BARDS CLIMB OUT OF THE RELEGATION ZONE
Bards went 4 more unbeaten but lost their final game of the month. Bards also added a third captain to the squad
Needham Market (a) 1-0 – Bards took the lead against one of the meanest defences with a 25 yard shot from Josh Hawker which took a wicked deflection to become our joint highest scorer with 6. 1-0 at half time and Bards held on – a disciplined and spirited performance despite lots of 2nd half pressure.
Leiston (a) 1-1 – Bards winning streak on the road came to an end but few were complaining after a draw v 2nd placed Leiston. A penalty save from Liam kept the score 0-0 at half time. Bards though did fall behind after a volley just after half time. From those at the game it was a bit scrappy but we were a bit unlucky especially with the disallowed goal from Ison. Right at the end a cross from the right was turned in by new signing Charlie Williams. Though with Kings Langley winning and Needham Market drawing we are back in the relegation zone 1 point from safety but we have hope being 5 unbeaten.
Alvechurch (h) 2-0 – Bards beat Church (who were 5 points above them) to climb back out the relegation zone. There were plenty of man of the match candidates including Liam who made some fine saves to keep a clean sheet, including from the penalty spot for the 2nd game running with Bards 1-0 up. Both goals were scored from close range through Callum Ebanks after 8 minutes and Kyle Bennett on 31 sweeping the ball home to make the score 2-0 at half time. Bards came closest in the 2nd half with Banks hitting the post after being clean through as chances came at either end in this entertaining game.
Leiston (h) 1-1. Bards hit the woodwork on 3 occasions (2 from Charlie Williams thunderbolts) in the driving rain. Callum Ebanks did score after 25 minutes from a Bennett through ball with Leiston players appealing for offside. 1-0 at half time but it could have been 2 or 3. Leiston were much improved in the 2nd half against the strong wind and they scored midway through the 2nd half with a glancing header from a free kick. Both sides had chances to win as the game went from end to end with both sides going for much needed 3 points. There were a few fiesty challenges being made on the slippery surface and fair play to the ref for being consistent when challenges were mis-timed despite the protestations.
Hitchin (a) 0-1 – unbeaten in 7 playing at a team without a win in 10, hopes were high travelling to Hitchen. A poor game by all accounts saw Bards lose after a soft goal was given away – a speculative shot from 30 yards was spilled and the rebound put in. Bards came more into it in the 2nd half but ended up losing the game with luck not on our side (as shown by the above photo on the club’s twitter account).
Players – Will Grocott has been ever present in the league sometimes coming on as sub. New captain Paul McCone (35) now has the most starting appearances. Josh Hawker has picked up the most yellow cards with 7 and Lafferty has 6. Bards top scorers are Wright and Hawker with 6, Grocott and McCone have 5
League Table – Tamworth (76 pts from 36) have been caught by Coalville who still have a game in hand. Leiston (73) having played a game more than Tamworth are 3rd, Rushall (69) and Nuneaton (65) make up the top 5 with an 8 point gap to the team in 6th.
Bards (39 from 36) are 1 point out of the relegation spot having a game in hand over Kings Langley. Bedford with 8 defeats in a row have 30 from 36, Hednesford (24 from 37) and Rushden and Diamonds (20 from 36) are rooted to the bottom – Rushden being the first team relegated. It looks like the bottom 3 will drop.
Tamworth are top scorers with 80 aided by ex-Bard Daniel Creaney who is top of the scoring charts with 30 goals, Will Davies (Leiston) has scored 27 of their 78 goals. Coalville 34 and Tamworth 35 have the best defence. Relegated Rushden and Diamonds have scored the least (28) and conceded the most (80).
1017 saw Nuneaton v Colville.
The 2 promoted sides last year to step 2 – Banbury are 18th sliding down the table and Peterborough Sports 12th. Telford are rooted to the bottom and Leamington have slipped into the bottom 4 in the last relegation place, The sides relegated last year, Biggleswade Town are 6th in Division One Central and Lowestoft moved to the Isthmian League North where they are in a play- off position.
Players In – Charlie Williams attacking midfielder signed from Burton Albion youth. Experienced right back Lee Vaughan also joined having captained Stourbridge – see our squad list
Players Who Departed – Mikey Taylor departed and has gone to Sutton Coldfield – he then joined Carl Adams at Rugby – see where are they now
Looking ahead to April – 6 games left including some re-arranged games (fixtures subject to change so check club website). We have failed to win any of the reverse fixtures! although we had favourable results against the sides we played last year
|APRIL FIXTURES WITH CORRESPONDING RESULTS LAST YEAR AND REVERSE GAME|
|Sat 1||3pm||Home||Barwell||02/4/22 1-0||A 29/10/22 1-1|
|Tues 4||7.45pm||Home||Redditch United||17/8/21 2-1||A 15/08/22 2-2|
|Sat 8||3pm||Home||Mickleover||A 19/11/22 3-4|
|Mon 10||3pm||Away||Tamworth||22/1/22 2-0||H 26/12/22 0-4|
|Sat 15||3pm||Home||Coalville Town||25/1/22 1-1||A 12/11/22 1-1|
|Sat 22||3pm||Away||Basford Town||H 05/11/22 2-2|
We start the month with 3 home games starting with a game versus Barwell and then have an evening local derby game with Redditch Utd, who we drew to away at the start of the season conceding 2 late goals. We are then at home to Mickleover where we lost to a goal at the very end in a 7 goal thriller. We are then away to leaders Tamworth on Easter Monday who beat us 4-0 at home and then finish our home games with the visit of Coalville who we drew 1-1. We end the season at Basford who we drew 2-2 against with an extremely late equaliser.
For previous monthly reviews, see 2022/23 archive
DW – any opinions in this article are the author’s and on twitter