Another week, another trip to the south end,this time to face Old Xavs. Confusion reigned as the match was to be played at the revamped Heron Eccles playing fields, rather than SFX. Very few of the current lads have played at Heron Eccles and experienced the old Auschwitz style changing rooms. Fortunately, the new facilities are miles better. Despite giving the address to the lads, Draper still managed to go to the wrong ground (Calderstones) even though he had punched the correct location into his Sat-Nav. I am led to believe that this was down to Kev Taylor's insistance that he knew where the ground was.
Generally on facing an Old Xavs side, you are fairly sure what you are going to get, a big physical side with a couple of young lads out wide, a few snarlers and then the obligatory 'Arl Arse' at the back. Suprisingly this particular Xavs outfit contained none of the above, except for being a big side.
Coeur lined up with a full compliment of 14. Kev in goal, Jay, Tommy, Ste Burke and Joe across the back. The midfield comprised of The Three A-Mick-gos (Taylor, Draper and Lynch) along with Shunter. Up front was Dave Parry and Gav Scott. The three lads picking splinters out of their arses this week, were Andy Blackburn, Peter Price, and the brilliantly named Richard D'Cruze.
The first half was a tight affair with both sides carving out a couple of decent chances, however neither were able to capitalise. Dave Parry and Shunter both went close for Coeur, while the front two for Xavs ensured that Tommy and Jay weren't going to have a quiet afternoon. Sadly midway through the first half, an inocuous aerial challenge, saw a Xavs player land awkwardly. He popped up of the ground straight away and calmly walked accross to the touchline. He was carrying his arm in such a way that from the opposite side of the pitch, we suspected he may have dislocated his shoulder. The Xavs forward then informed me that the lads collarbone was broken as it was sticking right up. Hats off to the lad, one brave fecker. We would like to wish him a speedy recovery.
Just before the break, Dave Parry was clattered in a melee in the box. Unfortunately for Coeur the ref was unsighted and waved away any penalty appeals, though on inspection of Dave's leg at the interval, conceded, that had he seen in, there may well have been a case for the penalty.
Old Xavs 0 Sacre Coeur 0
The second half was a similarly tight affair, but as the half progressed, Xavs started to create a few more opportunities. A free kick was awarded 22 yards from goal, As Coeur were lining up the wall Xavs took it quickly and fired it past a static Kev and into the net. Coeur rallied well with a few efforts on goal, but the turning point came as a mix up between defence and keeper saw the ball bundled home for Xavs second. Coeur looked deflated, because at this juncture 2 -0 certainly flattered Old Xavs. Despite this Coeur continued to push forward and Xavs counter attacked at every opportunity. With 20 minutes to go Xavs scored a third on the break, which effectively sealed the game.
Si then introduced Price, D'Cruze and Blackburn from the bench and Coeur attacked again with reknewed vigour. In fact D'Cruze went close twice, the second a fierce effort that flew just past the upright. D'Cruze then popped up again minutes from time, to mark his debut with a goal. Shunter flighted a ball in, and D'Cruze controlled well before firing home.
Coeur played well at times today, even on a particularly tricky surface. However constantly going a goal behind is causing Coeur problems. On refelection Xavs were the better side today, but the scoreline is unjust on Coeur. Two daft goals, meant that Xavs were out of sight, before they played their best football. Next week gives Coeur the opportunity to return to winning ways, but more decisive passing and clinical finishing is required to get them moving in the right direction again.
Old Xavs 3 Sacre Coeur 1