Game 31 – AFC Solihull 2 NKF Burbage 5 22/10/2016

Number 4 heads home

This afternoon I visited the Tudor Grange for this Midland League Division 3 game, top vs bottom. Pointless AFC have lost all 7 of their opening game before this and hoped to turn it around. Despite the scoreline it was a disappointing clash for me, not as free flowing as I’d hoped as lots of missed chances but Solihull kept going.

NKF’S First

I missed the first 10 minutes fighting my way through the Stratford Rd , not the nicest of places to be . The strangest thing happened to me though,  on a arrival at the the Centre, I only met a family that were in the next caravan to me in ilfracombe in July,  what are the chances. 

On arrival,  I had missed the first goal, Solihull scoring a penalty. The ground was ok, a running track job but with decent covered area. NKF were awarded a penalty, it was saved the rebound was blocked until a defender touched it into his own net. Moments later, another penalty was awarded to NKF who despatched it.  It was 3-1 , when the ball bobbled towards goal in a crowded box and the keeper seemed to flap into his own net. There was no disputing the fourth, a corne was met by a thumping header.

The second half was very poor, in comparison,  one moment of quality when NKF hit a 20 yard shot at goal that sailed in, Solihull added  goal late on.

Admission – Free   Attendance -26 h/c

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Game 30 – St Andrews Netherton 3  Saint Michael 5 22/10/2016

A goal fest was to be had at the Hadley Stadium this morning but it was the Polish who came out victorious. This was played on a 3g pitch within a cage , the last time I was here was to see the now defunct Mahal on the other pitch.
Second placed ALl Polish side Saint Michael in the white took the lead from a low strike, before making it  2-0 pumping a ball in and heading in when the keeper called to save. Netherton then had a penalty saved by the large keeper before being given another penalty moments later scoring in the top corner.

It was 3-1 before half time, the keepers air kick let in a easy tap in.St MichaEl scored a great goal from after half time with a screamer outdide the box that the keeper ttied to punch and missed. A fightback started, first turing in a low shot before forcing the ball into the bottom corner for 4-3 but with the last move of the match , St zMichael had a free kick , Netherton were caught out by the speed they took the kick and the ball ran yo the edge of box, the player laid the ball off for a teammate to squeeze the ball into the bottom near corner, with that the full time whistle went.

Admission – Free  Attendance -15

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Game 29 –  Bilston Town Community 3  Port Vale 1 19/10/2016

Tonight I visited Queens Street, for this Staffordshire Cup 1st round clash against a team of Port Vale youngsters. The ground hasn’t changed much since my last visit a couple of years ago and is still a great ground for its level.

The first half was complete rubbish in truth, Bilston having an effort dribble wide .Port Vale forced Bilston keeper into a couple of half decent saves to, tipping one over from just under the crossbar.

In the second half , Port Vale hit the bar from a header straight away  signalling their intention but ultimately it was 75 minutes of tedium, until it got interesting when Vale were awarded a soft penalty that went straight down the middle . Three minutes later,  Bilston equalized from a free kick of corner,  the ball whipped in bounced in front of the keeper and in for a freak goal. Bilston took the lead in the 86th minute,  slipping the ball through the keepers legs. Vale’s heartbreak was compounded by a last minute goal, breaking the offside trap and hooking the ball over the keeper. Vale were very poor tonight in truth after a spirited first half.

Admission -£5  Attendance – 130ish

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Game 28 – Black Country Rangers 3  Malvern Town 2 15/10/2016

After the Connect Sports game, I travelled to Old Hawne Lane home of Halesowen Town, a ground I have visited  many times to watch their new tenants Black Country Rangers. Their guests today were high flying Malvern in the West Midland Regional premier league.

BCR save penalty

Malvern in the blue took the lead on 29 minutes , breaking the offside trap , skipping a sliding challenge and burying the ball. The half was drab but played at a committed level.

BCR equalized playing the ball in from the byline which was cleared to the edge of the box, a thumping drive then went through the crowd of playes into the bottom corner. BCR then took a shock lead with a hopeful shot from 30 yards took a wicked deflection off a defenders back and wrong footed the keeper. Malvern equalized from a corner where marking was none existent , the ball landed at the feet of a Malvern player who knocked the ball in from 5 yards. 

Malvern were awarded a penalty that was weak and saved the ball was cleared and from a cross BCR rose highest to head the ball down into the bottom corner in late drama. That was not to be sll though as BCR were awarded a penalty at the death,  a stong penalty was beaten away though by Town’s keeper

Admission – £5  Attendance – 48 h/c

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Game 27 – Connect Sports 0 Maple Leaf Rovers QMC 6 15/10/2016

This morning I attended this game in the West Midland Christian League Division One played at Saltley Leisure centre. Bottom side Connect in the Green are pointless after 4 games and are in dismal form. Maple though have had a good start on 7 points. 

Maple took lead on 40 minutes, from a softly given penalty stroked to the flapping keepers left. Connect then went down to 10 men for foul langauge I think was the reason. Fortunately things livened up in the second half.

Just into the second half, it was 2-0 when the number 9 cut inside from the left and fired into the near top corner. It was then 3-0 by shrugging off a challenge and rolling into the far corner. Things hot worse for the strugglers when it went to 4-0 flicking the ball onto the bottom corner. The goal of the game happened when a Maple player laid yhe ball off and the number 9 lofted the ball into the net from 25 yards. The final nail in a miserable day for Connect happened  near the end when a throw in eluded everyone and bounced straight into the 6 yard box where it was pounced on.

Admission – Free Attendance -15ish 

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Game 26 – England U21  5  Bosnia and Herzegovina U21 0 11/10/2016

Yesterday I attended the Under 21 qualifier st thr Bescot Stadium. A 3pm kick off on a Tuesday afternoon is very unusual but this game was moved forward due to group regulations meaning all games have to kick off at the same time. 

Today’s visitors were group basement boys Bosnia who are winless in the group. England in the white took the lead on 14 minutes through Reading’s John Swift who smashed a ball into the top corner from 20 yards. They went 2 0 up on 18 minutes through Chelsea youngster Tammy Abraham after Kenan Piric batted the ball away , Abraham tucked the ball home. There were 4 blokes with instruments who played football tunes all the way through and tried and failed to get mexican waves going.

In the second half it was 3 0 when Tottenham’s Josh Onomah turned and shot into the bottom corner. It was then 4-0 when Grealish put Watmore in to put a low shot past Piric. The final goal was Abraham second when he send a and led chip over the diving keeper.

Admission – £1   Attendance – 5263

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Game 25 – Ashby Ivanhoe 0  Aylestone Park 2 8/10/2016

Today I visited a new ground the NFU Mutual Ground, home of East Midland Counties league side Ashby Ivanhoe. Ashby in tenth place took on leaders Aylestone in the red strip.

The NFU, is an ok ground, pretty much a two sided ground roped off on the far side. Two seated stand areas snd some covered standing. The game was a hard fought affair with lots of hard challenges and rolling around on the floor. Ashby looked better early on hitting the post but fell behind in 33 minutes from a right wing cross,  the ball was stabbed home from 6 yards by Mason Brown.

The second half had little to speak of, there was still the rolling about and hard challenges but Ashby still failed to threaten Parks keeper. On 82 minutes it was 2-0 , a move down the right lead to a cross that hung in the air for a towering unmarked header by Mason Brown for his second.

Admission – £4  Attendance – 101

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