Catch Up, 20th October + Prediction Challenge 27th October, (update 8.50a.m)

This time last week I was nicely settled in Lanzarote in lovely warm weather. Since coming back I have not had any free time to update the site. Well, not until now, late on Friday night. So first things first, here are the match reports received from last weeks games.Followed by the Prediction Challenge.

Rowley College 0 – 4 Monyhull Church

Match Report from Pete Bennett, Rowley College.

I thought I had to work this weekend so was initially delighted at the fact that not having to meant I could get down to witness the next stage of our season’s journey. Coming on the back of a 4-1 away win I was once more full of hope. Despite missing Jack and Matty Williams we lined up strongly with three good subs and a desire to be on the front foot. Thus for the first time in many a long year we won the toss and kicked down the slope with an attacking 4-1-3-2 formation. We knew Monyhull were a decent side having played them when they were first promoted and seen them give Clarendon a good game last week on an adjacent pitch at Rowheath. And so they proved to be: a bunch of lads who are maturing together: they were well-organised, committed and fluid. In Oli Smith they have a really good quality player but he was by no means the only one. All of my moaning about us takes nothing away from John’s lads who were on the top of their game.

By 12.15 they had murdered us subjecting us to a humiliating 4-0 defeat at home (a place we have taken 1 point at in five matches while unbeaten away). I’d never have believed this for the first half an hour where both sides had been pretty even and our slight physical superiority had given their back line problems, though we had also had a couple of scares with Lee diving bravely at their forward’s feet and another passed just wide. I thought at that point that if we could just get a goal up we’d have a good chance of imposing ourselves and we had a gilt-edged chance when Shola played in in-form Josh but he could only stab it directly at their keeper. His and our frustration grew as we failed to create more and they stunned us with two good goals from outside the area (the first a real beauty).

The problem was we just didn’t respond and things got quickly worse. Though Mark made a change at half time and Fin came in and did well, we were generally laboured and they looked more likely to extend their lead (Lee made a terrific save just after half time). We then lost Shola and a third to a classic centre forward’s header and just had no answer save frustration and petulance. Mark’s emergence did galvanize things and we managed a sustained period of pressure but we seemed to be lacking in something (Andy, the ref, who was excellent, said he thought we’d given it up second half: something he’s not witnessed before). Their 4th was another smart finish from just outside the box and 4-0 I’m ashamed to say was thoroughly deserved. Wished I’d had to work!

(edit Neil Kovacs, work or football, win, lose or draw, always football).

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Dudley Lions 1 – 5 Living Hope Church United

Match Report from Callum Oakshott, Living Hope Church United

Last weekend saw LHC concede 4 early goals to Christchurch Coseley and were determined that seven days on they would return to winning ways.

The scoreline doesn’t do justice to the end-to-end game this was. Yet, the hosts were unable to capitalise on the few clear chances they created early on, whilst the LHC defence largely dealt with everything that was thrown at them.

The opening goal came from an Ashley Turner free-kick on the right-hand side, which was slightly flicked on into the path of Chris Webb, who fired the ball home for his third of the campaign. Before long, LHC were awarded a penalty, which Callum Oakshott duly tucked away.

With the break nearing, the hosts did manage to capitalise on the visitors losing concentration, setting up an interesting second-half.

Tasked with scoring early, LHC forward Shane Parker found the net within ten minutes of the restart. Looking more comfortable with their two-goal cushion, LHC started to push more. The effort paid off, as Dean Cutler threaded a ball for Oakshott to run on to, before slotting under the keeper.

Dudley Lions didn’t give in and looked to find a way through the LHC backline. Yet, the game was well and truly put to bed when captain Neil Ward launched an outside-of-the-right-boot shot that curled its way into the top right-hand corner.

Goals: Webb, Oakshott (2), Parker, Ward

Game in three words: Just that bouncebackability.

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Prediction Challenge 27th October

Early Saturday morning and as most of you get ready to prepare for the rollercoaster that is called football I will try to do a quick review for the games today. Only 8 matches scheduled and with neither the top 2 in Division 1 playing Connect have a chance to regain top spot versus Monyhull Church. I would have gone with a Connect win but after reading Petes report from last week it has muddled my thinking, Monyhull are obviously maturing as a side but I do wonder if they can match the strength that Connect have? I don’t think so but my muddled thinking has Monyhull as my hunch of the week so it’s a win for Monyhull. Chawn Hill Church have an interesting game away to Life Central, A mid table clash but both teams could really do with a win to push them away from the threat of looking over their shoulder at the prospect of a relegation battle. Tough to call and unusual for me I am going for a score draw. Two teams who are looking to forget last weeks results play each other today with Rowley visiting St Michael with the hosts languishing at the bottom and the visitors mid table. Although Rowley, like Life Central and Chawn are looking over their shoulders having only managed 8 points from their 8 games. Reading Petes reports each week it would appear that they are a work in progress and like a rollercoaster are up and down, much like Petes feelings. St Michael are struggling for goals and their defence is letting in far too many goals. I expect plenty of goals in this game with Rowley coming out on top. 3 points for either Selly Oak Methodist or City Church would put pressure on the teams just above them and possibly propel them up to 5th or 6th but again, like St Michael they both seem to struggle to score and concede too easily. So, will it be a day for the strikers to lift their team away from the prospect of a relegation battle and if so, which ones will do best? I am tipping Selly Oak to run out winners in this by a 2 goal margin.

On to Division 2 and last week saw the only team without a win this season finally do so with St Thomas overcoming Brierley Hill, (something I predicted then initially inputted a Brierley Hill win in on the front page, apologies to the lads at St Thomas for that). So can they make it 2 wins in 2 games against today’s opponents Dudley Lions? Well, I reckon Dudley will be a tougher nut to crack than the Hill were last week and the Thomas lads will fall short today. A 2 goal margin win for Dudley to keep their faint promotion hopes alive. As for Brierley Hill, well another tough home fixture against Christ Church Coseley who will be looking to make up ground on the teams above them after their defeat to Amblecote last week. I don’t expect many goals here but I do forecast the visitors going home with all 3 points. Unbeaten Amblecote Nomads travel to Delph Athletic and it would take a brave person to predict a Delph win. I would love to say this is my hunch of the day but having already used that up on Monyhull then I have to go with Amblecote remaining unbeaten and bagging all 3 points in the process. Corinthinas S.K are also unbeaten but come up against far tougher opposition versus Living Hope Church Utd. Both teams average for scoring is 4 goals a game but Corintians have by far the best defensive record in this Division. But can it remain that way after today? Living really need to get all 3 points to maintain pressure on the top 2 but definitely need to make sure they avoid defeat otherwise a gap appears at the top. I am going for a narrow home win for the Corinthians lads. So what are the actual score forecasts? My thanks to Ben from Amblecote who is the Prediction Challenger today. (I aim to update on how the challenge is going over this weekend now I have some free time). Here goes folks:

27th October, 2018
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Life Central 2 Chawn Hill Church 2
Monyhull Church 3 Connect Sports 2
Saint Michael 2 Rowley College 4
Selly Oak Methodist 3 City Church 1
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 Christ Church Coseley 2
Corinthians S.K 4 Living Hope Church Utd 2
Delph Athletic 1 Amblecote Nomads 4
St Thomas Aldridge 1 Dudley Lions 3
Club Secretary (Ben from Amblecote)
Division One
Life Central 2 Chawn Hill Church 4
Monyhull Church 0 Connect Sports 6
Saint Michael 1 Rowley College 1
Selly Oak Methodist 3 City Church 2
Division Two
Brierley Hill A.O.G 1 Christ Church Coseley 4
Corinthians S.K 2 Living Hope Church Utd 1
Delph Athletic 1 Amblecote Nomads 5
St Thomas Aldridge 2 Dudley Lions 2
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