Sunday, 13 January 2013

COLDville v Sutton COLDfield - I Must Be Raven Mad

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 12 January 2013 at Owen Street
Coalville Town 2 Sutton Coldfield Town 0
Northern Premier League Division 1 South (Step 4)
503 on the lifetime list and I am here because the tweet from Coalville to Sutton Coldfield wishing them a safe journey qualified as the first “game on” message that I found in my timeline.

First-world problems - planning groundhopping trips in January
Pre-match preparation
Both teams are on long unbeaten runs in the league – Coalville lead the division by a healthy margin (I saw their win at Brigg Town a few weeks ago) and Sutton Coldfield are challenging in third place.
This match in one sentence
It was sometimes dire and sometimes tense, but Coalville will look at the result, secured with two second-half goals, and regard it as another big step towards promotion to Step 3.
So what?
Coalville lead the league by 11 points and Sutton Coldfield remain third – they are still in a good position for a playoff place but they have played more games than all the others because of their artificial surface.
The drama unfolds
It was a tad chilly to say the least, and it was an uneventful first 15 minutes with both teams hyped and tense.  SCT’s striker Mark Danks was caught offside three times in rapid succession and a lino generously chose to ignore some directed f-word abuse. Lee Miveld got a yellow card for dumping him on the floor near the corner flag – though the incident was just outside my line of sight.  It was all rather tetchy.

Set-pieces looked like the most likely method of scoring – this freekick was defended in the first instance…

… however Miveld then played a neat diagonal ball to Lewis Dodd who crossed into the danger area but Ryan Robbins mistimed the shot.  It was the first real sniff of a goal with 17 minutes gone.  Danks continued to be a nuisance at the other end and he turned his defender and shot over, but Josh Hill in the Coalville defence generally looked pretty assured.  After half-an-hour I decided to remove my gloves and take a scene-setter clip.  Coalville are in black-and-white.

Not much else happened of note before the break.  Coalville’s Callum Woodward had a decent shooting chance, SCT failed to capitalise on the home keeper getting caught out of position.  I took another clip after 43 minutes.

Some push-and-shove led to a booking for SCT’s Lee Parsons – could have been worse for someone as hands were raised on both sides – but Coalville messed up the freekick and it was “necessary” for Danny Jeno to flatten Danks on the break.  The third clip is the resulting set piece.  All rather disappointing so far.  0-0 at half-time

Coalville started the second half brightly and Hill, upfield for a set piece, was unlucky with a volley that shaved the post.  I’d moved around behind the goal and with my hands still warm from the halftime coffee I took another clip just as Coalville (Cameron Stuart I think) put the ball into orbit.  Nevertheless, the home side were looking more effective and the away side dangerous on the break – a classical home-and-away situation was developing.  SCT’s Jamie Sheldon found himself in acres of space on one such break but the ball landed, probably covered in ice from altitude, on the embankment (which may well be an old mining spoil heap, I am guessing).

My fingers held together long enough to take this clip of a Coalville freekick after 72 minutes – they were getting closer!

The stalemate was finally broken in the closing minutes and Coalville fans will enjoy this clip.  The cross from the left was skied and mishit but Parsons’ header fell at the feet of Woodward.  He crossed and the first shot was cleared brilliantly off the line, but it is a great volleyed finish by Robbins to open the scoring.  1-0 after 81 minutes

In stoppage time, two Coalville substitutes combined and Ash Way’s right-wing cross gave David Leigh an unmissable header at the far post.  2-0 in stoppage time

They could even have had a third, as Way’s thunderbolt shot was well-saved by the Sutton keeper Lee Evans.  That would have hurt.  This really is a very, very good result for Coalville and that will hurt too.  Final score 2-0
The programme

Hopping for Moorfields Update
135 goals in 40 games at an average of 3.375, within the limits predicted at the start of the season.  I am still looking for sponsors – you won’t have to pay up until June!
Mars Bar Watch 2013
The Coalville Town Mars Bar moves into top position in the value-for-money table as an undamaged 58g standard bar was provided in perfect condition for a mere 50p, just over half of the price of this year’s 95p shocker at M1 Toddington Services Northbound.  The low ambient temperatures led to a small amount of chocolate loss due to brittle fracture at the incision phase but this was well within acceptable limits.
What Next?
Weather forecasts suggest that there is little chance of a midweek game but I am hoping to get to an FA Vase tie next Saturday.

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