Thursday, October 28

Match Center

1st Team



Willenhall Town

WMRL League Cup Tuesday 25 April @ 7:45 pm
Three days after arguably their worst display of the season, The Lockmen produced their very best as they outplayed runaway champions Haughmond for almost all of the game, only to fall victim to two late goals, one directly from a questionable decision by the officials.
The Lockmen made the worst possible start to the match as inside two minutes the home side had taken the lead when a deflected shot from Kevin Renshaw found its way into the bottom corner of the net.  Sam Phillips then threatened for Haughmond on five minutes when he saw his goal=bound attempt deflected wide by Curtis Ellis for a wasted corner.  Four minutes later the visitors offered their first threat of the night when Chadd Birch and Harrison Barrett combined well only to see the move cleared as they reached the edge of the box.  Haughmond threatened twice in quick succession as Renshaw saw his effort fly wide on eleven minutes before Phillips did likewise three minutes further on after a fine run and cross from Jack Griffiths.  The Blues then won a free-kick out wide on the left after Chadd Birch was dumped unceremoniously to the ground by a Haughmond defender after sixteen minutes.  The Lockmen’s leading scorer nearly revenged himself from the kick as his clever header was cleared from the line.  The home side then were awarded a harsh free-kick twenty-five yards from goal on the twenty minute mark.  They immediately took it short and wide in a training ground move, however, Phillips’ shot was inches wide and Town escaped further damage.  This was to prove vital as Willenhall suddenly turned the game on it’s head.  Two minutes later excellent work from Chadd Birch saw his cross-shot half cleared but only as far as Jamal Pinnock who thumped a superb effort home via the underside of the bar.  With 25 minutes gone Issac Cooper played a free-kick into the box to Harrison Barrett and in turn he set Chadd Birch free.  Unfortunately his clever lob failed to make it over keeper Sam Jones’ head and he caught the attempted lob.  Two minutes later and The Lockmen were ahead.  A pin-point long ball forward from the right by Curtis Ellis picked out the run of Chadd Birch and he out muscled his marker and then the keeper to slot home brilliantly to put The Lockmen ahead.  The final quarter of an hour of the half saw the visitors pin back the champions for long spells without actually threatening to extend their deserved lead, all the home side had to offer was a string of long aimless punts forward which saw Lockmen keeper spend more time as sweeper than keeper..


The visitors kept up their fine performance at the start of the second-half as Pinnock, almost straight from the restart, then Cooper on fifty minutes, swung dangerous crosses into the box where the home defence had to work overtime to prevent a further goal being conceded.  The visitors were then awarded a free-kick on 57 minutes with Pinnock the victim of a late challenge from an overworked defence.  Again they were almost made to pay as Cooper took it short to Chadd Birch and his clever, curling effort was heading into the corner of the net until  Sam Jones saved well.  Any neutrals watching would have been convinced by now that the team in Blue were heading for promotion as some brilliant incisive passing from Liam Wilkinson, Cooper and Chadd Birch again cut The Whites’ rearguard to ribbons, the latter saw his header half cleared from an inviting cross before skipper Ben Perks saw his follow-up effort well blocked.  Chadd Birch then took the defence apart on 62 minutes, again his cross was dangerous but a defender did brilliantly to head clear.  Barrett then won a free-kick on 68 minutes as he went past a couple of players before being chopped down.  Curtis Ellis swung in yet another super cross, again, a defensive head managed to reach the ball first to avert any more danger.  The home side managed to get out of their own half literally for the first time after the break a minute later, only to see Clayton peddie produce a fine tackle to deny the hosts.  They were then awarded a free-kick on the 70 minute mark, only for Carl Rogers to blaze high over.  The visitors finally attempted to make a fist of it and four minutes later a fine sliding tackle by keeper Radford prevented a strike at goal.  Peddie then produced another neat block to again snuff out a home advance on goal.  With twelve minutes remaining Town were awarded a free-kick wide on the left.  Cooper fizzed in an effort which was just over.   As the first serious pressure of the second-half from the home side bought a change for the visitors, Perks being replaced by Reece Chambers, The Lockmen suddenly burst forward again, Cooper forcing another save.  However, a clearly tiring Willenhall side were now being forced into some desperate defending as a string of long balls to both wings, prompted mainly by Rogers, began to force chances for Haughmond and The Lockmen finally cracked again seconds later when a long ball forward saw Matt Owen played clean through and he fired unerringly into the keeper’s bottom left hand corner.  With two minutes to play Chadd Birch chased a long ball and brilliantly dispossessed a defender, only to see a second marker clear for a throw-in.  Somehow the referee spotted an infringement and when the ball was again lumped forward, this time to Owen, he did superbly to play Rogers through on goal and the lumbering midfielder finished delightfully into the corner.  However, there was one final sting in the tale and some Willenhall interplay saw a fine ball into the box pick out Wilkinson, unfortunately, with four minutes stoppage-time already played, he blazed a great chance inches over and Haughmond were still on course for a league and cup double.  However, they can feel mightily relieved that they somehow found that little bit of luck at the end to see them through after a real battling performance from The Lockmen which deserved so much more.

Haughmond 3 - 2 Willenhall Town

  • Tuesday 25 April 2017 @ 7:45 pm
  • WMRL League Cup Semi Final
Mark Habbershaw Jamall Pinnock
Reece Chambers Ben Perks

Previous meetings

11 Oct 14 3:00 pm WMRL Premier Willenhall Town v Haughmond 0 - 1
04 May 15 3:00 pm WMRL Premier Haughmond v Willenhall Town 3 - 1
26 Aug 15 7:45 pm WMRL Premier Haughmond v Willenhall Town 1 - 0
16 Sep 15 7:45 pm WMRL Premier Willenhall Town v Haughmond 2 - 2
27 Aug 16 3:00 pm WMRL Premier Willenhall Town v Haughmond 1 - 9
24 Sep 16 3:00 pm FA Vase Willenhall Town v Haughmond 0 - 3
27 Sep 16 7:45 pm WMRL Premier Haughmond v Willenhall Town 7 - 1
25 Apr 17 7:45 pm WMRL League Cup Haughmond v Willenhall Town 3 - 2