Wednesday, 31 August 2016


I have travelled to the Coles Lane home of Sutton Coldfield Town, where their tenants, Romulus FC are in league action against the visitors Newcastle Town on this Bank Holiday monday. The weather is fine and pleasant without being too hot at 20 degrees C.

Both teams are unbeaten so far in the new season, with Newcastle in 3rd place and Romulus in 4th.

Romulus started off as a boys team in 1979, when the current club President, Roger Evans, along with other parents established an Under 12 and an Under 13's team, met with instant success and then later evolved in to a Sunday League team again finding instant success. After several seasons of continued progress, the club joined the Pyramid system of Saturday football and have steadily climbed up to their present level whilst maintaining a successful youth policy. Some of their products have been Darius Vassell (Aston Villa & England),  Stefan & Luke Moore (Aston Villa) and recently Marvin Johnson (Kidderminster & Motherwell). Pretty impressive!

Newcastle Town are also a recently formed club (1986) after a merger with the Parkway Clayton side and have also steadily progressed up the Pyramid system.

Romulus troop out on to the pitch in their usual red & white stripes and Newcastle in all blue.

I have noticed in the programme that Charisma Agbonlahor, a relation of the Villa's Gabi is playing for Romulus, having been signed from nearby Boldmere St.Michaels and in the 8th minute he almost sets up a goal for their No.10 but the ball is played in just too far in front of him.

                   ( Romulus fire in a shot on the Newcastle Town goal)

After 12 minutes, Romulus are awarded a penalty after a Newcastle player handles in the penalty area. Unfortunately, the Romulus captain and No.3 steps up and places the kick against the bar and out. I wonder if the home team are going to rue that miss? 

Eight minutes later though, Romulus play in a long ball and the resultant back pass is intercepted by Agbonlahor who bundles the ball home after robbing the Newcastle keeper.

                      (No.6 Charisma Agbonlahor is congratulated after his goal)

Their lead is short lived as a Newcastle attack down the left sees Jake Lovatt played in from a neat pass by Jordan Cole and he slots the ball in at the near post.

Newcastle have 2 more chances before the break but are unable to make them count.

During the first half, I buy some raffle tickets from a friendly Romulus official called Richard (Tricky Dicky) Clarke. I find out he is also the club's photographer and is one of the Academy coaches too. He tells me that Hereford will be playing here next week in the FA Cup and thinks that they could have a crowd of 2,000. That will be a good cash bonus for the club!

The second half starts with the visitors on the attack and after 8 minutes their No.10 shoots from the left and just the wrong side of the far post.

A bit later and Agbonlahor has a chance but shoots straight at the the keeper.

In the 73rd minute when Romulus mount a quick counter attack following a break down of a Newcastle attack, Agbonlahor plays in a great ball over to the left and the receiving Romulus player sends in a pass over to the far post and their diminutive No.7, Chad Degville-Cross races in to fire in a shot over the advancing keeper (as shown below).

This proves to be the winner and I think they have just about deserved it, especially after their 2nd-half showing. This win has moved them up to second place in the table while Newcastle slide down to 4th.

When I leave I say goodbye to Richard Clarke and wish his team luck in their Cup tie next week.

Match attendance: 101
Match entrance fee: £8
Match programme: £2
Match entertainment: 7/10 

Tuesday, 16 August 2016


I am heading to another local game today to see Evesham United. It's only a 45 minute bus ride for me and after having had a good lunch in a newly discovered cafe, I walk down to the Jubilee Stadium and arrive there after 25 minutes on a pleasant sunny day.

Evesham have drawn one and lost one game so far, which is par for the course for them as they are known for their slow starts to the season. Their visitors Wimborne Town from Dorset on the other hand have opened their campaign with 2 victories. United though are welcoming back skipper Matt Sysum and Linden Dovey to their defence and experienced striker Adam Mann.

When the teams come on to the pitch Evesham are in their red and white striped shirts but Wimborne are in their change strip of orange and white.

It's the battle of the birds, 'The Robins' of Evesham and 'The Magpies' of Wimborne, whose use usual colours are black & white striped shirts. 

The first half is a pretty uneventful affair with not many clear cut chances being created. One of Wimborne's best efforts falls to Jamie Davidson after 19 minutes who has a lobbed shot turned over by the Evesham keeper following a corner (as shown below).

Evesham's best chance falls to Lance Smith whose close range header is kept out by the Magpies keeper, Pat Flaherty, (as shown below).

So it's been a pretty disappointing first 45 minutes and hopefully we will see more action after the interval. I don't win the £20 prize draw either (which isn't a surprise).

It's the home team who score the first goal when after 52 minutes, their industrious No.10 Paul Fahy cuts back the ball from the right of the goal for Lance Smith to hit home.

From then on it's Evesham in the ascendancy and it's no surprise when after several missed chances, substitute Adam Mann prods home from close range with just 9 minutes to go (shown below on the left celebrating with his team mates).

The Robins are triumphant today and both teams contributed to a much better second half. The players coming back in to the team for Evesham I think was a major factor for their win.

I'm glad I visited the Jubilee Stadium as I think Evesham are a friendly and well run club.

Match attendance: 233
Match entrance fee: £9
Match programme: £2
Match entertainment: 7/10