AFC Alsager

Saturday 24th April 2021 14.30
Staffordshire County Senior League Premier
AFC Alsager 2 Walsall Phoenix 0 HT: 0-0 Att: 35
from The Alsager Sports Hub

This game was a late call and as suchI couldn’t go too far, but it’s still a new ground for me. The venue, which is part of the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) campus has undergone significant redevelopment recently, and was officially unvelied as the Alsager Sport Hub in October 2019. The site boasts a massive leisure centre, eight changing rooms, five grass football pitches plus a hockey pitch and 3g football pitch. Where AFC Alsager play is a fully railed pitch within the complex.

The team were only founded in 2012 by volunteers who were fed up of the lack of footballing opportunities for young people in the town. It’s been a huge success with the first team now in the Premier division of the SCSL and challenging for the title this year and with multiple youth teams of all ages. They have been awarded the accolade of FA Charter Standard Community Club. The site they’re on looks as though floodlights wouldn’t be an issue to install in the future and there’s plenty of room for a drag and drop stand too; so there’s a chance they could appear in the NWCL in seasons to come.

The pitch is behind the clubhouse, off the main car park, at the back of the complex backed by a new housing complex. It was a very flat pitch, slightly threadbare, but in otherwise great condition. There was no charge for the game itself but a really smart programme was on offer for £2, which is always a treat in a county league. Alsager and Foley were in second and third place respectively, having played nine games each, winning eight and losing one. Alsager had beaten them 3-2 in between lockdowns. Ball Haye Green were top but having played two games more. Foley are very ambitions and have extended their stand and also have planning permission for floodlights. their application to the NWCL keeps getting stalled by an infuriating FA that seems to prefer newer teams either groundsharing or playing in 3g cages.

Anyway, Foley are probably favourites for the league with Alsager hoping to upset them. Their opponents this afternoon were the southernmost team in the league, mid-table Walsall Phoenix. For the second game in a row there was a 0-0 scare. Despite playing well chances were few and they went into the break goalless. Vending machine coffee was available from the pavillion for a half time drink. After about the hour mark finally the Swans broke the deadlock with a whipped in cross pinpointed into the top corner. Ten minutes later a cruelly deflected shot made it 2-0 for another incisive and professional win for the hosts.

AFC Alsager have a superb community setup there run by volunteers and its success is matched by the success of its football team – one to watch for in the future.

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