3 weeks ago
By Joe Perkins
Leaders held at Stud Lane - Youths held by Timbers; Hillstone denied by Nechells; Vale and Ward End suffer defeats; Gunter net win.
Tuesday evening saw more twists and turns in La Liga as it witnessed its final action before the Easter break and with the leaders dropping more points, there are still six schools with realistic hopes of the divisional title or the league play-offs.
SS Peter and Paul, still smarting after their two draws last week, venture over to Stud Lane to take on Ward End and St Bernadette’s. Against the former side, P&P won comfortably 8-0 but credit must go to Ward End for continuing to try and play football regardless of the black and white onslaught; the Erdington side then faced a much sterner proposition against the latter.
In a fantastic game of football with both sides playing ‘carpet’ football, St Bernadette’s twice led as they went hammer and tong with P&P, but the league leaders twice hit back and despite concerted pressure in the closing stages, had to settle for a point and the game finished 2 apiece. Bernies worked their socks off to keep pace with P&P and were their goals came from two lightning quick counter-attacks which were a real threat all game. Honours even then in a game which was a credit to the two schools and to the league itself.
Bernies opened the evening’ entertainment with a 5-0 win over Ward End. Though Bernies were worthy winners, Ward End came out with a ton of credit, never giving up and carved out a few chances for themselves. However, the Enders either failed to hit the target or found in Bernies ‘keeper, an immovable barrier.
Yardley and Timberley trooped across to Kingstanding for games against hosts, Maryvale and left with 4 points each. In two tight affairs, the Youths beat the Vale 1-0, with Timberley winning 2-0. Maryvale gave a great account of themselves and showed why they are side not to be taken lightly. The evening’s other game saw Youths go ahead twice against Timberley in a ding-dong battle. A goal two minutes from time earned the Timbers a point – 2-2.
Over in Shard End, other promotion hopefuls Hillstone, saw their play-offs hopes dented slightly as a determined and dogged EACT-Nechells side fought hard for a point with the visitors capitalising on a comedy of errors in Stone’s defence to snatch a point. Hillstone created a bundle of chances but couldn’t put them away and with Nechells defending stoutly throughout, the game ended 1 all.
Finally, Waverley entertained Gunter in a lower-half of the table clash, and it was the visitors who took the points back to Castle Vale, running out 3-1 winners. In the process, Gunter jumped above their hosts into twelfth place, equal on points but with a one-goal better goal difference.
At the top of the table though, SSP&P remain unbeaten and, on thirty points, still lead the way, 6 points ahead of Abbey; Abbey though have three games in hand on their Erdington rivals. Bernie’s, with two games in hand on the leaders, move into fourth spot, ten points back and level on points with Audley in third. Hillstone also lie on twenty points and they too have a couple in hand on P&P. Though Yardley dropped two points late on against Timberley, they continue to be a real threat to those above them. The Youths may be eleven points adrift of P&P but they have four games in hand and sit ominously below the top five.
La Liga’s next fixtures take place on 17th April with Audley and The Youths locking horns in Yardley and they will also both have to contend with an EACT Nechells side who have the capacity to throw a spanner or two in their collective works.