This Week’s MFL Newsletter 6/4/17

Midland Football League Newsletter

5th April 2017

League News

Studley FC announce the passing of club stalwart Alec James on March 27th after a short illness, he will be missed by all at Studley FC. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.

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There are a number of options for clubs to update scores throughout the game. One that is gaining popularity is Usqor. The links are below

Update your score with Usqor! For iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/usqor/id1080121192?ls=1&mt=8 For Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=usqor.sports.app

Travels of The Press Officer

Saturday 1st April 2017

Premier Division (62)

Sporting Khalsa 0 Alvechurch 1

Results in midweek had added even more spice to this encounter between 3rd and 1st at The Aspray Arena. Anything other than a win for the home side would effectively knock them out of the promotion race. Leaders Alvechurch had seen their lead reduced to 6 points on Tuesday and with a trip to 2nd placed Coleshill Town to come over Easter, the stakes were high. Daniel Dubidat had an early opportunity for Alvechurch, getting the wrong side of the Khalsa defence but failing to hit the target. It was clear that this was going to be a feisty, niggly and very affair with both sides struggling to create openings. Dubidat had another chance in the 18th minute but was again off the mark. The first chance for the home side fell to Yusifu Ceesay whose volley was well saved by Paul Evans. Chances were at a premium and Dubidat was again off target. A decent cross from Luke Shearer fell to Ceesay who hit the sidenetting. Shearer then saw a shot comfortably saved by Evans. Just before the break, an excellent cross from Dubidat was punched away by Tom Turner.

Seven minutes into the second half, Alvechurch took the lead with the first piece of real quality in the game. Babucar Souane whipped in a superb cross from the left where Dubidat met it with a fine header to beat Tom Turner. Shearer had an opportunity to level but his free-kick was high over the bar. Alvechurch had claims for a penalty turned down in the 64th minute with the appeals for handball by Joe Rogers waved away. Simeon Townsend found space down the left but his cross was overhit and the chance went begging. The game continued in the same vein with limited creativity and both sides content with the physical battle. Two minutes from time, Khalsa created the opening which they had craved all game. Ceesay clipped the ball over the top of the Alvechurch defence to pick out Shearer. The chance was difficult but in a tight game, they must be taken and the ball flew off Shearer’s boot and over the bar. In the 4th minute of stoppage time Aaron Perrin attempted an overhead kick for Khalsa but the ball flew over the bar. The whistle went to loud cheers from the visiting team, officials and supporters.

The best way to describe this game is that it was an arm wrestle between two physically strong sides who were well matched. The result meant everything and it edges Alvechurch closer to promotion. The nerves have well and truly kicked in and it promises to be an edgy end to the season.

Tuesday 4th April 2017

Premier Division (63)

Stourport Swifts 2 Brocton 0

With both sides in the thick of the relegation battle, tonight’s fixture on the banks of the River Severn was a real relegation 6-pointer. A win for Brocton could take them to within 3 points of the pack while a win for Swifts would move them 3 points from the drop. Both sides looked nervy as the game got underway with misplaced passes the order of the day. It took 15 minutes before there was any noticeable goalmouth action when Dominic Richards failed to deal with a free-kick under no real pressure yet the referee awarded a free-kick to Swifts. A decent move for Brocton between Joe Hartshorne and Sam Bell came to nothing as Swifts defence stood firm. Alex Perry was off target for the home side with neither team able to keep the ball. On the half hour mark, a decent cross from Jack Edwards was well claimed by Richards. Two minutes later, Joe Phillips was on target for Swifts but Aiden Stone made a comfortable save. Stourport began to press and Stone made a fine save from close in as Brocton failed to clear the ball out of the area. The young Brocton keeper made a better save a few minutes later, keeping out a volley from Phillips. On the stroke of half-time, poor Brocton defending saw Dan Sweeney aim for the top corner and Stone excelled himself turning it past the post.

Stourport took the lead in the 52nd minute and it was a goal which mirrored what had gone before. A deep free-kick was not dealt with and Perry was on hand to bundle the ball home. Perry went close to his second a minute later but Stone made a decent save. In the 68th minute, Edwards had a shot blocked by the Swifts defence. Brocton should have levelled in the 74th minute. Bell shrugged off the challenge of two defenders and lobbed Richards but he lifted it too high and over the bar. A minute later, Bell was brought down in the box but the penalty claims were waved away. Sweeney was fractionally off target with a free-kick but Swifts confirmed their victory 4 minutes from time. A corner from the left was played to Matt Fulloway outside the area and his shot was too good for Stone. In the last minute, Bells shot found Paul McMahon at the far post but he couldnt find a finish.

A really poor game which Stourport emerged deserved winners to strengthen their survival chances. On this showing, Swifts should be OK but Brocton face an uphill struggle to stay up.

Travels of a Compliance Director

Saturday 1st April Kick Off 2.30pm

U.S. Latina v A.S. Cittadella 0-2 Attendance 2087

A three hour drive from our base in Sorrento took us to the Italian town of Latina for this Serie B (second tier) middle of table clash and dour stuff it was. A tetchy game throughout with players wriggling around like they had been pole axed every time a tackle went in. Poor standard of football with no urgency but at least it was shorts weather. Best seats were priced at 20 Euro in the Tribune and programmes were given away free. As with all Italian grounds at the moment, supporters have to be in possession of an identity card to purchase match tickets. For foreign visitors you have to show your passport from which your details are recorded.

Sunday 2nd April Kick Off 2.30pm

Juve Stabia v Casertana 2-2 Attendance 1,289

Only a short drive to this one via the ancient city of Pompeii for this Lega Pro Girone C game (third tier) This in contrast was a totally different game to yesterdays. 20 Euro’s got me a seat in the middle of the main stand where programmes were on placed your seat. Juve Stabia being third in the league required points to stay in title and play off contention and took an early lead. Then following a mass brawl after only ten minutes the home side were reduced to ten men following the blatant throwing of a punch. A hostile first half saw Casertana go in 2-1 up after flares, coins and other objects were thrown on the 3G pitch. The home side equalised during the second half in what was an enjoyable game. Having away supporters in the crowd although segregated made this feel like a proper football match.

Sunday 2nd April Kick Off 8.45pm

Napoli v Juventus 1-1 Attendance 53,085

Naturally this was the main football event of the break and it was well worth the wait. A really good game played in a great atmosphere. Higuain was booed constantly upon his return to the Stadio San Paolo and the whole evening was tense and exciting. The only seats that we could purchase in advance without paying really silly money were in Curva B with the ultra’s and although the stadium has seen better days it was one of the best stadium experiences I have experienced for atmosphere and noise levels. Programmes were only available in the expensive seats but we managed to get some after the game. Catering and toilet facilities are really poor and it just goes to show what excellent stadiums we have in Britain. It took well over an hour to drive out of the traffic with cars and scooters abandoned everywhere. The draw left Juventus well clear at the top of the table.

Review

Premier Division

Leaders Alvechurch extended their lead at the top of the table to 8 points with a Daniel Dubidat goal giving them a 1-0 at Sporting Khalsa. Alvechurch need 11 points from the last 5 games to clinch the title. 2nd placed Coleshill Town dropped two points in their pursuit of the title being held to a goalless draw at relegation threatened AFC Wulfrunians. Lye Town are back into 3rd position despite going a goal down after just 10 seconds, two late goals from Ben Billingham giving them a 3-2 win at Boldmere St Michaels. There was a 9-goal thriller at Shepshed Dynamo with visitors Westfields winning 5-4. Michael Reeve scored twice for Dynamo while Aiden Thomas bagged a brace for Westfields. At the bottom, Tividale are relegated following a 4-1 defeat at home to Heanor Town for whom Elliott Reeves scored twice. 2nd bottom Brocton are still fighting hard to avoid the drop and a 4-2 win at Loughborough University keeps the Scholars in the thick of the battle. Quorn gained a much needed 3 points with a 4-3 win over Stourport Swifts who remain one place above the drop. James Hicks and Nathan Dale scored twice for Quorn with Joe Phillips scoring twice for Swifts. Walsall Wood remain in danger, Romario Martin scoring twice for Highgate United in a 4-1 win at the MFL Safety Stadium. Shawbury United are one place ahead of Walsall Wood after they drew 1-1 with 10-man Coventry United at Wem. Rocester are 7 points clear of safety as neither they nor hosts St Andrews could find a goal between them. Coventry Sphinx are up to 9th, Ryan Harkin grabbing a hat-trick in a 4-1 win over Long Eaton United.

On Monday evening, the quest for the Premier Division title may have taken a significant twist as Quorn beat Coleshill Town 2-1 at Farley Way thanks to a double from Liam Turner. The result almost certainly maintains Quorn’s premier division status whilst Coleshill are 8 point behind leaders Alvechurch with 5 games remaining.

AFC Wulfrunians moved to within a point of safety following a fine 1-0 win at Coventry United, Joel Cains with the goal. Brocton remain 6 points off safety as they went down 2-0 at Stourport Swifts, who climb to 16th. Sporting Khalsa stay fourth with a 2-2 draw at Rocester. Callum Riddell scored twice for the Romans with Marvin Nisbett scoring both for Khalsa.

Loughborough University gained a much needed 3 points with a 3-0 win at Westfields which moves the Scholars up to 16th. Ben Ward-Cochrane scored twice for Loughborough with all the goals in the second half.

Division 1

Leaders Bromsgrove Sporting went goal crazy putting 10 goals past Pelsall Villa without reply. Jason Cowley and Andy Nicol both scored hat-tricks to send Sporting over 100 league goals for the season. 2nd placed Hinckley AFC ensured the gap stayed at 10 points as they beat Coventry Copsewood 2-0 at St Johns Park with Ryan Seal scoring his 49th goal of the season. 3rd placed Leicester Road were in fine goalscoring form, beating Stafford Town 6-2 at Evans Park with Billy Bennett scoring three times. David Boal scored the only goal of the game as 4th placed Atherstone Town beat Bolehall Swifts 1-0 at Sheepy Road. A Jake Brown double gave 5th placed Racing Club Warwick all three points in a 2-1 win at Uttoxeter Town. At the bottom, Heath Hayes moved 9 points clear of the drop following a 4-0 win over bottom side Southam United at The Coppice Colliery Ground, Damien Salt scoring twice. Two goals by Michael Gyashi gave Heather St Johns a 2-1 win at Chelmsley Town, who stay 3rd bottom. Studley eased their relegation worries with a fine 3-0 win at Lichfield City. Pershore Town are 5 points ahead of safety as they went down 1-0 at local rivals Littleton, Chris Hayden with the all-important goal. Two goals from Lee Hewitt helped Nuneaton Griff to a 3-0 win over Cadbury Athletic at The Pingles Stadium.

Atherstone Town came out on top in the local derby at St Johns Park against Hinckley AFC. The Adders ran out 3-2 winners with Ben Ashby scoring the winner. Earlier Ryan Seal had scored his 50th goal of the season for Hinckley with Alex Naughton adding two to his tally taking him to 45. Uttoxeter Town moved into the top half of the table with a 3-1 win at Studley.

Division 2

Continental Star will finish bottom of the table following a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Knowle, Niall Gilbride with the goal. Hampton climbed out of the bottom two with a 1-0 win over Sutton United courtesy of a goal from Elliot Price. Earlswood Town came from a goal down to beat Feckenham 2-1 at The Pavilions.

Coton Green responded to their Presidents Cup exit with a 2-0 win at Barnt Green Spartak.

Division 3

Northfield Town closed the gap to 2nd place following a 4-2 win at bottom club Castle Vale Town with Paddy Behan on target twice. FC Stratford moved up to 6th place with a fine 5-0 win over AFC Solihull at Knights Lane. Ash Wilkes and Jay Tilbury both scores twice for Stratford. Moors Academy had their feint promotion hopes dented with a 4-1 defeat at Inkberrow.

Presidents Cup Semi-Finals

Fairfield Villa reached the final with a superb 4-0 win at Coton Green with Connor Collins scoring twice from the spot. They will meet Alvis Sporting Club in the final after they came from behind to beat Barnt Green Spartak 6-3 after extra-time. Darren Green scored twice for Barnt Green while Dildale Linton bagged a brace for Alvis.

Other Cups

Worcester Raiders edged to victory in the Worcestershire Junior Cup final beating Montpellier 1-0 at Pershore Town.

Heather St Johns were knocked out of the Leicestershire Senior Cup at the semi-final stage losing 4-1 on penalties to Holwell Sports after the game had finished 2-2 after extra-time.

Highgate United are the winners of the Worcestershire Senior Urn beating Bromsgrove Sporting 5-4 on penalties after it finished 1-1 after 90 minutes.

RESERVE DIVISION
BROCTON 1 v 2 GRESLEY
CADBURY ATHLETIC 3 v 1 ROMULUS
ROCESTER 1 v 2 CONTINENTAL STAR
TIPTON TOWN 5 v 2 LICHFIELD CITY

 

Under 21 CHALLENGE BOWL ROUND 2
AYLESTONE PARK 4 v 2 SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN
UNDER 21 DIVISION NORTH
BROCTON 1 v 1 HEATH HAYES
LEEK TOWN 0 v 1 COLESHILL TOWN
Open: TAMWORTH
UNDER 21 DIVISION SOUTH
ALVECHURCH 6 v 0 AFC RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS
BEDWORTH UNITED 5 v 0 BROMSGROVE SPORTING
DROITWICH SPA G & B 0 v 7 COVENTRY UNITED
HIGHGATE UNITED 0 v 3 KETTERING TOWN
KINGS HEATH CONCORDE 2 v 1 H O W ACADEMY

Premier Division Leading goal scorers

Shay Brennan St Andrews 37

David Meese Sporting Khalsa 30

Josh March Alvechurch 29

Richard Greaves Westfields 28

Nathan Hodge Shawbury United 25

Craig Jones Westfields 25

Ben Billingham Lye Town 23

Lei Brown Highgate United 22

Jack Till Lye Town 21

Jordan Nadat Alvechurch, Coleshill Town 20 (now Hednesford Town)

Dean Rathbone Coleshill Town 20

Kieran Debrouwer Heanor Town 19

Nathan Dale Quorn 19

Callum Riddell Rocester 19

Marco Adaggio Highgate United 18

Ryan Harkin Coventry Sphinx 18

Mykel Beckley Coleshill Town, Coventry United 18

Andrew Bridge Loughborough University 17

Elliott Reeves Heanor Town 16

Drew Aiton Walsall Wood 15

Daniel Dubidat Alvechurch 15

Elliot Putman St Andrews 14

Luke Shearer Sporting Khalsa 14

McCauley Manning Highgate United 14

Martin Smyth Rocester 13

Sam Hollis St Andrews 13

Reece Leek Coleshill Town 13

Michael Reeve Shepshed Dynamo 13

Aiden Thomas Westfields 13

Division 1 leading goal scorers

Ryan Seal Hinckley AFC 50

Alex Naughton Atherstone Town 45

Jason Cowley Bromsgrove Sporting 35

Matthew Stenson Leicester Road 29

Wade Malley Racing Club Warwick 26

Sam Agar Hinckley AFC 26

Connoll Farrell Studley, Coventry Copsewood 23

Gareth Evans Pershore Town, Studley 23

Matt Brennan Nuneaton Griff 23

Paul Sullivan Hinckley AFC 21

Kyle Turner Atherstone Town, Bolehall Swifts 18

Tom Bates Nuneaton Griff 18

Jamie Clarke Pershore Town 18

Daniel Carter Littleton 17

Luke Lewis Uttoxeter Town 17

Jamie Smith Racing Club Warwick 17

Joel Ambalu Heather St Johns 16 (now Coleshill Town)

David Akinuli Coventry Copsewood 16

Ben Lund Lichfield City 15

Joe Obi Bolehall Swifts 15

Chris Lloyd Bromsgrove Sporting 15

Sean Brain Bromsgrove Sporting, Littleton 15

Odane Barnes Cadbury Athletic 14

Jake Holt Leicester Road 13

Jake Brown Racing Club Warwick 13

Darryl Thomas Leicester Road 12

Dan Griffiths Lichfield City 12

Division 2 leading goal scorers

Daniel Carter Paget Rangers 36

Connor Collins Fairfield Villa 27

Nick Seabourne Droitwich Spa 26

Mark Bellingham Paget Rangers 23

Liam Fullerton Redditch Borough 20

Dildale Linton Alvis Sporting Club 19

Thomas Craine Knowle 18 (now Bromsgrove)

Andrew Millan Coton Green 18

Pedro Douglas Continental Star 17

Dan Pidgeon Alvis Sporting Club 17

Jak Albutt Redditch Borough 15

Ross Dempster Paget Rangers 15

George Ford Sutton United 15 (now Chelmsley Town)

James Lemon Droitwich Spa 15

Tyron Smith Smithswood Firs 13

Joshua Sherington Coton Green 13

Sam Hulme Smithswood Firs 12

Billy Garvey Redditch Borough 12

Jack Brimmell Feckenham 10

Charlie Cook Alvis Sporting Club 10

Martin Crawford Smithswood Firs 10

Benet Parchment Barnt Green Spartak 10

Joseph Wright Leamington Hibernian 10

Gareth Hodgetts Redditch Borough 10

Josh Duggan Sutton United 9

Ellis Blakemore Fairfield Villa 9

Michael Quirke Alvis Sporting Club 9

Six players on 8 goals:

Ben Ellicott (Knowle), Nathan Corry (Knowle), Luke Molloy (Droitwich Spa), Stuart Hall (Fairfield Villa), Daniel Murphy (Feckenham), Ben Cox (Feckenham)

Division 3

Stuart Hendrie Montpellier 38

Dale Wigmore Coventrians 19

Jay Tilbury FC Stratford 19

Daniel Priest Northfield Town 18

Jess Adcock NKF Burbage 18

Tom Smith NKF Burbage 17

Montel Okoro Moors Academy 14

Dan Lawrence Northfield Town 13

Adam Wooldridge Enville Athletic 13

Peter Martin Barton United 12

Liam Connolly Coventrians 11

Alex Coultas NKF Burbage 11

Ashley Wilkes FC Stratford 11

Jake Harris Shipston Excelsior 10

Romario Martin Moors Academy 10

Nathan Astill NKF Burbage 10

Paddy Behan Northfield Town 10

Charlie Adcock NKF Burbage 9

Lewis Chester Coventrians 9

Thomas Cuppleditch Coventrians 9

Lewis Fathers Shipston Excelsior / FC Stratford 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

Matthew Layton Alcester Town 8

Preview

Premier Division

Leaders Alvechurch need just 8 more points to clinch the Premier Division title. They welcome Shepshed Dynamo to Lye Meadow with the visitors still needing points to guarantee Premier Division football next season. One point from their last two games has hit Coleshill Towns title hopes hard and they welcome 9th placed Coventry Sphinx to Pack Meadow with a win for The Colemen the minimum requirement. 3rd placed Lye Town meet 5th placed Westfields at Stourbridge Road in a game between two sides whose form has deserted them. 4th placed Sporting Khalsa welcome relegated Tividale to the Aspray Arena and a win would go a long way to clinching a top three finish. At the bottom, things are looking bleak for Brocton and they need a win at home to Quorn to close that 6-point gap. Its been a good week for AFC Wulfrunians and they are just a point adrift of safety. They travel to Rocester who are just 5 points ahead of them in the table. Walsall Wood are now just a point above the relegation zone and they welcome Long Eaton United, 5 points ahead of them, to the ML Safety Stadium. Shawbury United are still in deep trouble and they travel to Highgate United who are still not safe on 47 points. Stourport Swifts had a morale boosting win in midweek and if they can repeat the feat at Boldmere St Michaels, that will go a long way to securing their safety. Loughborough University were another side to pick a valuable win in midweek and they face a tough trip to 6th placed Heanor Town. 7th meets 8th at Sphinx Drive as Coventry United entertain St Andrews.

Division 1

Leaders Bromsgrove Sporting can edge nearer to the Division 1 title and promotion when they travel to relegation threatened Stafford Town. Southam United have conceded 161 goals this season and it doesn’t get any easier for the Saints as this week they travel to Leicester Road, who still harbour an outside chance for promotion. Tenants face landlords at St Johns Park as Hinckley AFC host Heather St Johns with Hinckley the division’s leading scorers. At the bottom, Pelsall Villa find themselves three points adrift of safety and with a poor goal difference, they need to pick up some wins, starting at home to Bolehall Swifts. 12th meets 11th at The Pingles Stadium with Uttoxeter Town the visitors to Nuneaton Griff. Heath Hayes are 9 points clear of the drop and should be safe however a win at home to Cadbury Athletic would ease any concerns. Littleton have had another solid season and they welcome 6th placed Lichfield City to 5 Acres.

Division 2

Alvis Sporting Club can close the gap on leaders Droitwich Spa to 9 points with a win at 12th placed Bloxwich Town. Fairfield Villa cannot afford to drop any more point this season if they are to give themselves a chance of finishing in the top two. Earlswood Town, in 11th are the visitors this week. Hampton climbed out of the bottom two last week and could move further away from the relegation zone if they can win at Sutton United. Smithswood Firs are also 1 point above the drop zone but they do have 7 games remaining. They start this week with an away fixture with Knowle which has been switched to The Glades due to the ongoing issues caused by Storm Doris. Relegated Continental Star play their final home league game of the season as they welcome Coton Green to The Hub

Division 3

Montpellier can close the gap to 8 points and put some distance between themselves and 3rd placed Northfield Town if they can come back from Coventrians with three points. Castle Vale Town need two wins if they are to finish off the bottom of the table. They host Enville Athletic who will finish the season in 11th position. FC Stratford, in 5th, welcome 6th placed Shipston Excelsior to Knights Lane knowing that a victory would see them swap places.

Challenge Vase Semi-Final

Two of the Division 3 high flyers meets at Shenley Lane for the privilege of facing NKF Burbage in the final of this season’s Challenge Vase. Northfield Town will start slight favourites with both home advantage and better form coming into the game. When the two sides met in the league on Boxing Day, visitors Moors Academy took the honours with a 3-2 win.

Reserves RESERVE DIVISION
CADBURY ATHLETIC v BROCTON
COTON GREEN v ROMULUS
LICHFIELD CITY v WALSALL WOOD
Under 21 CHALLENGE BOWL SEMI FINAL
AYLESTONE PARK v ALVECHURCH 12.30
UNDER 21 DIVISION NORTH
LEEK TOWN v SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN 10.30
TAMWORTH v HEATH HAYES 10.30
Open: BROCTON; COLESHILL TOWN:
UNDER 21 DIVISION SOUTH
AFC RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS v H O W ACADEMY 10.30
BROMSGROVE SPORTING v HIGHGATE UNITED 10.30
KINGS HEATH CONCORDE v BEDWORTH UNITED 10.30
Open: DROITWICH SPA; KETTERING TOWN:

 

 

BIRMINGHAM AMATEUR CUP FINAL
COVENTRY UNITED u21 v TWO GATES
at BCFA HQ, Great Barr, Birmingham
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