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BDFL Mid Season Review

Bromsgrove & District Football League

Last Updated: Jan 1, 2016 10:15pm
Abbey, Redditch
By Simon Burgess
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In a special ‘Festive’ edition of the Sunday Report in the absence of any matches, we take a quick look at how the season is progressing for clubs across the four divisions in a mini mid-season review.

 

In the Premier Division, it’s way too early to be making any conclusions as to whom may lift the prestigious trophy at season end. Thomas Brothers form has been good in the League, not so good elsewhere and they are currently 7 from 7 plus being out of all the internal cup competitions means a fixture pile up is unlikely; Points in the bag is always a good thing but VBG Fairfield will come hard during March and April as they always do, plus we must not rule out WCT Youth Raiders who still have 13 league games to play and remain an unknown footballing quantity. Alcester Town have settled well into the Premier Division but may just fall short having played 9 games and already losing 3 with the Brothers having done the double over them. Rubery Athletic, Belbroughton Athletic and Oak Tree Sporting meanwhile appear to be destined for mid-table finishes; Rubery have recovered well from a terrible start not aided by a difficult fixture list, OTS have done ok with the step up in standard whilst Belb have blown hot/cold with a changing squad. At the bottom, The Grove and Lickey End Social have found this tough going so far and it is hoped both these sides can successfully see out the season and enjoy their football; The sides do however meet next Sunday so perhaps a draw would be the best result in respect of picking up something rather than being marooned on zero points.

 

In Division 1, the early signs are that there is a three-way battle for the title developing namely Northfield Athletic, Bartley Green Sunday and Chaddesley Corbett. Northfield remain unbeaten in the League and have strong firepower in their squad but Bartley Green Sunday can probably match, if not better that, however with a potential 30 games to play in 5 months (as a result of being involved in six cups), will BGS have the energy? It is certainly something they are used to dealing with having been through a similar situation last season. Northfield have already inflicted defeat on Bartley and the rematch at Illey Lane will certainly be an interesting must-watch contest. Chaddesley Corbett have picked up after a slow start and their experienced old heads rival any other team and now they have Ted Bayliss and Alex Dugmore firing goals in to complement Nathan Steward up front, they should not be under-estimated along with no fixture congestion worries. Conway Albion have got a good squad of players but are seemingly lacking a bit of consistency and 3 defeats already is far from ideal and they have some suspensions in January which may hamper them. Wychbold RBL, expected to make a big splash this season, have flattered to deceive to date and 5 defeats from 6 games sees them languishing near the foot of the table but definitely in a false position all things relative; Better is expected from Alex Riordan’s team as the season progresses. The rest of the division, with perhaps the exception of AFC Northfield who remain wildly inconsistent and struggling to stop goals being conceded at a fast rate per game, seem on a par with each other and all capable of beating each other. These clubs should all be mid-table come the end of the season in what is a good standard of football this year.

 

In Division 2, Meadow Park and Rednal Social Club have been the most impressive sides this season and their head to head record of one win each has to be broken when the sides meet in the Quarter-Finals of the County Cup at the end of January. Meadow Park are packed with experience and organization, the likes of Craig Barnett, Rob Southwell and Chris Glover enjoying the drop to Division 2 football, whilst the youthful exuberance of Ben Markall and Jamie Ashmore to name two, is helping Rednal produce a high tempo brand of football which most have struggled against so far. LPR and Hizza United have had solid starts to the season but both sides are capable of throwing in poor performances but they should finish in the upper echelons of the table. What Woodgate Valley will produce on any given day, if they turn up, is impossible to predict but on their day, they have the players to ruffle some feathers Josh Fergusson being a real handful up top. Hewell are where you expect them to be in the middle of the table, whilst Chaps United and Awkies Allstars would expect to be slightly higher in the table, although their positions currently may not be properly reflected due to playing slightly less league games. Bromsgrove Brentnal have found the step up to be within their capabilities and a lower to mid table position, as they are now, will probably be acceptable come the end of the season. Rubery Juniors are a young side and although they are ninth in the table, they have impressed with their attitude and performances to date and there is more to come from them in the second half of the season especially tricky winger Martin Hollinshead. Sporting Club Redditch are likely to be a little bit higher in the table in due course, they seem to have settled down finally after a shaky start and the return of Shaun Maynard has helped, whilst the going is tough for Bridgefield who remain pointless in a second successive season where the division has been much stronger than anticipated. 

 

In Division 3, the positions of Rubery and Callowbrook Green FC have been affected by points deductions for rule breaches but the outstanding team to date have been Rubery who have won 8 from 8 and clearly a step ahead of the rest on the field. Callowbrook are not far behind them though, Jimmy Ward playing at this level is certainly a coup for them, whilst under-estimation of Chaddesley Corbett Reserves should not take place especially with an experienced manager at the helm and a pack of hungry youngsters; They should continue to perform well. At the bottom of the table, Laburnum’s seeming implosion to become whipping boys is difficult to understand as they have always put together a competitive squad whilst Stoke Prior continue to flatter to deceive despite having made some solid signings in pre-season. FC Bromsgrove and Bromsgrove Corinthians mid-term report is that of a Grade C, both doing ‘ok’ and probably similar comments apply to the other three teams not mentioned; Someone will undoubtedly kick on and improve further but who that is can not easily be predicted.

 

In the cup competitions, a new first-time finalist is guaranteed as we wait for better weather to play the Bridgwater Cup semi-finals between Chaps United/Hizza United and Meadow Park/Callowbrook Green, whilst in the LMS Shield, it’s still all to play for in one of the groups, but the purists will be hoping the cards fall so that VBG Fairfield face Bartley Green Sunday in the final (Bartley could still exit in the group stages though), VBGF of course are chasing a fifth successive defence of this cup which will be an astonishing record if achieved. Lots of water to go under the bridge before that though, Northfield Athletic and Alcester Town for starters will not lie down in their semi-finals and both are perfectly capable of winning their semis and winning the final. The individual divisional cups are a way off being decided, only one finalist is confirmed that being Belbroughton in the Premier Cup, whilst in the WA Harris Cup, there is also lots to play for with the games spread out between the Prelim Round and Quarter-Final – Thankfully this final is not until May 8th so plenty of time to put the jigsaw puzzle together with pieces scattered all over to date!

 

The BDFL hopes that all our readers have had a very merry xmas and that 2016 is a successful one for you and your club whoever you are associated with. We are due to start matches again next Sunday but with yet another indifferent weekly forecast, it will be touch and go as to what games get played next Sunday – Either way, please keep clicking back here on a Sunday evening to find out what happened.

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