Blues storm back to stun the Ravens
By Andy Chilton
Two superb second half strikes from Will Grocott & Mikey Taylor sees a spirited Stratford steal the points at Coalville
Match Report by KEVIN HAND, Match Stats by ROD ABRAHAMS, Photographs by GRANTY
Coalville 1 Stratford 2 HT (1-0)
Saturday 16 March, 2019 3.00pm EvoStik Premier Division Central
• There is a tide in the affairs of men……………
This was another ‘crunch’ fixture in the scramble for play off places at the season’s conclusion. Having inflicted a 2-0 home defeat on Town back in February a close encounter was to be expected and so it proved.
With Jamie McAteer unavailable and Isaac suspended, Lewis Wilson dropped into the back four and Cody Fisher continued left wing back. The Injured Oulton and ineligible Creaney meant that Fry and Shariff also started. Despite these set backs this was to be a superb team effort from the Town boys.
A swirling cross wind meant this game was never going to be a classic but it was one full of incident. Early on Skendi drove forward and his pass found Shariff on the right. Shariff’s shot caught on the wind sailed dramatically wide. Almost immediately Skendi was adjudged to have fouled Kyle Perry. Wright’s free kick found McManus’s head but caught on the same capricious breeze it sailed over.
There were chances at both ends but it seemed as those the elements were winning. But on 23 minutes Taylor and Shariff combined with Cox and his stinging shot was well saved by ex-Town keeper, Richard Walton, with Grocott ‘sniffing’ for any possible rebound.
As Town began to take charge there were a succession of corners on the left taken by dead-ball expert, Will Grocott. From one of these Lewis Wilson had a header touched onto the post and behind. From the next Jordan Williams rose highest to head home but a foul for ‘climbing’ was called.
The last 5 minutes of the half belonged to the home side and they took the lead on 42 minutes. A corner from Dean on the right found its way to Tom McGlinchey
who fired across the area in to the bottom left corner of the net. As the Ravens pressed Bilboe uncharacteristically spilled a long ball and Cairo Mitchell struck the bar with the goal gaping.
At the start of the second half the game was nearly wrapped up for the home side. Almost immediately Alex Dean was given too much room on the right and Perry’s diving header seemed to have doubled the home side’s advantage. “Offside’ was the immediate response from the officials.
Town’s response was prompt as Taylor and Shariff began to pressurise the Coalville back line. On 50 minutes their collective harassment saw the ball break to Grocott just inside the area. Will flicked it up and nonchantly volleyed beyond the statuesque Walton. Rehearsed on the training ground I understand!
There was still little to choose between the two sides as play ebbed and flowed. Town’s winner came route one on 66 minutes. With Town’s back line under pressure Jordan Williams pumped a speculative ball out of his own half where Mike Taylor outstripped the Coalville defence to finish in style.
This seemed to unsettle the home side’s momentum and with a flurry of substitutions Town began to assert. On 81 minutes substitute Kai Williams won a foul on the left. Grocott’s free kick was met by Taylor’s header which thumped against the cross bar. Shariff’s follow up was wildly over.
The excitement continued into the final added minutes. Kai Williams who had impressed in his brief role as substitute earned a red when he over enthusiastically clattered a Coalville player with a high challenge. Williams was clearly devastated as this was over-enthusiasm rather than malice.
After the game Thomas Baillie, Head of Football, praised the whole team ethic of high work rate as the team faces a daunting trip to Suffolk mid-week. Barring injuries expect a similar squad as the battle to ensure a play-off spot continues.
• There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to great fortune. Julius Caesar Act4 Scene3
Man of the Match Lewis Wilson
Match Stats by ROD ABRAHAMS
| 11||Goal Attempts|| 15|
| 9||On Target|| 6|
| 0||Blocked Shots|| 2|
| 2||Hit Woodwork|| 1|
| 4||Corners Won|| 6|
| 7||Crosses into Box|| 6|
| 16||Fouls Conceded|| 5|
| 3||Off Side|| 3|
| 1||Yellow Cards|| 0|
| 1||Red Cards|| 0|
Tuesday 19 March Leiston (Away) 7.45pm EvoStik PDC
Saturday 23 March Kings Lynn (Home) 3.00pm EvoStik PDC