Midland Football League newsletter
from Gary Hazlehurst 10th October
Premier Division Review
Walsall Wood returned to the top of the table with a hard fought 2-1 win over Tividale at Oak Park. Heather St Johns remain unbeaten and they are now in 2nd place following a 2-1 win at Coventry Sphinx.
Sporting Khalsa slip to 3rd as they were beaten 3-2 at the Aspray Arena by Romulus, Gaz Singh scoring both for the home side. Newark Flowserve missed the chance of climbing into the top three as they went down 2-0 at Walshes Meadow to Stourport Swifts. Joe Billingham and Jack Downing with the goals.
Niall Towle scored a hat-trick as 5th placed Long Eaton United won 3-1 at Worcester City. South Normanton Athletic maintained their push at the top of the table with a 2-1 win at AFC Wulfrunians. Coventry United are 7th following a 1-1 draw with Racing Club Warwick at The Butts Park Arena, former United midfielder Kevin Thornton with the equaliser for The Racers.
Boldmere St Michaels picked up their first win of the season, 3-2 at Lye Town with Kyle Byrne scoring the winner. Gresley stay rooted to the foot of the table as they were beaten 3-1 at The Moat Ground by Highgate United. In the midweek game, Heather St Johns took over top spot on Tuesday with a 2-0 win at Highgate United
Preview FA Vase
Haughmond (MFLP 19th) vs Loughborough University (UCLP 2nd) The FA Vase begins on Friday evening at Shrewsbury Sports Village with Haughmond entertaining former MFL side Loughborough University. The Scholars have taken to life in the United Counties League and sit 2nd behind Shepshed Dynamo. Haughmond are 2nd bottom of the premier Division but come into the game having beaten WMRL leaders Shifnal Town in the previous round.
Atherstone Town (MFL1 7th) vs Sandbach United (NWC1S 12th) The Adders are without a win since their previous round in the FA Vase and have seen manager Ivor Green leave in that time. Sandbach have won their two previous Vase fixtures with an aggregate of 16-0 and will prove a tough prospect. Atherstone have a fine cup pedigree and should be slight favourites going into the game.
GNP Sports (MFL1 8th) vs Malvern Town (HL1W 7th) GNP Sports have made a good start to life in Division 1 with 6 wins from 9 games. They needed penalties to get past Division 2 FC Stratford in the previous round. Malvern Town made the switch from the WMRL to the Hellenic League in the summer and have won four out of five in the league. Goals have come freely with Harry Clark in double figures for the season. Should be a titanic battle at Sphinx Drive
Gresley (MFLP 20th) vs Rugby Town (UCLP 7th) Gresley are without a win in the MFL this season and reach this round after a narrow win over Winsford United. Rugby Town will be disappointed with their current league position with a real mix and match of a season. Form clearly indicates that Rugby will start as favourites, but the Vase could be just the catalyst that Gresley need.
Heanor Town (EMC 3 rd) vs Boldmere St Michaels (MFLP 17th) Boldmere travel to former MFL side Heanor Town who are flying high in the East Midlands Counties League. Heanor have dropped just two points in the league this season and are averaging over 3 goals per game. The Mikes are unbeaten since Neil Kitching took over the managerial reins and they picked up their first league win of the season last weekend. This should be a superb cup tie.
Leicester Road (MFL1 2nd) vs Walsall Wood (MFLP 2nd) What a game this promises to be with the teams sitting in 2nd place in the top two MFL divisions. The home side have scored 28 goals in their last 6 games with Matt Langham leading the way. Walsall Wood have lost one league game only as they look to improve on last season’s runners-up position. Both sides will be confident going into the game – this could be one that goes to extra-time .
Lichfield City (MFL1 4th) vs Dudley Town (WMRLP 6th) Another good game in prospect between two sides used to playing on a 3G surface. Lichfield have found the cup competitions to their liking this season with Step 5 clubs biting the dust at The City Ground. Dudley have won their two previous FA Vase games 1-0 away from home and will be looking for a hat-trick. Lichfield will start as slight favourites, but this could be another late finish .
Newark Flowserve (MFLP 4th) vs Heather St Johns (MFLP 1st) Two MFL heavyweights go head to head at Lowfields with both making a fantastic start to life in the Premier Division following promotion last campaign. Newark beat Skegness Town 5-1 in the previous round and have found goals relatively easy to come by at home. Heather St Johns took over leadership of the MFl on Tuesday night and they remain unbeaten after 10 games. Their cup form has matched their performances in the league, and they have the meanest defence in the Premier Division. Two tight defences, two in-form sides – almost impossible to call.
Pinchbeck United (UCLP 18th) vs Worcester City (MFLP 12th) Worcester City make the long journey to Spalding to face Pinchbeck United. The home side have just one win in the league this season and come into the game on the back of a couple of heavy defeats. City have lost their last three conceding 9 goals in the process. With neither side have any form to speak of, this could go either way. The long journey maybe just the tonic that Worcester need.
Quorn (UCLP 3rd) vs Rocester (MFL1 15th) Yet another former MFL side drawn against well known opposition. Quorn are unbeaten in the league since August and have been banging in the goals in recent weeks. Stephen Hart has continued where he left off in the MFl last season with 14 goals to date. Rocester have shown improvement since Paul Wright took over a few weeks ago. Their win at Hinckley in the previous round set up this intriguing tie. Quorn will start as firm favourites but never write off the Romans.
Racing Club Warwick (MFLP 14th) vs Long Eaton United (MFLP 5th) Another all MFl tie features two premier Division sides. The Racers have made a steady start following promotion last season and have been two Step 6 sides to reach this stage. Long Eaton United have the leagues two leading scorers in Niall Towle and David Kolodynski which has gone a long way to reach their position of 5th. They come into the game with five wins from their last six competitive fixtures and they will be confident that they can progress.
Shawbury United (WMRL 11th) vs Uttoxeter Town (MFL 1st) Division 1 leaders Uttoxeter Town have exceeded all expectation at the start of the campaign. They have won their last 5 fixtures including a superb 5-2 win at promotion rivals Atherstone Town. Former MFL side Shawbury will welcome Uttoxeter to Ludlow unbeaten in their last four. They won both previous rounds 3-0 and will be a stern test however it would be a surprise if Uttoxeter did not prevail.
South Normanton Athletic (MFLP 6th) vs Holbeach United (UCLP 6th) Both teams sit in 6th place in their respective Step 5 leagues and this should be a close affair. The Shiners have continued where they left off at the end of last season when they had a long run of positive results to climb away from relegation. Richard Hanslow as led the way on the goalscoring front with 11 so far. Holbeach have won six out of their last seven scoring 30 goals in the process. Home advantage may just give South Normanton the edge.
Premier Division Preview
Coventry United welcome AFC Wulfrunians to the Butts Park Arena where a home win would see United edge closer to the top 6. 10th meets 8th at Castle Vale with Romulus entertaining Tividale. Roms had an excellent win last week and another win would see them leapfrog their opponents.
Selston slipped into the bottom three after a week of inactivity and they will be hoping to kick start their campaign when Stourport Swifts visit Parish Hall. Swifts beat highflyers Newark last weekend and a win would consolidate their place in the top 10. They will need to conquer their away day blues though, having taken only 2 points away from home so far.
MONDAY 14th OCTOBER 2019
Romulus v Sporting Khalsa
Highest Average Attendances (League games only, all Divisions)
1.Coventry United 367
2.Worcester City 297
3. Newark Flowserve 292
4.Atherstone Town 228
6.Hinckley AFC 159
7.Racing Club Warwick 151
8.Boldmere St Michaels 135
9.Coventry Sphinx 128
13.Walsall Wood 114
14.Nuneaton Griff 109
Non League Pyramid sees major re vamp
The 2019/20 season commences with many new teams in the MFL and the League extend a warm welcome and hope they enjoy their time in our competition. It has been a summer of major changes across MFL divisions with the managerial merry go round in full swing. It promises to be an exciting season with many clubs hopeful of success.
There will be significant changes in the non-league structure at the end of the coming season with new leagues at Step 5 and Step 6 reducing to 17 leagues. The Midland Football League submitted a credible application to be allocated an additional Step 5 and Step 6 division. Unfortunately, that application was unsuccessful, and the MFL will continue to run one Step 5 and one Step 6 division next season. Two of the traditional feeder leagues, West Midlands Regional League and East Midlands Counties League have lost their Step 6 status, and this implies that the make-up of the top two MFL divisions next season will be very different.
Promotion and relegation this season will again be clouded by points per game. Promotion from Step 5 favours Northern clubs with three promoted from each of the Northern league, North East Counties league and North West Counties League. The winners of the MFL Premier Division will be promoted to Step 4. This is where it gets messy. The four best placed runners up from Combined Counties League, Eastern Counties League, Essex Senior League, Hellenic League, Midland league, Southern Counties East, Spartan South Midlands, Southern Combination, United Counties League, Wessex League and Western League, on a points per game basis will be promoted to Step 4. The remaining 7 runners up will play one of the bottom Step 4 sides in a play-off to be hosted by the higher placed side.
Relegation will also depend on Points Per Game. The Clubs in the bottom place in each of the fourteen divisions at Step 5 at the end of the Regular Season will be ranked on a points per match basis (then goal difference, then goals scored if required) - the twelve lowest will be relegated and placed in the most geographically appropriate division of Step 6.
Promotion from Step 6 is much simpler. The top four clubs from all Step 6 leagues (apart from the two South West divisions which are promoting two only) will be promoted to Step 5. The bottom two clubs will be relegated to Step 7. All Step 7 Clubs seeking promotion to Step 6 must make an application using the prescribed form direct to The Association, copied to their existing League, by 31st December in the relevant year. In order to be considered for promotion Clubs must finish in 1st position in their Step 7 league.
If the Club finishing in 1st position does not wish to be promoted or fails to meet the entry criteria, then the club finishing in 2nd position will be eligible for the promotion. If the club in 2nd position does not seek promotion or fails to meet the entry criteria, then clubs down to 5th position may be considered for promotion provided that they meet the appropriate entry criteria. Clubs finishing below 5th position may not be considered for promotion and, for this season only, more than one club may be considered from each League.
Kidderminster Premier League
|Kidderminster Premier League as at 1st October|
|1||Areley Kings||5||3||1||1||8||6||10||Stourbridge Athletic||2 1||Stourport Swifts|
|2||Green Man||3||3||0||0||12||4||9||Stourport Swifts||3 5||Green Man|
|3||Stourbridge Athletic||4||3||0||1||12||9||9||Stourport Swifts||3 2||Club Inter|
|4||Wombourne Pool Bar||4||2||1||1||16||7||7||Netherton||3 4||Stourport Swifts|
|5||Namaste Tigers||3||2||1||0||10||2||7||Netherton Colts Seniors||2 2||Stourport Swifts|
|7||Pure Sport Foundation||4||2||0||2||7||10||6|
|9||Netherton Colts Seniors||4||0||2||2||5||12||2|
Midland League U21 West
Stourport Swifts Under 18’s
Midland Floodlit League Southern Division -
|Stratford Town Juniors||5||4||1||0||21||3||13|
|Kidderminster Harriers Juniors||3||2||1||0||13||1||7|
|Boldmere St Michaels||2||1||0||1||11||7||3|