SATURDAY 2ND NOVEMBER
ENDSLEIGH CHALLENGE CUP
BLOXWICH TOWN 2 v 3 COLESHILL TOWN
Scorers: Mitchell Thompson, Mark Hawthorne, Matty Devine.
Coleshill struggled to field a team for the trip to Bloxwich in the Challenge Cup. With a total of fifteen 1st and 2nd team squad players missing for various reasons, Manager Gary Higgins stripped the reserves bare and still travelled with only 12 men. Frank Woodburn was forced to play despite only just recovering from a long term groin injury and did really well to get through the 90 minutes on a muddy pitch in, at times, torrential rain.
Coleshill knew it would be a battle against Bloxwich as it was against Burntwood in the previous round, but battle they did and played some impressive football into the bargain. When Mitchell Thompson scored the opening goal on 35mins, Coleshill should have been well ahead. They pinned the home team back in their own half for long periods and had several chances to score. Meanwhile Bloxwich battled hard, played quite well in defence and midfield but lacked any penetration in the final third. With half time in sight Mark Hawthorne received the ball on the right edge of the penalty area and cleverly gained half a yard for a shooting opportunity but instead he calmly slid the ball into the path of Thompson who side footed home. Virtually on the stroke of half time a defensive mix up allowed the Bloxwich No9 a clear run at goal. There was still lots to do as the striker was 30 yards from goal but he did well to hold off any challenge and finish impressively past Greg Allen in the Coleshill goal.
The pattern of play continued in the second half with Coleshill having the majority of possession and one sustained period of pressure resulted in Mark Hawthorne putting Coleshill back in front as he put the finishing touch to a neat move. Coleshill could not quite find the third goal to kill of the challenge of the home team and it nearly proved costly. Bloxwich were getting up a head of steam in pursuit of the equaliser and the weather was getting worse. A dangerous low cross into the box was dealt with by the covering defender, Frank Woodburn, but his attempted clearance struck the bar and rebounded back into play. Bloxwich regained possession but with numbers now back Dave Wilson gave away a needless penalty with a push in the back on the Bloxwich striker. Greg Allen had no chance as the resulting spot kick was well taken to level the scores.
It was left to Matty “Dipper” Devine to be the match winner for the second week running. Coleshill gained a free kick fully 40 yards from goal but to everyone’s amazement Devine’s sweetly struck effort sailed into the top corner with the home keeper flapping but nowhere near it. Coleshill still chased the game when a period of calm and possession would have been better but it did show that their fitness is not in doubt as worked tirelessly for the full 90 minutes.
Team: Greg Allen, Allan Thomas, Lee O'Brien, Frank Woodburn, Simon Bradbury, Christian Crisp, Chris Kavanaugh, Matty Devine, Mark Hawthorne (Steve Fulford), Dave Wilson, Mitchell Thompson. Sub not used Tony Gormley.
Coleshill travel once again in the next round this time to Pilkington XXX, another Division One team, with a place in the quarter finals awaiting the winners.
First Team Match Reports 2002-2003
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