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.

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