New side Blacksmiths start to show some steel in Islington Midweek League
PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 December 2016
Two heads are better than one, the saying goes – and that’s certainly been the guiding principle behind the establishment of Blacksmiths FC.
The new club was set up at the start of this season after two of the leading lights in the Islington Midweek League – Myddleton Arms and Regent’s FC, the defending champions – both folded.
Dave Weemes, who had led Myddleton to Islington Gazette Cup success in 2014, decided to join forces with Regent’s boss Des Casey and set up a new side to compete in the Premier Division.
Remnants of both the defunct teams, along with a clutch of new signings, have fused into a useful squad – and last week Blacksmiths became the first team to take points off league leaders Islington 49ers.
“I’ve known Des for a while – we’ve been on opposing sides for years and years,” said Weemes. “After Regent’s folded, he agreed to come along and do this between us.
“It’s basically half of the old Regent’s side, half of the old Myddleton side and about another five new players. That makes up the squad and we’re all Blacksmiths now.
“We’re a good solid unit and we do this as a joint venture. That’s been a good thing without a doubt – especially as Des can speak English and I struggle!
“We’ve always got on well, we see the game in the same direction and we’ve always produced reasonably good sides who want to play football, so it’s worked.”
The newly-formed team – who are sponsored by The Blacksmith and The Toffeemaker pub in Clerkenwell, as well as lockmiths Mikey Locks – made an uncertain start to the season, losing two of their first four games.
But there have been clear signs that the blend is beginning to work, with Blacksmiths turning in a good performance to restrict the 49ers to a 1-1 draw at Market Road last week.
Lewis Jones put the league leaders in front after just three minutes, but Aaron Kennedy set up Jamie Killingback to make it 1-1 with a low drive into the bottom corner 15 minutes later.
While the better chances fell to the 49ers, with Jones hitting the bar midway through the second half,, Blacksmiths managed to hold their own to secure a point from a spirited encounter.
“We were not as organised as we’d like to be early on, but we changed things around and looked solid from then onwards,” said Weemes, who also previously managed Islington Boxing Club’s football team.
“It’s all knitted together very quickly and they’ve got their own identity now.
“The first couple of games were really cobbled together, but from that point onwards they’ve been playing as one side.
“I did think it would be difficult at first but, once we got settled, I knew we had a good squad of players who know how to play the game.
“The target for this season is to actually win the Premier Division. It’s going to be difficult because we got off to a bad start, but there’s no reason why we can’t remain unbeaten from now on.”
Blacksmiths are back in action on Thursday night when they take on second-placed Islington Admiral United at Market Road, kick-off 8pm.