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BWFC 0 v 0 Pele's Pearls Full Time (Pearls win 3-1 on Penalties) on 31/8/19

Birmingham’s Over 50’s failed in their quest to make it a clean sweep in the WFA National Finals, as their 60’s and 65’s will be at Worcester Universities representing the club later this month.

Their regional final against Pele’s Pearls was a fine advert for the sport as it pitted two of the top sides in the country together.

Birmingham started very brightly and created several early chances with both Milan Mazic and Shane Abell both testing the Pearls keeper. Both sides held the ball well and made it very difficult for each other as they did not want to give up possession easily. Whilst most chance created were not clear cut both goalkeepers were called upon to make fine saves. Abell was put in a couple of times by both Dave Norton and Mike Milligan but failed to convert.

At half time it was still a stalemate, Norton broke free and once again a fine save denied him. Franco was marshalling Birmingham’s defence superbly as he kept former Birmingham forward Ian Ward very quiet forcing him deeper as the game went on. Even extra time was unable to provide a breakthrough as the two teams traded blows but to no avail.

Penalties ensued and once again proved Birmingham’s Achilles heel. Shane Abell was adjudged to have taken more than one step and his spot kick was disallowed which meant the Pearls progressed to the National Final later this month.

After the game Manager David Castle commented,

“It’s going to take a little time to come to terms with this result we should have sealed it in normal time really, Pele’s are a top side and will take some beating in the final’s but I felt that on the day we should have sneaked the win, this is still a really new side that’s been put together with players still getting to know each other and I am really proud of not only our performance but our attitude and respect for the game. It’s been a rebuilding process here that forever evolving, there are some exceptional players here and I’m sure we are not that far away from repeating previous highs".

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