How is it that after a decent performance, albeit a terrible result last week, that this week sees a complete lack of cohesion and quality in the Coeur ranks. Well firstly you have to look no further than the inconsistency in the line ups. Add into the mix that the majority of the lads played below their usual standards, throw in a handful of nigh on comical errors, and garnish lightly with a lack of composure and some poor concentration, then it becomes obvious why this week was Coeur's worst performance of the season.Coeur were well briefed before the game, highlighting that the ref was getting assessed and therefore any leniency and application of common sense may be limited to a minimum.
The back five saw just the one change, with Andy Gordon having to play alongside Jay in the absence of Stevo. Midfield saw Shunter and Baxi replaced with Dave Parry and Mally, with the flanks being filled by Mick Taylor and Mully. Up front saw Shunter and Lynchy paired together for the first time as Coeurs search for a striker continues.
The game started with both sides quite lively and the game to-ing and fro-ing, as both sides attempted to gain the upper hand. Both midfields were struggling to get their passing games going, so the majority of the pressure was applied by direct football. Shunter was causing problems down the side and fired a few decent crosses into the box. Twice Lynchy made up the ground, but was unable to convert the chances into a goal. Mossley Hill's approach to dealing with Lynchy in particular, was to grab hold of his arm and drag him back on several occasions. The referee, however, was completely oblivious to this tactic and allowed the centre half to continue his 'caveman courtship' approach to defending. Mossley were also showing plenty of attacking intent, and Coeur were sloppy in their defensive efforts, with plenty of lackse marking down the flanks, allowing the opposition to pick their passes and crosses at ease.
Chances came for both sides and Kev pulled off a stunning save when a sweetly struck volley flew through the crowd of players. Dave Parry and Jay bot had chances for Coeur, as did Shunter and Lynchy, but again not one of them was able to break the deadlock. Mossley Hill then took the lead when a thrown in conceded down Coeur's right was launched into the box. Andy got up above the forward, but the ball looped off his bald head and onto the bar. Predictably, it fell invitingly to a Mossley forward to head home from point blank range.
Mossley Hill 1 Sacre Coeur 0
A suitable bollocking was handed out at half time and Coeur picked up their efforts in the second half. After 10 minutes it was apparent that Mossley Hill were unsettled and were looking at hanging on to try and register their first point of the season. Coeur pushed forward and piled the pressure on. Several forrays forward saw Coeur pressing Mossley deeper and deeper, however the final ball was still lacking and clear cut chances were few and far between. Mully was withdrawn for Baxi, though the latter was far from 100% fit. Baxi went up front and Shunter dropped to the left of midfield. All the pressure was beginning to tell and Coeur broke the offside line, with Jay Kay breaking from the back and beating the keeper to the ball, he was first to react and tucked the ball into the empty net to draw Coeur level.
Arguments began in the Mossley side and Coeur strode forward to seek out the winner. Firstly Shunter escaped down the left and crossed, only for Lynchy to be pulled back by the overly tactile defender. Again the referee ignored the complaints. Just minutes later Dave Parry burst forward, skipped past one tackle and was met by a solid but fair second tackle. Bizarrely the referee blew for a free kick to Coeur, then when realising he had got it wrong, claimed he was pulling it back for the first tackle, which had neither contacted or impeded Dave in any way, shape or form. To add insult to injury, he then cautioned the Mossley Hill player. Dave then clipped the free kick into the box, but again the ball, just wouldn't drop to enable a Coeur player to get a clean strike on the ball. With less than 8 minutes on the clock, Mally sold a dummy to the full back, who looked like he had just been dragged from teh front row of the scrum on the adjacent Rugby pitch. Skipping into the box Mally had time to drive in a few more yards and take a shot. Instead he clipped a ball to the back post where Baxi connected with a thumping header. Sadly the header was a couple of feet off target and an excellent chance had been wasted. With barely a minute or two left to play, a poor choice of pass saw the ball fall at the feet of the chubby full back. Pac Man as he was called by his teammates (presumably after the equally round computer game character and not Manny Pacquiao) then 'cleared the ball' from fully 50 yards, straight over the head of the retreating Kev Taylor and into the Coeur net to give Mossley all three points.
A poor match, lacking any really quality, especially in the first half. Coeur deserved a point, but we cant really complain, when given anything resembling a half decent performance all 3 points would have been a certainty. Credit must go to Mossley Hill, who battled from start to finish to gain their first points of the season.
Mossley Hill 2 Sacre Coeur 1