After 3 straight defeats, what Coeur needed was a nice easy game versus a side that had lost all of it's previous 8 games this season. And if by magic that is the exact fixture they were dealt. Sadly though nothing is straight forward in life. Si stressed before the game that this was a game that Coeur would win if we played to our full potential, however if we went out expecting to cruise past them then we could end up in trouble. Again Coeur were unable to field a full strength side. Centre halves Baxi and Tommy Stevenson were both missing, the latter having become a father for the second time in the week. Also Coeur were missing their talismanic striker Craig Burns. This meant that Coeur started with 2 full backs at centre half (Mike Smith and Rob Hatton), while Wes and Pablo started up front.
Predictably Coeur failed to get going and despite being on top Collegiate had 1 or 2 half chances. The first half saw Coeur waste a few decent chances, and miss out on the opportunity to take the game away from Collegiate in the opening half hour. Pablo and Wes tried hard up front but it appeared that every block, deflection and bounce was falling to Collegiate rather than them.
With minutes remaining Rob Hatton shepherded a ball out for a throw out only to be booted by the Collegiate forward. Rob jumped up and faced the perpetrator, they stood face to face and then forehead to forehead. Players moved in but there was no need to pull them apart as this was obviously just a case of words, because any violence would have occurred by now. The referee called the pair of them over to have a word with them, surely just a word was needed? Unbelievably he reached for his cards, prompting Si to state that surely he's not going to book them both? Despite Si being 100% correct, he wasn't expecting the ref to dismiss them both which is exactly what he did to the disbelief to all watching.
Sacre Coeur 0 - 0 Colelgiate
Coeur reshuffled at half time having lost their emergency centre half. Kenni, Mike and John Grego were detailed to play as a back 3, With Bob, Degsi, Mally and Mick in midfield allowing Pablo and Wes to remain up top. With the changes deployed, Coeur set out and used the width of the pitch well to stretch Collegiate. Coeur were carving Collegiate open at will but chance after chance continued to go begging. John Grego then stepped up to the plate and cracjed a ferocious drive from 25 yards only to see his bad luck in front of goal continue as his shot took a deflection and crash against the crossbar.
Eventually Coeur took the lead as Pablo broke free and fired a clinical drive into the bottom left corner of the Collegiate net. Couer then made changes with Rob Philiskirk returning after a lengthy lay off (despite deciding after the game that he hadn't recovered enough and would have to seek further medical advice). Gav Scott and John Doyle were also introduced in attempt to secure a second and probably decisive goal. Again Coeur spurned chances and Collegiate twice threatened to steal a point, firstly Rob Philiskirk managed to get back to deny the forward a clear run on goal, then a combination of Rob and Kev denied the same forward a second opportunity to get a strike in on goal.
Coeur still pressed for the killer goal and Degsi waltzed through the whole Collegiate side as they stepped up try to catch Coeur offside. Desgi then faced the keeper, sent him the wrong way and somehow managed to drag his shot wide of the near post. Surely a second was coming, Wes was played in down the left and he broke free and shaped to put it in the far corner, only for his skewed shot to roll agonisingly between the far post and the closing John Doyle who would have rolled it into an empty net.
The final goal never materialised, but Coeur still deserved the points in a match dominated by their wasteful finishing.
Sacre Coeur 1- 0 Collegiate