Tuesday December 10 2019



Village Features

AFC are still smiling

Posted on May 30 2019 at 10:08:30


Alvechurch just miss out on promotion after a thrilling season.

Alvechurch can count their 2018–19 season as a huge success despite just missing out on promotion this time.

Having secured fourth place in the league with an impressive string of results in April – including a Good Friday classic away at Stourbridge where an injury-time equaliser secured a vital point – ’Church went into the play-offs where they would face local rivals Stourbridge once again.

The semi-final matches (Stourbridge vs Alvechurch and King’s Lynn vs Stratford) were originally scheduled for May 1, with the two winners due to meet each other on May 6 for a place in the “super final” against the winner of the Northern League on May 11.

However, the scheduling descended into farce when it was alleged that Stratford had fielded an ineligible player and a points deduction may be incurred.

As this could have affected the play-off positions, both semi-finals were moved to May 3 – but Stourbridge Cricket Club, which ground-shares with the football club, had a match that day, so the AFC game was moved to May 2.

This brought complaints from King’s Lynn, saying the winners would have the advantage of an extra 24 hours to prepare for their next match, so the fixture was switched to May 4, before the clubs were told both matches were to be played on May 5.

But on that date there was a road race in King’s Lynn involving road closures, so their match was brought forward to May 4 and the Stourbridge vs Alvechurch match moved back to May 6.

The saga continued when Stourbridge’s chairman, wanting both semi-finals to be played at the same time for fairness, decided to forego home advantage and switch their match to Lye Meadow – so eventually both matches were played at 3pm on May 4.

(Stratford were deducted 3 points, but this didn’t affect the league table so both fixtures could have been played on the original date!)

Playing in front of 900 home fans gave ’Church an extra boost and they came from behind to beat Stourbridge 2–1, but sadly they couldn’t repeat the magic two days later at King’s Lynn.

There was plenty of support, with two coaches laid on for fans to enjoy free travel to north Norfolk where they created an electric atmosphere outside a local pub, singing and chatting with the King’s Lynn crowd.

The game itself was disappointing with King’s Lynn running out worthy 3–0 winners, but it has still been a fantastic season overall.

Alvechurch finished with 73 points, having won 21 of their 42 league matches and scored 66 goals during their first year of competition at this level.

*  Congratulations to centre forward James Roberts who won both the Player and Goal of the Month awards for April.

James, on loan from Hereford FC, has impressed the Alvechurch faithful with his tenacity and eye for goal since his arrival earlier in the season.

He created and scored vital goals in the final push for the playoffs and his 25-yard curling shot across the goalkeeper against Banbury – in a draw that guaranteed a playoff place– was the worthy winner of the monthly award.

*  On Friday September 6, Lye Meadow hosts a luncheon with former Arsenal, Middlesbrough and England footballer Ray Parlour as guest speaker.

Comedian Jed Stone will also entertain the audience. Tickets, priced £65 per head or £600 for a table of 10 (to include a three-course Indian meal), are available via chairman Richard Thorndike and directors Simon Redhead and Paul Weaver.

*  For more info or sponsorship enquiries, please contact Trevor Ball at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit
Follow the club on Twitter @Alvechurch1st

Above: Action from the play-off win against Stourbridge (Photo/ Ian Macvie)

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