This year BWFC entered FOUR teams into the Peoples Cup, Over 65’s, TWO Over 50’s & for the first time a Ladies team! The 65’s and 50’s were walking football but the ladies team was normal running football in the veteran catagory. We are pleased to announce that ALL FOUR TEAMS got through to the next round!!! Match reports for each location are below.
BWFC OVER 65’S MATCH REPORT – PEOPLES CUP 1ST ROUND – STOKE
Despite the M6 being closed, and traffic being redirected off the motorway, the Birmingham Over 65’steam arrived in Stoke in time for the kick-off in the FA Peoples Cup.
The squad consisted of: Keith Phipps, Barry Huntington, John Crampton, Malcolm Thorp, Derek Thorp,Frank Hughes, Kevin Burton.
Despite being informed that it was 5-a-side football, it turned out to be 6-a-side! Good job we’d invited Kevin Burton along!
All the matches were to be 10 minutes long (5 minutes each way). We were on second, against Port Vale Walkers, and thanks to a brace from Barry Huntington, Birmingham 65 got off to a great start – 2-0 and three points on the board.
Next up were Stoke City FC. A tight game, with some rough tackling, saw us sneak a 1-0 win, thanks to another goal from Barry Huntington. Where was Derek Thorp I hear you ask? Read on! In our third game we were up against Stoke City FC A team. Having raced into a 2-0 lead, we must have fallen asleep, because two quick fire goals from Stoke saw them draw level. However, Decka completed his hat-trick with a fine goal to see Birmingham gain their third straight win.
Our last group match was against Holmes Chapel Wanderers, who had also won all their group matches. So, it was this game that would decide who topped the group. It has to be said that we were played off the park in the first half. They played the ball off the boards far better than we did, and by half time we were 3-0 down! We then lost Barry Huntington with a thigh injury, and now had no substitutes left! Despite this, we played better in the second half, and prevented Holmes Chapel from adding to their score. Final score 3-0. We finished 2nd in the group, and were in the semi-finals.
We were up against Stoke City FC in the first semi, and were determined to do better than a 1-0 win this time. Derek Thorp, Malcolm Thorp and a bizarre own goal saw Birmingham 65 run out 3-1 winners. We were into the final!
The final, almost inevitably, was against Holmes Chapel. The whole team played well, coming close to scoring on several occasions, but unfortunately we lost the game by a single goal. It has to be said keeper Keith Phipps had an amazing tournament and saved some vital goals in important games. We all came away with our heads held high, delighted with our performance against all the youngsters!
BWFC BLUES MATCH REPORT– FA PEOPLES CUP 1ST ROUND – BIRMINGHAM STAR CITY
A bizarre and farcical situation at Star City meant only three teams turned up to contest the two qualification places. Both Birmingham and the Birmingham laced Pele’s Pearls with both Ward brothers Ian and Shane representing them progressed in strange circumstances.
Hartshill Strollers (the only other entrants) were comfortably beaten by both teams; firstly 4-2 by Peles Pearls and 6-0 by Birmingham before a somewhat meaningless fixture between the two victors was played out in great spirit in the cold in Aston, Pearls running out 5-2 winners. Goals for Birmingham on the day were from Dave Norton 4 and Darren Bradley and David Wright both picking up braces.
After the event skipper David Castle commented “ It was really odd with only 3 teams competing, seems strange that still 2 go through which made the last game a bit of a non event, last year we had ten teams at this stage. Pele’s Pearls will be a match for anyone this year with quality all over, with our own Ian and Shane in their ranks we know we will have to be focussed for the next round. We’ve come so close before and being disappointed and like any tournament we enter we would love to win it, but more importantly is great to see how the games developing, the standard is getting better every year as more and more players are getting involved’
BWFC WHITES OVER 50’S MATCH REPORT – SHREWSBURY
Shrewsbury our maiden / inaugural tournament – The BWFC Whites team comprised of Les Dawson, Simon Dyer, Stan Payne, Rob Castle, Gareth Edwards, Ian Gough & Kevin Mann.
Accident on the M6 scuppered any chance of a warm up / practice.
Straight into a match against the Shrewsbury “Oranges” 1st Team, Birmingham dominated the match but somehow came off the pitch with a 2 – 0 loss, not an ideal start but the players felt confident that the team spirit and positive play would shine through the next 5 games.
Twenty nine goals and five clean sheets later and thanks to an array of outstanding saves by Les Dawson and numerous superb goals from Kevin Mann (8), Ian Gough (3), Gareth Edwards (5), Rob Castle (6), Stan Payne (3), Simon Dyer (4) we progressed into the finals and secured a place in the next round of the FA cup.
The final was against Shrewsbury 1st (only team to score against us the tournament) we go 1 – 0 up unfortunately they equalised via a free kick in the last minutes and the game goes to a penalty “Shoot out”- Shrewsbury sneak through 5 – 4 winners.
Manager Ian ‘Razor’ Gough said; “The essence and character of the BWFC Whites during the whole tournament was a fantastic team ethos, where each member of the squad played their part in creating a winning and positive attitude.”
BWFC LADIES MATCH REPORT – BIRMINGHAM STAR CITY
With no Walking Football category in the FA Peoples’ Cup for women only, we decided to enter a team in the Female Veterans Section. This would involve playing full pace 5-a-side football – quite a difference from what we are used to on Friday nights! The squad was selected from women who play in a variety of sessions at the club and two practice games (thanks, Paul) were arranged to give the girls a chance to get the feel of full pace 5-a-side football. However, because of prior commitments on the two practice Sundays, the team had never actually all played together before Saturday! Non-the-less, the girls did us proud.
Only one other team was registered at our Goals Birmingham venue – Stratford Tuesdays. Initial thoughts were that they looked too young to be ‘veterans’ – our average age was over 50 – but undaunted, we decided to give it our best shot. We had one game to play; 20 minutes each way off boards. Our substitutes were going to be vital to managing a game which would be fast paced with little opportunity for rest.
The starting 5 of Caroline in goal, Truly, Sue M, Tracy and Alli made a solid start, moving the ball well and keeping things tight. Any nerves were settled by our first goal from Sue M and we went on to score a further 5 unanswered first half goals, scored by Tracy, Alli, and a further 2 from Sue M to complete her first half hat-trick. Both of our subs, Sue H and Dee, got into the game during the first half with Dee also scoring.
The second half brought a change of goalkeeper, Tracy taking over from Caroline, and regular substitutions throughout meant that again everyone had time on the pitch. However, the second half was a much tighter affair with Stratford pressing more and becoming more confident in their play. Tracy was called upon to make some crucial saves but our lead was extended by Truly before Stratford scored their first. Alli then restored our 7 goal lead before another from Stratford once again reduced the deficit. A break in play came after Truley took a ball in the face and required treatment but thankfully she was able to continue after a few minutes and not long afterwards, the final goal of the game came from Caroline to restore our 7 goal lead with the game finishing 9 – 2.
We therefore progress to the Regional Finals at the end of March. Many thanks to the squad and to all our supporters on the day – you were all great!
Squad: Alli Wayley, Caroline Reid, Dee Reade, Sue Hector, Sue Moogan, Tracy Dudwell and Truly Griffin.
Goals: Sue M, 3; Alli, 2; Tracy; Dee; Truly; Caroline.