When a car reversed into the 53a bus I was traveling on before the game, I should have realised this wasn't going to be my night. In the second annual Tony Small Cup Sacre Coeur were defeated by rivals Ravenwood 6 goals to 3.
Starting with the bare 11 with Ravenwood player manager and Sacre Coeur lynchpin Chris McDougall playing for the 'Walrus', Coeur started and finished the game with the solid pairing of Jay Mc and Chuk at the back.
In addition to Chris, Chuk and gaffer Phil also play for Ravenwood but due to a low turnout for Coeur they both played the full 90 for their Saturday outfit.
After a nervous interchange between teams, Ravenwood struck twice to make the game seemingly out of reach with just 25 minutes gone. However, Josh on the right wing putting another tireless shift in, scored a spectacular 40 yarder with his left.
Minutes later Phil was released by some good work from Clarky and Liam Roy and deftly chipped the ball over the keeper into the path of top marksman Rob Sinclair who calmly finished. Sinclair seems to get better with each week.
Liam and John continued to cause havoc on the left wing to compliment the bravado that Robbie Rob and Josh were displaying on the other wing.
Half time 2-2.
With no subs to make an unchanged team started the second half yet in a lacklustre manner. Missing passes and chasing proceedings Coeur fell behind to two further strikes after more good attacking by the Ravenwood trio of Swifty, Anton and Paddy.
With some words of encouragement, Coeur started to impose them more, Phil realising that he would be second best in the air against the solid McDougall reverted to brute force to keep him out of the game. The game also saw the introduction of some tasty challenges by the impressive centre mid pairing of Meds and Clarky.
Football wise, Coeur got a goal back after a strike outside the box from Phil that went in off the post after a seemingly implausible long pass from fans favourite Chuk.
Some good work in the passage of play directly before this saw Rob spectacularly break the offside trap to cross the ball into the gaffer whose header hit the underside of the bar from only yards out. On another day this would have gone in.
However Ravenwood stepped up the tempo to add a further 2 goals to their tally also seeing another disallowed. The admirable Tom Blance, captaining for the first time held his hands up at the end taking the blame for some of the goals yet should take solace in his kicking which was of top rate for the game.
After Coeur winning the cup last season 4-3 at Stanley Park, Ravenwood fully deserved their victory tonight and to take the trophy. They have good team and will surely succeed as they move into the top division of the Southport Sunday League.
On a side note, good to see support on the line from Kenni, Nick, Hoddo and son and the Coeur Supports Club Director 'G