Pete from Zion Athletic helps the Club Secs in their Prediction Challenge beating me by 1 point yesterday. Although I got more results right, Pete got 2 correct scores with one of them being the 4-3 win for Wednesbury Baptist away at Chawn Hill Church. Anyone who can forecast that sort of result probably deserves to win on the day.
Unfortunately for Pete his predictions fared better than his team did with Zion Athletic losing 3-1 to St Mary’s who stay top of the table with this win. Clarendon, who were 2nd in the table could only muster a draw against Charlemont Star. Have Charlemont suddenly rediscovered their resilience in defence again? Well here is the first Match Report of the week:
Charlemont Star 2-2 Clarendon
We started well taking the game to Clarendon but we conceded after their first attack with the ball going in off the post passing a diving Jamie Holder, 0-1. The rest of the first half was even with neither team able to capitalise on their possession or the opportunities which were created.
On 51 minutes we equalised after a pass from keeper Jamie Holder to Danny Holland on the left wing who coasted by the Clarendon full back and slotted the ball their keeper into the empty net, 1-1. It’s true what they say that goals change games, as at this point of the match we were looking very good going forward albeit Clarendon were always a threat going forward.
Our next goal came on 66 minutes when Haydn Ellis in midfield, dummied by James Grinsted, passed a diagonal ball through to the ever dangerous Danny Holland. After avoiding a couple of challenges he swung in a cross a couple of feet in from the touch line, unbelievably the ball avoided the Clarendon keeper, hit the far upright and crossed the goal line, 2-1.
Unfortunately for us we could not keep hold of the lead and conceded after their forward player avoided a tackle from Rich Stevens and scuffed the ball over our keeper into the net, 2-2. It was now game on with both teams creating opportunities. We had a couple of set pieces in dangerous positions but failed to work the Clarendon keeper with our keeper Jamie Holder pulling off a number of decent saves to keep us in the game.
Good luck to Roger and the Clarendon lads, we travel to meet them again in the League Cup round 2 in three weeks’ time. Next weekend we host Zion Athletic.
So even though Charlemont stay in the bottom 3 this is a good result for them. Clarendon, however, may be disappointed with this result and drop into 3rd place.
Rowley College make it 6 points out of 6 with their 2nd win in seven days. A 3-0 win away at Renewal Solihull propels them up to 4th in the table showing what a couple of wins on the bounce can do. As always, the Rowley lads supply us with something more to read than just my thoughts.
Renewal Solihull 0-3 Rowley College
It’s always good to see Brian and Phil, their mix of enthusiasm and grim humour is something those of us who have been at it a while all understand. They always make you very welcome but their team never give you an easy time of it (perhaps the most unpredictable team in the wmcfl). They also seem to have an endless store of ‘proper’ footballers (Dennis Bailey and Darren Moore come to mind) and we were greeted on the car park with Brian and one of the Chambers twins (James I think) or as Mark identified him as “that lad who used to play for the Albion”. He played at the back for them and well within himself and showed his class by never giving the ball away and having a great attitude throughout.
What he made of the first twenty minutes of this game doesn’t bear thinking about because on a slippery grassy pitch in the pouring rain neither side offered much quality. We had kept faith with those who beat Chawn last week with Christie and Craig up front in an attacking formation and had plenty of intent without creating much. Then approaching the half hour we scored a poor goal which at least changed the game and everything after this was better. On the surface it was a goal scored by Matty Williams direct from a free kick from 30 yards however ‘pitch and put’ was a better description. Matty chipped it in and none of our players managed to touch it but neither could their keeper.
Solihull then had their best spell and put plenty of pressure on us before half time but we’re a good defensive unit these days. With three quality players on the bench we expected different from the second half and got it. Firstly young Tom Cartin, for me our man-of-the-match, drilled home a beauty as we began to play football and impose ourselves. Clive and Ben Smith came on to add fluidity and the chances followed: Matty Stanton had an effort well saved as did Christie from Olly’s cross and Craig continued to menace. They too had their moments but we were resolute.
Finally we welcomed Ben Fowler back from coaching in the states and he capped a cameo performance with a lofted drive for 3-0 and even had time to hit the post. Thanks to the referee and his Dad who stepped in last minute as a stand-in lino and all the best to Brian and Phil and the Solihull lads.
More to follow: