Sacre Coeur Former Pupils Football Club
Si Furlong's Third Team
Liverpool Old Boys Amateur League Division 2
Sacre Coeur

Andrew Gordon (1)
Mick Taylor (1)
Rob Shunter (1)
LOB Senior Shield
Round 1
3 - 3
won 5 - 4 on pens
Cardinal Newman

starting line up
Si Furlong
Joe Carragher
Tommy Stevenson
James Kay
Rob Shunter
Mick Lynch
Mick Taylor
Mike Draper
Kevin Henerty
Sean Brannigan
Andrew Gordon
Kev Taylor
Mark Redman

opposition :
Cardinal Newman (H)
competition :
LOB Senior Shield Round 1
match date :
kick off time :
played at :
St Mary's Playing Fields
referee :
M Shaw

Mick Lynch

Lynchy was only one of many candidates for the accolade this week. Draper, Shunter, Joe Carra were all in with a shout as well, but Lynchy's guile and control in the midfield, just gave him the edge.

Another season, another Senior Shield campaign. Astonishingly, this was the ninth time in ten Senior Shield ties, that Coeur had faced a side in a higher division than them. This time it was Cardinal Newman from the First Division. Newman had started the season relatively well with a win and two draws in their first four fixtures. Coeur on the other hand, had only 3 points out of 15, even though their performances had warranted a few more than that.

Saturday morning saw Si with 14 players, despite several players being unavailable again. Ste Burke and Dave Parry both had to work, Gav Scott and Paul Price are both out injured, Mally Harper had to wait in for the cooker repair man, Mark Redman was off to Harrogate for some unknown reason, Baxi was in Amsterdam celebrating his 30th and Rob Philiskirk was attending some sort of do-good-ers charity day, so Sean had been drafted in from the fourths to provide cover. Predictably the squad was not 14 deep at the time of kick off. Peter Price had been commandeered to warm the bench for the firsts, then once again, the scarlet pimpernel factor was applied to Craig Burns!

Kev the keeper was nursing a thumb injury, so for the second time this season, the fat cat donned the gloves. The back four consisted of Joe Carra, Stevo, Jay Kay and Shunter, the midfield quarter were Kev Henerty and the three Mick's, Taylor, Lynch and Draper. Up front saw the emergency pairing of Sean and Andy Gordon, Kev the keeper filled the role of lone substitute.

The first 10 minutes were lively and both sides were looking to get on the front foot, however it was Coeur who were playing the better football. Mick Taylor and Kev were looking lively down the wings and it proved to be this pairing that broke the deadlock on 15 minutes. Kev skipped away from a couple of tackles down the left before delivering the ball down (what many pundits refer to as) the corridor of uncertainty, to the common man, this is along the 6 yard line behind the defenders and in front of the keeper. Mick Taylor came steaming in at the back post to slam the ball into the net and give Coeur the lead they deserved.

Football is full of cliches, and the one about being most vunerable when you have just scored, was never more evident. It was barely 10 seconds after kick off, that Cardinal Newman waltzed past the Coeur defence and slid the ball past Si for the equaliser. Angered, Coeur went back on the offensive and on the half hour, they earned a penalty after a shot from Mick (not sure if it was Draper or Lynchy) was practically caught by the Newman defender, preventing it from finding the top of the net. Andy grabbed the ball, placed it on the spot and fired a shot low to the keepers left. The keeper got down well and saved the shot. Fortunately for Coeur, the ref ordered a retake as the keeper was 'yards off his line'. Andy duly converted the subsequent spot kick.

Coeur continued to play some decent football, and were defending well against both the opposition and the strong Buckley Hill wind. With just minutes to go to half time, Newman grabbed a second equaliser, when Jay Kay's clearing header fell to a completely unmarked Newman player 20 yards from goal. He struck it well and Si only managed to get a fingertip to it, which wasn't enough to stop it ripping into the top of the net. A minute later Newman had a third goal chalked off when another dangerous free kick was was headed home, though from an offside position.

Half Time
Sacre Coeur 2 Cardinal Newman 2

The second half saw Coeur with the wind in their favour, though it was more of a diagnal wind than one directly at their backs. It should have been easier for Coeur, but its was Newman that took the lead again, five minutes after the break. A ball was slid in and Stevo stepped up trying to play the forward offside. Unfortunately his judgement was far from sound, as there were at least 2 defenders playing the forward onside. Jay Kay came flying across to try and cover, but the shot flicked off his studs and deflected past Si into the net. Tommy apologised and Coeur buckled down to go in search of an equaliser.

The remainder of the second half saw Coeur attacking at will and Newman restricted to one or two long range efforts on the counter attack. With 25 minutes to go, Kev Taylor replaced Andy up front. Kev had an immeadiate impact on the game curling a sublime cross into the box where the on rushing Sean, unbelievably failed to make contact, with the goal at his mercy. 10 minutes from time a corner from the right was met by the head of Jay Kay, though it flew agonisingly past the post by a few inches. With about 8 minutes to go Coeur went three at the back and Stevo was then sent up front. Twice within a minute he almost scored. His first attempt was a thumping header from a corner that saw a defender slice the ball wildly over his own bar, when standing a foot or 2 off the goaline. Tommy also met the resulting corner with another header, but it flew just over the crossbar. A goal seemed increasingly likely at this stage, so Si switched Kev Taylor and the thunderboots of Shunter. Kev Henerty was causing problems down the left and it was good work by him that saw the ball fall at the feet of Shunter out wide. Left peg, drawn for action and he fizzed the ball in from the left, directly into the far corner of the net for a stunning equaliser.

With only a couple of minutes left, Si decided to continue and push for the winner, as Newman were severely rattled, however time beat Coeur and a further 30 minutes of this football feast was on the menu.

Full Time (90 minutes)
Sacre Coeur 3 Cardinal Newman 3

Stevo went up for the toss and Coeur were to play into the wind for the first period of extra time. Si decided to revert back to a back four, with his strongest defenders back in place, to combat the wind factor. Barely 2 minutes into extra time, Kev Taylor was the recipient of a strong challenge. Kev limped off and Coeur looked to the touchline to see how he was. The news was bad, there was no way Kev was returning to the game, his ankle was shot. Neither side created any clear chances in the first period of extra time, and Coeur were happy with thier 15 minutes work, facing the wind and with a man down.

Half Time in Extra Time (105 minutes)
Sacre Coeur 3 Cardinal Newman 3

The second half in extra time saw Coeur doing the majority of the attacking, even though they were a man light. Again few chances were created, but Newman only had a sole forray into the Coeur half, which saw a couple of long throw ins, the second of which bounced of the crossbar. Deep into extra time Joe Carragher piped up, saying he wanted to go in goal for the penalties, extra food for though. The ref stated that we were in the final minute of extra time and seconds later Coeur broke quickly, only for the attack to be curtailed by the final whistle, much to the dismay of Joe, who was adamant Coeur could have scored. The ref offered his stopwatch to Si as proof, but Si politely declined, trusting the referee, who had been excellent on the day.

Full Time after Extra Time (120 minutes)
Sacre Coeur 3 Cardinal Newman 3

And so to the lottery of penalties. Joe was still pleading to go in goal, but Si decided, that having never seen Joe in goal, he would prefer not to take the risk. That decision made, it was a straight forward policy Si adopted for selecting the penalties. 'Who wants one' was the question, four hands went up, Shunter, Stevo, Lynchy and the uber confident Mick Taylor. 'Anyone else?' no further offers, so Si claimed the fifth penalty for himself. Stevo lost the toss and Newman opted to go first.

1 - 0  (goal)   Bottom right hand corner, past Si who went the right way.

1 - 1  (goal)   Shunter, no messing, no chance for the keeper.

1 - 1  (saved) Si guesses the right way and saves.

1 - 2  (goal)   Mick Taylor, smashing the ball home.

1 - 2  (saved) Again Si goes the right way and saves another.

1 - 2  (saved) Tommy sees his penalty stopped by the keeper diving to his left.

2 - 2  (goal)   Ball slammed home, Si has no chance.

2 - 3  (goal)   Lynchy, textbook penalty, top right hand corner, keeper can only watch.

3 - (goal)   Si sent the wrong way.

3 - 3  (saved) Si has the chance to steal the glory, but changes his mind at the last and its saved.

4 - 3  (goal)   Newman take the lead in sudden death.

4 - 4  (goal)   Sean smashes the ball home to keep Coeur in it.

4 - 4  (saved) Si calmly sidefoots the ball away after reading the penalty taker easily.

4 - 5  (goal)   Draper fires the ball home, despite suffering from cramp.

Coeur win on penalties

A brilliant performance, that showed all the reserve and battling attributes needed to ensure Coeur got the result that they deserved. An exceptional effort by the 10 men in extra time after losing Kev to injury. Every man on the pitch can be proud today. Congratulations lads and well played.

Final Result
Sacre Coeur 3 Cardinal Newman 3
Sacre Coeur win 5 - 4 on penalties


(Si Furlong)