First of all, before I start with the actual Match Reports I would like to say a big thank you to Pete, (Rowley College), Steve, (Dudley Lions) and Bob from Christ Church Coseley for sending me their match reports today. I do like to get them in early so that people can have a good read of them on the Sunday, (slightly delayed getting them on here due to other issues, car related). So again, thanks guys.
I’m starting off with the Division 2 Cup games, firstly, the one received from Christ Church Coseley.
St Thomas Aldridge 0 vs 4 Christ Church Coseley
Today’s game saw us take on St Thomas, sitting top of the table, undefeated and scoring goals for fun. We knew we would have to be at our best today. With 2 key players missing, (striker Lewis and gk Lewis) we had to call on Scott to go between the sticks and a swap around with the front saw Mubin back after suspension to go upfront.
The game started with both sides working each other out for the 1st 10 minutes with St Thomas edging the possession. Around 15 minutes in we were forced into an early change as Mubin had to come off. This didn’t unsettle us and after both sides had created some chances St Thomas probably should have taken the lead with a shot going in the top corner, but Scott managed to claw it out and away to keep the scores level. On around 30 minutes after some good play in the midfield the ball was passed out to Chambers on the wing, he beat a player and crossed a dangerous ball into the box which Bob got his head to sending the ball over the keeper and into the net. 1-0. A minute or so later Nas managed to break free on the left cutting into the box he fired across the keeper only to be denied a goal by the post. A few more chances came and went without testing the keeper and our defence kept the busy St Thomas forwards quiet, limiting them to some long range shots.
2nd half got under way and St Thomas came out again for the 1st 10 minutes better then us but they still couldn’t find a way past Scott or the back 4. Knowing we can break quick we did exactly that, with Josh picking the ball up just over half way he put in a cross and found Bob at the back post who sent his header past the keeper to make it 0-2. With plenty of time left St Thomas again threatened our goal but once again defence and midfield limited them to what they could do, back up the other end we won a corner, Nas found Clive who nodded the ball on to Bob who’s tame shot was half cleared back to Clive who fired back at the keeper, he saved well but only pushing the ball out to the feet of Craig who tapped in from 3 yards. 0-3 with 20 minutes left of play. St Thomas still didn’t give up but again clearing our lines well the ball found Josh on half way, he passed to Chambers who cut inside onto his right foot and unleashed probably the best goal I’ve seen for years. A good 35 yards out maybe more, bending mid flight and hitting the roof of the net. (The video evidence is worth a watch) that sealed the game for us as St Thomas seemed to lose any hope of a comeback and with 5 minutes left we created a couple of chances but couldn’t add anymore, so at that the ref blew for full time.
Second report also comes from the Division Two Cup off Dudley Lions.
Dudley Lions 6 vs 0 Brierley Hill A.O.G
As relaxed and laid back as we were last week, we were the polar opposite this week.
The pre match talk revolved around reminding the guys that there will be no easy games this season, and a demand was made to treat our opposition, both that day and for future games, with respect but to play with a much higher level of urgency and commitment.
This seemed to do the trick with us flying out of the traps and racing into a 3-0 lead inside the first 15 minutes, with goals from Craig Abbey and a brace from Sam Parkes.
There’s always a problem going so far ahead so soon into the game, but after one or two reminders during breaks in play, the Lions lads listened and continued to control the match till half time and go in with the score 3-0.
The half time talk this week was all about maintaining our tempo and concentration, which to be honest we did, so when George Newton picked up his 4th goal in 6 games to make it 4-0, it was time to make a couple of substitutions and give the players who had put so much in, and who were carrying little niggles, a break and see what the lads on the bench had got to offer.
Additional goals from Connor Edwards and Charlie Davidson allowed us to make further substitutions, and it was great to be able to give a bit of game time to one of those lads, Sam Overfield, who was playing his first competitive game in some time after injuries.
Again, credit must go to Brierley Hill for not laying down completely, and they should really have scored in the dying moments when Lee Ralph rolled back the years and hit a lovely pass through to Robbie Cox who raced through one on one with Josh Davies, but Josh was determined to keep a clean sheet and pulled off a smart save to deny the ‘Hill what would of been a consolation goal.
Onwards and upwards to next week where we make the trek across Birmingham to play Monyhull Church.
Final report today moves us back into Division One and over to our ever trusty reporter from Rowley.
Charlemont Star 0 vs 3 Rowley College
This was a very satisfying morning’s work for us against a well-organised and capable Charlemont side. With players returning from injuries and absence we were able to fill the bench with experience and quality and this added a certain momentum to all we did. This was, as ever, a difficult game and the fact that by the close we had deserved a 3-0 score line was testimony to us getting most things right rather than any ease in our victory.
We generally kept faith with last game performances but were happy to be able to welcome Piddy back in goal (he was great today) and to offer Shola a run in his natural 10 role. We know we have goals but at times also a fragility: today the former trumped the latter. Josh and Ben Fowler are already striking up an understanding up top and within minutes Ben had forced a save which Josh couldn’t quite follow up. We were already exerting a good deal of control but Charlemont were always lively and dangerous. Bradley was having another all-action performance at full back involved in everything.
The teams exchanged blows: Fowler shaved the post and Matty Suff crossed dangerously while at the other end Piddy made a good save from a fierce shot. Matty Smith b(now dubbed Dale after his famous father because we have three Matts and all are Matt S) was struggling with a knock and had to make way before half time but Ben Smith alongside him grew into the game to deliver for me a m-o-t-m performance. He started the move that led to the vital first goal, working the ball back to Chris Staien who feinting to play Brad in wide instead drove a lofted pass into the channel to find Josh well clear and just onside. Despite having too much time and a suspicion that he was offside, he kept his head to score his seventh of the season. Ben Smith also played Matty Suff in with a delicious reverse pass but he blazed off as did Josh later when Fin played him in just after coming on. Half time was easy: carry on and reap the rewards of a strong bench but one goal is never enough.
Cue a very good half. Fowler everywhere causing havoc, solid at the back and Ben Smith pulling the strings. Then enter that box of tricks, Jack: a couple of sublime touches then having the confidence to pick up the ball and convert a sure penalty for an unwise challenge. Hayden also came on to impress and after Ben Smith got a deserved goal with a back post header there was even time for the veterans: Southall and O’Reilly. Referee Jack Cutler enhanced the occasion with an excellent performance as did Andy’s lads who played a full part.