Stone Dominoes 1 Congleton Town 3

Thursday 31st March 2011
Stone Dominoes 1 Congleton Town 3
Vodkat League Premier Division
At M-Way Stadium, Springbank Park, Yarnfield
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Admission: £5; Programme: £1 (40 pages)
Weather: mild, dry
Attendance: 107
Duration: first-half: 46:16; second-half: 47:38

‘Dominoes toppled by Congleton’ could be an appropriate headline after the visitors came from behind to take the points back to south Cheshire. Stone took an early 14th-minute lead through Ryan Connor and held it until the Bears equalised just before the half-hour mark from a Danny Griggs penalty. Twice quickfire goals from Andy Hurst early in the second half (48th and 54th minutes) put Congleton in the driving seat and they perhaps could have won by a greater margin. The Congleton side in the programme included ex-Stafford midfielder Robert Heath but he didn’t feature nor did Kevin Street who has just signed for Stone. This was my fourth visit to the ground and also at the game was Martin? from Middlewich.

Stone Dominoes (red/black/black): 1. Adam Livesy, 2. Adam Edwards, 3. Matthew Lowndes, 4. Ryan Connor, 5. Matthew Bradbury, 6. Glenn Ray (capt), 7. Andy Matthews, 8. Mark Hodson, 9. Leon Ashman, 10. Simon Eldershaw, 11. Omar Mahmood. Subs: 12. Barry Weston (not used), 14. Michael Marren (for Matthews, 66), 15. Luke Robinson (not used), 16. Jake Sherratt (for Eldershaw, 76), 18. Adam Soane (for Lowndes, 66).

Congleton Town (yellow/yellow/yellow): 1. Matt Conkie, 2. Jamie Skellern, 3. Elliot Ledwards, 4. Jack Watson, 5. David Harper, 6. Simon Robinson, 7. Shane Reaney, 8. Richard Bailey, 9. Andy Hurst, 10. Carl McCurrie, 11. Danny Griggs. Subs: 12. Mark Beeston (not used), 14. Joshua Bailey (for McCurrie, 77), 15. Richard Booth (for Reaney, 77), 16. Darren Twigg (for Hurst, 82).

Referee: J. Hill
Assistants: M. Barlow and R. Crawford.

1-0 Ryan Connor (14)
1-1 Danny Griggs (28 pen)
1-2 Andy Hurst (48)
1-3 Andy Hurst (54)

Stone: Matthew Bradbury (YC, 59)
Congleton: Simon Robinson (YC, 60)

South Normanton Athletic 6 FC 05 Bilsthorpe 1

Saturday 26th March 2011)
South Normanton Athletic 6 FC 05 Bilsthorpe 1
Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League Black Dragon Premier Division
At: Exchem Arena, Lees Lane
Kick-off: 8-00 pm
Admission: hop ticket or £3; Programme: £1 (12 pages)
Weather: cloudy, dry, cold, no wind!
Attendance: 223
Duration: first-half: 46:03; second-half: 45:37

After dropping Mike off at Chesterfield Station, I didn’t make up my mind to watch the fourth and last game until reaching M1 junction 28, a few miles from the Exchem Arena. In the end it was a pleasure to complete a rare ‘four games in a day’ with a revisit to a ground previously visited back on Easter Monday 1995. Bottom club FC05 played a lot better than a side that had won just five points all season and South Normanton, the leaders and probable Champions, led at the interval by just a solitary goal. The floodgates, however, opened during the second half with Adam Nicholls bagging a hat-trick. Ex-Stafford striker Andy White featured for the home side but didn’t get on the scoresheet. Before heading home, it was nice to have a chat with Hazel and Rob after the game and let us hope there will be another Bonanza to look forward to in 2012.

South Normanton Athletic (blue and black stripes / white / black): 1. James Baker, 2. Rich Blakemore, 3. Adam Taylor, 4. Ash Downer, 5. Dan Henshaw, 6. Dan Riley, 7. Tom Yates, 8. Jay Beecher, 9. Andy Nicholls (capt), 10. Andy White, 11. Ben Summers. Subs: 12. Dan Storer (White, 64), 14. Dean Owen (for Blakemore, 67).

FC05 Bilsthorpe (red and black stripes / black / red): 1. Dan Wilner, 2. Ken Corbett, 3. Andy Slater, 4. Rich Philpott, 5. Luke Brown, 6. Mick Knight (capt), 7. Gary Whitten, 8. Tom Bray, 33. Wes O’Rourke, 10. Sam Bailey, 11. Chris Groom. Subs: 12. Rob Bowler (for Corbett, ht), 14. Dan Morley (for Groom, 87), 15. Craig Speed (for Bray, 87).

Referee: Scott Mason.
Assistants: Adrian Crestwick and Adam Else.

1-0 Dan Riley (37)
2-0 Ash Downer (65)
2-1 Mick Knight (71)
3-1 Andy Nicholls (73)
4-1 Dan Storer (75)
5-1 Andy Nicholls (86)
6-1 Andy Nicholls (88)

South Normanton: none
FC05: none

Parkhouse 5 Sutton Town 0

Saturday 26th March 2011
Parkhouse 5 Sutton Town 0
Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League Buckingham Insurance Supreme Division
At: Holmgate, Clay Cross
Kick-off: 5-00 pm
Admission: hop ticket or £3; Programme: £1 (20 pages); Teamsheet: 30p
Weather: cloudy, dry, cold wind
Attendance: 246
Duration: first-half: 45:55; second-half: 42:52

Parkhouse are based on the western side of Clay Cross, some 40 minutes or 18 miles from Edwinstowe. This match, the third of today’s four Bonanza fixtures, pitted mid-table Parkhouse against third-bottom Sutton and it went true to form with the home side hitting five unanswered goals. With no lights at Parkhouse, the gloom made it impossible to finish a full game so the referee was forced to ‘abandon’ the game in the 88th minute with the result standing.

Parkhouse (sky blue / sky blue / sky blue): 1. Jason Gough, 2. Stefan Holland, 3. Ryan Booker, 4. Matthew Rhodes, 5. Chris Sharman (capt), 6. Matthew Shaw, 7. Mark Houghton, 8. John Parsons, 9. Gary Morton, 10. Dave Chambers, 11. Scott Butterworth. Subs: 12. Ashley Barber (not used), 14. Peter Maxey (for Holland, ht), 15. Joe Stone (for Parsons, 69).

Sutton Town (claret / sky blue / claret): 1. Danny Hatfield, 2. Reece Phelan, 3. Cory Hardy, 4. Ross Marriott, 5. Kenny Rhode-Andrews, 6. Josh Spencer, 7. Paul Ireson, 8. Pavinder Singh, 9. Matt Spencer, 10. Danny Prince, 11. Andy Bingley (capt). Subs: 12. Scott Fisher (for Spencer, 76), 14. Brady Wood (not used), 15. Gareth Vardy (not used).

Referee: Rob Rees (Chesterfield).
Assistants: Ian Laverick (Chesterfield) and Andy Bills (Mansfield).

1-0 Scott Butterworth (27)
2-0 John Parsons (44)
3-0 Matthew Shaw (48)
4-0 Ross Marriott (60 og)
5-0 Gary Morton (78)

Parkhouse: none
Sutton: none

Thoresby CW 1 AFC Hucknall 1

Saturday 26th March 2011
Thoresby CW 1 AFC Hucknall 1
Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League Black Dragon Premier Division
At: Thoresby Colliery Welfare Sports Ground, Edwinstowe
Kick-off: 1-40 pm
Admission: hop ticket or £3; Programme: £1 (20 pages); Teamsheet: 30p
Weather: cloudy, dry, cold wind
Attendance: 189
Duration: first-half: 47:24; second-half: 48:58

With Mike Greaves expertly navigating, we made the 24 mile journey via Worksop in 45 minutes to the second Bonanza match. Thoresby are based in the heart of Sherwood Forest at Edwinstowe. With a bitingly cold win persisting, the sides shared the points in a game with few clear-cut scoring opportunities. The goals came at either end of the game with Thoresby taking the lead in the 3rd minute and Hucknall grabbed a point with a 90th-minute equaliser.

Thoresby CW (blue/blue/blue): 1. Simon Smith, 2. Stuart Green (capt), 3. Joel Shaw, 4. Jamie Tryner, 5. John Garnham, 6. Brandon Shaw, 7. Matt Worthington, 8. Ross Thorndyke, 9. Gavin Kine, 10. Josh Brentnall, 11. Aaron Wallis. Subs: 12. Chris Dyson (for Shaw, 81), 14. James Scothern (for Brentnall, 86), 15. Lewis Bingham (for Wallis, 75).

AFC Hucknall (yellow/black/yellow): 1. Jack Harvey, 2. Roberto Labbate, 3. Tom Crisp, 4. AmttFalconer, 5. Josh Henry, 6. Joel Goodacre (capt), 7. Joshua Crookes, 8. Sam Sims, 9. Ben Waplington, 10. Matthew Isamene, 11. Matt Wilko. 12. Richard Fletcher (for Wilko, 72), 14. Anthony Gayle (not used), 15. Felix Hogg (for Crookes, 56).

Referee: Damien Cotterill.
Assistants: Graham Taylor and James Robinson.

1-0 Gavin Kine (2)
1-1 Joel Goodacre (90)

Thoresby: Stuart Green (YC, 85)
AFC Hucknall: none

Phoenix FC 0 Kiveton Park 0

Saturday 26th March 2011
Phoenix FC 0 Kiveton Park 0
Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League Black Dragon Premier Division
At: Phoenix Sports and Social Club, Pavilion Lane, Brinsworth
Kick-off: 10-15 am
Admission: hop ticket or £3; Programme: £1 (24 pages)
Weather: cloudy, dry, cold wind
Attendance: 227
Duration: first-half: 47:39; second-half: 49:29

An early start (out of the house just after 8am) to make sure I got to the outskirts of Rotherham in time for the first leg of today’s four-match Central Midlands League Bonanza, a 10-15am kick-off in the Premier Division at Phoenix FC. The annual event – this year it is the eighth – got underway last night when Kinsley Boys narrowly defeated Harworth CI 1-0 in the Supreme Division. As planned, my travelling companion for the first three games, Mike Greaves, met me at the ground after catching the train from Birmingham and walking from Meadowhall. In a bitterly cold wind, neither side found the net and visitors Kiveton Park finished with ten men after Daniel McPherson was shown a second yellow card.

Phoenix FC (blue and maroon stripes / blue / blue): 1. Matt Herschell-Smith, 2. Liam O’Brien (capt), 3. Carl McNally, 4. Chris Lund, 5. Reece Wesley, 6. Steve Spence, 7. Aaron Cross, 8. Tom Colclough, 9. Liam Colclough, 10. Ryan Moorcroft, 11. Carl Garlick. Subs: 14. Simon Cookson (for Liam Colclough, 42), 15. Lee Dexter (for Sepnce, 74), 16. Andy Garlick (for Tom Colclough, 62).

Kiveton Park (red/red/red): 1. Jonathan Parker, 2. Matthew Preece, 3. Jake Lee, 4. Daniel McPherson, 5. Daniel Harrison, 6. Jamie Taylor (capt), 7. Matthew Thompson, 8. Lee Brooks, 9. Carl Longmore, 10. Robert Gorman, 11. Jordan Cocks. Subs: 12. Shane White (for Cocks, 87), 14. Liam Hopkinson (not used), 15. Tom Perrie (not used).

Referee: Roger Evans (Dronfield)
Assistants: Gareth Moffitt (Retford) and Danielle Miller (Retford)


Phoenix: none
Kiveton Park: Daniel McPherson (YC, 64), Lee Brooks (YC, 66), Daniel McPherson (YC/RC, 74)

Riverway 2 Penkridge Town 3

Saturday 19th March 2011
Riverway 2 Penkridge Town 3
West Midlands (Regional) League Division 2
At: Beaconside Sports Centre
Kick-off: 2-30 pm
Admission: none; Programme: none
Weather: sunny
Attendance: 10 (headcount)
Duration: first-half: 45:34; second-half: 45:38

On my first visit to the ground, Penkridge captain Steve Thompson scored in the 26th and 59th minute and his side looked to be heading for a comfortable victory in this local derby. Riverway, however, pulled a goal back in the 78th minute through a 25-yard shot from Thomas Duffy that flew into the top-left corner. Penkridge quickly restored their two-goal lead from a deflected Tom Williams free-kick, only for substitute Ben Smith to score again for Riverway and they almost equalised in stoppage time. The last 15 minutes made up for a largely disappointing opening 75 minutes and I enjoyed the company of Bob Powell who had travelled up from London to see the game. After dropping off Bob nearer to the station, I saw the last 23 minutes at Stafford Town. Gornal were leading 1-0 when I arrived and that was the final score.

After playing for several seasons outside Stafford Borough at Long Lane in Essington (also used by Wyrley Juniors), Riverway FC returned ‘home’ last summer to play homes games at Staffordshire University’s Beaconside Sports Centre. The move bought to an end an eight-year spell in the West Midlands League’s second tier because ground regulations meant the club had to drop down a division to Division 2.

For those unfamiliar with Stafford, Beaconside Sports Centre is located on the eastern outskirts of the town on the A518 to Uttoxeter. Travelling away from the town centre the entrance is 100 yards on the right (before the pedestrian crossing) past the Beaconside roundabout.

Spare a thought for Riverway. Four weeks ago they produced a record-breaking performance to record a 16-0 home win over Warstone Wanderers Reserves, only to see the result expunged from the table after the beaten side resigned from the league.

Riverway (red/red/red): 1. Ashley Lunn, 2. Paul Hawkins, 3. Matt Rhodes, 4. Matt Bickley, 5. Chris Hall, 6. Dave Wilcock, 7. Ben Jones, 8. Paul Whatmough, 9. Thomas Duffy (capt), 10. Chris Owen, 11. Dave Ablewhite. Subs: 12. Ben Smith (for Whatmough, h/t), 14. Jake Robinson (for Hawkins, 71), 15. Dave Cleaver (not used), 16. Steve McCabe (for Rhodes, 77), 17. Andrew Kirkbride (not used). Mgr: Jake Robinson.

Penkridge Town (yellow and blue halves / yellow / yellow): 1. Josh Griffin, 2. Tom Ranford, 3. Tom Williams, 4. Richard Reeves, 5. Matt Forsyth, 6. Luke Andrews, 7. John Codnor, 8. Richard Trow, 9. Tom Kent, 10. Steve Thompson (capt), 11. Jack Lees. Subs: 12. Rob Haynes (not used), 14. Alex Dodds (for Lees, ht), 15. Andy Taylor (not used). Mgr: Nigel Lester.

0-1 Steve Thompson (26)
0-2 Steve Thompson (59)
1-2 Thomas Duffy (78)
1-3 Tom Williams (84)
2-3 Ben Smith (85)

Stafford Town 1 AFC Wulfrunians 2

Tuesday 15th March 2011
Stafford Town 1 AFC Wulfrunians 2
West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division
At: Evans Park
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Admission: £4; Programme: £1 (28 pages)
Weather: mild, dry
Attendance: 60 (headcount)
Duration: first-half: 47:51; second-half: 50:12

League leaders and likely champions AFC Wulfrunians came from behind to deny Town a deserved point with a very late winner. After the visitors had missed a penalty, Town took the lead in stoppage time with the referee restarting the game for just one second before blowing the half-time whistle. AFC Wulfs got back on level terms just after the hour mark and scored their cruel late winner. An enjoyable evening which attracted a host of groundhoppers and Stafford Rangers fans, and I watched the game in the company of Paul Sparrow from Horley in Sussex.

Stafford Town (red/red/red): 1. Matt Cotterill, 2. Matt Dockerty, 3. Oliver Parker, 4. Josh Anderson, 5. Justin Worthington, 6. Jack Lee, 7. Craig Holland, 8. Dave Woodvine (capt), 9. Paul McMahon, 10. Gary Bearesley, 11. Liam McKinney. Subs: 12. Tom Hiatt (for Dockerty, 79), 14. Phil Ellerby (not used), 15. Andrew Heal (not used), 16. Tom Poole (not used).

AFC Wulfrunians (yellow and black halves / black / black): 1. Danny Tipton (capt), 2. Antony Collins, 3. Timothy Jackson, 4. Mark Tipton, 5. Graham Ashton, 6. Joseph Williams, 7. Mensah Kinch, 8. Robin Sheffield, 9. Mark Swann, 10. Antony Cox, 11. Nathaniel Lawson. Subs: 12. Thomas Southern (not used), 14. Michael Eagles (for Swann, 90), 15. Danny Crudginton (for Lawson, 60), 16. James Skedgel (not used), 17. Richard Anslow (for Cox, 76).

Referee: Phil Reade.
Assistants: G. Barrow and J. Kerrigan.

1-0 Gary Bearesley (45+3)
1-1 Mensah Kinch (65)
1-2 Richard Anslow (87)

Stafford: none
AFC Wulfrunians: Timothy Jackson (YC, 21)

Brocton 1 Pelsall Villa 2

Saturday 12th March 2011
Brocton 1 Pelsall Villa 2
Midland Combination Premier Division
At: Old Police Sports Ground
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: £4; Programme: £1 (32 pages)
Mileage: 6.8 miles
Weather: cloudy, showers
Attendance: 43
Duration: first-half: 45:00 second-half: 50:12

After three midweek trips, at last a first Saturday afternoon visit to Brocton’s Old Police Sports Ground I far as my records are concerned through I did ‘watch’ a game between Staffs Police and Bilston Town sometime during the mid-1970s. Second-from-bottom Pelsall took a first-half lead from the penalty spot and doubled it with a spectacular dipping 50-yard shot hit from out on the right by Dan Hall. Richard Jones pulled a goal back for the Badgers, who could find an equaliser with leading scorer Gary Fife hitting the woodwork. With just a 3.6 mile round trip from home to ground, I’ve normally walked to the ground though tied legs from last night’s nine mile training run left me needing to use the car for once.

Brocton (green/white/green): 1. Adam Whitehouse, 2. Richard Jones, 3. Aaron Gough, 4. Michael Hathaway, 5. Dan Lomas, 6. Matt Skinner (capt), 7. Jim Mulherin, 8. Jon Wylde, 9. Andy Chandler, 10. Alex Barnfather, 11. Jamie Evans. Subs: 12. Dan Richardson (for Hathaway, 47), 14. Gary Fife (for Mulherin, 71), 15. Rob Winstanley (for Barnfather, 83), 16. Jack Hall (not used), 17. Richard Miller (not used).

Pelsall Villa (red and black stripes / black / black): 1. Chris Collins, 2. Dan Hall, 3. John Littler, 4. Harry Phillips, 5. Aaron Simpson, 6. Craig Timmins, 7. Scott Chapman, 8. Andy Bentley (capt), 9. Mark Holdcroft, 10. Mitchel Green, 11. Keith Grimley. Subs: 12. Ryan Wilkins (for Green, 68), 14. Hamilton Nunda (for Holdcroft, 81), 15. Jason Wright (not used), 16. Jon Vickers (not used).

Referee: Trevor Sharratt.
Assistants: Paul Lindsay and Phil Lindsay.

0-1 Andy Bentley (28)
0-2 Dan Hall (55)
1-2 Richard Jones (61)

Brocton: none
Pelsall: Scott Chapman (YC, 22), Andy Bentley (YC, 73), Aaron Simpson (YC, 80)

Stafford Rangers 0 Boston United 4

Tuesday 8th March 2011
Stafford Rangers 0 Boston United 4
Blue Square Bet North
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Admission: press pass; Programme: £2 (44 pages from original date)
Mileage: 8.2 miles
Weather: cold, dry
Attendance: 260
Duration: first-half: 49:35 second-half: 47:34

First game for six days after family had to come before football on Saturday, though the game I missed was Stafford 0 Hyde 5! Fans voted with their feet and on a cold evening just 260 fans turned up at Marston Road (around 80 following the visitors), the lowest home league crowd for 45 years. Stafford Rangers proved no match for promotion-chasing Boston United who eased to a 4-0 victory with all the goals coming before half-time. The Pilgrims took the lead after just 33 seconds, added a second goal in the 28th minute, a third in the 31st minute and completing the scoring courtesy of a 41th-minute Jermaine Johnson own goal. Rangers rarely tested Boston keeper Dan Haystead though he did produce an excellent second-half save to deny Niall Maguire – one of only three efforts on target for the men in black and white. First-half injuries sustained by Craig McAughtrie and Levi Reid didn’t help Stafford’s cause.

Stafford Rangers (black and white stripes / black / black): 1. Lee Evans, 2. Martyn Naylor, 3. Mark Dudley, 4. Jermaine Johnson, 5. Craig McAughtrie, 6. Levi Reid, 7. Danny Edwards, 8. Niall Maguire, 9. Ben Mills, 10. Luke Keen, 11. Fabrice Kasiama. Subs: 12. Shane Benjamin (for Reid, 27), 14. Tom Moss (for McAughtrie, 34), 15. Craig Reid (not used), 16. Marco Adaggio (for Edwards, 75), 17gk. Tom Turner (not used).

Boston United (amber/amber/amber): 1. Dan Haystead, 2. James Cullingworth, 3. Gareth Jelleyman, 4. Anthony Church, 5. Shaun Pearson, 6. Kevin Austin, 7. Ryan Semple (15 Jamie Yates 61m), 8. Danny Sleath, 9. Adam Boyes, 10. Miles Hunter, 11. Jamie Green. Subs: 12. Darren Williams (not used), 14. Grant Darley (for Church, 68), 15. Jamie Yates (for Semple, 62), 16. Marc Newsham (not used), 17. Spencer Weir-Daley (for Hunter, 72).

Referee: Phillip Dermott
Assistants: Martin Howe (Altrincham) and Thomas Light (Knutsford).

0-1 Jamie Green (1)
0-2 Anthony Church (28)
0-3 Miles Hunter (31)
0-4 Jermaine Johnson (41 og)

Stafford: Craig McAughtrie (YC, 27), Luke Keen (YC, 49)
Boston: none

Eccleshall 0 Wigan Robin Park 1

Wednesday 2nd March 2011
Eccleshall 0 Wigan Robin Park 1
Vodkat League Division 1
At: Pershall Park
Kick-off: 8-00 pm
Admission: £4; Programme: £1 (32 pages)
Weather: very cold, dry
Attendance: 54
Duration: first-half: 47:42; second-half: 48:44

Newly-appointed manager Peter Hall took charge of Eccleshall for the first time but his side were narrowly unable to give him a winning start against 10-man Wigan Robin Park. The visitors, who had defender Chris Williams sent off just before half-time, scored the only goal of the game early in the second half through Chris McNally and held onto their lead until the final whistle. This was my fourth visit to Pershall Park, the first in 1987 and the second and third both in 2008.

I never realised how cold it was until I parked up in the rear car park at Pershall Park and noticed the car thermometer was registering –0.5°C. And the evening got a whole lot colder and by the time the final whistle was blown around 9-45 pm, the pitch had a white crust and temperatures had fallen to around –2.0°C. I suppose we should be thankful the game was on, especially from Eccleshall’s point of view with all the postponements they’ve suffered this season.

Eccleshall (blue and black stripes / black / black): 1. Matthew Holmes, 2. Curt Evans, 3. Liam McKinney, 4. Jack Warren, 5. Alex Hutchinson (capt), 6. Danny Hughes, 7. Adam Jones, 8. Liam Kerrigan, 9. Richard Leech, 10. Mark Hall, 11. Angelo Enrico. Subs: 12. Daniel Counter (for Jones, 75), 14. Jamie Frost (not used), 15. Stephen Forrest (not used), 16. Rob Adlington (not used), 17. Oliver Wright (not used).

Wigan Robin Park (yellow/green/yellow): 1. Jay Foulds (capt), 2. Stephen Wallace, 3. Mike Wood, 4. Lee Compton, 5. Chris Williams, 6. Jon Corcoran, 7. Dean Callaway, 8. Andy Nefcy, 9. Paul Vermiglio, 10. Steven Williams, 11. Chris McNally. Subs: 12. Steve Edwards (for Vermiglio, 70), 14. Matt Mason (for McNally, 74), 15. Bradley Greenhough (for Callaway, 86).

Referee: L. Sinclair (Stoke-on-Trent).
Assistants: N. Handley and T. Cook (both Stoke-on-Trent).

0-1 Chris McNally (52)

Eccleshall: Alex Hutchinson (YC, 18), Mark Hall (YC, 44), Liam McKinney (YC, 69)
Wigan Robin Park: Stephen Wallace (YC, 22), Chris Williams (RC, 42), Steven Williams (YC, 44), Andy Nefcy (YC, 65)