With manager Gary Cooper unavailable for today's fixture, long serving captain Thomas Banks stepped in to run the team. Today's game saw Claregate bounce back from last week's disappointment with an 8-4 victory over Black Country Rangers... Black Country took an early lead through a superb finish from Connor Barrett after a long ball over the top of Claregate's defence, he dinked a bouncing ball from 20 yards over the goalkeeper Claregate responded well and equalised when Josh Hodson got free down the left and crossed to the back post where Carlo Bandiera leapt like a salmon to head in.. Claregate then took the lead on 30 minutes when this time Carlo turned into provider battling his way down the right winning his 50/50 battle to play a ball into Ben Bickley who spun sharply and fired into the roof of the net from 10 yards.. Only an outstanding save from the Black Country keeper from a 20 yard Danny Jones effort kept the score at 2-1 at half time. Into the second half and Claregate strengthened their grip on the game when on 52 mins a inch perfect through ball from Kane Lewis set Carlo away and from 15 yards produced an excellent finish low across the keeper and in to the far corner for his second of the game to make 3-1 On 58 minutes Claregate got there 4th when Jon Wilson twisted and turned their defence to provide a pinpoint cross for Josh Hodson to chest in from 3 yards to make it 4-1 On 60 minutes Claregate made their one and only change bringing on Rodney "Trotter" Williams for Carlo Bandiera with Ben Bickley moving to RWB and Trotter joining Danny in the middle of the park. Not long after on 63 minutes Black Country pulled a goal back when a scramble in the box fell to Connor Barrett to neatly finish for his and their second to make it 4-2. On 70 minutes the 3 goal cushion was restored when quick thinking from Danny Jones to take a quick throw in to Kane Lewis who's trickery and quick feet brought him space in the box and he calmly tucked away his first of the afternoon to make it 5-2...after a quick reshuffle and Ben Bickley moving to the middle of the park and Trotter moving up front with Kane now going to RWB Claregate furthered their lead when Ben played Trotter in for him to tuck away his first of the afternoon on 73 minutes to make it 6-2 On 78 minutes Black Country pulled a 3rd back through a deflected effort to make it 6-3. The best goal of the game came on the 84th minute when again Kane Lewis danced his way through 3 challenges to fire an unstoppable 25 yard shot curling away from the keeper and into the bottom corner for his second of the game to make it 7-3. Just a minute later Rodney "Trotter" Williams got his second goal of the game with again Kane assisting for Trotter to finish low and hard into the corner to make it 8-3. Black Country pulled a 4th back in the 90th minute when Connor completed his hat trick to make it 8-4 at full time.
There were some excellent performances today most notably from Carlo Bandiera, Ben Bickley and Kane Lewis but today's man of the match went to Josh Hodson for his tireless and hardworking display
Signs were better today and Claregate should head into next week's fixture with Black Country Fusion with some real confidence.