Six matches played yesterday and I have already received some Match Reports. I must admit that this is one area that I am happy appears to be improving in that we do not just get Pete’s report to read each week, it’s great to hear how other matches have gone.
Only 2 matches have no report and one of them is my performance of the week, Clarendon’s 3 vs 2 win over Connect Sports. I really did not see that coming. You know Clarendon have always been good sometimes beyond good but I really thought Connect would be unbeaten all season. For me, we now have a proper challenge for the top of the table. That leaves St Andrews Netherton as the only team in Division 1 with a 100 per cent record and we have 2 reports from this match. The first from Gez Mullholland of St Andrews and the second off Pete from Rowley.
St Andrews Netherton 12 vs 0 Rowley College
St Andrews Netherton produced another stunning performance on Saturday morning, romping to an emphatic 12-0 victory over Rowley College. Shawn Devonport and Rion Francis-Mills both bagged hat-tricks in a game which also saw six other players register their names on the scoresheet. The resounding result extends St Andrews Netherton’s 100% start to the WMCFL campaign and keeps them three points clear of second-place Clarendon having won four from four. Chris Matton nodded in his first goal of the season after just five minutes and Devonport fired home his first of the morning just nine minutes later. Matthew Waterhouse then converted Gez Mulholland’s corner from the right – tapping in from the edge of the six-yard box to leave the hosts 3-0 up inside 18 minutes. Devonport rounded Rowley’s stranded stopper on the half-hour mark to make it four and Tomas Adams’ powerful finish from 18 yards made it five 34 minutes in. St Andrews made it six less than 60 seconds after the restart. Richard Thomas-Robinson notched for the fourth consecutive game, converting from the edge of the area. Substitute Rion Francis-Mills was quick of the mark after coming on, scoring his first after 57 minutes. Three minutes later strike partner Devonport completed his treble, slotting into the bottom corner from 15 yards. The ninth goal was provided by fellow sub Warren Grant with just over 20 left on the clock, and just moments later, Francis-Mills made it ten with his second of the game. St Andrews added a further two goals in stoppage time. Francis-Mills became the second player to bag a hat-trick, following in Devonport’s footsteps. And the final goal of the game came courtesy of Lewis McGee who calmly stroked home with his left foot from ten yards out.
Pete Bennett’s report:
Sometimes you wish you’d taken a vow of silence rather than making the commitment to write a match report win lose or draw! It was one of those games today: they don’t happen very often and sometimes you think they’ll never happen again! Ironically the first of the four times in nearly 700 games we suffered the ignominy of the double digit defeat was in our very first game in 1991. Then we also conceded 12 without reply but the ref recorded the score as only 11 and also as with this fixture we were down to face the same opposition the following week (we lost 2-3 and had a goal disallowed). That was in the Wolverhampton Amateur League, the second was in our second season in the wmcfl (1993-94). That was to the great Walsall Olympic side, again 12-0 (same as today, 0-5 by half time) in a season we’d also won 16-2.
We also achieved double figures twice against Solihull in successive seasons (both 10-0) and in 2002 as league champions beat Chawn 11-0. However by the time we recorded our third double digit against, Chawn had won the league and we’d been relegated (2009 Lighthouse Lions 0-10). Of course you think that’ll be the last time because we’re a settled side always competitive. The last time we rained in the goals (16-0 in 2012) Rockmount turned up short and in disarray.
Be great if I had such an excuse for today’s humiliation but the truth is we weren’t significantly short: Okay, Shola, Jay and Mark would certainly have made a difference but we had a good side out and particularly in offensive positions we have some very good players but Saint Andrews were simply much better than us today. When you can bring Rion Mills on from the bench you know you’re likely to win something! We defended badly as a team today rather than suffered from poor performances from our back players: Matt Stanton, Chris, Matty Smith and Brad were not responsible for this thrashing but the whole team particularly from set pieces defended without substance, without leadership and on two or three occasions without a clue!
I’ve always thought Saint Andrews were as good at team as we play but before today my feeling has been that perhaps they played a little bit too much football and therefore always gave you a chance to play as well. Today they were ruthless but we contributed to our own downfall particularly up the hill in the first half. It’s never easy to admit that you are playing against a superior team but this Saint Andrews team appear to have no obvious weakness and though I think we played well in spells and particularly going forward the truth is we didn’t score a goal: we came up against a resolute back four while at the other end their forwards ran riot. Shawn bagged a hat trick of course, fifteen years after he did the same to us as a skinny kid for Brierley Hill!
One thing about amateur football despite the cliches( ‘ win the second half’, ‘play for pride lads’) is that it’s not really feasible when you’re 5 down as we were by half time to shut up shop and resolutely work to keep the score down. What happens and happened is that you become more and more open in the reckless pursuit of a goal and I felt very sorry for our back four in the second half because they were largely exposed down the hill by the rest of the team searching that elusive goal. As I said when you play against a superior side the game plan has to be to make it difficult for them, to make them earn their goals. In the first half they scored two good ones and we gifted them another three. Everything that came into our box from wide was liable to be a goal today. I counted three at least from corners simply not defended. As I said is about the whole team. It’s a hard lesson: I hope we can learn it. I really wish Dave and his lads the best, they play the game the right way and will take some stopping, starting next week! Perhaps we need to enter Tier Three!
No report from the match where Chawn Hill Church beat Charlemont Star 4 vs 0 to move them into mid-table.
3 matches in Division Two and we have a report from each one. Like St Andrew’s Netherton, Monyhull Church have a 100 per cent record following their 6vs 2 win over Living Hope Church United, Josh Brown bagging a hat-trick in the process. No report from Monyhull but thanks to Steve Farley from Living Hope Church United for his account.
Monyhull Church 6 vs 2 Living Hope Church United
It’s been a difficult seven days for LHC, first a 7-0 thumping last week, then Callum stood down as manager. Cue a massive reorganisation and the appointment of a new manager, then today we had to play top of league who so far have won all their games, scored 19 and only conceded 2. Easy! I thought we acquitted ourselves really well and everyone pulled together and gave their all. New manager Lee Ralph scored our first goal from a thirty yard free kick when we were 3-0 down and Owen Sprigg converted with a well taken penalty at 5-1 after Josh Mauldridge was kicked in the penalty area. In defence Dan Price and Dylan were tenacious and Sam Crook put a shift in to be our joint MOTM with keeper James Farley who made some memorable saves. On paper it doesn’t look a great result but the reality is that we battled til the end and never gave up. Two hundred per cent better than last week and we look forward to further improvement!
Christ Church Coseley move into second place with their 3-0 win over St Thomas’ Aldridge. The lockdown and early end of last season seems to have had an impact on St Thomas as they were almost guaranteed to be Champions last season but they are struggling so far this season. Christ Church Coseley were one of the chasing pack at the time though and whilst they have some chasing up to do on Monyhull Church results like this will give them confidence to do so.
Thanks to Bob from Christ Church Coseley for his Match Report.
We welcomed St Thomas to churchfields today for a fixture that over the last few seasons has seen a fair few goals.
The 1st 10 minutes both sides sent balls forward but both defences stood firm not allowing anything through. Around 15 minutes in some good work in the midfield released nas who crossed a dangerous ball between keeper an defender for bob to poke home to make it 1-0. From this we built and had a few more chances and limited st thomas to a few that new keeper jake saved easily. With 30 mins played again the midfield for us put in some good work with the ball eventually getting to craig out on the left, with 3 players around him he managed to dig out a cross into the box and again on the end of it was bob to make it 2-0. Feeling settled we went searching for a 3rd only for it to be ruled out for offside. This didn’t dampen our search and a few minutes later the 3rd came. A clearance by nas was knocked on sending chambers through getting to the by line he pulled a cross back into the path of Jordan who made no mistake from 12 yards.
2nd half was a lot quieter, st Thomas had a lot more possession but deano and dave at cb stopped most things with st Thomas having a few shots 1 going over and 1 being saved brilliantly down to jakes right. Up the other end chambers went close with a shot just over josh passed a shot to the keeper (if the wind wasn’t behind it i doubt it would have reached the keeper) and Jordan hit the post. We made a few changes and saw the game out comfortably in the end. Ft 3-0
Changes were made to personal and shape, Delph improved slightly but still too sloppy in possession, created a few half decent chances but with pushing more men forward Selly Oak were finding gaps on the break and missed a few glaring chances one of which hit the bar from 3 yards out, around 70 minutes in they scored a third goal and ultimately that’s how it ended today. Time to roll sleeves up and move onto next week and put right the wrongs