There's Still Plenty to Play For

Bromsgrove & District Football League

Last Updated: May 14, 2015 08:45pm
St. Johns, Bromsgrove
By Simon Burgess
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The highlight of this weeks programme was the WA Harris ‘FA Cup’ Final, which took place on Sunday evening between Premier Division leaders Hare and Hounds (HH) and Division 2 side Bartley Green Illey Sunday (BGIS), who went into the game chasing their 4th cup final win of the season! However it was the red hot favourites HH who finally won the £500 prize money and trophy, after a good final where they were given more than just a scare by a plucky BGIS.

The game settled down really quickly and both sides started with intent. HH’s number 9 Michael Skerrett, who would end up having the proverbial nightmare in front of goal, had the first chance on 9 minutes but he headed wide. BGIS nearly took the lead on 11 when Carl Redden’s headed backpass was fumbled around the post by Andrew Wardle. HH went straight down the other end and Skerrett’s shot (and subsequent header from the corner) both failed to find the target. BGIS’s next chance came on 24 when Stephen Mcglen thumped an ambitious shot high and wide whilst HH’s Stephen Deeley beat Aaron Collins to a ball in the BGIS goal on 26 but headed over. The best chance came on 33 though as HH carved out a great opportunity; Richard Dugmore’s shot was superbly saved but Skerrett somehow put the rebound over from 6 yards with the net gaping, whilst he missed the target again some three minutes later. On 39, HH fashioned out another good chance; Redden’s fine left wing cross saw David Glaze meet the ball on the volley but it went wide. H-T 0-0.

Into the second half and HH started to boss the game a little more having much of the possession with BGIS content to sit back and soak it up. However the deadlock finally came on 55 minutes when Glaze’s deflected effort put HH ahead. The lead lasted no more than 90 second as BGIS equalised almost straight away; A long free kick from the halfway line found itself at the feet of Marcus George and the little blonde haired veteran showed tremendous guile to turn on a sixpence and fire a brilliant left footed drive into the roof of the net, with Wardle perhaps anticipating it was going over the bar. BGIS had renowned confidence and nearly stunned HH two minutes later when Jordi Strevz, crashed a shot against the bar which agonisingly bounced down but didn’t cross the line. Shortly after though, disaster struck; A seemingly innocuous push in the box was quickly punished by Referee Amor by the award of a spot-kick (with Collins picking up a predictable booking for arguing the decision) and HH playmaker Lee Dunkley made no mistake sending Collins the wrong way to coolly slot home the kick to restore the lead; This seemed to really knock the stuffing out of BGIS who had looked anything but a Division 2 side for the preceding hour. They did fashion out a chance to equalise again on 78 minutes but key marksman Dom Strevens failed to find the target. In the dying embers of the game, HH made the game safe; a lovely cultured through ball from Andy Nicol saw the pint sized hitman Luke Dugmore run onto it and despatch a fine finish into the net for a 3-1 victory. A tremendous cup final all over, credit to both sides for their behaviour on and off the field and we are sure there are going to many more great games between the two sides over the coming years whenever they might meet. We hope Hare and Hounds enjoyed the evening and many congratulations to them on winning our ‘FA Cup’.

VBG Fairfield were also in action in the Kidderminster Hospital Junior Cup Final last night, taking on highly regarded Grange Athletic from the Kidderminster Premier. Having held their own for some 30 minutes, Grange began to take firm control and ran out worthy 3-0 winners. Although VBGF were clearly not at their best, take nothing away from a Grange side who currently seem to be the ‘daddies’ of Sunday morning football in Worcestershire having had a very successful season in the Kidderminster League. VBGF are now left to ‘go again’ with their remaining 3 league games all taking place in the next 5 days.

In BDFL league action, the few remaining games are slowly getting ticked off. Premier Division action saw third place Belbroughton Athletic take on Thomas Brothers but lost the match 3-0, with Chris Innes struggling to field a strong side after his players took a day out at Ascot Races on Saturday! The win was the Brothers 7th of the Premier campaign and they’ve had a fine debutant season in the top flight. Outgoing club secretary Matt Hartles was on the scoresheet with a very rare goal, a ‘can’t miss chance from 6 yards’, as was the more prolific Richard Tyler with a brace. Alvechurch Lions took on Rubery Athletic ‘down the rec’ and the sides finished locked with a point apiece after a 2-2 draw. Rubery will probably be disappointed with their 6th place finish but they’ve just not been consistent in the crucial games and threw two more points away today, having led through dynamic duo Lee Davies and Andy Court, with Davies’s finish particularly impressive.            

In Division 1, Sporting Grapevine ended their dream campaign with a home game against Studley Railway and despite drawing names out of the hat for positions, they still beat a decent looking Railway side 6-1, despite Railway having 28 shots to Grapevine’s 12. Lee Jagger and Richard Lynch opened the scoring for Grapes in the first half, both would go onto get second half doubles, with James Gasson and Mikey Wyatt also netting. Matthew Rowland netted for Railway when they were 3-1 down and strikers Laan David and Marc Jovanovic had a very bad day in front of goal! Grapes have won Division 1 by an astonishing 14 points, something they could never have imagined at the start of the season and whatever happens next year in the Prem, they’ll look back on this season with a lot of pride. For now, Milbourne and Righton will undoubtedly be looking to strengthen their squad for the challenges ahead.

Division 2 is still wide open with some big games to play; Bromsgrove United are involved in a lot of them but their title hopes were significantly dashed when they lost 4-3 at home to Awkies Allstars, who are finishing the season with a flourish and will be kicking themselves for all their mid-season inconsistency. Ash Tullett got another hat-trick, following on from last weeks, with Mike Ryan getting the other. Awkies are another team that have the BGIS hoo-doo over them but they’ll be looking to put that right when they visit Illey Lane a week on Wednesday but before that, they have their presentation evening this Saturday. Title chasers Chaddesley Corbett were not in league action instead playing a friendly against Spa Athletic from Division 1 where the outcome was a 1-1 draw; Alex Dugmore on the mark with unconfirmed rumours that Callowbrook Blues’s Luke Bowles is one of several players having a trial at the club as Chadds aim to make a bigger splash next season

The Division 3 sides are finished for the season but Stoke Prior like to go on as long as possible; They had a friendly with a Golden Lion Athletic Select XI but lost 3-2. Between the two teams, 41 players turned up and both managers will be scratching their head why such commitment was not matched during the season!

In closing, we wish Sporting Rednal the very best of luck in their Tuesday night cup final in the Kidderminster Hospital Cup (7pm kick off at Aggborough v Kidderminster Division 4 outfit Wilden San Marino), this after they finally beat BGIS in last weeks semi-final by a 3-1 scoreline in a game which appeared to be one game too many for BGIS. We also have the VBGF games this midweek (two of them) and a few more odds/ends on Sunday too, please check our websites for specific game details but there is still plenty to play for across the BDFL leagues and plenty of games you can get too and see some local football!