9 May 2008
NEIL BARNFIELD CLAIMS PICS GOAL OF THE SEASON AWARD

At Rushall Olympic Football Club's Annual Presentation Evening at Dales Lane a new award for "Goal of the Season" was very kindly donated by Stuart and June Perry.

The inaugural recipient was named as midfielder NEIL BARNFIELD for his stunning long range volley that claimed all three points for the Pics against Romulus on Saturday 16 February at Dales Lane. With the game seemingly ambling towards a goalless draw, the hosts sprang a huge surprise on their guests when from out of nowhere a ball played into Junior Brown was headed into the path of Neil Barnfield some 30 yards out and in a flash the midfielder executed a breathtaking volley that rocketed past the stunned Romulus custodian.

Neil Barnfield

 
9 May 2008
PRESENTATION EVENING SEES HONOURS SHARED AT DALES LANE

Rushall Olympic Football Club's Annual Presentation Evening took place at their Dales Lane headquarters tonight where an excellent time was had by all concerned, with this years ever popular event encompassing entertainment in the form of a fully organised Racing Evening and Disco.

The First Team Player of the Year awards were deservedly shared amongst several of the squad.

The "Supporters Player of the Year" for season 2007-08 was named as defensive lynch pin NIKI PRESTON, who ended the campaign having played in every single one of the Pics 40 British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands games and the Play-Off Semi-Final, while he only missed one of our 18 cup games.

Olympic's 16-goal top scorer RICHARD BEALE was named by his peers as "Players Player of the Year" after producing an excellent season in midfield that saw him end the campaign six goals clear of the next best total in the Dales Lane charts.

The "Managers Player of the Year" for season 2007-08 was named by Paul Holleran as Pics skipper LEE BARROW, who was another to enjoy an excellent campaign at the heart of the meanest defence in the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands.

There was also truly deserved recognition for goal keeper TONY BREEDEN who was named as "Committee Player of the Year" after going throughout the entire campaign by conceding only 23 goals in British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands action and only 32 in total from our 59 games. Meanwhile, the 20 year old custodian played in every single one of the Pics 40 league games and the Play-Off Semi-Final, while only a place on the bench in one of our 18 cup games prevented him from being 100% ever present.

Off the field at Dales Lane MAUREEN ATHERSMITH and COLLEEN ALLEN were jointly named as "Club Person of the Year" in honour of their extremely hard work in providing hospitality for the Board Room and on many other occasions at the Club throughout the season.

 
4 May 2008
DALES LANE FOR HIRE DURING SEASON 2008-09

Rushall Olympic Football Club would like to announce that their British Gas Business Football League standard Dales Lane ground will be available for hire as part of a groundshare agreement for the forthcoming 2008-09 campaign.

The vacancy arises as a result of the club's decision to operate next season without a Reserve Team and Youth Team after an existing sponsorship agreement reached a conclusion.

The Pics are open to interest from well established Saturday sides, preferably at West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division or Midland Football Combination Premier Division standard or above.

Interested clubs should in the first instance contact Secretary PETER ATHERSMITH on 07909 792 422, or email: rushallolympic@yahoo.co.uk.

 
4 May 2008
RUSHALL OLYMPIC SEEKING COMMERCIAL MANAGER

Rushall Olympic Football Club is seeking a dynamic individual to take up the new role of Commercial Manager.

The successful applicant will develop a range of commercial opportunities, including sponsorship and generating advertising revenues for pitch side locations, the matchday programme and the club website and also organising social and fundraising events.

Generous commission will be paid on all profits generated, although there is no basic salary for the position.

Interested persons should in the first instance contact Secretary PETER ATHERSMITH on 07909 792 422, or email: rushallolympic@yahoo.co.uk, stating what experience you have and why you feel you are suitable for the position.

 
4 May 2008
CHRIS BRINDLEY JOIN STEVE BULL AT STAFFORD RANGERS

There was certainly some surprise news for Rushall Olympic as the BBC website revealed that player-assistant manager CHRIS BRINDLEY was all set to return to former club Stafford Rangers, the club relegated from the Blue Square Premier, as assistant to manager and former Wolverhampton Wanderers and England legend Steve Bull………. The Boro' manager, appointed by the club back in February, wasted little time in going back to his Molineux roots to appoint the 38-year-old Pics man as his new number two at Marston Road. The pair's connection actually goes back to 1986, when Bull had just been bought from West Bromwich Albion by then manager Graham Turner and Brindley had been snapped up from Hednesford Town as a teenage defender. Although Bull's subsequent rise to Wolves and England fame was legendary, the defenders hopes of a long Molineux career ended after just a handful of first-team appearances and went on to carve out a long and distinguished career in the part-time game as both a player and a manager……….. Following the appointment Steve Bull stated: "I've known Chris for the last 22 years and his knowledge of non-League football is unbelievable. He seems to know about every single player and he also knows all about this place [Rangers]. Although I have got loads of experience in football, it's all been in the Championship and that level. Chris knows the scene lower down and that's where I've been lacking.".......... Meanwhile, Rushall Olympic manager Paul Holleran was full of praise for his former assistant after his right hand man swapped Dales Lane for Marston Road following the 1-0 semi- final loss at the hands of Leamington, but the Pics boss was far from downbeat after the blow and claimed: "It was something we were aware of for a few weeks. Chris is a friend of Steve Bull and he played for Stafford Rangers, so it's a good move for him. He's done a great job for me as assistant manager here and I'm sure he'll do a great job for Stafford Rangers. We've got a few replacements in mind and I'm sure we'll be making an announcement in the weeks to come.".......... Rushall Olympic Football Club would very much like to thank "Brinner" for all the tremendous hard work during his 15 months at Dales Lane and would like to wish him the very best of luck at Marston Road in his new role.

Chris Brindley

 
3 May 2008
CONGRATULATIONS TO STOURBRIDGE

Rushall Olympic Football Club would like to offer hearty congratulations to our Black Country neighbours and league rivals STOURBRIDGE on their success in clinching promotion to the British Gas Business Football League Premier Division during the weekend via the Play-Off system at the expense of runners-up Leamington.

We wish the Glassboys all the very best of luck for their forthcoming 2008-09 Premier Division campaign.

 
29 April 2008
DISAPPOINTMENT FOR PICS AS PROMOTION HOPES WASHED AWAY

Rushall Olympic's hopes of promotion were washed away with the rain at Leamington's sodden New Windmill Ground following a single goal defeat in the Semi-Final of the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands Play-Off system.

Having tasted defeat only once in their previous thirteen games, the last of which was coincidentally just over three weeks earlier at the Warwickshire home of the division's runners-up by the same slim margin, the Pics entered the one-off contest full of confidence - but the ultimate absence of a decisive cutting edge saw the Brakes edge into the Final against Stourbridge for a coveted place amongst the Premier Division elite.

Had Olympic midfielder Neil Barnfield produced a more measured finish just after the half hour mark after finding himself through on the right side of goal, or had wing back Lee Gough done likewise fifteen minutes from full time, perhaps the result could have been somewhat different. However, it was the hosts who effectively sealed the game just four minutes into the second period when a corner was only half cleared and Guy Sanders drove home through a crowded goal mouth past unsighted Tony Breeden.

Despite their disappointment Rushall have enjoyed a marvellous season under Paul Holleran, outshining quite a few of their far more affluent rivals along the way. However, as the Dales Lane outfit look to regroup during the summer months, the club now have an excellent base upon which to build a more concerted promotion push for the 2008-09 campaign.

 
26 April 2008
DRAW WITH CHAMPIONS SECURES PLAY-OFF PLACE AT LEAMINGTON

Reputably the two meanest defences in the upper echelons of the football pyramid met at Dales Lane as Rushall Olympic claimed the single point they required against Champions Evesham United to secure fifth place and a promotion play-off position - and naturally the final outcome was a goalless, but otherwise entertaining, draw.

Clear cut goal scoring opportunities were very much at a premium throughout the contest, but as early as the fourth minute the visitors went close as Simon Fitter's 25 yard from kick curled marginally wide of the top right corner.

Evesham top scorer Mark Owen should have done better two minutes later, but after having two bites at the cherry the forward dragged the ball wide of the right post from 15 yards.

Rushall's Craig Marshall spurned arguably one of the best chances of the game right on the stroke of half time when Dave Haywood's deep centre to the far post was headed agonisingly over from a good position.

Eleven minutes into the second period and Craig Marshall was only denied by a fine save from United's stand-in custodian Joe Clarke, as his flicked headed was pushed away for a corner.

Mark Owen again proved wasteful for the visitors in the 65th minute as he swung a boot from the edge of the box with a tame shot going straight to Pics 'keeper Tony Breeden who held the effort firmly in his midriff. As play moved swiftly to the other end a minute later Lee Barrow's 20 yard free-kick was tipped safely over by the Evesham stopper.

As the game progressed to an increasingly inevitable conclusion, the result meant that the Pics now face an extremely tricky trip to runners-up Leamington in the promotion play-off semi-final on Tuesday evening, kick-off 7.45 pm.

 
25 April 2008
50 NOT OUT - TREVOR WESTWOOD RECEIVES F.A. LONG SERVICE AWARD

It was a very special evening at Dales Lane as faces from Rushall Olympic Football Club both past and present came together to celebrate the remarkable achievement of our very own stalwart committee member TREVOR WESTWOOD who has now served the Pics magnificently for 50 CONSECUTIVE YEARS this year!

A special surprise evening was laid on for the genial gentleman of Dales Lane by his family, friends and colleagues as the tremendous achievement of the guest of honour was marked by the presentation of a an increasingly rare Football Association Long Service Award by our very good friend Brian Adshead, Chief Executive of the Staffordshire Football Association. Meanwhile, a separate presentation of some inscribed cut glass crystal was also made on behalf of the club to mark the occasion.

Trevor's first playing associations with Rushall Olympic were known to be even prior to 1958, before his spell of National Service intervened. Indeed, he was certainly playing in the old gold and black colours during season 1956-57. However, upon returning to Civvie Street he was apparently lured away for around a season by then fierce local rivals Pelsall Villa. Fortunately, he finally saw sense and returned to his spiritual home of the Pics and went on to enjoy a tremendous playing career that spanned a club record 557 appearances - a figure that may well now never be broken, given the financial temptations that are put the way of today's footballers.

Having a real eye for a goal the fleet footed Trevor also netted 185 times for Rushall, with his haul putting him into fourth place in the all-time record goal scorers list of the club.

During the peak of his career he was a key member of the Rushall Olympic side who had become one of the powerhouses of football in Staffordshire during the 1960's as the Staffs County League South Division One Championship was clinched in seasons 1960-61, 61-62, 62-63 and 64-65. Meanwhile, a plethora of trophy wins were also claimed, that included the likes of the Walsall Senior Cup, Sporting Star Cup, Lichfield Charity Cup, J.W. Edge Cup, Walsall Memorial Charity Cup and Wednesbury Senior Cup - some of which were won on several occasions each.

When Trevor's playing career finally came to an end, although he was still playing during season 1973-74, he had already turned his attentions to Rushall Olympic's off the field activities after becoming a member of the club committee towards the end of season 1972-73 - making it an awesome 35 years of service to Olympic in total this year! During that era the club moved rapidly forward both on and off the pitch from Rushall's Rowley Place to the Aston University Sports Ground in 1975. Trevor was one of the fondly remembered Rushall Olympic "Magnificent Seven" that also included Brian Greenwood, Mick Clayton, Graham Wiggin, Johnny Edwards, Brian Humphries - who all joined forces and enlisted the help of Councillor Dick Arkell to obtain the lease of some land in Daw End, Rushall, to eventually mastermind the Pics return to the village at our current Dales Lane home in 1977 - and the rest, as they say, is history.

So I'm sure you will all join us at Dales Lane in raising a glass and making a toast to one special individual: "Our Trevor!"

 
22 April 2008
SECOND HALF GOAL POWER SENDS OLYMPIC UP TO FOURTH SPOT

Rushall Olympic climbed up to a magnificent fourth place in the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands table with one game remaining as a second half goal power display clinically dispatched Leighton Town at Dales Lane.

The 3-0 success over their Bedfordshire guests effectively meant the end to Chasetown's play-off hopes and the Pics now only have Chesham United to worry about, who remain just two points behind them in the standings. The mathematics of the situation mean that a point against champions Evesham United on Saturday at Dales Lane should be good enough to clinch a play-off slot, just as long as Chesham don't win their final game at Dunstable Town by more than a seven goal margin!

Following a tense first period Olympic grabbed all three goals in the space of just 14 second half minutes to stun their Bedfordshire guests. Skipper Lee Barrow started the ball rolling just before the hour mark as he crashed a 35 yard free-kick through the grasp of 'keeper Liam Jahn, before two further stunning strikes from Rushall's front pairing of Craig Marshall and Junior Brown sealed all three points.

The advantage was doubled nine minutes later with a moment of sheer class from Craig Marshall, who cut in from the left touchline to the edge of the box and slammed the ball inside the near post of the Leighton 'keeper. Six minutes later and Junior Brown produced an almost carbon copy like finish as he too cut in from the left flank and drove an unstoppable shot just inside the near post.

Lee Barrow

 
20 April 2008
CONGRATULATIONS TO EVESHAM UNITED

Rushall Olympic Football Club would like to offer hearty congratulations to league rivals Evesham United on their tremendous and thoroughly deserved success in clinching the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands Championship during the weekend.

We wish the Robins all the very best of luck for their forthcoming 2008-09 Premier Division campaign.

 
19 April 2008
RUSHALL BACK IN THE FINAL PLAY-OFF SPOT

A workman like performance from Rushall Olympic saw them grind out a solid and extremely crucial single goal victory at mid-table Dunstable Town as they returned to winning ways and immediately turned the heat back up on the enthralling battle for the Division One promotion play-off places.

The Pics began brightly, despite their apparent tentativeness in the final away game of the campaign and as early as the 17th minute the Dunstable defence were forced to clear off the line twice in quick succession as Richard Beale and Junior Brown were both denied.

It took until a minute prior to the interval before the visitors claimed that all important calming advantage when Phil Rowe picked out Craig Marshall with a pin-point centre from the left channel and the front runner powered a header home over 'keeper Paul Taylor to give Rushall the lead.

The second period saw Olympic maintain the lead with relative ease as their mean defensive unit effectively stifled out the Dunstable attack for the remainder of the contest to maintain the best defensive record in the division with only 23 goals conceded in 38 games.

Although the visitors had a couple of further opportunities to extend their lead in the final third of the encounter, they ultimately had to be satisfied with the single goal success that saw the Pics reclaim the final play-off berth in a season that now looks like going down to the very last game.

Craig Marshall

  
19 April 2008
SECOND TEAM END CAMPAIGN WITH A HOME DEFEAT

Rushall Olympic's Second Team ended their Midland Football Combination Reserve Division campaign with a home defeat against lower placed Gresley Rovers by two goals to one.

  
12 April 2008
PICS STRUGGLE TO DRAW AND LOSE GROUND IN PLAY-OFF HUNT

Rushall Olympic's grip on the final promotion play-off spot looked increasingly shaky after failing to take maximum points at a lowly Malvern Town who had claimed just a single victory in their previous 21 games.

To make matters worse, Leamington, Stourbridge and Sutton Coldfield Town all claimed victory to increase their advantage above the Pics, while behind them Chasetown drew level on points and both Chesham United and Aylesbury United are now within striking distance again.

After claiming a first half advantage over the Worcestershire outfit thanks to a clinical 20th minute strike from Junior Brown for his ninth goal of the season, Rushall looked extremely comfortable.

However, they emerged for the second period in very poor form and within three minutes of the restart they were punished as Town grabbed a deserved equaliser when Mark Goodman probed a 20 yard free-kick past the motionless Tony Breeden.

It took Olympic until 15 minutes before the end before they finally shook off their unexplained lethargy, but despite laying siege to the Malvern goal they were ultimately denied by some resolute defending and a couple of excellent saves by 'keeper Craig Humphries.

Junior Brown

  
12 April 2008
SECOND TEAM HALT RUN OF DEFEATS

Rushall Olympic's Second Team halted a run of five successive defeats in Midland Football Combination Reserve Division action by claiming an excellent 2-0 success at Coventry Sphinx

  
9 April 2008
YOUTH TEAM END CAMPAIGN WITH A DEFEAT

Rushall Olympic’s Youth Team ended their disappointing Midland Floodlit Youth League Western Division campaign with a single goal defeat by Shropshire outfit Ellesmere Rangers at Dales Lane. The Pics eventually ended the season in 11th position out of the 12 teams competing in the league, with a record of 3 victories, 5 draws and 14 defeats from their 22 games.

  
5 April 2008
8-GAME UNBEATEN RUN ENDED BY LUCKY LEAMINGTON

Rushall Olympic slipped down a place in the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands standings to fifth following an unfortunate single goal defeat at second placed Leamington as rivals Stourbridge and Chasetown both took advantage to make up ground on the Pics.

With the league's match of the day seemingly heading for a draw, the Brakes top scorer Ben Mackey came off the bench to send in a left footed drive from just outside the box with 15 minutes remaining that took a wicked deflection off visiting defender Richard Brown, wrong footing 'keeper Tony Breeden on its way through into the bottom right corner.

  
5 April 2008
SECOND TEAM SUFFER FIFTH SUCCESSIVE DEFEAT

Rushall Olympic's Second Team's disappointing end to the campaign continued with their fifth successive defeat in Midland Football Combination Reserve Division action. On this occasion Oadby Town were the latest beneficiaries as the Leicestershire outfit inflicted a heavy 4-1 defeat upon the Pics at Dales Lane, who have now failed to win on home turf for three games, having only claimed just a single victory in their last seven games.

  
2 April 2008
SECRETARY ON AIR WITH TONY BUTLER TONIGHT

Rushall Olympic Football Secretary Peter Athersmith will be live on BBC Radio W.M. TONIGHT in "The Tony Butler Football Phone-in" via a telephone link-up.

The show runs from 7.00 pm to 8.00 pm with Paul prossibly due to go on air around 7.45 pm, talking about the Pic's and how things are progressing down Dales Lane.

So remember to tune in on either 95.6 FM or on DAB Digital Radio.

Tony Butler

  
1 April 2008
ANOTHER THREE-GOAL SUCCESS BOOSTS PICS PLAY-OFF HOPES

Rushall Olympic extended their unbeaten run to eight games by claiming their fifth consecutive away win with a resounding 3-0 success at in-form Barton Rovers, who themselves tasted defeat for only the first time in eleven league games.

The Pics enjoyed the benefit of another excellent opening as they surged into the lead after only seven minutes when Craig Marshall powered home a far post header after some fine work by provider Lee Gough. Conceding the early goal following three successive clean sheets failed to endear the home side to the task in hand as their guests continued to dominate proceedings. It was therefore little surprise when Rushall’s top scorer Richard Beale netted his 16th goal of a marvellous personal campaign as the midfielder tore down the left flank, cut inside his marker and rifled in a low drive from the edge of the box.

Olympic completed their emphatic success with 12 minutes remaining when substitute Neil Grainger controlled a ball over the top of Rovers’ defence to perfection before drilling a pacey effort home into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

The Pics latest victory and clean sheet saw them move to within two points of third placed neighbours Sutton Coldfield Town with a game in hand and now look forward to their tantalising forthcoming clash at Leamington, who currently occupy the runners-up berth.

 

Richard Beale

  
31 March 2008
YOUTH TEAM BACK ON THE WINNING TRAIL

Finally there has been some good news for Rushall Olympic’s Youth Team on the pitch in their penultimate game of the season as they recorded their first win since 12 September 2007 following a fine 3-1 victory against mid-table Brierley Hill & Withymoor in Midland Floodlit Youth League Western Division action at Dales Lane.

  
29 March 2008
OLYMPIC BACK INTO FOURTH SPOT WITH COMFORTABLE VICTORY

Rushall Olympic completed a comfortable three goal victory against a limited Bedworth United outfit at Dales Lane with a highly professional performance in dire weather conditions that strengthened their position in the promotion play-off zone by leapfrogging Stourbridge into fourth spot.

Although the visitors won the toss and elected to defend against the Dales Lane slope and a swirling head wind, two goals in seven minutes during the first period saw the Pics surge into what was to be an insurmountable lead.

After referee Mr. Bate had turned down two far more obvious penalty appeals in the opening six minutes for the home side, it was a case of third time lucky on 27 minutes when Richard Brown was shoved off the ball following corner. The reliable Richard Beale promptly sent 'keeper Andrew Kemp the wrong way from the 12-yard mark as the midfield clinically struck the ball into the bottom right corner for his 15th goal of the campaign.

As Bedworth continued to be penned in their own half for long periods, on 34 minutes Rushall were two goals to the good when the bravery of James Knott earned the front runner a maiden goal by rifling home through a sea of legs from eight yards following good work by striker partner Junior Brown.

During the second period it was the Greenbacks turn to take advantage of the prevailing conditions, but the Pics defensive prowess ultimately limited them to long range strikes that rarely tested home stopper Tony Breeden as the home side ground out their nineteenth clean sheet in league action.

With nine minutes remaining Olympic wrapped up all three points with a decisive third goal when substitute Craig Marshall directed a looping header across the visiting custodian into the top right corner after meeting a pin-point centre to the far post.

Craig Marshall

  
26 March 2008
YOUTH TEAM STILL LOOKING FOR A WIN

Rushall Olympic's Youth Team are still searching for their first victory since September last year in Midland Floodlit Youth League Western Division action aftre losing 2-0 at home to Tipton Town at Dales Lane.

  
24 March 2008
REDS SPRING A SURPRISE TO DENT PICS PLAY-OFF AMBITIONS

Neighbours Willenhall Town put the brakes firmly on Rushall Olympic's promotion play-off charge as they dented the Pics hopes by grabbing a dramatic late equaliser at Dales Lane with just two minutes to go to salvage a one-all draw.

Although the result ultimately saw Rushall drop a rung to fifth spot, they still retained the final play-off position by three points and a superior goal difference from Chasetown and Aylesbury United, who both still have a game in hand.

Unlike the reverse fixture on New Years Day, it proved to be a far more entertaining Easter Monday encounter for the healthy crowd of 214 paying spectators.

Despite the visitors enjoying arguably the better of the few opportunities that were on offer during the afternoon, the Pics had taken a 64th minute lead from the penalty spot after midfielder Tony Nicholls was adjudged to have handled Neil Barnfield's drive from the edge of the box. The trusty left boot of 14-goal top scorer Richard Beale provided the ruthless finish from the 12-yard mark, sending Willenhall 'keeper Stuart Brock the wrong way.

However, with time fast running out and the home side seemingly on their way to a fourth successive victory, the Lockmen sprang a surprise when an unfortunate deflection prevented Olympic clearing the aftermath of a free-kick and substitute Josh McKenzie, a summer trialist at Dales Lane, came back to haunt the Pics with a close range finish with virtually his first touch of the game.

Richard Beale

  
24 March 2008
SECOND TEAM FALL TO NARROW LOSS AT TITLE CHASERS

Rushall Olympic's Second Team narrowly went down by two goals to one at neighbours Chasetown who strengthened their lead in first place in the Midland Football Combination Reserve Division table to four points.

  
22 March 2008
JUNIOR THE GOAL KING AS PICS RISE TO FOURTH SPOT

Rushall Olympic completed a straightforward double over Woodford United as striker Junior Brown netted a brace, just missing out on a thoroughly deserved hat-trick by the technicality of a rebound, to ease his side to a comfortable 3-0 victory in Northamptonshire that saw the Pics climb to a season best fourth place in the table.

The visitors enjoyed the perfect start on 13 minutes when Lee Gough was obstructed and from the resulting free kick delivered to the far post by skipper Lee Barrow, Junior Brown rose high above everyone to power home a header into the top corner of the net from 10 yards.

The encounter continued in the form of one-way traffic in favour of Olympic and in the 34th minute they doubled their advantage when a pin-point centre from the right picked out Junior Brown who netted his second of the game by planting a firm header off the crossbar and into the net via the back of 'keeper Thornton.

Fourteen minutes into the second period and Rushall effectively sealed all three points when a Woodford throw-in from the right was intercepted by Richard Brown who fed the ball down the line to Neil Grainger. As the front runner sent a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Junior Brown, his striker partner wrong footed defender Harris and completed his hat-trick in style by slotting the ball under the home stopper from the edge of the box.

The remainder of the contest saw the home side come back into the game slightly more as the Pics eased off the gas with a game on Easter Monday in mind, but the winning margin of the result was never in doubt as they claimed their fourth consecutive win on their travels.

Junior Brown

  
22 March 2008
SECOND TEAM SUFFER FOURTH CONSECUTIVE DEFEAT

Rushall Olympic's Second Team went down to a disappointing 2-1 home defeat to neighbours Walsall Wood who were 13 points behind and in last-but-one place in the Midland Football Combination Reserve Division table prior to kick-off. The defeat was the Pics fourth on the trot since the end of February.

  
18 March 2008
BERKHAMSTED PROVE THEMSELVES TO BE NO PUSHOVERS

It was never going to be a repeat of the high scoring reverse fixture seventeen days earlier, but Rushall Olympic made the long midweek trip to bottom markers Berkhamsted Town and came away with another priceless three points following a narrow 1-0 win in Hertfordhsire.

The only goal of the game arrived five minutes before the interval when top scorer Richard Beale netted from a penalty conversion attempt to claim his thirteenth goal of an increasingly impressive season following a handling offence by a Lilywhites defender.

The Pics had opportunities to produce a bigger winning margin, but once again it was their defensive unit who came up trumps with their twenty-sixth clean sheet from the forty-nine that have already been played this season in all competitions.

Richard Beale

  
17 March 2008
YOUTH TEAM DRAW THIRD CONSECUTIVE GAME

Rushall Olympic's Youth Team reeled off their third successive draw in Midland Floodlit Youth League Western Division action as the game between the Pics and bottom markers Lye Town ended 1-1 at Stourbridge Road.

  
15 March 2008
AWSOME PICS GAIN REVENGE AND GRAB SIXTH SPOT

Rushall Olympic ended Chesham United's five game unbeaten run and three match winning streak by recording a magnificent 3-1 victory in the Buckinghamshire outfits own back yard to gain ample redress for the single goal defeat inflicted upon the Pics at Dales Lane eleven days earlier.

The visitors couldn't have wished for a better start after finding themselves two goals to the good following an explosive thirteen minute opening spell. Neil Grainger put them in front with a glorious maiden goal for his new side after only three minutes when 'keeper Tony Breeden played a long ball forward. As the striker brought the ball under control to perfection he lashed it home into the bottom left corner.

Ten minutes later and the buoyant visitors surpassed all expectations by extending their advantage when Junior Brown received an inch perfect pass from Grant Beckett, turned his marker and fired home into an empty net after expertly rounding the Generals custodian.

On fifty minutes Olympic surged into a commanding 3-0 lead when Elliott Durrell left his marker for dead down the right flank before centring to the far post where Junior Brown unselfishly played the ball across the six yard box to Neil Grainger who netted his brace.

The home side then began to apply some telling pressure and with eighteen minutes remaining they pulled a goal back through Eugene Ofori as the striker hit a speculative twenty yard first time drive that came off the inside of Tony Breeden's right hand post and ricocheted into the back of the net.

During the remainder of the contest the Pics defensive unit held superbly firm to ensure that the visitors drew level on points with their hosts, ahead on goal difference and with a game in hand in sixth position, just a single point outside the promotion play-off zone.

Junior Brown

  
8 March 2008
SECOND TEAM FALL TO THIRD CONSECUTIVE DEFEAT

Rushall Olympic's Second Team went down to 3-1 at home to high-flying Barwell in the Midland Football Combination Reserve Division.

  
12 March 2008
YOUTH TEAM DRAW WITH HIGH FLYERS

Rushall Olympic's Youth Team pulled off an excellent 1-1 draw at home to third placed Stourbridge in the Midland Floodlit Youth League Western Division.

  
11 March 2008
RUSHALL BACK ON THE GOAL TRAIL TO PUNISH WOODFORD

Rushall Olympic rattled in their third result of the campaign with a magnitude of half a dozen goals or more as they hit Woodford United for six at Dales Lane to rise up to seventh spot in the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands table, just three points off the promotion play-off zone with a game in hand.

On a night when the Pics also claimed their 25th clean sheet of the season they found themselves two goals to the good at the interval thanks to Niki Preston's excellent shot on the turn on 17 minutes and Junior Brown's deft volley into the top corner just after the half hour mark.

The second period saw Rushall pull further away from their guests with four goals arriving in the final in the final 27 minutes as Junior Brown completed his brace with a firm header with just over an hour gone, while Elliott Durrell netted a debut goal straight from a wind assisted corner kick five minutes later.

Wing back Lee Gough wrapped up an emphatic victory for Olympic as he netted twice in the final six minutes by applying the finishing touch to Neil Grainger's assist across the face of goal on 84 minutes, before dispatching a superlative 35 yard effort over the head over the static Woodford stopper to complete the rout just three minutes later.

Lee Gough

  
8 March 2008
PICS DRAW A BLANK AGAINST DUCKS

Rushall Olympic bounced back from a midweek defeat at home to Chesham United to bag an excellent point against their fellow high-flying Buckinghamshire rivals Aylesbury United at Dales Lane………. The game itself was largely spoiled by a strong wind throughout, but it was arguably the Pics who enjoyed the higher number of the opportunities during the contest - although the visitors did rattle the woodwork on a couple of occasions………. Olympic were first to show on 9 minutes when Grant Becket sent a volley just over from 25 yards, while five minutes later Richard Beale did likewise with a sharp rising drive from similar distance………. On 15 minutes Richard Beale missed a real sitter when Junior Brown and Aylesbury 'keeper Tim Vincent vied for the ball close in, resulting in the custodian leaving a virtual open goal as he lay over his goal line. However, the midfielder blasted the loose ball from an acute angle six yards out into the side netting………. Eight minutes before the interval Junior Brown found himself in a one-on-one with the Ducks stopper, but his adversary did exceptionally well to narrow the angle and block out the front runners firm drive………. On the stroke of half time Aylesbury went close as Mike Feeley struck the back stanchion of the left upright from an acute angle, while on the hour mark Rushall's woodwork was tested again as Mark Jones' effort from the edge of the box cannoned off the left post………. Although debutant Olympic striker Neil Grainger almost made a name for himself eleven minutes after coming on as a substitute by just failing to make contact with Lee Gough's low centre to the far post, it was United who almost grabbed victory in the closing stages as Pics 'keeper Tony Breeden pulled off a brave block at close quarters and then moments later a highly optimistic penalty appeal was waved away.

  
8 March 2008
SECOND TEAM LOSE OUT AT MICKLEOVER

Rushall Olympic's Second Team went down to a narrow 2-1 defeat away at Mickleover Sports in the Midland Football Combination Reserve Division and now occupy tenth place in the league standings.

  
4 March 2008
RUSHALL FORGET THEIR SHOOTING BOOTS AS RIVALS TRIUMPH

Rushall Olympic's promotion play-off hopes were dealt a blow as they dropped back down to ninth place with a disappointing home defeat against Chesham United.

With fifth position in Division One Midlands in the offing for the in-form Pics with a victory over their Buckinghamshire rivals, they ultimately turned in a toothless performance in front of goal - which was compounded by some poor defending on 31 minutes that allowed the Generals dangerman Danny Burnell to net what turned out to be the winner.

  
3 March 2008
YOUTH TEAM MAKE A POINT AGAINST FELLOW STRUGGLERS

Rushall Olympic's Youth Team claimed a 2-2 draw at fellow strugglers Ellesmere Rangers in the Midland Floodlit Youth League Western Division.

  
1 March 2008
PICS GO GOAL CRAZY AT DALES LANE AGAINST BERKO

Rushall Olympic went goal crazy at Dales Lane as they slammed hapless bottom markers Berkhamsted Town by eight goals to nil to record their biggest ever victory in Southern League action and the second best in the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands this season.

The Pics already held a commanding two-goal lead with only 10 minutes on the watch after Niki Preston headed home in the seventh minute and then fellow defender Dave Haywood rifled in a 20 yard beauty to dent the visitor's confidence. However, Rushall had to wait until three minutes before the interval to extend their advantage further as Craig Marshall and 'keeper Sam Bridges both vied for a high centre and as the loose ball dropped nicely for Neil Barnfield the midfielder converted easily from close range.

It was the final 24 minutes that saw an avalanche of five goals, which began with Richard Beale confidently rolling number four into the bottom left corner after being set up by Junior Brown, prior to the Pics top scorer then netting his twelfth of the season as the unmarked midfielder consummately curled the ball home from 15 yards on 71 minutes.

Four minutes later and Olympic were six goals to the good when Junior Brown did exceptionally well to lose his marker, before darting menacingly on goal to round the Lilywhites custodian and slot home from an acute angle.

Goal number seven arrived nine minutes from full time when Niki Preston's shot on the turn cannoned off the foot of the right post and as Paul McMahon's follow up effort looped up and over a last ditch defensive block, fellow substitute Phil Rowe made sure by bundling the ball over the goal line.

In the second minute of injury time Paul McMahon wrapped up Rushall's emphatic success as the front runner broke clear of the visitors defence and cheekily lobbed the shell shocked Town stopper from the edge of the box to make it eight.

Junior Brown

  
27 February 2008
TOP SCORER BEALE HELPS TO BASH BISHOPS

Rushall Olympic ended Bishops Cleeve four game winning streak with a 2-1 success at their Kayte Lane ground, to close within four points of their rivals with five games in hand.

The Villagers went into the game having netted fifteen goals in those previous victories, but they gave the Pics a big helping hand on the half hour mark when a bizarre goal saw defender Lyndon Tomkins head past his own bewildered custodian.

The visitors doubled their advantage on 81 minutes and looked to have comfortably secured all three points as Richard Beale netted his tenth of the season from midfield with a clinical finish.

However, with four minutes remaining the hosts were offered a life line after being awarded a penalty kick for a somewhat harsh hand ball decision and substitute Ben Shatford steered the conversion past Tony Breeden to make it a tense finish.

Richard Beale

  
27 February 2008
SECOND TEAM BOW OUT OF CHALLENGE BOWL

The Second Team's interest in this season's Midland Football Combination Reserve Division Challenge Bowl ended at the 2nd Round stage after losing to the odd goal in nine against Coventry Sphinx at Dales Lane in the second leg of the tie.

With the Pics having lost the first leg 4-0 in Warwickshire seven weeks ago, they went out 9-4 on aggregate as Sphinx moved into the Semi-Final stage of the competition and will now face either Coleshill Town or Gresley Rovers.

  
23 February 2008
MATCH OFFICIALS RULE AS PICS SLIP TO NARROW DEFEAT

It proved to be one of those afternoons for Rushall Olympic as their attempts to close in on the promotion play-offs were chiefly dashed by some inconsistent decisions from the match officials. Between them they contrived to ignore a blatant penalty and disallow the visitors an equaliser, while most crucially in between failed to spot an infringement as Aylesbury United played on and netted the only goal of the game.

In a first half littered by one petty foul after another flowing football was a near impossibility, but on 34 minutes came the first controversial moment as the Pics Neil Barnfield was bundled over in the box, but amazingly referee Mr. Mudge waved away the visitors strenuous appeals.

In the 57th minute came another storm of protest arose as Olympic defender Karl Johnson was fouled, but as the referee allowed play to continue Faulkner hooked the ball home past the wrong footed Tony Breeden to give his side a somewhat fortuitous lead.

The match referee caused further uproar minutes later when Junior Brown had the ball in the back of the net, only to see his celebrations cut short by the whistle for an infringement in the build up.

As Rushall continued to press for an equaliser Aylesbury survived a huge let off on 64 minutes when a header back to their own 'keeper came off the woodwork straight into the path of Craig Marshall, but the striker could only nod the return over the bar.

Despite their efforts the visitors were unable to claw their way back into the contest as the extremely fortunate home side held out for all three points to cement forth place in the table.

  
23 February 2008
SECOND TEAM QUICKLY BACK TO WINNING WAYS

Rushall Olympic's Second Team bounced back to winning ways as they claimed a 2-1 success at home to Rugby Town in the Midland Football Combination Reserve Division to maintain seventh place in the league standings.

  
20 February 2008
YOUTH TEAM GO DOWN AT HOME TO BOTTOM MARKERS

Rushall Olympic's Youth Team received a nasty jolt as they found themselves beaten 4-2 by Midland Floodlit Youth League Western Division bottom markers Lye Town at Dales Lane. The victory for the vistiors brought them to within one point of the Pics, who fortunately still have two games in hand on the Black Country outfit.

  
18 February 2008
RUSHALL SENTENCE ROYALS TO FIRST HOME LEAGUE DEFEAT

An own goal from former Rushall Olympic 'keeper Chris Gemmell five minutes before the interval and a second from ex-Sutton Coldfield Town striker Craig Marshall two minutes after the break were enough to give the visiting Pics maximum points at a frozen Coles Lane and inflict the first home defeat on the Royals in British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands action this term.

On a bitterly cold evening Rushall's defence were once again bang on form as they rattled off a 22nd shut out of the campaign and their 13th in the 23 league games they have featured in - despite having to play the entire second half without injured skipper Richard Brown.

The opening goal arrived via a corner from the left that was ultimately flapped into his own net by the hapless Sutton stopper, while the Pics effectively sealed victory thanks to the persistence of 20-year-old striker Craig Marshall who chased down a through ball and clinically rifled home under the body of Chris Gemmell from the edge of the box.

Victory saw Olympic rise up three places into ninth place in the table, just four points off the promotion play-off places, while Sutton were left to lick their wounds after missing out on the opportunity to claim second spot behind leaders Evesham United.

Craig Marshall

  
16 February 2008
REVENGE IS SWEET FOR BATTLING PICS

A spectacular volley from midfielder Neil Barnfield with six minutes remaining won all three points for Rushall Olympic at Dales Lane as the home side finally got one over bogey side Romulus at the third attempt this season.

In a closely fought contest Romulus were first to threaten on 13 minutes when Lei Brown thumped a vicious volley from outside the box just wide of the left upright. However, on the back of only one defeat in their previous eight games, the Pics were keen to push on but had to wait until midway through the opening half for the first real opportunity to arrive when Craig Marshall drove wide of the far post from the right face of the box.

The visitors lost Leon Mitchell on 34 minutes through injury, while ten minutes later his replacement Roy Dunkley eventually left the field on a stretcher as Romulus were forced to regroup. Prior to that Roms midfielder Richard Batchelor was extremely fortunate not to see red after raising his hands during a tussle with Rushall's Ian Cooper.

As the second period degenerated into general midfield toil with both sides vying for possession, the game sprang dramatically to life in the 84th minute when Junior Brown headed the ball into the path of Neil Barnfield some 25 yards out, who let fly with a stunningly executed volley that gave 'keeper Mark Shiels little chance.

From that point onward there was no way back for Romulus as Olympic defended stoutly to see out nearly six minutes of injury time, while at the other end the Pics goal scoring hero almost grabbed a brace at the death with a stinging 20 yard drive that flew marginally wide of the left upright.

Neil Barnfield

  
16 February 2008
SECOND TEAM COME UNSTUCK AT RUNAWAY LEADERS

Rushall Olympic's Second Team's three game winning run on their travels ended at Midland Football Combination Reserve Division runaway leaders Boldmere St Michaels as the Pics slipped to a 3-0 defeat. The victory for Rushall's neighbours took their own winning streak to a highly impressive 11 consecutive league victories and a 14 point lead at the top of the table.

  
13 February 2008
YOUTH TEAM SLIP TO NARROW DEFEAT AFTER PROMISING START

Despite another encoraging performance, Rushall Olympic's Youth Team went down to a single goal defeat against neighbours Boldmere St Michaels in Midland Floodlit Youth League Western Division action at Dales Lane.

  
12 February 2008
OLYMPIC MAKE A GOOD POINT AT LEIGHTON

Rushall Olympic claimed clean sheet number twenty from the thirty-ninth game of their campaign as the Pics travelled to in-form Leighton Town and returned with a thoroughly deserved share of the spoils.

Although the visitors may have drawn a blank in the goals-for column, with the Bedfordshire outfit right on the periphery of the promotion play-off places, having lost only once this term on home soil in league action and also boasting an impressive eleven game unbeaten run to boot - it was a fantastic effort from the visitors.

The game may have been devoid of any major clear cut opportunities in front of goal, but both sides were part of what was otherwise an extremely entertaining contest played in the proper spirit and at the end of the evening the result was the right one.

  
12 February 2008
PRESENTATION NIGHT DATE ANNOUNCED

This year Rushall Olympic’s Annual Presentation Night will take place on FRIDAY 9 MAY 2008 at Dales Lane, with the popular event encompassing entertainment in the form of a fully organised Racing Evening and Disco.

In order to keep numbers at a manageable level, this season the event will be for presentations involving the First Team only. The Second Team and Youth Team will be holding a separate joint Presentation Night at Dales Lane on a date to be announced in due course.

Admission will be strictly by ticket only and are priced at £5.00 each, which includes a delicious hot and cold buffet.

We advise that anyone interested in attending, what will be an excellent evening, should book early and pay for their ticket in advance to avoid disappointment. Please see a member of the Committee for further details.

  
9 February 2008
STORY OF MISSED CHANCES AS TWO POINTS DROPPED

Rushall Olympic's lack of firepower cost them the ideal opportunity to claim another three points, despite creating a whole host of opportunities, as they were ultimately forced to come back from behind to salvage a point against a struggling Stourport Swifts side who otherwise posed little threat.

Poor defending gave the visitors the advantage after only 11 minutes when in the wake of a set-piece centre back Steve Frost was first to react to claim the loose ball and drove clinically through a crowded goal mouth into the bottom right corner past the flat footed Tony Breeden from 25 yards out.

The goal acted as a catalyst for the Pics to go on the offensive, but despite their telling possession they could have fallen further behind on the half hour mark, but for a good block by their custodian who denied Shane Gill.

A parried drive from Lee Gough saw Paul McMahon wastefully fire wide the rebound from close range on 33 minutes, while six minutes later Richard Beale was denied from just outside the box by 'keeper Chris Jay as Olympic pressed.

Olympic finally restored parity in the second minute of first half stoppage time when Junior Brown turned and rifled accurately home into the bottom left corner through the despairing grasp of Jay.

During the second period it was virtually all one-way traffic in the home sides favour as front runner Brown and Dave Haywood went perilously close to edging the Pics ahead. However, in the second minute of injury time Neil Barnfield summed up Rushall's afternoon when the midfielder turned his marker inside out but could only lift the ball well over the target with only the custodian to beat.

Junior Brown

  
9 February 2008
SECOND TEAM CLAIM THREE WINS ON THE BOUNCE AWAY FROM HOME

Rushall Olympic's Second Team bounced back to winning ways as they claimed a 1-0 success at Coleshill Town in the Midland Football Combination Reserve Division to make it three consecutive victories on their travels. The win, courtesy of an own goal, pushed the Pics into seventh place - just three points off third position.

  
6 February 2008
YOUTH TEAM FIND IT HARD GOING AGAINST HILL

Rushall Olympic's Youth Team, down to the bare minimum 11 players in their squad, stumbled to a heavy 6-1 defeat at Midland Floodlit Youth League Western Division high-flyers Brierley Hill & Withymoor. The Pics found themselves four down before they claimed a second half consolation goal through Jack Aston, however the home side added two more before the end that gave the final scoreline an all the more convincing look.

  
5 February 2008
LEIGHTON TOWN GAME POSTPONED DUE TO WATERLOGGED PITCH

Rushall Olympic's British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands encounter with Leighton Town was called off at 4.00 pm this afternoon due to a waterlogged pitch.

Heavy rain during last night and periodically throughout the day had generally made the pitch unplayable, with one goal mouth in particular found to be under water.

The fixture will now be re-arranged for a later date in due course.

 

  
  
2 February 2008
RUSHALL HAVE BEALE APPEAL AS PICS GAIN REVENGE

A clinical penalty conversion from Richard Beale just after the midway point of the first period was enough to seal Rushall Olympic's excellent single goal victory over promotion chasing Stourbridge at Amblecote and avenge an early defeat from November last year in the reverse fixture.

The midfielder's ninth goal of the season and seventh in his last six appearances for the Pics also saw the visitors defence hold firm as Olympic claimed their nineteenth clean sheet from the thirty-seven league and cup games of the campaign so far this season.

During the second half manager Paul Holleran was able to hand debuts to substitutes Craig Marshall and Alan Wilkes against a Stourbridge side who have become one of the clubs bogey sides in recent years.

Richard Beale

  
2 February 2008
SECOND TEAM UNBEATEN RUN ENDS

Rushall Olympic's Second Team suffered their first defeat in seven Midland Football Combination Reserve Division games as second placed Chasetown, who had only lost once all season, eventually ran out 4-2 winners at Dales Lane. The Pics had taken a two goal lead by the 20th minute through Martyn Edmunds and Ben Andrews, but eventually lost out to an experienced Scholars line-up who had levelled by the interval, before going on to claim all three points.

  
31 January 2008
MANAGER REACTS TO STAVE OFF STRIKER CRISIS

Rushall Olympic manager Paul Holleran moved to ease his striking worries by signing two new front men in the form of ALAN WILKES on loan from Coca Cola League One neighbours Walsall and Stourport Swifts' CRAIG MARSHALL.

Alan is a regular member of the Saddlers Youth Team who has progressed impressively into the Reserve side at the Banks's Stadium this season and has just celebrated his 18th birthday. A local lad, he first came to prominence with Birchills United in the Wolverhampton Combination during season 2006-07 and his undoubted prowess in front of goal soon earned him a move to the Saddlers - helping them win the Midland Youth Cup against Shrewsbury Town in May 2007.

Fellow front runner Craig is still only 20-years-old and was originally a product of Hednesford Town's highly successful youth system, quickly forcing his way into the First Team picture mid-way through the 2004-2005 campaign after becoming a hugely prolific goal scorer at Youth level. After making his full First Team debut for the Pitmen during the following season and at one point signing contract terms in November 2005, he enjoyed two separate loan spells with Stourport Swifts in January and March 2006, before eventually linking up permanently with the Worcestershire outfit for season 2006-07. A transfer to Sutton Coldfield Town followed in December 2006, before opting for another return to Stourport Swifts during summer 2007.

A hearty welcome to both players!

The signings come at a time when the Pics are without the injured duo of Sean Dowdall and Paul Szewczyk, while Damien Charie this week informed the Dales Lane boss that he was taking a break from football. Meanwhile, new signing Junior Brown is still on the way back from a calf problem.

With Olympic due to take on high-flying Stourbridge at the War Memorial Ground, on the eve of the game Paul Holleran reflected: "The last time we played Stourbridge it was a tightly contested game at our place. I'm expecting much the same sort of match tomorrow."

Alan Wilkes

Craig Marshall

  
30 January 2008
MISSED CHANCES COST RUSHALL DEARLY AT CINDERFORD

A costly goal keeping error in the first minute of injury time gifted lowly Cinderford Town all three points from a game in which Rushall Olympic had spurned enough opportunities to have won the contest several times over - despite their squad once more being down to the bare bones.

With eleventh place beckoning for the somewhat in-form Pics in the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands, it was eventually the hosts who sprung a surprise to move up the standings themselves on the night after visiting custodian Tony Breeden uncharacteristically and most crucially fumbled a centre that fell invitingly to the feet of Tim Haddock who made no mistake from close range.

  
30 January 2008
YOUTH TEAM ALMOST TURN THE FORM BOOK UPSIDE DOWN

Rushall Olympic’s Youth Team almost pulled off a shock victory against runaway leaders Oldbury Athletic at Dales Lane, but the Black Country outfit levelled to make it 1-1 with just 15 minutes remaining in the Midland Floodlit Youth League Western Division.

Under the new management of Paul Groves, also the Pics Reserve Team boss, the Under-18's took the game to their lofty guests and grabbed the lead just before the hour mark through Craig Stevens, before promotion chasing Oldbury hit back late on.

  
26 January 2008
PICS EASE TO A COMFORTABLE HOME WIN

Rushall Olympic made in nine goals in total in two consecutive league games against the limited resistance of Rothwell Town as the Pics reeled off their fourth successive clean sheet in British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands action with a solid 3-0 success at Dales Lane.

The visitors were of little threat during the first period, but Rushall were certainly made to work hard for their lead as they ultimately grabbed all three goals in a nine minute spell either side of the interval.

Despite enjoying the vast majority of possession the home side were forced to wait until the 37th minute to record an opening goal when Lee Gough's surging run down the right was centred low into Paul McMahon, whose pull back was clinically driven past 'keeper Tom Smith from 15 yards by Neil Barnfield.

Six minutes later Damien Charie was blatantly barged from behind by defender Paul Rice within the confines of Town's box to yield a penalty kick that top scorer Richard Beale ruthlessly powered home through the grasp of the visiting custodian.

Barely a minute into the second period and Olympic were three goals up when 'keeper Tom Smith made a real hash of blocking Damien Charie's close range centre from the left at his near post and the ball went straight through to Paul McMahon who tapped home into an empty net from barely a yard out.

Although the Bones of Rothwell rallied somewhat during the remainder of the second half, home stopper Tony Breeden was only briefly called into action, while at the other end Rushall should certainly have taken the opportunity to add more to their tally.

Richard Beale

  
26 January 2008
SECOND TEAM TURN TABLES ON HIGH FLYERS

Rushall Olympic's Second Team continued their excellent run of form as they travelled to third placed Barwell and claimed a 2-0 victory to make it six games unbeaten in Midland Football Combination Reserve Division action.

The win, sealed by goals from Mat Hunt and James Hawthorne, also left the Pics now enjoying an 11 point advantage over the leagues bottom three sides, while also being level on points with eighth placed Mickleover Sports.

  
22 January 2008
OLYMPIC GO FOR A BURTON IN ANOTHER SIX-GOAL CUP EXIT

For the second time this season Rushall Olympic found themselves on the end of a six-goal cup defeat by Blue Square Premier opposition. On this occasion the Pics bowed out of the Birmingham Football Association Senior Cup at the Semi-Final stage of the competition to clinical Staffordshire outfit Burton Albion - but the scoreline was somewhat harsh on the visitors who otherwise put on an admirable display.

The Brewers, orchestrated by player-manager Nigel Clough in midfield and making his 300th appearance for the Pirelli Stadium outfit, stormed into a commanding 5-0 lead by the 69th minute - but Olympic were already four down at the interval, conceding twice in the final minute of the first period.

During the second period Rushall gave as good as they got and eventually pulled one back through Neil Barnfield on 71 minutes, but eight minutes later Burton grabbed their sixth goal through skipper Darren Stride who was making his 600th appearance for Albion.

The Pics re-established some respectability in the final throws of the game when defender Lee Barrow grabbed a late consolation in what was otherwise a comprehensive defeat - but it is the Brewers who will now face either Birmingham City or Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Final of the competition on a date and at a venue yet to be decided.

Click here for the thoughts of Burton manager Nigel Clough

  
19 January 2008
BURTON ALBION BIRMINGHAM SENIOR CUP SEMI-FINAL ON TUESDAY

Don't forget that the Semi-Final tie of the Birmingham County Football Association Senior Challenge Cup against promotion chasing Blue Square Premier Staffordshire neighbours Burton Albion, who are managed by Nigel Clough, will take place at the Brewers Pirelli Stadium, Princess Way, Burton-on-Trent on TUESDAY 22 JANUARY 2008, kick-off 7.45 pm.

Please go along and give your support to the Pics if at all possible.

  
19 January 2008
BERKHAMSTED GAME OFF DUE TO WATERLOGGED PITCH

Rushall Olympic's British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands fixture at Berkhamsted Town was this morning postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

With the Pics already well behind in their league programme and having to virtually play twice a week between now and the end of the season, today's postponement simply adds to the fixture congestion, not to mention the prospect of having an unwanted midweek trip down into the depths of Hertfordshire.

  
16 January 2008
PICS NIK WIN AGAINST PRO RIVALS TO GRAB SEMI-FINAL BERTH

Rushall Olympic exceeded all expectations as the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands side battled their way into the Semi-Final of the Birmingham Football Association Senior Challenge Cup for only the second time in the Pics history.

Their notable progression came at the expense of a Walsall side containing no less than six players with plenty of professional experience between them.

The tie was settled by a single goal that came virtually straight from the kick-off when Lee Gough won his side a free-kick just in Saddlers territory and as the wing back swung the ball into the box the initial danger was only partially repelled and a mix up in the visitors defensive ranks eventually provided Niki Preston with the opportunity to drive home from 12 yards.

The rewards for the Pics is now an intriguing Semi-Final tie at promotion chasing Blue Square Premier Staffordshire neighbours Burton Albion, who are managed by Nigel Clough. The game will take place at the Brewers Pirelli Stadium, Princess Way, Burton-on-Trent on TUESDAY 22 JANUARY 2008, kick-off 7.45 pm.

Meanwhile, the other Semi-Final will be contested between Birmingham City and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Niki Preston

  
12 January 2008
NEW DATE ARRANGED FOR BIRMINGHAM SENIOR CUP TIE WITH WALSALL

Supporters should take note that the Quarter-Final tie of the Birmingham County Football Association Senior Challenge Cup against Coca Cola League One neighbours Walsall will definitely be going ahead this week, but will now be taking place on WEDNESDAY 16 JANUARY, kick-off 7.45 pm.

Most people would have been under the impression that the tie, originally scheduled for 24 hours earlier, was going to be re-scheduled to a later date due to the Saddlers FA Cup replay at Millwall on Tuesday evening. However, following discussions with Walsall the Birmingham Senior Cup tie has now simply been move to the next evening.

Please come along and give your support to the Pics.

  
12 January 2008
SECOND TEAM PIC OFF HIGH FLYERS

Rushall Olympic's Second Team pulled off an excellent home win in the Midland Football Combination Reserve Division as they clinched a 2-0 victory at Dales Lane over fourth placed Friar Lane & Epworth.

Mat Hunt gave the Pics a 65th minute lead against a strong visiting line-up, before Reece Hodgen wrapped up the points for the home side 15 minutes from full time.

The success extended the Pics unbeaten league run to fo five games and they have now opened up an 8 point gap over 12th placed Gresley Rovers.

  
08 January 2008
FOUR STAR RICHARD BEALE HITS ROTHWELL FOR SIX

Rampant Rushall Olympic racked up the goals as they crushed the Bones of Rothwell Town at their Cecil Street ground by six goals to nil to record the clubs biggest ever victory in the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands.

It's not very often a player cracks home four goals in a single game, but when it's from a midfielder it's usually in the form of something special. Star of the show was undoubtedly Richard Beale, who whetted his appetite at the weekend with a sweetly struck free-kick against Dunstable Town and then promptly bagged another four against lowly Rothwell to jump straight to the top of the Dales Lane goal scoring charts on seven goals alongside strikers Gary Birch and Sean Dowdall.

The midfielder's first strike came after only 36 seconds with a neat finish from 15 yards and in the ninth minute the Pics could even afford to miss a penalty through the usually reliable Paul McMahon, before Richard Beale grabbed his brace with a now almost trademark wind assisted corner kick from the right, ten minutes before the break. The strike was also Rushall's 150th in Southern League football.

Olympic then went one better as they took a commanding 3-0 lead into the half-time interval as Ian Cooper smashed home his first goal in a Rushall shirt from fully 35 yards.

The visitor's were then forced to bide their time as Rothwell girded their loins for the commencement of the second period, but on 71 minutes their patience was rewarded with another penalty as live-wire Lee Gough was infringed in the area. On this occasion the responsibility fell to that man Richard Beale who eagerly rifled home the conversion to record his hat-trick - before promptly notching goal number four some nine minutes later with an unstoppable 30 yard drive.

Still Rushall were not done and with less than a minute remaining the impressive Junior Brown headed home a free-kick from, none other than, Richard Beale to send the Pics back to the West Midlands with a scintillating six goals under their belts and a third successive clean sheet to boot on a night to remember.

Richard Beale

  
05 January 2008
OLYMPIC WORK HARD TO TAKE ALL THREE POINTS

Two second half goals rewarded hard working Rushall Olympic with three extremely useful points as the home side ran out 2-0 winners against a Dunstable Town outfit with promotion ambitions who were on the periphery of the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands play-off's.

During the first period the Pics were forced to play second fiddle at times to their guests and after only seven minutes the Blues Aaron Flood somehow scooped over from ten yards after weaving his way into the box in the wake of a fine move.

Rushall's early game plan were severely hindered by the 34th minute withdrawal of exciting AFC Telford United loanee Elliott Durrell just minutes after a crude challenge, however the Dales Lane side admirably regrouped to hit Dunstable with a devastating second half knock out double.

Against the odds Olympic took the lead on 65 minutes when Ian Cooper worked the ball forward to the edge of the box, where a neat pass into the feet of goal poacher Paul McMahon on the right side of goal evaded the off-side trap and was clinically dispatched from eight yards.

A cracking free-kick eventually doubled the Pics lead and cemented all three points with ten minutes remaining after Neil Barnfield's tremendous run through a series of challenges ended 22 yards out in a central position. As Rushall's Richard Beale teed the ball up and set his sights on goal, the midfielder took three steps back and curled a beauty into the bottom left corner as static 'keeper Paul Taylor looked on as the ball zipped over the line.

Richard Beale

  
05 January 2008
SECOND TEAM GO FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH

Rushall Olympic's young Second Team continued to show great improvement in the Midland Football Combination Reserve Division as they travelled to lowly neighbours Walsall Wood and came away with a solid 3-1 success that extended the Pics unbeaten league run to four games. All the goals came in the first period as Rushall went two up in the first twenty minutes through Craig Stevens and Martyn Edmunds, before James Groves added a third. The home side pulled a consolation back five before the interval and the only surprise was that no further goals arrived during the second period - with the closest being Reece Hodgen's penalty conversion attempt that was well saved by the Wood custodian with 15 minutes remaining.......... More good news for Olympic was that First Team skipper Richard Brown made his long awaited comeback from injury in the game after seven weeks out.

  
01 January 2008
RUSHALL DRAW ANOTHER FESTIVE BLANK

Rushall Olympic drew yet another blank in what was an extremely dour New Years Day goalless bore-draw against neighbours Willenhall Town at Noose Lane.

All that could be said was that the defences were certainly on top, as neither side looked remotely capable of breaking the deadlock.

Although goal scoring opportunities were rather few and far between, those that did arise were wastefully spurned - making it a relatively easy afternoon for both custodians.

Having failed to score in each of their festive fixtures, the Pics worrying lack of fire power against more astute opposition could mean that the extremely healthy number of games they currently have in hand over most sides above them in the league table could eventually count for little or nothing if they do not find themselves a quality finisher soon.

  
31 December 2007
END OF YEAR DOUBLE DEAL FOR PICS

Rushall Olympic manager Paul Holleran has made a double end of year venture into the transfer market in a bid to both strengthen and freshen up his depleted squad prior to the crucial British Gas Business Football League Divison One Midlands clash at neighbours Willenhall Town on New Years Day. Highly rated 18-year-old right sided wing back ELLIOTT DURRELL has arrived at Dales Lane on a one month loan deal from Blue Square North title hopefuls AFC Telford United, while 23-year-old front runner JUNIOR BROWN has become the latest player to take the well trodden path after transferring from British Gas Business Football League Premier Division promotion chasers Halesowen Town to link up with the Pics.

Durrell, a product of the Shropshire outfits successful Academy set up, has already made several appearances for the Bucks First Team this season - most notably making a dream debut by grabbing a 105th minute winner for Rob Smith's men in the 3-2 win over Solihull Moors in the Setanta Shield back in October. During season 2006-07 the teenager had also gained experience by turning out for Ludlow Town in the West Midlands (Regional) League.

Meanwhile, Brown was originally in the British Army and while serving in Germany had appeared for local side Tundern, prior to eventually linking up with Midland Football Combination outfit Chelmsley Town upon returning to the UK. A move to The Grove followed in February 2007, but injury meant the forward had not featured for Halesowen's First Team this term, while his chances of a return to action were reduced further following the recent arrival of their new manager Morell Maison.

A hearty welcome to both players!

Junior Brown

Elliott Durrell

  
29 December 2007
SECOND TEAM HAVE TO SETTLE FOR A DRAW

Rushall Olympic's Second Team faced Leicestershire outfit Quorn for the third consecutive league and cup game, this time in Midland Football Combination Reserve Division action at Dales Lane. However, the Pics once more failed to chalk up a win and instead had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

  
26 December 2007
ONE TO FORGET AS PERROW PREDICTABLY POUNCES

An extremely disappointing local derby in front of Dales Lanes' largest crowd of the campaign was decided by a solitary first half goal from Rushall Olympic's 20-goal top scorer of last season Dean Perrow, as Chasetown narrowly completed the double over their arch rivals.

In an otherwise instantly forgettable Boxing Day encounter that failed to live up to its billing, the deciding goal arrived ten minutes before the interval when a free kick played into the box was converted at the near post by the Pics former front runner.

 

  
23 December 2007
BIG BOXING DAY CROWD EXPECTED AT DALES LANE

Rushall Olympic are anticipating their biggest attendance of the campaign so far with neighbours Chasetown being the visitors to Dales Lane for the traditional Boxing Day encounter.

We would like to remind all supporters that the kick-off time for the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands fixture will be 1.00 pm.

 

  
22 December 2007
FOUR STAR DISPLAY FROM FESTIVE PICS

Rushall Olympic hit the goal trail at Dales Lane as they cruised home to a comfortable four goal victory against struggling Malvern Town to record their biggest success of the campaign so far. A brace from striker Paul McMahon was the highlight of the afternoon as man of the match Richard Beale also came up with three assists, while Neil Barnfield and Paul Szewczyk both chipped in with a goal apiece.

The unseasonal dull wet weather of the first period was only brightened as Rushall took the lead on 41 minutes when Richard Beale's free kick from the left flank was curled into the box and Paul McMahon planted a firm free header from 12 yards into the left side of goal past the static Lewis Skyers.

Olympic were two goals to the good five minutes into the second period when a fine slide rule pass from Beale picked out the run of Neil Barnfield through the right channel and as the midfielder ran on he confidently slotted home from just inside the Malvern box.

Chris Hughes should have done better for the visitors on 57 minutes but somehow fired wide of the right post from close range in the wake of a goal mouth scramble following successive flag kicks.

An almighty defensive mix-up between Warren Howes and 'keeper Skyers contrived to gift the Pics a third goal just after the hour mark as McMahon completed his brace with a simple finish into the bottom left corner past the embarrassed duo.

Town were awarded a penalty on 71 minutes as Rushall skipper Lee Barrow handled the ball at close quarters, attempting to block out a strike on goal, but Tony Breeden did exceptionally well to repel Matt Aubrey's well struck conversion attempt at full stretch to his right.

Normal service was resumed for the home side with a couple of minutes remaining when midfielder Beale produced his third assist of the afternoon to play the ball into the feet of substitute Paul Szewczyk who made no mistake with a clinical low drive from 16 yards.

Paul McMahon

  
15 December 2007
RUSHALL BACK TO BASICS WITH LEAGUE WIN

Rushall Olympic bounced back from midweek cup despondency to get their much delayed British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands campaign firmly back on track with an essentially comfortable 2-0 victory at lowly Stourport Swifts.

The potential stumbling block of a Worcestershire outfit buoyed by the midweek installation a new managerial regime appeared to hold no fears for the Pics who generally dominated the first period. However, the visitors were made to wait until the 63rd minute to finally turn their supremacy into goals when the introduction of target man Paul Szewcyzk, in place of Paul McMahon, finally changed the complexion of the game. Within a minute of his arrival the front runner set up Harry Harris who clinically converted from 12 yards to claim his third goal in successive league games.

Rushall ultimately consolidated their advantage with eight minutes remaining when Neil Barnfield set Damien Charie racing clear of the home defence who held his nerve to slot the ball home from just inside the box for his third goal of the campaign.

Harry Harris

  
15 December 2007
SECOND TEAM BOW OUT OF CHALLENGE TROPHY

Rushall Olympic's Second Team slipped out of the a Midland Football Combination Reserve Division Challenge Trophy at the Second Round stage following a 1-0 defeat at Dales Lane against Leicestershire outfit Quorn.

  
11 December 2007
NO CASE FOR THE DEFENCE AS PICS CRASH OUT OF CUP IN DISARRAY

Rushall Olympic were unceremoniously dumped out of the Staffordshire Senior Challenge Cup by lower league Rocester in a penalty shoot out after some scandalous defending during a anarchic 15 minute spell just after the commencement of the second period saw the Pics relinquish a comfortable 2-0 interval lead. However, the drama was not over as the home side went 3-2 behind and then grabbed a last ditch equaliser in stoppage time, which ultimately saw the opponents forgo the unappealing opportunity of extra time on a steadily freezing pitch and progress straight to spot kicks as Rocester deservedly prevailed 3-1 from the 12 yard mark.

Following an uneasy opening the home side surged ahead on 15 minutes when a well worked move saw Niki Preston doggedly win possession and feed Harry Harris, whose pin point ball into Paul McMahon on the edge of the Rocester box was deftly lofted first time over the head of 'keeper Dean Latham into the net.

Rushall's second goal arrived five minutes before the interval when Damien Charie was hauled down in full flight by the Romans custodian on the left edge of his box to concede a penalty kick that Grant Beckett confidently drilled home.

The second half saw the home side simply fall apart defensively and just ten minutes after the restart Rocester reduced the deficit when Olympic's dawdling rearguard lost possession and forward Dave Shaw had ample time and space to pick his spot and drive home from the edge of the box.

On 68 minutes the Romans were back on level terms through a fine strike from Gary Beardsley, prior to substitute Ishmale Read being offered the opportunity to drive home low and hard from 18 yards past flat footed 'keeper Tony Breeden in the wake of yet more shambolic defending barely two minutes later.

With time fast running out Dave Haywood drilled home from 25 yards through a crowded goal mouth to restore some pride for the Pics as the tie ended 3-3 after 90 minutes, but with penalty shoot outs proving not to be one of the strongest parts of Rushall's game in recent years, elimination was but a formality for the higher league outfit. Despite Richard Beale opening his sides account from the 12 yard mark, Lee Gough's miss and fine saves from Dean Latham to deny both Paul McMahon and Dave Haywood spelled the end for the home side as Dave Shaw rifled home the winning spot kick.

 

  
08 December 2007
WASTED JOURNEY FOR PICS

Rushall Olympic were subjected to a wasted coach journey down the M6 and M1 to Barton Rovers for their scheduled British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands fixture.

Upon arriving at Rovers Sharpenhoe Road ground in Barton-le-Clay, rain during the morning in the Bedfordshire area had apparently rendered the pitch waterlogged.

  
07 December 2007
LEE WILLIAMS MAKING GOOD PROGRESS AFTER SICKENING EYE INJURY

Everyone at Rushall Olympic would like to offer our recent signing LEE WILLIAMS our most sincere best wishes after we were all extremely shocked to learn that the popular midfielder almost lost the sight in his right eye in a sickening freak accident while loading his car last weekend.

The father-of-two, who has played some 384 professional matches, underwent emergency surgery after injuring his eye on the corner of his car boot door while collecting a Christmas tree. We were therefore all mightily relieved to here from doctors that 34-year-old Lee, who only made his debut for the Pics last Saturday against Cinderford Town, was making good progress.

Speaking to the Express & Star Lee said today that his vision had started to come back and praised doctors at the Dudley Road Eye Hospital in Birmingham for their care. Describing the accident the Halesowen-based player said: "It was horrible because I had to have my eye stitched through my eyeball which was very painful. I'm feeling quite well now and I can see but it is quite fuzzy. I have to go back on Monday to see the doctors. Originally, I was scared and thought I would lose my eyesight."

Lee was hoping to be back on the pitch as soon as possible and Rushall Olympic manager Paul Holleran reflected: "'Willo' had just made his debut for us on Saturday. When he first did it the doctors told him the worst case scenario was that it would take years to get his sight back."

From everyone at Dales Lane, we offer Lee our very best wishes for a full and speedy recovery and hope to see him back in the old gold and black as soon as possible.

Lee Williams

 

  
07 December 2007
CHECK BEFORE YOU TRAVEL TO BARTON

Rushall Olympic supporters are advised to check with either a club official or our opponents Barton Rovers before travelling to Bedforshire for the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands fixture between our two sides.

Although Rovers Sharpenhoe Road pitch in Barton-le-Clay is playable at present after some heavy periods of rain this week, the weather forecast for tomorrow afternoon is for more rain in the Bedfordshire area.

  
07 December 2007
MORE TRANSFER ACTIVITY BETWEEN PICS AND YELTZ

There has been another bout of transfer activity between Rushall Olympic and British Gas Business League Premier Division Halesowen Town this week - and It's been a case of one former Yeltz player in and one out at Dales Lane as the Pics lost the services of ex-Stoke City and Watford striker FRANCINO FRANCIS to The Grove outfit, just two games after linking up witn Rushall from UniBond League Division One South newcomers Quorn.

Meanwhile, the Pics have been able to welcome midfielder IAN COOPER into the fold, who transferred having recently regained his fitness following a spell of injury that had otherwise prevented him from featuring for Halesowen Town this term. The highly rated 28-year-old began his career by coming through the ranks at Walsall, before eventually entering the non-League scene with a spell at Bromsgrove Rovers. A switch to the now defunct Blakenall outfit came in December 1999, before transferring to Solihull Borough during summer 2001. He remained at Damson Parkway until summer 2004, when he linked back up with his former manager Paul Holleran at Halesowen Town - going on to make 125 appearances for The Grove based club in all over the next three seasons.

This week Rushall also parted company with ex-Halesowen Town front runner AARON FARRELL after just two games. The former Solihull Borough and Evesham United 21-year-old transferred to Dales Lane from the Yeltz in early November after finding himself surplus to requirements at The Grove, but little had been seen of the front runner after being injured in only his second game for Rushall. Midland Football Alliance title chasers Stratford Town appear to be the forward's most likely destination, where he will join forces again with his former Solihull manager Micky Moore and many of his earstwhile colleagues from Damson Parkway.

IN: Ian Cooper

OUT: Francino Francis

OUT: Aaron Farrell

  
01 December 2007
OLYMPIC'S CRUCIAL WIN THANKS TO HARRY'S GAME

A third goal in four games from in-form loan striker Harry Harris was enough to provide Rushall Olympic with their first victory in seven attempts and to bring to an end a three game losing streak in Division One Midlands action.

The start of the game was delayed for almost 15 minutes due to the late arrival of a replacement assistant referee, but within three minutes of the opening only an excellent save from Tony Breeden at full stretch kept a 25 yard at bay from Cinderford's Dave Wilkinson.

As the half progressed, twice Rushall's Damien Charie was sent racing clear by Lee Barrow's long defensive clearances, but on both occasions the end product was found wanting. However, right on the stroke of half time at the other end the Pics custodian was almost embarrassed when he unwisely left a speculative 40 yarder from the left channel to cannon off the foot of the left upright and back into play.

What turned out to be the crucial winning goal arrived within a minute of the commencement of the second period when a good move saw Grant Beckett feed Richard Beale, whose centre into the penalty area was clinically dispatched by Harry Harris from 15 yards.

During the remainder of the second half the game was largely confined to a midfield battle but the Foresters Paul Tassell proved to be the busier of the two stoppers, denying Harry Harris and Richard Beale in quick succession on 51 minutes and Neil Barnfield twice from close range in the final quarter of an hour.

Although Walsall teenager Harry Harris was deprived of a second goal with four minutes remaining by an off-side flag, Rushall deservedly hung on to what may turn out to be a vital three point reward.

Harry Harris

  
30 November 2007
DALES LANE HOSTS REFEREE TRAINING COURSE IN JANUARY 2008

Rushall Olympic's Dales Lane ground will be the venue for a Referee Training Course that will commence on Monday 7th January 2008 at 7.00 pm. The course will run for approximately 9 weeks.

For further information or to register your interest, please contact Peter Heafield at the Staffordshire Football Association on: peter.heafield@staffordshirefa.com or telephone 01785 256994.

Bob Thomas (Referee Instructor).

  
28 November 2007
EXPERIENCED MIDFIELD CAMPAIGNER LINKS UP WITH RUSHALL

Rushall Olympic manager Paul Holleran has recently been pulling out all the stops to bolster his injury hit squad and was fortunate enough to take advantage of the further fall out from the managerial changeover at Halesowen Town by snapping up tremendously experienced campaigner LEE WILLIAMS. The midfielder had been interesting Premier Division outfit Bromsgrove Rovers, but the dismissal of manager Rod Brown after last weekend appeared to tip the balance in the Pics favour.

Capable of playing in a number of positions across midfield, the 34-year-old began his career by coming through the ranks at Aston Villa and also represented England at Youth level in 1990 against France at Wembley Stadium. November 1992 saw him join Shrewsbury Town on loan for a short spell, before eventually leaving Villa Park for Peterborough United in March 1994, remaining at London Road until the end of season 1995-96, having made almost a century of appearances. Summer 1996 resulted in a move to the Republic of Ireland where he linked up with League of Ireland outfit Shamrock Rovers, prior to returning to the UK and having a one month trial with Tranmere Rovers from the end of February 1997. After leaving Prenton Park he eventually linked up with Mansfield Town in March 1997, where he remained until December 2001, having made over 170 appearances for the Stags. Upon being given a free transfer he signed for Cheltenham Town, where he had spent the previous three months on loan. Whilst at Whaddon Road he made over 50 appearances and was part of the team who won promotion to League Division Two during season 2001-02 by defeating Rushden & Diamonds at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. After being released at the end of the following campaign, summer 2003 saw him join Telford United on a free transfer, having made well in excess of 300 professional appearances. During April 2004 he had a one month loan spell with Bromsgrove Rovers, before eventually leaving the Shropshire outfit during summer 2004 and linking up with Hednesford Town, where he was part of the side who won promotion to the Conference North. Upon being released by the Pitmen during March 2006 he saw out the remainder of the campaign with Stourport Swifts, prior to transferring to Halesowen Town during summer 2006

A very warm welcome to the club Lee!

Lee Williams

  
28 October 2007
SADDLERS ON PICS BIRMINGHAM SENIOR CUP AGENDA

In the draw for the Quarter-Final stage of the Birmingham County Football Association Senior Challenge Cup, Rushall Olympic have received a plumb home draw against Coca Cola League One neighbours Walsall.

The Conference Date for what is Round 3 of the competition will be on or before Saturday 12 January 2008, but a confirmed date for the tie will obviously be announced in due course.

  
12 August 2007
SADDLER SAM BACK AT DALES LANE

Rushall Olympic recently received a boost when teenage central defender SAM BROOKES returned to the Dales Lane fold from Coca Cola League One neighbours Walsall Football Club.

The Saddlers originally snapped up the talented young prospect on a free transfer during the summer after featuring in just three of the Pic's pre-season friendlies - but a spell of training with our neighbours and some further pre-season action was sufficient enough to persuade Head of Youth at the Banks's Stadium Mick Halsall to make a move. However, recently Sam had struggled to combine his academic work with Walsall's full-time training requirement and so has opted to return to the non-League game for the time being.

Welcome back Sam!

Sam Brookes

  
27 November 2007
TROPHY DREAMS ENDED BY HIGHER LEAGUE OPPONENTS

Rushall Olympic's interest in the Football Association Challenge Trophy ended at the Third Round Qualifying stage in West Yorkshire after losing the replay with Ossett Town by the odd goal in five, despite having twice taken the lead in what was undoubtedly an entertaining contest.

The perfect opening from the once more threadbare Pics team came courtesy of Rob Holdcroft's 40 yard howitzer that caught the home custodian cold within the first minute of tie. However, a lapse of concentration by 'keeper Tony Breeden ten minutes before the interval saw the stopper sprint off his line but his miscued clearance was directed straight to Carl Fothergill who imediately fired home from 25 yards into an empty net.

To their credit the visitors were undaunted and within six minutes had regained the lead when Walsall loanee Harry Harris cracked home a beauty from 25 yards into bottom corner. However, on 55 minutes Rushall shot themselves in the foot once more as Town levelled again when striker Carl Fothergill was allowed to run from his own half before rifling home past the exposed Tony Breeden.

Fourteen minutes later it was little surprise when the home side netted what turned out to be the winning goal as midfielder Rob O'Brien had enough time and space to pick his spot and drive the ball all too easily across Olympic's custodian into the bottom corner.

  
26 November 2007
YOUTH TEAM HIT FOR SEVEN BY STOURBRIDGE

Rushall Olympic’s Youth Team conceded their twelth goal in two Midland Floodlit Youth League Western Division games as they crashed to a heavy 7-2 defeat at Stourbridge. Despite the final scoreline the Pics had taken the lead twice in the early stages of the contest through Zak Marriot and Jake Perks, but ultimately shipped five second half goals after going into the interval level at 2-2

  
26 November 2007
PICS GIVEN BIG INCENTIVE FOR TROPHY PROGRESS

Rushall Olympic will have a massive incentive to triumph in the Third Round Qualifying Replay of their Football Association Challenge Trophy tie at UniBond League Premier Division promotion chasers Ossett Town tomorrow night following the First Round Proper draw that took place at Soho square today.

With all 24 Blue Square Premier clubs now entering at the business end stage of the competition, the eventual winners of the replay at Town’s Ingfield ground in West Yorkshire will receive a plumb tie at STAFFORD RANGERS on Saturday 15 December 2007.

  
24 November 2007
BRAVE OLYMPIC TAKE HIGH FLYERS TO REPLAY

The lack of a decisive cutting edge was all that kept an injury-hit Rushall Olympic side well and truly down to the bare bones away from a first ever appearance in the First Round Proper of the F.A Trophy. Although the Pics completely outshone UniBond League Premier Division promotion chasers Ossett Town at Dales Lane, their only reward for a rousing performance, that made a mockery of the league standings, was merely a replay in West Yorkshire on Tuesday night.

The main talking points of the first period were two crude challenges from the visiting contingent that failed to yield just rewards for their perpetrators. On 19 minutes Niki Preston was left in a crumpled heap by Carl Fothergill who received a brief lecture, while ten minutes before the interval midfielder Damien Dunne followed straight through ''keeper Tony Breeden but incredibly received just a caution from Sheffield referee Mr. Grundy.

Rushall enjoyed arguably the better of the possession during the first half exchanges, with their best opportunity falling to Damien Charie on 12 minutes who was denied by Ossett custodian Piotr Skiba with an excellent block from 10 yards out after Grant Beckett's initial drive from the edge of the box was repelled.

The second period continued in very much the same vein as the home side saw far more of the ball against their higher league opponents, who appeared content to play out the game for the replay. However, it was the Pics who created the most noteworthy of goal attempts as Harry Harris' 30 yarder was whipped just wide of the right post in the 53rd minute and two minutes later the Walsall loan player's pacey corner from the left was just missed by the stooping heads of both Niki Preston and Phil Rowe.

Town's only real highlight was Rob O'Brien's 25 yard drive just after the hour mark that was fired high and wide of the top left corner that all in all added to give Olympic's stopper a fairly leisurely afternoon.

With five minutes remaining the home side almost snatched a late winner, but as Neil Barnfield ran on to a raking cross field ball from Harry Harris the midfielder side footed wide of the right post from just outside the box.

  
24 November 2007
SECOND TEAM CLAIM HIGH SCORING AWAY DRAW

Rushall Olympic's Second Team claimed a crucial point with a 3-3 draw in Leicestershire at Midland Football Combination Reserve Division rivals Quorn.

  
20 November 2007
ROTHWELL TOWN GAME POSTPONED

Rushall Olympic's British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands game at Rothwell Town has been postponed due to a water logged pitch.

 

  
17 November 2007
THIRD DEFEAT IN SEVEN DAYS FOR SAD PICS

Rushall Olympic's poor spell of form continued with a third consecutive defeat in British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands action in the space of just seven days as Bedworth United became the latest beneficiaries of the injury-hit Pics doldrums.

Manager Paul Holleran gave debuts to a new strike duo of Walsall teenage loan player Harry Harris and Francino Francis from UniBond League Divison One South Quorn, but the two youngsters couldn't quite change Rushall's fortunes, although the former did manage to claim a late consolation goal.

Bedworth took the lead ten minutes before the interval when a hottly disputed free-kick was swung in by former Olympian Ben Twigger and the unmarked Lee Greenway was allowed to pick his spot and head home. Within eight minutes of the commencement of the second period the Greenbacks virtually had all three points in the bag when the visitors defence failed to clear the resulting danger from a right sided centre and Aman Verna was on hand to slot home the loose ball.

It took until the 82nd minute for Olympic to finally get on the scoresheet, but it was all very much too little, too late as substitute Damien Charie centred from the right and debutant Harry Harris headed home.

  
17 November 2007
SECOND TEAM DEFEAT BASEMENT CLUB ROTHWELL

Rushall Olympic's Second Team gained sweet revenge for their defeat at Rothwell Town back in September by winning the return fixture by three goals to one at Dales Lane to secure only their second victory in Midland Football Combination Reserve Division action this term.

  
17 November 2007
OLYMPIC MAKE IT A NEW STRIKE DUO FOR BEDWORTH CLASH

Rushall Olympic captured the signature of a second striker prior to the league game with Bedworth United by snapping up the highly recommended 20-year-old FRANCINO FRANCIS from UniBond League Division One South newcomers Quorn.

A powerful and pacey target man with excellent technique, a great eye for goal and the ability to take players, he originates from Kingston, Jamaica and began his career by coming through the ranks at the Stoke City Academy on a 2-year scholarship, featuring for both the U-18's and Reserve side at the Britannia Stadium during season 2004-05. Summer 2005 saw him link up with Watford on a 3-year scholarship and whilst still an Academy scholar, he made his first team debut in a Second Round League Cup victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers in September 2005, and also made substitute appearances against Leeds United (replacing Aston Villa's then on-loan Gabriel Agbonlahor), Preston North End and Wigan Athletic (League Cup Round 3). In January 2006 he was sent out on work experience to Conference outfit Kidderminster Harriers and subsequently joined Ryman League Premier Division club Wealdstone in a similar arrangement in March 2006. Upon his return to Vicarage Road, summer 2006 saw him released by Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd and eventually linked up with Redditch United, before ultimately joining Quorn in March 2007 for their successful promotion run-in as they finished in third place in the Midland Football Alliance.

A very warm welcome to the club Francino!

Francino Francis

  
16 November 2007
RUSHALL SNAP UP SADDLERS YOUNGSTER ON LOAN

Rushall Olympic manager Paul Holleran made a pre-weekend move to bolster his injury hit strike force once again by capturing the loan signature of teenage Walsall forward HARRY HARRIS. The Dales Lane boss swooped for the first year professional after losing a fourth forward to injury in midweek.

In addition to having already seen Gary Birch return to AFC Telford United and then lose Sean Dowdall, Paul Szewczyk and Damian Charie to injury, the Pics leader then saw new signing Aaron Farrell worryingly limp out of Tuesday's 3-0 hammering by neighbours Sutton Coldfield with a hamstring injury.

After picking up former Chasetown striker Paul McMahon at the beginning of the week from Newcastle Town, the manager was also hoping to sign another forward in time for tomorrow's crucial trip to Bedworth United, where Olympic bid to stop the rot and prevent a third successive defeat. To make matters worse Rushall will also be without right wing back Lee Gough, who has a foot ligament injury, while there is also a doubt over skipper Richard Brown, who also sustained a badly bruised foot during the demoralising defeat to Sutton Coldfield.

Back-to-back defeats against Stourbridge and the Royals has seen the Pics drop into the bottom five of British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands, despite having several games in hand - but Paul Holleran is fully aware that it is vital his side begin picking up points and admitted: "We've got two vital away games coming up and we need to start putting some results on the board. We need to climb the table, but to do that we need to regroup and go again."

Harry Harris

  
14 November 2007
CLITHEROE THROWN OUT OF F.A. TROPHY AFTER HEARING

A Football Association Trophy Protest Sub-Committee meeting was held today to consider a protest from Rushall Olympic on the inclusion of Kieran Fletcher who played in the Second Round Qualifying tie for Clitheroe whilst under suspension.

In view of the fact that Clitheroe had admitted a breach of FA Rule E10, the Protest Sub-Committee decided that the protest was upheld as Clitheroe had breached The FA Trophy Rules by playing an ineligible player.

The Sub-Committee meeting decided in accordance with its discretionary powers that Clitheroe should be removed from the Competition and that the tie was awarded to Rushall Olympic. No fine was imposed and no further action was necessary as removal from the Competition is considered sufficient punishment. The FA Carlsberg Trophy Third Round Qualifying tie will now be Rushall Olympic v Ossett Town on Saturday 24 November 2007.

  
13 November 2007
OLYMPIC COLLAPSE AGAIN AS INJURY JINX WORSENS

Rushall Olympic's on field misfortunes continued to mount with yet another second half collapse at Dales Lane that gift wrapped in-form neighbours Sutton Coldfield Town a comfortable 3-0 victory for arguably one of the easiest three points the Royals will earn all season.

Injury hit Pics were already missing front line strikers Paul Szewczyk, Sean Dowdall and Damien Charie going into the game and were then shorn of the services of both Aaron Farrell and Lee Gough on 34 minutes in separate incidents that eventually saw enraged manager Paul Holleran ordered from the dugout by the match referee.

Following a goalless first period the home side began to fall apart just before the hour mark, barely two minutes following the loss of injured skipper Richard Brown, when a miss-kicked centre from the left fell nicely for the unmarked Craig Thomas who picked his spot and rifled home.

On 68 minutes some truly awful man marking saw Rushall fail to clear their lines and as the ball was played left to right across the face of goal Justin Rowe found himself in acres of space and prodded home from close range.

The game was all over 14 minutes from full time when Tony Breeden was caught flat footed by Mykel Beckley's ambitious 30 yard drive from the left channel that flew into the bottom right corner across the hapless stopper.

  
12 November 2007
HOLLERAN MOVES TO STRENGTHEN INJURY HIT PICS

With Rushall Olympic manager Paul Holleran facing a striker crisis ahead of tomorrow night’s clash with high-flying neighbours Sutton Coldfield Town, the Pics have managed to rush through the transfer of Chasetown front runner PAUL McMAHON in time for the Dales Lane meeting after losing their three first choice hitmen to injury.

A proven goal scorer at higher levels of football, the experienced 28-year-old had spent spending the previous month with North West Counties League outfit Newcastle Town. He bBegan his career his spells at clubs including Stafford Town, Walsall Wood and Chasetown before eventually making a name for himself with Rocester - where he was perhaps best remembered for his goalscoring feats during the Romans' 2003-04 Midland Football Alliance title-winning season when he netted 50 goals in all competitions, including 37 in the league - winning him the League's 'Golden Boot' award. December 2004 saw the striker snapped up by then Hednesford Town manager Chris Brindley during Rocester's ill-fated Unibond League Division One debut and in his first season at Keys Park was a huge success as he helped the Pitmen win promotion into the Conference North, finishing as their top scorer with 14 goals, including the winner in the play-off final against Chippenham Town. Appearances were restricted following the club's promotion, but he still weighed in with a number of goals, despite coming off the bench in many games. March 2006 saw a move to home town club Stafford Rangers, where once again his goals proved vital as Rangers clinched promotion into the Nationwide Conference. After just three months at Marston Road summer 2006 saw a return to former club Chasetown, a spell broken by a return to Rocester on loan in March 2007 until the end of the campaign.

A very warm welcome to the club Paul!

Paul McMahon

  
10 November 2007
RUSHALL RUN OUT OF STEAM AGAIN AS VICTORY GIFTED TO GLASSBOYS

An increasingly familiar second half disintegration within Rushall Olympic's ranks ensured their proud 10-game unbeaten home record came spiralling to a sudden halt at Dales Lane as they conspired to gift an equally uninspiring Stourbridge outfit all three points.

An instantly forgettable first period saw the hosts marginally outshine their Black Country visitors on an otherwise dismally grey afternoon, but it took until the 58th minute for the game to finally spring to life when in the wake of a highly debatable free-kick Damien Whitcombe gavethe Glassboys the lead with a low 30 yard drive from the left channel that rocketed through a sea of legs into the bottom left corner.

However, Rushall were back on level terms within four minutes when Richard Beale did exceptionally well to waltz his way past a covering defender down the left flank before centring across the face of goal, where the in-rushing Lee Gough buried the ball from close range at the far post.

With 17 minutes remaining a defensive disaster saw the usually reliable 'keeper Tony Breeden fail dismally to take possession of a lose ball and appeared to leave it one of his defenders to clear, allowing the alert Mark Bellingham to steal a march on everyone and prod home from close range for one of the easiest of goals of his career.

  
10 November 2007
SECOND TEAM NARROWLY DEFEATED BY HIGH FLYERS

Rushall Olympic's Second Team were unlucky to lose by the narrowest of margins against high-flying Midland Football Combination Reserve Division outfit Friar Lane & Epworth as they went down by one goal to nil in Leicestershire.

  
08 November 2007
AARON FARRELL TRANSFERS FROM HALESOWEN TOWN

Rushall Olympic manager Paul Holleran increased his Dales Lane ex-Halesowen Town contingent further on Tuesday evening after pulling off some excellent business with the transfer of exciting 21-year-old striker AARON FARRELL from the British Gas Business Football Premier Division outfit.

Aaron began his career by progressing through the Youth system at Kidderminster Harriers, ending season 2003-04 as the Under-18's top scorer at Aggborough and also featuring in the Birmingham County Football Association Representative Squad. Summer 2004 saw the front runner move on to Solihull Borough, where he remained until December 2004 when a transfer to Evesham United followed. In February 2005 he signed for Bedworth United, remaining at The Oval for a 12 month period when he transferred to Sutton Coldfield Town.

The mercurial forward eventually linked back up again with former club Solihull Borough for season 2006-07, where some excellent form saw him net 18 goals prior to being snapped up by former Halesowen Town manager Martin O'Connor in March 2007 for their Premier Division run-in.

However, having seen his opportunities diminish at The Grove following the appointment of a new managerial team, Aaron opted to put an end to his 22 match spell with the Yeltz and go in search of regular first team football with the Pic's.

A very warm welcome to the club Aaron!

Aaron Farrell

  
07 November 2007
SECOND TEAM SUFFER HEAVY DEFEAT IN CUP EXIT

Rushall Olympic's Second Team slumped to a heavy 6-1 defeat at home to high-flying Midland Football Combination Reserve Division neighbours Chasetown as their interest in this seasons Staffordshire Football Association Challenge Cup proved to be very brief indeed.

  
05 November 2007
CLITHEROE REPLAY OFF AFTER PROTEST LODGED WITH F.A.

Rushall Olympic have today confirmed that their proposed Football Association Challenge Trophy Second Round Qualifying Replay at UniBond League Division One North Clitheroe tomorrow night has been postponed by the Football Association.

The postponement comes as a result of Rushall Olympic having lodged an official protest with the Football Association following Saturday's tie at Dales Lane and the decision of whether the replay will now take place is firmly in their hands, pending further inquiries into an alleged irregularity.

As an aside, in a draw made at Soho Square today the eventual winners of the Football Association Challenge Trophy tie between Rushall Olympic and Clitheroe have been rewarded with a home tie against UniBond League Premier Division promotion chasers Ossett Town in the Third Round Qualifying stage of the competition. The tie is scheduled to take place on Saturday 24 November 2007, kick-off 3.00 pm.

  
03 November 2007
LUCKY RUSHALL STRUGGLE TO HOLD ON FOR REPLAY

Only the individual brilliance of Rushall Olympic 'keeper Tony Breeden maintained his sides interests in the F.A. Trophy as the Dales Lane outfit just about managed to hold out for a replay after coming under a second half bombardment. However, they now face a daunting trip to Lancashire on Tuesday evening for yet another cup game which they could well do without.

Despite their eventual struggle, the home side began brightly enough and went ahead on 11 minutes when 'keeper James Mann misjudged Neil Barnfield's weak effort from close range to concede the softest of goals as the midfielder stumbled to the ground after simultaneously making the faintest of contacts. Rushall then had the ball in the back of the net again midway through the first half as Richard Beale hooked home from 12 yards, only to see an assistant referees flag raised for an off-side decision.

During the second period Olympic huffed and puffed their way through proceedings, unable to maintain adequate possession for any appreciable spells as the Clitheroe bandwagon gathered momentum.

The Pic's custodian kept the visitors attack at bay almost single handedly until the 62nd minute when a second corner in succession from the right was only briefly repelled and Gary Stopforth's follow-up strike from just inside the box crashed through a crowded goalmouth into the left side of goal.

As Rushall retreated deeper and deeper into their own territory the writing appeared to be on the wall for the home side, but cling on for dear life they did as skipper Richard Brown's last ditch sliding tackle on substitute Sam Heap prevented an almost certain goal with 20 minutes remaining, while another stunning save from Tony Breeden thwarted the same striker on 86 minutes.

  
01 November 2007
YOUTH TEAM STOP THE ROT WITH A DRAW

Rushall Olympic’s Youth Team halted a run of five consecutive defeats to claim a well earned 1-1 draw with high-flying Tividale at Dales Lane in the Midland Floodlit Youth League Western Division.

  
31 October 2007
RUSHALL THROUGH TO BIRMINGHAM SENIOR CUP QUARTER-FINALS

Rushall Olympic made it nine wins from nine on home turf this season as they claimed the scalp of a young West Bromwich Albion side to progress into the Quarter-Final's of the Birmingham Senior Cup thanks to a 1-0 victory.

The only goal of the tie came in the fifth minute when Lee Gough's storming run into the right corner of the Baggies box was unceremoniously ended with a clumsy challenge that yielded a penalty kick in the Pics favour. Gary Birch was the man given the responsibility from the 12-yard mark and consummately dispatched the ball into the bottom right corner, sending his adversary the wrong way.

Olympic were adamant they were denied a perfectly legitimate second goal with 25 minutes remaining when during a goalmouth scramble Richard Brown's initial close range drive bobbled around and appeared to be eventually prodded over the goal line by a good margin. However, the assistant referee failed to acknowledge the incident and play continued.

Gary Birch

  
30 October 2007
WEST BROMWICH ALBION IN CUP ACTION AT DALES LANE

Don't forget that Rushall Olympic entertain WEST BROMWICH ALBION in Round 2 of the Birmingham Football Association Senior Cup competition at Dales Lane on Wednesday 31 October, kick-off 7.45 pm.

The Baggies second string coach Craig Shakespeare is expected to field strong side and First Team Manager Tony Mowbray has also indicated that he will be in attendance to run the rule over those players on the periphery of his squad.

  
27 October 2007
YORK CITY VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS NOW ON-LINE

Rushall Olympic's Football Association Challenge Cup Fourth Round Qualifying 6-0 defeat at the hands of Blue Square Premier outfit York City is now available to watch in highlight form on YouTube.

Supporters brave enough to view the highlights should click the following link:

  
27 October 2007
RUSHALL CRUSHED BY YORK CITY AS FITNESS TELLS

Rushall Olympic's epic Football Association Challenge Cup adventure ended in disappointment in front of 1,630 spectators at York City's Kit-Kat Crescent Ground as the full-time Blue Square Premier outfit netted five goals in a disastrous final 2o minute spell to sentence the village side from Walsall to a crushing 6-0 defeat.

Despite the final score line Olympic gave a good account of themselves during the first period, but City danger man Onome Sodje proved to be the telling difference between the two sides when he opened his account for York on 19 minutes by creating the space required to calmly rifle past 'keeper Tony Breeden from 12 yards.

Although Rushall started the second period brightly enough, they soon felt the full force of the Minstemen. On 71 minutes Sodje effectively wrapped the game up for the hosts to claim a brace from 25 yards, while six minutes later substitute Craig Farrell fired across Tony Breeden into the bottom left corner from outside the box for York's third.

A second from Farrell soon followed on 85 minutes, before three minutes later the substitute completed an incredible quick-fire 10 minute hat-trick. The treble merely added insult to injury to a clearly deflated Pics outfit, but worse was to follow when a sixth well into injury time from fellow substitute Nicky Wroe ended the game with a flourish for York City who breezed into the First Round Proper without having to break into a sweat.

Supporters wishing to hear highlights of the BBC Radio York commentary from the game should click the following link:

  
27 October 2007
SECOND TEAM CELEBRATE FIRST LEAGUE WIN

Rushall Olympic's Second Team were celebrating after recording the first victory of their Midland Football Combination Reserve Division campaign at the seventh attempt by securing an excellent 2-1 success at Dales Lane against high-flying Derbyshire outfit Mickleover Sports.

James Groves opened the Pics account midway through the first period by rounding the 'keeper with an assured finished, before the visitors restored parity from the penalty spot during the second period. However, Olympic were not to be denied and eight minutes from time Martyn Edmunds headed home the winner from a corner kick.

  
24 October 2007
MEDIA DESCEND UPON DALES LANE FOR CUP PREVIEW EVENT

Rushall Olympic will become the centre of attention tomorrow evening at around 6.30 pm when the media descend upon Dales Lane to highlight the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands clubs Football Association Challenge Cup Fourth Round Qualifying tie at York City on Saturday afternoon.

It is believed that a representation from the Football Association will be attendance, with the Pics being their featured club of the round, while crews from Sky Sports News and Midlands Today will also be filming Olympic in training for the weekend big match.

Interviews will be conducted with acting chairman John Allen and manager Paul Holleran, amongst others, while one other extra special guest at Dales Lane tomorrow night will be Aston Villa and England defender Zat Knight who has promised to return to his former club to lend some support on the eve of arguably the biggest game in the history of the village's football club.

  
23 October 2007
PICS FACE ANOTHER UNIBOND CLUB IN CUP ACTION

Rushall Olympic's reward for seeing off the challenge of UniBond League Division One North promotion chasers Mossley AFC will be a home tie against the Lilywhites' league rivals and Lancashire neighbours CLITHEROE in the Second Round Qualifying stage of the Football Association Challenge Trophy.

The Blues duly beat fellow UniBond League Division One North outfit Lancaster City 2-1 in a First Round Qualifying replay at their Giant Axe ground tonight.

The Second Round Qualifying tie will take place at Dales Lane on Saturday 3 November 2007, kick-off 3.00 pm and will be the Pics eighth successive game in cup action since the beginning of October.

The two clubs have faced each other before, back in February 2001 in the Fifth Round of the Football Association Challenge Vase at Clitheroe's Shawbridge ground - with the tie remaining firmly in the memory of Pics supporters. Following a wasted journey to Lancashire on Saturday 10 February 2001, with the game being postponed just before kick-off due to an unplayable pitch, the tie was finally completed the following weekend with the Blues running out 3-1 winners. However, there was the little matter of a perfectly legitimate Pics goal that was disallowed by a linesman despite the ball appearing to travel a good yard over the goal line at a crucial time that rankled somewhat!

  
21 October 2007
DATE SET FOR ALBION BIRMINGHAM SENIOR CUP TIE

Rushall Olympic will entertain WEST BROMWICH ALBION in Round 2 of the Birmingham Football Association Senior Cup competition on Wednesday 31 October, kick-off 7.45 pm.

The game has been put back by 24 hours from the Pics usual midweek football night of Tuesday, thus allowing the Baggies to now be able to field a much stronger side for selection by reserve team boss Craig Shakespeare.

In the previous round our Black Country neighbours required extra-time to account for Midland Football Alliance outfit Tipton Town by two goals to one at the Tipton Sports Academy in Wednesbury Oak Road in front of 337 paying specatators to finally secure their safe passage to Dales Lane.

  
20 October 2007
TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS FOR YORK CITY

Rushall Olympic Football Club will be operating two coaches for Saturday's Football Association Challenge Cup Fourth Round Qualifying tie at Blue Square Premier outfit York City.

The first coach will be taken up by players and officials, while the second has been provided for supporters wishing to travel to the game.

Seats are still available on a strictly first come, first served basis and are priced at £10.00 each. Seat bookings will need to be made in advance of the day through Ray Barrow.

The coaches will depart Dales Lane at 9.00 am prompt on Saturday morning and will be stopping off during the journey so the players may partake of a pre-match meal. Supporter's wishing to book a meal are welcome to do so, but again should contact Ray Barrow in the first instance.

  
20 October 2007
OLYMPIC CHALK UP ANOTHER CUP SUCCESS

Rushall Olympic sealed their third consecutive cup victory and clean sheet against UniBond League opposition in the space of just seven days as a Sean Dowdall goal was enough to see the Pics progress into the Second Round Qualifying stage of the Football Association Challenge Trophy at the expense of Division One North promotion chasers Mossley.

On this occasion the Dales Lane side at times rode their luck, but the crucial goal arrived with 15 minutes remaining when a telling ball down the right channel sent Damien Charie racing clear and his low pin-point centre was swept home at the near post by Olympic's top scorer.

Other than that chances were rather at a premium, although Neil Barnfield had come closest to scoring for the visitors on 71 minutes when his rising drive cannoned off the crossbar from 20 yards after a making a fine run through the centre. Prior to that Rushall had survived a 37th minute let off when nobody was able to get a touch on an inviting ball into the box, while six minutes into the second period 'keeper Tony Breeden dropped a cross, but with an untended goal at his mercy Paul Garvey fired high over the crossbar when well placed.

  
20 October 2007
SECOND TEAM MINI REVIVAL BLOWN AWAY BY MIKES

The two-game mini revival of Rushall Olympic's Second Team was blown away at Dales Lane with an emphatic 5-0 defeat by title chasing neighbours Boldmere St Michaels in the Midland Football Combination Reserve Division.

  
19 October 2007
GENERAL DETAILS ANNOUNCED BY YORK CITY FOR FA CUP GAME

Rushall Olympic supporters should note that the following arrangements will apply for our forthcoming Football Association Challenge Cup Fourth Round Qualifying tie with York City at their Kit Kat Crescent home. The information has kindly been provided by Minstermen Club Secretary Nick Bassett.

Away Supporters: Seating is reserved for away supporters in Popular Stand Section U (Capacity 300) and there will also be standing behind the Grosvenor Road goal (capacity 2,700). Admission will by via payment on the day at the turnstiles. Away supporters should access the ground via the Grosvenor Road turnstiles numbers 16-19.

Admission Charges: Popular Stand Seating - Adults @ £11.00 and Juniors Under 16/OAP Over 65 @ £7.00 Grosvenor Road Standing - Adults @ £10 and Juniors Under 16/OAP Over 65 @ £6.00

Match Day Programme: £2.50 each

Disabled Facilities: A limited number of spaces to accommodate wheelchairs exist. Every effort will be made to satisfy requirements providing prior arrangements are made through our office on 0870 777 1922.

Parking: We are unable to offer coach parking for supporters. Due to the restricted parking areas within the vicinity of the ground York City are unable to guarantee parking for the team coach. The nearest car park is situated in Clarence Street, approximately half a mile from the ground.

For additional information please feel free to visit the York City website: CLICK HERE

  
19 October 2007
RUSHALL WITHOUT KEY STRIKE DUO FOR TOUGH TRIP TO MOSSLEY

Rushall Olympic willheaded to the Manchester area without the influential strike duo of Gary Birch and Paul Szewczyk for tomorrow's FA Trophy First Round Qualifying tie at UniBond League Division One North outfit Mossley.

The former Hednesford Town marksman suffered a fresh knee injury during the first period of the FA Cup Third Round Qualifying game against his former employers after only just returing to action a couple of weeks ago following a six-month lay-off. Now the 26-year-old is booked for an appointment with a consultant to see if he needs a clean-up operation in the wake of his knee locking during a challenge.

After receiving the news manager Paul Holleran was in a reflective mood and admitted: "This injury has knocked him back a bit. During the rehab his consultant felt he might need a wash out. This is the first little niggle he's had for six months there is still a chance he could be fit for the FA Cup at York next week."

Meanwhile, it looks as though Gary Birch may have played his last game for the Pic's after being recalled by his parent club AFC Telford United. The former Walsall hit man will be back in the fold for the Buck's trip to Harrogate tommorrow - chiefly because boss Rob Smith does not want him Trophy-tied. The Shropshire outfit enter the competition themselves in the Third Round Qualifying stage on Saturday 24 November and Smith believes that the front runner could have a part to play so would not be allowed to play in Rushall's FA Trophy clash at Mossley. Speaking today the manager stated: "He won't be with Rushall this weekend, so he'll be travelling on the coach to Harrogate with us. We don't enter the Trophy until the end of next month, and I'd expect him to be involved with us regularly by then so I don't want him trophy-tied.He's done well at Rushall and there's never been any doubt abut his ability, but he still has to lose the weight. The way we play we demand our strikers work very hard so he has to get fit."

Following his side's FA Cup exploits Paul Holleran obviously wanted the Pics to keep their momentum going at Mossley, but may also have to do without midfielder Grant Beckett in his squad who is doubtful after sustaining a dead leg.

Gary Birch

Paul Szewczyk

  
19 October 2007
BAGGIES NEXT UP IN FOR PICS IN BIRMINGHAM SENIOR CUP

Rushall Olympic's opponents in Round 2 of the Birmingham Football Association Senior Cup competition will be West Bromwich Albion after the Baggies required Stefan Morrison's extra-time strike to see off the challenge Midland Football Alliance outfit Tipton Town by a margin of 2-1 at the Tipton Sports Academy in Wednesbury Oak Road in front of 337 paying specatators to finally secure their passage.

Craig Shakespeare's young reserve side will now visit Dales Lane on a date yet to be arranged, although the Conference date for the game to be played is set by the County Association as being on or before Saturday 24 November 2007.

  
17 October 2007
TWO LEAGUE GAMES RE-ARRANGED AFTER CUP RUN

Rushall Olympic's excellent run in the Football Association Challenge Cup and also their recent Trophy progression has meant that four games in the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands were in need of re-arranging.

The game at home to Chesham United will now take place at Dales LAne on Tuesday 6 November, kick-off 7.45 pm, while the fixture at Rothwell Town will be on Tuesday 20 November, kick-off 7.45 pm.

Meanwhile, the games against Leighton Town (away) and Cinderford Town (away) have yet to be rescheduled by the home clubs.

  
16 October 2007
RUSHALL CLAIM ANOTHER UNIBOND PREMIER SCALP IN CUP GAME

Rushall Olympic breezed into Round 2 of the Staffordshire Senior Challenge Cup with a comprehensive 3-0 victory at North Staffordshire outfit Leek Town to claim their second scalp in the space of just over three days against UniBond League Premier Division opposition.

A much changed Pic's side, with their mind also on Saturday's important Football Association Trophy First Round Qualifying tie at Division One North Mossley AFC, coasted into a commanding two goal interval lead with two strikes in the space of seven minutes.

Phil Rowe gave Rushall the lead on 32 minutes, while fellow midfielder Rob Holdcroft doubled his side's advantage six minutes before the break with a 30-yard howitzer.

Gary Birch's 58th minute penalty for the visitors sealed Olympic's place in the next round of the competition where the prospect of a re-match with neighbours Hednesford Town at Dales Lane could be on the cards, should they overcome the threat of Midland Football Alliance side Rocester.

  
16 October 2007
MINSTERMEN TAKING OLYMPIC VERY SERIOUSLY

Rushall Olympic's Football Association Challenge Cup Fourth Round Qualifying opponents YORK CITY will not be taking their guests lightly on Saturday 27 October when the Pics take a step into the unknown at the KitKat Crescent home of the former Football League side and current Blue Square Premier club.

According to the York Press on-line newspaper manager Billy McEwan will be seeing Rushall for himself this coming Saturday when the Pics head for UniBond League Division One North outfit Mossley AFC in the Football Association Challenge Trophy First Round Qualifying.

  
15 October 2007
SECOND TEAM CLAIM FIRST WIN OF SEASON IN CHALLENGE CUP

Rushall Olympic's Second Team recorded their first victory of the campaign with a hard fought 1-0 success at Dales Lane over near neighbours Walsall Wood to move into the Second Round of the Midland Football Combination Reserve Division Challenge Cup competition. A first half header from Martyn Edmunds was enough to see the young Pics progress.

  
15 October 2007
EXPRESS & STAR HEDNESFORD VIDEO NOW ON LINE

Express & Star video journalist Andy Toft was at Dales Lane on Saturday afternoon to provide highlights of Rushall Olympic's memorable F.A. Cup Third Round Qualifying victory against neighbours Hednesford Town. CLICK THE LINK OPPOSITE TO VIEW IT.

  
15 October 2007
BIG ASK FOR OLYMPIC AS A TRIP TO YORK CITY BECKONS

Rushall Olympic have a massive hill to climb if they are to re-write the clubs history books once again to progress into the First Round Proper of the Football Association Challenge Cup sponsored by E.ON following the draw for the Fourth Round Qualifying stage at Soho Square today.

The Pics were the 24th name out of the hat and were given the unenviable task of travelling to the KitKat Crescent home of former Football League side and current Blue Square Premier club YORK CITY on Saturday 27 October 2007, kick-off 3.00 pm.

Meanwhile, Rushall looked enviously on as league rivals Evesham United received a plumb home tie against another former Football League side Halifax Town, while Chasetown play host to Blue Square North side Nuneaton Borough, which is guaranteed to attract another bumper crowd at The Scholars.

The 32 Fourth Round Qualifying ties are as follows: 1. Evesham United v Halifax Town, 2. Corby Town v Droylsden, 3. Kendal Town v Altrincham, 4. Rushden & Diamonds v Solihull Moors, 5. Burton Albion v Tamworth, 6. Histon v West Auckland Town or Bamber Bridge, 7. Stafford Rangers v Cambridge United, 8. Southport v Northwich Victoria, 9. Farsley Celtic v Barrow, 10. Bradford (Park Avenue) v Gainsborough Trinity, 11. Workington v Boston United, 12. York City v Rushall Olympic, 13. Kidderminster Harriers v Vauxhall Motors, 14. Harrogate Railway v Harrogate Town, 15. Chasetown v Nuneaton Borough, 16. Weymouth v Hitchin Town, 17. AFC Hornchurch v Team Bath, 18. Maidenhead United v Hayes & Yeading United, 19. Salisbury City v Stevenage Borough, 20. Merthyr Tydfil v Oxford United, 21. Hampton & Richmond Borough v Wealdstone, 22. Bath City v Torquay United, 23. Crawley Town v Aldershot Town, 24. Chippenham Town v AFC Wimbledon or Horsham, 25. Eastleigh v Forest Green Rovers, 26. Eastbourne Borough v Bromley, 27. Ware v Tonbridge Angels, 28. Folkestone Invicta v Heybridge Swifts or Billericay Town, 29. Grays Athletic v Lewes, 30. Woking v Staines Town, 31. Ebbsfleet United v Exeter City, 32. Havant & Waterlooville v Leighton Town.

Following the weekend programme the Minstermen occupied only 18th place in the Blue Square Premier standings but on current form had lost only once in the last six games and boast an extremely healthy average attendance of 2,215.

City are managed by Billy McEwan who was previously a coach at Derby County for a number of years, but whose first coaching appointment was with Sheffield United, before later taking over as Manager and then moving to Rotherham United in a similar capacity. He guided the Millers to the Fourth Division championship in 1988/89 and later had spells as manager at Darlington and assistant at Scarborough. In his first season with the Yorkies he guided them to safety in the Conference, while in 2005-06 he lifted the club to 8th place, followed by reaching promotion play-off’s last term – winning "Manager of the Month" award for both August. and April.

  
13 October 2007
PICS CREATE CLUB F.A. CUP HISTORY WITH HEDNESFORD WIN

Rushall Olympic progressed into the Fourth Round Qualifying stage of the F.A. Challenge Cup for the first time in their history after claiming the prize scalp of UniBond League Premier Division neighbours Hednesford Town by two goals to nil at Dales Lane.

In front of the Pics largest crowd for many a season the home side enjoyed the best possible start to the tie with only 6 minutes gone when Gary Birch's initial drive was well blocked by a reflex save from 'keeper Rene Gilmartin, before the stopper parried away the follow up effort from Rushall's target man. However as play continued the former Walsall striker, on loan from AFC Telford United, stole a march on his marker to surge into the periphery of the area and lashed a vicious low drive into the bottom right corner.

Although the home side continued to press home their advantage, striker Tom Ward should have done better on 19 minutes for the Pitmen as he headed a free-kick wide of the left post when well placed.

Olympic suffered a blow six minutes before the break when they lost front runner Paul Szewczyk with a reoccurrence of a knee injury and was replaced by Sean Dowdall.

A minute later Hednesford were almost back on level terms courtesy of an own goal when Lee Barrow's spectacular diving header had to be saved at full stretch by the excellent Tony Breeden.

Although the visitors were enjoying the higher proportion of possession, it was the Pics who were the more dangerous on the attack and just after the hour mark Rene Gilmartin saved well with his legs to deny Sean Dowdall, while Neil Barnfield's 70th minute drive went wide from close range after being put in by the front runner.

Rushall wondered just how they failed to claim a second goal on 76 minutes when Richard Beale's downward header bounced over the woodwork from 8 yards out after connecting with a fine centre from Gary Birch. Straight to the other end and a spectacular tip over from Tony Breeden diverted Ashley Woolliscroft's vicious 25 yard drive for a corner kick.

With six minutes remaining Olympic effectively booked their place in the draw for the next round when Lee Gough did exceptionally well down the right flank before whipping a fine centre into the feet of Sean Dowdall at the near post who finished with great aplomb to send the crowd into a frenzy.

Gary Birch

Sean Dowdall

 

  
12 October 2007
EXPRESS & STAR AT DALES LANE FOR MATCH VIDEO COVERAGE

In addition to live match coverage by BBC Radio W.M., the Express & Star are also due to be in attendance at Dales Lane tomorrow afternoon to provide video highlights of Rushall Olympic's F.A. Cup Third Round Qualifying tie with Hednesford Town for the on-line version of their newspaper.

  
11 October 2007
YOUTH TEAM SUFFER 7-GOAL MAULING AT OLDBURY

Rushall Olympic’s Youth Team suffered a 7-0 mauling at Midland Floodlit Youth League Western Division high-flyers Oldbury Athletic.

  
10 October 2007
HEDNESFORD F.A. CUP GAME LIVE ON RADIO WM IN EXCLUSIVE FIRST

With England and Estonia in action at Wembley Stadium on Saturday afternoon and the whole of the professional game coming to a standstill for the 3.00 pm kick-off - our own co-current F.A. Cup Third Round Qualifying tie with Hednesford Town has unexpectedly resulted in an exclusive first for Rushall Olympic Football Club and local non-league football in general.

Saturday afternoon will see Dales Lane hold centre stage for the BBC Radio W.M. live commentary game on "The Match" with exclusive build-up from 2.00 pm onwards!

A top secret phone call to our Football Secretary Peter Athersmith began the ball rolling on Monday and Paul Holleran's live link-up with Tony Butler on his Monday night Football Phone in at 7.45 pm ultimately brought the excellent news into the public domain.

Commentary on the game will be provided by the top duo of Paul Franks and Mark Regan and our most sincere thanks obviously go to the powers that be at BBC Radio W.M. for sanctioning such an innovative idea.

So remember even if you're at the game, be sure to tune in on either 95.6 FM or on DAB Digital Radio for live and exclusive match commentary from BBC Radio W.M.

Admission to the game will be the 2007-08 standard Dales Lqne charge of £6.00 for adults and £3.00 for concessions, while as per usual the matchday programme will be available priced £1.50.

  
10 October 2007
GARY BIRCH BACK AT DALES LANE FOR SECOND MONTH

With Sean Dowdall struggling back from injury and Paul Szewczyk still regaining his match fitness, manager Paul Holleran succeeded in securing the services of AFC Telford United striker GARY BIRCH for a second month on loan from the Blue Square North high-flyers.

The former Walsall and Lincoln City hit man proved himself to be a class act for the Pics in a six game spell that ended against Bishops Cleeve just over a week ago and yielded four goals, including a hat-trick against Atherstone Town in the F.A. Cup.

He returned to Telford last weekend and played the full 90 minutes in the reserves' 5-0 defeat at home to Tamworth on Monday evening. However, he will now return to the Pics for another four weeks - starting with Saturday's F.A. Cup Third Round Qualifying clash with Hednesford Town.

The Bucks assistant manager Larry Chambers stated: "He's going to go back there for another 28 days, but we'll have a 24-hour recall. The problem if he stayed with us now is that he would probably be on the bench and that wouldn't do him any favours. We haven't got a game on Saturday and they have, so he might as well go and get a as much football as he can.

Gary Birch

  
09 October 2007
SENIOR CUP SHAMBLES AS FRINGE PLAYERS FAIL TO IMPRESS

Rushall Olympic's fringe players once more demonstrated exactly why they are no substitute for the real thing as a much changed Pics side with the F.A. Cup clearly on their mind went tumbling out of the Walsall Senior Cup against lower league opposition for the seventh time in the last eight seasons.

On this occasion nearest neighbours Pelsall Villa were the thoroughly deserving victors whose own high tempo game clearly upset their badly out of sorts guests to claim a memorable 3-1 victory at The Bush for a side sitting two levels below their lofty opponents in the non-league pyramid.

Rushall began on the rocky road to ruin when Rob Holdcroft's error of judgement gave away possession on 28 minutes, directly leading to Neil Grainger's 30 yard wonder goal that was rifled into the top left corner, leaving 'keeper Mark Gayle grasping at thin air.

However, Olympic were back on level terms within 7 minutes when Paul Szewczyk made it three goals in two games with a clinical 15 yard strike after being picked out by Rob Holdcroft, who made up for his previous faux-par.

Immediately following the commencement of the second period Karl Johnson conceded a corner when better options were available and Rushall were ruthlessly punished as a result when Neil Grainger converted his second from close range at the near post as the rearguard stood and watched.

A series of opportunities were created and spurned by the increasingly misfiring visitors, with chief culprit being Damien Charie against his former colleagues. It was therefore of little surprise when Pelsall ultimately cemented their passage into the next round when another corner from the left with 20 minutes remaining was poorly defended and the unmarked Paul Miller gleefully rifled home from just inside the box.

Paul Szewczyk

  
08 October 2007
PAUL HOLLERAN ON AIR WITH TONY BUTLER TONIGHT

At extremely short notice today, Rushall Olympic Manager Paul Holleran has agreed to feature on BBC Radio W.M. TONIGHT in The Tony Butler Football Phone-in as special guests via a telephone link-up.

The show runs from 7.00 pm to 8.00 pm with Paul prossibly due to go on air around 7.45 pm, talking about the Pic's and how things are progressing down Dales Lane.

So remember to tune in on either 95.6 FM or on DAB Digital Radio.

Tony Butler

  
06 October 2007
SHEVVY DOUBLE SENDS OLYMPIC THROUGH

Rushall Olympic rattled off their seventh consecutive victory from seven games on home turf this season as a goal in each half from Paul Szewczyk on his full debut sealed the Pics passage into the next phase of the F.A. Trophy against an unfortunate Carlton Town outfit who deserved at least a replay.

In an instantly forgettable first period the home side captured a crucial lead four minutes before the interval when Damien Charie threaded through a delightful pass into the feet of Paul Szewczyk who turned his marker to perfection before progressing inside the periphery of the box and clinically drilling the ball past 'keeper Steve Brearley.

During the second period the Nottinghamshire visitors began to ask telling questions of their hosts, particularly down the left flank and it was no surprise when they restored parity eight minutes after the break. Although the goal appeared to have a hint of offside about it, a harmless looking ball played to the left by-line was driven in low by Dave Jephson that took a wicked deflection and flew past 'keeper Tony Breeden.

Rushall's Damien Charie had the ball in the back of the net midway through the second half as Carlton's stopper spilled Lee Barrow's 18 yard free-kick, but despite the attacker running from an on side position the assistant referee inconceivably raised his flag.

The winning goal arrived 11 minutes from full time when a surging run by Lee Gough saw the wing back carve his way past two defenders before cutting into the box to pick out Paul Szewczyk who held the ball up well 15 yards out and consummately rifled home to claim a well taken brace.

Paul Szewczyk

  
06 October 2007
SECOND TEAM CLAIM FIRST POINT OF THE CAMPAIGN

Rushall Olympic's Second Team halted a run of five consecutive defeats in the Midland Football Combination Reserve Division to claim their first point of the campaign with a creditable 1-1 draw at mid-table Gresley Rovers.

  
05 October 2007
FITNESS DOUBTS FOR PICS TROPHY TRIO

Rushall Olympic manager Paul Holleran has a trio of fitness doubts for tomorrows crucial FA Trophy Preliminary Round tie at home to UniBond League Division One South opponents Carlton. Top scorer Sean Dowdall (thigh), wing back Lee Gough (groin) and midfielder Grant Beckett (calf) are all doubts for the Trophy clash after being substituted on Tuesday evening during the fine 3-1 victory over Bishops Cleeve at Dales Lane.

The Dales Lane boss is no doubt as to how difficult the cup games is likely to be against the Nottinghamshire opposition and stated: "We know it's going to be a tough game."

  
03 October 2007
YOUTH TEAM SUFFER FIRST ROUND LEAGUE CUP EXIT

Rushall Olympic’s Youth Team were dumped out of the Midland Floodlit Youth League Cup at the first hurdle following a 2-0 reversal at Eastern Division newcomers Dosthill Colts.

  
02 October 2007
PITMEN NEXT UP IN F.A. CUP DRAW

Rushall Olympic's reward for beating fellow British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands outfit Sutton Coldfield Town will be another home tie, this time against UniBond Football League Premier neighbours HEDNESFORD TOWN in the Third Round Qualifying stage of the Football Association Challenge Cup competition sponsored by E.ON. The Pitmen duly beat Blue Square North outfit Alfreton Town 2-1 in tonights Second Round Qualifying replay in Derbyshire.

The tie will take place at Dales Lane on Saturday 13 October 2007, kick-off 3.00 pm.

Note: Attempts were made to either change the kick-off time or date in order to prevent a clash with the England versus Estonia UEFA European Championship Qualifier at Wembley Stadium that will take place simultaneously. Rushall Olympic offered Hednesford Town the opportunity of a Friday night or Saturday lunchtime kick-off, but unfortunately our guests were unable to comply with our formal request to make alternative arrangements.

  
02 October 2007
BIRCH BIDS BYE BYE AS OLYMPIC BASH BISHOPS

Rushall Olympic rattled off their sixth successive league and cup victory from the six games at Dales Lane this term with an extremely hard fought 3-1 success against British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands form side Bishops Cleeve who had themselves won the last three games league without conceding.

Rushall were a goal up with less than two minutes on the watch as Richard Beale's in-swinging corner from the right went directly in off the back post, but the Gloucestershire visitors restored parity on the quarter hour mark with a powerful finish from top scorer Kevin Slack.

The home side edged back in front nine minutes before the interval with a bullet-like strike from Sean Dowdall, before the pièce de résistance was applied by on-loan Gary Birch in his farewell game for the Pics by whipping in a peach of a curling shot into the bottom right corner from the opposite corner of the box.

  
29 September 2007
F.A. CUP RUN CONTINUES FOR OLYMPIC

Rushall Olympic marched proudly into the next phase of the F.A. Cup at the expense of highly fancied British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands rivals Sutton Coldfield Town with an tremendous 2-0 victory at Dales Lane, where two goals in the final 6 minutes of the first period proved to be the defining moments of a pulsating contest.

Rushall took the lead on 39 minutes when Sean Dowdall held the ball up well and spread play wide left to strike partner Gary Birch who drove into the Royals penalty area and fired first time, forcing 'keeper Chris Gemmell into a fine block. However, the rebound looped back up right into the path of Phil Rowe who calmly headed home into an empty net from close range.

Right on the stroke of half time the Pics effectively sealed their passage into Monday's Third Round Qualifying draw when a clearance out of the hands of custodian Tony Breeden bounced nicely into the path of Sean Dowdall who was sent racing clear of Sutton's rearguard, before picking his spot and firing venomously home from just inside the box past the despairing dive of Chris Gemmell.

During the remainder of the game the essentially disappointing visitors largely failed to trouble the Olympic defence, while the home side had a couple of chances to extended their advantage - the best of which was substitute Paul Szewczyk's rasping 20 yards drive with his first touch that the Royals stopper did extremely well to push away eleven minutes from full time.

Sutton's woes were complete in the fourth minute of stoppage time when stand-in skipper Nathan Moran was sent off after appearing to swing an arm at Rushall substitute Damien Charie.

  
29 September 2007
SECOND TEAM LOSE AGAIN TO REMAIN BOTTOM

In a reversed fixture Rushall Olympic's Second Team lost 5-2 at Rothwell Town in the Midland Football Combination Reserve Division. The young Pics found themselves four goals down at the interval, before going further behind after the break. Two late goals from James Groves salvaged some pride for Rushall.

  
28 September 2007
NEW SIGNING SET TO MAKE DEBUT IN F.A. CUP

Rushall Olympic manager Paul Holleran is set to hand DAVE HAYWOOD an immediate debut in tomorrow's FA Cup Second Round Qualifying clash with neighbours Sutton Coldfield Town at Dales Lane after the versatile player transferred to the Pic's from Halesowen on Wednesday evening.

The left-sided player had also previously played for the Rushall boss at both Solihull Borough and the Yeltz and Paul Holleran had no doubts that his latest signing would be a more than useful acquisition, commenting: "He will bring a lot of experience and quality to the club."

The highly rated 29-year-old is equally at home in defence or in a more advanced role and originally interested his former manager back in January 2007, but opted to remain at The Grove. He began his career with spells at both Boldmere St Michaels and Bolehall Swifts, before eventually linking up with Sutton Coldfield Town. Summer 2000 saw him opt for a move to Tamworth, in preference to Halesowen Town, where he spent the next two seasons and was a member of the squad who finished season 2001-02 as runners-up in the Southern League Premier Division. Summer 2002 saw him transfer to Western Division outfit Solihull Borough, where a fourth place finish was achieved during season 2002-03, while during the following season in March 2004 he followed manager Paul Holleran to Halesowen Town. A fourth place at The Grove finish was good enough to secure promotion to the Premier Division to accommodate the newly formed second tier of the Conference for season 2004-05.

More good news is that striker Paul Szewczyk is available for the first time this season, while Gary Birch and Niki Preston are both expected to shake off respective ankle and hamstring injuries.

Meanwhile, the Pics manager knows his side are certainly in for a tough ride tomorrow afternoon against one of their British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands rivals and admitted: "This is a massive game for us because of what's at stake. I think Sutton are the best side in our league on their day, but at home we've been very productive. We have looked decent and I think it will be a good cup tie."

Dave Haywood

  
25 September 2007
ALL TOO FAMILIAR RESULT AS RUSHALL FAIL TO COMPETE WITH ROMULUS

It was a severe case of deja vu for Rushall Olympic as they returned home from Coles Lane, Sutton Coldfield for the second time in the space of a month smarting from a lacklustre defeat provided courtesy of bogey side Romulus. However, on this occasion in the First Round of the Errea Cup it all began in more promising fashion for the visitors as Lee Barrow blasted home a superb 38th minute free-kick from the edge of the box into the top right corner to give his side the advantage.

Unfortunately it all too predictably went rapidly down hill during the second period as the Pic's nemesis ultimately out fought and out thought their lightweight opponents with alarming ease. A dubious penalty award just before the hour mark brought the hosts level via Tyrone Fagan's spot kick, prior to substitute Leon Mitchell volleying home from close range with 13 minutes remaining to earn his side a place in the next round of the competition.

  
24 September 2007
YOUTH TEAM LOSE AT TIPTON TOWN

Rushall Olympic’s Youth Team suffered a 3-1 reversal at Tipton Town in the Midland Floodlit Youth League Western Division.

  
23 September 2007
EARLIER KICK-OFF AT ROMULUS IN ERREA CUP ROUND 1

Please note that Rushall Olympic's Errea Cup First Round tie with ROMULUS has a 7.30 pm kick-off time at Coles Lane, Sutton Coldfield.

  
22 September 2007
SECOND TEAM LOSE AGAIN TO REMAIN BOTTOM

Rushall Olympic's Second Team remain stranded at the bottom of the Midland Football Combination Reserve Division table following a 2-0 defeat against Coleshill Town at Dales Lane as the visitors claimed their first victory of the campaign.

  
12 September 2007
YOUTH TEAM HIT FOR SIX BY UNBEATEN TIVIDALE

Rushall Olympic’s Youth Team were hit for six at Dales Lane by Black Country outfit Tividale in the Midland Floodlit Youth League Western Division as the visitor ran out 6-2 winners.

  
18 September 2007
SENIOR CUP STRUGGLE FOR RUSHALL

Rushall Olympic struggled to a single goal victory at Midland Football Alliance basement club Cradley Town to stumble into Round 2 of the Birmingham Senior Cup.

Predictably, manager Paul Holleran made four changes to the line-up that convincingly accounted for Alliance front runners Atherstone Town three days earlier in order to give his squad an opportunity to stake their claim for a regular starting role - but on the basis of the night's performance the regular XI need not be too concerned.

Northing could certainly be taken away from a rock bottom Cradley outfit, searching for their third manager of a turbulent campaign, whose players gave their all and with a little more luck could even have claimed a memorable scalp.

The only goal of the tie arrived just after the midway point of the first period when Gary Birch's looping effort cannoned off the crossbar and Sean Dowdall clinically nodded home the rebound from close range.

Although the hosts were largely limited to long range efforts, Olympic 'keeper Tony Breeden was forced into a fine block 10 minutes into the second period to maintain his sides advantage. Meanwhile, the Pic's best opportunity to extend their advantage came when David Waple placed the ball on to the crossbar from 15 yards with only a few minutes remaining.

Other than that there was precious little else to write home about.

Sean Dowdall

  
17 September 2007
FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION CHALLENGE CUP DRAW

Rushall Olympic's reward for beating Midland Football Alliance pacesetters Atherstone Town will be another home tie, this time against British Gas Business Football League Division One Midland neighbours SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN in the Second Round Qualifying stage of the Football Association Challenge Cup competition sponsored by E.ON.

The tie will take place at Dales Lane on Saturday 29 September 2007, kick-off 3.00 pm.

  
15 September 2007
FOUR STAR PICS EASE PAST ADDERS

A fully committed professional performance from Rushall Olympic saw them ultimately breeze past the potential banana skin that was Midland Football Alliance leaders Atherstone Town with an emphatic 4-1 triumph at Dales Lane.

An edgy opening from the home side was punished on 12 minutes as the Pic's found themselves behind when poor defending allowed a centre from the right to be flicked on and danger man Roy Dunkley powered in a free header from 10 yards.

Rushall were back on level terms on 25 minutes when Lee Gough's excellent long throw was flicked on by Phil Rowe and Damien Charie stooped to head home on the far post to restore parity.

As Town pressed to regain the lead Dominic Reece crashed a pacey volley onto Olympic's crossbar just after the half hour mark from fully 40 yards out with Tony Breeden appearing to have it otherwise covered.

Olympic took the lead on 39 minutes when Gary Birch crafted a beauty of a goal after picking up possession on the right face of Atherstone's area and curling the ball around the despairing dive of 'keeper Richard Williams into the left side of goal.

A penalty award to Rushall in the 69th minute appeared to firmly turn things in their favour when Damien Charie was tripped from behind by Adders skipper Lee Everitt and Gary Birch calmly stroked home the resulting spot kick into the bottom right corner, sending the visitors custodian the wrong way.

Atherstone remained a danger and Tony Breeden in the Rushall goal pulled a off a breathtaking point-blank save to deny Roy Dunkley a second goal on 72 minutes. However, the Pic's reigned supreme when in the first minute of injury time Gary Birch was sent racing clear of the last man, prior to wrong footing the Atherstone stopper and calmly slotting the ball into an empty net from 12 yards to complete a personal hat-trick and a four star performance from Rushall.

Gary Birch

  
14 September 2007
DALES LANE PLAYS HOST TO ANTON REID TRIBUTE GAME

Rushall Olympic’s Dales Lane ground is set to play host to a fund-raising match in memory of Walsall Football Club Youth player Anton Reid who tragically collapsed and died after taking a ball on his chest during a routine practice session at the University of Aston training pitch in Birmingham Road, Walsall, on Monday 20 August, aged just 16.

Devastated local football coach Tony Oakes has organised the game, set for the evening of Friday 21 September, in memory of one of his former players who he managed when Anton was a 7-year-old.

Anton’s funeral was held at the Holy Trinity Church, in Birchfield Road, Birmingham, on Friday 7 September and attended by hundreds of mourners. Mr. Oakes said money raised from the game, which is likely to feature Anton's former team-mates from a number of clubs including the Saddlers youth players, will be given to Anton's parents Sonia Bailey and Dave Reid to help cover the expensive funeral costs.

The game will be played the day after what would have been Anton's 17th birthday. As a junior Anton played under Mr. Oakes at Streetly AFC, before leaving for West Bromwich Albion at the age of 12 and then Walsall the following year. Mr. Oakes said: "Anton was much more than a player to me. He always kept in touch, and would often visit me at my house. He was like one of the family in many ways. He never forgot where he came from and, had he made it really big, we know Anton would not have changed as a person. The funeral was a fitting tribute to Anton. But there were huge costs involved and hopefully we can raise as much money as possible to go towards that. I've had great support from his family, Walsall FC's Youth Team Coach Mick Halsall and Rushall Olympic, who have been absolutely brilliant and helpful."

Tickets cost £ 4.00 for adults or £ 2.00 for children and are available from Mr. Oakes by calling 07980 634274 or at the Dales Lane turnstiles on the night. The game kicks off at 7.30 pm.

Anton Reid

  
12 September 2007
YOUTH TEAM IN 4-STAR DISPLAY AT HOME TO CHASETOWN

Rushall Olympic’s Youth Team romped home to an excellent 4-0 victory over neighbours Chasetown at Dales Lane in the Midland Floodlit Youth League Western Division. The result saw the Pic's climb to fifth place in the table, just three points behind early leaders Stapenhill.

  
08 September 2007
RUSHALL WIN TWO IN A ROWE

Rushall Olympic ground out an excellent single goal victory at highly fancied Evesham United to claim the first success on their travels this term and gain ample redress for the defeat incurred in the corresponding fixture last season at Worcester City's St Georges Lane ground.

Following a goalless first period the all important moment arrived in the 70th minute when a good move saw the ball worked from the left channel through Sean Dowdall and debutant strike partner Gary Birch, the latter of which delivered a slide rule pass into the path of Phil Rowe who made a terrific burst into the right side of the Robins box and lashed venomously home into the bottom corner.

Phil Rowe

  
08 September 2007
SECOND TEAM STUMBLE TO NARROW HOME DEFEAT

Rushall Olympic's young Second Team stumbled to a third successive defeat in the Midland Football Combination Reserve Division following a narrow a 2-1 defeat against newcomers Coventry Sphinx at Dales Lane.

  
07 September 2007
NEW STRIKE PAIRING SET TO START AT EVESHAM

Rushall Olympic manager Paul Holleran will unleash his new-look strike pairing of Gary Birch and Sean Dowdall for the first time at Evesham United tomorrow afternoon in British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands action.

The Dales Lane boss this week snapped up the former Walsall and Lincoln City striker on a one-month loan deal from AFC Telford United this week and will throw him straight into the fray at Worcester City's St. Georges Lane ground.

The arrival of the new striker will allow summer signing Paul Szewczyk more time to achieve full match fitness and Paul Holleran certainly believes that the two front runners will be a handful for any defence, claiming: "I think they will compliment each other quite well. Gary Birch is a super target man and Sean lives on the shoulder of defenders. Hopefully it will be a partnership that will click."

Meanwhile, the Pic's are hoping to welcome Grant Beckett back into midfield after missing the last three games through injury, but playmaker Chad Sheppard will definitely be absent due to a one match suspension order being imposed for receiving a dismissal as a result of two cautions against Leamington last month.

  
05 September 2007
YOUTH TEAM GO DOWN AT HOME TO EARLY LEADERS

Following the promising start of Rushall Olympic’s newly reformed Youth Team last week, the Under-18’s were pegged back at home by early Midland Floodlit Youth League Western Division pace setters Stapenhill who maintained their own 100% start to the campaign with a 3-1 victory at Dales Lane.

  
04 September 2007
OLYMPIC GIVEN THE BIRCH BY TELFORD

In a major coup for Rushall Olympic, vastly experienced striker Gary Birch of AFC Telford United has agreed to a one month loan move away from the New Bucks Head so that he can get some much needed regular first team football under his belt at Dales Lane.

The former Walsall, Barnsley and Lincoln City marksman's opportunities at Telford had been somewhat limited this season and the player himself also admitted he was a long way from full match fitness ahead of last weekend's home match with Gainsborough Trinity. However, following a meeting between the player, United manager Rob Smith and assistant manager Larry Chambers last Friday night, the club agreed to a request for a loan deal - which was when Pic's Manager Paul Holleran first decided to make his bold move.

The move also marks the continuation of an excellent working relationship between the two clubs that saw the like s of Dean Perrow, Tyrone Barnett, Ben Twigger and Richard Beale take up similar loan deals with the Pic's during last season.

Speaking to the Shropshire Star the 26-year-old striker admitted: "A loan move will do me good, but we've got to be careful where I go because I'll be stuck there for a month. It's got to be a club where I know I'm going to get a full 90 minutes every week. That's one of the most important considerations for me. I spoke to Rob, Larry and the chairman on Thursday and I'm hoping we can get something written down in the loan agreement to make sure I'm playing. There's no point me going for one game then finding myself on the bench because I'm not fit. I might as well stay at Telford if that's the case. Wherever I go, they've got to realise it's going to take one or two games to get into my stride."

Although being allowed to arrive at Dales Lane on a one month loan deal, Birch was also extremely encouraged to be told he remained part of Telford's long-term plans and as such the Shropshire outfit would not allow their front runner to become cup-tied in either FA Cup or FA Trophy action while with the Pic's. "They've told me they want me to get games and get myself fit, then come back fighting for a place in the first team, and it's reassuring to hear that," he added.

After training with his new team mates this week, manager Paul Holleran will hand the forward his Rushall debut on Saturday afternoon at Evesham United partnering fellow newcomer Sean Dowdall up front in what will hopefully become a formidable partnership.

Gary Birch

  
03 September 2007
CHRIS BRINDLEY AND PETER ATHERSMITH ON AIR WITH TONY BUTLER

Just a quick reminder to all Rushall Olympic supporter's that Assistant Manager Chris Brindley and Club Secretary Peter Athersmith will both be appearing on BBC Radio W.M. on Wednesday 5th September in The Tony Butler Football Phone-in as special guests of the man himself.

The show runs from 7.00 pm to 8.00 pm with Chris and Peter due to go on air around 7.45 pm talking about the Pic's and how things are progressing down Dales Lane.

So remember to tune in on either 95.6 FM or on DAB Digital Radio.

Tony Butler

  
02 September 2007
"500 CLUB" DRAW NETS FIRST WINNER £110

Rushall Olympic Football Club's new "500 Club" commenced in earnest tonight with the following result:

1st Prize: No. 31 - £ 110
2nd Prize: No. 175 - £ 40

The weekly draw sees 50 % of the proceeds split between a First Prize and Second Prize, while the remaining 50 % of the proceeds will then be split equally between Rushall Olympic Football Club and a newly created "Facilities Improvement Fund".

Anyone wishing to become an Agent for the draw should contact Administrator Ray Jones in the first instance via the main club telephone number (01922) 641 021. Ray will be available from about 8.30 pm onwards on Sunday evenings when the draw will be taking place. Better still, why not pop along in person!

  
01 September 2007
CUP OF DELIGHT AS DOWDALL AT THE DOUBLE ON DEBUT

A goal poachers brace from debutant striker Sean Dowdall eased Rushall Olympic comfortably through to the next phase of the FA Challenge Cup at home to Midland Football Alliance neighbours Boldmere St Michaels with a comprehensive 3-0 victory.

Following an uninspiring goalless first period the second half burst to life after only 30 seconds when Richard Beale's curling centre from the left was flicked clinically beyond 'keeper Paul Fellows by Sean Dowdall from 10 yards. Two minutes later and Lee Gough struck the foot of the Mikes near post from the acutest of angles after cutting dangerously in from the right channel.

Rushall doubled their advantage just before the hour mark when an in swinging corner from the right by Richard Beale dropped in at the far post, beyond the reach of Boldmere's custodian, with the assistant referee adjudging that the ball had indeed carried over the goal line.

The home side had the ball in the back of the net again in the 70th minute as Lee Barrow bundled over from close range and was followed up by Damien Charie, but play was halted for an earlier infringement during the build up.

Olympic completed their emphatic success with 16 minutes remaining when a slide rule pass inside from Phil Rowe was threaded through to Neil Barnfield on the right side of goal, whose centre was rifled home by Sean Dowdall from close range as the striker claimed his second of the game.

Sean Dowdall

  
01 September 2007
SECOND TEAM REMAIN ROOTED TO BOTTOM SPOT

Rushall Olympic's Second Team remained rooted to the bottom of the Midland Football Combination Reserve Division table following a 2-0 reversal at Leicestershire outfit Oadby Town.

  
30 August 2007
YOUTH TEAM VICTORIOUS ON RETURN TO LEAGUE

Rushall Olympic's newly reformed Under-18's side enjoyed an excellent start to their Midland Floodlit Youth League Western Division campaign with a solid 2-0 victory at Gornal Athletic who were last season competing in the Premier Division.

  
27 August 2007
BAD DAY AT THE OFFICE FOR SHAMBOLIC OLYMPIC

Rushall Olympic slumped to a totally unacceptable two goal defeat at British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands newcomers Romulus, ending the encounter by far the worse of two essentially poor sides.

Following an instantly forgettable first period Rushall found themselves a goal down within three minutes of the commencement of the second period when Richard Brown miscued a critical defensive header straight behind him into the path of Peter Folkes who bundled the ball over the line from close range.

It was game over for the Pic's on 69 minutes upon falling even further behind when a free kick was flicked on into the danger zone and targetman Tyrone Fagan all too easily stabbed the ball past 'keeper Tony Breeden who could only help it into the net.

Olympic had a big shout for a penalty appeal turned down with injury time looming as Damien Charie was upended running into the left side of the Romulus box, but it was all very much too little, too late from the otherwise shambolic visitors.

  
26 August 2007
STRIKER SHORTAGE CUTTING DEEP AT DALES LANE

Rushall Olympic go into their August Bank Holiday Monday clash at neighbours Romulus in the midst of something of a striker crisis. Damien Charie, scorer of the winning goal at home to Leamington on Saturday, is in danger of missing the game after the front runner was substituted due to an injury just a couple of minutes into the second period.

Summer signing from Halesowen Town Sean Dowdall only returned to the UK during the weekend after spending the summer coaching in America and is unlikely to link up with the Pic's squad at Coles Lane, while Paul Szewczyk remains on the sidelines - leaving only Duncan Willetts and David Waple as the only other recognised forwards in the squad.

During the weekend manager Paul Holleran was using his wealth of contacts attempting to draft in reinforcements to bolster his weakened front line in time for the tough clash with another of the League's newcomers.

On a positive note, in the continued absence of influential midfielder Grant Beckett, the returning Rob Holdcroft should be drafted back into the side after returing to the club last week.

Damien Charie

  
25 August 2007
TEN-MAN PICS INFLICT LEAMINGTON'S FIRST DEFEAT

Ten-man Rushall Olympic held firm for the final twenty minutes of a pulsating contest at Dales Lane to maintain their 100% home record with an excellent 1-0 victory over a highly expectant Leamington outfit backed by a large vocal following.

The only goal of the game, played in blisteringly late summer sunshine, came on 26 minutes when superb work by Lee Gough down the right channel saw the wing back ride a hefty challenge by a covering defender before sprinting towards the by-line and pulling the ball back to front runner Damien Charie who fired clinically into the roof of the net from 10 yards at the near post.

Olympic should have doubled their advantage a minute to the interval when Phil Rowe displayed power and tenacity to hold off a defender and thread the ball inside to make-shift striker Matt Hawker whose first time drive was well smothered by 'keeper Richard Morris.

Rushall suffered the blow of losing scorer Damien Charie to injury three minutes into the second period, but faced an amplified up hill challenge on 71 minutes when Chad Sheppard harshly picked up a second bookable offence for an innocuous looking foul and was dismissed by referee Mr Granda.

The visitors went on to put the Pic's under some telling pressure with their long ball game, but the closest Brakes got to equalising was with nine minutes remaining when home 'keeper Tony Breeden was sandwiched by two attackers attempting to claim a high ball, one of whom appeared to punch the ball into the back of the net. Fortunately the assistant referee was on hand to support his colleague in the middle and a free kick was awarded in favour of Rushall instead.

 

Damien Charie

  
25 August 2007
SECOND TEAM BEGIN CAMPAIGN WITH SIX GOAL DEFEAT

Rushall Olympic's youthful Second Team began their 2007-08 Midland Football Combination Reserve Division campaign in the worst possile fashion with a 6-0 defeat at Rugby Town.

  
24 August 2007
ONE OUT AND ONE IN FOR LEAMINGTON CLASH

Rushall Olympic were dealt a blow ahead of their home clash with British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands newcomers Leamington after influential midfielder GRANT BECKETT was ruled for a month with a hamstring injury. The former Halesowen Town player was substituted at half time during the midweek defeat at neighbours Chasetown, and manager Paul Holleran admitted it was a bitter blow so early on in the season: "We've lost Grant Beckett to what looks like a hamstring tear and we think he could be out for up to a month. It's a blow to us because at this level he is a big player. But one thing we've done over the summer is make the squad stronger."

On a much more positive note the Dales Lane boss is likely to have striker SEAN DOWDALL available in his squad for the first time this season after returning back to the UK following a summer spent coaching in America.

The Pic's face a Leamington side promoted from the Midland Alliance last season high on confidence following a crushing 5-1 demolition of Stourport Swifts and Paul Holleran certainly expects the Warwickshire outfit to be among the promotion chasers: "They will be a big team this year because they have backing. I watched them the other week and they have quality, resources and a fan base of 6-700. They could do what Histon did and go through the leagues. They won 5-1 the other day and I expect them to be a play-off team at least so it's a tough one for us."

Grant Beckett

  
21 August 2007
RUSHALL'S LUCK RUNS OUT IN TALE OF TWO PENALTIES

Rushall Olympic were left extremely frustrated at having been narrowly edged out 2-1 by fierce local rivals Chasetown in what was essentially truly disappointing derby at The Scholars.

Despite the final score line the visitors enjoyed the best possible start when Lee Barrow curled a tremendous 20 yard free kick into the top corner on 24 minutes.

Chasetown were back on level terms eight minutes from the break when Pic's skipper Richard Brown's intent in a strong challenge on incoming wing back Paul Spacey was penalised with a spot kick award that Dean Perrow clinically converted against his erstwhile colleagues.

Four minutes into the second period the home side edged in front courtesy of Mark Branch's scrappy free kick that deflected past 'keeper Tony Breeden from the right channel.

Controversy reigned in the 67th minute when Olympic's Damien Charie was blatantly scythed down on a run into the right side of the box. Incredibly the match officials combined to award a free kick, despite many a witness declaring the offence taking place a good two feet within the confines of the Scholars penalty area.

Chasetown's good fortune even carried them along to the very end when in the third minute of stoppage time Lee Barrow's excellent 25 yard free kick cannoned back off the crossbar to safety.

Lee Barrow

  
19 August 2007
ROB HOLDCROFT BACK IN THE DALES LANE FOLD

In a surprise move former Rushall Olympic midfielder ROB HOLDCROFT, who was thought to have linked up with British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands neighbours Willenhall Town during the close season, has returned to the Dales Lane after re-signing forms. The versatile 31-year-old, who can also operate anywhere on the left side of defence, was initially deemed to surplus to requirements by Pics manager Paul Holleran during the summer overhaul of his squad. However, following the start of the new campaign he approached his former boss regarding the possibility of making a return to Rushall, where he featured in 262 games prior to his departure.

 

Rob Holdcroft

  
18 August 2007
CHRIS BRINDLEY THE GOAL HERO AS OLYMPIC BOUNCE BACK FOR WIN

Assistant manager Chris Brindley was the hero for Rushall Olympic by netting a last ditch winner deep into injury time as the Dales Lane side got their campaign off to the best possible start against Barton Rovers with two goals in the final five minutes that left their big budget guests totally shell shocked.

During the early exchanges the best chance fell to Barton's Leon Gutzmore, who grazed the crossbar with a curling effort midway through the first period, while three minutes earlier eventual man of the match 'keeper Nigel Blower pulled off a fine save for the visitors to deny Richard Beale at close quarters.

Following a massive shout for a penalty in Olympic's favour just after the half hour mark, Barton were somewhat fortunate to take the lead four minutes prior to the interval when Lee Gough crucially missed a defensive header and Dean Brennan found himself in acres of space to run through on goal, ending with a fine curling finish from just outside the box into the bottom right corner past unsighted stopper Tony Breeden.

The second period saw the Pic's lay siege to Rovers goal and only the heroics of Nigel Blower kept the visitors slender lead intact with a string of excellent saves. However in the 87th minute, as the ball ricocheted around the area, defender Stuart Strange was adjudged to have handled during a melee and from the resulting spot kick Chad Sheppard clinically converted into the right side of goal, sending his adversary the wrong way.

With the game entering the dying moments Olympic's remarkable comeback was complete as they forced two corners in quick succession, the second of which was swung in from the right and crashed home into the roof of the net from six yards by the head of Chris Brindley, triggering scenes of wild celebrations both on and off the rain soaked pitch.

Chris Brindley

  
19 August 2007
SECOND TEAM RECORD ANOTHER FINE VICTORY

Rushall Olympic's new-look Second Team continued their pre-season campaign with an impressive 4-2 victory at Midland Football Combination Third Division outfit Kenilworth Town KH.

A brace apiece from Reece Hodgen and James Hawthorne gave the young Pics another confidence boosting success.

  
17 August 2007
CLUB SHOP PRODUCTS

Rushall Olympic Football Club are pleased to announce that the 2007-08 season will see a really concerted development of the Pic's merchandising activities arm for the first time, following a crucial link-up with our new playing kit suppliers SURRIDGE SPORT.

SURRIDGE SPORT, who also supply the likes of professional cricket teams such as Surrey CCC, Gloucestershire CCC, Durham CCC, Cricket Scotland, The Scottish Saltires and Glamorgan CCC, have now entered into the world of football again as the kit sponsor of Bradford City, Bury and St. Johnstone, not to mention rugby teams Lancashire RUFC and Hunslet Hawks RLFC.

It is hoped that eventually a wide variety of items will be available, but at present we can confirm that replica football kits, replica home shirts, polo shirts, sweat shirts, half zip rain jackets, key rings and pin badges are the first to be made available for sale.

Further information can be found on the Club Shop page of the website.

  
14 August 2007
RUSHALL OLYMPIC FORGE SPONSORSHIP AGREEMENT WITH HAFFNER

Rushall Olympic Football Club are extremely delighted to announce that Haffner GB Ltd have kindly agreed to become their main sponsors for the 2007-08 campaign.

A German manufacturer of aluminium and PVCu profile fabrication machinery, including cutting centres and welding lines, Haffner GB Ltd have been in business for over fifteen years, supplying innovative fabrication machinery to their fenestration partners.

Stone based Haffner GB Ltd have a commitment to achieving the highest possible standards at the very core of the company and stems from a business ethos to ensure they offer machinery solutions inline with their customers' expectations. The company continually holds one of the most comprehensive product ranges within the industry. Large or small, Haffner's machines are tailored to suit all fabrication permutations and can meet the needs of their customers, irrelevant of company size or budget.

On behalf of everyone at Dales Lane I would like to sincerely thank Managing Director of Haffner GB Ltd, Dave Thomas for his help and assistance in securing the generous sponsorship deal that will be a tremendous boost to Rushall Olympic.

May the relationship by a long and successful one.

  
14 August 2007
"500 CLUB" DRAW BEGINS ON SUNDAY 2 SEPTEMBER

Rushall Olympic Football Club's new "500 Club" draw will commence in earnest on Sunday 2nd September 2007 where hopefully 500 numbers will be sold sold at £1.00 each on a weekly basis with 50 % of the proceeds split between a First Prize (75 %) and Second Prize (25 %). The remaining 50 % of the proceeds will then be split equally between Rushall Olympic Football Club and a newly created "Facilities Improvement Fund".

Anyone wishing to become an Agent for the draw should contact Administrator Ray Jones in the first instance via the main club telephone number (01922) 641 021. Ray will be available from about 8.30 pm onwards on Sunday evenings when the draw will be taking place. Better still, why not pop along in person!

  
13 August 2007
OLYMPIC EXCEL IN 2006-07 PROGRAMME AWARDS

In the highly coveted "Programme Monthly Non-League Programme of the Year Awards" for season 2006-07 that were made at the end of last season Rushall Olympic were extremely proud and delighted to find out that their match day programme came out top within the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands - with the result declared as follows.

1stRUSHALL OLYMPIC
371 points
2ndBromsgrove Rovers
356 points
3rdStourbridge
335 points

Meanwhile, nationally in the survey the Pic's programme was rated in an amazing 13th place - beating a whole host of Conference clubs in the process as follows:

1st Oxford United 652 points, 2nd Exeter City 530 points, 3rd Cambridge United 503 points, 4th Rushden & Diamonds 460 points, 5th Abingdon United 451 points, 6th Dagenham & Redbridge 446 points, 7th Woking 440 points, 8th Morecambe 438 points, 9th Kidderminster Harriers 421 points, 10th Aldershot Town 414 points, 11th Crawley Town 377 points, 12th Grays Athletic 373 points, 13th RUSHALL OLYMPIC 371 points, 14th Forest Green Rovers 367 points, 15th York City 366 points.

Meanwhile, in the 14th annual "Soccer Club Swap Shop Programme Awards" Rushall Olympic also came out at the top of the pile within the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands, while on this occasion in the survey the Pic's were rated in 24th place nationally.

As anyone involved with producing a match day programme will know, at whatever standard of football, an award means a great deal to those concerned and it shows that the many hours of work that are required to produce these labours of love can be well worth the effort. On behalf of the clubI would like to thank "Programme Monthly" for bestowing the honour upon Rushall Olympic but, most importantly, I would also like to take this opportunity to dedicate the award to Rushall's very own Gary Cooper whose company WM Print have once again been responsible for publishing the programme, without whose much valued assistance there would certainly be no programme. In that respect we would also like to publically thank John Dennant who has the duty of proof reading and printing each issue.

  
12 August 2007
HELLO AND GOODBYE TO SADDLER SAM

In a surprise move Coca Cola League One neighbours Walsall Football Club have snapped up 17-year-old defender SAM BROOKES from Rushall Olympic on a free transfer, despite the youngster having only featured in three of the Pic's pre-season friendlies this summer since arriving at Dales Lane.

The newcomer had recently been training with the Saddler's and featured in the Youth Team's game against Cambridge United that took place at Pelsall Villa's Bush Ground at midday on Friday 10th August, clearly doing enough to have suitably impressed Head of Youth at the Banks's Stadium Mick Halsall.

Naturally we wish Sam the very best of luck in his future career and hope that he grasps his opportunity with both hands.

Sam Brookes

  
11 August 2007
BIRMINGHAM SENIOR CUP DRAW NEWS

The draw has been made for the early stages of the 2007-08 Birmingham County Football Association Senior Cup and in the First Round of the competition we have been drawn away at Black Country outfit CRADLEY TOWN, with match scheduled to be played during week commencing Saturday 13th October 2007.

  
11 August 2007
LAST MINUTE YELTZ GRAB DALES LANE SPOILS

A goal at the death in each half of Rushall Olympic's final pre-season friendly ultimately sentenced the Dales Lane outfit to a narrow 2-1 defeat at the hands of British Gas Business Football Premier Division outfit Halesowen Town.

Paul Devlin's in-swinging flag kick on the stroke of half time curled directly into the net to give the Black Country title contenders the lead, before an error by Yeltz stopper James Dormand gifted Rushall an equaliser just before the hour mark when Lee Barrow's long distance free-kick was fumbled across the goal line.

However, with barely a minute remaining Olympic's hopes of claiming an excellent draw were dashed when a free-kick from the right was swung into the danger zone and visiting defender Ed Booth stabbed the ball home from close range.

  
11 August 2007
RUSHALL STAGE FINAL FRIENDLY OF THE SUMMER

Rushall Olympic play their final warm-up game of the pre-season campaign tomorrow when British Gas Business Football League Premier Division outfit Halesowen Town are the visitors to Dales Lane in a 3.00 pm kick-off.

The encounter should be an extremely interesting one with Olympic manager Paul Holleran facing his former employers for the first time since being relieved of his duties at The Grove in November 2006, despite the Yeltz being only three points off a Play-Off place and his adventurous side being top scorers in the Premier Division. Additionally, extra spice may be added to the game as we also currently have in our squad a number of former Yeltz including assistant manager Chris Brindley, player-coach Mark Gayle, midfielder Grant Beckett, defenders Niki Preston and Karl Johnson and front runners Sean Dowdall, James Francis and Paul Szewczyk.

Meanwhile, the Black Country outfit are managed by former Pic's Youth Team graduate Martin O'Connor and also feature ex-Rushall midfielder Nick Amos amongst their ranks.

  
06 August 2007
SQUAD NUMBERS REDUCED BY TWO

Manager Paul Holleran has begun to reduce his squad numbers in readiness for the 2007-08 campaign by opting not to offer terms to veteran striker BRIAN GRAY and winger DANNY McGHEE, who had both featured in several of the Pic's pre-season friendly matches this summer.

The 34-year-old former Stourbridge front-runner found himself surplus to requirements following the club capturing the signatures of Halesowen Town duo Paul Szewcyzk and Sean Dowdall, while the impressive form of newcomer Duncan Willetts has meant that the Rushall boss decided to look elsewhere for cover. The striker first arrived at Dales Lane during summer 2006, having been off the non-league radar for a season or so. He began his career as a youngster with Birmingham City before entering the non-league game with spells at Conference sides Bromsgrove Rovers and Telford United, followed by spells with Worcester City, Tamworth and Solihull Borough. After arriving at Stourbridge during summer 2001 in his first season at Amblecote he was top scorer with 27 goals that helped them clinch the 2001-02 Midland Football Alliance championship, a feat that the club also repeated 12 months later, before transferring to Stratford Town.

Meanwhile, the manger also decided not to follow up interest in the ex-Hednesford Town player McGhee who predominantly operates as an out-and-out attacking wide man - perhaps believing that the 26-year-old would not suit the Dales Lane sides commitment to the 3-5-2 wing back system. Originally a product of the Pic's reserve team set-up, after leaving Dales Lane in October 2003 he went on to have spells with clubs including Hednesford Town, Willenhall Town, Sutton Coldfield Town, Walsall Wood, Kidderminster Harriers and Atherstone Town in recent seasons.

Brian Gray

Danny McGhee

  
06 August 2007
LATEST COUNTY CUP DRAW NEWS

At a meeting at Staffordshire Football Association on Wednesday 2nd August, the draws were made for the early stages of the 2007-08 Staffordshire Senior Challenge Cup, Walsall & District Football Association Senior Challenge Cup and Staffordshire Challenge Cup competitions.

In the Counties premier competition Rushall Olympic have been handed a tough away tie in the First Round of the trophy against UniBond League Premier Division outfit LEEK TOWN, with the game due to be played week commencing Monday 15th October 2007. Supporters may remember that two seasons ago we eventually faced the North Staffordshire outfit at the Quarter-Final stage of the competition at the end of February 2006 following an incredible 11-week delay in getting the fixture on after a series of postponements. The winners of the tie will then be at home to either ROCESTER or HEDNESFORD TOWN in the Second Round stage during week commencing Monday 12th November 2007.

Meanwhile, in the First Round of the Walsall Senior Cup we have yet another away tie, this time an intriguing one at near neighbours PELSALL VILLA, with match scheduled to be played during week commencing Monday 8th October 2007. The winners of this match will then be at home in the Second Round to the eventual winners of the tie between BRERETON SOCIAL and TIPTON TOWN during week commencing Monday 5th November 2007.

For our Reserves, last seasons Finalists have received a First Round bye in the Staffordshire Challenge Cup and can then look forward to a home tie in the Second Round, due to be played on Saturday 3rd November 2007, against the winners of the game between CHASETOWN RESERVES and MANOR INNE.

Finally, Rushall Olympic's re-formed U-18's side will be in Midweek Floodlit Youth League Cup action in the First Round of the competition at DOSTHILL COLTS during week commencing Monday 15th October 2007. The winners of the tie will then be away at BURTON ALBION during week commencing Monday 19th November 2007 in the Second Round of the competition.

  
04 August 2007
FIRST TEAM ADD FOUR MORE SIGNINGS TO SQUAD

In the wake of the pre-season friendly against neighbours Walsall, manager Paul Holleran made a flurry of four signings to begin the process of adding the final touches to his squad in advance of the Pic's final summer game against Halesowen Town. Midfielder MATT HAWKER arives after featuring for Stratford Town last season, but originally came to prominence with Romulus during the 2002-03 campaign, prior to linking up with Oldbury United for the beginning of the following season. A move to Solihull Borough eventually followed in October 2003, linking up with then manager Paul Holleran for the first time. He later joined Alvechurch on loan during April 2005 and became a member of the team who won the Worcestershire Senior Urn, before summer 2005 saw him join Leek Town for a short spell, before returning to Solihull Borough for the 2005-06 campaign, being released in November 2005 and ultimately linking up with Stratford Town for season 2006-07. The signature of experienced 28-year-old PHIL ROWE bolstered the midfield department further after being snapped up from former Division One Midlands outfit Solihull Borough. He first came to prominence with Solihull in the late 1990's and also had a spell with Paget Rangers, before linking up with Bromsgrove Rovers for the 2000-01 campaign. A return to former club Solihull followed in March 2001, prior to a short lived spell at the now defunct Bloxwich United in August 2001 that lasted until their disbandment in November 2001. A link up with Oldbury United was followed by further spells with Atherstone United and Solihull Borough, prior to the all rounder signing for Willenhall Town from Oldbury United in November 2004, where he remained until March 2006 and rejoined Solihull Borough for a fourth spell at Damson Parkway. Meanwhile, highly rated teenage defender SAM BROOKES has also linked up with the Pic's after spells with Solihull Moors and Cadbury Athletic and left sided former Willenhall Town, Stourport Swifts, Hednesford Town, Halesowen Town and Kidderminster Harriers wide man DANNY MASON has also re-signed for the Dales Lane side after being a part of the squad last term.

 

  
03 August 2007
PICS LOSE OUT TO YOUNG SADDLERS BY A SINGLE GOAL

Rushall Olympic were given an excellent pre-season work out by a strong young Walsall side at Dales Lane that contained a number of players with first team squad experience.

The only goal of the game arrived shortly before the half-time interval when the Pic's spurned several attempts to effectively clear their lines and eventually they lost out on possession to the Saddlers whose Troy Deeney ruthlessly exploited the home sides defensive shortcomings with a blistering rising drive from the edge of the box into the roof of the net.

Home custodian Tony Breedon was certainly the busier of the two stoppers on the night, making several telling saves during the contest. Meanwhile, Rushall's best opportunity fell to skipper Richard Brown with four minutes remaining whose powerful close range far post header from a corner was blocked on the line by a ruck of Walsall defenders, but a massive penalty appeal was turned away by the match referee.

  
03 August 2007
WALSALL GAME TONIGHT AT DALES LANE

Don't forget that the pre-season game between Rushall Olympic and League One neighbours Walsall Football Club will be taking place TONIGHT at Dales Lane, Friday 3rd August, kick-off 7.45 pm - where the Saddlers will be fielding a team of young professionals and youth-teamers for the annual friendly fixture, after bringing the game forward by a day.

Talking on the Walsall Football Club website Saddlers' Chief Executive, Roy Whalley stated: "A great relationship exists between Walsall FC and Rushall Olympic. We always look forward to our pre-season visits to Dales Lane. Rushall look after us well and prove to be great hosts. This game will form an important part of our preparations for the new season and we hope to get a good turnout for what should be a highly competitive encounter. Our supporters will get the opportunity to watch some of our players who are bound to be competing for a first-team place. We would like to thank John and Nick Allen for the support and enthusiasm that has contributed to such a good relationship between the two clubs. They both support a lot of our Boxing and Sporting Dinner Shows. We wish Rushall Olympic all the very best for a successful 2007/08 campaign."

Just to confirm: Rushall Olympic v Walsall, Friday 3rd August 2007, kick-off 7.45pm.

Admission will be £4.00 for Adults and £2.00 for Concessions, while a 36-page programme will be issued priced at £1.00.

 
31 July 2007
RUSHALL MAKE HARD WORK OF AWAY WIN

Rushall Olympic struggled to a narrow victory at West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division neighbours Wednesfield, where James Francis netted the only goal of an otherwise drab encounter a minute from the interval.

The margin of the success could have been greater for the Pic's, had Chad Sheppard not seen his 10th minute penalty conversion attempt strike the foot of the right post and rebound to safety after James Francis had been hacked down from behind.

A bad tempered finale saw some over zealous challenges from both sides, each of whom were eventually forced to withdraw a player by the match referee following separate flare ups.

  
30 July 2007
IMPORTANT NEWS - WALSALL GAME BROUGHT FORWARD TO FRIDAY NIGHT

In an exciting development that will be of an immense benefit to Rushall Olympic, neighbours Walsall Football Club have requested that we bring our annual pre-season friendly with them forward from Saturday 4th August to Friday 3rd August with a kick-off time of 7.45pm.

Supporters will be aware that the Saddlers were also going to be playing at Blue Square Premier outfit Burton Albion at the same time on Saturday afternoon, but by changing the game with the Pic's to the Friday evening Walsall manager Richard Money will now be able to bring a much stronger squad than would previously have been possible.

So just to confirm: Rushall Olympic v Walsall, Friday 3rd August 2007, kick-off 7.45pm.

  
30 July 2007
OLYMPIC VISIT WEDNESFIELD FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2002-03

Rushall Olympic travel the short distance to West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division neighbours Wednesfield Football Club tomorrow evening with a 7.45 pm kick-off, in what will be the first meeting between the two sides since season 2002-03 in the Midland Football Alliance.

The Amos Lane club are now managed by former Olympic striker Andy Rutter, who supporters may remember was a product of our Youth Team set-up of the 1990's and later progressed into the First Team, before going on to have spells with clubs including Chasetown, Oldbury United and Sandwell Borough.

 

  
28 July 2007
PIC'S CLAIM FIRST VICTORY OF PRE-SEASON CAMPAIGN

Rushall Olympic registered a maiden victory in their third fixture of the summer schedule as they came back from behind against West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division neighbours Pelsall Villa at The Bush to ultimately claim a 3-1 success.

Star of the show was undoubtedly Damien Charie who returned to haunt his former colleagues by bagging a fine brace. However, it was the Villagers who had taken the lead on 18 minutes with a thunderbolt of a drive from fully 30 yards.

The Pic's were back on level terms four minutes prior to the interval through Damien Charie, who lashed home a loose ball, while they forged ahead four minutes into the second period as Duncan Willetts clinically converted from the penalty spot after Neil Barnfield had been upended.

Damien Charie's second strike of the afternoon was enough to secure the win on 56 minutes as the front runner finished off a fine move by running on to Duncan Willetts low centre from the left and driving home from 10 yards.

  
27 July 2007
CASTLE VALE PICTURES ON LINE

A selection of match pictures from the pre-season friendly with Castle Vale on Tuesday 24th July are now on line. Click the above link to access the Dales Lane Gallery.

  
26 July 2007
ANOTHER FRIENDLY BITES THE DUST AS WET WEATHER CONTINIUES

Having stepped into the breach to play host to the touring USA Men's Deaf National Soccer Team at short notice, Rushall Olympic's plans for tonights pre-season friendly were in tatters after a day of rain in the West Midlands left the Dales Lane pitch water-logged and unplayable.

Discussions were due to take place to see if the game can be re-staged at a later date, but the American team are only scheduled to take on the Great Britain Deaf Team at the Hadley Disabled Sports Association Sports Grounds, Arkley, Hertfordshire on Saturday afternoon in preparation for the 2008 World Deaf Football Championships in Athens, Greece and the 2009 Deaflympics in Taipei, Taiwan.

  
25 July 2007
RUSHALL TAKE ON USA MEN'S DEAF NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM

Rushall Olympic Football Club has kindly offered to step into the breech by agreeing to play host to the USA Men's Deaf National Soccer Team, who are currently on a tour of the United Kingdom. Their visit this week will culminate in a first-ever showdown with the Great Britain Deaf Team at the Hadley Disabled Sports Association Sports Grounds, Arkley, Hertfordshire on Saturday afternoon. The British side defeated Iran in a gold medal game to claim their status as the best deaf soccer team in the world.

The USA had been scheduled to play Hednesford Town at their Keys Park ground, but due to the recent heavy rain the pitch has had to be re-seeded in some areas after previously planted seed was washed away.

Olympic's first ever game against an international side, in what will be a unique opportunity for the club, will take place at Dales Lane on Thursday 26th July, kick-off 7.45 pm. Admission to the game will be £ 4.00 for Adults and £ 2.00 for concessions.

The American touring party jetted off from John F. Kennedy Airport on Friday 20th July and have since been living and training together in the Cannock area, with the trip arranged as part of USA Deaf Soccer's preparation for the 2008 World Deaf Football Championships in Athens, Greece and the 2009 Deaflympics in Taipei, Taiwan.

Last Sunday morning USA were due to play Harrison's FC at the University of Wolverhampton's Walsall Campus Sports Centre in Gorway, while last night they took on Heath Hayes FC at the Aston College Soccer Complex in Birmingham Road, Great Barr.

The travelling squad includes: Coach Ken McDonald (Pensacola, Florida), Assistant Coach George Danner (Atlanta, Georgia), 1. DJ Rowse (Seattle, Washington), 2. Justin Hefflefinger (Newport News, Virginia), 3. Karlin Hirschfeld (Silver Spring, MD), 4. Toby Fitch (Maysville, Ohio), 5. Michael Lawson (Wall, New Jersey), 6. Chris Jones (Sykesville, Maryland), 7. Bobby Michel (Baltimore, Maryland), 8. Trevor Holtgrave (Ft. Wayne, Indiana), 9. Mark Sorokin (Tucson, Arizona), 10. Ken Noll (St. Louis, MO), 11. Brian Rightley (Fort Walton Beach, Florida), 12. Michael Higgins (Washington, D.C.), 13. Matt Eby (Washington, D.C.), 14. Scott Rinehart (Denver, Colorado), 15. Jerry Mathern (Los Angeles, California), 16. Jason Pannara (New Jersey), 17. Chad Evringham (Rochester, New York). 18. Cory Behm (Rochester, New York).

  
24 July 2007
OLYMPIC SLIP TO DISAPPOINTING DEFEAT

Rushall Olympic slipped to a disappointing 3-2 defeat at the hands of Midland Football Combination Premier Division title hopefuls Castle Vale at Dales Lane in a fixture arranged at the eleventh hour in the wake of the postponement of Saturday afternoon's game at Stapenhill.

The result eventually swung in the visitors favour with two well worked goals in the final 12 minutes after the Pic's had overturned Castle Vale's interval lead with an equaliser from Duncan Willetts and strike from Brian Gray that gave the home side a 2-1 advantage 20 minutes into the second period. However, a series of substitutions essentially upset the balance of the Pic's during the latter stages of the second half and goals in the 78th and 83rd minutes were enough for the Birmingham side to claim a prize scalp.

  
22 July 2007
NEW FRIENDLY FIXTURE ARRANGED FOR TUESDAY EVENING

Following the weekend postponement of their scheduled pre-season friendly at Stapenhill on Saturday afternoon, Rushall Olympic have managed to arrange a new fixture for Tuesday 24th July at Dales Lane where they will entertain last season's Midland Football Combination Runners-Up Castle Vale FC, kick-off 7.30 pm. Admission to the game will be a reduced price of £4.00 for adults and £2.00 for concessions.

The new game will provide much needed match practice for the Pic's who would otherwise not have played a competitive match for some two weeks by the time the weekend fixture at neighbours Pelsall Villa comes around on Saturday 28th July.

Rushall are also on the lookout for an additional friendly on Tuesday 7th August, preferably away from home. Any interested parties should contact Football Secretary Peter Athersmith in the first instance on 07909 792 422.

  
22 July 2007
NEW "500 CLUB" DRAW LAUNCHED

At the end of last season Rushall Olympic Football Club opted to scrap their previously highly successful weekly Lotto draw, that was run in conjunction with local junior football outfit Holly Name Football Club, due to the fact that in recent times the scheme had become somewhat financially unviable, mainly due to the level of commission being paid to Agents. The club Lotto also predictably suffered particularly so during the summer months with no football being played.

However, on a positive note this summer the Management Committee at Dales Lane have opted to put into place a new "500 Club" scheme that will potentially see 500 numbers sold at £1.00 each on a weekly basis with 50 % of the proceeds split between a First Prize (75 %) and Second Prize (25 %). The remaining 50 % of the proceeds will then be split equally between Rushall Olympic Football Club and a newly created "Facilities Improvement Fund".

A draft format of the proposed "500 Club Rules" as of Sunday 15th July 2007 are detailed below:

  • The draw will be run by a number of "Agents" who will be responsible for a series of allocated numbers and the collecting of the weekly payments from the entrants. "
  • There will be a "500 Club Administrator" who will collate the total weekly entrants and produce a record of the funds.
  • Each "Agent" is to contact the "Administrator" before the 9.00 pm deadline to advise of any changes to their number allocation. If there is no telephone call then those numbers allocated will be entered into the draw and hence payment will be expected for that week.
  • Each allocated number is put in the draw on Sunday with the closing time for changes being 9.00 pm. The draw will take place at 9.30 pm each Sunday night.
  • All monies collected by "Agents" are to be paid in to the "Administrator" by the Thursday following the draw without any exceptions
  • Two numbers will be drawn for the First Prize and Second Prize fund which will be split 75% of the payout for First Prize and 25% of payout for Second Prize. The two winners will be paid in cash on the Sunday evening following that draw.
  • Initially the total prize fund payout will be 50% of the weekly number sales, but this will be subject to review dependant on the financial performance of the draw.
  • The cost of one number in the draw is £1.00 each week.
  • The 50% non-prize proceeds from the draw will be further split 50% to the club account of Rushall Olympic FC and 50% put into a "Facilities Improvement Fund" to be administered by the club Management Committee.
  
21 July 2007
STAPENHILL FRIENDLY FALLS VICTIM TO WATER LOGGING

As predicted the Great British summer prevented Rushall Olympic's pre-season friendly with Midland Football Alliance outfit Stapenhill going ahead after their Edge Hill ground in Burton-on-Trent was declared water logged this morning following virtually 24 hours of rain.

The Pic's will now have to wait until next Saturday for their next outing when they will be hoping for a vast improvement in the weather as they visit near neighbours Pelsall Villa of the West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division.

  
21 July 2007
SECOND TEAM FRIENDLY PROGRAMME

Rushall Olympic Reserves have announced the following pre-season programme this summer in preparation for their forthcoming 2007-08 Midland Football Combination Reserve Division campaign that begins on Saturday 25th August:

Saturday 4th AugustMile Oak RoversAway
Wednesday 8th AugustHeath Hayes Home
Sunday 19th AugustErdington Star WoodlandsHome
Wednesday 22nd AugustWorcester City YouthAway (T.B.C.)
  
21 July 2007
PIC'S SECOND FRIENDLY IN THE LAP OF THE GODS

Rushall Olympic go into their second pre-season friendly of the summer at Midland Football Alliance newcomers and reigning Leicestershire Senior League Champions Stapenhill hoping that the recent heavy rain doesn't prevent the fixture from going ahead at Edge Hill in Maple Grove.

The forecast is set for heavy rain in the Burton-on-Trent area overnight with drizzle coming in by 10.00 am, followed eventually by sunny intervals at 4.00 pm.

Olympic will be looking to build on their promising opening last weekend against Blue Square Premier title hopefuls Kidderminster Harriers.

  
20 July 2007
FIXTURE RELEASE HANDS RUSHALL A TOUGH OPENING

Rushall Olympic have been handed a tough looking opening to their British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands programme after the fixtures for season 2007-08 were released on Wednesday 18th July.

Following a Dales Lane curtain raiser against Barton Rovers on Saturday 18th August, the Pic’s face a midweek battle at neighbours and fierce local rivals Chasetown, followed by a home tie against newcomers Leamington on the second Saturday of the programme in what should produce two bumper attendances.

Another local derby will quickly arise on August Bank Holiday with a clash against new boys Romulus at Coles Lane, Sutton Coldfield.

The other traditional holiday time fixtures will see Olympic entertain Chasetown on Boxing Day, followed by a New Years Day trip to Noose Lane to take on Willenhall Town. The return fixture against the Reds will be at Dales Lane on Easter Monday, which this year falls upon Monday 24th March.

  
20 July 2007
RESERVES OPEN AT RUGBY TOWN

Rushall Olympic Reserves face a late start to their 2007-08 campaign with the second string section of the Midland Football Combination not commencing until Saturday 25th August when the Pic's travel to Rugby Town.

It should also be noted that the fixtures published on the league website are again only provisional and may be subject to change.

  
14 July 2007
OLYMPIC OPEN WITH NARROW DEFEAT

Rushall Olympic's pre-season schedule began at Dales Lane with a narrow but extremely heartening single goal defeat at the hands of Blue Square Premier title hopefuls Kidderminster Harriers.

Despite the Pic's missing the likes of Lee Barrow, Chad Sheppard and the new strike force signings Sean Dowdall and Paul Szewczyk, the remaining squad members turned in an excellent display that gave the home support a great deal of encouragement for the forthcoming season.

Although Kidderminster arguably had the pick of the opportunities throughout the contest, they were made to wait until six minutes before the end to register the all important winning goal when front runner Justin Richards turned and fired spectacularly into the top left corner over the outstretched fingertips of 'keeper Mark Gayle.

Rushall's best opportunities came via Grant Beckett, whose 25 yard free kick towards the top left corner prior to the interval was tipped over by a tremendous Scott Bevan and Brian Gray, who rolled the ball wide of the target 13 minutes from full time.

  
13 July 2007
RUSHALL READY FOR SUMMER OPENER

Rushall Olympic open their pre-season campaign tomorrow afternoon at Dales Lane, kick-off 3.00pm against Blue Square Premier title hopefuls Kidderminster Harriers, in what will be a high profile opening to the Pic's busy summer schedule.

The Worcestershire visitors are likely to field a strong as Harriers boss Mark Yates aims to give every member of his squad a run out in a weekend double header that all sees his side play at West Midlands (Regional) League side Bewdley Town on Sunday afternoon,. Kidderminster's manemengt team will be running the rule over both current squad, that includes new signings Justin Richards, Andy Ferrell, Paul Bignot and Dean Coleman, as well as some trialists - with seven players being put through their paces by the Aggborough club in a bid to win permanent deals.

Commenting in the local Worcesterhsire press the Kidderminster manager said: "Everyone who is fit and available will play in both the friendlies we have this weekend. My plan is to give everyone 45 minutes, so the fans will see a lot of our regulars. Training has gone very well so far. At the moment it's energetic and it will get harder as the summer progresses. There's a rapport building between the established players and the new lads. We have a lot of trialists here at the moment. Some of them are young lads we'd had recommended to us and others who have caught our eye but at the moment no decisions have been made."

Meanwhile, Rushall Olympic manager Paul Holleran begins his first summer in charge of the Pic's by fielding a whole host of new signings that include Halesowen Town trio Sean Dowdall, Paul Szewczyk and Grant Beckett; former Hednesford Town FA Trophy winner Damien Charie; AFC Telford United defender Richard Beale; and ex-Solihull Borough 'keeper Tony Breedon.

  
11 July 2007
CLUB A.G.M. UP AND COMING AT DALES LANE

Just a quick note to remind members of Rushall Olympic Football Club that this years Annual General Meeting will be taking place at Dales Lane on Monday 16th July at 8.30 pm. Any members are more than welcome to attend.

  
10 July 2007
GLOBE TROTTING VICE CHAIRMAN GRABS A COUPLE OF STAR PLAYERS

Rushall Olympic Vice Chairman Nick Allen claimed a couple of surprise captures in Las Vegas last month after flying to the US to watch Manchester's Ricky Hatton beat Mexico's Jose Luis Castillo with a stunning fourth-round knockout.

Nick pulled no punches as he beat off a host of big spending local rivals to grab Manchester United and England front runner WAYNE ROONEY. However, discussions about a possible move to Dales Lane broke down at an early stage when insiders revealed the talented 21-year-old baulked at the prospect of having to pay the Pic's a substantial signing on fee. Even the offer of a choice of property in neighbouring Goscote Valley failed to break the deadlock.

Meanwhile, in a dramatic double swoop the globe-trotting Vice Chairman was also able to get his hands on Newcastle United's JOEY BARTON, but alas it wasn't going to be cigars all round as the controversial midfielder opted to remain on Tyneside.
  
10 July 2007
ADMISSION CHARGES FINALLY SET TO RISE FOR 2007-08

Rushall Olympic Football Club announced that after holding admission prices in to Dales Lane in check for the past four seasons, the Pic's opted to finally increase their charges for the 2007-08 campaign to £6.00 for Adults and £3.00 for Concessions. The decision was made in order for the pricing to rise more in line with the admission charges of other clubs within the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands. However, Dales Lane will still be one of the cheapest grounds at Step 4 of the non-League pyramid to gain entry in to.

Additionally, Rushall's award winning match day programme will finally see its cover price rise to a more realistic level of £1.50 per issue, again in order to restore parity with rival club's after previously holding the price at £1.00 for several seasons.

  
09 July 2007
UNDER-14 SECTION AT DALES LANE

Following the link-up between Erdington Star Woodlands and Rushall Olympic, an Under-14's section will also now be based at Dales Lane for the forthcoming 2007-08 campaign and are on the look out for quality players to strengthen their squad. Pre-season training is well under way on Tuesday evenings 6.30–8.00 pm and Sunday mornings 10.30 am –12.30 pm at Woodlands Camp in Streetly and any prospective players interested in joining the new set-up are asked to call Dave on 07891-834939 for more information in the first instance

  
07 July 2007
FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION CHALLENGE CUP DRAW

The early round draws for the 2007-08 Football Association Challenge Cup competition sponsored by E.ON were made this week. The 127th FA Cup will have a record number of 731 entries; the previous highest was last season, in fact, when 687 clubs entered the competition.

In the Preliminary Round of the competition Rushall Olympic have been drawn at home to either LEDBURY TOWN of the West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division or BOLDMERE ST MICHAELS of the Polymac Services Midland Football Alliance who face each other in an Extra Preliminary Round tie on Saturday 18th August 2007. The subsequent Preliminary Round tie is scheduled to take place at Dales Lane on Saturday 1st September 2007, kick-off 3.00 pm.

The winners of the Preliminary Round tie will be rewarded with a home tie against the eventual winners of the PEGASUS or NEW MILLS v ATHERSTONE TOWN ties, in the 1st Round Qualifying stage of the competition. This game is scheduled to take place on Saturday 15th September 2007, kick-off 3.00 pm.

  
07 July 2007
FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION CARLSBERG CHALLENGE TROPHY DRAW

The early round draws for the 2007-08 Football Association Carlsberg Challenge Trophy competition were made this week. The FA Trophy is in its 39th Season and will have 258 entries, 11 more than last year. All the entries are drawn from the Football Conference, Isthmian, Northern Premier and Southern League's.

In the Preliminary Round of the competition Rushall Olympic have been drawn at home to CARLTON TOWN of the UniBond League Division One South with the tie scheduled to take place at Dales Lane on Saturday 6th October 2007, kick-off 3.00 pm.

The winners of the Preliminary Round tie will be rewarded with a testing away tie at MOSSLEY AFC of the UniBond League Division One North in the 1st Round Qualifying stage of the competition. This game is scheduled to take place at Market Street, Mossley on Saturday 20th October 2007, kick-off 3.00 pm.

  
07 July 2007
ERREA CUP DRAW

The First Round draw of the 2007-08 Errea Cup has been made and as usual the early rounds of the competition have thrown up a lot of local derbies.

Rushall Olympic will face British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands neighbours and rivals ROMULUS at Coles Lane, Sutton Coldfield during week commencing Monday 24th September 2007.

The full First Round draw list is as follows: AFC Hayes v Slough Town, Aylesbury United v Chesham United, Barton Rovers v Uxbridge, Berkhamsted Town v Woodford United, Bishops Cleeve v Cinderford Town, Bridgwater Town v Slimbridge, Chasetown v Bedworth United, Didcot Town v Andover, Dunstable Town v Leighton Town, Farnborough v Abingdon United, Godalming Town v Thatcham Town, Hillingdon v Bracknell Town, Marlow v Burnham Oxford City v Fleet Town, Paulton Rovers v Gosport Borough, Romulus v Rushall Olympic, Rothwell Town v Leamington, Stourbridge v Malvern Town, Stourport Swifts v Evesham United, Taunton Town v Newport IOW, Willenhall Town v Sutton Coldfield Town, Windsor & Eton v Winchester City.

  
07 July 2007
PRE-SEASON TRAINING PROMPTS SEVERAL SIGNINGS

As Rushall Olympic's summer training squad returned to Dales Lane this week, several players have already put pen to paper for the 2007-08 campaign.

One of the most notable signings has been that of highly rated 22-year-old front runner SEAN DOWDALL who has committed himself to the club for the forthcoming campaign after ending last season with Halesowen Town. A former Birmingham City Under-18's player, he entered the non-league game with Moor Green during 2003, before first linking up with Pic's manager Paul Holleran during summer 2006 at Halesowen after coming to the end of a two-year contract with the Birmingham club. February 2007 also saw the striker join Chasetown on loan for a month, netting three goals in five appearances.

Much sought after forward DAMIEN CHARIE has also put pen to paper after being tracked during last season at nieghbours Pelsall Villa. The 23-year-old came through the ranks at Hednesford Town, making First Team debut during the 2003-04 campaign and after creating such an impression in only a handful of games his form culminated in a starting role in the Pitmen's excellent FA Trophy Final success against Canvey Island. He remained at Keys Park until October 2004 when he transferred to the newly formed AFC Telford United, going on to become a big crowd favourite at the New Bucks Head. In his first season he as a member of the squad who gained promotion from the Unibond League Division One to the Premier Division via the play-off's. A surprise move into the lower levels of non-league football followed during summer 2006 when he opted to join Shropshire neighbours Shifnal Town, before moving to West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division rivals Pelsall Villa in September 2006. Unfortunately he sustained a broken jaw in October 2006 that kept him out of action until late November when he returned to training.

Meanwhile, club captain RICHARD BROWN has already committed himself to the club for 2007-08 and has also been joined this week by NEIL BARNFIELD, NIKI PRESTON. Defensive linchpin LEE BARROW is also due to re-sign for the Pic's during the next week.

Richard Brown
Neil Barnfield
Niki Preston
Lee Barrow
  
06 July 2007
CHANGES TO PRE-SEASON PROGRAMME

Rushall Olympic have announced a couple of ammendments to their First Team pre-season programme for summer 2007, prior to the commencement of the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands season on Saturday 18th August.

The proposed game with Redditch United of the Blue Square Conference North on Tuesday 24th July has now been postponed due to the Worcestershire outfit opting to instead play host to a Birmingham City side. As yet the evening remains open, but the likelihhod is that a fixture will be arranged in due course.

Meanwhile, a new fixture has been added to the line-up on Saturday 11th Augus with a home friendly against British Gas Business Football League Premier Division side Halesowen Town.

Sat. 14th July: Rushall Olympic v Kidderminster Harriers (3.00 pm)
Sat. 21st July: Stapenhill v Rushall Olympic (3.00 pm)
Tue. 24th July: T.B.A.
Sat. 28th July: Pelsall Villa v Rushall Olympic (3.00 pm)
Tue. 31st July: Wednesfield v Rushall Olympic (7.45 pm)
Sat. 4 th August: Rushall Olympic v. Walsall XI (3.00 pm)
Sat. 11 th August: Rushall Olympic v. Halesowen Town (3.00 pm)

 

  
30 June 2007
INFLUENTIAL MIDFIELDER ON THE MOVE

It has been reported that Rushall Olympic's influential midfielder ANTHONY MAGUIRE has opted to leave Dales Lane for pastures new at UniBond League Premier Division outfit Leek Town, a club who were on the verge of folding until a consortium of Leek businessmen donated funds and pledged future monies sufficient for the club to appoint management and playing staff for the forthcoming season. The skillful playmaker transferred to Dales Lane from Bromsgrove Rovers in October 2006, but began his career as a youngster with Torquay United, where he spent most of his time within the Plainmoor youth set up. Upon leaving the south coast he eventually linked up with his home town club Hednesford Town, where he progressed through the reserve team ranks into the first team squad in October 2002 after some impressive performances. Eventually he became a crucial member of the Hednesford line-up and scored some vital goals during the 2003-04 campaign that saw the Pitmen reach the FA Trophy Final at Villa Park, where they secured an excellent 3-2 success against favourites Canvey Island. Indeed, the tireless midfielder netted in both legs of the Semi-Final against Aldershot Town and then claimed his sides opening goal in the Final, a feat that led to him having the honour bestowed upon him of being named as the Carlsberg Man of the Match. Following a trial with AFC Telford United during summer 2005 he eventually linked up with Halesowen Town for a month and then Bromsgrove Rovers during the early part of 2005-06 campaign, before returning to Hednesford Town in February 2006. Spent summer 2006 on trial with Chasetown, before eventually linking back up with Bromsgrove just after the start of the season. During season 2006-07 the Cannock-based midfielder made 31 full appearances, was named 6 times as a substitute and netted 7 times.

OUT
Anthony Maguire
  
29 June 2007
GOAL KEEPING DEPARTMENT REVAMPED

Rushall Olympic manager Paul Holleran has made changes to his goal keeping department by capturing the signature of the highly rated 19-year-old custodian TONY BREEDON who ended last term with the now merged Solihull Borough outfit. The much sought after stopper began his career by progressing through the ranks at Sutton Coldfield Town via their highly successful Youth Team and had also been an integral part of the Birmingham County Football Association Under-18's representative side, while also having trials with clubs including Notts County and Stoke City. February 2006 saw him clinch a surprise move to Conference side Tamworth, making his debut that same month. However, despite the Lambs coaching staff rating him as one of the best young prospects in non-League football, March 2006 saw the 'keeper join Stourport Swifts on a loan spell until the end of the 2005-06 campaign, after which a return to Sutton Coldfield Town during summer 2006 was followed by a transfer to Solihull Borough in August 2006.

Additionally, the Dales Lane boss has also made a crucial addition to his backroom team following the appointment of former Football League goalkeeper MARK GAYLE as his Player-Coach, who will effectively act as cover for new No.1 Tony Breedon and also takeover the coaching role left vacant by the departure of former incumbent Steve Johnson. Arguably one of the most experienced custodians currently on the non-league circuit, the 37-year-old began his career as a Trainee with Leicester City, before moving on to Blackpool during summer 1989. Summer 1990 saw him briefly enter the non-League game with Worcester City and during the following pre-season campaign was snapped up by Walsall for a fee of £15,000 after impressing against the Saddlers in a friendly. During his 2 ½ years at Bescot Stadium he made almost 100 appearances for the First Team, missing only one game between January 1992 and October 1993. During December 1993 he transferred to Crewe Alexandra for a fee of £35,000, where he remained until the end of season 1997-98 and during that time made over 100 appearances for Dario Gradi's side. Whilst with the Railwaymen he was almost immediately signed on a one month loan by then Liverpool manager Roy Evans during February 1994 in what at the time was an amazing move, featuring on the Anfield bench on three occasions in Premiership matches. Similar loan spells with Birmingham City (February 1997), Hereford United (September 1997), Chesterfield (October 1997) and Luton Town (March 1998) followed, prior to joining Conference outfit Rushden & Diamonds for the start of the 1998-99 campaign on a free transfer. A return to Chesterfield was then on the agenda during summer 1999 where he was first choice custodian during the Spireites Division Two relegation campaign, before being released during summer 2000 and linking up with Hednesford Town - where he went on to be named as Player of the Year for season 2000-01, despite the Pitmen's wretched season that saw them relegated from the Nationwide Conference. After being released from the Keys Park outfit in October 2002, having made over a century of appearances, he was snapped up by Solihull Borough. A transfer to Halesowen Town followed during summer 2003, prior to rejoining Solihull Borough in October 2003, before returning to The Grove for a second spell in March 2005. A surprise move to Tamworth came about during summer 2005 when he signed for the Lamb based Conference and also acted as a coach for the club's goalkeepers, before rejoining Halesowen Town in May 2006 for a third time. A move to Dales Lane followed in February 2007 to act as a cover player, making just a single appearance.

As a result of the recent moves it would appear that RYAN PRICE, last season's No.1 at Dales Lane, has opted to put his playing career on hold at only 28 years of age and will not compete for the No.1 role, despite only returning to the fold for a third spell during summer 2006. He originally arrived at the club back in September 2001 after transferring from neighbours Pelsall Villa, whom he had joined during summer 2001 from Darlaston Town. A key figure during season 2002-03 when the Pic's finished as runners-up in the Midland Football Alliance and narrowly missed out on promotion into the Southern League, he first left the club in September 2003 to try his luck in Southern League football with Stourport Swifts and later had a short spell with Cradley Town, before re-signing for a second time during summer 2004 and becoming first choice as Rushall clinched the 2004-05 Midland Football Alliance Championship. However, he left Dales Lane again in October 2005 after being released and went on to have spells with Oldbury United and Walsall Wood. During his time with Olympic the stopper amassed some 164 full appearances, featured 48 times as a substitute and even managed to score a goal from the penalty spot during season 2004-05.

OUT
IN
Ryan Price
Mark Gayle
  
27 June 2007
COMBINATION CONSTITUTION CONFIRMED

The Midland Football Combination have released their constitutions for the 2007-08 season and Rushall Olympic Reserves will once again be competing in the Reserve Division, this time alongside the following opponents: Barwell, Boldmere St Michaels, Chasetown, Coleshill Town, Coventry Sphinx (new), Friar Lane & Epworth, Gresley Rovers, Mickleover Sports, Oadby Town, Quorn, Rothwell Town, Rugby Town and Walsall Wood (new).

Missing from last season's line-up are Alvechurch, Halesowen Town, Hinckley United and Loughborough Dynamo who have all withdrawn their sides from the competition.

Meanwhile, the Pic's Second Team have been drawn at home to neighbours and Reserve Division newcomers Walsall Wood in the First Round of the Midland Football Combination Challenge Trophy. The winners will be at home to Leicestershire outfit Quorn in the Second Round.

  
26 June 2007
YOUTH TEAM PLACE CONFIRMED IN WESTERN DIVISION

Rushall Olympic's return to the Midland Floodlit Youth League following a season's absence was confirmed on Monday 25th June at the league's Annual General Meeting at the home of Solihull Moors FC in Damson Lane, Solihull.

The Pic's newly reformed Under-18's side will once again take their place in the Western Division, this time alongside Boldmere St Michaels, Brierley Hill & Withymoor, Chasetown, Dudley Sports, Ellesmere Rangers, Gornal Athletic, Lye Town, Stapenhill, Stourbridge, Tipton Town, Tividale and Wernley Athletic.

The Midland Floodlit Youth League will begin the new season with a record number of 50 clubs after ten new teams were accepted at the AGM covering Premier (12 teams), Western (13 teams), Eastern (12 teams) and Southern (13 teams) sections. Competing in the league for the first time will be Archdales 73, Banbury United, Brierley Hill & Withymoor, Chasetown, Dosthill Colts and Ellesmere Rangers, while Coventry Copeswood, Daventry Town, and Southam United have also returned to the league with the Pic's for the 2007-08 campaign.

It is anticipated that the season will begin during week commencing Monday 20th August.

  
24 June 2007
DALES LANE WORKING PARTY VOLUNTEERS REQUIRED

With the pre-season campaign fast approaching Rushall Olympic Football Club are obviously keen to complete their summer ground maintenance work programme.

During the final two weekends prior to the first of the Pic's friendlies on Saturday 14th July at Dales Lane club officials are looking for volunteers to turn up from 10.00 am onwards on both Saturday 30th June and Saturday 7th July in order to complete a number of ongoing projects.

There are currently still plenty of tasks to be completed including painting of the dressing rooms, stand and goal posts, while we are also looking to clear out a pair of existing containers in readiness for later conversion into dressing rooms for mini-soccer events.

Meanwhile, the existing training pitch has recently been extended and we now require people to undertaking some stone picking and slope re-regrading prior to the seeding of the area.

We would ask that anyone thinking of coming along could in the first instance perhaps e-mail the club before hand such that enough materials such as paint can be made available in advance. However, anyone who can just turn up on the day and offer their assistance will be made most welcome.

  
23 June 2007
TWO MORE CONFIRMED FOR NEXT SEASON

Rushall Olympic manager Paul Holleran this week completed the signings of two more players for his 2007-08 squad by confirming the capture of the highly prized signature of left sided defender RICHARD BEALE and much in demand right wing back LEE GOUGH, the Pic's Supporter's Player of the Year for 2006-07.

Richard Beale, who was recently appointed a full-time Coach with Premiership Birmingham City's Academy, linked up with former AFC Telford United Reserve's boss Paul Holleran at Rushall Olympic after finding himself essentially surplus to requirements with Blue Square North newcomers. However, the full back admitted it was hard to put Telford behind him after almost two years at the New Bucks Head and speaking to Chris Hudson of the Shropshire Star he claimed: "I am very, very sad to be leaving AFC Telford United - I think they are the biggest club in non-League. It's a club that will always hold a special place in my heart. I had a great relationship with the fans and they were always great to me. I always appreciated that. Rob Smith (the Telford boss) obviously doesn't rate me as highly as I'd like but that's fine as football is a game of opinions. I'll definitely keep an eye on their progress and they'll be the first result I look for along with Stafford, because I had a great time there as well. I think potentially they can go straight up again. My heart says that's what I want them to do, and that's genuine."

The former Redditch United man revealed he had turned down the advances of several clubs at UniBond League Premier Division level, with work commitments and his personal relationship with Paul Holleran being his main reasons for favouring a move to Dales Lane, admitting: "The manager Paul Holleran is a friend of mine and I've known him since I was at Solihull with him. I played a couple of games on loan for them last year, and then when it was looking like I'd be released he rang me up and was very persistent in saying he'd look after me. I had a few phone calls from clubs higher up, but the swinging factor was my new job as it meant I didn't want to be traveling too far."

Meanwhile, Lee Gough enjoyed an exceptional debut season with Olympic after arriving at Dales Lane in October 2006 after spending the early part of his career with neighbours ad archrivals Chasetown. The 23-year-old had been the subject of many offers from other clubs throughout the summer, but has opted to remain at the club for the foreseeable future.

The club expect to complete a host of other signings in the forthcoming weeks with the players back at Dales Lane for pre-season training on Tuesday 3rd July.

IN
Richard Beale
Lee Gough
  
21 June 2007
YOUTH TEAM TRIAL DATES ON THE AGENDA

With Rushall Olympic having joined forces with Erdington Star Woodlands the new partnership have organised trials for their new Under-18's side that will compete in the Midland Floodlit Youth League for season 2007-08. Players aged 16 or 17 years, who are of County or Academy standard are cordially invited to attend trials at Woodlands Camp, off Little Hardwick Road in Streetly. The sessions will take place from 7.00 pm on the next three Thursday's - namely June 28, July 5 and July 12. For information please call Mike O'Sullivan on 07831 270 620 or 0121 580 8074.

  
21 June 2007
UNDER-12 SECTION AT DALES LANE

Following the link-up between Erdington Star Woodlands and Rushall Olympic an Under-12's section will be based at Dales Lane for the forthcoming 2007-08 campaign. Any prospective players interested in joining the new set-up are asked to call Clive on 07721 898 401 or Simon on 07792 179 436 for more information in the first instance.

  
09 June 2007
DALES LANE TRANSFER TRAIL BEGINS IN EARNEST

Manager Paul Holleran has made the first moves in his summer revamp of Rushall Olympic by releasing some of last season's squad and making two initial signings. Moving out of Dales Lane are the experienced duo of defender ROB VASSELL and midfielder ROB HOLDCROFT, who have both not been offered terms, while goal keeping Coach STEVE JOHNSON has also been released from his duties.

31-year-old left sided utility player Rob Holdcroft had been with the Pic's since rejoining them in September 2004 for a third spell at Dales Lane. Second top appearance maker for the First Team last term, he appeared in 41 of their 42 British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands games. In his time with the club he had clocked up 181 full appearances and was named a further 81 times as a substitute, scoring 6 goals. While with Rushall he was a key member of the side who won the 2004-05 Midland Football Alliance championship to gain promotion to the Southern Football League, received a 2005-06 Staffordshire Senior Challenge Cup winner's medal and was named by his peers as Players' Player of the Year for season 2005-06.

34-year-old left sided defender Rob Vassell had been at Dales Lane since March 2001, making 174 full appearances as well as featuring on the bench 61 times and netting two goals. During that time he was part of one of the clubs most successful periods in their history as the Pic's won the 2001-02 Midland Football Alliance League Challenge Cup, the 2004-05 Midland Football Alliance championship and 2005-06 Staffordshire Football Association Senior Challenge Cup.

Steve Johnson was in his third spell at Dales Lane and in his second as coach, returning to the fold in October 2006, having previously operated in the same role during season 2004-05. During season 2006-07 he also featured 10 times on the bench as cover.

Meanwhile, it is also understood that last season's top scorer DEAN PERROW was been tempted away from Dales Lane to neighbours Chasetown with what was believed to be an offer the 2006-07 Player's Player of the Year could not refuse, despite giving assurances that he would only move to a club at a higher level. The departure will be a big blow for Olympic as they lose a prolific striker who netted an incredible 20 goals in just 26 games since arriving at Rushall on loan from AFC Telford United at the turn of the year and was instrumental in ensuring the club's British Gas Business Football League status for season 2007-08.

On a positive note, Paul Holleran's first two signings of summer 2007 have been confirmed as the one-time Halesowen Town pairing of midfielder GRANT BECKETT and centre forward PAUL SZEWCZYK.

26-year-old target man Paul Szewczyk originally came to prominence with Wolverhampton Casuals, being snapped up by Hednesford Town in late 1998. Following two seasons with the Pitmen he took up a scholarship to play football in the United States with St. Johns. Upon return to the UK he joined Stafford Town prior to linking up with Stourbridge, where his goals soon attracted the attentions of Stafford Rangers at the end of the 2001-02 campaign. The following season he linked up with Bromsgrove Roves where he netted a hatful of goals and eventually returned to Hednesford Town at the end of the 2004-05 campaign. A two month loan spell back at Bromsgrove followed in October 2005, after which his contract with Hednesford was cancelled by mutual consent. Following a lengthy period out through injury he eventually made a return under Paul Holleran at Halesowen Town during season 2006-2007.

Left sided 26-year-old midfielder Grant Beckett returns to Dales Lane, having previously spent a month on loan from Hednesford Town back in November 2005. A player noted for his dead ball expertise, he spent the early part of his career on the books of Walsall and Preston North End, prior to moving into the non-league game for spells with clubs including Telford United, Sutton Coldfield Town, Worcester City, Bromsgrove Rovers and Bloxwich United. He was eventually snapped up by Hednesford during summer 2004, but after departing from Keys Park during summer 2006 he linked up with Paul Holleran at Halesowen Town, prior to transferring to Chasetown in January 2007.

OUT

 

Dean Perrow
Rob Holdcroft
Rob Vassell
Steve Johnson
IN
Paul Szewczyk
Grant Beckett
  
04 June 2007
DATE CONFIRMED FOR COMMENCEMENT OF PRE-SEASON TRAINING

First Team manager Paul Holleran has confirmed that his players will be reporting back to Dales Lane for pre-season training on Tuesday 3rd July at 7.00pm.

  
03 June 2007
PLANS DISCUSSED TO SELL CLUB MERCHANDISE

Plans are afoot for Rushall Olympic Football Club to open up a club shop at Dales Lane for the 2007-08 campaign. Talks are already at an advanced stage with prospective suppliers of club merchandise with the hope being that a number of items will be available by the time the Pic's friendlies begin in July. It is believed the type of items for sale will be replica shirts (or full kits), mugs, a variety of pin badges, beanie hats, baseball caps, scarves, flags, key rings, polo shirts and jumpers. These, plus a number of other items, will all bear the Rushall Olympic logo. Hopefully the club shop will also be accessible via the web site and as soon as we receive some samples from the suppliers we will upload images of them on to the club shop page.

  
26 May 2007
DALES LANE PRESENTATION EVENING NEWS

Rushall Olympic's Presentation Evening took place at Dales Lane on Friday 25th May and as usual turned out to be a extremely enjoyable evening for one and all as the club marked the end of the 2006-07 campaign.

The first awards of the evening were floral arrangements presented by Club President Brian Greenwood to all the ladies who worked invaluably hard throughout the season in a number of different roles and who without them the club would not function.

Following were the Second Team presentations where utility player TORGUT BILGIMER took the "Club Person of the Year" Award and was then made a family double when his brother AHMET BILGIMER was presented with the "Supporters Player of the Year" Award after finishing the campaign as top scorer with 21 strikes to his credit. Meanwhile, up and coming midfield talent ADAM EDMUNDS was deservedly named by his colleagues as Players Player of the Year.

Finally, the First Team presentations began with the "Club Person of the Year" Award and for the first time ever it was deservedly shared by four people - namely KEVIN & HAZEL McCORRY and EVERTON & JACKI McFARLANE. The foursome have all put in an incredible amount of hard work between them during the last five seasons, running the Pic's highly successful Second Team.

Moving on to the playing side and the "Supporters Player of the Year" Award went to LEE GOUGH, who enjoyed a fine debut season at right wing back, while the players themselves voted for their "Players Player of the Year" to be top scorer DEAN PERROW, whose 20 goals in 26 appearances was a major factor in Rushall maintaining their Southern League status.

Both the First Team and Second Team awards were presented by Mrs. Jill Edwards and daughter Toni, who are the wife and daughter of the late Paul "Poke" Edwards who sadly passed away earlier in the season.

Well done to everyone concerned.

  
25 May 2007
RESERVES TO CONTINUE AS U-18'S MAKE WELCOME RETURN

Prior to Rushall Olympic's Annual Presentation Evening at Dales Lane, club officials confirmed that they would still continue to run a Reserve Team in the Midland Football Combination Reserve Division during the 2007-08 campaign. Following the departure of manager Kevin McCorry, coach and physiotherapist Everton McFarlane, Secretary Hazel McCorry and Administrator and Programme Editor Jacki McFarlane, the new regime will be run under the leadership of PAUL GROVES and his associates.

Rushall Olympic also confirmed that they would also be re-introducing an Under-18's side following a season long absence that will be under the tutelage of MIKE O'SULLIVAN, who has built himself an excellent backroom team and have a big connection to the local junior and youth footballing system of Erdington Star. The Pic's will be operating the Under-18's side in the Midland Floodlit Youth League.

  
25 May 2007
CONFIRMED DATES FOR PRE-SEASON FRIENDLIES RELEASED

The following First Team pre-season friendlies have been confirmed for summer 2007, with the likelihood that one or two more additional dates may also be added before the British Gas Business Football League Division One Midlands campaign commences on Saturday 18th August. Several high-profile opponents have been approached, from whom we are now awaiting some fixture confirmations.

The most notable games so far include an opener against Football Association Challenge Trophy finalists Kidderminster Harriers of the Blue Square Conference Premier , Redditch United of the Blue Square Conference North and the traditional clash with a Walsall XI, who have promised to send along a reasonably strong line-up.

Sat. 14th July: Rushall Olympic v Kidderminster Harriers (3.00 pm)
Sat. 21st July: Stapenhill v Rushall Olympic (3.00 pm)
Tue. 24th July: Rushall Olympic v Redditch United (7.45 pm)
Sat. 28th July: Pelsall Villa v Rushall Olympic (3.00 pm)
Tue. 31st July: Wednesfield v Rushall Olympic (7.45 pm)
Sat. 4th August: Rushall Olympic v. Walsall X1 (3.00 pm)

 

  
08 May 2007
PASSING AWAY OF SUPPORTER FRANK SUTTON

Rushall Olympic Football Club were saddened to learn of the untimely passing of long time supporter FRANK SUTTON during the weekend following a short illness.

On behalf of the club we would like to take this opportunity to offer our most sincere condolences to his wife and son Ashley, who is also an avid follower of the Pic's.

Frank had been watching Rushall Olympic for several years and everyone who knew him are left with the very fondest of memories. He will be greatly missed by all his friends at Dales Lane.

Rest in peace Frank.

  
07 May 2007
DALES LANE PRESENTATION EVENING

Rushall Olympic Football Club's annual Presentation Evening will be held at Dales Lane on Friday 25th May. Please contact a club official for further details.

  
07 May 2007
SECOND TEAM END CAMPAIGN WITH NINE-GOAL THRILLER

It was an extraordinary send off for departing manager Kevin McCorry following five extremely successful seasons at the Dales Lane helm as a healthy May Bank Holiday crowd were treated to a nine-goal thriller that the Pic's eventually won through by five goals to four.

The final game of the campaign could not have been scripted any better as the home side threw away a comfortable 3-0 lead to go 3-4 down and then fought back with two goals in a two minute spell eight minutes from full time to claim all three points.

The home side were out for revenge following their 3-0 reversal in Northamptonshire eleven days beforehand and in the 10th minute made their intentions clear as Lee Thorp flashed a venomous 10 yard drive marginally wide of the left upright from an acute angle.

It was little surprise when Rushall eventually went ahead on 15 minutes following good work from Solomon Griffiths that allowed Adam Edmunds to centre from the left by-line. As the Rothwell custodian only succeeded in half stopping the cross with a weak parry at arms length it fell nicely for Lee Thorp who had the easiest of tasks heading home from close range.

Olympic found themselves two goals to the good in the 22nd minute when Tobias Salmon used his strength and pace to rob the last man of possession some 40 yards out before sprinting goalwards. However, as the Bones stopper advanced off his line to narrow the angle the Pic's front runner side stepped his adversary on the left hand side, taking the ball wide before shooting at an open goal from an acute angle. Somehow a covering defender managed to get back and clear the danger off the line, but only as far as Danny Hemmings who rifled home into the back of the net from close range.

Straight from the restart and Rushall were back on the offensive and as Lee Thorp created himself some space within the left side of the box the forward rattled the crossbar from 15 yards with a fierce lofted drive.

Rothwell's only worthwhile reply of the first period came via a highly debatable free kick awarded on the left edge of the box that their number 11 curled on to the woodwork and saw rebound to safety before being cleared.

The home side couldn't have wished for a better beginning to the second period when within a minute of the restart Adam Edmunds sent the lively Lee Thorp racing clear of the last man before carving his way into the right side of the area and surging past Town's custodian, finishing with great aplomb from an acute angle.

It was following that moment that things began to go wrong for the Pic's as their game plan began to deteriorate before their very eyes. On 54 minutes the home rearguard failed to clear their lines in the aftermath of a free-kick from the left channel and as the ball bounced around a midfielder reacted quickest to rifle home from close quarters.

In the 65th minute Rushall proceeded to gift their guests a second goal when a hopeful long range free-kick from the left flank travelled at ground level through the defensive wall and into the bottom right corner of the Pic's goal.

Despite their defensive uncertainties Olympic were still creating opportunities, but for once their finishing had deserted them, which was typified by Solomon Griffiths before and after his side conceded the second goal by storming through into one-on-one situations with the Rothwell 'keeper and twice sending the ball well wide of the target.

Three minutes later and there was a stunned silence around Dales Lane as more poor defending offered the Bones a gilt edged opportunity of an equaliser when a front runner was allowed to dart in through a static defence to rifle home into the bottom corner from 15 yards.

With 12 minutes remaining it all appeared to be going awry for Rushall when a Rothwell wideman turned substitute Luke Tudor inside out with consummate ease before scampering goalwards, cutting inside from the right flank and sending a low 18 yard drive into the bottom left corner across shell shocked 'keeper Adam Davey.

However, to their immense credit Olympic regrouped and following on from the shock of shipping four goals in the space of just 24 second half minutes they set about the task in hand of regaining the upper hand to give their management team a rousing send off. Within four minutes of going behind Rushall bounced back to make it four goals apiece as Tobias Salmon burst clear down the left channel after holding off a strong defensive challenge, prior to making his way to the by-line and delivering a pin-point centre into the danger zone. As the ball bobbled around Pic's substitute Matthew Hunt was quickest to react and drove home from close range to give the Rothwell stopper little chance.

Two minutes later and with just 6 minutes remaining on the watch, Olympic's second coming was complete when an Adam Edmunds corner from the left was looped in deep towards the far post and was met by a powerful downwards header from Matthew Hunt, beating Town's custodian who failed to make a goal line claim low to his left at the foot of the post.

Rushall Olympic: 1. Adam Davey, 2. Torgut Bilgimer, 3. Martin Edmunds, 4. Luke Bradley, 5. Rory McFarlane ©, 6. Adam Edmunds, 7. Shawn Salmon, 8. Tobias Salmon, 9. Solomon Griffiths, 10. Lee Thorp, 11. Danny Hemmings. Subs: 12. Luke Tudor (for T.Bilgimer 68'), 14. Matthew Hunt (for Griffiths 73'), 15. David Fullard (for S.Salmon 76').

  
07 May 2007
SECOND TEAM SECURE FINE HOME VICTORY

The Second Team turned in a fine performance to defeat a young sixth placed Mickleover Sports outfit 3-1 at Dales Lane in what was their penultimate game before disbandment.

Throughout the encounter Rushall produced some excellent football and it was little surpirise when took the lead on 12 minutes as Lee Thorp battled his way through a defensive cordon and played a fine through ball into the path Ahmet Bilgimer. However, as the Pic's top scorer was about to pull the trigger from 15 yards out the front runner was scythed down from behind and from the resulting penalty conversion Shawn Salmon clinically dispatched the spot kick into the bottom right corner.

Only an excellent save from the visiting custodian prevented Olympic from extending their lead four minutes later when Lee Thorp found himself clean through, only to see his lofted drive parried away at close quarters from just within the confines of the penalty area.

The home side received a blow just before the half hour mark when they lost Ahmet Bilgimer with an ankle injury, but fortunately they possessed a more than adequate replacement in the form of Tobias Salmon. Indeed, within 11 minutes of his arrival the Pic's were two goals to the good when the lively substitute fought off a heavy defensive challenge before advancing and firing an unstoppable 20 yard beauty into the bottom left corner, the flight of which totally deceived the Sports stopper.

During the second period Mickleover finally began to find some form, but they could find no way through Rushall's solid back line. However, although it appeared inevitable that the home side would add to their tally, they had to wait until the 82nd minute to add a third goal when substitute Luke Tudor outstripped his marker down the left channel, before cutting into the box and lashing home an unstoppable drive from the acutest of angles.

With the game moving into its final throws the visitors were gifted a consolation goal as skipper Rory McFarlane and 'keeper Adam Davey got themselves in an almighty tangle on the right corner of their penalty area and as the ball ran through them the Derbyshire outfits number nine had the simplest of tasks walking it into the net.

Rushall Olympic: 1. Adam Davey, 2. Torgut Bilgimer, 3. Martin Edmunds, 4. Luke Bradley, 5. Rory McFarlane ©, 6. Adam Edmunds, 7. Shawn Salmon, 8. Danny Hemmings, 9. Ahmet Bilgimer, 10. Lee Thorp, 11. Andy Malcolm. Subs: 12. Tobias Salmon (for A.Bilgimer), 14. Solomon Griffiths (for Thorp), 15. Luke Tudor (for T.Bilgimer).

  
03 May 2007
SECOND TEAM MANAGEMENT TO BOW OUT AT THE END OF THE CAMPAIGN

For those of you who were not aware yet, the current management set up of Rushall Olympic Football Club will sadly no longer be operating the Reserve Team section when the current campaign has ended. The hard working foursome of manager Kevin McCorry, coach and physiotherapist Everton McFarlane, Secretary Hazel McCorry and Administrator and Programme Editor Jacki McFarlane have all put in an incredible amount of hard work between them during the last five seasons.

During that period, beginning with the 2002-03 campaign, the club have enjoyed a tremendous period of success, culminating with the following honours:

2004-05: Midland Combination Reserve Division Champions

2004-05: Midland Combination Challenge Trophy Winners

2005-06: Midland Combination Reserve Division Champions

2006-07: Staffordshire Challenge Cup Finalists

On behalf of everyone at Dales Lane I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kevin, Everton, Hazel and Jacki all very much for their sterling efforts during the last five seasons and wish them the very best of luck in their future footballing careers. Without them the recent success of the club would not have been possible.

The following is also a personal note from Jacki McFarlane:

"Rushall Olympic Reserve's players, parents and supporters would like to thank Kevin McCorry, Everton McFarlane and Hazel McCorry for all their hard work and the pleasure that has been brought to many of us over their long career in running football teams. It should be noted that in their 17 years in football many players have developed and moved on to other football clubs thanks to their coaching and hard work. We would also like to thank all of our sponsors, supporters, parents, players and all those people who have helped Rushall Olympic Reserves this season and in previous seasons."

  
28 April 2007
FIRST TEAM END CAMPAIGN WITH POSITIVE GOALLESS DRAW

The game may have concluded in a goalless draw, but end-of-season fare it certainly wasn't as visitors Bromsgrove Rovers claimed the point they required to finish as runners-up and confirm home advantage in the forthcoming promotion play-off Semi-Final, while Rushall Olympic were happy to bounce back following their midweek Staffordshire Senior Cup Final mauling.

Ultimately, chances were rather few and far between in a game with plenty of midfield endeavour from both sides. However, the home side made the most of the Dales Lane incline and a prevailing wind during the first period as Anthony Maguire rippled Rovers right side netting from 12 yards on 12 minutes, while on the half hour mark the midfielder's 30 yard free-kick had to be acrobatically tipped past the top left corner by 'keeper Danny Crane for a flag kick.

Two minutes before the interval and Bromsgrove almost claimed the advantage when the division's top scorer Nathan Lamey looked all set to add to his 31 league goal tally, but spooned the ball over the woodwork from 10 yards.

The visitors commenced the second period strongly and two minutes in Pic's stopper Ryan Price was forced to repel a stinging drive before a follow up effort was deflected over the bar by a defender for a corner. On 56 minutes Nathan Lamey's 20 yarder was tipped past the top left corner by Rushall's custodian as Bromsgrove continued to press.

Although the home side went on to enjoy a fair amount of possession, Rover's top scorer once again spurned a good opportunity with thirteen minutes remaining as he pulled the ball well wide of the left upright from just inside the box. Then on 84 minutes substitute Wayne Dyer lashed a powerful 25-yard drive into the right side netting, but ultimately the 0-0 scoreline could not be avoided.

  
28 April 2007
SECOND TEAM SUFFER SECOND 3-0 DEFEAT IN TWO DAYS

Rushall Olympic's Second Team suffered their second successive 3-0 Midland Football Combination Reserve Division reversal on their travels in the space of two days. The Pic's latest conquerers were high-flying neighbours Chasetown.

  
26 April 2007
SECOND TEAM WOES RETURN TO HAUNT THEM

Rushall Olympic's Second Team's encouraging recent form suffered a knock back as they travelled to bottom of the table Rothwell Town in Midland Football Combination Reserve Division action and returned from Northamptonshire smarting from a 3-0 defeat.

  
25 April 2007
FIRST TEAM RELINQUISH CUP AFTER HUMILIATING DEFEAT

Rushall Olympic suffered their worst defeat for over three years as their supporter's who made the relatively long journey up the M6 to the Vale Park home of Port Vale FC were treated to the embarrassment of a 6-1 defeat in the Staffordshire Senior Cup Final at the hands of a rampant Kidsgrove Athletic outfit.

It was almost a home game for their Stoke-on-Trent based opponents who hailed from barely 5 miles away from the Valliant's home ground in Burslem as the Pic's sparse support was heavily outnumbered by a vocal Kidsgrove following.

The writing was on the wall even before the kick-off as Rushall manager Paul Holleran had to make do without the cup tied trio Lee Barrow, Neil O'Sullivan and Chad Sheppard, in addition to the unavailable Richard Beale, Neil Barnfield, and Niki Preston - every one of them a First Team regular. Indeed, Rushall were forced to field four of their Second Team on the bench, two of whom were 17-year-olds, while 37-year-old Assistant Manager Chris Brindley bravely played the entire 90 minutes despite not having done so for some time - and was undoubtedly the pick of Olympic's forlorn bunch.

However, unavailability should not have been used as an excuse as the experience of the remaining squad member should have been more than adequate to have made a far better showing than they eventually did.

Rushall's tormenters in chief were undoubtedly the highly prolific strike force of Michael Lennon and Matt Rhead, who had already netted an incredible 75 goals between them in all competitions prior to the game.

Indeed, it all went down hill as early as the 12th minute when the former headed in at the far post from close range after 'keeper Ryan Price erred by allowing a centre to go over him, wrongly assuming that the ball was going out for a goal kick.

It was 2-0 just before the half hour mark when Aiden Matranga fired in a stunning 30-yard drive into the top corner, while Kidsgrove increased their advantage on 34 minutes when a free-kick was looped into the penalty area and Michael Lennon rifled home from 15 yards.

On the hour mark Rushall found themselves four goals adrift as Michael Lennon wrong footed 'keeper Ryan Price at close quarters to roll the ball into an empty net. However, Olympic did pull back a consolation goal back within a couple of minutes when debutante substitute Adam Edmundson lifted the ball over Town's defence for top scorer Dean Perrow to run on to and place a superlative lofted effort over the advancing 'keeper from just outside the box.

On 68 minutes Kidsgrove restored their four goal advantage when further poor defending let in Steve Jones who fired home from 12 yards, before the Pic's night of shame was complete 6 minutes from full time when Matt Rhead drove across 'keeper Ryan Price into the bottom left corner from 10 yards.

Dean Perrow

  
21 April 2007
FIRST TEAM BOUNCE BACK TO CLAIM VITAL AWAY WIN

A double from ace marksman Dean Perrow guided Rushall Olympic home to a hard fought 3-1 victory at Midlands rivals Malvern Town - but the Pic's left it late to win the contest outright after Rob Holdcroft gave his side an 85th minute lead, prior to the Pic's top scorer netting his 17th league goal of the campaign at the death.

The visitors were looking to bounce back from their midweek woes on home turf by gaining redress for their Worcestershire hosts 3-2 success in the reverse fixture back in December.

Rushall took the lead just after the half hour mark when Lee Barrow's venomous drive ricocheted off the crossbar and Dean Perrow reacted fastest to head home.

It all looked to be going pear shaped when Malvern equalised on 75 minutes after an in-swinging corner was headed home by Jamie Hyde. However, Rob Holdcroft restored Olympic's advantage with five minutes remaining when he latched on to Anthony Maguire's pull back to drill the ball home from just outside the box.

Anthony Maguire was again the chief provider with time almost up as Rushall added a final flourish to the score line when Dean Perrow was beneficiary of his industrious team mates slide rule pass.

Dean Perrow

Rob Holdcroft

  
21 April 2007
SECOND TEAM SUFFER SECOND 3-0 DEFEAT IN TWO DAYS

Just over two weeks ago Rushall Olympic's Second Team were subjected to an 8-0 hammering in Midland Football Combination Reserve Division action by championship chasing Friar Lane & Epworth at Dales Lane. However, on this occasion in the Leicesterhire outfits own backyard they turned out to be a very different proposition and bravely returned to the West Midland with an excellent 3-3 draw under their belts.

With virtually the same squad as in the reverse fixture earlier this month Olympic even did enough to have won the game outright, with a little more luck, but in the end had to settle for a share of the spoils thanks to a first goal of the season from David Fullard on 6 minutes, a second from Chris Hughes just before the hour mark and a third through Lee Thorp fifteen minutes from full time, netting his third in as many league games for Rushall.

  
18 April 2007
SECOND TEAM SECURE FOUR GOAL SUCCESS AS AHMET NETS A BRACE

Rushall Olympic's Second Team continued their improvement in Midland Football Combination Reserve Division action as they shrugged off their Staffordshire Challenge Cup Final disappointment to claim a useful 4-2 home success over midtable Loughborough Dynamo.

The Pic's top scorer Ahmet Bilgimer took his season tally to an impressive 21 goals as the Dales Lane hot shot grabbed a brace with a 16th minute opener and a late second a minute from full time. Strikes from the influential Danny Hemmings on 44 minutes and another from in-form Lee Thorp on 57 minutes sealed the victory for the home side.

  
17 April 2007
FIRST TEAM AT THEIR WORST AS BOTTOM CLUB COMPLETE DOUBLE

Rushall Olympic's First Team slumped to yet another woeful defeat against lowly opposition as bottom of the table Berkhamsted Town completed the double over the badly misfiring Pic's with a 2-1 victory that certainly enhanced their hopes of survival.

However, despite a dreadful showing from the home side, it was undoubtedly match referee Mr. Holbrook who did a mighty fine job of casting himself the villain of the peace after the home side ended the game with nine men, the visitors with ten and to add insult to injury Rushall were denied a potential game saving penalty fifteen minutes from full time.

Hard working Berkhamsted went ahead on 16 minutes as Olympic's hesitant defending allowed Grant Sanders to scramble the ball home from close range, although Rushall were back on level terms within three minutes when top scorer Dean Perrow beat the offside trap to run on and slot the ball past Town's custodian from 10 yards.

More highly questionable defending handed the visiting Lilywhites the advantage again four minutes before the interval when Christmas came early once again at Dales Lane to allow Tony Field to virtually walk the ball into the net at close quarters.

Then came the three moments of controversy. Firstly, just after the hour, mark home defender Rob Vassell was curiously shown the red card for alleged dissent towards an opponent; secondly on 76 minutes Tyrone Barnett was blatantly scythed down in the visitors box, but no penalty was forthcoming; and thirdly, three minutes later, skipper Richard Brown was victim of Neil Richardson's reckless challenge, who saw red after a touchline melee that also resulted in the Pic's Rob Holdcroft walking after attempting to keep apart the perpetrator and casualty of the foul challenge.

Dean Perrow

  
16 April 2007
SECOND TEAM SUFFER STAFFS CHALLENGE CUP FINAL DEFEAT

Rushall Olympic's Second Team went down to a disappointing 3-0 defeat in their Staffordshire Senior Cup Final clash with Foley Reserves at Eccleshall FC.

The Reserves fell behind around the half hour mark when a hopeful strike from the right edge of the box appeared to go under the Pic's 'keeper at full stretch.

Rushall made a better start to the second period but found themselves two goals adrift with fifteen minutes remaining when they failed to make a telling clearance and their North Staffordshire opponents whipped in a centre from the right by-line that was clinically converted through the clutches of the Pic's custodian.

Olympic's night of woe was completed within a couple of minutes of the final whistle when a deep free-kick from the left channel was looped into the box and buried past the isolated stopper from 10 yards with a free header.

  
14 April 2007
FIRST TEAM WIN TWO ON THE BOUNCE AS DOUBLE COMPLETED

It was a game of two halves at Dales Lane as Rushall Olympic came back from behind to claim a 2-1 victory through a late Chad Sheppard penalty conversion over a Dunstable Town outfit who had still been harbouring an outside chance of a promotion play-off place prior to the kick-off.

Following a bright start from both sides the visitors began to develop a strangle hold over their hosts following a 16th minute opener where the Pic's Neil Barnfield gave away possession cheaply, allowing Aaron Flood to go scampering clear down the right channel. As a telling centre was laid back into the danger zone from the by-line rangy striker Mark Burfoot had ample time to send a stooping header past the flat footed Ryan Price from 8 yards.

Dunstable should have doubled their advantage nine minutes later when the same pairing of Flood and Burfoot combined, but on this occasion the latter scooped well wide of the right post from 15 yards when well placed.

Rushall continued to disappoint on their return to Dales Lane following a series of excellent results on the road, but a double substitution on the hour mark from manager Paul Holleran turned the game in Olympic's favour.

On 70 minutes the Pic's were back on level terms when good work by substitute Tyrone Barnett set up strike partner Dean Perrow who took a touch and fired venomously into the bottom corner from 10 yards past the despairing dive of the Blues custodian.

Rushall's top scorer then had the ball in the back of the net again on 85 minutes with a neat finish, but a marginal off-side decision in the build up put paid to the home side's premature celebrations. However, Olympic were not to be denied and with less than a minute of normal time remaining a handling offence by Dunstable defender Stuart Deaton yielded a penalty award and Chad Sheppard duly buried the ball into the bottom right corner, sending 'keeper Paul Taylor the wrong way, as Rushall completed the double over their Bedfordshire guests and reached a 50-point tally for the season.

Dean Perrow

Chad Sheppard

  
16 April 2007
SECOND TEAM RETURN TO WINNING WAYS WITH EXCELLENT AWAY VICTORY

Rushall Olympic's Second Team ended their run of five consecutive Midland Football Combination Reserve Division defeats by turing the form book upside down and claiming an excellent 3-0 away success at 5th placed Quorn, who had only previously tasted defeat on home turf once in league action this season.

The victory put the Pic's in a very good frame of mind for their important Staffordshire Senior Cup Final clash with Foley Reserves at Eccleshall FC on Monday evening.

  
09 April 2007
FIRST TEAM THROW FORM BOOK OUT OF WINDOW AT WILLENHALL

Rushall Olympic top scorer Dean Perrow notched his fifteenth goal in twenty games for the Pic's to sentence his former employers to a single goal defeat that halted Willenhall Town's six match winning streak promotion play-off charge and assured the Dales Lane outfits Southern League status for season 2007-08.

The only goal, of what was an entertaining local derby, came just after the hour mark when Reds' custodian Dean Coleman made a real hash of collecting a loose ball in the aftermath of a long range Chad Sheppard free-kick and the predatory goal poacher reacted quickest to rifle home from close range.

Dean Perrow

  
08 April 2007
PAUL HOLLERAN COMPLETES TRANSFER ACTIVITY WITH DOUBLE MOVE

Rushall Olympic manager Paul Holleran made two moves in the run up to the 2006-07 transfer deadline after strengthening his midfield and defensive ranks.

The first arrival was that of 27-year-old left sided wing back or full back RICHARD BEALE on a loan deal from UniBond League Premier Division title chasers AFC Telford United after ending a similar deal with Solihull Borough. He began his playing career in the Midland Combination with Knowle before moving up into Southern League football with Solihull Borough. A transfer to Redditch United followed in January 2002, before a switch to Stafford Rangers during summer 2002. At Marston Road he became a key member of the squad who ended as 2002-03 Southern League Premier Division runner's up, before finishing in third place the following season and joining the newly formed Conference North Division for the 2004-05 campaign. While at the club he also had a period playing professionally and coaching in the United States, but eventually joined Leek Town during the summer of 2005 then moved to AFC Telford United during the 2005-06 campaign. Off the field Richard has made great moves in a coaching career, gaining his UEFA "A" Licence in 2005 and has worked part time as an Academy coach for Birmingham City for four years - coaching the Under-13's. He also possessing a BSc Sport Science degree and a certificate in Education, working at Solihull College co-ordinating the Modern Apprenticeship Football Coaching Course.

Midfielder AARON DRAKELEY signed on transfer deadline day from Midland Football Alliance title chasers Romulus, but began his career in Kidderminster Harriers U-18's side during season 2001-02, also making several appearances for the Worcestershire County FA Representative Youth side. He eventually linked up with Black Country outfit Causeway United suring season 2003-04, but signed forms for Halesowen Town under Paul Holleran during summer 2005, making his First Team debut in December 2005, prior to linking up with Romulus during season 2006-07.

To both Richard and Aaron we offer you a very warm Dales Lane welcome and hope that you enjoy you time with the club.

Richard Beale

Aaron Drakeley

  
07 April 2007
FIRST TEAM SUFFER FROM THE SAME OLD PROBLEMS

Rushall's midweek extra time cup exertions appeared partly to blame for their poor showing at home to Bedworth United, but it was two sucker punch goals from set pieces that ultimately sent the Pic's tumbling to defeat in what was a otherwise a poor spectacle.

The below par defeat also saw the Dales Lane outfit tumble back down the British Gas Business Division One Midlands by three places to 17th. Despite the final scoreline the home side couldn't have wished for a better start when with only 4 minutes on the watch Dean Perrow's run into the left side of the box was impeded with the striker being bundled over to win his side a penalty kick. Chad Sheppard stepped up and clinically rifled the conversion attempt into the bottom right corner, sending the 'keeper the wrong way.

As the first period progressed Bedworth began to get on top and it was little surprise when they equalised on 23 minutes as a corner from the right was met by a free header from the totally unmarked Tom Starkey who was allowed to bury the ball into the back of the net from 10 yards.

The second period was a typical end of season affair, but in the 75th minute Bedworth doubled their dose of misery on misfiring Rushall as they surged into the lead with a virtual carbon copy of their equalising goal of the first half. On this occasion a corner from the right was met by another free header, this time from skipper Jae Martin who duly obliged from close range at the near post.

Olympic thought they were denied a legitimate equaliser three minutes later when substitute James Francis darted to the right bi-line and centred deeply to Dean Perrow whose header back across goal was smashed home at the right post by Anthony Maguire. However, an assistant referee had spotted a marginal off-side offence in the build-up and the game drifted to an inevitable conclusion.

Chad Sheppard

  
07 April 2007
SECOND TEAM SHIP ANOTHER FIVE GOALS AS WOES CONTINUE

Rushall Olympic's Second Team's end of season woes continued unabated as they slumped to a 5-0 defeat at mid-table Barwell, making it 13 goals conceded in the last two games and five straight Midland Football Combination Reserve Division defeats for the reigning Champions of the last two seasons.

  
04 April 2007
SECOND TEAM SUFFER EIGHT-GOAL DRUBBING

Rushall Olympic's Second Team suffered one of their worst ever defeats by slumping to a fourth straight Midland Football Combination Reserve Division defeat in a row as they entertained table-topping Friar Lane & Epworth and were hammered out of sight 8-0.

  
03 April 2007
FIRST TEAM THROUGH TO STAFFS CUP FINAL AS RYAN PRICE STARS

Reinstated holders Rushall Olympic made the most of their reprieve in the Staffordshire Senior Cup as they marched proudly through to the Final of the prestigious competition with a thrilling 1-0 victory after extra time at neighbours and fierce rivals Chasetown.

Hero of the hour for the Dales Lane side was undoubtedly 'keeper Ryan Price who pulled off a string of stunning saves throughout the second period and during the additional half hour of overtime after the scores remained level at full time.

However, despite the Pic's finding themselves under some sustained Scholars pressure, a rapid 111th minute counter attack saw substitute James Francis send a probing ball forward from deep in his own half that Dean Perrow ran on to before the striker drew home 'keeper Lee Evans off his line and slotted coolly into the bottom left corner from the edge of the box to stun the home supporters.

Although Olympic had to survive almost three nerve jangling minutes of stoppage time at the death, they held firm and the combination of Ryan Price's shot stopping heroics, Dean Perrow's 14th goal in 18 appearances for the club and a dogged rearguard action were enough to set up a Final appearance against Kidsgrove Athletic at Vale Park later this month.

The victory also made it an enviable double for the club whose Second Team are also due to feature in the Final of the Staffordshire Challenge Cup.

Ryan Price

Dean Perrow

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