So, busy week again followed by me getting home from work around 8pm with a plan of action in mind. Relax for 30 minutes then start on some football stuff. WELL, things didn’t quite go to plan as I fell straight asleep waking up at 5am this morning!
I have the usual ever reliable match report from Rowley College followed by some reports off St Mary’s as they seemingly progress on towards another Championship Title.
ZION ATHLETIC 2 ROWLEY COLLEGE 1
By Rowley College
I think we were a tad unlucky today in a game where both sides probably thought the other was there for the taking. Both were down to a bare eleven: their twelfth man arrived at half time and we had to persuade Stew Harvey out of retirement to provide cover from the bench. Our problem today was in Fowler and Smith (the two Bens), Clive and Tom (our four principal absentees) we lost our top scorer and much of our youthful energy (these lads are all under 25: our youngest starter today was 31!). Zion, on the other hand had Sean providing a constant threat and a lad I consider the best player in this league, Leon Naylor who proved to be the difference today.
In a game in which none of the three keepers had a proper save to make, Leon produced two quality strikes (low drive and proper 30 yarder) one in each half and was their major threat. However before the first of these we had both suffered the loss of our keeper and taken the lead. Within fifteen minutes Lee had to leave the field, Matty Williams deputising, bringing veteran Stew Harvey to the field moments after he’d told me that when South asked him to help us out he’d ‘fancied a bit of a run’. In fact he had to give us 75 minutes and did so with all his customary power and commitment, getting both a booking and a hand in the opening goal. He combined with Mark to set up Christy for 1-0.
In the circumstances I think we played pretty well. Mark has us well organised and he himself once again led by example. Defensively we kept them very much at bay despite having our centre back in goal for most of the game. Joe was outstanding and Chris and Matty Stanton settled well at centre back: Chris literally did not put a foot wrong and his brother continues to impress. We just failed to create real chances, lacking the extra running that being full strength would have delivered (this is the common complaint at this level: how often can you get your best eleven out?). Actually we didn’t come that close, nothing would quite drop and the saw it home. Best Wishes to Phil and Pete and the Zion lads.
VARIOUS ST MARYS
By St Mary’s
Apologies for a lack of match reports, I have not been able to find the time something I must improve on, so thanks to our keeper Phil Lutwyche who has sent me few that I have finally managed to put together and add a couple that were missing (the shorter ones…). We also lost 5 – 2 to Peugeot Millpool (Coventry Alliance) in the Quarter finals of the BCFA Junior Cup in Mid January. They were good team but we were also a bit rusty after no game for 6 weeks and had a few missing when ironically we had had a full squad the 3 times it had been called off! hopefully we can go even further next year.
St Mary’s 2 vs 1 Zion Athletic.
30th January 2016
St Mary’s verse Zion is always a great game to either watch or be involved in. This one was no exception.
We knew Zion would always try and play the ball round along the floor and be patient enough to wait to slot the through balls through for the pace up front. With this in mind we set up expecting this. With De Lacy sweeping up almost everything that came through.
Despite both teams really playing well and moving the ball, Zion earned themselves a penalty when a shot hit AJ on the arm from a yard away and the ref deemed it deliberate.
Devonport stood up to take the penalty which was easily saved by Phil in goal who having managed to hold onto the ball immediately pumped a ball up to Tink who slid a great through ball to Ian Coleman so slotted superbly to make it 1-0. Sucker punch!
As the first half ended, the second started, both teams playing well with us creating the better chances. Finally the goal came to settle our nerves after a great team effort. Keeping the ball well, passing thoroughly and a fake shot from Harris, lead to a run to the by-line who squared for Ali Davis to tap in. 2-0.
Zion did manage to get a goal to make the last 5 or 10 minutes nervous after a free kick was sent in by Leon Naylor and the big centre back headed back across goal for a tap over the line. We felt this was harsh as it seemed it should have been a foul on the keeper but the goal stood. 2-1.
A great win and with Wolves and Perton leaving us, means we’re only 1 point behind Wednesbury and play against them on our next league game.
Chawn Hill 2 v 4 St Marys
6th February 2016 WMCFL Division One
Away at Chawn on a boggy pitch in freezing, wind and rain was never going to be a classic! But fair play to both teams as we a managed to win in an encounter not full of flowing football but contested all the way through. We opened up a 2 goal lead by half time but were pegged back to 2 1 as Chawn exerted some pressure from set pieces. But we hit back almost immediately to finish the game with our 3rd and 4th goals, Alex Blackshaw getting his first goal since returning after a few years away from the WMCFL.
Chawn scored with the last kick of the game to make it 4 -2 after a deep cross was fumbled by stand in keeper Mike in very unhelpful conditions, falling straight to the Chawn striker who could not miss.
Brierley hill AOG 0 vs 6 St Mary’s FC
13th February 2016 WMCFL League Cup
A league cup quarter final is never easy and we made the long trip in near on sub zero conditions to find the lovely changing rooms at South Road waiting to greet us…
Both teams started well and after a few half chances we were unlucky not to take an early lead. Brierley Hill were restricted to long range shots which mostly went straight down Phils throat in goal. One lead to Phil saving and pumping a ball forward to Luke Weideman who finished with a pearler from just outside the area. 1-0.
As the same as last week, we had another dubious penalty decision go against us as the ref felt De Lacy had handled the ball when he stood up tall to block a cross.
The outcome was also the same as last week with Phil again saving with his legs to stop Brierley Hill getting back into the game. I think that is the 5th in a row Phil has saved, must be some kind of WMCFL record!?
Weideman was as clinical as ever in front of goal snatching a second and soon to be third for his hat trick. Myatt grabbed a 4th with a near post flick from a corner Weideman added his 4th and our 5th to round off a pretty one sided first half. Half time 0-4.
The second half went pretty flat with us thinking we had won it already. Brierley Hill then chased the game with everything they had forcing better openings and a few corners, as a whole we didn’t play well but had still done enough to add a 5th and 6th on a break late with Wiedeman getting his 4th and 5th of the match.
In a nutshell we deserved the win by the way we played but it could have/ should have been by a lot more if we played the same as first half.
Wednesbury Baptist 1 v 3 St Marys FC
20th February 2016 WMCFL Division One
We went in to today’s game knowing we would go back to the top of the pile with a win.
It was a good contest between two sides who really went at each other on a bobbly pitch and with a swirling wind.
The first break through came from a corner and Ali Davis managed to dive across and glance his header into the far corner for 0-1 although the keeper should have done better.
Typically as you go ahead, the opposition pick themselves up and work harder. This played dividends as wednesbury got an equaliser from a quick throw in and the striker managed to turn and lay off a ball his partner to slide in through a few bodies into the bottom corner. 1-1
The first half ended and a few words of encouragement from injured Weideman set us up highly motivated for the second half. We came out all guns blazing and got our rewards when Oldham was clipped from behind and we were awarded a penalty. The cool minded Ian Coleman stepped to take it and sent the keeper the wrong way to give us the lead again. 1-2.
It was pretty much a game of midfield battles and both teams really went at it, Wednesbury always chasing the game and after throwing everyone forward they had a free kick in a dangerous position. However we cleared the cross and broke with great intent unleashing Ben through one on one who beat his man with pace and stroked the ball home to ease our nerves with 10 minutes left.
A great win proving our depth in the team missing both Myatt at the back and our talisman Weideman.
St Marys FC 7 v 1 Renewal Sollihul
27th February 2016 WMCFL Division One
This match was a lot closer than the score line suggests, especially first half. Sollihull actually took the lead as we failed to get going. We were still creating more chances but could not take them and although we equalised fairly quickly it took until around 43 minutes for us to finally take the lead.
Second half we needed to be more clinical and had taken a 4 v 1 lead before an innocuous looking challenge left Locke with a dislocated shoulder and having used 3 subs we were down to 10 men for the last 20 minutes. However this seemed to make us concentrate and we played some of our best football of the match with the 3 subs having good games with Rudd and Ben Blackshaw scoring.
Today sees our first League Cup Semi-Final taking place with Wednesbury Baptist facing Clarendon at Moor Lane. No forecast for this match but I hope both teams have a cracking game of football. No review or preview this week, (still need some more sleep), so here are today’s predictions. Last week saw myself and Steve from City Church both get 5 points each with us both predicting 1 correct score. Of today’s 10 matches, there is only a difference of opinion in 2 matches so correct scores could be important for me in trying to close the gap on the Club Secs. Jason from Wednesbury Baptist is the challenger today. (Some editing issues which I am not sure on but my predictions are first followed by Jason’s)
Chawn Hill Church vs Renewal Solihull Home 2-1 Home 3-2
Connect Sports vs Charlemont Star Draw 1-1 Away 1-2
Monyhull Church vs City Church Away 1-3 Away 1-3
Rowley College vs St Mary’s Away 1-3 Away 1-4
Dudley Lions vs Hawbush Home 2-0 Home 5-0
Living Hope Church United vs Brierley Hill A.O.G Away 0-3 Draw 2-2
Maple Leaf Rovers Q.M.C vs St Thomas’ Aldridge Home 2-0 Home 3-1
Saint Michael vs Zion City Away 1-3 Away 2-5
Selly Oak Methodist vs Sandwell United Home 4-0 Home 4-2
St Matthew’s Walsall vs Corinthians S.K Home 3-1 Home 4-1