Another Saturday came about and the only thing certain, is that selection headaches will persist. Sadly for Coeur, the sole figure of Si in a subsuit, treading the sidelines, told a sorry story.
The Everton match had shorn the thirds of the services of the in-form D'Cruze, Gav Scott, Rob Philiskirk, Ste Burke and Kev Henerty. Also absent were Sean, Mark Redman and Baxi (all injured), Mally and Mully, so again the side picked itself.
Once again Dave Parry pulled a last minute cry off and Coeur were down to 11 (plus Si) and also were forced into a re-shuffle with the formation. Last week's 3-5-2 was re-deployed and the returning Tommy Stevo was pitched in alongside debutant Robbie Phillips (Not Rob Phil) and Jay Kay. The midfield saw Mick Taylor out left and Joe Carra out right, while the three charged with dictating the game were Shunter, Draper and Martin Edwards. Up front was Paul Jordan and Lynchy, Kev once again was between the sticks.
After two decent performances, providing Coeur with back to back wins, the team strode out in confident mood. Convocation were the opposition and Coeur felt they owed them one after an unflattering 4-1 reverse at their place earlier in the season. Another victory would mean that Coeur would leap frog Convocation and move out of the bottom two for the first time this season, hence this was the target.
A bright start from Coeur saw Lynchy dazzle a couple of defenders before threading the ball through to Shunter who slotted it into the bottom corner. 1 - 0, great start, sadly not as the ref ruled the goal out for offside. Shunter's luck wasn't to improve, but more about that later.
Convocation tried to attack, particularly through their lively right winger, but Mick Taylor put in a great shift to nullify his threat as best he could. Coeur continued to press forward and twice they fed sublime passes through the Convocation defence to send men racing clear and twice the referee responded to the offside shout and ruled them both off, despite both decisions being wrong by a few yards. With the majority of the game being played in the centre of the park, Coeur's next chance was fashioned when Tommy Stevo broke from defence and slid in Shunter down the left. Absolutely no chance of offside this time as Shunter eased past the oncoming defender and raced in on goal. Lynchy strode into the middle for support, but this was Rob's territory, 12 yards from goal, he blammed the ball, trademark Shunter style, though this time it rose over the bar, when all thought it was a certain goal. Somehow Lynchy managed to supress his disappointment and not serve Rob with the abuse he deserved!
A few more chances were fashioned before the break where Lynchy and Joe Carragher both went close to giving Coeur the lead only to see their efforts fail to cross the line and break the deadlock.
Sacre Coeur 0 Convocation 0
The second half continued where the first had left off, with Coeur on the front foot, pressing to take the lead. Draper and Rob were running the show now and Martin Edwards was assisting them abley. More width was afforded and Joe and Mick were getting forward at will.
It was only a matter of time before Coeur opened the scoring and it was from the penalty spot, as Draper was rubgy tackled after easing past a defender. Several lads asked for the penalty and Shunter was given the nod. As Si turned around, there was Paul Jordan, spotting the ball up and firing it home to give Coeur the lead. It later transpired that Rob had given him the pen to shut him up moaning.
Convocation immediately switched to a 3-5-2 formation of their own, but it only served to give Coeur more opportunities to attack. Rob was next to attempt to double the lead as he profitted from a poor kick from the keeper after Jordo had pressured him into a mistake. Unfortunately for Rob he didn't realise he was 10 yards clear of the defence, and instead of taking a touch and running on to score, he hit it first time from 40 yards, wide of the welcoming goal. Next to suffer was Lynchy after Jay broke down the right. Jay drew the defender and laid the ball inside for Lynchy to stride onto. Again the ref played the shout, and ruled Lynchy offside, despite the fact he was behind both the defender and the ball as it was fed through.
Despite these chances going begging, Coeur were well in control, though you felt that a second goal would kill it off. Cue Rob Shunter. Rob grabbed the ball in the midfield and Convocation pushed high looking for an offside. Rob responded to the shouts of go on your own, and burst past the entire defence and charged goalwards. Sadly though, once he got within range, he forgot what to do and the ball was diverted to safety by the keeper.
With 15 minutes to go Draper tricked his way past a couple of players in the box, before sliding to fire the ball high into the roof of the beautiful, sparkling white, new net, to end the game as a contest.
Convocation finally mustered up their only decent chance of the game, when a downward header was brilliantly turned past the post by the alert Kev Taylor to ensure he kept his second succesive clean sheet.
Another solid performance, despite having a lack of options from the bench. In fact the moment of the game probably came when debutant Robbie Phillips came over to Si with 35-40 minutes to go and suggested that Si should warm up, as he needed to come off.
Si didn't know whether to laugh or shit his pants, so a combination of the pair almost ensued, before telling Robbie to get on with it and run the knock off. Seriously? Si play 40 minutes outfield?? You can tell that Robbie is new. He will learn!!
Sacre Coeur 2 Convocation 0