Thursday afternoon saw a struggling Colebourne side make their way to Sheldon to take on play-off chasing Mapledene. In an attempt to claw their way off the bottom of the table, The Coles knew they would be up against a sprightly Mapledene outfit. Dene gave debuts to a number of Y5s and three Y4s and, making their first bow in the dene's green and black kit, the youngsters ran out 6-1 victors – ‘dene remaining unbeaten in their new black and green strip.
The opening 10 minutes passed by with little incident as the teams looked to settle into a rhythm. It was Mapledene though, who started to assert control and with Colebourne pushing one too many players forward, a loose clearance was pounced upon by a ‘dene striker who rounded the Cole’s last man before smashing home. Moments later, and within seconds of coming on, a Y4 debutante had hit the net as he reacted quickest to a rebound, doubling his side’s advantage. Two further goals, one a slotted finish, the other a brave header, saw Mapledene 4-0 to the good at the break. Two more goals from a zippy 'dene Y4 boy after the interval, had the game sewn up. To their credit Colebourne never gave up and deservedly grabbed themselves a consolation goal 5 minutes from time.
After the game ‘dene boss, Mr Collett, reflected on a really positive performance from his side and the good tenacity and sportsmanship from Colebourne. Coles’ gaffer Mrs Mills is clearly fed up though. "I hate losing, so it's training every night next week!" she exclaimed.
For ‘dene a play-off spot is still a distinct possibility, but they must beat Brownmead next Thursday and defeat Lea Forest too on the same night to stand any chance. However, with lads from Years 4 and 5 starring for the Sheldon outfit, the future is bright no matter what happens next week. As for Colebourne, the season’s end will be greeted as heartily as the break for the six week holidays.
Over in Yardley on the same afternoon, the Youths were putting their season to bed with an comfortable 3-0 win over a battling Short Heath side. The Heathens were indebted to their 'keeper who pulled off some terrific saves to keep the score down to just the 3. The Youths cemented their second place spot and head to the play-offs where they will face Harper Bell. Short Heath finished the season in mid-table, and will be happy with the 7 wins and 22 points accumulated in their inaugural ESPSFA League campaign.