October 17th Review

My shift has yet again meant a late catch up on the matches from last weekend.
The stand out fixture in Division 1 was obviously St Mary’s vs Clarendon. St Mary’s unbeaten record stretches back for a long while now and in the back of my mind I keep thinking they must lose soon and with that in mind I thought a strong Clarendon would be the match where this happened. But, as with most of my predictions last week I was proved wrong yet again.
Here is St Mary’s version of events of the match:
St Mary’s 2 – 1 Clarendon
It was Clarendon who had the brighter start with most of the possession, but with our closing and pressing we started creating chances. This allowed Clarendon to hit us on the break and were soon let through one on one but for a heavy touch from the centre forward let Phil come out and smother the ball from his feet.

This got us going and we got our first goal. It came from a poor throw from the keeper and it bounced up for Locke who hit it first time on the volley and it just sailed in straight as an arrow. Definitely a contender for goal of the season!

We fully deserved our second goal as our pressing finally paid of with great work from Tink, Locke and Coleman made the ball loose in the penalty area. A great finish from Coleman putting the ball into the top corner made us 2-0 up and a great foothold in the tie.

Typically Clarendon never gave up and got a goal back when one of many disputed offside shouts went their way, a cross from deep which evaded everyone and fell to where Junior Davis was lurking at the back post to tap in. 2-1

Everton Morrison will feel unlucky just before half time as he cut in from the left and rifled a right footed shot towards the far top corner, only for Phil to tip it over at full stretch. (Edit by Myatt – My dad who was watching described 3 ‘World Class’ Saves in the match by Phil)

The second half began as the first ended with Clarendon pushing for the all important equaliser. We absorbed the pressure and hit Clarendon on the counter, and without a mixture of poor finishing and last ditch blocks we could have scored 5!

The best part of the half for Clarendon saw them get their spell of the game midway through the second half with a few corners and long range shots. Phil had to be on his toes again to tip another shot wide after a bit of a goal mouth scramble.

We pretty much parked the bus and saw the game out from here, without any more problems being caused.

A great win and again a tremendous effort from all the lads from midfield pressing up the pitch all game and the back four who were as solid as always, even though we were missing Myatt at CB, Harris CM and others.
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So Clarendon now sit in 2nd place on 13 points but are now level on points with Wednesbury Baptist who had a good 2-0 win over Zion Athletic.
The tale of the game from Wednesbury Baptist:
Wednesbury Baptist 2-0 Zion Athletic
After last weeks 1-1 draw we entered our fourth home game on the bounce hoping to get back to winning but as with all games in Division One we knew it would not be easy against last seasons beaten cup finalists.

The game started off pretty evenly with both sides playing some lovely free flowing football, Zion’s big number 9 caused problems with the ball to his feet has he held up play well and ran into the channels tirelessly and proved to be a constant thorn in the side to our somewhat makeshift back 4. Our defence stood strong and dealt with the early tests Zion gave them which was good to see especially without our captain Si, Matty playing his first game for the team and Webby playing only his second game at centre back.

We began to take control of the game as our midfield enforcers Jack and Nick were winning pretty much everything and not allowing Zion to get past our midfield leaving Zion camped in their own half albeit for the occasional lump up field to the aforementioned number 9.

We applied enormous pressure on their backline who did well to keep us at bay for the majority until the stroke of half time where some lovely one touch passing involving Tino, Craig, Loz and Fidell resulted in their centre half fouling Craig inside the box and the ref giving the resulting penalty kick, up stepped Nick who gave the keeper no chance placing his shot into the bottom corner and scoring his first goal this season.

Half time 1-0.

Always a dangerous scoreline we wanted to get the safety net of a second and continued to press Zion high up the pitch straight from the restart but credit to them they dropped players behind the ball in numbers and defended well once more leaving us with very few clear cut chances to extend our lead. Has the half drew on we could sense our second goal was coming but we had a scare when a miss hit clearance from keeper Carl on the edge of his area fell to the Zion striker who bought it down and placed his shot over Carl but was thwarted by the superb Jona who had dropped back to chest the ball down on the line before making the clearance and maintaining our lead.

Has the hour mark approached Loz was struggling for breathe after a collision with a Zion defender and the return of Falconer (after missing him last week) was exactly what we needed as he drew defenders in leaving others more room to exploit. With the game ebbing out we continued to bombard the Zion goal but to no avail, we then survived another scare when it appeared their tricky little midfielder (who had now been pushed higher up the pitch) seemed to be through on goal until once again Jona saved the day with a fantastic last ditch tackle. ‘Last ten boys come on’ rang around the pitch as the Zion team were eager to grab an equaliser and we were searching for our second to ease the nerves, luckily for us it was the latter that occurred! A fantastic counter attacking run from Tino who must have taken at least 6 players out the game marauded from our half into the 18 yard box, unselfishly square to Pete who made no mistake in lifting the ball over the onrushing keeper to settle our nerves and get us back to winning ways 2-0. Securing things up we then gave a debut to newly signed Sean who solidified our central core for the remaining minutes. Full time 2-0 and a fantastic result for us.

Chawn Hill up next for us in what will be another tricky fixture, we were beginning to think the fixtures secretary had forgotten to give us any away fixtures, only joking Neil!! (edit by Fix Sec: Next Home match November 28th !!! Neil 🙂 )
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Wolverhampton and Perton take full advantage of Zion’s defeat jumping into 4th place with a 4-2 win away at Connect Sports. Connect seem to have lost a few regular players and after speaking with Willis there does not seem to be any reason for it. So whilst Wolverhampton gain ground on the top teams Willis is rebuilding Connect and is still looking for players. So if you’re looking for a nice Club and bloke to play under in that area get in touch with him. (See Club Page for contact details).

Speaking of Clubs who are struggling, Monyhull Church play Connect tomorrow and this may be as good a chance as they get to bag 3 points from a game. But they will have to improve on recent performances. Another defeat last weekend sees them rooted to the bottom of the table and in danger of being cast adrift. For Renewal Solihull though, it was a good 4-1 win that pushes them above Charlemont Star in the relegation area and in touching distance of the teams just above them.

Another team to leap frog Charlemont were their opponents on the day with City Church winning this encounter 3-1. A bonus here is that we have Match Reports from both teams, so first off with a short report is Charlemont followed by a lengthier report from City.

City Church 3-1 Charlemont Star
We conceded the first goal from a close range bullet header on 36 minutes with City Church taking the lead into the half-time break.

We started the second half much better and after 5 minutes Jamie Holder struck an unstoppable shot past the City Church keeper, 1-1 and game on. During this part of the game we were on top but couldn’t create the opportunities from the possession we had. Then we were caught with a sucker punch with City Church taking the lead on 72 minutes.

City Church extended their league in the final minute, 3-1 and game over for us. Next weekend we entertain Clarendon.

Thanks to the officials and all the best to City Church.
Now for City’s report:
After a confidence boosting win (AET) in the cup last week, the City Church players returned to Rowheath, and a freshly-mown pitch, for the arrival of Charlemont Star. Last season, the two teams enjoyed some very tightly contested games, with expansive football played by both sides. The first of the 2015-16 fixtures didn’t disappoint.

The first half saw both teams looking to spread the ball wide, with Jamie Holder looking to pose a consistent threat with his long-range passing ability. Having missed last weeks’ cup game, Luke Maggs returned from his travels and made a big impact for CCFC up and down the right flank. He’ll be disappointed not to have bagged himself a goal, or two, in the first half but some last ditch defending and impressive goal-keeping kept things level. However it was Maggs’ drilled cross that found the head of Obiakor, who nodded in from close range. Charlemont looked dangerous on the break and the CCFC defenders could only breathe a sigh of relief as the ball whistled past the post at the end of a flowing move. 1-0 to CCFC at the break.

Second half, the momentum of the game swung back towards Charlemont. After a quickly taken throw in, near the corner flag, and early cross into the box, the ball ricocheted to Jamie Holder on the edge of the box. Taking a touch past the City defender, he found the top left corner with a very well executed half-volley. Dan Thompson, who had had a quiet morning in goal otherwise, was unable to get near it, and Charlemont were very much back in the game. Having lost the rhythm of passing and movement that they had showed in the first half, City slowly began to regain their stride as the half progressed. After another very good performance by Dan Green, he was replaced by Nick Graham with 25 minutes left to play. Graham made the manager’s day, by breaking through the Charlemont defence and slotting the ball past the oncoming keeper. Renowned more for his work rate, than his goals, the team were delighted to see Graham add his name to the scoresheet.

Charlemont continued to play with a high tempo, looking to ask questions of the City defenders. City dealt with a period of attacking pressure well, including a free kick conceded just outside the box. However with the game becoming slightly more stretched in the final ten minutes, Enayat, using his pace, broke down the wing and smartly squared the ball to Maggs who slotted home to make it 3-1.

A good game, played with a great attitude and we look forward to another enjoyable fixture later in the season.
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We have seen a slight increase this week on Match Reports being submitted and I know that this is an area that we would all like to improve. So whether it be just a few words regarding your match, or a longer version, all reports are welcome. No Club epitomizes this more so than Rowley College and even when Pete isn’t there he makes sure we get something to read about. Here is their report:

Rowley College 4-1 Chawn Hill Church
Lee Roberts provides the report this week:

After last week’s disappointing result and performance we went into today’s game against Chawn wanting to make amends. We knew that today’s opponents wouldn’t make it easy with their battling qualities. After all they did do the double over us last season.

We started the game with an attacking team starting with Christie and Tom up front, South behind and Brad and Nuni wide, and this paid off as we started the brighter and scored early on from a corner (which we had worked on before the game). It was a great delivery from Nuni which found South rising highest at the back post with a powerful header flying into the top corner. Just the start we wanted.

Chawn reacted well and equalised with pretty much their first attack on goal. Sloppy defending from us let their winger (wmcfl stalwart Curtis Jordan-Pete) run into the box wide. He hit a crossshot which took a nick off Chris Staien, who was trying to clear and flew into the corner of the goal.

We were determined not to let this game slip from our hands so turned up the pressure and created several chances but just could not put the ball into the net. Christy had a couple of chances well blocked from Chawn defenders, and corners were proving to be a dangerous tool with a mass scramble resulting in clearances of the line, us hitting the bar and another great block from the Chawn defence. The best chance fell to Matt Williams, again from a corner but he could only head over from 6 yards out and the half ended 1-1.

South drilled into us at half time that we were dominating the game but must be more clinical in front of goal and to cut out the mistakes similar to last week and not throw the game away. However we started the half sloppily giving the ball away easily and Chawn put us under pressure without really creating any clear cut chances. We finally started to get our foot on the ball and began putting Chawn under pressure but that second goal didn’t look like it was gonna come until with 20 mins to go Christy was put through on goal and slid the ball low to the keeper’s right and into the bottom corner. 2-1 Rowley and nothing that we didn’t deserve.

Scoring that second goal gave us a lift and not long after we scored the goal of the game. The excellent Matt Stanton, moved further forward by South ran down the right hand side with no support and three Chawn defenders around him but he managed to evade them all to advance into the box and pulled back an great ball to Brad on the edge of the box. He skipped his defender and bent a lovely right footed shot into the bottom corner, an excellent finish 3-1 Rowley.

Chawn’s spirit seemed to drop after the third goal and it wasn’t long before we scored a 4th, Craig finding space and put through on goal one on one and expertly finished high to the keepers right to finish the game 4-1 Rowley.

Wasn’t pretty from us today but the three points was what was important and puts us into a decent position 5 games into the season a big difference to this time last season where we had lost all 5 games.

Well played to Chawn who battled and made it tough for us today, all the best to them for the rest of the season, onto Renewal Solihull next week!
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With only 1 Match Report from Div 2, that is where I will start this Divisions review.
Dudley Lions stay in touching distance of the top 2 with their 3-1 win over Saint Michael a match that according to our Referees Secretary was a “Good competitive game , played in the manner that you would expect from teams with in the WMCCFL.”
Here is Saint Michael’s Match Report:
Dudley Lions 3-1 Saint Michael
After last weeks defeat to Zion City and our loss in the league cup I was hoping that the boys would focus on this game and jump higher in league table.

Dudley Lions who love to play on small and narrow pitches did a great job to stop us from doing them any damage.

The first 45 minutes was one way towards our goal with a great opener from Dudley Lions. 10 minutes in to the game they passed the ball from right defence to left forward with 6 short passes and their striker made a perfect shot to the top right corner that even the net refused to stop the ball. This gave them more confidence and they carried on pushing forward more and more. Some time later they scored one more and I had a feeling that we would fail today badly. They delivered the ball into our box and all our defenders failed to stop the pass then out of nowhere their player put a leg in and we were losing 2-0.

To be honest we only put one shot on their goal in that half. Kamil Lason had a chance to beat their goalkeeper but their goalkeeper was in right place. Our worst 45 minutes so far this season.

This used to be our best weapon and when it’s not working we just lose our focus and game.

We come out after break with a good plan but to make it work we HAVE TO WORK ! While Dudley Lions were battling, our players thought they could win the game by talking. When they scored their 3rd goal the game was already over and there was nothing to lose so 20 mins before the end, 2 subs came on to try make some difference.

15 min before the end we scored a goal and Radek Guterwil was going to be happy, but the referee gave offside against a player that didn’t appear to take any part in the play. Radeks shot was from 11 yards and nobody seemed to move toward the ball which landed in back of net but the referee decided that one of our players who was closer to their goal obstructed the goalkeeper.

This was our wake up call and the Dudley Lions manager shouted to their defence after another attempt landed on the bar from an Adam Kryspin header.

Our first and last goal this morning was when the Dudley defence made a mistake and Kamil Lason showed his speed and with a left foot shot, finished it off giving goalkeeper no chance!

One goal was not enough today against Dudley Lions who played well and they took a well deserved victory.

Well done to both sides for fair game.
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So Dudley move on to 13 points but do not make up any ground on the top 2 who also both won.
Benjamin Berrows bagged 3 goals in Living Hope Church United’s 6-2 win over bottom placed St Thomas’ Aldridge with their other goals coming from Lewis Beardsmore, Darren Carter and Robert Lee. Living Hope have started life in the League really well but for St Thomas’ it looks like another hard season.
Maple Leaf Rovers QMC stay top of the pile with their 3-0 away win over Brierley Hill AOG with another 2 goals, (still no hat trick this season), Kiran Kellman. Will they still be top after tomorrows matches? I have just noticed that the top 2 play each other tomorrow, should be a good game.
Thomas Queensborough was another player who scored 3 in what appears to have been a goal feast of a match between Zion City and Sandwell United with Zion coming out on top 6-5 in this 11 goal thriller. A result that moves Zion into mid table security but leaves Sandwell, who also had Robert Gill hitting a hat-trick, in the bottom 3.
The final game in Div 2 saw Selly Oak Methodist gain 3 valuable points to take them out of the bottom 3 with 3-1 win over Hawbush. This takes them level on points with St Matthew’s Walsall! Then again, they have only played 2 games.
My original Prediction Challenger choice for last week was unable to commit to it so I picked Chawn Hill Church’s Steve Knight as a replacement. What a bad pick that was! Even though he was a late selection, he kicked me all over the ball park with is selections. Out of 11 matches Steve got 7 correct results with 2 correct scores and a clean sweep of results in Div 2. My forecasting was atrocious and something I have to improve on if I am to beat the Club Secs. So, 11 points to Steve and the Club Secs, giving Steve an average of 1 point per match predicted which I reckon could put Steve up for the award of Forecaster Of The Season…it will take a good week to beat that! Me, I got 3 points!!!!
Off to look at tomorrows games now!!!

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