Buckley Hill was the venue this week as Coeur were the visitors (much to the confusion of Joe Carragher) to face Ercanil. Fourteen players was seen as a luxury to Si, but still it doesnt guarantee the perfect blend that is required to for a successful side. If only a regular 10 or 12 players were available to develop some consistency in selection and indeed an understanding on the pitch. Again players were missing, Redman, Draper, Harper and Henerty among the absentees this week. Kev the keeper was also injured after last weeks dalliance outfield, so Andy Gordon started his first match between the sticks for Coeur. Ste Burke was available again and this allowed Shunter's wish to be fulfilled as he started up front, alongside Baxi. The remainder of the defence was as per usual, with Tommy, Jay Kay and Joe adopting their regular roles. Midfield saw Mully starting his first game this season, as was Sean Davies in the centre. Lynchy and Mick Taylor made up the starting XI.
It was only a few weeks previous that Coeur had gone down 1-3 to Ercanil, despite a decent enough showing. This week Coeur were more confident in making things a lot closer. The first half saw a lot of attacking intent from Coeur, but the physical approach of Ercanil was preventing the game from being a free flowing affair. Mick Taylor and Sean were in for a bit of a battering from the Ercanil players and the referee failed to offer any protection from the over zealous tackling of Ercanil. Despite this Coeur were playing the better football of the two sides and causing Ercanil problems at the back. The best move of the half saw a ball fired into Baxi, who turned it into the path of the onrushing Shunter. Rob burst through the defensive line and bounced a defender into touch when the Ercanil man tried to shoulder him off the ball. His run took him into the box where he drew the keeper and the centre half before sliding the ball square to Mick Taylor. Inexplicably Mick managed to fire the ball high wide and handsome, when the goal was gaping. With half time approaching a drive from midfield freed the big Ercanil striker, who cut the ball back for his partner to fire the ball past a helpless Andy to give Ercanil an undeserved lead.
Ercanil 1 Sacre Coeur 0
The second half saw more of the same, Coeur enjoying more of the possession and Ercanil playing to their strengths, which strangely enough was their strength. Lynchy and Sean were getting the better of the midfield battle and starting to run the game. Mick Taylor was acheiving some success down the right flank, but Coeur were still failing to create many clear cut chances. Mully was withdrawn for Rob Phil, which meant Ste Burke pushing forward into midfield. Both Lynchy and Baxi had to be withdrawn after some crude tackling from Ercanil. In fact one tackle in particular saw two Coeur players taken out in the same challenge. Coeur has a few efforts on goal and continued to apply the pressure, without creating what could be deemed as a good chance. Ercanil then introduced another massive specimen from the bench who managed to boot three Coeur players even before he got a touch of the ball. He enjoyed a good laugh about it then displayed his limited footbally prowess, which may have indicated his tackles were cynical, just that his ability was lacking. Anyway, with 7 or 8 minutes to go Stevo went up front and Coeur kept Ercanil pinned back deep in their own half. Inevitably Ercanil sealed the game in, ironically, injury time, when they took advantage of Coeur's defensive deficit and fired home a second, after a great lay off by the big striker.
A disappointing loss, but Coeur really need to start creating a few more chances before they can start moaning about losing games such as this. Andy in goal was never tested and the only thing he had to do was pick the ball out the net twice. Again though, the Ercanil keeper could have taken a deck chair to the match this week. Possession is important in a game, but it needs turning into chances before Coeur start to get what they deserve from the rest of their game.
Ercanil 2 Sacre Coeur 0