HARTSHILL Strollers had mixed fortunes in the 1st round of the Walking Football United (WFU) National Tournament 2016 on Sunday, May 22.

The Over 60s team went through in nerve-jangling style against Beechcroft – but the Over 50s were beaten 5-0 v. the same opponents.

Both ties were played at the neutral venue of Portway Lifestyle Centre in Oldbury.

It had been intended that there would be three-way Over 50s matches – but the third club, newly-formed Willenhall, dropped out late on as they were unable to muster a team.

However, their manager, Glyn Marston, sportingly stepped in to solve a late refereeing problem by officiating in both of the remaining ties.

All four teams took part in a minute’s applause in memory of Strollers member Steve Bragg who tragically died on April 26 at the age of 51.

Hartshill Strollers Over 60s started off in fine form with John Cooper hitting the post – and John Moore also hitting the rebound into the post – in the 9th minute.

But the building pressure paid off when Richard Delahaye netted after 28 minutes for us to go 1-0 up. However, just seven minutes later, Beechcroft equalised.

It was even Stevens until eight minutes from time when Beechcroft took the lead. All seemed lost as time wore on but – in the final minute – John Cooper took advantage of a blunder in the Beechcroft defence to tap home into an empty net.

In the ensuing penalty shoot-out, Richard Delahaye and Steve Nicholls slotted home while our keeper Bernard Bustin saved both of Beechcroft’s spot kick efforts.

The Over 50s took to the field immediately afterwards and never really looked like winning.

There were a few efforts on target – and keeper Kevin Weston played well – but Beechcroft took the lead after 9 minutes . . . and never looked back.

They added to their tally in the 13th, 27th, 32nd and 49th minutes.

There were more than a few over-robust tackles – and a lot of running on both sides – but the result reflected the play in the end.


Over 60s: Bernard Bustin, Barry Geyton, John Cooper, John Moore, Steve Nicholls, Richard Delahaye, Mick Burdis, Bob Haywood (unused)


Over 50s: Kevin Weston, Gary Davis, Dave Shaw, Andy Lissemore, Mark Grazier, Martin Broome, Eddie Tromans, Rob Dunning, Adrian Heath.