Perrywood 2 Kenilworth Town KH 1

Tuesday 1st January 2013
Perrywood 2 Kenilworth Town KH 1
Athium Midland Combination Division Two
At: Neel Park, Droitwich Road, Perdiswell, Worcester
Kick-off: 2-00 pm
Admission: none; Programme: none
Weather: sunny spells, colder during second half
Attendance: 25 (headcount)
Duration: first-half: 49:06; second-half: 48:08

Happy New Year!

Only four of today’s scheduled Midland Combination fixtures survived the recent wet weather and one of them saw Worcester-based Division Two side Perrywood record a 2-1 victory over Kenilworth Town KH at Neel Park. After the visitors lost goalkeeper Ross Davis with a shoulder injury early in the game, Perrywood took control with a goal in each half scored by Jordan Stoddart and Jack Marsh. Kenilworth netted a late consolation goal through Jamie Wheeler during stoppage time at the end. The win moved Perrywood up into fourth position in the table.

New Year’s Eve was spent in Newcastle (the under-Lyme version not upon-Tyne) at a James Bond themed party where the excellent Last Request were gigging (catch them if you can as they really are superb). Having driven last night, I felt a lot brighter than normal on a New Year’s morning and in the mood to find a game somewhere I’d not previously visited. The Midland Combination, with just about a full programme scheduled, was the obvious place to look and I left home not long after noon, knowing that a back-up 3pm game at Bromsgrove Sporting was definitely on and Perrywood’s 2pm home fixture with Kenilworth Town was not off – so I headed down the M5 to junction 6 and owards via the A449/A4536/A38 to Need Park (part of Perdiswell Park), immediately to the south of the Perdiswell Park and Ride.

I’d needn’t have worried about the pitch as it appeared in perfect condition apart from one goalmouth being a bit heavy. The 11am pitch inspection must have been a formality with no further rain forecast.

A club official, who I’d previously met at Coventry Spartans a year ago when Perrywood were the visitors, provided a warm welcome. From what I can remember he said about the club history (added to by a bit of Googling), Perrywood AFC was formed in 1960 by Tony Neel and today field four adult sides – two on Saturday and two on Sunday – as well as an under-18 development. They joined the Midland Combination in 2005/06, achieving a highest position of sixth in Division Two in both 2009/10 and last season. Interestingly, the club has never played in the Perrywood district of Worcester and were not previously known as Metal Box. Perrywood have issued programmes in the past and may resume in the future. At least they had the bonus of a well-stocked tea bar! The ground is also home to Old Elizabethians CC.

League table wise, Perrywood (27 points from 15 games) went into this game in sixth position while Kenilworth Town KH (15 points from 16 games) were eight places below in this 17-team division. Table-toppers Barnt Green Spartak on 36 points a five-point advantage over second-placed Alcester Town who had three games in hand.

The delayed arrival of Kenilworth’s kit threw the fair-play entrance into disarray – just the home side walked out with the referee as the visitors were busily warming up – especially when the players lined-up with their backs to the dugouts (where I was!) though facing the majority of the crowd.

Perrywood (in blue and white) got the game underway attacking the Park and Ride end and immediately forced a save out of Ross Davis. But the Kenilworth goalkeeper suffered a shoulder injury dealing with Perrywood’s first corner and was replaced in the 11th minute by manager Barry Shearsby.

A couple of shouts in quick succession summed up the opening quarter hour for both sides. Perrywood were praised for their “good work rate” while Kenilworth were urged to “sharpen up”. Midway through the half, Perrywoood were awarded a free-kick just outside the area, taken by Joyce which took a deflection off the wall (see photo right)

Scoring opportunities were by and large scarce before Perrywood took a 34th minute lead. Defender Jordan Stoddart, up for a corner, fired across goal and into the far left-side of the net from 12 yards out. My tweet at half-time credited another player the goal but a subsequent check of my photo (right) showed I was initially wrong.

Before the interval, good work by Jack Marsh set up a chance for Wes Joyce who fired over the bar.

Teams and match officials returned to the chaning rooms for half-time while the tea bar tepted me back into the pavilion during the break.

Early in the second half, I got chatting to Gary from Leicestershire, wearing a red Girona hat, who like me was visiting Neel Park for the first time. 'One man and his dog' had travelled further from March in Cambridgeshire.

Kenilworth, who beat Perrywood 4-3 on the opening day of the season, posed more of a threat during the second half and Andy Handley sent a dipping shot just over the bar.

As the second half wore on, the visitors took off a defender to go three at the back and the goalkeeper/manager told them “15 to go, we’ve got to gamble”.

However, Perrywood doubled their lead in the 82nd minute to secure the points. Shearsby failed to hold and initial shot from Joyce and Marsh slotted home from the rebound. May be the black numbers on blue shirts played tricks on me again as I had Dave Budden (no. 10) as the scorer.

Kenilworth, to their credit, didn’t throw in the towel and pulled a goal back in stoppage time. John Dormer took the ball to the edge of the area and sqaured a pass to Jamie Wheeler who sidefooted home.

With “three to go” mentioned by the referee just before the goal, there was time for Kenilworh to mount a couple of late attacks. The diving Craig Gorley held a shot from Dormer at the base of his right-hand post which was just about the last kick of the game.

Perrywood (blue and white halves / blue / blue): 1. Craig Gorley, 2. Logan Stoddart, 3. Neil Mogford, 4. Chris Moore, 5. Jordan Stoddart, 6. Wes Joyce (capt), 7. Kirk Layton, 8. Dan Parsons, 9. Nick Pearce, 10. Deej Budden, 11. Jack Marsh. Subs: 12. Harry Blood (for Layton, 78), 14. Charlie Burrow (for Pearce, 82), 15. Ashley Banner (not used), 16. Craig Bufton (not used. Manager: Phil Stoddart.

Kenilworth Town KH (red/red/red): 1. Ross Davis, 2. Adam Hart, 3. Dave Evans, 4. Ashley Knights (capt), 5. Andy Handley, 6. Scott Donegan, 7. Mathew Lendon, 8. Martin Hollinshead, 9. Jamie Wheeler, 10. John Dormer, 11. Adam Edwards. Subs: 12. Dycan Kennedy (for Hart, 76), 14. Barry Shearsby (for Davis, 11). Manager: Barry Shearsby.

Referee: B. Taylor.
Assistants: M. Jones and C. Rock.

1-0 Jordan Stoddart (34)
2-0 Jack Marsh (82)
2-1 Jamie Wheeler (90)

Cards: none