This Week’s MFL Newsletter 8/3/17

Midland Football League Newsletter

8th March 2017

League News

A HEROIC police officer who helped rescue scores of schoolchildren from a burning bus has been given a bravery award.

Detective Constable Simon Mellor quickly led more than 60 youngsters and staff away from the double-decker after it burst into flames on the M6 in Warwickshire last May. The officer, who is also the first team coach at Hinckley AFC, helped evacuate the bus with colleague Det Con Paul Smith and then risked his own safety by going back into the smoke-filled vehicle to make sure no-one was left on board.

Kind-hearted Paul Bingham – who was driving along the motorway in an empty coach – then pulled up and offered assistance and a temporary refuge for the children, who were from the Black Country. Around 13 children and the coach driver were assessed for smoke inhalation with four ten-year-old girls being taken to hospital following the blaze on May 23 between junction 3A for M6 Toll and junction two for Coventry.

Det Con Mellor, from West Midlands Police CID, received a Chief Constable’s Commendation for his bravery, while Mr Bingham was given a Good Citizen’s Award during a ceremony at Tally Ho! in Birmingham last week. Chief Inspector Richard Agar, from West Midlands Police, said: “DC Mellor showed incredible bravery by going back onto the burning bus. “He put the safety of the public first – despite the risk to himself – and fully deserves this recognition.”

Hinckley AFC wrote on Facebook: “A huge well done to AFC first team coach Simon Mellor on receiving a Chief Constable’s Commendation for his work for West Midlands Police.”

Burnley Football Club is delighted to confirm the signings of Harry Flowers and Harry Limb, subject to clearance from the Premier League and Football Association.

The pair have joined the Clarets from non-league clubs on contracts running until June, 2018, both with the option of a further 12 months. Central defender Flowers the grandson of former England World Cup winner and Wolves legend Ron has signed from Midland League Premier Division side Brocton. The 20-year-old (above) has featured in a number of Burnley’s Development Squad games as a trialist and is now a permanent member of Michael Jolley’s squad after agreeing a first professional contract at Turf Moor.


Atherstone Town are pleased to announce that local golfing hero and life-long Adders fan Paul Broadhurst will be attending this Saturday’s home game against top 6 side Cadbury Athletic. Paul will be bringing the Senior British Open Championship trophy which he won last year. There will be a photo and autograph opportunities or if you just fancy a chat with Paul please come down. He will be in the club bar from 2pm.

Travels of The Press Officer

Saturday 4th March 2017

Premier Division (55)

Shawbury United 2 Coleshill Town 1

With torrential rain the day before it was with relief that most of the MFL games survived the weather. With Shawbury United looking anxiously over the shoulder at the relegation zone and Coleshill Town on a run of 13 straight wins, the bookies would have had this one down as a banker away win. Within the first minute, those bookies would have been sweating as Kevin Buxton found space down the right only to hit his cross behind for a goal kick. Shawbury skipper Stuart Ellis had a good chance moments later but couldn’t keep his shot down. Coleshill’s first attack saw Josh Quaynor’s low cross put behind for a corner before Andre Gonzalez fired high over the bar. Coleshill took the lead in the 10th minute when Jordan Nadat’s header was blocked and Rathbone shrugged off a challenge to fire home the rebound. Shawbury could have been level within two minutes. A cross from the right came off the head of Dale Taylor and Paul Hathaway saved well to avoid the own goal. Ellis had a clear chance from the corner but put his shot wide of the goal. Shawbury were causing their high-flying visitors all sorts of problems and when Liam Armstrong played in Ellis, the skipper overran the ball when in a great position. The Impressive Ben Osei attacked down the right for Shawbury but, under pressure from Jesse Race, he pulled his shot wide. Shawbury were reduced to 10 men in the 23rd minute when Kieron Dovey was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge. The red card, if anything, gave added impetus to Shawbury and following good approach play, Liam Taylor cleared the crossbar. In the 31st minute, an excellent cross from Liam Taylor was headed over by Ellis. Coleshill were creating very little and when Nadat raced through, Ian Havard blocked comfortably. Shawbury were awarded a free-kick 35yards from goal and Buxton had a go but hit the ball straight at Hathaway.

Shawbury were deservedly level in the 53rd minute. A cross from Osei was not dealt with and Tom Taylor reacted quickest to convert from close range. Coleshill responded and Mykel Beckley had a shot blocked but it was the 10 men of Shawbury who had the upper hand. Tom Taylor had another chance just before the hour mark, his header from the corner just wide. Beckley had a chance for Coleshill but, off balance, he shot wide. Osei was becoming more and more of a threat as the game went on and his shot on the turn was blocked by Hathaway. Shawbury took the lead in the 63rd minute. Good footwork by Ellis sent Osei clear through the middle. With Hathaway coming off his line to narrow the angle, Osei played the ball into the path of Armstrong who supplied an excellent finish. Ellis again was involved two minutes later, the tight control from the skipper creating a chance for Buxton who forced an excellent save from Hathaway. With 20-minute left, Gonzalez was off target with another effort for Coleshill. Nadat was having a quiet afternoon and when he did get a chance, he failed to hit the target. Shawbury should have made it three in the 75th minute when Buxton was through on goal, beat Hathaway but saw his shot slip agonizingly wide of the far post. The ten men continued to stand firm and looked the more threatening and Osei forced a save from Hathaway as Shawbury easily saw the game out.

A fantastic performance from Shawbury particularly as they played three quarters of the game with 10 men. A bad day at the office for Coleshill who were surprisingly lacklustre and seemed to have the FA Vase semi-final on their mind.

Tuesday 7th March 2017

Division 2 (56)

Paget Rangers 2 Alvis Sporting Club 2

With both of these teams in the promotion mix from Division 2, a good game was expected on the 3G at the Trevor Brown Memorial Ground. Alvis are unbeaten in the league for the best part of two seasons and could this be the night that the run comes to an end? It was the visitors that started the brighter with Paget keeper Josh Benton tipping over a free-kick from the Alvis left. Michael Quirke, the Alvis skipper, cleared the bar with a free-kick in the 7th minute. Paget’s first attempt came courtesy of Rico Taylor who cut in from the right and his shot was inches over the bar. The home side took the lead in the 13th minute when Mark Bellingham played a delightful ball into the path of Danny Carter, and the division’s leading scorer hit it low past James Wardle and into the corner. Paget were close to a second a minute later when Junior Rydhel fired just over. It should have been two in the 15th minute as Carter teed up Bellingham, but with the goal at his mercy, his shot rebounded off the post and Taylor’s follow up was blocked by the defence. Carter tested Wardle who made a comfortable save before Rickie Cutting forced a fine save at the other end from Benton. Alvis were level in the 29th minute. Dildale Linton was tripped in the penalty area by David Arrowsmith and Quirke made no mistake from the spot. Alvis grew in confidence and Cutting tried his luck from 30 yards forcing Benton to palm the ball down. A cross from Dan Pidgeon for Alvis clipped the top of the cross bar. In stoppage time, a cross from Carter was headed clear by Sam Murphy, Bellingham had a header cleared off the line and Rioual Kousseba-Bakala headed over as Paget finished strongly.

Paget had the first chance of the second half when Bellingham’s shot squirmed away from Wardle but the keeper did well to grab it at the second attempt under pressure from Carter. Alvis took the lead with a fine goal in the 49th minute. Pidgeon ran down the right and sent in the perfect cross for the onrushing Linton to sidefoot home. The game was end to end with both sides playing good football on the pristine surface. Jeorge Smith cleared the bar with a free-kick for Paget and the ever-threatening Carter had a shot cleared off the line. Linton went close to grabbing his second but Benton was on hand to save. Craig Goodbody had a great chance for Alvis but his header cleared the bar while Paget substitute Ross Dempster went close with a 25-yard effort. Quirke was just off target with a free-kick for Alvis but Paget were back on terms in the 75th minute. Billy Fagg’s shot was handled in the rea by Murphy with the referee pointing to the spot and showing a red card to the Alvis centre-back. Bellingham stepped up to emphatically despatch the penalty. Bellingham had a great chance to make it 3-2 to Paget but his shot was easily saved by Wardle. With time running out, Ben Crannage went close for Alvis while deep into stoppage time Carter headed over with the game destined to end level.

A good competitive game between two well matched sides playing good football. The game was played in an excellent spirit and was a credit to Division 2.


Premier Division


dramatic day at both ends of the table. With leaders Alvechurch out of action due to a waterlogged pitch, 2nd placed Coleshill Town had the chance to close the gap to 6 points when they travelled to struggling Shawbury United. It all looked good for the Colemen who took the lead in the 10th minute and saw Shawbury reduced to 10 men after just 23 minutes. The red card had the opposite affect and Shawbury put an end to Coleshill 13 match winning run with 2 second half goals, much to the delight of the watching Alvechurch contingent. Things got even better for Church when they heard that 3rd placed Lye Town had been beaten 2-1 at home by Highgate United who moved out of the bottom three with the result. Sporting Khalsa look the danger now for Alvechurch and they continued their winning run with a 2-0 victory at St Andrews. At the bottom, Brocton are 8 points away from safety after a dramatic finish at Allpay Park. Home side Westfields equalised in the final minute but the Badgers took all three points with a goal deep into stoppage time from Nick Wellecomme. Shepshed Dynamo find themselves in the bottom three after Stourport Swifts turned thigs round with two goals in a minute just after half-time, 2-1 the final score. AFC Wulfrunians are one point and one place ahead of Shepshed following their 3-0 defeat at Coventry Sphinx for whom Ryan Harkin scored twice. Boldmere St Michaels came back from 2-0 down at home to Loughborough University to draw 2-2 thanks to a double from Joe Lyng. Quorn also grabbed a point after being 2 goals down at home to Heanor Town, the Quorn equaliser from Suleiman Nassor in the 89th minute.

Shepshed Dynamo climbed out of the bottom three with a 2-1 win at Long Eaton United. The home side took a 1-0 lead but were reduced to 10 men early in the second half. Shepshed had to wait until the final minute to clinch the points with a goal from Jake Betts. Coventry United move up to 6th following a 5-0 win over Stourport Swifts who remain in trouble. Two goals from Chris Cox inside the first 18 minutes sent United on their way. Tividale remain rooted to the bottom as they lost 3-1 at home to Coventry Sphinx for whom Ryan Harkin scored twice.

Heanor Town returned to 6th place following a comprehensive victory over St Andrews at The Town Ground. The Lions won the game 4-0 with Jay Cooper scoring twice.

Division 1

Leaders Bromsgrove Sporting are 6 points clear after they beat bottom side Southam United 6-0 at Banbury Road with Jason Cowley scoring a hat-trick. In the Hinckley derby, the points went the way of Leicester Road as they beat Hinckley AFC 2-1. Matty Stenson scored twice for Leicester Road who are now 2nd. Atherstone Town are up to 3rd as they scored 5 without reply at Pack Meadow against Chelmsley Town. Pershore Town made it four games unbeaten as a Jamie Clarke double helped them to a 3-3 draw at Racing Club Warwick, Joseph Wright scoring twice for The Racers. Stafford Town and Nuneaton Griff shared four goals at Evans Park, the point seeing Stafford rise to 16th in the table. A double for Jake Lovatt was the highlight for Uttoxeter Town in a 4-1 win over Bolehall Swifts at Oldfields. Cadbury Athletic move into the top 5 following a 4-1 win at Coventry Copsewood with Odane Barnes scoring three. Heath Hayes eased their relegation worries with an Andy Davis goal giving them all three points at Heather ST Johns.

Bromsgrove Sporting remain 6 points clear but they left it late at home to Bolehall Swifts. Three goals in stoppage time including a double from Jason Cowley saw The Rouslers home. 2nd placed Leicester Road remain on their tail as Matty Stenson scored the only goal of the game at Heather St Johns.

Division 2

Droitwich Spa moved 10 points clear after an emphatic 7-0 win over bottom side Continental Star. Haydn Morris and Louis Bridges both scored twice for Spa who have an impressive +46 goal difference. Fairfield Villa lost ground on the top two after they were held 1-1 at home by 6th placed Sutton United. Hampton moved 6 points clear of the bottom with an excellent 5-0 win over Leamington Hibernian. Ainsley Seivwright with a double. Coton Green move into the top half of the table with a 2-1 win at New Mill Lane over Bloxwich Town

Alvis Sporting Club remain unbeaten as they drew 2-2 at Paget Rangers. Alvis had taken a 2-1 lead early in the second half but a Mark Bellingham penalty 15 minutes from time, which saw Alvis reduced to 10 men, earned Paget a deserved point.

Division 3

Leaders NKF Burbage move 12 points clear at the top following a 2-0 win at Barton United. Enville Athletic made it back to back wins with a 1-0 victory at Coventrians thanks to a goal from Adam Wooldridge. The result moves Enville up to 11th. Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons also picked up an excellent away win, Reece Gibson with the goal in a 1-0 victory at FC Stratford which moves them above AFC Solihull into 12th. The only other game in the division also resulted in a 1-0 away win as a Nathan Davies goal gave Inkberrow the points at Alcester Town.

Les James Challenge Cup Semi-Final

Paget Rangers are through to the final at The Bescot Stadium as they beat Northfield Town 5-0 at Shenley Lane. Daniel Carter scored three and Ross Dempster 2 as the 2nd Division high flyers ensured there would be no giant killing.

Other Cups

Alvechurch brushed past Brocton to progress in the JW Hunt Cup, 4-0 the final score.

Studley are through to the final of the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup following a 2-0 win at Cadbury Athletic, Gareth Evans scoring twice.


Premier Division Leading goal scorers

Shay Brennan St Andrews 35

Josh March Alvechurch 29

Richard Greaves Westfields 27

David Meese Sporting Khalsa 27

Nathan Hodge Shawbury United, Westfields 25

Craig Jones Westfields 25

Lei Brown Highgate United 20

Jordan Nadat Alvechurch, Coleshill Town 19

Jack Till Lye Town 19

Dean Rathbone Coleshill Town 19

Kieran Debrouwer Heanor Town 18

Ben Billingham Lye Town 18

Andrew Bridge Loughborough University 17

Marco Adaggio Highgate United 15

Callum Riddell Rocester 15

Mykel Beckley Coleshill Town, Coventry United 14

Daniel Dubidat Alvechurch 14

Elliot Putman St Andrews 14

Drew Aiton Walsall Wood 14

Nathan Dale Quorn 14

Ryan Harkin Coventry Sphinx 14

Martin Smyth Rocester 13

McCauley Manning Highgate United 13

Elliott Reeves Heanor Town 13

Dan Polan Westfields 12

Craig Bannister Sporting Khalsa 12

Sam Hollis St Andrews 12

Kai Williams Coventry United 12

Liam Read Shepshed Dynamo 12

Division 1 leading goal scorers

Alex Naughton Atherstone Town 41

Ryan Seal Hinckley AFC 41

Matthew Stenson Leicester Road 29

Jason Cowley Bromsgrove Sporting 26

Connoll Farrell Studley, Coventry Copsewood 23

Gareth Evans Pershore Town, Studley 23

Wade Malley Racing Club Warwick 22

Matt Brennan Nuneaton Griff 22

Sam Agar Hinckley AFC 21

Kyle Turner Atherstone Town, Bolehall Swifts 18

Jamie Clarke Pershore Town 18

Daniel Carter Littleton 17

Luke Lewis Uttoxeter Town 17

Paul Sullivan Hinckley AFC 16

Jamie Smith Racing Club Warwick 16

Joel Ambalu Heather St Johns 16

Tom Bates Nuneaton Griff 15

Ben Lund Lichfield City 15

Joe Obi Bolehall Swifts 14

Sean Brain Bromsgrove Sporting, Littleton 14

Chris Lloyd Bromsgrove Sporting 14

Odane Barnes Cadbury Athletic 14

David Akinuli Coventry Copsewood 13

Darryl Thomas Leicester Road 12

Jake Holt Leicester Road 12

Dan Griffiths Lichfield City 12

Division 2 leading goal scorers

Daniel Carter Paget Rangers 33

Nick Seabourne Droitwich Spa 25

Connor Collins Fairfield Villa 20

Mark Bellingham Paget Rangers 20

Thomas Craine Knowle (now Bromsgrove) 18

Andrew Millan Coton Green 17

Pedro Douglas Continental Star 17

Dildale Linton Alvis Sporting Club 17

Liam Fullerton Redditch Borough 16

Jak Albutt Redditch Borough 15

George Ford Sutton United 14

Dan Pidgeon Alvis Sporting Club 14

James Lemon Droitwich Spa 13

Ross Dempster Paget Rangers 13

Sam Hulme Smithswood Firs 11

Joshua Sherington Coton Green 11

Joseph Wright Leamington Hibernian 10

Martin Crawford Smithswood Firs 10

Benet Parchment Barnt Green Spartak 10

Tyron Smith Smithswood Firs 10

Charlie Cook Alvis Sporting Club 10

Billy Garvey Redditch Borough 10

Jack Brimmell Feckenham 9

Josh Duggan Sutton United 9

Eight players on 8 goals:

Ben Ellicott (Knowle), Luke Molloy (Droitwich Spa), Ellis Blakemore (Fairfield Villa), Stuart Hall (Fairfield Villa), Michael Quirke (Alvis Sporting Club), Daniel Murphy (Feckenham) and Ben Cox (Feckenham)

Division 3

Stuart Hendrie Montpellier 34

Daniel Priest Northfield Town 18

Dale Wigmore Coventrians 17

Jess Adcock NKF Burbage 17

Jay Tilbury FC Stratford 16

Tom Smith NKF Burbage 14

Montel Okoro Moors Academy 12

Dan Lawrence Northfield Town 12

Peter Martin Barton United 11

Liam Connolly Coventrians 11

Adam Wooldridge Enville Athletic 11

Alex Coultas NKF Burbage 10

Jake Harris Shipston Excelsior 10

Charlie Adcock NKF Burbage 9

Nathan Astill NKF Burbage 9

Lewis Chester Coventrians 9

Thomas Cuppleditch Coventrians 9

Lewis Fathers Shipston Excelsior 9

Lee Hendrie Montpellier 9

Daniel Moore Castle Vale Town 9

Freddy Murphy FC Stratford 9

Ben Hill FC Stratford 8

Lewis Jones Northfield Town 8

Ashley Wilkes FC Stratford 8

Matthew Layton Alcester Town 8

Paddy Behan Northfield Town 7

Thomas Clewes Inkberrow 7

Callum Coyle Moors Academy 7

Romario Martin Moors Academy 7


FA Vase Semi-Final 1st Leg

Bromsgrove Sporting vs Cleethorpes Town

3,500 will pack into the Victoria ground to see if Bromsgrove Sporting, the lowest ranked side left in the competition, can cause another upset against Northern Counties East league leaders Cleethorpes Town. The Owls are in fine form winning their last 10 games in all competitions. Their last defeat was before Christmas to Bridlington and last season they accounted for both Westfields and Alvechurch in the FA Vase. The Rouslers are unbeaten in the league and have lost just twice all season, to higher ranked opposition. They have already accounted for 3 Step 5 clubs to get to this stage and with their huge support must have a good chance of taking a lead into the second leg

Coleshill Town vs South Shields

When the draw for the semi-finals was made, it would be fair to say that everyone wanted to avoid South Shields, odds on favourites to win the competition. Maybe it is the fear of the Northern League powerhouse, maybe it is down to the form South Shields have been in, but it is Coleshill Town that have the pleasure of hosting them in the first leg of the semi-final at Pack Meadow. South Shields have won their last 22 games if you exclude the abandoned FA Vase tie which they were losing 4-2 to Morpeth Town when the floodlights failed. They are 2nd in the Northern League behind near neighbours North Shields. They have a strong side of proven performers and will be backed by a large and noisy travelling contingent. Up until last Saturday, Coleshill had won 13 games on the trot and they are still pushing for the MFL title. They are a good footballing side and their pace will trouble any team, South Shields included. Can Coleshill win? Of course, they can and they are a side that is full of goals. If they can take a lead to the North East, they will have every chance of reaching the Wembley final.

Premier Division

With the top two not in action, Sporting Khalsa can improve their chances of winning the league title if they can win at Stourport Swifts who are still deep in the relegation battle. It is the battle to avoid the drop which grabs the attention this week. 2nd bottom Brocton have given themselves a chance of making the great escape and they host Walsall Wood who are in poor form and just two points out of the drop zone. AFC Wulfrunians dropped into the bottom three in midweek and they welcome Highgate United, themselves in the bottom three last weekend, to Castlecroft. Shepshed Dynamo are another side to have been in the relegation zone in the past week and after their midweek win at Long Eaton United, they climbed to the heady heights of 14th. They entertain bottom club Tividale who are looking more and more destined for the drop. A good run of results has lifted Boldmere St Michaels to 12th place and they welcome 8th placed St Andrews to Church Road where another win could see them in the top half of the table. It is the Sphinx Drive derby, as tenants Coventry United play host to landlords Coventry Sphinx. Both sides are in decent form and this should be a cracking encounter. Four successive league defeats has put a dent in Lye Town’s title aspirations. They will be hoping to get back to winning ways when Quorn visit Stourbridge Road. Westfields are another side whose form has dipped alarmingly of late and they will want to finish in the top 5 to cap an excellent season. Long Eaton United are the visitors to Allpay Park this week and although they are in 10th place, they are only 5 points ahead of the bottom three. Rocester are looking nervously over their shoulder as the sides at the bottom pick up points and they need a victory to keep themselves clear of trouble. It won’t be easy this week as high flying Heanor Town are the visitors to Hillsfield.

Division 1

With Bromsgrove Sporting in FA Vase action, Leicester Road can close the gap at the top to just three points if they can beat visitors Heath Hayes. 3rd placed Atherstone Town got back to winning ways last weekend and they can maintain their position with a win at home to 5th placed Cadbury Athletic. At the foot of the table, a run of 4 games unbeaten has given Pershore Town some upward momentum and they welcome Uttoxeter Town to the King George V Stadium hoping to make it 5 unbeaten. Southam United are certain to finish bottom of the table but pride will want to see them pick up a first victory of the season when they entertain mid-table Bolehall Swifts. There is a good-looking Staffordshire derby at Evans Park as a much-improved Stafford Town entertain Lichfield City who still have eyes on a top 4 finish. Pelsall Villa are involved in the battle to avoid relegation to Division 2 and they welcome 6th placed Racing Club Warwick to The Bush Ground. Littleton and Coventry Copsewood sit comfortably in the middle of the table and are unlikely to get involved in the battles at either end of the table. They meet at 5 Acres with a chance to move into the top half of the table. The same can be said of Heather St Johns and Nuneaton Griff who meet at St Johns Park.

Division 2

Leaders Droitwich Spa have a 9-point advantage at the top of the table and with 5 games remaining they will be hoping for maximum points to give themselves the best chance of promotion. This week they travel to Leamington Hibernian who they beat 1-0 back in November. 2nd placed Alvis Sporting Club have 7 games in hand on the leaders and they remain unbeaten following a midweek draw at Paget Rangers. They entertain Coton Green and when the two sides met at New Mill Lane in December, Alvis ran out 3-0 victors. Fairfield Villa have a real battle on their hands if they are to finish in the top two and they travel to 2nd bottom Hampton who will be buoyed by their 5-0 win last week. Paget Rangers have games in hand on three of the 4 sides above them and they can close the gap with a win at bottom side Continental Star. Smithswood Firs are level on points with Hampton and will be hoping for a win to move away from the bottom two as they travel to Feckenham. One point separates Barnt Green Spartak and Bloxwich Town in the middle of the table, the two meeting at The Coppice. After the devastating damage to their ground caused by Storm Doris, Knowle get back to league action with a trip to Earlswood Town.

Division 3

2nd placed Montpellier can close the gap to 9 points with a win at home to Barton United. Northfield Town are still in with an excellent chance of finishing in the top two but they have a tough trip to a revitalised Enville Athletic who have won their last two. Castle Vale Town remain bottom and a win at Moors Academy could see them move up the table. AFC Solihull are the club just ahead of Castle Vale and they travel to Inkberrow. Shipston Excelsior are having a solid season in 4th place and they travel to 9th placed Coventrians.

Les James Challenge Cup Semi-Final

Redditch Borough welcome FC Stratford to the Valley Stadium and will start as form favourites to meet Paget Rangers in the final at Bescot Stadium. Stratford have been two Division two sides to reach this side but Redditch, on paper, will be a very different proposition.

Challenge Vase

The first semi-final of the Challenge Vase sees Division 3 league leaders NKF Burbage head to Old Stratford Road to face 6th placed Alcester Town. Alcester are without a win in four games but on their day are a match for anyone. Burbage are unbeaten in the league and will start firm favourites.

Reserves CHALLENGE TROPHY SEMI FINAL extra time and “penalties” if needed