BDFL Kicks Off 2016/17 Season

Last Updated: Aug 8, 2016 08:18pm
Alcester, Stratford-on-Avon
By Simon Burgess
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After what seems like only a few weeks Summer break, the BDFL 2016/17 season kicked off this morning with the League set-up one of the most competitive ever and eagerly anticipated by all clubs. From now until the end of the season, we’ll bring you all the news from the League on a Sunday night (occasionally a Monday) so stay tuned throughout the season! T

oday’s action kicked off in bright sunshine with a brisk breeze cooling things down somewhat. 

Starting with the Premier Division, last season’s champions Thomas Brothers (Fairfield) got off to a flyer hot on the backs of their Charity Shield victory last Sunday as they beat Belbroughton Athletic 3-1 at their new Fairfield Villa FC home. It wasn’t pretty stuff at all, but the three points are bagged thanks to goals from Stuart Hall, Paul Whitehead and an own goal. Clash of the day was down at Alcester as the star-studded Black Horse FC made their BDFL debut and they came through an incident packed match with a 2-1 victory to get their season up and running in front of a very healthy crowd. However the victory came with a downside as Brendan Hicks suffered what may turn out to be a serious knee injury and we of course wish him a speedy recovery should it turn out like that. Black’s goals, all the goals in the second period by the way, came from Brad Birch (a header with a hint of handball attached) and Sean Brain, with the latter capitalising on an error from the Alcester goalkeeper Ryan Young who let a backpass run underneath his foot to leave Brain with the easiest of chances. Matt Layton scored for Alcester after stepping off the bench whilst Black also missed a penalty which Young saved. Black also had Simon Fitter needlessly sent off after launching a tirade of foul/abusive language at match referee Tom Palmer who correctly showed a straight red card meaning Fitter will face a two match suspension. In the other match, Pilkington Sunday and Meadow Park, both suffering with availability for any number of reasons, played out a 2-2 draw and both sides are up and running on the points board in their new surroundings! Pilks raised into a 2 goal lead before Meadow got a lifeline just before half-time then scored a second half free kick to equalise.  

In Division 1, there was an early season thriller at South Bromsgrove High School 3G where Sporting Rednal played out a 10 goal thriller with pre-season title favourites FC Highgate United, the final score being 5-5! Each side took turns to be ahead in the game and FCH may be happier with the point given they were 5-3 down at one point. Braces from ex VBG Fairfield players Shaun May and Dan Wilkes (with Wilkes also chipping in with three assists) and Lloyd Newman for Rednal and FCH’s goals came from Oli Pugh (2), Brad Murrihy, Halesowen Town centre-half Kyle Morrison and another VBGF old boy Loz Martin although this has been disputed by the player himself who claims Ben Markall scored it and the Secretary may have put the goalscorers down wrong! Both sides more than satisfied with a point though on the first half showing, FCH will be in for extra finishing practice this week!  

There was an equally a good a game at Baytree Farm where doubly promoted Rubery took on newboys Bromsgrove Athletico and the final score in this was 2-2. The game was played at a frantic first half tempo where Rubery settled quickest and knocked the ball around confidently nearly going ahead when [censored] Behan showed all his ‘Pirlo’ skills to lob Owen Hancox in the away goal but Hancox recovered in time. They went two goals to the good though, firstly when Elliott Hartley played in Mitchell Mansfield in the 35th minute and the striker coolly slotted under Hancox. The second goal came on 43 when more Rubery passing interchange saw Behan stroke the ball home with aplomb. Athletico had been in the game but hadn’t created much relying on Hancox’s huge kicks setting Sam Wright free and Wright was perhaps unlucky to be flagged offside midway through the half when Athletico thought they had taken the lead. Athletico’s best chance came when man-mountain Jamie Gardener, who was charging around the pitch like a rhino in a bull shop, hit a 25 yard volley straight at Connor Devine in the Rubery goal. In the second half and the game changed somewhat; Not only did the tempo slow down, but Rubery lost their way somewhat and Athletico took complete control, the introduction of the stylish Mat Fearon definitely helping. They got back in the game in the 58th minute when Dan Francis and Devine got in a right mix up at the back leaving Wright to tap home from six yards. The equaliser, which was not undeserved, came when the referee played a super advantage, letting Wright wriggle free of numerous challenges when it would have been easier to give a free kick, Wright then played the perfect ball to Jay Woolridge who ran forward and smashed home into the far corner. With Athletico in no mood to take the one point, they pushed forward again pulling Rubery all over the place and thought they had won it in the 89thminute but Ashley Woodfield’s header was deemed offside – A tight call with the large Athletico contingent baying blood but the Baytree cameras were not in place for a Match of the Day style review! In the final analysis, both sides played their part in a good entertaining game and are set for a decent season in this division. Man of the Matches were Mason Mansfield for Rubery and Thomas Trow-Poole for Athletico. 

Red Lion started life in the BDFL with a home tie against established club Wychbold RBL and ran out impressive 5-2 winners. Anthony Mcnally netted a brace, with one each for Dan Bearcroft, Kingsley Smith and Peter Treadgold. Wychbold scorers came c/o Ciaran Sheehan and Charlie Driscoll. Red Lion have rumoured to have strengthened well over the summer and it’ll be interesting to see how their early season results pan out. In the other game, Oak Tree Sporting with their new manager Tony Bevan in tow, opened up their Division 1 campaign with a fine 5-2 win over newbies Quinton Athletic who have Darryl Foster at the helm. Quinton started the game ok but three defensive errors saw OTS grab a three goal advantage before Luke Crockett scored one before half-time but injured himself in the process meaning he came off at the break. OTS went 4-1 up after half time, Rory Milbourne with a fine free kick, before another goal made it 5-1 to dash Quinton’s hopes. Jake Chinn scored a late goal for Quinton to give the scoreline a better look. The other OTS scorers were Jack Steele (2) on his debut, Milbourne with another and Richie ‘BCFC’ Hall. 

Into the third tier now (Division 2) and AFC Northfield opened up their campaign with a 4-2 home win over Spa Athletic. Goals from Ben Dugmore (2), Sam Chilton and veteran hit-man Keith Rostill. Callowbrook Green and Awkies Allstars played out a 1-1 draw and Awkies will be relieved to grab a point late on, Jason Gibbons with the leveller after Callowbrook had gone ahead from a long throw which Luke Wyatt swept home. Sporting Club Redditch, tipped to win Division 2 by our predictions guru The Stoat, started off down at Hewell Prison and came away with a fine 2-0 win after superstar Dan Sill’s 30 yarder and Dan Hodgetts’ goal; SCR also had to recover from the blow of losing Josh Farr through injury inside the first ten minutes but new signing Paul Maynard from Alcester Town was in good form between the sticks. The much anticipated match between Hizza United and Studley Lions seemed to pass off without incident and it was the old heads of Studley Lions who got the three points with a 4-2 win. Goals from Roland Rignall (2), Nick Briggs and a penalty from Habib Buaben who extended his 100% record from the spot (7 from 7). Hizza were unlucky on the day not to get more but a good game and they’ll certainly be up there come the end of the season in what is yet another competitive division. 

In Division 3, there was an opening day win for Arrow Valley over league newboys Rubery Legends as they won 5-1. Robert Voice can’t stop scoring (a brace today) and these were added too by Jacob King, Reece Miles and the silverfox himself Nick Rumbold which to be fair, was a quality strike from outside the box. Jacob Booton who has a good goalscoring pedigree was the Legends scorer.

Cofton Old Boys first game together as a team didn’t go the way they wanted, slipping to a 3-2 loss to Stoke Prior who notched what they will freely admit is a rare victory for themselves. Stoke took the lead after 15 mins after a rebound was converted from Brad Miller’s initial save. In the second half, COB stepped up their performance and saw most of the attacking play but they were unable to convert despite chances for Thomas Hemmings and Karl Parkinson. COB then had the ball in the net from Parkinson via a corner only to see it disallowed after a linesman’s flag. Shortly after this, COB got their rewards and drew level when Parkinson netted, however the lead didn’t last long as Stoke hit COB on the break after defending a corner and were able get themselves back in front (first two goals coming from Sam Bunn and Andy Dawson). Ex Conway Albion schemer and player of the season in Division 1 last season, Joel Francis, levelled things up for COB with a great header at the far post and the game was locked at 2-2 for a while with both teams pushing hard to get the win; COB were again caught on the counter 10 mins from time and the Stoke captain Luke Parker fired past Miller to give them the points to take on the journey back up the A448/A38.

Laburnum started the season at their new ground of South Bromsgrove 3G with a heavy defeat to Chaddesley Corbett Reserves by a 6-0 scoreline. Paul Cooke in the Laburnum goal was once again inspirational, but Gaz Moriaty (2), Forde Mazkenzie, Craig Sabel, Sam Gray and Philip Bower still found a way past him to secure a comfortable away victory. And finally, Meadow Park Youth got their first adult football campaign off to a fine start with a 3-1 win over Millfield Rovers Reserves who are the old AFC Millfields. Meadow took 15 minutes to settle as the experienced and physical MRR meant business but once Meadow got a goal, they relaxed and started to play some good football. Meadow were 2-0 up (Michael Hegarty and James Clayton) until Ryan Wood pulled one back for MRR, before a late third from Oliver Rainsford sealed the points. 

So all in all a pretty calm Week 1 and if that sets the tone for the season, then there won’t be many complaints! Next week, several more teams enter the fray to show their hand for the first time this season; In the Prem, BGIS take on Millfield Rovers whilst Northfield Athletic travel to Black Horse and Winyates visit Awkies Allstars to name but a few. Looking through the fixture list, there are no stand out games because all the fixtures are now competitive and hard to call – Check back here next Sunday for all the news and gossip from BDFL Week 2!


Pilkington Sunday 2, Meadow Park 2


Alcester Town 1 (Layton), Black Horse 2 (Brain, Birch)


Thomas Brothers 3 (Hall, Whitehead, OG), Belbroughton Athletic 1


Sporting Rednal 5 (May 2, Wilkes 2, Newman), FC Highgate United 5 (Pugh 2, Martin, Murrihy, Morrison)
Quinton Athletic 2 (Crockett, Chinn), Oak Tree Sporting 5 (Steele 2, Milbourne 2, Hall)
Red Lion 5 (McNally 2, Bearcroft, Treadgold, Smith), Wychbold RBL 2 (Driscoll, Sheehan)
Rubery 2 (Mansfield, Behan), Bromsgrove Athletico 2 (Woolridge, Wright)

AFC Northfield 4 (B Dugmore 2, Rostill, Chilton), Spa Athletic 2
Callowbrook Green 1, Awkies Allstars 1 (Gibbons)
Hewell 0, Sporting Club Redditch 2 (Sill, Hodgetts)
Hizza United 2, Studley Lions 4 (Rignall 2, Briggs, Buaben)
Arrow Valley 5 (R Voice 2, Miles, King, Rumbold), Rubery Legends 1 (Booton)
Cofton Old Boys 2 (Parkinson, Francis), Stoke Prior 3 (Bunn, Dawson, Parker)
Laburnum 0, Chaddesley Corbett Reserves 6 (Moriaty 2, Mackenzie, Sabel, Gray, Bower)
Meadow Park Youth 3 (Clayton, Hegarty, Rainsford), Millfield Rovers Reserves 1 (Wood)
FC Bromsgrove 1, Redolence Park



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