Hartshill Strollers F.C. Over 60's
Beat Birmingham to win the league
The match was played at Boldmere St Michaels, with a slightly delayed start due to the Women's FA Cup game between Aston Villa and West Ham United.
The match started in a very cagey fashion with Birmingham setting the tempo, knowing a draw would be sufficient for them, and the first half was littered with free kicks for running infringements. Players from both sides were spoken to by the referee Tony Skelton, as he kept tracks with the players doing the most offending. The fragmentation of the game did not help Hartshill normal passing game and the half ended 0-0.
Both teams went into huddles to discuss the strategy for the second half.
Hartshill up the tempo and started with players in different positions on the pitch. John Green was moved from defence to play upfront on the edge of the Birmingham penalty area, and the Hartshill team started to play longer passes with more urgency, this paid dividends almost immediately when the ball was worked forward early from goalie Dave Seddon to Clive Stokes, who passed on to Steve Nicholls who interchanged passes with John Green and Paul Haynes before working the ball to Bob Dunning who shot early and scored after the ball hit both posts. Moments earlier Bob had seen another shot rebound of the post.
Knowing that Birmingham were likely to try and commit more players forward searching for an equaliser, John Cooper was re introduced in place of Paul Haynes. The referee gave a Birmingham player a Blue Card 2 minute Sin Bin and John Cooper took advantage of a slip by a Birmingham player to latch onto the ball and hit a fierce shot past the Birmingham goalkeeper to put Hartshill 2-0 up.
No sooner had Birmingham been restored to a full compliment when Hartshill player Clive Stokes was given a similar Blue card punishment. Barry Geyton replaced John Cooper whilst Hartshill played out the two minute period with only 4 outfield players. On Clive's return, John again replace Barry Geyton and the game drifted to an end with further use of substitutions by both sides without any further score.
Referee: Tony Skelton Score 8
Hartshill Squad : Dave Seddon, John Green, Clive Stokes, Steve Nicholls, Bob Dunning, John Cooper, Barry Geyton, Paul Haynes.