Saturday 1st March 2008
Midland Combination Premier Division
Coleshill Town 2 v 3 Highgate United
Scorers: Matty Robinson, Danny Carter.
This was the big one for Coleshill. The game that could have put them back in the title race and with Southam losing to Walsall Wood, what a massive three points it would have been. For 50 mins the win looked well within their grasp but the 40 mins that followed was nothing short of dreadful and Town finished a well beaten side. This was the ultimate game of two halves with both sides having the better of the play with the strong wind at their backs but that wasn't the only factor. Coleshill were hungry, rampant and in complete control for the first period and should have had more than just the one goal advantage going into the break. The home side added a second only 32 seconds after the restart but Highgate never panicked and as you would expect from a side undefeated in 20 odd games, kept going knowing they would eventually get something from the game. At that point the visitors would probably have accepted a draw but such was Coleshill's capitulation that, the win was as much handed to them, as earned.
Richard Kavanaugh replaced Lee Hunt at the centre of Town's defence and Manager Carl Adams brought in Jerome Grandison from Stratford to replace the unavailable Lee James. Danny Carter was the preferred partner for fellow forward Matty Robinson, leaving Ashley Robinson and Michael Campbell on the bench. The early tactics worked well as Coleshill took the game to the league leaders. James Dance had a shot saved, Matty Robinson headed wide and United keeper Sean Edwards made a great save from Simon Volante before Coleshill took a deserved lead on 8 mins Matty Robinson heading a Lee Millard corner into the roof of the net. Neil Kitching left the ball for his keeper but Tom Thacker nipped in and shot wide in a rare Highgate attack. Jerome Grandison weaved his way through the defence and was just about to shoot when Adam Rogers made a great saving tackle. Danny Carter headed a Robinson cross over from in front of goal. Liam O'Shea had the ball nicked from his toe by Kitching as he prepared to shoot. Volante hit a shot straight at the keeper and Luke Edwards did the same at the other end. James Dance had a goalbound shot blocked and Grandison hit the rebound wide. Robinson fed Carter on the edge of the box and his shot went just wide but a better option was to move it on again to the unmarked Steve Smith who was screaming for the ball. Carter toe poked an effort straight at the keeper and the little striker, who had scored a hat trick for the reserves mid week, could have matched the feat in the first 45 mins but the keeper again did well to get a finger to the ball as Carter attempted to lift the ball over him.
Highgate Manager Peter Frain must have been over the moon to be just the one down at the break but the second which Coleshill had strived for came with just 32 seconds on the clock as Smith fed Carter in the box and he hit a left foot shot into the corner of the net. The turning point in the game came around the 55 min mark. James Dance went to ground and the Coleshill bench erupted complaining a punch had been thrown. A mass brawl followed involving just about everybody on or around the pitch. When the dust settled the Referee and his assistant couldn't or wouldn't say for certain who was involved so two yellow cards were shown for unsporting behaviour!!!!!!!!. Highgate's much heralded team spirit then came to the for. Their chests puffed out, their work rate went up and their tackles had added bite. Coleshill on the other hand went into their shells, allowed the visitors to come on to them with disastrous consequences. The goal that got Highgate back into the game was fortunate. Craig Johnson blocked a Liam O'Shea shot at his feet but O'Shea reacted quickly, retrieved the loose ball, turned and shot into the corner of the net somehow eluding Johnson and Kitching who had got back on the line to defend. Johnson tipped over the bar a shot come cross from Lee Brosman. Robinson had an effort saved by the visitors keepers feet but it was a Highgate substitute that had the biggest influence on the game. Chris Gummery had only been on the pitch for a few minutes when his cross was challenged by Thacker and Kitching the ball coming off the latter's head and sailed over Johnson and into the net, 2-2. On 79 minutes Coleshill thought they'd done enough to clear a corner but Gummery crossed again and with three players waiting in the middle it was captain Jimmy Conway who passed the ball into the net for the winning goal. Coleshill huffed and puffed, Carter and Campbell had shots blocked and Robinson hit the foot of the post from a narrow angle but United were now in charge and weren't about to give it away.
A very disappointing result in the end but Coleshill are still on course to finish with more points and goals than they've ever done before and should secure 2nd or 3rd, a progression on last year. This was the kind of game we all want to see at Pack Meadow, a table topping clash with a big crowd. Would I like to go back to the days when we were always in the lower half of the league and teams liked to come to us because we were a lovely club going nowhere! No I would not! The futures bright but Rome wasn't built in a day!
Team:- Craig Johnson, Andy Sutherland, Lee Millard, Neil Kitching, Richard Kavanaugh, Jerome Grandison(Lox Shannon), Steve Smith, Simon Volante, Danny Carter (Michael Campbell), Matty Robinson, James Dance. Subs not used Lee Hunt, Ryan Scott, Ashley Robinson.
Article taken from www.footballgroundsinfocus.com
TT No.206: Dave Reed - Sat 1st March 2008; Midland Combinaton League Premier Division; Coleshill Town v Highgate United; Admn: £4 (£2 for us OAP's) incl. programme; Att: 96; FGIF Match Rating: 4*
Friend Ken Kenealy and I travelled to rural Warwickshire to take in Coleshill Town’s top of the table game against Highgate United. After locating the ground, in easy reach of Junction 4 of the M6, we drove on a couple of miles to the excellent GBG listed Griffin Inn at Shustoke where eight hand pumps should be enough to satisfy the thirsty Traveller.
Returning to the ground at two o’clock and passing through the impressive entrance gate we began to take our usual photographs and soon received a warm welcome from the club’s Communications Manager Alan Beckett who provided us with information about future plans for the ground. At present there is just one small area of cover on the far side and in order to progress to the Midland Alliance a new stand is planned on the road side of the ground. Everything about the club seems very well organised as witness the teams being posted on the board outside the clubhouse at 2.15pm. Almost unheard of for a three o’clock start! Unusually, there was a player called Neil Kitching on both sides.
With the benefit of a strong wind, the home side were soon on the attack and went ahead after eight minutes. They could not add to their advantage before the break but did so within 30 seconds of the restart. Highgate, befitting their status as League leaders, came back strongly to score three times to take the points and leaving Coleshill regretting that they had not managed to score more than once when they had the benefit of the wind.
A visit to this friendly and well run club is highly recommended and their website, run by the aforementioned Mr Beckett (www.coleshilltownfc.co.uk) provides further information. He also produces the programme which is a little basic (24 pages inside a colour cover) but comes free with admission. All in all, a good day out and worth the 300 mile round trip.
First Team Match Reports 2007-2008
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