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BWFC 1 – 0 Hartshill Strollers – WIN

 Birmingham Over 60s travelled to Walsall Wood for the first round of the National Cup and following a very tight game won the game 1-0 to knock out last year’s champions, Hartshill.

The game as predicted was close with two well matched teams ably kept in check by referee Steve Dredge. Hartshill started the stronger and hit a couple of long shots which were expertly dealt with by Les. Both teams appeared restricted by the large goal areas which encouraged shooting from distance and did not allow for a great deal of passing football near the opposition goal. The first half became a war of attrition which chances at a premium. Both teams were quick to close down and there were a few hefty challenges by both sides.

Birmingham began to stretch Hartshill and get more support to Dave W up front and were rewarded when an opposition player gave the ball away and Dave W was quick to seize the opportunity to strike the ball home. Hartshill seemed stunned by the goal and took a while to regain their composure with Birmingham failing to convert a couple of half chances. Hartshill came back strongly in the last ten minutes and despite carving out a couple of good chances were wayward in their shooting or thwarted by Les in goal.

The whole team played well with Barry and Keith keeping it tight at the back, Malcolm and John working like trojans in midfield in a physical battle and Dave W putting in another combative display up front.  Steve D came on as a sub and worried the opposition with his mobility and Paul F also came on to beef up the midfield. A great team performance but Man of the Match was Keith L who curbed his attacking instincts to be rock solid in defence.

All credit to Hartshill who were worthy champions last year and a shame that one of us had to exit the competition at such an early stage.

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