BWFC hosted their first Over 65’s Walking Football Festival at Solihull on Tuesday 9th October. With one team pulling out at fairly short notice, Birmingham, Abbeymead Rovers from Gloucester and Aston Villa were left to compete for the Champions spot. Each team played each other twice, in matches consisting 20 minutes each straight through.
B’ham and Abbeymead contested the first match which ended in a spirited 0 – 0 draw. Both sides played some excellent passing football but were unable to break each other down. There were however a couple of chances created by both sides but the two opposing goalkeepers excelled to keep the score at 0 – 0. With only a few minutes left to the end of the match, B’ham were awarded a penalty when a Rovers defender encroached into his own area. Unfortunately for B’ham the Abbeymead goalkeeper got down smartly to his right to keep out Birmingham’s well struck penalty.
Match number 2 was contested by Abbeymead and Aston Villa. Again chances were at premium and the defences and midfields were in charge although both goalkeepers had to make one or two superb saves to avoid defeat for their teams in the early stages of the Tournament.
Villa took the field again in Match 3 against Birmingham. This time Birmingham got off to a more secure start. A change of formation from 3 – 2 – 1 to 2 – 3 – 1 enabled them to take charge of the midfield area and create chances for Dave Whatmore 1 and Decca Thorp 3 to score the goals to give B’ham a comfortable 4 – 0 win.
Next up for B’ham were Abbeymead in the reverse fixture. Again this was a closely contested affair. B’ham spurred on by their 4 – 0 win over Aston Villa in their previous match attacked Rovers from the start and pinned them back in their own half for considerable amounts of time. Decca had one shot that was destined for the back of the net magnificently saved by the Rovers goalkeeper and at the other end, Bart O’Shea making his debut in the team, kept B’ham afloat with a tremendous flying save to palm the ball away to safety. Final score B’ham 0 – 0 Abbeymead.
Match 5 was contested between Abbeymead and Aston Villa. This time comfortable 2 – 0 win for Rovers. Villa were not a very mobile team but showed a lot of skill and determination in their play. Their passing was accurate and crisp for the most part but they just lacked the cutting edge up front which may have brought them some success their efforts deserved.
Final match was B’ham v Aston Villa. Needing only a draw to win the competition B’ham went again with the same attacking formation that had served them well in previous matches and this resulted in a comfortable 3 – 0 win with the goals being scored by Dave Whatmore 1 and Decca Thorp 2.
Competition Winners: Birmingham WFC
Runners Up: Abbeymead Rovers
3rd Place: Aston Villa
There were some very good performances by a number of players from all sides that took part, but everyone agreed that special mention should be made of the three goalkeepers.
So well done to all three and in particular Bart who stepped in to replace unavailable Keith Phipps doing a magnificent job of keeping 4 clean sheets. Well done Bart.
The whole competition was played in magnificent spirit and was very well refereed by Doug Carroll from Mansfield.