Saturday 15th December 2012
Coleshill Town 0 v 1 Stratford Town
Scorer: Tyrone Fagan pen.
Team: Paul Hathaway, Lewis Bishop, James Mutton, Sam Wilson, Dominic Reece, Chris Lloyd, Stuart McNaught, Tom Busby, James Travis , Dean Perrow (Danny Carter), Darious Darkin (Aaron Dillon). Subs not used David Tonks, Corry Gibbons, Stuart Grant.
SUNDAY MERCURY WROTE
Coleshill Town dropped into the bottom three following their 1-0 defeat at home to runaway leaders Stratford Town. Tyrone Fagan scored the game's only goal from the penalty spot midway through the second half after Tony Robinson had been upended. But Coleshill will feel as though they deserved something from the game as both Chris Lloyd and Tom Busby had a number of efforts saved by visiting keeper Chris Jay.
Coleshill still have an almighty relegation fight on their hands but if they play anywhere near as well as they played against the league leaders they will surely pull away from the bottom three. Yes, Stratford had the better of possession as you would expect from a side 11 points clear at the top, but home keeper Paul Hathaway had a very quite afternoon and former Coleshill keeper Chris Jay was by far the busier of the two. Stratford's front two of Tyrone Fagan and Tony Robinson have been prolific goalscorers for many years but Coleshill's fledgling centre back pairing of Sam Wilson and James Mutton gave them nothing to work with, and they were ably assisted by the rest of the team that worked it's socks off.
The game was in doubt due to the weather but although bumpy and sticky in places the Pack Meadow pitch held up well. In a game with very few chances Coleshill gave as good as they got with new signings Darious Darkin and Dean Perrow showing early on. It took the visitors 23 minutes to get the first shot at goal but even that went well over the bar. Stratford slowly started to take control of the game but still Paul Hathaway wasn't troubled. No8 drove a powerful shot across goal, then Stratford had the ball in the net but the ball had gone out for a corner before the cross came in. Goalless at half time and Coleshill dreaming of at least a point but Stratford are not top for nothing as they very often grind out a result.
Stratford stepped up a gear in the second half and Hathaway finally had to make a save as he tipped a vicious shot over the bar. But Coleshill hit back. Tom Busby's long range effort was similarly tipped over the bar by Chris Jay. A visiting supporter called their keeper "Calamity Jay", but he was to be Stratford's saviour as he made several important saves. Jay was at full stretch as he tipped a James Travis effort round the post for a corner, Dean Perrow's overhead kick was blocked for another corner, and Chris Lloyd forced a third corner as his run and cross was cleared off the 6yard line. This was Coleshill best spell but Stratford got the lead they had been searching for on 66 minutes. A long through ball into the box saw Tony Robinson cut across Sam Wilson in chase, Wilson grabbed the player back and although Robinson made a meal of it, it was a penalty and the only mistake Coleshill's captain made all afternoon. Paul Hathaway is famous for saving penalties but unfortunately not on this occasion as Tyrone Fagan sent him the wrong way. Coleshill would not lie down! Chris Lloyd ran at the defence cut inside and shot with his left foot. Jay again made a good and brave save and he got a knock for his bravery which took several minutes to get over. Former Coleshill youth team player Jamie Moleneux came on as sub and made more of a nuisance of himself than the other forwards had done all afternoon. Stratford's management, including former Town manager Carl Adams, were screaming for the referee to blow the final whistle, an indication of how hard Coleshill had pushed the table toppers. Coleshill had the last chance of the game as Lewis Bishop hit a dipping shot from distance but again Jay was in the way making another great save.
Well done Coleshill, an impressive performance! Some tough games ahead with second placed Stourport up next but once we start playing the teams in and around us I can only see us pulling away from the bottom of the table.
And Stratford's View of the game!
TYRONE FAGAN'S SPOT KICK PROPELS TOWN 14 POINTS CLEAR
Coleshill Town - 0
Stratford Town - 1 - Fagan 67 (pen)
With none of the other top seven teams in the Baker Joiner MFA in action due to the recent wintry weather Town had the opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the table to 14 points when they visited lowly Coleshill Town on Saturday.
And although they duly did so they yet again had to show tremendous character and commitment on a difficult pitch against tenacious opponents before securing their tenth away win of the season when Tyrone Fagan fired home form the penalty spot midway through the second half to make it a happy return to Pack Meadow for Town's ex-Coleshill boss Carl Adams.
Equally crucial though was Town's first clean sheet in 12 League games on an afternoon when one goal for either side always looked as if it would be enough.
There was one change to Town's starting line-up from last weekend with Tony Robinson restored to the number 9 shirt after his one match ban and Rico Taylor dropping to the subs bench.
Familiar faces to Town supporters in the Coleshill side were striker James Travis and last season's Youth team skipper James Mutton.
The Pack Meadow playing surface had soaked up the previous day's really well and was nowhere near as heavy as it might have been, but it was desperatelyy bobbly which made any attempt at a passing game more or less impossible, and instead it was an afternoon for effort and endeavour rather than flair and finesse as both teams struggled to cope with the unpredictable bounce.
Town might have gone in front in only the second minute when Fagan - who deserves the utmost credit for playing in this game after suffering a close family bereavement earlier in the week - latched on to a through ball from Aaron Forde to be one-on one with Coleshill keeper Paul Hathaway.
Hathaway was quicklyy off his line to block, but the loose ball fell to Simeon Tulloch who attempted to pick out Tony Robinson with a first time cross which drifted behind Town's leading scorer and was easily cleared.
Coleshill responded with Travis heading over from a Darius Darkin cross and then Darkin hitting a crisp effort straight at Chris Jay who was playing for Coleshill in the corresponding fixture last season.
But the pitch was making life difficult for everyone, and there was no further serious goalmouth action for the next twenty or so minutes until Mark Faulds exchanged passes with Tony Robinson in the congested Coleshill penalty area to work a shooting chance which he lifted well over.
Shortly after Joe Halsall went close with a shot on the turn which fizzed narrowly wide , but the travelling Town faithful were all set to celebrate ten minutes before the break when Tulloch headed in a centre from Ricky Baker only for the referee to rule that the ball had gone out of play before Baker could cross it.
So in spite of the steadiness of Dan Parker at the back, the workrate of Halsall and Forde in midfield and the persistence of Fagan up front it was developing into an afternoon of mounting frustration for Town as half time was reached with the game still goalless.
Half Time - Coleshill Town 0 Stratford Town 0
Town looked to up the tempo straight after the restart with the busy Halsall seizing on a misdirected Coleshill clearance and letting fly with a fierce effort from 20 yards out which was acrobatically turned over by Hathaway.
As if learning from Halsall's example Tom Busby tried his luck at the other end with a virtually identical attempt ten minutes later which was confidently tipped over by Jay, and Town's keeper produced an even better save again from Busby soon after plunging to his left to push a rasping drive round the post.
Overall though all the meaningful action was confined to midfield until the deciding moment of the afternoon arrived in the 67th minute when Tony Robinson chased a long ball into the Coleshill penalty area and was hauled down by Sam Wilson.
Showing admirable composure Fagan blasted the spot kick past Hathaway with the minimum of fuss and at last Town could sense their fourth consecutive win.
Coleshill though had other ideas and Man of the Match Jay was forced into another smart save getting down well to his right to hold a well struck shot from Chris Lloyd.
With the match now more open than before Town had a chance to go two up with ten minutes left when Fagan fed Baker down the left but his looping cross was volleyed inches wide by Tony Robinson.
By now Melvin Gourlay had replaced the limping Forde, and Carl Adams followed up by sending on Jamie Molyneux for Fagan.
And with a minute of normal time to go Molyneux almost made the game safe with a surging run down the inside left channel to shoot across the advancing Hathaway and narrowly the wrong side of the far post.
But with the referee adding to Town's nerves by allowing nearly eight minutes added time it was still not yet all over, and Jay pulled off his best save of the match by arching backwards to spectacularly palm over a viciously dipping 25 yarder from the dangerous Lloyd and then safely holding a driven-in centre from Lewis Bishop before Town's 16th win of this scarcely believable season was finally secured.
So having now reached the halfway mark in their League schedule Town's points tally is a staggering 52, and they sit a whopping 14 points above Rod Brown's Stourport Swifts who occupy second spot. Swifts and Town's other closest challengers have games in hand - although none can catch Town even if they win them all - but Carl Adams is fully aware that points on the board are what really matter.
And that is exactly what Town have got.
TOWN : Jay, Faulds, Donaghy, Parker, R Robinson, Forde (Gourlay 78), Tulloch, Halsall, A Robinson, Fagan (Molyneux 83), Baker. Unused Subs - Taylor, Kerrigan & Hazlett (GK)
COLESHILL : Hathaway, Bishop, Reece, Wilson, Mutton, Busby, Lloyd, McNaught, Travis, Perrow (Carter 61), Darkin (Dillon 68). Unused Subs - Tonks, Grant & Gibbons
Attendance - 96
Town Man of the Match - Chris Jay
The View From The Dug-Out - for Carl Adams it was another result that had to be ground out
"As in our previous two away games at Bridgnorth and Highgate we have had to battle on a poor pitch against determined and well organised opposition but again we have come through and secured the points.
We deserve the utmost credit for being able to grind out these results which is something our nearest rivals are not doing, and that's why we are now 14 points clear."
First Team Match Reports 2012-2013
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