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Birmingham Walking Football Club over 60s travelled to Dudley on Sunday April 22nd for the inaugural fixtures in the Midlands Walking Football League. BWFC were depleted by four players being involved in the England trials at Solihull, injury and unavailability but managed to field seven players who did credit to the club. The first game should have been against Wyndley but they had dropped out to be replaced by a second team from Coleshill. The games were 15 minutes straight through on quite tight pitches for 7 a side. BWFC started with stand in goalkeeper, Steve Evans who was largely untroubled in this first game. Keith Laishley and John "Gus" Traynor, making his debut for the club marshalled the defence with the midfield trio of Paul Whitehouse, Frank Hughes and Roy Williams passing the ball confidently. Steve White continued in his role as stand in striker, not through personal choice but because there was no alternative. BWFC pressed for the majority of the game but apart from a couple of half chances and one shot the keeper pushed on to the post BWFC were unable to turn their dominance into a victory.

The second opponents were Bedworth who started brightly but became frustrated at being blown up frequently for running. BWFC again had the majority of the play and yet again hit the frame of the goal but were unable to find the net and the second game ended in a stalemate. The two games held on pitch 4 were well refereed by Bernard from our old friends Hartshill and helped the games to be played as they should be.

The third game was against the first Coleshill team and proved a game too far for BWFC. The game was played on another pitch with a different referee who was much more relaxed regarding physical contact and running. The game started cagily with Coleshill having drawn both their games as well but following a skirmish on the edge of the box Roy Williams ended up in the goalkeeping area and the resulting penalty was expertly dispatched. BWFC began to push forward in search of an equalizer but Coleshill took advantage of space left in defence to score a second which did appear that the striker had encroached in the area but the referee waved away the complaints and awarded the goal. BWFC were now looking shell-shocked and despite carving out a couple of chances there was no way past the Coleshill keeper. BWFC let in a third and despite a change in goalkeeping personnel Coleshill tucked away a fourth to complete a comfortable win. BWFC ended the game with six as the stand in keeper Steve White decided the best way to stop a thunderbolt shot was with his face and was thankful for the medical attention from Mark from Hartshill.

The next round of games are in May and hopefully we will be able to field a team with a specialist goalkeeper and striker.

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