I believe that this was scheduled to be Hawthorns first game at the Bromsgrove South 3G pitch. The facility, unsurprisingly, is locate din South Bromsgrove and, also unsurprisingly is a 3G surface. There is ample parking, what looks like new changing facilities and, on a bright but chilly Spring morning, it looked like a superb place to play and watch football. It doesn't matter how long it's been since I last pulled on a pair of boots, a pristine pitch still makes me yearn for those playing days.
The Bromsgrove and District League table on the FA Full-Time site is, to say the least, a little confusing. Apparently, there are two teams in Division One who are classed as Premier League teams and, even though pints and goals gained against them count in the final standings, the two teams in question, Black Horse and Austin Ex Apprentices, will not figure in the final rankings. In which case, this game actually becomes a clash between top and bottom of the table. I'm not sure I quite understand what is going on, but watch this space. Maybe we'll put something in the end of season review?
It seems that I wasn't the only one that had migrated from the Bromsgrove Athletico game to this one. There were a noticeable number of Bromsgrove Athletico track suits on view on the sidelines as the game kicked off.
After an initial period where the teams seemed to want to get to grips with the surface as much as with each other, it was Hawthorns who settled down and began to take a hold on the game. However, despite having the lion's share of the ball, we got halfway through the first period with the scores still all square at 0-0. It has to be said that this was down, in no small way, to the Kings Heath goalkeeper, who by this stage had already made two or three crucial stops.
We were thee minutes short of half an hour in when the first goal arrived and, as so often happens, it went the way of the team that had been on the back foot for most of the opening encounters. Kings Heath, on a rare venture forward, forced a corner. The kick was taken low towards the front post where centre-half Stephen Mason was first to react, flicking the ball goal-wards. Somehow, it managed to squeeze between the goalkeeper and his near post and, against the run of play, it was 0-1.
Hawthorn rallied quickly after going behind and it was only 5 more minutes until they evened up the scores. Their right-back produced a peach of a ball that flashed across the Albion six-yard line finding Brogan Halpin at the far post to prod the ball home. 1-1.
The rest of the first-half was largely played in the Kings Heath half. Hawthorns pressed and pressed. They tried long range efforts, they tried crosses, they tried balls in behind the defence but every time they got through the Albion defensive ranks they found the Kings Heath keeper in inspired form.
HT Hawthorns 1 Kings Heath Albion 1. Hawthorns should really be out of sight. Albion have their keeper to thank for keeping them in the game.
This is the point where it all went comepletely downhill for Kings Heath. On 57 minutes Hawthorns sprung the offside trap, with three players getting onto a ball over the top. It was eventually laid on a plate for Halpin to collect his second of the game. 3-1.
Four minutes later another swift Hawthorns break led to their number 23 getting in on the act and making it 4-1. Then, almost immeditaly from the restart, Hawathorns won the ball back and broke into the Albion box. Ward deftly bakheeled the ball, wrong footing the defence and leaving Halpin the easy task of wrapping up his hat-trick. 5-1.
There goals in five minutes had completeley selaed the points. It was now a case of how many Hawthorns would score but, to their credit, Kings Heath stuck at it and did stem the tide a little. It was afurther 13 minutes before Hawthorns got back on the scoring trail and this time it was a real screamer. Ward collected the ball out on the right-flank and hammered a cross shot into the far top corner of the net. 6-1.
Three minutes later Hawthorns Number 9, who had worked really hard throughoyt the game, got a deserved goal with a low, drilled shot to make it 7-1.
Then, in the final minute, the icing on the cake was applied by substitute Number 99 to make it 8-1.
Goals 4, 7 and 8 were scored by Rob Shaw, Ben Markall and Luke Concannon btu, unfortunately, I'm not 100% certain which goal to credit to which player. Another peril of blogging about Sunday League football.
FT Hawthorns 8 Kings Heath Albion 1. A devastating display from Hawthorns in the second-half as they win 8-1 for the second game on the bounce. Albion were rocked by the loss of the goalkeeper when it went to 2-1 although, to be fair to their substitute stoppepr, there wasn't much he could have done with any of the goals.
Another enjoyable Sunday League outing for BotP. This is definitely something that we will be looking into more next season.
Ground Number: 193