Shropshire Star

Monners proud despite heartbreak in play-offs

Allscott Heath’s quest for back-to-back promotions was gut-wrenchingly ended in a play-off semi-final defeat.


The Monners have been one of the county’s most progressive football clubs in recent seasons and have caught the eye with a fine debut Midland League Division One campaign.

Steve Rogers’ side ended their 38-game season in second place after 25 victories, but trailed champions Hinckley by nine points.

That meant a route into the play-offs in search of promotion to Midland Premier and Heath faced a one-off semi-final tie against fifth-placed Droitwich Spa at their Shawbirch Road home – without experienced top scorer Steve Hole,

It was the Worcestershire visitors, though, who booked their place in Saturday’s final with a 3-1 victory, when two goals on the stroke of half-time took the game away from the hosts.

Boss Rogers said: “An offside decision for their first goal probably sums our season up. We’ve had a great season finishing second but some of the luck we’ve had along the way – that sums it up.

“I thought we were the better side in the first half but they had a free-kick from an offside decision against us, it was four yards onside. The lad nodded it down for them and it was a goal.

“I said to the lads if you concede one don’t concede another, but 2-0 down at half-time when you think you’re comfortable at 0-0, it’s a mountain to climb.

“We deservedly got one back and conceded again. All in all I thought Droitwich were just a little more streetwise on the day, and best of luck to them in the final.”

Jack Brighton opened the scoring for the Saltmen on 43 minutes, taking advantage of a set-piece from an offside call the hosts argued against, before visiting captain James Lemon made it two on the cusp of the interval.

Allscott struck back on the hour through striker Harry Morris but Lemon left home fans feeling sour with his second just minutes later as the visitors made the play-off final for the second season running.

The home side, champions of West Midlands Division One last term, entertained a boosted home crowd of 231 and will bid to go one better next term.

Allscott only joined the National League system from county football in 2016 and, three years later, changed their name to Allscott Heath.

Rogers added: “Droitwich got to the play-off final last year and lost, they’ve got a bit of experience there and know how to win these games.

“It’s not a case of being the best team – we’re the second best in the league, the standings confirm that. Hinckley are the best team and we’re second. But on the day, a one-off game, anything can happen, we know that can happen in the play-offs.

“We’re rubbing shoulders with teams like Droitwich, a big town, and Black Country in the play-offs who’ve been around for a long time and haven’t looked out of place.”