Stourbridge match moved for a SIXTH time - now it's tomorrow, but AWAY at Alvechurch

The saga of Stourbridge's Southern League play-off semi-final against Alvechurch continues after the match was re-arranged for a SIXTH time in three days - and will now taking place tomorrow, with the venue switch to Alvechurch.

The announcement, which is expected to be the final move in the chaos, came earlier today after the league stepped in again - though it's understood Stourbridge and Alvechurch agree that playing the match on Monday would leave both sides with a massive uphill battle for promotion due to the fixture congestion it would create next week.

After the endless drama over the last three days, which has now seen the match scheduled for Wednesday night, Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday afternoon, Sunday afternoon and twice on Monday afternoon at various points, it was finally agreed last night to play the fixture on Monday afternoon.

But the play-off final was due to be played on Monday afternoon and, therefore, had had to be put back to next Wednesday night.

This meant that, with the winner of the play-off final due to go forward to the Super Final, which will be contested between the Northern League and Southern League on Saturday 11th May, the Southern League play-off winners would end up playing three matches in six days.

Conversely, the winners of the Northern League play-off final will have had a full weeks' rest, as their final is played tomorrow (Saturday) between South Shields and Warrington.

The winner of the Super Final will be promoted.

Monday afternoon was the only realistic day that Stourbridge could host the Alvechurch game, with Thursday having already come and gone, and the ground available due to a private event on Friday, and cricket on Saturday and Sunday.

But it's understood that both clubs realised that, with the victorious Northern League side being at such a huge physical advantage having had a full weeks' rest, it was best that the Southern League semi-finals and final were played as soon as possible.

This led to Stourbridge agreeing to give up home advantage, switching the tie to Alvechurch's Lye Meadow ground.

Although this puts Stourbridge at a disadvantage by now having to play away from home, it's likely that the club felt that it was worth taking the risk of being knocked out due to playing the fixture away rather than at home, compared to the risk of not getting promoted because they were playing in the Super Final with fatigued players in a week's time.

Ironically, Stourbridge stated on their website that they had already offered the above as a solution, provided it meant the final could be played on Monday, but the league had initially refused this.

But, following a directive from the Southern League Chairman earlier this afternoon, the plan was finally given the green light.

Stourbridge chairman Andy Pountney initially threatened to withdraw the club from the play-offs, before the club realised that this could see them relegated due to a clause in the league's relegation.

Fans have again reacted with amazement at the switch, but have been overwhelmingly sympathetic to the clubs' position, with the Southern League  bearing the brunt of the criticism for its handling of the matter.

The Football Association has also been heavily criticised for getting involved yesterday (Wednesday) when it ordered the match to be played on Sunday, apparently without communicating with the clubs or the league as to whether this was possible.


  • Stourbridge were due to host Alvechurch, and Kings Lynn Town host Stratford Town, in the Southern League play-off semi-finals on Wednesday 1st May
  • The league says both semi-finals must be played at the same time so neither match can influence the other, and to give both winning clubs equal recovery time ahead of the final
  • The two winners face each other in the play-off final, which was due to be played on Saturday 4th May
  • The play-off final winner plays the winner of the Northern League play-off final (either South Sheids or Warrington) in the Super Final on Saturday 11th May
  • South Shields/Warrington will have one full week's recovery time between their play-off final and the Super Final
  • On Tuesday morning, the Football Association informs the Southern League that Stratford Town are suspected to have been fielding an ineligible player
  • Southern League launches urgent investigation as, if found guilty, Stratford could face a points deduction, which could affect the league table standings and move Stratford outside of the play-offs


  • Morning: League calls off Kings Lynn-Stratford play-off semi-final pending investigation into Stratford for fielding ineligible player
  • Lunchtime: Alvechurch say their play-off semi-final at Stourbridge is also off as the league wants both games played at the same time
  • Afternoon: Stourbridge say they are aware of reports the match is off but say they are still in discussions with the league


  • Early Morning: Stourbridge and Alvechurch both reveal the league still hasn't made a final decision as to whether to match is going ahead
  • Morning: Stourbridge confirm the game is postponed 10 hours before kick-off. The league says the decision is 'in the interests of fairness'
  • Mid-Morning: Stourbridge chairman Andy Pountney issues strongly worded statement condemning the league's handling of the situation
  • Lunchtime: Stourbridge and Alvechurch announced that the match has been re-arranged for Thursday night
  • Afternoon: The Southern League's website states the match has been re-arranged for Friday night
  • Evening: Stourbridge and Alvechurch announce that the league has now decided to moved the fixture to Monday
  • Late Evening: The day ends with the Southern League's website continuing to state that the match will take place on Friday


  • Early Morning: League deducts Stratford three points for fielding an ineligible player, resulting in no changes to final league positions
  • Morning: The Southern League confirms both play-off semi-finals will now take place on Monday afternoon
  • Late Morning: The league announces that both semi-finals must take place on Sunday afternoon following the intervention of the FA. The play-off final will now take place on Wednesday 8th May
  • Lunchtime: It emerges that the Southern League asked for the Super Final to be postponed to give Southern League clubs more recovery time following the play-off final but the original Saturday 11th May date stands
  • Early Afternoon: Kings Lynn Town owner Stephen Cleeve announces that their play-off semi-final against Stratford will take place on Saturday
  • Mid-Afternoon: Suggestions circulate that the Stourbridge-Alvechurch play-off semi-final will now be moved back to Monday afternoon again
  • Late Afternoon: League confirms that Kings Lynn-Stratford will take place on Saturday afternoon, with Stourbridge-Alvechurch on Monday afternoon


  • Afternoon: Stourbridge announce that the match has been moved again to Saturday at 15:00, to be played at Alvechurch's Lye Meadow ground
  • Afternoon: The Southern League confirms the match for Saturday, moving the final back to Monday 6th May

(Timings are approximate for the purposes of clarity)


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