Looks like my recent poor forecasting is not only limited to the results within our League! Taking my dog out for a walk last Friday and plodding through around 3 inches of mud I confidently decided that there was no point in using up time assessing the next days games. Without any doubt whatsoever they would virtually all be off? I really could not believe that we had so many matches played, although I had to do a double take of Petes picture that he attached with Rowleys match report, at first glance I thought it was Pete himself in goal!!!
Are Clarendon back in among the top teams challenging for the title? Well, we may know more by 12.30 after they have faced Sheldon. Clarendon had a good 2-0 win over table toppers Connect whose early seasons form seems to have disappeared. Goals from Everton Morrison and Laurie Cunningham sees the teams just below Connect close the gap on them. Sheldon found the net 5 times last week against Rowley who where in some disarray prior to the game, starting with 10 and having to make a ‘ghost substitution’ a phrase I don’t think I have ever come across before but it made me laugh when I heard what had transpired. Sheldon will be looking to stay in touch with the top teams and surely need to win this one. My head is saying Clarendon, so I’m going for a Sheldon win!
Like Sheldon, St Mary’s had 5 individual goal scorers in their 5-0 defeat of W’ton & Perton and in doing so become current favourites for the title having dropped the least points so far, (long way to go yet lads). They face Chawn Hill Church who drew 1-1 last week against Halesowen Zion who had to play a large amount of the game with 10 men, (once again a players language can have severe consequences for the rest of the team). I cannot see anything but a St Mary’s win here, something that will have Steve looking over his shoulder at the teams below them. For Johns lads it may be their chance to nick top spot depending how Connect fare in their match.
I am sure it will not be lost on the Halesowen lads that it was a missed opportunity to go 3rd last week only getting the 1 point, Maybe they fancy their chances of doing so tomorrow as they pitch up to face Rowley, a team that need a massive pick me up form Pete and Mike, not forgetting Southall. No doubt Pete will be able to tell us how many times these 2 teams have met and I am sure he will have some good crack with Dave from Halesowen Zion, all very likeable folk. Both will be wanting a win but I see them both getting their 2nd draw of the season.
Table toppers Connect really need to get their season back on track and they will be eyeing up City Church to do just that! Only averaging 1 goal a game and having conceded 30 in 9 games and while they narrowly lost 3-2 to Zion Athletic last week City appear to have it all to do against an attacking force containing the Ricketts lads. Connect will win this and stay on top of the table in doing so.
Last weeks conquerers of City, Zion Athletic take on Charlemont Star who I believe are having a good steady start to their first season in Div 1. They don’t concede a lot and neither do they score loads, (although they found the net 3 times last week in their 3-1 defeat of St Thomas’ Aldridge). (It may be time to do the old ‘Entertainment Table’ again? Look out for it in the week ahead). Zion Athletic on the other hand seem to have adopted Kevin Keegans philosophy of you score 4 and we will score 5! Goals aplenty in their games. So what will give ? Charlemonts Arsenal style defence or Zions Newcastle we will score more than you attitude. I’m tipping Newcastle to win.
The final game in Division 1 sees 2 teams who suffered defeats last week in W’ton & Perton and St Thomas’. I really feel for teams who are at the bottom, how to keep motivated week after week, (a little bit like being a Villa fan at the moment, (has he gone yet?)), But each week it’s a new challenge to see if you can turn it around. Add the banter with your mates and the feeling of fresh air in your lungs. You could go shopping instead? But after watching images of ‘Black Friday’ I know which would be my choice….football every time. In saying all of that, I still think W’ton will win.
‘Black Friday’ !!! What that’s all about? If we can have that then I reckon we can have ‘Sensational Saturday’ for our football games. Any other suggestions for naming the rest of the week? I will put them up next week if we get any classic suggestions.
1.15am so time for a break and a cup of tea..Div 2 to follow…….
Wednesbury Baptist seem to be the favourites for Div 2 following their 7-1 thrashing of Zion City last week and will be aiming to bag 3 more points against Brierley Hill AOG who themselves beat Zion City the previous week. The Hill are unbeaten in their last 4 League games but this should come to an end against Wednesbury.
Zion City are not out of the title race but can ill afford any more defeats following 2 successive knock backs. Their opponents, Maple Leaf also had a day to forget last week letting in 8 goals against Corinthians SK. So 2 shell shocked defences will be looking to improve on last week but which will do the best. I said a couple of weeks ago that I fancied Zions pace would get them a win only for them to fail against an experienced B’ Hill. I’m going to tip Zion again, but if they lose then I reckon the Championship becomes a distant dream.
Ralph Richardson of Corinthians SK bagged a double hat-trick, (yes 6), against Maple Leaf and probably cannot wait for the kick off to come so he can add some more! Tomorrows opponents, Renewal Solihull, will have other ideas about that looking to keep the pressure on at the top. Solihull are my stalking horses but I reckon Corinthians will complete the double over them with a win.
Saint Michael travel to face Hawbush and both teams will be happy with their season so far. Hawbush had a good win last week whilst Saint Michaels drew with Selly Oak. Michaels will be looking up at the promotion places fancying 3 more points but i’m tipping a draw.
Monyhull face Selly Oak in yet another game that will see how far they have come this season. I’m still to be convinced that they’ve not just had a good little run and was disappointed that their game last week was off. So my judgement is on hold at the moment, win against Selly Oak and I will be convinced but I sense that this could be a tougher game than it looks from the outside. Selly Oak I believe will be too tough a nut to crack and predict another draw.
Last game sees Pye Green hosting Sandwell and both of these teams will hoping for better performances than they have offered so far this season, probably more so Pye Green. So close to the title last season they have drifted just under mid table. They will be looking to bounce back up and will be looking at this game as a platform to do so. Sandwell have struggled all season and can count themselves unlucky last week. But when you’re at the bottom everything seems to conspire against you. It’s going to be a hard game for them! If they were at home I may have had it as my hunch for a draw but with the travelling involved and the problems that can come with that, (players not turning up), i’m going for Pye Green to win.
So in 8 hours time you will be starting your games, please remember the Mission Statement whilst you are representing your team within this League. At a League Meeting on Friday Night it was conveyed to the Club Secretaries that there must be an improvement in discipline, a message that they should pass on to you today. The Club Secretaries were advised in no uncertain terms that should teams need to be expelled to maintain the standards we expect then the Management Committee would not shirk making that decision. So please listen to your Club Secretaries, they are not passing on messages that have no meaning, they are informing you of what is required so that you can play football rather than end up shopping!
Be Blessed Folks.