Just as La Liga heated up on Tuesday, so did the Premier on Thursday as the race for the top two intensified.
Leaders Rosary took on Thornton in the evening’s opening game at Stud Lane and had to rely on a close-range, toe-poked, finish mid-way through the second half to snatch the points against a tenacious, gritty Thornton side who went toe-to-toe with the Rosarians for the full 25 minutes.
Rosary nabbed themselves another double and six points as they then defeated Alston, 4-2. The Rosarians twice trailed to an Alston side who belied their lowly league position. The league leaders prevailed however, and as Alston tired, netted three goals in the final five minutes of the game to give the score-line a rather flattering appearance for the Saltley side.
The evening’s other game in Stechford, was another attritional affair as Thornton and Alston slugged out a terrific end-to-end encounter. Both sides had chances, but the decisive moment came when a training ground free-kick routine lead to a back-post header that sealed a 1-0 victory for the Thorns.
Following their 2-0 home defeat to Harper Bell last week, Brownmead took to the road and enjoyed their evening over at Hollyfields. Brownmead firstly secured a 2-0 win over Paget, whose ‘keeper kept the score down with some sublime shot-stopping before ‘mead turned on the style as they dispatched Erdington Hall 5-1 to maintain their Premier title challenge.
A disappointing evening was compounded for Erdington Hall as they went down 2-0 to their Erdington neighbours, Paget.
There was a big clash across in Kitts Green as title chasing Harper Bell and play-off hopefuls, Lea Forest, locked horns. The game was notable in that both sides were captained by girls, both of whom are regulars in Phil Hynan’s all-conquering Erdington and Saltley girls district team. Hynan’s Harper Bell bossed the game throughout but having led 1-0 early on, struggled to break down a stubborn Forest defence. Two late goals however gave the game a more reflective score-line and Bell went back to Digbeth with three deserved points.
Blakenhale remain firmly in the title race after a 3-0 victory over a depleted Parkfield side in Garretts Green. Classroom ill-discipline denied boss Latham of several first-teamers and ‘hale took advantage, cruising to a comfortable three points.
The one remaining fixture in the Premier came saw The Oval and Brookfields serve up an excellent 25 minutes football in their clash at Whittington Oval. An even first half saw Oval nudge ahead to lead 1-0 at the break but two quick second half strikes eased the home side’s nerves. However, a valiant Brookfields refused to bow and pulled a goal back but their haste in looking to salvage something more out of the game left gaps at the back which Oval exploited, and they finished up 5-1 winners.
So, after another evening of thrills and spills, Rosary still lead the way, but teams are ganging up on them. The Rosarians are just two points clear of Brownmead who have three games in hand. Harper Bell sit on 24 points alongside ‘mead and they have four games in hand on Rosary. Blakenhale sit menacingly in fourth, a couple of points away from Bell and ‘mead and they have two games in hand on Rosary. Both Lea Forest and The Oval are still in with outside chances of a play-off spot and the latter have a date with the leaders next Thursday.