTM award as it was given to a player who had only participated for 20 minutes. But Ian from The Hill said he absolutely bossed the game when he came on. (I wonder if he will be in the starting 11 this week). Ian’s lads come up against Selly Oak Methodist and I don’t believe they will get anything off them.

If Dudley Lions can put a few wins together they could put pressure on the top sides. But a defeat will give the teams below them chance to catch up. Surprisingly, there is not much between most sides. A few wins would make a massive difference. Indeed, Living Hope, Dudley Lions opposition have only won 1 less game than Dudley. But I’m tipping a Dudley win.

Delph Athletic host St Thomas’ Aldridge with both teams, like Living Hope, just a couple of wins shy of the table looking totally different. I thought both teams would be better placed than they currently are and am unsure on who might win this. No hunches played on this one, just sitting on the fence and going for a draw.

So, that’s the review and preview. When I get back into the swing of things I will try and do the review on a Sunday including any Match Reports sent in. I will also try and do the preview earlier, but as things stand at the moment it’s just a case of doing things when I can. Dependent on how quickly stuff is reported to me following the matches late today will also depend on the site being updated. I will be implementing an early cut off time beginning this week.

On to the Prediction Challenge and absolutely no idea how it went last week as I’ve not had chance to look. Again, this will be updated/reviewed this Sunday.

Thanks to Rob O’Neil from Selly Oak Methodist for doing this week entry.

24th April, 2021
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Charlemont Star 0 St Andrews’ Netherton 8
Chawn Hill Church 2 Clarendon 2
Rowley College 2 City Church 1
*******
Division Two
Delph Athletic 2 St Thomas’ Aldridge 2
Dudley Lions 3 Living Hope Church Utd 1
Monyhull Church 3 Christ Church Coseley 2
Selly Oak Methodist 4 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Rob O’Neil from Selly Oak Methodist)
Division One
Charlemont Star 1 St Andrews’ Netherton 4
Chawn Hill Church 2 Clarendon 2
Rowley College 1 City Church 3
*******
Division Two
Delph Athletic 1 St Thomas’ Aldridge 1
Dudley Lions 2 Living Hope Church Utd 1
Monyhull Church 3 Christ Church Coseley 1
Selly Oak Methodist 3 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1

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

18 Apr 2021

18th April – Match Reports

Two Match Reports from yesterdays game with the first one received off Dave Challoner regarding their match against Clarendon.

St Andrews’ Netherton 3 vs 2 Clarendon

Super-sub Ben Davies’ late winner fired St Andrew’s Netherton to a dramatic win over Clarendon to move them one step closer to the league title and maintain their 100% record in the West Midlands Christian Football League.
The experienced technician picked out the far corner from the left side of the penalty area in a way only he could execute with just minutes left to seal a league double over their opponents.
Kevin Marsh and Rion Mills also found the net either side of half-time as Dave Chall’s men made it six from six, strengthening their position at the summit.
St Andrew’s were pushed all the way though by an athletic and determined Clarendon, and it was the visitors who struck first at Highgate. An unopposed cross from the right was headed into the bottom corner from ten yards out with less than 20 minutes on the clock.
But the title-chasers hit back immediately. An intelligent corner delivered to the front post by skipper Chris Hunter was flicked on towards the middle of the goal by Mathew Waterhouse, where centre-half partner Marsh was waiting to nod into an empty net.
Warren Grant and Rion Mills were introduced to the action from the bench, and the attacking duo were on hand to create and finish off St Andrew’s’ second goal. A lovely through ball found Grant on the left side of the box who squared it for Mills for a simple tap in.
But that lead lasted less than 15 minutes. The ball landed at the feet of the Clarendon winger after St Andrew’s cleared the cross. He managed to skip past one defender and as Keegan came out to block the shot, the ball rebounded up and over the ‘keeper’s head to nestle in the net.
But St Andrew’s, keen to dispel pre-season claims they “flatter to deceive”, (edit: Kovacs Kolumn 3rd October, Season Preview), showed the character, grit and resolve which has seen them become a much-improved collective outfit in 2020/21 to earn a deserved winner.
Davies dinked his way into the penalty area and caught the Clarendon stopper completely off guard, stroking beyond him into the corner to spark celebratory scenes involving players, managements and the rest of the squad watching on.

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

The second Match Report comes from Pete Bennett from Rowley College who faced Chawn Hill Church

Chawn Hill Church 2 vs 0 Rowley College

Great to be out in the sunshine in Stourbridge this morning in what was, as it always is, a properly competitive game against Chawn.  It’s perhaps an indication of the loosening of lockdown that we had half a team unavailable today due to work commitments: it was touch and go on Friday evening whether we’d have eleven!  Thankfully with JJ and Andy coming in as emergency signings and Billy and Connor getting free of work we were adequately covered as you have to be against one of the most consistent teams in the WMCFL.

Games between Rowley and Chawn have recently been low scoring affairs with the team scoring first usually winning and this ultimately turned out to be the case today.  Let me say immediately that Chawn deserved to win today, they had the balance of the game , particularly in the first half, but we certainly had the better chances and have only ourselves to blame for taking nothing from the game.

We started well up the slope and Shola had a header excellently saved by their keeper early doors but were soon pushed back by a Chawn side strong and artful on the ball.  Chris and Andy were working hard at centre back and were struggling a little for numbers in the middle of the park.  They might have had a penalty when Curtis went down in the box but otherwise there was more pressure than threat.  We tried to play on the break and Brad had a good half but it was largely about containment and waiting for the turn around.  Sadly we were undone just before half time by the first of two excellent deliveries that won Chawn the game.  This first one was from a direct free kick and delivered perfectly into the corridor of uncertainty for their lad to force home from a yard out.  Even then Ben had a back post header wide from a decent cross to underline we had something to play

We reshaped at half time to 4-5-1 to give ourselves more purchase in the middle and the game became much more even and when JJ entered the fray and livened things up we started to look the more dangerous side.  Unfortunately in the meantime the second excellent delivery from the left gave the same lad (Shola?  We had one on each side) a chance to make it two via his shoulder and ear.  I certainly wasn’t confident that we’d get back into the game but with JJ, Connor and Jack committed to attack  it seemed likely we could score and then who knows?  Who knows, indeed because we just couldn’t get the first despite Connor having a terrific effort just wide and then Ben and jack squandering our chance of a point.  Firstly JJ ran across the Chawn defence and slipped in  Jack who cut if back past the diving goalkeeper to Ben six yards out before the proverbial ‘empty net’: somehow it got away.  Then to confirm our defeat Jack stepped up to attempt his second Panenka, a week after last week’s success and chipped it over the bar.  Two games back I have no criticisms of our lads, particularly in the second half where Matt Stanton won everything in the air and effort was great.  Andy Mac was our man-of-the match today.

Good luck to Steve and his boys and thanks as always to the officials.

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

16 Apr 2021

16th April – 2 Notices + Review

Before we move on to football issues Club Secretaries and Match Officials have been informed that there is to be a One Minutes Silence before all of our matches tomorrow, the day of The Prince Phillip, The Duke Of Edinburgh’s Funeral.

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

Moving on to football stuff and the first point to start off with is to inform you that No Changing Rooms Are In Use At Any of our matches tomorrow.

Starting off in Division Two for a change and Monyhull Church maintained their 100 per cent record with a 3-1 win over Delph Athletic and have opened up an impressive 5 point gap on their nearest rivals. However, these gaps can easily be chased down and with 3 teams in this pack Monyhull Church need to remain focused on the task in hand especially as St Thomas’ Aldridge who are their opponents tomorrow might have hit some form as the season restarted last week with a very convincing 5-1 win away to Brierley Hill A.O.G, (a score that I correctly predicted but more on that later). Should St Thomas’ follow up that fine result against Monyhull then Christ Church Coseley and Selly Oak Methodist will both be looking to gain some ground but will they be all attack minded or adopt a safety first approach? The stand out result for me last week was Dudley Lions beating Christ Church Coseley 4-2 away from home with Dan Douse bagging a hat-trick. I really did not see that coming but it’s a result that Dudley will be looking to build on and they might just fancy their chances against a Delph Athletic side who be looking to improve on their defeat last week. There now remains only one team who have yet to taste victory this season with Brierley Hill A.O.G looking to do just this against Living Hope Church United. Both teams concede goals but the attacks, especially Brierley Hills, cannot counter what is happening at the other end of the pitch. Hunch Time Maybe?

Like Monyhull Church, St Andrews’ Netherton have put themselves in a good position beating Chawn Hill Church 4-0 but Dave did state it was a closer game than the score showed. It does mean that they now have a 6 point gap on their nearest challengers, Clarendon. But Clarendon do have a game in hand and many many times over the years Clarendon have had this situation and many times they have come through the test to be Champions. They have really got to be at their best though because if they lose this one I reckon I could be calling St Andrews’ ‘Champions Elect.’  Clarendon came from 2-0 down to beat City Church who despite playing well ended up with nothing to show for their efforts. They will be looking to change this when they face Charlemont Star who themselves lost to Rowley College 2-1, (another correct score for me). Should Charlemont Star lose to City Church then Rowley will be looking to add to their only victory so far and move off the bottom, but they come up against a wounded Chawn Hill Church.

For once, last weeks Prediction Challenge against Andy Wilcoxson went well for me predicting 2 correct scores and getting 5 out of 7 forecasts correct. Andy managed a creditable 4 correct forecasts but didn’t manage any correct scores. So for last week it’s Andy 4 Neil 9. (I will do an update on the Prediction Challenge scores for the matches in October over this weekend).

Thanks to Steve Helsdon from St Thomas; Aldridge for being this weeks Prediction Challenger. So, my review above didn’t state any winners or losers, have I gone for 7 draws then? See below. As always,stay safe and maintain the Covid restrictions that are in place. We have finally got our football back, let’s do our best to keep it that way.

17th April, 2021
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 3 Rowley College 1
City Church 4 Charlemont Star 0
St Andrews’ Netherton 3 Clarendon 1
*******
Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 2 Selly Oak Methodist 2
Dudley Lions 1 Delph Athletic 2
Living Hope Church Utd 0 Brierley Hill A.O.G 2
St Thomas’ Aldridge 1 Monyhull Church 2
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Steve Helsdon from St Thomas’ Aldridge)
Division One
Chawn Hill Church 3 Rowley College 1
City Church 1 Charlemont Star 1
St Andrews’ Netherton 3 Clarendon 2
*******
Division Two
Christ Church Coseley 2 Selly Oak Methodist 1
Dudley Lions 1 Delph Athletic 3
Living Hope Church Utd 3 Brierley Hill A.O.G 0
St Thomas’ Aldridge 2 Monyhull Church 1

 

15 Apr 2021

New Match Report – 15th April

Thanks to Martin Ogbourn for the following report regarding their match with Clarendon last Saturday.

Clarendon 3 vs 2 City Church 2

(HT 0-2)

It was great to be back playing football again and the quality of the match was surprisingly good. City raced into a 2-0 goal lead in the first half and were playing some lovely football. Atkins was clinical for both finishes, but City missed at least two more clear opportunities which came back to haunt us. It was an open game though as Chattaway made two remarkable finger-tip saves to retain the 2-goal half time lead.

The second half was completely different as Clarendon took control of possession and City only occasionally flickered on the break. However, the 3 second half goals for Clarendon came in the final 20 minutes. The winner coming with virtually the last kick of the game as a deflected shot wrong-footed the City keeper. It was a bitter pill to swallow after we worked so hard to get ahead in the game. A draw would have been a fair result in my opinion as there were chances at either end, but the pressure told. At least we were back playing again! Chattaway and Atkins were the joint players-of-the-match.

11 Apr 2021

11th April – Match Reports

Couple of Match Reports from yesterday games with Pete Bennett getting his report in just before St Andrews’ report flew in. So, here are both reports.

Rowley College 2 vs 1 Charlemont Star

A more decent start to the re-booted 2020-21 season (our 30th) against a club founded before I was born (their badge has 1957!).   Thanks to Becky at Dudley MBC for sorting out pitches for our home games while Holly Lodge remains unavailable.  Dudley Wood was bigger than I remember it and many of the lads on both sides would not have relished the extra running (though they probably needed it!)  The game was played a little slower perhaps than normal and grass is more exacting on the first touch and this was also sometimes evident, but this was a decent enough game.  There is rarely much between these teams!

I think the most important thing today was the gesture of resilience as part of a gradual return to a certain kind of normal.  The social element was much more important than the football today or winning or losing (though I was soon gripped by these things as well!)  This was to some extent a reversal of the match at their place in the autumn.  Then we had plenty of the game without managing to create much and they had the little bit extra.  Today they started with plenty of intent and were competitive for ninety minutes but I always thought that the flair players were ours and we also had pace.  Truth was everybody needed a game and everybody made the most of it.

The basis of all success is a solid defence and we had it today with Jamie in goal and Matt,  Joe, Brad and later Kev all at it and Chrisy Staien our man of the match: his athleticism made sure they had few real chances.  They were ably screened by Shola and captain Haden with Billy and Ben also putting in great shifts.  This allowed our attacking players to thrive and all three were a handful for most of the game.  Jay gets better every time I see him play with his constant movement and menace.  One exquisite piece of skill in the first half saw him tee himself up with a flick over his head only to volley narrowly wide.  Jack was his usual box of tricks winning a penalty and then outrageously chipping it straight down the middle for 1-0.

I felt we deserved that and that we were coping well but fair play to Star who kept at us and went level with a well struck free kick.  I was sure we’d more goals in us but what was the winner just before half time came from an unlikely scorer with veteran defender Matt Stanton forcing it over the line (Ben Fowler followed up to make sure but accepted it was already in!).  Fowler had been excellent all morning and might have had a hat trick (to be fair it was not an easy surface for finishing).  The second half followed much the same pattern and because we failed to score the third to finish things I was on tenterhooks until the final whistle!

All the best to Andy and his boys and to ref Nathan and his team for allowing us to get back to the beautiful game in a sensible way!

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

St Andrews’ Netherton 4 vs 0 Chawn Hill Church

Match Report from Gez Mullholland

Title-chasing St Andrew’s Netherton marked their return to league action after a six-month break with a resounding 4-0 victory over Chawn Hill. (League Sec edit: Dave Chall told me 4-0 flattered slightly, 2-1 or 3-1 maybe but nonetheless, a great game for the League).
Four separate players notched as Dave Chall’s side maintained their perfect start to the season, with Shawn Devonport, former Albion forward Lee Hughes, Jordan Mitchell and Tom Adams all finding the net on Saturday morning.
Both teams had early chances. Hughes went close twice after neat link-up with the ever-impressive Richard Thomas-Robinson. At the other end, a combination of wayward finishing and the assured hands of Jack Keegan kept Chawn Hill at bay.
But the deadlock was finally broken towards the end of the first half. Robinson’s shot from inside the box was parried to Devonport who had intelligently followed in to slot home the rebound.
Chawn Hill, who fielded several technically-gifted players in wide and forward areas, were then denied an equaliser just moments later thanks to a spectacular Keegan save. The St Andrew’s Netherton stopper threw himself at the feet of the Chawn Hill striker who looked certain to tap in from point-blank range to keep his side ahead.
It would turn out to be a game-changing save. 30 seconds later, it was 2-0. A swift counter-attacking move, which started with a quick Keegan throw out, ended up with Hughes bending one into the top corner from outside the area on his debut.
Jordan Mitchell, the man bang-in form in front of goal of late, scored the third after the break. A poor clearance from the Chawn Hill keeper eventually fell to the substitute who hit a tremendous first-time strike into the net via the post to all-but seal another three points.
And the icing on the cake was supplied by another sub, Tom Adams, highlighting the strength in depth at Dave Chall’s  disposal. The striker danced around three defenders before finishing powerfully from a tight angle on the left side of the box.

9 Apr 2021

9th April, 2021. One Minutes Silence, League Recommences.

Photo of Duke of Edinburgh

His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, The Duke Of Edinburgh. 1921 – 2021.

As we restart our football season our League will pay tribute to the life of HRH The Duke Of Edinburgh with all matches observing a One Minutes Silence before our matches tomorrow, 10th April, 2021.

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

Unlike last season, when there was no possibility of resuming the season following the first ‘Lockdown’ we are able to restart our current season. I am glad to say that 14 of the 16 Clubs decided that they wanted to continue with Connect Sports and Saint Michael opting to wait until next season. There really was no right or wrong answer to the above decision with each Clubs membership having different criteria regarding their own individual health risks. I wish both Clubs well for the future. All 8 Clubs in Division 2 are continuing so it’s a simple carry on from before football was stopped. Division 1 has lost 2 Clubs and all results and statistics from their matches have been expunged.

So, onto the football side of things regarding tomorrow’s games.

Table topping St Andrews’ Netherton, host Chawn Hill Church, who really need to get at least a point if not all 3 to keep this Division interesting. I’m not sure they will and I am going for a home win here.

2 teams who will be looking at the above result are both 6 points behind the leaders but both have a game in hand. City Church travel to play Clarendon and the winners may be the best challengers to St Andrews. I’m tipping the team that has been dominant for many years to win this one.

The last match in Division 1 sees the bottom two teams face each other with Rowley College hosting Charlemont Star. Rowley need to win by 7 clear goals to jump off bottom spot and whilst I cannot see that happening, I can see them taking all 3 points to seal their first win of the season.

Another team chasing their first win are Brierley Hill A.O.G and whilst I believe Rowley will win, I don’t feel confident about Brierley Hill’s chances against St Thomas’ Aldridge who don’t seem to have performed as well this season as they did prior to last seasons lockdown. I still believe St Thomas can be better than they have shown so far this season and expect them to win this one.

Monyhull Church, like St Andrews’ Netherton are the only sides with 100 per cent winning records, 4 out of 4. An interesting test for them tomorrow as they play Delph Athletic, who I am led to believe can play some great football when they are at it. I think this could be a great match with a few goals to boot. It’s still a home win for me though with Monyhull continuing their good season.

Dudley Lions travel to face Christ Church Coseley and like Chawn, they really need to get something here otherwise a gap may begin to appear from the top 2. Christ Church will be looking to keep the pressure on Monyhull, especially as they have played a game extra. Home win for me.

The final match in Division 2 sees Selly Oak Methodist host Living Hope Church United, with Selly Oak also needing to win to keep close to the current top 2 teams. Selly Oak need to improve on their goal scoring whilst Living Hope need to be better in defence. I didn’t think there would be many goals in this match but after writing the above I’ve had a change of mind. It’s a score draw for me.

The Prediction Challenge is back and thanks to Andy from Charlemont Star for stepping in at short notice for this weeks forecasts.

10th April, 2021
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Clarendon 4 City Church 1
Rowley College 2 Charlemont Star 1
St Andrews’ Netherton 3 Chawn Hill Church 2
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 St Thomas’ Aldridge 5
Christ Church Coseley 2 Dudley Lions 1
Monyhull Church 3 Delph Athletic 2
Selly Oak Methodist 2 Living Hope Church Utd 2
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Andy Wilcoxson from Charlemont Star)
Division One
Clarendon 3 City Church 1
Rowley College 1 Charlemont Star 3
St Andrews’ Netherton 2 Chawn Hill Church 1
*******
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 St Thomas’ Aldridge 4
Christ Church Coseley 3 Dudley Lions 1
Monyhull Church 2 Delph Athletic 1
Selly Oak Methodist 2 Living Hope Church Utd 2

 

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

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

5 Mar 2021

April 10th, 2021 – Footballs Coming Back

If you pay attention to the ‘Front Page’ you will have seen the following announcement.

‘Following a Special General Meeting it has been agreed that the W.M.C.F.L will restart on Saturday, 10th April, 2021. It has also been agreed to extend the season.’

The headline to this article may not be written by Badiel, Skinner and The Lightning Seeds but it is close enough and in all honesty I am more happy that our grassroots football is coming back than watching England play. It’s personal, it’s ours, it us, (well, you lot nowadays as I am too old now), but it’s hard graft and sweat. Giving everything you have and leaving nothing left on the pitch. It’s not having to go shopping and feeling the fresh air on your face whilst you feel the grass underneath your feet. Yes, it’s grassroots football and soon it will be back. Maybe not quite like the old days as we still keep safeguards in place. But, and it’s a huge BUT, grassroots football is coming back. Write it in your diary, calendar or on your phone…. APRIL 10th…… WE WILL BE BACK!

 

1 Nov 2020

Breaking News 1st November – Match Reports 31st October

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ht 0-2

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

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

*******

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

Charlemont Star 1-4 City Church

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

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

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

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

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

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

*******

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

Rowley College 1-6 St Andrews’ Netherton

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

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

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

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

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

30 Oct 2020

Preview 31st October Matches

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

*******

30th October – League Requirement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

25 Oct 2020

Review/Match Reports 24th October

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

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

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

Pete Bennett’s report:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monyhull Church 6 vs 2 Living Hope Church United

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

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

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

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

23 Oct 2020

23rd October Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to Steve Rose for being this weeks Prediction Challenger.

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

 

18 Oct 2020

Match Reports, 17th October + Couple Of Older Ones

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

Clarendon 1 vs 3 St Andrews Netherton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*******

Thanks to Pete Bennett for his match report.

Charlemont Star 2 vs 0 Rowley College

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

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

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

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

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

Selly Oak Methodist 1 vs 1 Christ Church Coseley

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

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

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

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

Ft 1-1

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

*******

17th October

Christ Church Coseley 7 vs 0 Living Hope Church United

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

Ht 5-0

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

Ft7-0

17 Oct 2020

Review and Preview, 17th October

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

13 Oct 2020

Another Match Report For 10th October

Thanks to Gez Mullholland for the following Match Report:

St Andrew’s Netherton 6vs2 Saint Michael

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

11 Oct 2020

10th October – Match Reports

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

Delph Athletic 2 vs 4 Dudley Lions

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

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

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

City Church 2 vs 4 Rowley College

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

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

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

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

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

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

9 Oct 2020

Review and Preview + League Instruction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 Oct 2020

3rd Match Report – 3rd Oct

Another match report received from St Andrews’ Netherton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6 Oct 2020

2nd Match Report For 3rd October

Second Match Report comes from Pete at Rowley College

Saint Michael 1 vs 4 Rowley College

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 Oct 2020

Match Report – 3rd October

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

Delph Athletic 6 vs 2 Living Hope Church United

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

3 Oct 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

18 Sep 2020

18th September – League Update 6.30p.m

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

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

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

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

Be Blessed and stay safe,

Neil Kovacs

League Secretary

11 Sep 2020

11th September – League Statement

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

4 Sep 2020

4th September – NEW SEASON UPDATE

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

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

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

20 Mar 2020

20th March – SEASON POSTPONED

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

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

Be Blessed and stay safe and well.

Neil Kovacs

West Midlands Christian Football League Secretary

8 Mar 2020

Match Report off Pete Bennett,

Rowley College 1 vs 1 Chawn Hill Church

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

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

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

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

7 Mar 2020

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

7 Mar 2020

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

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

29 Feb 2020

29th February – All Matches Postponed

24 Feb 2020

Match Report – 22nd February

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

Corinthians S.K 1 vs 6 Rowley College

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

22 Feb 2020

Quick Preview – 22nd February

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be Blessed Everyone, Neil Kovacs

 

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

8 Feb 2020

Late Preview + Predictions – 9.20am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 Feb 2020

Prediction Challenge Tomorrow

Prediction Challenge is delayed until tomorrow morning

4 Feb 2020

Another Match Report

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

2 Feb 2020

Match Report – 2nd February

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

Chawn Hill Church 0 vs 1 Rowley College

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

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

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

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

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

1 Feb 2020

1st February – Prediction Challenge

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

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

27 Jan 2020

Match Report – 27th January

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

24 Jan 2020

24th January – Preview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

20 Jan 2020

Couple of Match Reports – 20th January

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

Rowley College 2 vs 3 Monyhull Church

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

18 Jan 2020

18th January, 2020

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

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

17 Jan 2020

17th January, 2020

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

Amblecote Nomads 0 vs 2 Rowley College

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

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

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

11 Jan 2020

11th January, 2020 – Preview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 Jan 2020

4th January – Results Pages Updated

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

3 Jan 2020

3rd January, 2020

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

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

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

17 Dec 2019

Match Reports – Christ Church Coseley + Rowley College

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

23rd November

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

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

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

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

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

Ft 3-1

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

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

7th December

Saint Michael 2 vs 4 Rowley College

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

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

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

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

14th December

Rowley College 3 vs 1 Charlemont Star

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

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

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

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

13 Dec 2019

13th December

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

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

6 Dec 2019

6th December

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

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

4 Dec 2019

4th December – 15 Years On

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

24 Nov 2019

Match Report, 23rd November

Rowley College 2 vs 5 City Church

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

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

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

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

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

22 Nov 2019

22nd November

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

Very, very quick preview as time is short.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

16 Nov 2019

!6th November

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

9 Nov 2019

9th November – ONE MINUTES SILENCE

Remembrance Weekend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

29 Oct 2019

2nd November All Matches Postponed

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

25 Oct 2019

25th October

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

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

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

 

20 Oct 2019

Match Report – 19th October

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

Rowley College 2 vs 6 Clarendon

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

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

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

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

19 Oct 2019

19th October

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

13 Oct 2019

13th October – Update

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

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

St Thomas Aldridge 0 vs 4 Christ Church Coseley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charlemont Star 0 vs 3 Rowley College

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

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

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

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

12 Oct 2019

12th October, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

9 Oct 2019

10th October – More Match Reports

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

Delph Athletic 0 – Selly Oak Methodist 1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*******

Dudley Lions 3 Brierley Hill AOG 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*******

Saint Michael 0 vs 5 Connect Sports

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

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

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

4 Oct 2019

4th October – Review and Predictions

A shorter review and preview this week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to Steve Helsdon for being this weeks Prediction Challenger.

 

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

 

4 Oct 2019

4th October – Match Report

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

Delph Athletic 2 vs 0 Dudley Lions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 Oct 2019

1st October – Match Reports

Thanks to Pete Bennett from Rowley for the following report.

Rowley College 3 vs 3 Amblecote Nomads

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

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

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

Matt Smith impressed on his first start alongside Ben Smith.

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

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

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

Delph Athletic 2 vs 0 Dudley Lions 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

29 Sep 2019

29th September – Match Report

Christ Church Coseley 4 vs 1 Living Hope Church United

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

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

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

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

28 Sep 2019

28th September

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

27 Sep 2019

All things WMCFL – 27th September

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

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

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

Delph Athletic 4 vs 1 Christ Church Coseley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The next Match Report came off Pete from Rowley College.

Rowley College 4 vs 1 Corinthians S.K

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

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

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

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

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

Dudley Lions 3 vs 0 Brierley Hill AOG

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As for now, time for bed then work.

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

20 Sep 2019

Prediction Challenge – 21st September

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

18 Sep 2019

1 More Match Report – 18th September

Thanks to Steve from Dudley Lions for this match report.

Dudley Lions 1 vs 2 St Thomas’ Aldridge

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

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

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

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

17 Sep 2019

Match Reports 14th September

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grant Esp was our Iconics UK Man of the Match.

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

*******

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

Rowley College 2 vs 3 Saint Michael

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

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

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

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

13 Sep 2019

Review + Preview

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

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

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

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

Back again for the preview…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

12 Sep 2019

2 Match Reports – 12th September

Second Match Report for today comes from St Andrews Netherton.

St Andrews Netherton 0 vs 0 City Church

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

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

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

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

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

*******

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

Christ Church Coseley 2 vs 1 Dudley Lions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9 Sep 2019

1 More Match Report

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

Delph Athletic 3 Monyhull Church 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

1-1 at HT.

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

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

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

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

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