Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Cradley Rocked by Optimal Sub

One of the best Step 6 programmes you will find anywhere

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Tuesday 9 August 2016 at Beeches View Avenue
Cradley Town 1 Coleshill Town 4
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round Replay
Ground 587 on the lifetime list.  I am here because I happen to be in the Midlands and I have never been to this ground before.  These teams play in the West Midlands Regional and the Midland Football Leagues at Step 6 and 5 respectively.
The Club Emblem

The club nickname is The Hammers, and the associated chains and anvil also refer to the great industrial metalworking traditions of the Black Country.
Pre-match preparation
The teams drew 2-2 last Saturday.  Coleshill went two up in the first half before Cradley got one back before the interval and then a second-half equaliser.
This match in one sentence
The scoreline is harsh on Cradley Town who competed well for most of the game but were beaten in the end by Coleshill's more clinical finishing.
So what?
Coleshill Town will play either Dudley Sports or Nuneaton Griff in the next round.  Maybe I should go and check them out.
The drama unfolds
I watched the match in the company of my brother Martyn and we reflected on the fact that our respective hobbies (Birdwatching: Twitch Level in his case) leave us vulnerable to obsessive elements.  He just missed something important after a long drive to East Anglia last weekend, a bit like my arrival at a just-postponed game in Sussex at the end of last season.  Meanwhile, the two teams squared up to each other with a decent tempo and the occasional hint of feistiness.  Later on I would express surprise that there were still 22 players on the field.  Cradley weathered the early Coleshill storm and their striker Liam Hickman gave me my first Step 6 stepover of the season before failing to find his strike partner.  Much like Raheem Sterling but without the insane remuneration.  It was all pretty even.

The deadlock was broken by Simeon Colbourne (thanks to the club Twitter feed for the ID).  A scuffed Cradley clearance led to a one-on-one that was initially defended well but at the expense of a corner.  Coleshill had always looked to have the edge at set-pieces and the corner led to some pinging around in the six-yard box before the ball ended up in the net.  0-1 after 38 mins and at HT

Cradley started the second half well and Paul Hathaway made a flying save to keep his side in front.  However, a deserved equaliser followed just aftrer the hour.  Sorry, the scorer remains unidentified at the time of writing.  1-1 after 62 mins

Coleshill took the lead again following another set piece.  A towering header (note: headers that hit the bar must be described as towering, one of the new rules I think) hit the bar and came down on but not over the line.  Any need for controversy was removed as the initial clearance fell to sub number 17, on the teamsheet as Aaron O'Neil but on Coleshill tweets as "Pellet", and the defence could not keep the shot out.  1-2 after 72 mins

The remaining two goals added an unfair bias to the final score as Cradley were forced to commit to attack, but they were both well-taken by the aforementioned multiple-monikered Number 17 for a hat-trick from the subs bench.  Harsh but effective.  1-3 after 83 mins, 1-4 after 90 mins and at FT
Ground Pix
Plenty for groundhoppers to enthuse about here.  A ground with some character - a bit of ramshackle building, a fence made from pallets, and a great view of the Clent Hills thrown in.  A well-stocked club shop, an excellent tea bar and one of the best Step 6 programmes you will find anywhere.

Match Pix
Cradley Town are in the red and black.

Celebration Time

Goalkeeper Top Colour Stats
Coleshill Town's keeper turned up in something allowable as "Green", but the Cradley Town keeper is neither yellow nor green so he has to go down as an unfortunate night for "Radioactive Bile".  Green continues to do well, second only to the much rarer Red.  The full table will appear in the blog from time to time. 
What Next?
Watch @GrahamYapp on Twitter for details!  Nuneaton Griff v Dudley Sports looks tempting.

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