Saturday, 3 April 2010

Lye Town

Saturday 3rd April 2010
West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division
Sports Ground, Stourbridge Road

This was one day in which I could not decide where to go so in the end I decided to head west. I had been looking at the fixtures in the Non-League Paper and online but found I had too much choice!!! Armed with a choice of six possible fixtures in the West Midlands and phone numbers for relevant clubs I set off down the M69, then along the M6 to the Corley services near Coventry. Call one was to Tividale - game off, call two to Wolverhampton United - no answer, call three to Lye Town - game definately on. Decision made and I made my way along the M6 and down the M5 before cutting across to Lye and arrived at the ground with around twenty minutes to kick-off. One note of caution is that parking is tight at the ground, though luckily I managed to get a space. 

The ground is located on Stourbridge Road and is an interesting affair. They share the land with the cricket club but have their own clubhouse etc. You enter the ground in the corner paying £3.50 for admission and a further £1 for a programme. Behind the near goal is a interesting structure with what can be described as a barrelled arched roof siting on 14 posts (see picture) and the "main stand" along the far touchline which comprises a mix of bench seating and standing areas. On the right hand side of the stand is where a small snack bar is located selling hot food and drinks.

The following history on the club is taken from their website: 

"Lye Town Football Club play in the West Midlands Regional Premier League. They are one of the longest established clubs in the West Midlands region.

Founded in 1930 they quickly found favour with the local cricket club and were allowed the southern half of the Sports Ground on Stourbridge Road to set-up their goalposts. The following year Lye Town joined the Worcester Combination and remained there for 8 years until the outbreak of the war.

On the re-start of football in 1946 following the war, Lye Town joined the Central Amateur League for one season before moving to the Birmingham + District League in 1947/48. The league changed its name in 1962 to its present name West Midlands Regional League, and Lye Town F.C has been in the top flight of the league since joining.

From 1976-1981, Lye Town were runners-up in four out of five seasons, twice on goal average. The League Cup was won in 1975/76 beating Dudley Town 1-0 in the final. Lye Town have also been finalists on 5 other occasions. The team have enjoyed good exploits in the F.A Trophy and more recently in the F.A Vase, and were finalists in the Worcestershire Senior Urn in 2003.

In 1997/98 season, Lye Town achieved their only Championship as well as League Cup finalists. However, they were refused promotion to the Alliance, supposedly due to not meeting ground regulations. Runners-up Stourport Swifts were promoted in their place.

Following severe financial difficulties in the early 2000's Lye Town have shown stability over the past few seasons. On the pitch a regular mid-table position has been achieved in recent seasons.

It is the aim of Lye Town Football Club to develop home grown players through their Youth Team. This aim has recently been strengthened by links with Oldswinford Youth F.C." 

At the start of play today Lye find themselves in the bottom three of the twenty-one team division, recording eight wins from their thirty three games played. The three previous games, all of which were away from home have resulted in a win (4-0 v Dudley Sports), a draw (3-3 v Wellington) and a defeat (4-2 v Bewdley Town). Opponents Ledbury Town sit in eighth place with sixteen wins from their thirty five games played. Their last encounter was a 4-1 home win against Wolverhampton Casuals last Saturday.

The game itself...

Ledbury go out of the blocks quickest and were nearly a goal up inside two minutes only for a Ledbury player to miss a sitting following a mistake in the home defence. A minute later and they did score with a low shot from 12 yards out past home keeper Andrew Barfoot. Chances were created by both sides but neither had the composure in front of goal and the half ended 0-1. Ledbury doubled their lead on 57 minutes when a free kick on the left was accidently flicked on by a home defender which allowed the ball to be volleyed home from four or five yards out. With Ledbury seemingly in control Lye got a goal back on seventy five minutes through Andrew Taylor. He picked the ball up in the middle of the pitch and went on a run past several Ledbury players before slotting the ball past the visiting keeper. This set up a tense finish but alas the home side could not find an equaliser.

Google maps driving time / distance: 1 hour 15 minutes and 60.3 miles
Attendance: around 60-70
Match rating: 2 out of 5 though the pitch made things difficult and made an impact on the game


West Midlands (Regional) League - full time:


With only five Premier Division games going ahead both teams remain the same positions they occupied at the start of play. 
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