BIRMINGHAM RETAIN COUNTY LEAGUE
Birmingham Over 50’s Blues retained the County FA Walking Football League on a blistering hot day at Tamworth FC.
A 2-0 success over Wyndley with goals from Ian Ward and David Wright, was followed by a hard fought 1-1 draw with Sutton’s Finest, where Sutton took the lead with a smartly worked goal. Heath Underwood had no answer in goal as he let in his first goal for the club after 5 consecutive clean sheets. Birmingham pressed hard as shots from Dave Norton, Wright and Ward all rattled the post and bar. Finally some great interlink play between Norton and John Mcginnell saw Mcginnell slot home his first for the club.
Knowing two wins in the last two games would mean retaining the title Birmingham seemed to settle down, a further two goals from the diminutive Ward and a single from Wright saw Bedworth United off with a 3-0 success.
The final game against an inexperienced Birmingham Whites was a fairly one sided affair. Darren Bradley continued his run of scoring important goals set Birmingham on the perfect trail and Wright’s smart finish confirmed their superiority and retention of the coveted shield.
After the game Manager Dave Norton said, “After a terrible start where we lost our first three games, we have shown a completely professional attitude and performance. Our aim was to qualify for the League of Champions Trophy which we won last year and that has been achieved. As a club we always need to move forward and with Heath and John as important new additions to the squad I firmly believe we have.”
Birmingham Whites finally ran out of steam in the heat in Staffordshire, ravaged by injuries with only Keeper Derek Hughes and defensive stalwart Stan the only players available from the original squad. Stand in Manager Gareth Edwards had players with individual quality but who had played very little football together. They acquitted themselves in very difficult circumstances and completed the 12 game season only letting in 5 goals, finishing only one point behind Coleshill Strollers in fourth place.
Club Captain David Castle commented, “I think overall the Whites have had a great season, it’s been really hard for Gareth and the guys today, some have played either no or very little competitive Walking Football, and we all know what a massive learning curve that is. They have more than held their own in every game and have done the club proud. There are no easy games here it’s a hard fought league. They missed the creativity of Pod and Buttons today but for work rate and endeavor they could not have done more. “