Well after the debacle of last week Coeur were looking to get back to winning ways against Ercanil. It was always going to be a physical battle against Ercanil as they are a big strong side who play to those strengths.
Unfortunately, once more, Coeur had a paucity of players available for selection. Craig was absent through work, Damien was still injured, Baxi was in Luton (not joining Islam4UK), Doyley was at the match, Kenni Jackson was both injured and working whilst Rob Philiskirk remains sidelined through injury. Coeur were able to welcome back Tommy Stevenson, Gav Scott and Wes Grego who were also missing last week.
The game started at an electric pace and inside a minute Wes Grego had put Coeur 1 up. A long ball by Mike Smith down the right hand channel saw Wes chase the ball down. He was told by the line to run at the last defender and take him on, so he did. He burst past the lad leaving him in his wake, cut into the box from the right and lashed an unstoppable drive into the top left hand corner, past the helpless keeper and into the net off the inside of the post.
What a start!!
Despite this early advantage, the game was still guarenteed to be a tough one. Ercanil pressed the ball quickly and made sure that they Coeur didnt have much time on the ball. Chances were few and far between for both sides, however it was Coeur that came closest to changing the scoreline.An inocuous ball from the left should have caused the keeper no problems whatsoever, yet he managed to dive over the top of the ball and it rolled agonisingly across the goalmouth. Degsi managed to retreive the ball and unsuccessfully tried to fire it in from the tightest of angles when the better option was to roll it back to Mick Taylor who was unmarked 6 yards out.
Sacre Coeur 1 - 0 Ercanil O.B.
The second half continued in a similar vein, with an increasingly frustrated Ercanil side resorting to abusing the referee at every opportunity. Again both sides failed to carve out any clear chances until routine cross from the right saw the Ercanil keeper miss the ball again. This time Jay Cunningham was there to roll the ball into an unguarded for his second goal in 3 starts for the thirds this season.
The game then became increasingly awkward for Coeur as several of their players were struggling with knocks. Firstly Mick Taylor was withdrawn and replaced down the right hand side by Gav Scott, then Mike Smith succumbed to a knee injury and this saw a major reshuffle as Degsi dropped into the back four Wes moved back into centre midfield and Bob was deployed up front alongside Pablo. It was Pablo who was at the centre of a controversial incident minutes later, as he was felled by an Ercanil defender. Everyone stopped, but much to the amusement of the Ercanil players, the referee inexpicably waved play on.
Ercanil continued to pump the ball forward to their massive centre half, but Stevo and Degsi managed to keep him at bay. With 10 minutes to goal Ercanil pulled a goal back when a clearance from a corner was fired back into the bottom corner of kev's net. Ercanil claimed a penalty when Tommy Stevo scythed down their forward, but the referee awarded a free kick outside the box, despite the marks on the deck suggesting otherwise.
With 5 minutes to go Si Furlong replaced an injured Jay Cunningham and almost set Bob Marley away, but the pass had a little too much on it and ran through to the keeper. Coeur comfortably saw out the remaining couple of minutes and recorded a deserved victory.
Not a classic match, but a much needed win after last weeks no show!!
Sacre Coeur 2 - 1 Ercanil O.B.