Thursday, October 28

Match Center

1st Team

Smethwick Rangers


Willenhall Town

WMRL Premier Division Wednesday 1 October @ 7:45 pm

With Andre Calder unavailable and Harry Rickus rested for Saturday’s Vase game, Michael Clark and Graham Ashton returned after missing the win at Shifnal through work and Simon Laidley stepped up from the bench with Steve Nurse replacing him. The hosts were third going into the game despite losing three of five home games. The game started quietly apart from a cross on eight minutes which dropped onto the cross-bar for the hosts. A break again down the left on the quarter-hour mark by Gurjit Singh saw Ben Holden produce a fine one handed save to deny the pacy forward, he managed to push the ball behind two onrushing players as well. The Lockmen took the lead with their first serious effort on goal. A super ball from centre midfield picked out Clark on the right wing, he got the better of the full-back before crossing hard and low to the far post, the predatory Matt Dorgan was on hand to sweep home at the far post with 18 minutes on the clock. Willenhall threatened again when Matt Dove and Danny Hemmings interchanged passes on the right hand side before the latter picked out leading scorer Craig Sudlow, who saw two shots blocked on 27 minutes. Ashton then produced a goal-saving sliding challenge at the expense of a corner on the half-hour mark. When the ball was swung in the Ashton again headed clear the danger temporarily but the ball was recycled wide and then returned into the box and this time Holden made a good save. Rangers then had a shot horribly miscued on 33 minutes. A couple of minutes later and Ashton was in action at the other end, firing just over from 25 yards ten minutes before the break. A clearly struggling Rangers keeper then fumbled a Sudlow effort wide for a corner on 40 minutes before they broke through Gurjit Singh again down the left, he fired beyond the far post though. Four minutes into stoppage-time the same player fired just over before the last action a minute later saw Hemmings win and take a corner, Dorgan timed his jump to head home, only to see it disallowed for apparent pushing.


Smethwick replaced their keeper at half-time before Pritpal Diwana saw an effort blocked for a corner four minutes after the restart, which Holden then punched away to concede another. Hemmings then found himself in the referee’s note-book for a clash as they waited for the kick to be taken, something clearly upsetting him judging from the reaction. Holden then did well to save again on 55 minutes, Tom Turner backing his keeper up by clearing the follow up off the line. Two minutes later a contentious penalty was awarded to the home side, David Meese the home skipper sending Holden the wrong way. Just two minutes and the Lockmen were back in front as a long ball forward found Clark on the edge of the home area, he turned his man perfectly before dummying the keeper and rolling home a fine goal. Six minutes later and Meese was only just too high with an effort before Clark was unlucky not to stretch the lead at the other end, his over the shoulder volley from Sudlow’s knock down was only just missing the target. On 71 minutes Clark then fed Hemmings out on the right again, he cut inside and saw a cross-shot just drift beyond the far post where sub Tony Clift only just failed to reach. Seconds later and Laidley, pushing down the left, forced a corner after chasing what appeared to be a lost cause. From Hemmings’ take Turner saw his header deflect off a defender stood on the line and behind for yet another corner. Sudlow then saw an effort deflect to sub keeper Gill as the visitors ramped up the pressure. However, with eight minutes left, Town appeared to make the game safe when Kingsley Burrows-Fields galloped forwards down the right wing, his cross from out on the wing thirty yards from the corner flag was dangerous, it dipped, swerved and dropped just over the despairing keeper’s head and in for a fortuitous, but deserved third goal. Holden then produced another stop for a wasted corner on 86 minutes before Sudlow put the icing on a rather large cake with two late goals. Subs Clift and Callum Foster produced some lovely little precise passes for the latter to set up Sudlow who simply turned his marker and curled a lovely shot around the keeper and in right at the far post with two minutes remaining. Two minutes into stoppage-time and Clift, supported by Sudlow broke clear of the defence with only the keeper to stop them, Clift drew the keeper and simply rolled the ball across and backwards for Sudlow to walk into the open goal for a fifth and final goal. A performance that surely confirms the belief of Willenhall having had a few unlucky results this season.


ATT: tbc



1. Ben Holden,
2. Kingsley Burrows-Fields,
3. Paul Holden (capt),
4. Tom Turner,
5. Graham Ashton,
6. Matt Dove,
7. Danny Hemmings,
8. Craig Sudlow,
9. Matt Dorgan (off 62min),
10. Mikey Clark (off 82min),
11. Simon Laidley (off 76min).


12. Tony Clift (on 62min),
14. Callum Foster (on 76min),
15. Scott Harris (on 82 min),
16. Steve Nurse,
17. Leon Smith.

By Chris Burton – Match Secretary
Reproduction by prior-consent of The Lockmen Limited t/a Willenhall Town FC only

Smethwick Rangers 1 - 5 Willenhall Town

  • Wednesday 1 October 2014 @ 7:45 pm
  • WMRL Premier Division 
Callum Foster Simon Laidley 1
Tony Clift Matthew Dorgan 1
Stephen Nurse
Scott Harris Michael Clark
Leon Smith

Previous meetings

01 Oct 14 7:45 pm WMRL Premier Smethwick Rangers v Willenhall Town 1 - 5
21 Apr 15 7:45 pm WMRL Premier Willenhall Town v Smethwick Rangers 3 - 2
17 Oct 15 3:00 pm WMRL Premier Willenhall Town v Smethwick Rangers 2 - 6
04 May 16 7:45 pm WMRL Premier Smethwick Rangers v Willenhall Town 3 - 1
17 Aug 16 7:45 pm WMRL Premier Willenhall Town v Smethwick Rangers 0 - 1
05 Apr 17 5:45 pm WMRL Premier Smethwick Rangers v Willenhall Town 0 - 2
28 Jul 18 3:00 pm Friendly Willenhall Town v Smethwick Rangers 4 - 3