Coleshill Town (1)
Coventry United FC v Coleshill Town FC
Midland Football League Premier Division
Date: Saturday 23rd December 2017
Venue:Â Butts Park Arena
Well hello one and all. After those two epic battles against Bromsgrove Sporting in the FA Vase and then a couple of weeks off due to the bad weather, finally we have a game of football to look forward to and what a game it is we have. We all know there are no easy games in this league but this game cannot get much tougher as we welcome high flying Coleshill Town to the Butts Park Arena.
To highlight that fact, after three previous meetings between the two clubs, United have lost all three without managing to score a single goal so the task ahead is going to be a massive one.
United manager Terry Anderson will be buoyed by his team's second half and extra time performance against Sporting and the added bonus of three new signings that will no doubt add quality and depth to the team ready for the second half of the season. With United now out of all cup competitions, the league is the only thing left to go for and with a healthy gap needed to be plugged a victory today is in reality a must if United are going to have a good chance of narrowing that gap in the coming months.
The referee gets the game underway and United start the game on the front foot when they force a couple of early set pieces that are sadly easily dealt with in the 1st, 3rd and 10th minutes. The fist booking of the game comes in the 13th minute that goes to the CTFC's No6 Danny Tymon for his challenge on United' Gift Mussa.
With neither keeper being tested as yet, CTFC's first shot at goal comes in the 15th minute when the No5 Tom Fishwick tries his luck from a full 40yrds out but thankfully the ball blazes high over the bar. CTFC have a little spell on the ball creating 3 set pieces that all come to nothing in the 17th, 19th and 21st minutes. Both teams seem happy to cancel each other out at the minute as neither side want to make that mistake that leads to a goal for their opponents.
United's best chance to date comes in the way of a free kick on the edge of the area in the 22nd minute. Lewis Rankin stands over the ball before sending his effort high over the bar. Another Rankin free kick in the 27th minute sees the CTFC keeper Paul Hathaway punch clear to dispel the danger. United are now looking on top with some good possession football and are definitely keeping CTFC at bay. The pressure finally pays off when United break forward with Aaron Opoku. Opoku races into the area and as he attempts to round the keeper Paul Hathaway, he's adjudged to have pulled him down and the referee points directly to the spot for a United penalty. The referee then shows the keeper Paul Hathaway a straight red card for his offence and CTFC are now down to 10 men. United's Craig Reid steps up to take it and makes no mistake as he coolly slots the ball into the corner of the net for the opening goal in the 38th minute. Just before the penalty was taken, the CTFC's No8 captain Joe Halsall was shown a yellow card for I think encroachment.
UNITED 1 CTFC 0
That a great start for United and the first time United have actually scored a goal against their opponents. They now find themselves a goal up and a one man advantage as the No9 Dean Rathbone has donned the gloves and gone into goal.
United are now in a great position but it does not last for long as only 4 minutes later disaster strikes when an attempted clearance from United's keeper Richard Morris is charged down by the CTFC's No10 Reece Leek. Morris tries in vain to claw the ball back but Leek stays composed before slotting the ball into an empty net for the equaliser in the 42nd minute.
UNITED 1 CTFC 1
Well that wasn't in the plan that's for sure and it's now all square again. With the first half drawing to an end, both side waste a set piece opportunity before the referee blows up for half time.
UNITED 1 CTFC 1
The second half gets underway with neither side making any changes during the break. CTFC start the half positively and win a corner in the 50th minute that's taken by the No7 Ryan Edmunds. His cross is headed out and falls to the CTFC No5 Tom Fishwick who's attempted volley whistles just wide of the post.
Soon after United press forward themselves and Craig Reid is adjudged to have been felled by the CTFC No4 Rob Evans inside the area and the referee blows up for another penalty to United in the 53rd minute. Once again Craig Reid steps up to take it and once again he sends it low into the corner to put United back in front.
UNITED 2 CTFC 1
That's two coolly taken penalties from Craig Reid and it's now up to his team mates to also stay focused in an attempt to hold on to their lead. Once again though they fail to do just that when they concede a free kick in a dangerous area in the 59th minute. The No7 Ryan Edmunds stands over the ball before sending a sublime shot past the keeper Richard Morris for an impressive second equaliser. United's new boy Daniel Brennan was booked for his tackle to concede the free kick.
UNITED 2 CTFC 2
Now that's a second lead that United have surrendered shortly after taking the lead and CTFC are showing some great resolve although being a man down and without a recognised keeper.
CTFC continue to cause United problems and disaster strikes again in the 68th minute when a cross from the right is not dealt with fully and the loose ball goes to the No10 Reece Leek who proceeds to guide the ball past Richard Morris to put CTFC into the lead for the first time in the game.
UNITED 2 CTFC 3
Now the Red and Green Army were not expecting that and United have to somehow find a way back into the game with 20 minutes to go. In the very next minute (69th), United's Gift Mussa gets himself booked for a challenge so has to be careful for the remainder of the game. United also decide to make a change by taking off Tom James and sending on Mitchell Piggon in the 69th minute.
CTFC's best means of defence seems to be attack and they are not sitting back on their slender lead that's for sure. From a Ryan Edmunds corner in the 73rd minute they see scramble for the ball fall to the No5 Tom Fishwick who's stab at goal is cleared off the line by the keeper Richard Morris.
The 74th minute sees CTFC make a change when they take off the influential No7 Ryan Edmunds and send on the No15 James Hicks. Then more changes follow soon after when CTFC take off the No11 Giovanni Dainty and send on the No12 Jorna Moulton and United make a double change when they take off Lewis Rankin and Aaron Opoku and send on Jack Jeys and Aron Wint in the 78th minute.
The game is now into the last 10 minutes and from a United corner the stand in keeper for CTFC Dean Rathbone injures himself after punching the ball clear and has to be carried off and eventually goes to hospital via an ambulance in the 81st minute. While another outfield player is putting on the keeper's shirt, CTFC decide to make another change by replacing the No9 Dean Rathbone with the No16 Luke Edwards.
The game is now into added time and the CTFC No2 Joe Smith is booked for time wasting. United though fail to find a way past CTFC as the referee blows up for full time and the game ends in defeat for United.
UNITED 2 CTFC 3
In summing up this game I would have to say this was an OPPORTUNITY LOST. United started the game brightly and set up to stifle out any threat of a bombardment that Town might unleash. United held them off well and started to make inroads themselves and won themselves a penalty that put them into the lead they didn't hold onto for long before Town equalised just before the break.
The second half saw United struggle to break a team down with 10 men and an outfield player in goal and when they did manage to get back in front with a second penalty, they soon were back on level terms as Town grabbed a great second equaliser.
Town never sat back all afternoon and forced more pressure on United and duly punished them with what turned out to be the winner in the 68th minute.
Players worthy of a mention would have to be the No7 Ryan Edmunds for CTFC. He was instrumental in almost all of Town's attacking options and delivered great set pieces topped off with a peach of a free kick for Town's second equaliser.
For United Aaron Opoku caused Town problems in the first half and never gave up running the channels, Craig Reid did well to coolly dispatch the two penalties and also worked hard throughout. The new centre half Niall Rowe slotted in really well and looks a good acquisition but my man of the match for today goes to his co central defender Daniel Brennan. Daniel looked the part and definitely played the part. He is just the type of player I think we need in the heart of the defence. He was strong in the air and could play the ball out with purpose too so well played Daniel Brennan and welcome to the club.
Match stats United Town
On target (3) (3)
Off target (3) (5)
Corners (4) (4)
Free kicks (12) (12)
Yellow cards (2) (3)
Red cards (0) (1)
Offside (3) (1)
I would just like to wish on behalf of all connected to Coventry United FC a speedy recovery for Coleshill Town's Dean Rathbone after breaking his leg during yesterday's game.
And to finish off, I would also like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and hopefully a New Year full of United victories. PUCU