So here we go again, another season, similar scenario. Si Furlong rolled out another side for the twelveth consecutive year, again in division two of the Liverpool Old Boys League, but this year back at Buckley Hill after last season's dalliance at Litherland Sports Park. Familiar faces were present in the Royal Blue of Coeur, with the likes of Mally Harper, Baxi and Gav Scott entering their testamonial season. Regular goal getters over the seasons Paul 'Pablo' Carr and Derrick 'Degsy' Burns were also pulling on the Coeur shirt for yet another year. Last season's asbo brothers the Gregos were all on duty, Andy Blackburn filled in between the sticks as new keeper Kev Taylor is inelligible until next week. Cousins Hatton and Stevenson were also back for another season along with Mike Smith who is now nearing 20 years playing service to Coeur.
So with the players at the ready, Coeur strode over to pitch 1 at Buckley Hill to face new boys Liverpool Medics who were lining up for their first game in the Liverpool Old Boys League. At first glance Coeur could have been forgiven for thinking they were facing Alumni for the umpteenth time in 3 or 4 seasons. Gang of early 20's lads - check. All in matching trackies - check. Performing rigorous warm ups as Coeur toe-eed a few shots at the keeper - check. A few odd accents from lads attending Liverpool Uni - check. On closer inspection it proved not to be Alumni, but the similarities prompted Coeur to brace themselves for a tough mate.
Liverpool Medics set off at a frantic pace, yet their passing and composure didn't match the energy that they were putting into the game. Coeur though had more about their game and indeed created the better chances of the two sides in the first period. Pablo came closest for Coeur, as he forced a smart save from the Medics keeper from 15 yards out. Chances were at a premium in the game but the few half chances that Coeur created were dealt with by the keeper with relative ease. Five minutes before the interval, Coeur lost Mally Harper to injury, to a combination of badly gashed and bruised hand along with a knee injury that is likely to keep him out for a few weeks.
Half Time 0 - 0
Second half saw Coeur continue to control the game, if not through dominance of possession, through good organisation and solid defensive play. The Medics continued to huff and puff but failed to produce any chances of note, with Andy in goal largely untroubled. Coeur began to make an impression and good play down the left saw the ball cut back to Tommy who's low drive looked destined for the bottom corner, only for the keeper to produce a great stop. Desgi then forced the keeper to reproduce his brilliance with a stinging free kick.
Time was ticking down, but with 12 minutes to go Ged was moved from the right wing to up top to partner Pablo.
Almost instantly it paid dividends as he burst past the defence and slotted calmly past the keeper. Twice more in the remaining 10 minutes the keeper made smart saves to deny Ged and Degsy, but fortunately the second goal was never needed.
With the whistle blown, Coeur left the game with all 3 points. A solid and functional performance if not spectacular, but 3 points is 3 points.
Full Time 1 - 0