MIDLAND COMBINATION PREMIER DIVISION
SATURDAY 31st JANUARY 2004
COLESHILL TOWN 3 V 2 COVENTRY MARCONI
Scorers: Kevin Wagstaff 2, Pete Hall.
Manager Mick Beadle finally got the performance he had been searching for with everyone working extremely hard in difficult conditions and digging in even when they went 2-1 down with only six minutes left on the clock. Beadle has never doubted that the squad he is assembling has the talent to be much further up the table but confidence has been low following five consecutive defeats and a vital spark was missing. Coleshill picked the ideal time to come good against the team that thrashed them twice 5-1 last season, but the main difference, Man of the Match Kevin Wagstaff playing in an unfamiliar central midfield role, was forced upon Beadle by the unavailability of Chris Davies. James McKenzie was also missing but should be fit to return next week, so Adrian Walker, newly signed from Northfield Town made his debut.
This was one of only three games in the Premier to survive the weather but the ground staff expected the game to be postponed when they called in a local referee for a pitch inspection at 11.00 am. The decision to go ahead was rewarded with an entertaining game but by the end, in torrential rain, the pitch resembled a battle field.
The first 15 minutes were even but it was the visitors who produced the first meaningful attack. Mark Smith got free down the right and his powerful shot was palmed away at full stretch by Craig Jones. The Coleshill stopper had very little to do after this point other than pick the ball out of the net twice. Wagstaff was at the centre of everything good about Town and he produced the home team's effort as his driving effort was tipped over for a corner. The resulting kick fell to debutant Adrian Walker but he lost his footing at the vital moment and the chance to make an early name for himself had gone. Wagstaff was brought down on the edge of the area and Steve Lees stepped up to drill the ball into the corner of the net with the Marconi keeper at full stretch. There were no complaints from the visitors but the Referee stood firm with is arm in the air indicating an indirect free kick. In an end to end first half Marconi had the last effort before the break as a breakaway ended with a shot just wide.
Coleshill started to take control but goals have been hard to come by lately and the worry was that the visitors would capitalize with a breakaway goal. After 70 minutes and no goals, it looked as though one effort would be enough to take the points but incredibly the last 20 minutes saw the lead change hands three times and the ball hit the back of the net on five occasions. Pete Hall cleverly released Kevin Wagstaff who calmly drew the keeper before slotting home. Marconi suddenly came to life and were level within two minutes. The visitors forced a corner which was headed goalward, Simon Bradbury headed clear but the ball was immediately returned into the danger area. Craig Jones pounced on the ball on the goal line but Anthony Bent forced the ball over, the linesman giving the final decision. Suddenly the game had turned from midfield stalemate to goalmouth action at either end. Carl Smith broke up a Marconi move to release Adrian Walker who shot just wide. Lee Dempster headed just over the bar, then on 84 minutes Marconi stunned Town by taking the lead when Mark Smith finished confidently. It seemed to be the same old story, dominate for long periods, don?t score and get punished on the break away. Brocton and Highgate had scored two goals against Town in the dying minutes in recent games, could Coleshill do the same. Unlikely! It was all action now, Wagstaff hit the bar and Dempster shot just wide. On 88 mins Wagstaff picked up the ball in midfield from a throw in, he strode forward a couple of yards, then tried his luck. The ball just dipped over the keeper enough to hit the underside of the bar and land in the net for the goal of the game and 2-2. A point well deserved but it wasn't over yet, not by a long way. Adrian Walker lost his man near the corner flag, crossed into the middle and Pete Hall struck home his first goal for Coleshill in 21 appearances. In a pulsating game Marconi still had time to hit back and were only denied by the post, the rebound fell for Smith who blasted over from 6 yards. High drama, a performance to be proud of and three points, what more could you ask for.
Team:- Craig Jones, Steve Lees, Frank Woodburn, Derek Wilkes, Simon Bradbury, Kevin Wagstaff, Adrian Walker (Chris Gee), Carl Smith, Mitchell Thompson, Pete Hall, Lee Dempster. Subs not used;- Danny Nixon, Ashley Downer.
First Team Match Reports 2003-2004
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