Coeur were revisiting the ground where their 9 (and subsequently 7) men had produced a sterling performance against FC Salle prior to Christmas. Again Coeur arrived without the prerequisites for this match. They had 14 players but unbelievably Si Furlong had failed to bring the kit. Having unsuccessfully asked the other teams for a loan of a spare kit, Mike and Si set off for the baggy in Crosby to retrieve the kit. In the meantime Coeur amused themselves in the changing rooms until someone noticed that regular keeper John Barlow has failed to turn up. Calls were put into John but to no avail. Another issue facing Coeur was that the referee was only willing to wait until half past 2 as an assessor was watching him. Smith and Furlong pulled up ala Starsky and Hutch and the lads proceded to change as quickly as possible. The first few lads out were met with the referee who said the game was off. Rannard used his diplomacy and negotiating skills (I couldn't believe it either) and pursuaded the ref to play the game. The ref then stated that the match would be reduced to 30 minutes each way after the delay due to Furlong's imcompetancies. Despite the fact Coeur needed to get the match started asap or forfit it, Moran and Doyle were strolling over to the pitch as the game kicked off.
Coeur looked the more comfortable on the ball early on and had the chance to break their horrific run of results, yet no clear cut chances were created by either side prior to the break. Coeur went close on a couple of occasions but neither keeper was fully extended by the opposition attack.
Half Time 0 - 0
Coeur looked sharper in the second half but a failure to track midfield runners ensured it was Old Instonians who took the lead. A quick Instonians break saw a cross headered away by Coeur's defence but the midfielder had all the time in the world to kill the ball and pick his spot past John Grego who had filled Barlow's gloves. Coeur then conceded another against the run of play as a corner was met by the head of an Instonians player and Mike Smith was unable to prevent the ball from crossing the line, despite a desparate lunge.
Coeur rallied well, but time was always going to be against them, thanks to Furlong. Chris Trow hit a sumptuous drive but the ball rebounded off the crossbar the safety. Both Burns and Trow also had good efforts spectacularly saved by the keeper and Doyle hit a stinging volley, only for that too, to be diverted away from the top corner of the net. Coeur continued to pile on the pressure and Instonians looked happy to sit back and try to defend for their lives. The pressure looked as it would begin to tell, but three times Instonian defenders cleared the goalbound efforts off the line. Luck, it seemed had deserted Coeur and to rub salt in the wound Instonians added a third late on. 3 goals difference between the two sides would have been a fair reflection on the game, had Coeur left the pitch in the ascendency, rather than a gritty, but fortuotous Old Instonians side.
Full Time 0 - 3