Contentious penalty prevents Saints winning at the 38th time of asking

Luke Sanders opens the scoring for Southam United at home to Chelmsley Town. Picture: Morris Troughton
Luke Sanders opens the scoring for Southam United at home to Chelmsley Town. Picture: Morris Troughton
  • Midland League Division One
  • Southam United 1 Chelmsley Town 1

A draw in their final game of the campaign meant Southam went through the 38-match season without registering a victory.

However, they can count themselves unfortunate not be have broken their duck against Chelmsley Town, who only salvaged a point thanks to a controversial late equaliser.

With manager Alex Baird away on holiday and a number of experienced players unavailable, Saints were managed by Stuart Floyd who fielded more than the usual number of his under-18 Midland Junior Premier League side in what has been a forgettable season for the club.

The only bright spot has been the introduction of the younger players, in particular Brady Floyd who again played a prominent role in midfield.

Southam started the game positively and took the lead in the 22nd minute when Aaron Keen’s free-kick was fumbled at the near post by visiting keeper Stuart Parsons, allowing Luke Sanders to follow up and slot the rebound into the far corner of the net.

Southam were in command for the remainder of the half and came close to doubling their advantage on several occasions.

Chelmsley were not completely out of the game, though, and Harry Gardiner in the home goal had to be on his toes twice in order to preserve his clean sheet.

The second period followed the same pattern as the first until ten minutes from time when Chelmsley played the ball out to Tom Ellis on the right wing. He appeared to be clearly offside but no flag was raised and his subsequent cross was then very harshly adjudged to have been handled by Sanders.

Ellis converted the spot-kick despite Gardiner getting his fingertips to the ball and there was no further scoring.

However, despite being pegged back, the point gained was only Southam’s fifth of a season which saw them concede 195 goals while only scoring 12.