Well only last week I was saying things would get back to to normal and I find myself rushing around to do last weeks review and this weeks preview again! Never mind eh, better late than never, unless you’ve ordered perishable goods to be delivered 😆
Firstly, Congratulations to Wolverhampton and Perton and Dudley Lions who both achieved Promotion from their respective Divisions last week. Wolverhampton bagged the last Promotion Place in Division Two without playing. My forecast of a thumping win for Charlemont Star against Selly Oak Methodist couldn’t have been more wrong with Selly Oak bagging my Performance Of The Week with a 2-1 win. This meant Wolverhampton could not be caught and also keeps the relegation battle in Division 2 alive, possibly dragging Woolaston Free Athletic into the mix. Dudley Lions on the other hand took things into their own hands by beating Hawbush 4-0 in the only Division 3 game last week. Whilst Dudley sealed their Promotion, Zion City and Living Hope Church progress through to the Semi-Final stages of the Division 3 Cup with wins in their Group ‘A’ games against Saint Michael and Place Of Refuge Community Church respectively.
In Division Two, Connect Sports wrapped up 2nd Place with a 5-2 win away to Renewal Solihull whilst Rockmount United beat Wollaston 4-0. Rockmount, like Selly Oak have signed some new additions recently in their quest to stay up, will it be too little too late for either of these teams?
In Division One, Halesowen Zion gave their battle against relegation a huge boost with a 3-0 win over Corinthians SK, (a result that see Corinthians confirmed as relegated), whilst at the same time St Thomas’ Aldridge lost 3-1 to All Saints Olympic. Amblecote also lost 5-2 to Clarendon so it’s still all to play for at the bottom. Sandwell, like Corinthians, had their relegation confirmed last week as they lost 3-1 to City Church.
We have some interesting games in Division One tomorrow with a power shift in the League maybe being confirmed. Clarendon travel to St Mary’s and if St Mary’s want the title they have to win games like this. Clarendon will have other ideas, lose this and like Man United, will that aura of invincibility have left them? I have stated regularly that I still find it hard to tip against Clarendon but tomorrow is a must win for St Mary’s for me, and I think they will do it.
Sheldon Community Church travel to face another top team in recent years in City Church. This will be a toughie for Sheldon but again, I think the power has shifted within the League and Sheldon’s long unbeaten run will remain intact at the final whistle. 3 points for Sheldon.
Whilst All Saints Olympic have no game tomorrow I believe they will be keeping a look out for the results of the 2 aforementioned games. They will be looking to sneak up and over take them both on the run in. (Grand National tomorrow folks, did you like the tenuous link eh).
Corinthians SK and Sandwell United will be giving their all as they try not to end up in last place. Whilst both teams have conceded 68 goals, Corinthians have had a stronger attacking option. Sandwell have never recovered from Rob Gill going to All Saints. Goals win games and for this reason I’m tipping Corinthians to win.
Last game in Division One sees Zion Athletic play Rowley College, a game that has been moved to The Bogs, (that’s what us locals call it anyway). Mathematically, Zion are not safe from the drop but realistically it would take their form to fall as dramatic as Devon Loch in the National for them to finish in the last relegation place. But in saying that, I still expect Rowley College to bag all 3 points tomorrow.
With the top of Division Two all done and dusted the focus moves to the relegation area. Due to Lighthouse and Dynamo folding there will only be 1 team relegated and one team in action tomorrow that may be involved are Wollaston Free Athletic, who face Connect Sports. I fully expect Willis’ lads to end their League season with a win which will give Rockmount United and Selly Oak Methodist something to aim at in their race to prevent the drop.
Meanwhile, Rockmount travel to play Renewal Solihull in their battle for survival. Before the bad weather set about devastating our Fixture List I would have called this a Solihull win. But since fixtures have resumed Solihull’s form has not been the same as it was beforehand, whereas, Rockmount with their new signings have improved. I think Rockmount will ease their relegation concerns with a win.
Due to the lack of fixtures in Division Two the Committee, following dialogue with the Clubs, have installed a Division Two Cup. Not everyone is in it but we do now have more competitive games for these Clubs to play in rather than eek out the season by playing endless friendlies. My thanks to the Committee and the Club Secretaries who have all acted very quickly for this to happen.
The first game in the Division Two Cup is Chawn Hill Church vs Selly Oak Methodist, so this should be an easy one to call looking at the Division 2 Table…top vs bottom. But Selly Oak ran them close recently and have signed some old boys since then. Chawn on the other hand have begun preparing for next season and have had 2 decent friendly results beating Amblecote 2-1 and losing narrowly to St Mary’s 4-3. This really is the ‘Group Of Death’ with Charlemont Star and Connect Sports being the other 2 teams in the group, so they will both be aiming to win this one. I’m going for a score draw.
Whilst the Promotion Places in Division Three have been settled, where the current Top 3 end up is still undecided and it will still be the same after the final whistle in tomorrows matches irrespective of the results. However, the ‘Match Of The Day’ for me is in this Division with Dudley Lions playing host to Pye Green Towers, 1st vs 3rd. Dudley could really explode the race to be crowned Division 3 Champions with a win here. Their current form has secured them promotion but is it going to be enough to topple Pye Green? The Towers lads seemed to have it virtually sown up a few months back but they are under pressure to perform now! The race for the top has me enthralled and this game is so hard to call! Never one to sit on the fence…a Pye Green win.
Whilst 1st plays 3rd, we also have 2nd vs 4th with Living Hope Church playing another improved team in Zion City. A Zion win would really make it interesting at the top but i’m not so sure that they travel well. With that in mind, a Living Hope win due to home advantage.
Hawbush host Place Of Refuge Community Church in the final Division 3 game tomorrow. Both teams were new to the League this season and whilst the later have had a good season, Hawbush are still at risk of ending up bottom. A risk that I think will still exist after the game tomorrow. I expect Refuge to go home with all 3 points.