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Tuesday 19th August 2014 ko 18.30

Midland League Division Three

NORTHFIELD TOWN 2 (McGrath 6 Salademi 90)

INBERROW 2 (McManus 15 57)

Att 51

Entry & Programme £2

I always did like the Midland Combination, now restyled the Midland League after a close-season merger with the Midland Alliance, which has become its Premier Division. As a hopper I appreciate what it does well, excellent administration including a speedily updated website, and an active Twitter feed. I’ve seen a lot of Midland League football over the years, but Northfield Town managed to surprise even me!

I arrived at the Shenley Lane Community Association, in Birmingham and found the ground tucked away at the back of the community centre. The gate was manned and I was pleasantly surprised to see a programme of sorts being handed out with admission. It’s not compulsory at this level, and there’s no good reason why it should be, but even this, a single sheet of A4 printed on one side was appreciated.

It told me the club have been through a major upheaval this close-season, with new management, and players, even a new kit of black and white stripes, although the new strip wasn’t used on this occasion.

The next surprise was the ground itself. You don’t expect too much in the way of creature comforts 9 promotions from the Football League so two covered stands was luxury indeed! It contrasted with Inkberrow’s lack of cover when I went a year or two ago, when I nearly ended up sailing to Worcester! Report here from the real home of “The Archers.”

The game was hugely enjoyable, with the backdrop of the Bourneville conservation area to add colour.  The hosts took the lead with a goal straight from the training ground. A corner was played diagonally back to Chris McGrath 20 yard out to smash home without him having to break stride.

It proved to be good insurance for Northfield as Inkberrow soon imposed themselves on the game and two well worked goals from Steve McManus were just reward for their dominance. But to Northfield’s credit they kept plugging away, and when the visiting defence dozed during stoppage substitute Stephen Salademi was on hand to steal a point.

The next Edward VIII post box is to be found on the corner of West Boulevard and Blandford Road, Quinton about 2 miles from the ground.