Sacre Coeur 2nds got their season underway on a sunny afternoon at Brooke
Vale (Phil: Actually Jay it was Buckley Hill, I see your geography is as good as your passing), with the crowd in for a treat. Sacre had the luxury of 5 subsititutes which caused a selection headache for Steele with disappointment to deal prior to kick off. Amazingly Chuk retained his place in the team despite texts sent from some senior players to manager Steele about his lazy attitude. Sacre also drew their largest crowd in all three seasons,
with no less than 8 fans coming down to watch, with President of the Supporters Club Graeme Inman showing his hard work in pre-season is paying off. Kenni Jackson was reportedly unable to attend as he was in discussions to be in the audience for the next series of Strictly Come Dancing.
Sacre started brightly, with the SAS strikeforce showing their pre-season form would be transferred into the league campaign. A through ball to Sinclair was pounced upon, where he rounded the keeper to score the first league goal of the campaign. One goal soon became two, with a free kick from his own half played by Alan Williams, which beat the last defender for Sinclair to again take past the keeper for 2-0.
It had all been Sacre up to this point, with Collegiate then realising the size of the task upon them started throwing in some tasty challenges. Decisions started going against Sacre in fair challenges, with a resulting free kick taking an awkward bounce before rising above the diving Blance in goal, 2-1.
Sacre once again pushed for a goal, and a corner from Clarkey found Jay McParland, 12 yards from goal. With blood gushing out of his nose as he has never been that far up the pitch he spooned a left foot volley which took a deflection towards goal before being handled by a Collegiate defender for a penalty.Sinclair coolly sent the keeper the wrong way for his hat-trick and to make it 3-1.
Debatable free-kicks cost Sacre prior to half-time, with three in quick succession being repelled by Sacre from long balls into the box. They were not so lucky fourth time around, with a half-cleared ball reaching a Collegiate attacker to rifle home through a number of bodies on the stroke of half time, 3-2.
Both teams started the second half brightly, both sensing the next goal could be vital. After a shaky start Sacre's backline were breached, with the striker being dragged out wide only to find a team mate, who curled sublimely into the top corner which nothing could be done about. He really bent it like McParland! Collegiate seemed content with a point, although were still a danger when a shot from outside the area was athletically tipped onto the bar by Blance and Chuk completing a trademark last ditch tackle to deny a goalscoring opportunity.
Sacre came back fighting, and found themselves in the lead once more with 15 minutes to go, with Sinclair again rounding the keeper only for his goal-bound shot to be touched over the line by a defender, with Clarkey on hand to finish had it not reached the goal, 4-3.
Sacre then switched to a 4-5-1, with the heroic Steele dropping and filling in well for the injured Chuk reminiscent of a Russel Crowe in Gladiotor in the thick of the action with no regard for him self but instead putting others first, Unfortunately a Sacre error caused by a foolish yet predictable mistake from McParland left a Collegiate attacked in a one on one situation to score, to the dismay of the home crowd.
Substitute Josh nearly snatched all three points in the 90th minute, only for his free kick from 25 yards to strike the cross bar.
Sacre Coeur left the field feeling like a defeat, but much promise can be taken from the point gained on the first game of the season in a new league. Also fans are relieved to know that Robbie Robinson has vowed to ensure that todays game will be one of McParland's last.
(James McParland (Roving Reporter))