Well it’s been a frantic few months for myself with moving, having no internet and then being ill for quite a while, (around 3 weeks which is unlike me). Suffice to say that Kovacs’ Kolumn has suffered as a result and I blame my illness on an awful week of predictions a couple of weeks ago, (not a single correct forecast in Division 2 much to the amusement of Rob from Saint Michael’s and I have to blame something for that), mind you I found it funny as well. Too many matches to review properly over the last few weeks so I will just offer some observations before we move on to this weeks games.
I will start off with last weeks Cup games whilst they are fresh in the mind and while I would have said that St Mary’s vs Clarendon was the stand out fixture it will have to go some tomorrow to match W’ton & Perton Churches vs Connect which W’ton won 5-4. You really should go to the Match Report section and read this report, indeed, it is only through your reports that we get to know of how exciting some of the games actually were, and believe me, this was a belter of a game. It’s what you would have called a ‘Proper’ Cup Tie. So W’ton progress into the next round with a very impressive result, Also in the next Round are Rowley College who beat 2nd Division Saint Michael’s 3-0. and whilst the result looks comfortable, Pete Bennett’s report suggests otherwise so well done to Saint Michael for giving Pete’s lads a tough game. With no other Match Reports to glean anything off from last week it’s just left to say congratulations to City Church and Halesowen Zion who beat Charlemont Star and Wednesbury Baptist respectively in what where tight scorelines. Monyhull Church continued their fine run of form with a 4-2 win over Hawbush and, I expect, will be relishing their next game in the Quarter-Finals. The other 2 games in the Cup where abandoned due to the weather and will need to be replayed at a date to be arranged.
No one likes to see a team keep losing each week so I was really pleased to see that Sandwell United finally got a point on the board for this season. Speaking with Myles it would appear that a little bit of indiscipline forced them to play a fair bit of the game with only 10 men and maybe this may have cost them the victory? But a point is a point and at least it’s something to build on.
In the only Division One game last week Chawn Hill Church just about beat off St Thomas’ Aldridge 5-3 and seize what could be 3 precious points come seasons end. St Thomas’ stay rooted to the bottom of the table and will see this as an opportunity missed.
More To Follow: (Time for a cuppa)
Well, what can I say about my predictions in Division 2 for November 1st! As I mentioned earlier, not a single one correct. Division 2 is proving quite difficult to predict each week with what appears to be a leveling out in the quality between the teams. I believe that the merging of the old Division 3 teams and the Division 2 clubs has proven to be a success with a better balanced competition. Whereas, what normally happened was that there may be 2/3 teams who dominated Division 3. Terrible for forecasting but I believe a more competitive Division. We are nearing the mid way mark in the season and anyone down as far as Pye Green Towers in 10th will still have their eyes on a promotion spot!
Monyhull are the surprise package for me with 2 good wins over stiff opposition recently in Dudley Lions and Saint Michael who incidentally beat Pye Green 5-1 with 4 goals from Kamil Lason. Pye Green themselves seem to be struggling to regain last seasons form but with 2 games in hand on some of the teams above them will not be discounting themselves from being near the top come seasons end. Monyhull face Pye Green tomorrow and I reckon it’s one both teams need to win. Monyhull, to put to bed any doubts that they have just had a lucky patch and for Pye Green to stay in contention. I’m tipping Pye Green to nick this one.
Wednesbury Baptist currently sit top of the pile but a 3-2 defeat to Rockmount has meant a closing up by the teams below them. They have only lost 2 of their 11 games but with 2 draws added in they will know that they need to turn in more victories to remain at the top. Tomorrow sees them pitch up to play Dudley Lions whose early seasons form seems to have disappeared recently. Dudley had an excellent September but October has seen them wane a little. If Steve can get his lads motivated for this match then they have a chance but if not then they will be beaten. I reckon he will have them passionately fired up in what would be a huge win for them but Wednesbury will definitely want to bounce back from their 3-2 defeat to Rockmount. Keep Pete Falconer quiet and you have half a chance, although goals pop up from others as well, especially the chap who always seems to smile, Martin Woodhall. I’m going to have to go with a Wednesbury win, something I know will please Steve!
Remmel Johnson has Rockmount United firing on all cylinders with a brace in each of his last 2 games against Wednesbury and Solihull and 5 in the game before that! It’s always an interesting debate at parks level, who is more important, a good goalscorer or a good goalkeeper? Something for you all to discuss in the morning? Nonetheless, Remmel’s goals certainly have Rockmount flying. Tomorrows opponents, Selly Oak Methodist, had a good 3-1 win against Dudley recently but they are finding it tough going at the moment. Although it must be noted that their defence is almost as good as teams that are further up the table. It’s goals that they are struggling to find and if you remove their 8 goals against Sandwell earlier in the season it seems that this is their problem. I have to tip an in form Rockmount to win this one.
Like Rockmount, Zion City are banging the goals in, averaging 4 a game although Maple Leaf put a stop to that in their last game with goals from Chris Price, Max Tully and Tariq Mubarak giving them a 3-1 win. Zion City will fancy getting themselves back on track with a victory over Brierley Hill AOG. Brierley Hill have taken 6 out of their last 6 points with wins over Selly Oak and Maple Leaf so cannot be discounted easily. I think the tight South Rd pitch will not suit Zion but I do believe their youthfulness and pace will be enough to undo a stubborn Brierley Hill. Win for Zion.
Chris Price is definitely a striker in form accounting for half of Maple Leafs 32 goals so far this season. No doubt he will fancy his chances of adding to this against tomorrows opponents Sandwell United. Maple Leaf are a little up and down though and their defeat of Zion City was a shock to me. Can Sandwell United push on from their hard earned point from last week against Brierley Hill, who incidentally beat Maple Leaf 7-4 on 25th October? I think Chris could be the difference here and opt for a Maple Leaf win.
Renewal Solihull sit in 4th place and they were my pre season choice to be Champions. I thought their experience would see them through so i’m hoping they are like a stalking horse in politics and pounce when the time is right! Having said that, they have conceded 4 goals in 3 of their last 4 games, although they did beat Pye Green 5-4 back on October the 4th in one of those games. Tomorrows opponents Hawbush may take some hope from this, although they also know what it is like to concede 4 and still win with their last league game being a 6-4 win over Sandwell United with Arron Hope notching 4 in that game. Arron also bagged a hat-trick 2 weeks previously in their 4-2 win over Selly Oak. Hawbush have in fact scored 1 more goal than Solihull but it’s the defensive side that sticks out with Solihull being much meaner. I’m going for a 4-2 win to Solihull.
The last game to preview is Saint Michael vs Corinthians Sk, two teams who both had excellent 4 goal winning margins last time out. Michael’s against Pye Green and Corinthians versus Solihull. Corinthians can definitely compete with the teams at the top having also beaten Rockmount 1-0 at the beginning of October but consistency seems to be a problem for them with defeats to Monyhull and Pye Green following that win. Saint Michael have tightened their defence up hugely in their second season with only the top 2 teams conceding fewer. I’m opting for a draw here.
That’s my catch up and preview for tomorrow regarding Division 2. Division 1 to follow: (looks like burning the midnight oil)!
Division One only had 1 fixture last week and how Chawn Hill Church must have been glad to see the back of October! Dumped out of the Cup by Monyhull Church and a defence that was leaking goals like a colander, (24 in their last 4 League games), they needed a win desperately. Their opposition, St Thomas’ Aldridge, had conceded 27 in their last 4 League games. So 2 teams desperate to get 3 points and neither that defend very convincingly, goals aplenty one would think, and so it turned out with another 8 goals being shipped in between these 2 teams with Chawn winning 5-3. These could prove to be 3 massive points gained for Chawn and 3 huge points dropped by the Aldridge lads. However, keep shipping goals like this every week and I don’t think this result will matter! Chawn Hills game with Charlemont Star tomorrow has fallen foul of the weather and is postponed whereas St Thomas take on another team near the bottom in City Church who themselves have only won 1 game so far this season. Both teams have 4 points so it’s another massive 3 points to play for with a draw not really suiting either team. City may be feeling more positive being unbeaten in 2 but where are their goals coming from? With only 7 in 8 games they are the least attacking threat of any club at the moment! It’s this that leans me towards an Aldridge win, something they really need if they are not to be totally cast away at the bottom.
Wolverhampton & Perton Churches must be absolutely buzzing after their performance last week. October saw them win 2 and lose 2 with the highlight probably being their 9-0 win over St Thomas’ on the last Saturday of that month with Stephen Worley bagging a hat-trick. So far, W’ton have a 50% record of 4 wins and 4 defeats. Tomorrows opponents are Halesowen Zion, who similarly have a 50% record with 5 wins and 5 defeats. One of those defeats was on October 4th against W’ton & Perton in a 5-4 goals fest. Halesowen also had a good Cup win against Wednesbury Baptist last week following on from their 5-2 win over Chawn where Tom Doran bagged 3 on the day. So 2 teams who will be relatively happy with their form and not much to pick between them last time out. Both teams to keep their 50% records and a 2-2 draw?
Connect Sports will not be feeling too great after suffering back to back defeats and letting in 5 goals in both games. However, sometimes the Cup becomes a big distraction, especially when you start saying it’s the Quarter-Finals. However, a defeat is a defeat and you like to get your next win as soon as possible. It’s fair to say that Connect have taken the top flight like a duck to water, something that has not surprised myself as I expected them to finish 4th. In their own minds they blew the Division 2 Title last season and I think that made them mentally tougher for this season and I did expect them to start strongly, maybe not this strong though! They had blown all aside until November 1st when they faced last seasons Division 1 Champions in St Mary’s who beat them 5-1. Tomorrow, Connect come up against Zion Athletic, a team that is a lot different to the side that won last seasons Cup. It may have taken them time to settle as a new side but they are now unbeaten in their last 4 games with their highlight probably being their 10-4 win over St Thomas’ on the 18th October, Leon Naylor scoring 3 that day. So. can the newly molded Zion make it 3 defeats on the spin for Connect? I don’t think so. I’ve got to go with a 3-1 win to Connect.
Anyone remember what Nottingham Forrest did when they got promoted to Division 1 in the 70’s?
We have 1 Cup game tomorrow and what a game it is, St Mary’s vs Clarendon. St Mary’s beat Clarendon 3-2 on the 25th October in what was said to be have been a great game. So, will that have any bearing on this Cup tie? St Mary’s remain the only unbeaten team within the whole of the League and I believe tomorrow will be their biggest challenge so far this season. Clarendon have shown themselves to be a force to be reckoned with again this season and will definitely be up for this one. I stuck my neck out last time with a St Mary’s win and this is so much harder to decide this time but I’m going for the same again, St Mary’s to win.
Well that’s my catch up and forecasting done. All being well we are back on track although I would ask for more Match Reports to be submitted. I know we had problems with that as well but it’s been resolved. It can be a little dispiriting bashing away at Kovacs’ Kolumn for hours on end and not seeing any reports coming in. It’s really a 2 way thing as it gives me something to work off and in all honesty I had thought about knocking the column on the head as the reports were beginning to dry up. A decision that has not been totally decided by myself yet.
Anyway, the item for discussion in the changing rooms tomorrow or on the way to your venue. You can have 1, a good goalkeeper or a good goalscorer. Which would you chose and why? I know my answer and will reveal it next week. Maybe in your match reports your club can give me your answers?
Be Blessed Folks,
Remember the people that would give anything to be able to participate in a football match and count your blessings.