9 straight defeats going back to September, left Coeur's morale at rock bottom. This season has been a struggle and the strength of the previous seasons had been consistency, this season was blighted with quite the opposite. Injuries to key players, along with losing players to both work and extended visits to Australia and other exotic outposts had seen the thirds struggling to field a bare eleven, let alone a balanced side or an array of options from the bench.
This week appeared to be a little better only for 2 of Coeur's 13 to fall off the face of the planet prior to kick off. It was threadbare side that Coeur fielded and the visit to Wavertree was proving to be less inviting by the second.
John Grego was asked to step in between the sticks again after John Barlow couldn't be located during the week. On a brighter note, Degsy rematerialised after a lengthy absence from the side and Baxi was also able to make the starting line up after recovering from protracted hamstring problems.
Coeur left the dressing room at the Cricket Club and proceeded to the foothills of the Himalayas where they collected their Sherpa and made their way to the North Face of Everest on which the pitch was to be found. Coeur lost the toss and kicked off down the 'slope'.
Coeur started the brighter of the two sides and went close from 30 yards before the keeper made the first of 7 or 8 one on one saves denying Chris Trow. Further opportunities were squandered by Coeur who lacked the clinical finishing that the incisive approach play deserved.
Wavertree had chances to score as well, with their best chance providing plenty of mirth (mixed with relief) for Coeur, as a forward, 2 feet out elected to let the ball roll into the net rather then snatch it of his mate, only for the ball to roll inches past the upright and end up wide. The defense and John in goal were struggling, more with the atmosphere at the top end of the pitch than the opposition, and had to maintain their concentration and indeed share the Oxygen tanks sparingly.
Degsy, Chris and Craig were all denied by the keeper before half time and somehow the first 45 minutes ended goaless when it could easily have been 4-2.
Half Time 0 - 0
Coeur knew that they would have their work cut out in the second half to beat both the incline and the keeper who had been in imperious form in the first 45 minutes. An early free kick was lofted into the Wavertree box and the Uber Cat came to claim the ball, only to drop it into the path of the grateful Craig Burns, who backheeled home from 2 yards. Degsy was dictating the game now and was aided by Baxi who was enjoying a sparkling return to the side. Craig and Chris were proving more than a handful for the Wavertree backline and indeed minutes later it was Chris who doubled Coeur's advantage. An inviting throughball was fed into the inside right channel where Chris turned and took off after it. The keeper seeing that the defender was struggling, came haring out of his goal and ended up colliding with the defender. Chris looked up and fired the ball into the net from 35 yards out near the righthand touchline, similar to a goal he scored in Coeur's last victory against Collegiate.
Wavertree responded 10 minutes later as a headed clearance was lashed in from 25 yards past the dispairing dive of John in goal. Wavertree attempted to capitalise on this, but it was Coeur who struck next as Craig netted past the helpless keeper.
Coeur had further chances to increase their lead but the Wavertree keeper had reverted to his first half form and denied both Craig and Chris to keep his sides slender hopes alive. Buoyed by the heroics of the keeper Wavertree grabbed another goal when they forced the ball home following a melee in the box. Coeur then had a goal struck off harshly as the referee wrongly ruled Craig offside when Chris squared it to him.
With 20 minutes to go the game was in the balance and Wavertree started throwing more men forward in search of an equaliser but Coeur always looked more likely to extend their lead than see it erradicated. Coeur won a free kick out on the right toughline 35 yards from goal. Desgy turned to manager Si Furlong and said what foot do you reckon left or right. He then crossed a great ball into the box, only for it to be hacked away from danger. Barely 90 seconds later Coeur had another free kick in an identical position and Desgy spotted the ball then lined up to whip the ball in with his left foot. The ball curled just inches over the heads of the onrushing forwards and bounced once before nestling right in the far corner of the net. The game was up for Wavertree at this point and Coeur finished them off in style to put the match way out of reach. Firstly Craig broke the offside trap again and lifted the ball past the keeper as he came to block the shot and in doing so completed his hat-trick. Then minutes later Craig got in behind the defence and pulled the ball back to Chris who drilled it into the empty net.
A stunning performance considering the threadbare side and indeed the form of Coeur over the last few months. The beer back at the boozer tastes so much nicer when it is laced with the sweet flavour of victory.
Full Time 6 - 2