Midland Football League Newsletter
The draw for Round 3 of the Buildbase FA Vase has been made with the MFL guaranteed 4 clubs through to Round 4.
Nuneaton Griff vs Bromsgrove Sporting
Sporting Khalsa vs Sleaford Town
Coleshill Town vs Westfields
Hinckley AFC vs Quorn
Long Eaton United vs Shepshed Dynamo
Matches will take place on Saturday, December 3rd
|With many cup ties taking place in recent weeks, the updated draw for three of the MFL competitions is included below: POLYMAC PACKAGING LEAGUE CUP ROUND 3|
|Rocester||v||Brocton||Tu 29 Nov|
|Lichfield City||v||St Andrews||Tu 29 Nov|
|Hinckley AFC||v||Boldmere St Michaels||Tu 13 Dec|
|Leicester Road||v||Loughborough University||Tu 6 Dec|
|Highgate United||v||Pershore Town||Tu 29 Nov|
|AFC Wulfrunians||v||Walsall Wood||Tu 29 Nov|
|Alvechurch or Westfields||v||Lye Town||Tu 20 Dec|
|Pelsall Villa||v||Chelmsley Town||Tu 13 Dec|
|LES JAMES CHALLENGE CUP ROUND 3|
|FC Stratford||v||Knowle||3 Dec|
|Montpellier||v||Northfield Town||10 Dec|
|Bloxwich Town or Paget Rangers||v||Alvis Sporting||to be confirmed|
|Feckenham||v||Redditch Borough||3 Dec|
|PRESIDENTS CUP ROUND 2|
|Fairfield Villa||v||Continental Star|
|Droitwich Spa||v||Barnt Green Spartak|
There have been a spate of serious injuries this season and everyone involved in the MFL would like to send best wishes to Joe Weston, the goalkeeper at Leamington Hibernian, who suffered a serious injury last Saturday causing the game at Continental Star to be abandoned.
Travels of the Press Officer
Saturday 12th November
FA vase Round 2 (32)
Wolverhampton Casuals 1 Nuneaton Griff 2
A short trip today for an FA Vase tie between two well match sides on paper. Wolverhampton Casuals are the last team standing in the competition for the West Midlands Regional League and this is the first time Cassies have reached this stage of the competition. Griff had an excellent run in the competition last season eventually being defeated by Salisbury in Round 5. Cassies had won out of their last 9 games so recent form favoured the home side. It was the visitors who started on the front foot with Tom Bates having the games first effort albeit a wild shot after just 20 seconds. An excellent cross from Darren Hutchinson was met with a firm header by Matt Brennan but Casuals keeper, Victor Pinheiro made a fine save. In the 9th minute, a sharp turn and shot from Kevin Nickle forced a save from griff keeper Courtney Belford. Griff responded with a Brennan shot which was deflected for a corner. Hutchinson was finding space down the right and from another whipped cross, Brennan headed over the bar. Jordan Uppal had the ball in the Griff net in the 13th minute but it was chalked off for a foul in the area. A great run by the impressive Harry Walker-Donovan saw him skip past the defence and his shot rattled the Casuals crossbar. It was very much end to end and Harry Cunningham for the home side forced an excellent save from Belford. On the half hour mark, Uppal sent an inviting ball into the griff area but it was missed by everyone and went harmlessly away for a goal kick.Belford made a decent save three minutes later, having to be at full stretch to keep out a shot from Nickle. 5 minutes before the break, Casuals centre-back Jermaine McFarlane saw a shot blocked and then put his follow-up over the bar. Within 30 seconds of the miss, the visitors were in front. Walker-Donovan again beat the defence and played the ball into the path of Bates who tucked it into the corner.
Casuals were level 6 minutes into the second half. Cunningham did well, played the ball into Nickle and he hammered the ball home. Nickle was proving a constant threat to the Griff defence and Hutchinson had to put in a superb last-ditch tackle to thwart the front man. Griff retook the lead in the 63rd minute and the goal owed everything to a superb dummy from Bates who let the ball run into the path of Brennan who made no mistake. The game continued to flow this way and that with no quarter asked or given. Cunningham went close for Casuals who were looking the side most likely as the game entered the last 15 minutes. Sam Belcher was off target for Griff before Belford made the save of the match tipping over a goalbound effort from Nickle. Griff attempted to run the clock down with tempers getting frayed as the clock ticked down.
Over the 90 minutes, Griff just about edged the game to take their place in Round 3. A very competitive and enjoyable game.
Sunday 13th November
FA Vase Round 2 (33)
Paget Rangers 1 Hinckley AFC 4
Paget had one of the results of the previous round knocking out Premier Division St Andrews and their reward was a home tie against Division 1 promotion challengers Hinckley. It was a great chance to see the new 3G pitch at The Trevor Brown Memorial Ground and to see a couple of the league hotshots in Daniel Carter and Ryan Seal. Paul Sullivan tested the Paget defence in the 2nd minute but was blocked on the edge of the area by Josh McPherson. Both sides were playing crisp passing football without challenging the keeper but that all changed in the 11th minute when Hinckley took the lead. Excellent work by Peter Williams saw him run past two defenders and cross to the far post where the aforementioned Seal headed home. Sullivan was on target with a free-kick in the 15th minute but Reiss Wagstaff made a comfortable save. Sullivan was agonisingly close to a 2nd 2 minutes later when he flicked the ball over Wagstaff and the crossbar. In the 20th minute, Seal was through on goal but Wagstaff foiled him with a fine save with his legs. Wagstaff pulled off an even better save in the 23rs minute, tipping over a fierce shot from Seal. Jamal Clarke was next to have an attempt for Hinckley but he powered his header over the bar. Hinckley doubled their lead in the 25th minute. Sullivan played the ball into the path of Seal who struggled to control it but then chipped the keeper for his second of the afternoon. Lee Thomas tried his luck from distance but his shot fizzed past the post with Wagstaff beaten. Paget had been very quiet up to know but a run by Carter was blocked by the defence. In the 32nd minute, Carter hit a first-time volley goalward which Haydn Whitcombe saved. Sullivan tested Wagstaff again before Ross Dempster wasted Paget’s best chance of the half, screwing his shot wide of the goal. With three minutes of the half remaining, Hinckley made it three. A corner from Seal was played to the feet of Sullivan who turned and hit the net via the inside of the post.
Paget started the second half better as Hinckley appeared to sit back. Dean Morris tested Whitcombe with a drive before Paget pulled one back in the57th minute. Left back Darren Michael picked up the ball and hit a shot from 30 yards which beat Whitcombe and went in off the post. The game now had a different feel with Paget well and truly in the game. The ever threatening Thomas forced another decent save from Wagstaff. Javia Roberts should have done better but decided to shoot instead of laying the ball into the path of the waiting Seal. In the 70th minute, Mark Bellingham hit a shot which was saved at point blank by Whitcombe. Paget were rescued by two wonderful last-ditch challenges by McPherson on Roberts – no histrionics just excellent tackles accepted by the forward! With 10 minutes remaining, Hinckley put the tie to bed with a fourth goal. Seal picked up the ball in the penalty area, skipped past Wagstaff and rolled the ball into the net for his hat-trick. Seal almost had a fourth 3 minutes later but his shot was saved and somehow Kristian Ramsey-Dickson couldn’t finish after being set up by Roberts. Lee Butler forced another save from Wagstaff as the game finished 4-1 to the Division 1 side. An entertaining game played in good spirit by both sides. Paget gave their all but came up against a very good side in form.
Monday 14th November
FA Cup Round 1 Replay (34)
Curzon Ashton 3 Westfields 1
With the incentive of a live TV 2nd round game against either Bury or AFC Wimbledon, neither Curzon Ashton or Westfields needed any encouragement as they met for the 2nd time at the Tameside Stadium. Westfields were dealt a double injury blow before the game with both Kane Kahaki and Sirdic Grant missing out. Following the 1-1 draw at Allpay Park, the Nash were expected to make the three division advantage count with Fields the lowest ranked club left in the competition. A larger than expected crowd turned out (which meant that they ran out of programmes!) with a good contingent from Herefordshire to cheer on Fields. It was the MFL side that started the brighter with Craig Jones narrowly wide with a shot from 25 yards. Aiden Thomas swung a cross from the left which was gathered by Hakan Burton. The first effort for Curzon came in the 9th minute when Liam Tomsett’s shot hit the side netting. Curzon began to threaten and they should have taken the lead in the 14th minute. A mistake by Kieron Blackburn let in former Liverpool striker Adam Morgan. Morgan rounded the keeper but his shot was cleared off the line by Phil Glover. Westfields were giving as good as they got and Dan Polan fired a shot across the face of goal after a driving run into the box. Joe Guest was finding space down the Curzon left being found with a number of crossfield balls which were causing Westfields problems. The home side took the lead in the 23rd minute and it was cruel on Westfields. The ball was played into the path of Morgan and his shot, albeit on target, was deflected past the stranded Blackburn into the net. Curzon were now in total command and skipper Niall Cummins went close with an effort from 25 yards. James Baillie hit a shot straight at Blackburn and the impressive Luke Clark fired wide as Curzon looked for a second. When it came, it was a goal of real quality as Morgan curled a shot from the edge of the box past Blackburn who had no chance. Westfields responded brilliantly and an excellent move involving Jones and Thomas almost created a goal for Richard Greaves. As the half reached its conclusion Jones saw an effort blocked by Baillie and then fired wide when well placed after good play from Greaves.
Westfields started the second half well and another run by Thomas down the left was blocked by Baillie. Westfieklds had a glorious chance in the 50th minute when a mistake from the Curzon defence saw Polan race clear but his shot was well saved by Burton. Westfields were playing some superb football with Polan and Matt Reeve having further efforts on goal. In the 58th minute, Curzon had a chance to make it three but Blackburn saved well from Guest and Iain Howard curled his shot wide. In the 66th minute, Westfields were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal. Up stepped Jones, and his shot cleared the wall and clipped the roof of the net. The game was end to end and Morgan picked up a long ball from defence, and with only Blackburn to beat, hit his shot against the outside of the post. Curzon went further ahead in the 70th minute when Cummins got on the end of a header from Howard and lifted it over Blackburn and into the net. It was harsh on Westfields but they kept going and dominated the last 15 minutes. With 5 minutes left, a cross from Jones was met by substitute Nick Harrhy whose shot beat Burton but hit the post. A minute later, Chris Ham skipped through saw his shot saved and then hit the side netting with his follow up. Into stoppage time, Ben Miller, on his 20th birthday, forced another good save from Burton before all of Westfields celebrated as Harrhy got on the end of an excellent cross from Ham to net a deserved consolation. This was a great performance by Westfields who impressed the locals with the quality of their football and were a credit to themselves and to the Midland Football League.
What a 2nd round for the Midland Football League with 9 teams making it through to Round 3. A goal two minutes from time from leading scorer David Meese gave Sporting Khalsa a 2-1 victory at Alvechurch. FA Cup heroes Westfields were pushed all the way by Step 7 Sherwood Colliery, Fields going through 3-2 with Dan Polan scoring twice. Long Eaton United had one of the toughest fixtures but they got the better of United Counties league high-flyers Holbeach United, winning 3-2 at Grange Park with Rob McCormick bagging a brace. Shepshed Dynamo had an excellent 3-1 win at Radford with Ben Haseley scoring twice. Coleshill Town won the all MFL clash at Uttoxeter Town, the Premier Division side taking the game 3-1. Nuneaton Griff eased past West Midlands regional League Wolverhampton Casuals with Matt Brennan scoring the winner, 2-1 the final score. The all Premier Division game between Quorn and AFC Wulfrunians went into extra time where the home side ran out 3-1 winners. The only MFL side to lose to a team from another league were Rocester who were soundly beaten 5-1 by Step 7 Hucknall Town. On Sunday, Paget Rangers hosted Hinckley AFC in front of a record crowd of 311. It was the Division 1 side that made progress winning 4-1 with Ryan Seal scoring a hat-trick. At The Victoria Ground over 700 turned out to see Bromsgrove Sporting reach Round 3 with a 3-1 victory over league rivals Lichfield City.
Westfields fantastic run in the FA Cup came to an end on Monday night as they lost 3-1 at national North Curzon Ashton in their 1st round replay. The scoreline doesn’t tell the whole story as Westfields gave as good as they got and the standing ovation they received at the end of the game was a testament to their performance.
Lye Town join Alvechurch at the top of the league as they beat bottom of the table Brocton 3-1 at Stourbridge Road. A crowd of 201 welcomed Boldmere St Michaels home for their first game on their new 3g pitch. Unfortunately for the Mikes, Walsall Wood spoilt the party winning 2-1, the decisive goal coming 3 minutes from time from Drew Aiton. The result of the day came from lowly Tividale who travelled to St Andrews and came away with a 4-1 win with Charlie Wilson scoring twice. Highgate United picked up a much needed 3 points as they won 4-2 at Shawbury United with Lei Brown scoring twice. Heanor Town move up to 8th following a hard earned 2-1 win over Coventry United at The Town Ground with both Lions goals coming in the last 10 minutes. Coventry Sphinx moved into the top half of the table with a 2-1 win over Loughborough University at Sphinx drive.
Coventry United climb into the top 6 following a 5-1 win over Tividale at Sphinx Drive. Stourport Swifts and Heanor Town shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at Walshes Meadow.
Leicester Road are the new leaders in Division 1 after a tempestuous game at Heath Hayes. There were three red cards in the game with Heath Hayes reduced to 9 men. Jake Holt and Alex Kent were the goalscorers for Leicester Road who lead Bromsgrove Sporting by 1 point. Atherstone Town are up to 3rd after they beat Bolehall Swifts 2-1 in front of an excellent Rene Road crowd of 130 with Alex Naughton getting the winner. At the bottom, Stafford Town raced into a 3-0 lead over Cadbury Athletic at Evans Park with Matt Redshaw scoring twice. Town were reduced to 10 men through injury for the last 15 minutes and the Chocolatemen took full advantage to snatch a point. There were 7 goals at St Johns Park as Heather St Johns beat Studley 4-3 with Joel Ambalu scoring twice. Coventry Copsewood are up to 16th after a fine 3-1 win over Chelmsley Town thanks to a Connoll Farrell hat-trick. Pelsall Villa slip into the bottom four after they were on the receiving end against Littleton at The Bush Ground with the visitors winning 5-1, Daniel Carter scoring twice.
Two goals from James Lemon gave Droitwich Spa a 2-0 win at Barnt Green Spartak moving Droitwich up to 2nd in the table. The result of the day came from Knowle who beat Fairfield Villa 5-2 with Torryn Connolly scoring twice. Coton Green also scored 5 in and 8 goal thriller with Smithswood Firs. Martin Crawford scored twice for Smithswood but he was outdone by Andrew Millan who bagged a hat-trick for the home side. Redditch Borough are up to 6th following a 3-1 win at The Valley Stadium over Hampton. Sutton United beat Feckenham 1-0 at The Entaco while the game between Continental Star and Leamington Hibernian was abandoned due to a serious injury with Star leading 3-0 at the time.
Hats off to AFC Solihull who picked up their first point of the season with a 1-1 draw at high-flying Northfield Town, Grant Dodd equalising from the penalty spot. That result enabled Shipston Excelsior to climb to 2nd following a 2-0 win over Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons. Montpellier were involved in a thriller at home to FC Stratford winning the game 4-3, with Stuart Hendrie scoring twice, to stay 4th. Alcester Town had a big win on the road, winning 5-0 at Castle Vale Town with a couple for Robbie Davis. Inkberrow climb a place following a 2-0 win at home to Enville Athletic.
Moors Academy are through to the semi-final of the Challenge Vase following a 2-1 win over Barton United.
Les James Challenge Cup
Third division Northfield Town pulled off a giant-killing knocking 2nd division Barnt Green Spartak out of the competition with the only goal coming from Daniel Priest. Northfield now travel to Montpellier in the Quarter-final.
Polymac Packaging League Cup
St Andrews booked a trip to Lichfield City in Round 3 with a 3-1 win at Coventry Copsewood, Shay Brennan scoring twice.
Alvis Sporting Club were knocked out of the Coventry Charity Cup losing 4-3 on penalties after being 4-4 after extra-time to AEI Rugby. Earlswood Town are through to the next round of the Smedley Crooke Memorial charity cup following a 3-1 win over Upton Town. Coventrians went goal crazy in the Bedworth Nursing Cup, winning 7-0 at Brinklow with Dale Wigmore scoring three and Liam Connolly 2.
Highgate United were involved in a thriller in the Birmingham Senior Cup as they drew 3-3 with Birmingham City in front of 260 at The Coppice. Unfortunately for Gate, it was the visitors that progressed winning 4-2 on penalties.
There was a dramatic finish in the Walsall Senior Cup tie between Boldmere St Michaels and Heath Hayes. With the Mikes winning 2-0 thanks to a Jack Skinner double and time running out, Heath Hayes scored twice in the 5th minute of stoppage time to send the game to penalties. Their comeback was to no avail as Mikes ran out 3-2 winners.
|Reserves CHALLENGE TROPHY ROUND 1|
|TIPTON TOWN||1||v||0||COTON GREEN|
|CADBURY ATHLETIC||2||v||0||CONTINENTAL STAR|
Ezekiel Agyemang Tipton Town 14
Terence Davies Tipton Town 14
Oliver Roome Rocester 13
Zain Thomas Romulus 11
Daniel Craythorne Lichfield City 11
Josh Dutton Gresley 11
|Under 21 CHALLENGE BOWL ROUND 1|
|COVENTRY UNITED||7||v||2||SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN|
|HIGHGATE UNITED||1||v||5||KETTERING TOWN|
|DROITWICH SPA G & B||0||v||10||BEDWORTH UNITED|
|BROMSGROVE SPORTING||p||v||p||LEEK TOWN|
|UNDER 21 DIVISION NORTH|
|AYLESTONE PARK||8||v||1||HEATH HAYES|
|BROCTON||5||v||0||WEST MIDLANDS ACADEMY|
|UNDER 21 DIVISION SOUTH|
|H O W ACADEMY||5||v||1||AFC RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS|
|KINGS HEATH CONCORDE||p||v||p||ALVECHURCH|
James Parker (Aylestone Park) 14, Reece Snape (Coventry United) 14, James McGrady (Heath Hayes) 13, Ryan Palmer (Coventry United) 11, Jordan Wilson (Kettering Town) 11, Josh Oultram (Leek Town) 10, Jack Tonks (Brocton) 10
Leading Goalscorers (all competitions)
Josh March Alvechurch 18
David Meese Sporting Khalsa 17
Kieran Debrouwer Heanor Town 16
Andrew Bridge Loughborough University 15
Jack Till Lye Town 15
Richard Greaves Westfields 15
Shay Brennan St Andrews 14
Nathan Hodge Shawbury United 12
Jamie Molyneux Westfields (now Hereford) 12
Craig Jones Westfields 12
Dan Polan Westfields 12
Lei Brown Highgate United 12
Callum Riddell Rocester 11
Ryan Seal Hinckley AFC 26
Alex Naughton Atherstone Town 25
Matthew Stenson Leicester Road 16
Sam Agar Hinckley AFC 13
Ben Lund Lichfield City 13
Tom Bates Nuneaton Griff 13
Matt Brennan Nuneaton Griff 13
Connoll Farrell Studley, Coventry Copsewood 13
Kyle Turner Atherstone Town, Bolehall Swifts 12
Luke Lewis Uttoxeter Town 12
Joe Obi Bolehall Swifts 12
Daniel Carter Paget Rangers 21
Thomas Craine Knowle 18
Jak Albutt Redditch Borough 13
Mark Bellingham Paget Rangers 12
Pedro Douglas Continental Star 12
Connor Collins Fairfield Villa 11
Joseph Wright Leamington Hibernian 10
Andrew Millan Coton Green 10
Dildale Linton Alvis Sporting Club 10
James Lemon Droitwich Spa 10
Montel Okoro Moors Academy 12
Stuart Hendrie Montpellier 12
Dale Wigmore Coventrians 11
Tom Smith NKF Burbage 10
Lewis Fathers Shipston Excelsior 8
Jess Adcock NKF Burbage 7
Lee Hendrie Montpellier 7
Charlie Adcock NKF Burbage 7
Alex Coultas NKF Burbage 7
Leaders Alvechurch will be looking to bounce back from their FA Vase exit when they travel to Hillsfield to face Rocester, who also tasted Vase defeat last weekend. 2nd placed Lye Town could go top if they beat Coventry Sphinx at home and the leaders slip up. 3rd placed Westfields have 6 games in hand on the leaders and they get back to league action at Allpay Park against AFC Wulfrunians, with their success in the FA Cup something to build on. 4th placed Coleshill Town saw manager Paul Casey leave the club in midweek to take over at Evostik premier Hednesford Town and they will want to keep up their good form when they welcome Shawbury United to Pack Meadow. Sporting Khalsa travel the short distance to the Beeches to face a Tividale side that have improved with three wins and three defeats in their last 6 league games. A good win in midweek has propelled Coventry United into the top 6 and they welcome Highgate United to Sphinx Drive. At the bottom, Brocton travel to Quorn who have lost 5 of their last seven league games. Stourport Swifts climbed out of the bottom three on Tuesday and they will be hoping to back that up in the 1pm kick off at Walsall Wood. Long Eaton United are having a great run in the FA Vase but this is not matched by their league form. Visitors St Andrews seem to have a good result followed by a bad one so this game could have everything. Two sides sitting in the middle of the table meet at Holywell with Loughborough University hosting Heanor Town in what is bound to be another exciting game. Shepshed Dynamo had a good win in the Vase last weekend but need to transfer this form to the league. They entertain Boldmere St Michaels who are unbeaten in their last 5 away games.
Leaders Leicester Road have won 7 league games in a row and they entertain lowly Studley. When the two sides met earlier this season, Leicester Road ran out 6-0 winners. Bromsgrove Sporting welcome 2nd bottom Stafford Town to The Victoria ground determined to keep the leaders in their sights. It’s 3rd versus 6th at Sheepy Road as Atherstone Town entertain Racing Club Warwick. Game of the day takes place at The McDonalds community Stadium as 4th placed Lichfield City welcome 5th placed Hinckley AFC. With thirty-nine goals in their last seven league games, Hinckley are on a roll and this game promises goals. Fast improving Coventry Copsewood welcome another in-form side in Bolehall Swifts to Allards Way and this should be a good game for the neutral. Bottom club Southam United are still searching for their first win of the season and they travel to Heather St Johns who have one defeat in 7 league games. Littleton had a good win on the road last week and they welcome Chelmsley Town to 5Acres. Uttoxeter Town get back to league action with a home game against Pelsall Villa, the reverse game ending goalless. Cadbury Athletic and Pershore Town meet in a repeat of the recent Polymac Packaging League Cup tie which ended 3-3.
We could have new leaders of Division 2 this week should Droitwich Spa beat Sutton United at King George Playing Fields. Fairfield Villa will look to bounce back from last week’s disappointing defeat when they host Leamington Hibernian. Bloxwich Town have picked up 7 points out of nine and this has seen them climb the table. They welcome draw specialists Feckenham to The old Red Lion Ground.
Leaders NKF Burbage can extend their lead at the top of the table if they can beat Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons at Kirkby Road. Montpellier can retake 2nd spot with a win at Barton United. Bottom club AFC Solihull picked up their first point of the season last week and will be hoping to add to their tally as they welcome Inkberrow to Tudor Grange. Mid-table FC Stratford host Castle Vale Town and with both sides conceding goals it could be an entertaining afternoon.
|Reserves CHALLENGE TROPHY ROUND 1|
|CONTINENTAL STAR||v||TIPTON TOWN||2.00|
|COTON GREEN||v||CADBURY ATHLETIC||3.00|