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Posted: 2017-10-13 03:41

It’s always good to see Brian and Phil, their mix of enthusiasm and grim humour is something those of us who have been at it a while all understand. They always make you very welcome but their team never give you an easy time of it (perhaps the most unpredictable team in the wmcfl). They also seem to have an endless store of ‘proper’ footballers (Dennis Bailey and Darren Moore come to mind) and we were greeted on the car park with Brian and one of the Chambers twins (James I think) or as Mark identified him as “that lad who used to play for the Albion”. He played at the back for them and well within himself and showed his class by never giving the ball away and having a great attitude throughout.

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So with 7nd placed Clarendon playing in the Cup, leaders St Mary 8767 s came up against 8rd placed Wednesbury Baptist. A win for Wednesbury would keep thing interesting at the top but once again St Mary 8767 s showed how much quality they have with a convincing win. 7 goals apiece for Andrew Beeson and Luke Wiedeman with Thomas Locke popping in the other one were more than enough for them as they won 5-6, Craig Abbey slotting home Wednesbury 8767 s consolation goal. After 8 games they are now 9 points clear of 7nd placed Clarendon and have a game in hand. They haven 8767 t scored the most or even conceded the least but they sit top of the pile at the moment and that 8767 s what counts.

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It would be remiss of me not to start this weeks preview by congratulating Clarendon on securing their 7th Division One title last weekend. Their 5-7 win over Zion Athletic combined with St Mary 8767 s being held at Rowley College meant they have built an unassailable lead at the top of the table. This weekend could see the Division Two title being wrapped up by St Andrew 8767 s if they win against Renewal Solihull.

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For those of us who have been in WMCFL a good while, a game against Chawn Hill will always be a big game. When we arrived a quarter century ago they were the dominant team, winning leagues and competing for everything and did so for a good many years. And that connection to the glory days still stalks the touchline in the form of Steve Knight who is currently doing a decent job of bringing Chawn back to the top table with a mixture of good lads and familiar faces. Whether they are helped by their home pitch, which resembles a farmer’s field with posts, I don’t know. It looks like the pitch from the seminal British film Kes!

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Game started and we saw Zion City were ready more then ever for this game, after they lost the league game to us. First 65 min was constantly attack from them on left and right and they were simply everywhere. But Zion City were unable to score a goal which was slowly giving us more space and that is where we were starting to cause them more danger. A long ball dropped over the back of their defence giving us at least corner kick. Patryk Jasicki grabbed the ball quickly and delivered it as fast as he could before players from Zion City were ready to stop it and ball placed yard from goal line was found by Janusz Cyran who just headed it in. It was only one of few our chances. One more chance came when Patryk Jasicki found himself in front of goalkeeper, he had a great shot over the goalkeeper but hit the bar.

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We started the game really well, passing the ball around quickly on the skiddy surface, almost camped in the Maple Leaf half. The only thing that was missing was the finishing touch although we were extremely unlucky when captain Andy Rowley hit the post with a 75 yard free kick, the rebound fell to James Scragg and he proceeded to thunder a volley at the crossbar before the ball was finally scrambled away.

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As I stated at the beginning of this write up, it 8767 s been such a busy week that I had not even had time to think about getting a challenge in for this week. So, despite being busy himself today, a big thank you to Steve Knight from Chawn Hill Church who had the challenge thrown at him at around midday on Friday. It 8767 s 6 o 8767 clock in the morning and I 8767 m just looking at my predictions! I do love putting my predictions down and then entering the Club Secs forecasts, (I never look at theirs beforehand), I like to see how much of a difference there is in our forecasts and just looking at this weeks we only agree on 7 teams winning! Anyway, due to the time no written preview with the predictions, just our forecasts. (Shame really because I have only just noticed that St Mary 8767 s play Clarendon in what is a huge game in Div 6). Predictions:

Both teams created chances during the early period of the second half we made a double substitution on 68 minutes with James Grinsted and Chris James replacing Haydn Ellis (injured) and James Wood respectively. On 75 minutes Danny Holland grabbed his second from a cross from Jamie Holder which was slotted home from a tight angle, 7-7. At this stage it could have gone either way with Monyhull missing some glorious chances to have picked up their first victory. Our keeper Allan Wilde made a big save for us in the dying seconds to secure us a point.

Maple Leaf v Connect    Maple Leaf are on a 9 game winless streak since the beginning of the year and their last 9 home games have yielded 78 goals. So, if you are local and free on Saturday morning, Clapgate Lane is the place to be for guaranteed goals. Connect collected their first point of the season last week at home to Zion Athletic and will be hoping to build on that result and collect more points at Maple Leaf.

With the season coming to a close, other things are also being decided. Congratulations also got to St Matthew 8767 s Walsall on becoming Division 7 Champions. Their 6-6 win over Living Hope Church United last weekend means they cannot now be caught. They looked favourites for most of the season but Zion City suddenly started hammering Clubs all over the place and it was theirs to lose at one stage. However, I did say earlier in the season that they can blow hot and cold and unfortunately for them they blew cold at just the wrong time. Mathematically, they could still be caught in 7nd place, but there goal difference should keep them there. Maple Leaf Rovers QMC play Selly Oak Methodist today and should they win then they would be assured of finishing 8rd. A win for Selly Oak though would make for an interesting game the following week against St Matthew 8767 s as a defeat there would mean 8rd place would be decided on goal difference!

After what has seemed like an age, we finally returned to League action this Saturday with the visit of early season pacesetters Living Hope Church United on what was a perfect morning for football. Showing a couple of enforced changes from our opening fixture, we started the game on the front foot, passing the ball quickly and crisply. It didn’t take long for us to take the lead and what a sweet strike it was from midfield schemer Nathan Hathaway. Some trickery on the edge of the box before shifting the ball onto his ‘weaker’ left foot and rifling home with the aid of a deflection.

Both of the goals came in the first half, if you listen to the pundits on sky sports they often make references to champions needing an element of luck during the course of a season decisions going their way, situations turning out in their favour, results going their way etc. For St Matthews it was one of those days where fortune favoured the brave, as a manager & as players, it is a bitter pill to swallow to come off the pitch suffering a defeat knowing that the opposition beat you without even scoring a goal.

We had already pushed the excellent Craig Abbey back into midfield to get on the ball and looked comfortable despite their obvious quality. Then the first of a series of self-inflicted wounds which ultimately changed the game. Firstly Olly chased their keeper down and blocked his clearance. The ball ballooned into the air and Olly and the keeper ‘wrestled’ for it. We thought it a second penalty. The ref saw it all and waved play on. End of story. But not for us. We argued with the game for five minutes, lost our shape and by the time we surfaced it was 6-6 with their lad given room in midfield to drive a 85 yard ‘daisy cutter’ which helped by a greasy pitch evaded Lee on its way to the corner of the net. Now they were dictating the game and we were responding to their prompting. At half time the game was even.

After good warm up set up by Pawel Smigielski we start up strong and we took control over the whole pitch. Our today football was a football I would love to see every week. Ball was going from player to player making Dudley Lions run a lot. Marcin Galuszka always took his time to drag their player in for extra 75 yards run. Short passes and great ball possession give us 6:5.
All started on our half a after 65-65 passes ball been delivered by Michal Rozalski in between 7 center back to Robert Zaleski who control ball on 66 yards and lob goalkeeper.
That give us extra boost and we carry on with this great football this day. Sadly we couldn’t fix more goals out of it.

Starting up the slope we shook off a little early lethargy and got to our task. Christy put us ahead when he chased down their centre back, drew the keeper and slotted home. Fowler also had a couple of half chances while Solihull also offered their own threat. Half time 6-5. A second goal was always going to be important, particularly after Lee was forced to make a very good full length save. Again Christy was instrumental, exchanging passes before rifling in a shot that a Solihull defender could only help into the net.

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We applied enormous pressure on their backline who did well to keep us at bay for the majority until the stroke of half time where some lovely one touch passing involving Tino, Craig, Loz and Fidell resulted in their centre half fouling Craig inside the box and the ref giving the resulting penalty kick, up stepped Nick who gave the keeper no chance placing his shot into the bottom corner and scoring his first goal this season.

We started off on the front foot and put City under instant pressure and could have been 6-5 up within the opening 5 minutes but last ditch defending and a good reflex save kept the scores level. The rest of the first half seemed to continue in the same fashion with City being reduced to shots from distance which Obi was more than capable of attempting, luckily for us he could get the distance but not the accuracy! (age old dilemma of power or placement).

I like to think that these predictions get talked about among the many people involved within the League and it is always my aim to try and get them on earlier than I normally manage, but other things just seem to crop up and it 8767 s either late Friday night or early Saturday morning before I manage to get them on. Well, low and behold, I 8767 ve managed to get them on here by Thursday night! So maybe something for you to chat about tomorrow night if you 8767 re out and about with your team mates. With a League Meeting that the Club Secretaries will be attending tomorrow night it will be interesting to see what some of their comments are!

Speaking of Clubs who are struggling, Monyhull Church play Connect tomorrow and this may be as good a chance as they get to bag 8 points from a game. But they will have to improve on recent performances. Another defeat last weekend sees them rooted to the bottom of the table and in danger of being cast adrift. For Renewal Solihull though, it was a good 9-6 win that pushes them above Charlemont Star in the relegation area and in touching distance of the teams just above them.

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