Black Country Rangers V Bilston Town Community
Written by Gareth Thomas
Match: 15 (42)
Venue: The Grove (home of Halesowen Town)
Teams: Black Country Rangers V Bilston Town Community
Competition: West Midland Regional League Premier Division
Entrance Fee: £0.00 (I was made a guest for the match by the Manager of Black Country Rangers)
Final Score: 2-0 (H/T 2-0)
Attendance: 42 (Head Count)
Referee: Andy Genders
Mileage to venue and return: 61 Miles
Black Country Rangers V Bilston Town Community
1. Todd Henderson 1. Dan Griffiths
2. Jason Chiltern 2. Sufyan Zia
3. Jonathan Ashfall 3. Jamie Taylor ( 15. On, 89)
4. Ben Birch 4. Kyle Burke
5. Matt Vaughn ( c ) ( 14. On, 88) 5. Najib Abukar ( 12. On, 22)
6. Alex Hammond 6. Todd Perry ( c )
7. Lee Smith 7. Matty Barnett
8. Russ Garner 8. Daniel Elwell
9. Shaq McDonald ( goal,19) (15. On, 80) 9. James Reid
10. Kieran Clarke ( goal, 16) 10. Taimoor Hussain
11. Shaq Whittingham 11. Ryan Williams
12. Dan Forrest 12. Jason Hewitt
14. Jordan Hill 14. Alex Brogan
15. Romelo Coeman 15. George Jenkins
16. Matt Grainger
Attempts: 13 Attempts: 7
On Target: 9 On Target: 4
This was another ground ticked off for me this evening. The home side, Black Country Rangers, share the ground with Landlords, Halesowen Town. The Grove, is a real traditional non-league venue. The ground has terraced areas going around 3 sides with a smart seated stand on the other. The press box is on the same side as the stand and I was lucky enough to view the game from inside the box. Mark Mcintyre, who have known for a few months now kindly invited me in. Mark was their reporting for Black Country Radio for the evening, this was a great experience for me and one that I really enjoyed.
Two days before the game I got talking to Mark Sloane and in his own words, “the media guy” for the home team. My initial question was merely to ask the admission for the game but as we got talking more and more, me mostly informing him that I was ground hopper and this would be my first visit - I was kindly invited by the 1st team manager to be a guest of his for the game. A fantastic gesture that I really was not expecting, massive thanks to Wayne Spicer (1st Team Manager) for this.
The first five minutes of the game saw a half chance each for both sides, both coming to nothing.
In the 7th minute Kieran Clarke for Rangers hit the outside of the near post with a cross come shot.
Rangers were, looking very good early on into the game, quick going forward and in the 10th minute very nearly opened the scoring, McDonald firing his shot narrowly wide. Almost immediately, Clarke had a fine effort very well saved by Griffiths in the Bilston goal.
The home side made their pressure tell in the 16th minute and took a deserved lead. A good strong run by Ashfall, who then passed the ball onto Whittingham on the left. Whittingham produced an excellent cross for Clarke to convert from close range.
Three minutes later the home team doubled their advantage. On this occasion the goal came from a fantastic long range free-kick, McDonald, right-footed, gave Griffiths no chance.
After the second goal there was a period of calm, no real chances were created, the game was mostly being played in the middle third of the pitch.
On 32 minutes, Rangers very nearly made the game safe. McDonald found himself clean through on goal but could only shoot wide.
Three minutes later Bilston had their first real effort on goal of the half, a quick free kick found Hewitt in the penalty area who unfortunately for him, shot over.
Black Country Rangers deservedly went into the break winning 2-0.
Bilston, being 2-0 down needed to make a bright start to the second half and to their credit, they did just that. They looked a lot sharper on the ball and saw a lot more of the ball than they did during the first period.
On 62 minutes they went close to grabbing a goal back, Williams saw his goal bound shot well cleared off the line by the Rangers defence. The was one of two efforts that they had cleared off the line in the second half.
On 68 minutes, McDonald almost grabbed his second of the evening for Rangers. Another well struck free kick from distance, this time Griffiths produced a fine save to tip the ball around the post.
The second half was a bit quieter than the first and even though Bilston had more possession during the second half, I thought that Rangers defended very well.
On 77 minutes, Elwell for the away side, tried his luck from distance, but his shot was straight at Henderson in the Rangers goal.
Rangers almost made it 3-0 on 87 minutes, Whittingham produced a strong shot that was superbly turned over the bar by Griffiths.
Black Country went onto see the game out to in my opinion deservedly claim all three points.
My Rangers man of the match: Shaq McDonald
My Bilston man of the match: Kyle Burke
All in all, a very enjoyable yet cold evening out.