Well it’s been another frantic week with little to no time spare for the Kolumn. Shift pattern, tiredness and other things to do has meant I have had to concentrate on League business that goes unseen but needs to be done. So it’s nearly quarter to eleven at night as I start this update so it will be really brief, (hopefully anyway).
12 matches last week with 3 in Div 1, 1 in Div 2 and the First Round Of The League Cup having 8 matches. Only 3 reports from all of these games means not much to gather information from so I won’t pad last weeks review out any longer than required.
All 3 reports came from League Cup games with 2 of them from the same match. Thanks to Pete and Andy from Rowley and Charlemont Star respectively for their input. Here are their reports, beginning with the 3-2 winners report from Andy;
Charlemont Star 3-2 Rowley College
We started on the front foot with Jamie Holder scoring with a solo effort after 3 minutes, 1-0. Rowley equalised on 11 minutes from a corner which reached their centre back who struck an unstoppable shot into the goal, 1-1. Rowley then took the lead on 41 minutes when James Wood passed a square ball along our back line which saw the Rowley forward avoid the colliding Josh Chell and Brad Tiernan with him chipping the ball over our stranded keeper Allan Wilde into an empty net, 1-2.
We forced a corner on half time which Danny Holland delivered from the left hand side with James Grinsted heading home, in off the crossbar, 2-2 going into the break and all to play for.
Our first change came on 60 minutes with Stuart Smith being replaced by returning from injury Gary Lunt. The game ebbed and flowed with it mainly being played in our half and us defending resolutely to keep Rowley College at bay. The next substitution came on 70 minutes with James Rogers replacing James Wood. On 75 minutes the same combination which created our equaliser on half time struck again with Danny Holland swinging in a right wing corner with James Grinsted heading home passed the Rowley keeper, 3-2.
Our last change on 76 minutes saw Chris James replace Rory Taylor in a straight swap up front. Rowley by now were continually placing us under constant pressure with heroic defending from Rich and Josh at the back for us, literally put their bodies and in Josh’s case his face on the line. Gary Lunt unfortunately suffered a reoccurrence of his knee injury with him being mainly ineffective for the last 5 minutes. Rowley created a great scoring opportunity in the last minute but Allan Wilde got a great hand to the ball and guided the ball round the post. We held on to make it into Round 2 for the second consecutive season.
Well done to referee Brad Tonks and his two assistants and all the best to Pete and the Rowley lads!
Now for Pete Bennetts report;
One of those days today that leave you frustrated and dumbfounded with no-one to blame but yourselves. We weren’t at our best today but I think we were clearly the better side and I can honestly say that I never imagined we would lose this until the lino informed me we were in the third minute of added on time and 3-2 down!
I intend no disrespect to Charlemont (I’ll be interested in their account: I know it will be fair, Andy’s a top bloke and I sincerely wished him well). I am not suggesting they were lucky or giving their keeper man-of-the-match to underline our dominance. They were exactly as they were last season: a well-organised bunch of lads (a little younger and fitter than us) who worked for one another and kept themselves in the game (despite our dominance for long periods) long enough to win it. The pitch at Churchfields was bumpy and slippery which helped neither side but which perhaps put further emphasis on resolve!
I think there were two key moments that thwarted the positive energy we had going into the game. The first was a bizarre opening goal within five minutes which left our excellent keeper Lee with egg on his face. We’d got possession in midfield playing it around but when we worked it back to Chris Staien, he was closed down by two Charlemont players and forced back towards our goal. He looked for a simple back pass but in the meantime Lee had been distracted by a ball from another game and had chosen to recover it leaving him woefully out of position. Open goal. 1-0 down.
Mike was away this week so he was the one on the end of the phone. I told him of the disastrous start but also of our more than decent football and the confidence I had of getting back into it. We played some smart stuff with Nuni and Tom wide and South supporting Christy up top. Nuni forced a corner and then provided the cross for Matt Williams to crack it home. Tom chipped the keeper and shaved the post, Matt had a header just over and we were generally making progress. It looked as if a second goal would prove crucial and we managed it just before half when a really smart move let Tom in for a perfect dink over the keeper. That really should have been that.
Enter the second key moment. Within two or three minutes of us scoring, they were level: corner, flick header, in off the bar. Set pieces today were their only real danger (a fact reinforced later when they scored their winner in the same way). The second half we dominated and only heroic defending (the two centre backs were fearless in their willingness to put their bodies on the line) and wayward finishing stopped a rout. Brad caused them problems when he came on: Christie hit the post: Sammy almost forced one home from a ricochet: new boy Ian missed his kick at the vital moment: Olly pushed the pass button rather than shoot when in on goal. Finally Nuni got in and tried to make absolutely sure only for the keeper to make a fabulous save. Game over!
All the best to Andy and his lads!
So Charlemont Star progress into the next Round and it does not get any easier for them. With the 2nd Round having already been drawn, they now face Clarendon who are looking impressive so far this season. Last week saw them play Connect Sports in a Div 1 fixture. I was at work when the results were coming through and I thought we had seen the last of these sort of score lines. I really was in shock and disbelief and I bet I wasn’t the only one when people saw the result! Andy Hughes scored Connects solitary goal and credit to them for getting one. If hat-tricks for Everton Morrison, Remel Johnson and Stevon Richards were not harsh enough on Connect then having Joshua Berry hit the net 4 times as well added to their day of woe. Clarendon had other scorers and in total notched 17 goals. Quick contact to see what had happened with Willis from Connect and things became a little bit clearer. Turning up with only 8 players was explanation enough. Willis is on the lookout for new players.
So Clarendon take advantage of St Mary’s playing in the Cup and go back to the top of Div1. How did last seasons double winners fare in the Cup? Well I predicted a 4-0 win for them but with the proviso that W’ton & Perton could produce a shock and they almost did taking St Mary’s all the way and only losing 4-3 on penalties! St Mary’s now have Monyhull Church away in the next round.
Drifting off from Div 1 and the Cup, only 1 game in Div 2 last week and it saw Luke Williams hit a hat-trick for Brierley Hill AOG in their 4-0 win over Selly Oak Methodist. This win pushes the Hill boys into 4th spot. Could they be genuine promotion candidates this season?
The other 2 games in Div 1 saw Wednesbury Baptist Church and Renewal Solihull draw 1-1 and Chawn Hill Church beat Monyhull Church 6-1 with another player, Curtis Jordan scoring a hat-trick for Chawn. A massive 3 points for them and maybe something to build on in their next game?
So that just leaves the remaining 6 Cup ties to cover. I will start with Zion Citys 4-3 win over Saint Michael as It is the only other report received. So here is Saint Michaels report of this game.
Zion City 4-3 Saint Michael
Two week ago we struggled a lot with finding players to play but this week was even worse as we had to dig even deeper in reserve to be able to have 14 players. One of the subs is our other goalkeeper and the other is an 18 year old who just doing his first steps in to football. Last was our well known Lukasz Kaczmarczyk who we call “super sub” he is always there to help us. I was hoping that the 11 players would not get any injuries.
Game started and we saw Zion City were ready more then ever for this game, after they lost the league game to us. First 10 min was constantly attack from them on left and right and they were simply everywhere. But Zion City were unable to score a goal which was slowly giving us more space and that is where we were starting to cause them more danger. A long ball dropped over the back of their defence giving us at least corner kick. Patryk Jasicki grabbed the ball quickly and delivered it as fast as he could before players from Zion City were ready to stop it and ball placed yard from goal line was found by Janusz Cyran who just headed it in. It was only one of few our chances. One more chance came when Patryk Jasicki found himself in front of goalkeeper, he had a great shot over the goalkeeper but hit the bar.
At the other end Zion City were doing great job but they were unable to find the net and when the referees whistle went at the end of the first half we were winning 1-0.
After a quick break, we started the next 45 min but game did not change much.
Good 10 minutes in to 2nd half home team were pushing our defence to the limit and they played the ball to our goalkeeper who controlled it but then made a mistake. As he tried to pass player that was running at him he lost the ball and Zion City received a gift goal from us.
This was an extra boost for them and they put even more and more presure onto our defence. They wanted to win this game so much that we could see it in every square of pitch.
As we play only a shadow to them and they was in more ball possesion then we so they create lots of chances. Their goal come from free kick. Ball been delivery in to 5-8 yards and with great flick it passed everyone and went it to the far corner.
5 min later we gave them another gift when our defender was too late to the ball and he forced their player to the ground so referee whistled for a penalty and with clear shot to right we’re lossing 3-1 with just 25 min of 2nd half to go.
We had had to change something to get back so we used our only sub that we could this day and we changed our position a little bit and we hoped that it will work out.
YES! It did work out as few min after that we scored a goal with a delivery to the back post and there was Pawel Graczyk who had moved from left defence to the right wing and with a clear shoot he grabbed his chance.
That was when we woke up and our players were well motivated to push Zion City back to defence. Few more chances did not give us goal straight away but gave our back a bit more time to regenerate.
With more chances to score there need to be a goal at some point and yes we found ourselves with the chance to level a game 10 min before the end when Patryk Jasicki passed the perfect ball between Zion City’s defensive line and Kamil Lason ran to the empty space to find himself on front of goalkeeper where he beat him with nice shoot.
Nervous last 10 min was better played by Zion City and they found the winning goal a few mins before the end when one of their players had been left alone and with powerfull shoot he score to place us out from cup.
Great game! Well done for both teams for this lovely 4-3 game.
Zion Citys reward for their win is an away trip in Round 2 against Selly Oak Methodist.
Leon Naylor was yet another player to find the back of the net 3 times last week in Zion Athletics 4-1 away win over Sandwell United. Zion Athletic have an impressive Cup record over the past few seasons and with Chawn Hill Church up next may fancy their chances of progressing further yet again.
St Matthew’s Walsall overcame local lads St Thomas’ Aldridge with what seems like an emphatic performance. Their 9-2 win now sets them up in the next round to face current Div 2 table toppers Maple Leaf Rovers QMC who in their Cup game beat Hawbush 7-0 with another player getting a hat-trick…Kiran Kellman popped in 3 for the Maple lads helping me get a correct score in the Prediction Challenge.
Corinthains SK also got me a correct score with their 3-1 win over Dudley Lions, but they did need extra time to do so. For them, it’s an away tie against Connect Sports.
I think the last game to cover is City Church’s 2-1 away win over Living Hope Church United. I really did think this could be an upset but the Div 1 team came out on top. City face another Div 2 team in the next round in the form of Brierley Hill AOG.
As for the Prediction Challenge, well I know I had a good week and beat my opponent but I need to add up the points total. Be back with more about that but as it’s now nearly midnight I have a dog who needs taking over the fields! (Hope the stars are out).
More to follow:
No stars, cloudy but no rain, so hopefully no problems with our pitches later today.
So last weeks Prediction Challenger was Darren Appleby the League’s Referee’s Secretary. Well I have just totalled up the scores and it was an impressive 11 points to me and 6 points for Daz. Two correct scores for myself correctly forecasting Corintians SK to win 3-1 and Maple Leaf Rovers QMC to win 7-0. However, the main challenge is in the League games with the Cup as a side issue. With my 2 correct scores in the Cup it’s not such a great week with me getting 2 points and Daz getting 1. Then again, after 3 consecutive weeks of losing by 1 point it’s a step in the right direction.
As I stated at the beginning of this write up, it’s been such a busy week that I had not even had time to think about getting a challenge in for this week. So, despite being busy himself today, a big thank you to Steve Knight from Chawn Hill Church who had the challenge thrown at him at around midday on Friday. It’s 1 o’clock in the morning and I’m just looking at my predictions! I do love putting my predictions down and then entering the Club Secs forecasts, (I never look at theirs beforehand), I like to see how much of a difference there is in our forecasts and just looking at this weeks we only agree on 2 teams winning! Anyway, due to the time no written preview with the predictions, just our forecasts. (Shame really because I have only just noticed that St Mary’s play Clarendon in what is a huge game in Div 1). Predictions:
|Division One||Kovacs’||Steve (Chawn)|
|City Church||vs||Charlemont Star||Draw 1-1||Away 1-2|
|Connect Sports||vs||Wolverhampton and Perton||Away 1-3||Away 2-3|
|Monyhull Church||vs||Renewal Solihull||Home 1-0||Draw 2-2|
|Rowley College||vs||Chawn Hill Church||Draw 1-1||Away 1-3|
|St Mary’s||vs||Clarendon||Away 1-2||Home 2-1|
|Wednesbury Baptist||vs||Zion Athletic||Home 2-1||Draw 1-1|
|Brierley Hill AOG||vs||Maple Leaf Rovers QMC||Home 1-0||Away 2-3|
|Dudley Lions||vs||Saint Michael||Draw 2-2||Home 2-1|
|Living Hope Church United||vs||St Thomas’ Aldridge||Home 4-0||Home 6-2|
|Selly Oak Methodist||vs||Hawbush||Away 1-2||Home 2-1|
|Zion City||vs||Sandwell United||Draw 2-2||Home 3-1|