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Lye's cups should not be allowed to runneth over
Former Sports Editor and Lye Town fan Max Hall, now working in Berlin, gives his thoughts on the club's season so far...
A year or so ago, at around about this time of the season, I wrote an opinion piece imploring Lye Town’s joint managers – Darren Goodall and Martin Thomas – to be brave enough to field a shadow side in the league for the second half of a dreadful season and instead concentrate on their minor cup commitments.
For some time now it seems to have been club policy down The Lye to enter as many knockout competitions as possible and it’s a stance I wholeheartedly agree with because nine times out of ten – or maybe that should be 80 times out of 83 – we are unlikely to be challenging for the title.
I don’t care who says the Smedley Crooke is for pub teams, last season’s final at Bromsgrove heralded only our sixth trophy in 82 years and continued the management team’s record of a piece of silverware every season.
But with a surprise – to me at least – title challenge very much on the cards, it could be time to do the pragmatic thing with the boys still going strong in four cup competitions – no matter how much it goes against the grain to do it.
The enforced winter break only makes it more urgent we maximise any advantage we can get over our four, count ’em, that’s four, title rivals, That means sacrificing not only our defence of the Smedley but also the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup we memorably won two seasons ago (with a little help from Causeway’s Craig Gregg), the League Cup and the Worcestershire Senior Urn. I think it’s safe to say that the mysterious President’s Cup will be quietly forgotten once again this year, after all.
Based on the season ending in mid-May and on playing twice a week, we already have only five blank match dates between now and the end of the season.
With a potential six extra cup ties to fit in, any knockout football success would cause us something of a fixture headache.
If last week's game at Bewdley had gone ahead, I would have argued it’s time to put the stiffs out for any cup games we have from that point on and rest the first team as much as possible during what is already a busy run-in.
Which brings me to my final point. Do we actually have enough players to field a second XI at the Sports Ground?
Somebody tell Mssrs Goodall and Thomas I’m willing to fly back from Germany and do my duty for the club, provided the international clearance can be sorted out!