Birmingham Over 60,s made the long trek “oop north” on the infamous M6 Motorway, seeking to win their first Tournament outside of their local area. The win was accomplished in impressive style by finishing second in the league group stage and going on to win the Semi Final and Final.
All of the matches were 12 minutes duration played “off the boards” & were 6 a side.
B’ham WFC 0 Wigan Yellows 0
First up for Birmingham were Wigan Yellows. It took five minutes to get into their stride but as the game progressed Birmingham took control and peppered the Wigan goal with shots but the opposition goalkeeper was in outstanding form and managed to keep a clean sheet. At the other end the Birmingham defensive pairing of Frank Hughes and Paul Foster kept things tight and only allowed Wigan one chance on goal which fortunately hit the post and rebounded to safety.
B’ham WFC 1 Mancom 0
Next up for B’ham was Mancom. Straight from the outset B’ham looked comfortable with Steve White partnering Frank at the back and Roy Williams and Tom Neale joining the fray. However, Mancon showed they were capable of producing some good football and once or twice looked dangerous around the B’ham penalty area, but they were kept at bay by emergency on loan goalkeeper Terry Coton who produced a couple of excellent saves to stop B’ham from falling behind. Then right on cue, Steve Evans came up with a goal following a good B’ham passing movement, and they went on to chalk up their first win in the group.
B’ham WFC 1 Southport 0
A change of personnel saw Frank Hughes and Paul Foster reunited at the back with Steve White dropping to the bench. Although Southport looked to be the weakest team in this group, they gave a good account of themselves and B’ham seemed a little nervous and tentative in their play. However, when Frank Hughes made an overlap down the right wing and scored a fine goal they relaxed and reverted to the confident team seen in the previous two matches and came through unscathed to claim their second win of the competition.
B’ham WFC 0 Northgate Strollers 0
B’ham only needed a draw to qualify for the semi final stage of the competition and Manager, Steve White, fielded a side that did just that. It was tight affair and Terry Coton had to make some fine saves to keep B’ham in the hunt for that semi final place. At the other end B’ham were still making chances of their own but a combination of bad luck and poor finishing contrived to make the final score 0 – 0. Semi Final qualification had been achieved.
Semi Final: B’ham WFC 1 Wigan Whites 0
B’ham went into this match with an unchanged team and settled very quickly to the task in hand. Wigan had qualified top of their group with 10 points from a possible 12 and with a goal difference of +10 so it looked like B’ham may have a battle on their hands, but straight from the outset they passed the ball around with purpose and skill. And then a peach of a goal from centre forward Dave Whatmore put B’ham in the driving seat. He had been working very hard, but up till this moment, had not had any luck in front of goal. He latched onto the ball in his own half and unleashed an unstoppable volley into the top left hand corner of the net to put B’ham in front. A contender for goal of the season if ever I saw one!! Thanks to more sterling work by Terry Coton in goal and every player in front of him B’ham were through to the final!!
Final: B’ham WFC 2 Huddersfield 0
By now Huddersfield were showing everyone what a good side they were by defeating Wigan Yellows, the winners of our Group B, in the semi final. Again it looked on paper to be a difficult game but again B’ham took the game by the scruff of the neck straight from the start, with a resurgent Dave Whatmore having two good efforts well saved by the Huddersfield keeper in the first few minutes of the game. At the other end Terry Coton made more super saves as the game ebbed and flowed. Then, after a neat passing movement involving the whole team, Dave Whatmore turned his marker superbly and placed his shot past the Huddersfield goalkeeper to put B’ham 1 – 0 up and soon after he did the same thing to make it 2 – 0. This came with 2 minutes left on the clock and B’ham saw out the match in style to claim the winner’s trophy!!
Terry Coton, Frank Hughes, Steve White, Paul Foster, Roy Williams, Steve Evans, Tom Neale, Dave Whatmore, John Limbourne
Well done to everyone involved and especially to Manager Steve White for a tournament win after the disappointment of missing out on the National Final on penalties.
Many thanks and a special mention to Coleshill Strollers for the emergency loan of their goalkeeper Terry Coton who kept six clean sheets in six matches. Well done and thanks Terry!!