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

 

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