Saturday 6th August 2016
The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Coleshill Town 2 v 2 Cradley Town
Town: Shane Benjamin, Reece Leek.
Cradley: Liam Hickman, Joseph Drake-Cervantes.
CTFC Supporters Club Man Of The Match: Reece Leek.
Coleshill: Paul Hathaway, Andre Gonzales, Josh Quaynor, Mathew Hunt, Rob Evans, Craig Milligan, Reece Leek, Sam Adkins (Modou Jara), Shane Benjamin, Dean Rathbone (Simeon Cobourne), Mykel Beckley (Luke Barlone). Subs not used: Tom Weale, Joshua Sherington, Jesse Race, Aarron O'Neil.
Cradley: Christopher Wooley, Tajani Munthali, Daniel Ludlow, Darren Whitley, Joseph Drake-Cervantes, Alex Perry, Alex Cowley, Daniel Crudgington, Geoffrey Hill, Liam Hickman, Brett McGilligan. Subs Charlie Gregg, Dreniz Bala, Richard Thomas-Robinson, Daniel Roden.
A very frustrating afternoon for Manager Paul Casey as he saw his side cruise to a 2-0 lead but then somehow allowed the game to slip away and now have to rely on a replay in order to progress to the next round of the FA Cup. Rarely, if ever, have Coleshill played a cup game in their first game of a new season but with so much at stake it was important that Coleshill got into their stride quickly. Town were well on top, apart from a couple of anxious back passes to home keeper Paul Hathaway, and deservedly took the lead on eight minutes. Andre Gonzales chipped the ball up to Shane Benjamin on the edge of the box. The prolific striker turned cleverly and struck a powerful left foot shot that found the corner of the net with the visitors keeper helpless. Coleshill started to play some impressive football and a sweeping move involving Gonzales, Dean Rathbone, Reece leek and Benjamin ended with a shot from Rathbone being saved by keeper Wooley's feet. Mykel Beckley shot just wide from a Rathbone pass before Town increased their lead on 26 minutes. Another neat thru ball by Gonzales sent Reece Leek free and when the keeper slipped allowing Leek to chip the ball into the net for 2-0. Benjamin had a chance to make it three before Cradley's first chance of the game when Crudgington's strike went just past the post with Hathaway scrambling across his line. Reece Leek went to ground in the box with a great shout for a penalty but nothing was given, then Crudgington's thunderbolt shot scraped the bar. Beckley was denied by Wooley's feet again then Rob Evans flicked on a Sam Atkins corner, his effort cleared off the line. With half time just seconds away the visitors shocked the home side with a route one goal. A long ball from their own 18 yard line caught Coleshill square and Hickman found himself clear, confidently finishing with a shot under keeper Hathaway.
Within seconds of the restart Leek set up Rathbone but his weak shot was easily saved and a defensive mistake let in Beckley but again his shot was sent tamely into the keepers arms. Beckley then side footed a Leek cross inches wide of the post. Coleshill could and should have been well clear by now but a low long ball was needlessly cleared for a corner and Cradley made the most of the opportunity to level the scores on 52 minutes when Drake-Cervantes rose above everybody and powered a header into the net. 2-2 game on! Cradley sensed a shock and could have took the lead through Hill then Perry but Town pulled themselves together to take grip of the game again only to be denied time and time again by keeper Wooley. The stopper saved with his feet again from Beckley, then substitute Simeon Cobourne. Cobourne toe poked the ball just past the post, then hit the side netting, before Wooley produced the save of the game tipping a Benjamin strike onto the bar whilst at full stretch. Wooley still had time to save a Benjamin strike after a Luke Barlone cross-field pass and a Leek cross.
Visiting keeper Christopher Wooley was definitely Man Of The Match but to add insult to injury, he was just a stand-in keeper and usually plays centre half. Coleshill will play much better than this as the season progresses but still should have had this game wrapped up before half time. But fair play to Cradley who never let their heads drop, battled all the way and deserved a replay on Tuesday night.
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