Saturday, 17 September 2016

Tipton Town on the up.

West Midlands Regional League Division 1

Tipton Town 3 Penncroft 1

The heady days of Town playing Carlisle in the  FA Cup 1st Round seem but a distant memory.I was lucky enough to attend that game and the previous one where 1200 packed into Tipton Academy to witness town dismiss Sheffield FC to earn that trip to Carlisle.Todays' crowd of 25-30 is a stark reminder of what can happen to the best of clubs. It seems to have been all downhill since then but the signs are there that maybe the pendulum has swung and brighter days are ahead .The management team have assembled a young,eager side complimented by a couple of experienced heads and a very promising-looking lad up front(Number 9).

The first 10 minutes were fairly even but Towns' number 9 who had already impressed made a goal from nothing as he beat the keeper at the near post.Penncroft went searching for a leveller but after making the openings,it seemed they'd left their shooting boots in the changing rooms and they paid for their misses when the hosts were awarded a penalty which was duly converted.The visitors clawed back a deserved goal and had a sustained spell of pressure but Town withstood all that was thrown at them and reasserted themselves.
Late in the game Town put the game out of the visitors reach with a third goal.Penncroft were always in with a chance but Town have that lad up front and he really does look extremely promising.
Regular readers of this blog will be aware I'm loathe to criticise referees so I'll just say this one has probably had better games.

Entrance ; £3 concession
Programme ; N/a
Drink ; £1
Crowd ; 25-30
Ref ; ok

Monday, 12 September 2016

‘Lets go to Warwick for a long weekend ‘she said.
 [Panic… Look at the Internet fixtures]
‘What a good idea’ I replied.
And that is why, my friends, is why at 3 pm on Saturday I found myself at The Townsend Meadow.

Racing Club Warwick Vs Coventry United. FA Vase.

A healthy number of Coventry supporters were also at the game and it wasn’t long before they were smiling. Less than a minute in fact that the visitors opened their account. It would have been easy enough for the hosts to drop their heads at the force of their higher division opponents., but they didn’t. They continued their busy brand of football against an extremely well drilled opposition. They even had a creditable effort on goal saved by United’s keeper before Coventry raced down the field and scored on the counter attack. Coventry then controlled the game, to which The Racers had no answer, and when it became 0 - 3 shortly before half time, the unwise would have predicting a cricket score. That didn’t happen though. Early in the second half Warwick were awarded a penalty and reduced the arrears. But try as they may could make no further impact on the game and Coventry controlled the game and could have increased their lead but for some stout defending and  the game reached the final whistle at 1 - 3
Credit to both sides though for quite an entertaining fixture. I wish them both well for the rest of the season. Warwick will surely go on to win many games in their league and Coventry look a force to be reckoned with.

Entrance; £3 Concession
Programme; 50p
Drink £1 Coffee
Crowd ; Estimated 80-100
Officials; Efficient

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Wulfrunians edge it.

Midland Football League  Premier Division

AFC Wulfrunians 1 Walsall Wood 0

 Wulfrunians are having to play catch-up after having last weeks' game abandoned following the horrific injury to Josh Shepherd who has endured 'the week from hell' with four operations,numerous skin grafts and a steel rod inserted into his leg(information from todays' programme).We all wish him well.

Following our previous two games which both had a flurry of goals,it was asking a bit too much to expect the same here. Having already witnessed Walsall Wood putting Tividale to the sword this season we were expecting a tight but interesting game and we were not disappointed.There are more than a few new faces at Castlecroft and it looks like Steve Palmer has a decent team on his hands.Wood play a possession game,dominating from midfield and so it panned out but this played into the hosts hands as they counter-attacked at pace with their number 11 wreaking havoc in the visitors defence and Wulfs having two tremendous efforts in the first ten minutes,dealt with by equally brilliant saves from the visiting keeper.The game ebbed and flowed throughout the first half with Wulfs possibly shading it but with Wood coming on very strong towards half-time.

Wulfs were looking increasingly threatening and in the 62nd minute they took the lead with a cracker from King,following some excellent  work from their number 11.Again Wood came at the hosts,throwing everything bar the kitchen sink at them but the defence stood firm and the one tremendous effort that did get through from thirty yards,smacked against the bar and that was as near as the visitors were to get anything from the game from that point on.

Our neutral view is Wood look an excellent,talented side but on the day Wulfs looked the better all-round unit.

Entrance ; £3
Programme ; £1
Drink ; £1.20
Crowd ; 80-90est
Ref ; 6/10
Entertainment value ; 8/10(with thanks to Jonathan Holloway)

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Bewdley tops in a thriller.

West Midlands Regional League Premier Division

Wolverhampton Casuals 4 Bewdly Town 5

Please can I watch a game like this every week ? Give me this stuff every time over Premier League brain-rot.
The stadium announcer welcomed individual spectators over the P A which had everyone laughing.Nice.
These are two evenly-matched sides according to the league table and that really was the tale of the first half with Casuals taking the lead after 5 minutes and the visitors constantly threatening to level things and in the 20th minute,doing just that.It was a tough call as to who would score next and with half-time approaching the hosts took the lead with a cracking half-volley.

If the first-half was good,the second was crazy !Just as Casuals had scored early so the visitors did to level things and then it rained goals with 4 in the next 15 minutes with the sequence being 2-3,3-3,4-3,4-4.Just when we had all settled for a draw,the visitors got a winner with a superb effort from a very tight angle with barely a couple of minutes left.

For the neutral this was a belting game.£3 to watch this ? It's a steal.Those who rubbish this level of football should come and see some of it.It's fantastic. 

Entrance ; £3 concession
Programme ; £1
Drink ; £1.10
Crowd ; 30 est
Ref ; Good

Saturday, 20 August 2016

10 Man Shifnal take the points.

West Midlands Regional League Premier Division

Bilston Town Community 3 Shifnal Town 4

This was a first visit of the season to the refurbished Queen Street Stadium with smart new all-round fencing and brick-built dug-outs.The hosts were welcoming newly promoted Shifnal Town and what a brilliant game it turned out to be.

The first half was excellent with The Steelmen taking the lead after about twenty minutes which,on the balance of play,they just about deserved but the visitors came on strong and levelled things after 35 minutes and that's how it finished at half-time.

The second half was thrill-a-minute with the hosts regaining the lead only for Shifnal to first level the scores then take the lead with two goals in as many  minutes and looking good for the points.They then had a man sent off and from the resulting penalty Bilston levelled.I should say here (as a neutral)I thought the ref got it wrong, it was a clean tackle with the defender getting the ball.The hosts were having big problems dealing with the visiting No 8;he's a big guy and and is difficult to shake off the ball  and it was down to his runs that Shifnal again went in front and there they stayed.

The result was hard on the hosts but credit to the visitors who took the game to them.All said,this was a brilliant advert for this level.

Entrance ; £3
Programme ; £1
Drink ; £1
Crowd ; 70 est
Ref ; 7/10