Season Starts for Premier Big Guns

Bromsgrove League - Sunday 17th August 2014

Last Updated: Aug 19, 2014 11:33am
Harvington, Wychavon
By Simon Burgess
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AFC Northfield 4 (Chilton 2, Connolly 2), Thomas Brothers 4 (Burkus 2, Walker 2)
Golden Lion Athletic 2 (Partridge, Unknown), Belbroughton Athletic 3
Hare and Hounds 7 (L Dunkley 2, J Westwood, Pillinger, Redden, Skerrett, Dugmore), Alvechurch Lions 1
Meadow Park 1, Bromsgrove Unionists 4 (Carlson, Amess, Pedwell, Crowther)
Rubery Athletic 0, Victoria Barnt Green 2 (Wilkes 2)

FC Rednal 1 (Davies), Sporting Grapevine 3 (DEVANEY 3)
North Colts United 7 (MOORE 5, Teji, Gibbs), Woodgate Valley 1
Spa Athletic 4 (Owens 2, Rainbow, Reynolds), Santiago RV 2
Victoria Barnt Green Reserves 0, Studley Railway 7 (JOVANOVIC 3, Wainwright, Dunne, Reeves, Hands)

AFC Millfields 3 (McAughey, Hatfield, Craddock), Callowbrook Swifts Blue 2 (Perry, Lowe)
BGIS 2 (Martin, Hickey), Chaddesley Corbett 2 (Steward 2)
Hizza United Seconds 2 (Hancox 2), Awkies Allstars 2 (Gibbons 2)
Sporting Rednal 12 (COLLINS 4, CONNOLLY 4, Newman, Gardner-Bennett, Evans, Caveney), Golden Lion Athletic Reserves 0

Laburnum 10 (SPROSTON 5, A Seager 2, Lees, Dawson, Bryan), Coldfield 2
Stoke Prior 2, Callowbrook Swifts Green 4
Stoke Sporting Reserves 2, Arrow Valley 6 (BEECH 3, Miles, Jay Russell, Josh Russell)

Onto Week 2 then and more teams made their first starts of the season, some with more success than others but all the games got played as the sun decided to come out after last week’s rain.
In the Prem, the division’s big guns made their first starts of the season and both obtained the maximum three points. Reigning champions Victoria Barnt Green travelled to Rubery Athletic and came away with a 2-0 win. The home side were missing key players, most notably Andy Court, but gave a very good account of themselves throughout. Once the Vic had opened the scoring through a Daniel Lee Wilkes strike or Matty Talbot OG depending on who you support, the result was perhaps inevitable. Wilkes added a second early in the second half taking advantage of Mitch Wrenn tripping up and racing through to fire home a composed finish. Rubery's best chances came from Adam Neason and Rob Hurlbutt but Chris Hancox back in first team action with Chris Mole unavailable, was equal to both the efforts. Meanwhile Hare and Hounds sent out a very loud message to the Vic that they mean business this season as they thrashed Alvechurch Lions 7-1 at Studley Sports Centre, weeks after the sides drew in pre-season. Alvechurch were gracious in defeat with centre back Gareth Hodgetts admitting his side had been pulled all over the place. Six separate goalscorers for Hounds too with Lee Dunkley the pick of the scorers with a brace.
Golden Lion Athletic had another narrow defeat today, this time 3-2 at home to Belbroughton Athletic who had Will Tibbett’s penalty and strikes from Al Emery and Olly Parkes to thank. Sam Partridge scored one of the GLA goals as he rose majestically to plant a fine header in the back of the net but it wasn’t enough. There was also a high scoring game at Droitwich Leisure Centre as AFC Northfield and Thomas Brothers played out a 4-4 draw in a thrill a minute contest. AFCN were on the front foot early on and went into half time two goals to the good, thanks to returning striker Sam Chilton and Daniel Connolly who hit another ‘worldie’ from 25 yards. When Paget Rangers hitman Chilton scored again early in the second period, it looked like curtains for the Brothers but they came roaring back to level at 3-3. Connolly’s second goal of the game put AFCN back ahead, but with 6 minutes to go, another Brother’s equaliser saw the points shared (Brothers goalscorers were Burkus with 2 and Walker with 2). However the side everyone has to catch early doors though are Bromsgrove Unionists who have maximum points, 6 from 6, after a 4-1 away win against Meadow Park. Ian Carlson, Luke Pedwell (who bizarrely dedicated his goal to the League Secretary), Crowther and Amess the men on target. Bigger tests undoubtedly lie ahead for Kev Banner’s men but nothing like a bit of early season confidence amongst their ranks.
In Division 1, Sporting Grapevine got their season off to a flyer as they came from a goal down to beat FC Rednal 3-1, for whom Lee Davies had netted in the first half. FCR should perhaps have been awarded a penalty early on in the second half but the referee chose to give a free kick on the edge of the box which came to nothing. Grapevine manager Billy Fish then rang the changes and new signing Tom Devaney moved up front to respond with a virgin hat-trick to seal the points. Spa Athletic are never an easy side to play against at the best of times and their unbeaten start continues thanks to a 4-2 win over Santiago RV. Goals from Kev Owens (2) and one from Luke Rainbow and Perry Reynolds a piece did the damage. Two sides sure to be up there come May are North Colts United and Studley Railway, with both sides hitting seven goals each today.
Firstly North Colts United beat Woodgate Valley 7-1 (on their debut game in the League), Josh Moore the main man with 5 goals backed up by strikes from skilful playmaker Michael Teji and Daniel Gibbs. Jamie Sippitts hit Valley’s consolation goal but the game was marred by 3 red cards. Valley’s Brad Hendry was dismissed for a DOGSO offence before Josh Fergusson saw red after retaliating to a moment of madness from North Colts’ Aaron Westwood, who got frustrated after the ball ran away from him. Both were correctly sent for an early departure by the referee. Studley Railway meanwhile put up an impressive display as they beat Victoria Barnt Green Reserves quite comprehensively 7-0.  Studley were on top from the word go spraying the wall around champagne style with Nick Briggs, Steven Dipple and Andy Reeves all particularly influential, however we do have to mention from kick off Dipple’s completely aimless hoof which saw the ball go out for a goal kick after some 3 seconds of play! All the early pressure was down the right flank as Marco Jovanovic gave Martin Tindall a torrid time; It did not come as a surprise when they went ahead on 15 minutes through Chris Hands’ fine 20 yard drive which gave Vic legend and stand in goalie Lee ‘Lezza’ Williams no chance.  A deflection increased the lead on 22 minutes before Jovanovic poked the ball home from close range on 25 minutes for an unassailable lead. Another close range effort on 36 minutes saw the scoreline increase and Studley took a 5-0 lead into half time when Sean Trainor headed a corner goalbound and Jovanovic completed his hat-trick with a close range header, with Lezza again left helpless. Vic’s best effort of the half came near the half time whistle when they finally got the ball down and fashioned out a lovely move which saw Nick Hobbis shoot narrowly over the bar. The second half was a much closer affair all around, a case of Vic stepping up and Studley predictably dropping off the gas; Vic were having a little more joy on the counter attack with the front pairing looking quite sharp and Christian Booker probing from the midfield. However two late Studley strikes gave the scoreline an even worse look for the home side; Firstly impressive midfielder Andy Reeves smashed home a 25 yarder into the top corner before Mike Dunne rounded off the scoring on 88, as yet another effort deflected past Lezza. The game was played in a very good spirit throughout and both sides are to be credited on their application.
Into Division 2 and two more teams making their debuts in the BDFL took the field at Illey Lane, where Bartley Green Illey Sunday (BGIS) took on Chaddesley Corbett (CC), league newcomers who have joined from the Kidderminster League.  BGIS took the lead when Carl Martin went on a magnificent run to score, beating 4 defenders in the process. CC equalised just before the break when Nathan Steward latched onto a through ball from CC legend Paul Lofthouse and slotted home in style. Into the second half and with an hour gone, BGIS were stung when Steward got his second. It was left to Chris Hickey’s long range effort to grab a share of the spoils for BGIS. Both sides missed ‘sitters’ late on but on reflection both camps will be happy to get their seasons up and running with a point. BGIS manager Mark Mccleary nearly blew his top at a couple of on the field issues and was perhaps somewhat fortunate not to be sent off himself. We have also been asked to give the CC Man of the Match Sean Millette a plug for his fine defensive display. AFC Millfields bounced back from their mauling last week to secure their first win of the season, 3-2 over Callowbrook Blue who agonizingly lost by this scoreline for the second week running, again having been losing only to come back…..but concede late on. Millies went ahead when we assume Stuart Hatfield's long throw was met at the back post by former Sporting Rednal squad player Shaun McAughey who slid the ball home. Tommy Lowe had Callowbrook level (from a Dan Southam assist) at the end of a good first half where both sides tried to play football the right way; Indeed had Callowbrook’s Ash Pardoe not had a header ruled out for offside, Millies would have gone behind. Into the second half and Ben Craddock’s free kick somehow eluded the Callowbrook net minder to put Millies back ahead. Callowbrook went for the jugular and after significant pressure which had seen the woodwork rattled and Mitch Perry denied by a fine save, Callowbrook got back in the game from the spot when Matt Perry converted for his second of the season after fine work by Jack Benson had seen Perry taken out in the box. It looked like a draw was on the cards, until Wesley Connor was fouled in the box and Hatfield converted at the second attempt to secure the victory.
Meanwhile it’s also back to the training ground for the Awkies Allstars defenders as they once again conceded twice in a game having gone 2-0 up, this time it cost them a point though as Shane Hancox’s brace for Hizza United Seconds cancelled out Jason Gibbons’ two efforts as both sides shared the points at the Greenlands bowl. Early pacesetters meanwhile are Sporting Rednal who followed up last weeks 9-1 win with an even bigger victory, this time walloping Golden Lion Athletic Reserves 12-0 as their strikers went goal crazy. Slow start from Sporting Rednal though, until Michael Connelly opened the scoring with a shot from 20 yards. It was soon two after a great passage of play lead to Dan Caveney pulling the ball across goal for Connelly to back heel the ball into net. Connor Collins was in top form again linking play and he got his just deserved goal with a well taken effort before Caveney scored with a well struck volley with his weaker right foot.
No restbite for GLAR in the second half and 3 more goals came early in the second half from Lloyd Newman, Connelly for his hat-trick and then Collins again. The Ginger one, JJ Evans, scoring a well struck shot from outside box before Connelly netted again, as did Collins with two more before super-sub Anton Gardner-Bennett completed the rout. It’s fair to say next weeks derby game with now bitter rival BGIS, after BGIS made a successful early season raid for Rednal’s keeper, is going to be an extremely good match and probably very high scoring at that.
Into Division 3 and another side to start well gaining 6 points out of 6 are Arrow Valley. Big Phil Richardson took his men to Stoke Sporting Reserves, who were miffed at The Stoat’s pre-season prediction of a mid table finish and came away with a 6-2 victory. Alan Beech is a striker who is a real handful and his hat-trick was crucial, but other goals from Miles and the Russell Brothers (one each) saw Valley home by a 6-2 scoreline. Callowbrook Green, relegated from Division 2 last season, started their season well, a fine 4-2 win over Stoke Prior who haven’t got out of the blocks yet. Meanwhile one team with a point to prove and fancied to be strong promotion candidates, Laburnum, started their season with a tremendous 10-2 defeat of Coldfield who have not started so good.  Laburnum did well to cling onto Ryan Sproston in the summer and his 5 goals were pivotal in the victory as Coldfield’s backline couldn’t handle him. Add in Andy Seager (The Friendly Giant) who got two and the Transfer King, Liam Dawson, who got one and Laburnum are bound to score lots of goals this season. Further strikes from ex Coldfield player Tim Lees and Luke Bryan saw the double figures reached, whilst Matt Hale and Kyle Hindley gave Coldfield something to smile about on their journey back to Redditch. Chris Adams was first to admit Laburnum were the better side and he gave a ringing endorsement, not easy to do when your team has been thrashed.
Bank Holiday Sunday next weekend – Always produces some strange results with squads either decimated or at full strength so we’ll be back next Sunday with your report on the events of Week 3.


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