Match Reports – Updated 3rd September.

Delph Athletic 1 v 5 Christ Church Coseley
‘On a surprisingly bright & sunny September morning, Delph Athletic & Christ Church Coseley began their maiden WMCFL season with a minutes silence, which was a great time for all involved to be thankful for the many blessings we have in this life.

The Game kicked off with both teams looking to make their mark on the league.

The Delphs capitalised on Christ Church not starting too well & for the first 15 minutes played some really nice football, but unfortunately couldn’t take the chances we created.

Christ Church then made 2 great counter-attacking moves which resulted in 2 similar goals, a very pacey number 11 for Christ Church breaking with the ball, who played in their number 9 for him to square it to their other striker to slot in the first goal. Second goal was very similar, although it was the finish of the season by our very own Joel Gooding, our first goal of the season unfortunately happened to be in our own net. 2-0, although I’m sure the Christ Church striker will be claiming it, and I’m sure Joel will be more than willing for him to have it. (edit: yes it’s been claimed. Neil).

We then continued pressing & a great run from Ed Sutton resulted in a penalty (A very dubious penalty we must add, although Ed’s lucky as we all thought he’d overran it). Ed was rewarded for his non-stop running & slotted home the penalty to make it 2-1.

HT – 2-1 Christchurch.

We came out in the 2nd half hoping to continue the nice football we were trying to play & hopefully take some of our chances, in honesty, it didn’t happen. Christ Church looked like a team that simply had more football under their belts than us. Maybe we got a bit tired & we made a few sloppy mistakes all over the pitch which all led to goals, the game ended 5-1.

For us, there were lots of positives & all 5 goals probably could have been dealt with, which we will work on as we gain more 11 a side experience as a team.

Full credit to Christ Church, who made the most of their chances & defended well against us all game. Their keeper was in top form.

Jack Follis was voted our team’s man of the match by our players, his influence in the game up until he had to go off with an injury was clearly noted.

Good Luck to Christ Church – We look forward to playing them again in January where we will look to put up more of a fight for the full 90 minutes.’

Rowley College 0 v 2 St Mary’s
Match Report by Pete Bennett, (welcome back matey).
I’ve been lured back by the return of Kovacs’ Kolumn and the hope that we might have a broader conversation about the football we’re playing and watching. Though the first game of our 28th season couldn’t deliver a victory, my enthusiasm for new seasons remains undimmed and despite a 0-2 reversal we took more positives than negatives from today’s game. Precisely 17 years ago, at Saltley Leisure I suggested to our lads that what we achieved against Christchurch Hornets that morning would be replicated by England later that day in Munich. This was Chris Staien’s debut game (and he’s still with us) and we won 6-1: England couldn’t quite match us! That team went on to win our one and only league title led from centre mid by Johnny Warr and our current manager Mark Southall, who remains player- and was as good as anyone today.

In the St Mary’s (invisible) dugout was another of the WMCFL’s consistently quality performers, Shaun Green, who is running the football side this year but has not given up hope of returning the ‘player-‘ bit to his title. It was interesting (and sometimes amusing) to witness Shaun’s initiation as a coach (the energy and frustration) but you could see his influence on a very impressive St Mary’s side. Having spent a couple of seasons struggling for players, they are back to their best: lots of familiar faces plus some new lads including a more than decent centre forward called Ralph (reminding us that these are middle class lads: there are not many Ralphs in the Black Country!) We are also a team in transition with new lads to come in to provide much needed energy.

Having spent the summer on artificial surfaces, we were given a chastening ‘welcome back to grass’ by a St Marys team who were brilliant in the first twenty minutes. Down the slope they gave us very little of the ball and Lee, our man-of-the-match, had already made a smart double save before they took the lead when a near post corner was headed in by the smallest player on the pitch. Strangely they then went slightly off the pace and we began to ease ourselves into the game without being entirely threatening. St Mary’s on the other hand brought excellent saves from Lee (full length dive and point blank block).

We knew that we were a little fortunate to go in only one down and were determined to take advantage of this down the slope with Josh causing them problems and a strong bench. Sadly neither of these transpired as the result was effectively sorted before we’d even made a change. First a sloppy goal from a long free kick nodded straight in, then Josh’s dismissal for a second yellow card. We introduced new boy Jack Guy, who was excellent and birthday boy Haydon Richards who also made a difference as well as Ken, who also put himself about. They defended well but were offensively unable to take advantage of their extra man for which our lads deserve much credit. The experience of Mark and Matt and Joe was vital as was Lee’s excellence in goal but all over the pitch we were showing great attitude.

St Mary’s as ever are a credit to this league and deserved their win. Having played nearly half the game with 10 men we can only think of what might have been. A good competitive game, which was aided by Andy and his officials.

Living Hope Church United 8 v 1 St Thomas Aldridge
Match Report from Callum Oakshott, Living Hope.
This morning saw the meeting of last season’s third and fourth placed teams at LHC’s new home, St. Michael’s High.

The first-half saw the hosts enjoy much of the possession, with the opposition only having a couple of chances. Despite this, LHC could only find the net once before the break, when a whipped in Ashley Turner corner was volleyed home by Shane Parker.

The second-half continued in much the same fashion. However, this time around LHC were able to capitalise upon their patient build-up play. A flurry of goals from Turner (3), Webb, Oakshott, Langford, and Parker again ensured the hosts came away with all three points on the opening day of the WMCFL season. Man of the Match was debut boy Ashley Turner with three goals and five assists.
Next week, LHC travel away to face Excel Church (last season’s Wolverhampton Churches United).

Delph Athletic 1 v 5 Christ Church Coseley
Match Report from Bob Lee, Christ Church.
So finally, after months of hard work, Christ Church Coseley kicked life off in the WMCFL with a win away to fellow new side Delph Athletic. The game started with Delph on the front foot and Christ Church seemingly off the pace. We then settled and were forced into an early change as Bob went off injured making way for Jordy.
We finally settled down and it wasn’t long before a ball found Chambers on the right, he squared it to Nath who then found Lewis at the back who smashed the ball into the net, (think someone had missed scoring the last few weeks).
It wasn’t long before Christ Church grabbed a 2nd through another strong run from Chambers, beating 2 men and firing it across the box for Lewis to get his 2nd. (Some debate on who touched it but as any good forward does, Lewis claimed it and I won’t argue with that)
Delph did get a goal back from the penalty spot after a tangle of legs. As the half drew to a close both teams had chances, the best one falling to Nath who beat the offside, rounded the keeper but couldn’t find the net.
HT 2-1

2nd half Christ Church made a change with Screeny, (who had run 90 mins in the 45), coming off and Scott going into midfield.
Both teams had chances and Lewis Riley saved a few low to his right before Christ Church broke in the middle with Scott getting past a couple of players in midfield, he slipped Nath in who 1 on 1 wasn’t missing this chance, 3-1.
It wasn’t long after Christchurch were awarded a penalty when Nath was brought down. He stepped up and put the ball high to the keepers left. 4-1.
Delph didn’t give up and came searching for a reply only for Bryan Scott and Mubin chasing everything which paid off when Bryan came out on top of a battle with the cm and released Nath to complete his hat-trick and get Christchurch their 5th goal.

F.t 5-1

We wish delph all the best for the season. Great bunch of lads.
A few words for the referee today, who was fantastic, not easy being in the middle alone but he was a credit to the league.

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