SATURDAY 23rd NOVEMBER
MIDLAND COMBINATION PREMIER DIVISION
RUGBY TOWN 3 V 1 COLESHILL TOWN
Scorer: Stuart Howard.
Coleshill faced their biggest test since Tony Gormley took over as manager in the visit to league leaders Rugby Town. Gormley made only one change to the side that defeated Alveston. New signing Carl Smith came in for his first full game at the expense of Lee McCarthy who had a re-occurrence of an old toe injury. But immediately after the game, Mally Powers, who seven days ago had given his support to the new management, decided to seek a transfer and join his former colleagues at Kings Heath.
The pitch was very heavy following continues rain and made it difficult for both sides to play attractive football. Coleshill seemed overawed in the first 45 minutes and never reached the heights of the previous two games, giving Rugby far too much respect. Even so Rugby didn’t have it all their own way. Coleshill were dealing comfortably with the home teams attacks until Lee O’Brien chested down a cross and the Assistant Referee flagged for the use of an arm. Wayne Hadley finished confidently from the spot. Coleshill battled back and hit the woodwork twice in a matter of minutes. First Mally Powers slipped his marker and thumped the ball against the post and from an indirect free kick inside the box Carl Smith rattled the bar with a crisp drive. Rugby had the majority of possession and were the more powerful of the two teams especially in midfield. Coleshill keeper Darren Bray had to make a couple of saves and punched clear on two occasions but the Coleshill defence was coping well until just before the break. Carl Smith slipped and lost the ball just outside the box and Martin Thompson took advantage to run clear and slot home Rugby’s second. Defender Allan Thomas had to leave the field with a hamstring injury that looked serious and may be out for some weeks.
Tony Gormley’s half time team talk was based on conserving energy by keeping the ball as Coleshill had done in their two previous matches, and the team responded with a much better second half performance. Stuart Howard pounced on a through ball with the Rugby defence static on 66 minutes to reduce the arrears and Coleshill looked the more likely to score the next goal. Rugby played within themselves but found it difficult to lift the pace with Coleshill now up for the challenge. However, the contest was over on 75 minutes when Steve Rule hit Rugby’s third with the aid of a deflection. Coleshill never gave up and there was still time for Mitchell Thompson to see his effort go over the bar when well placed inside the six-yard box.
If Rugby are the current bench mark, then Coleshill are not too far away, but with so many players leaving Gormley needs to replace the now paper thin squad with quality signings. Not an easy task especially at this time of the season when players are settled in with their respective clubs.
Coleshill take a break from the league again with the next two games being cup matches. Next Saturday Coventry Marconi visit Pack Meadow in the Coventry Evening Telegraph Cup, and the next Saturday Coleshill travel to meet Pilkington XXX in the Challenge Cup. Both games are at the last sixteen stage of the respective competitions.
Team. Darren Bray, Lee O’Brien, Allan Thomas (Frank Woodburn), Matty Devine, Simon Bradbury, Carl Smith, Stuart Howard, Christian Crisp, Lee Dempster (Lee Dempster), Mally Powers, Mitchell Thompson. Sub not used Tony Gormley.
Man of the Match;- Carl Smith.
First Team Match Reports 2002-2003
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