Saturday saw the earlier kick-off time of 2:00pm, yet everyone arrived on time apart from the persistent rule-breakers Rob and Chuk, who seemed pleased that an excuse was made that didn't match those used in the previous weeks!!! Richmond (Rich-What?!) began the day level on points with Coeur, which following successive draws made the three points imperative.
Coeur began the morning with news that Josh had been called in late to work, which angered the impressive left footer and enforced a re-think for Steele. Making his first start of the season was former teenage 00's Sacre Coeur heart throb Kenni Jackson, now an ageing force both in body and appearance. Sinclair's ankle ensured a further week without Coeur's top scorer, which meant another new strike partner for Steele, being John Hughes.
Coeur started the game with some sloppy passes, although it wasn't long until they began to impose their short-passing onto the game. Just as Luis Suarez is marked by officials throughout the league for his falls under challenges in the box, it appears the Old Boys league has their own version Steele and the cursed offside flag. Although there was uncertainty with a couple of calls, Steele breached the last man by running past him onto a through ball, which the referee somehow deemed to be offside. A surging run from right back McParland into the Richmond box resulted in a toe-poked effort being turned behind for a corner.
It was again McParland who broke down the right to cut back for John Hughes to rifle an effort that was turned over the bar. Mark Clarkson swung the resulting corner onto the head of Jay, who should probably have done better than heading over. Next to impose his stamp on the game was stand-in captain Steven Meadows, who produced not one but two Zidane-esque double-pirouette's in the centre of the field to leave three Richmond midfielders in his wake, although Coeur couldn't capitalise on the move which deserved more. Olly was working well in tandem through the middle, but his aggression matched more of a committed footballer this week opposed to his UFC-style antics last week.
Richmond tried to work the ball down their right through the first half, but Chris Mc and Kenni were up to the task of nullifying the threat even to the point where Chuk's trademark last-ditch tackles weren't required!
Despite the Coeur pressure and chances, the score remained 0-0 at half time.
Steele gave a rousing half-time speech, reminiscent of Samuel L. Jackson's in Coach Carter. There were no changes made, but perhaps the most significant impact came off the pitch, with the arrivals of John Summerfield and Tony Millward.
Coeur began the half well but failed to capitalise, which made you feel this could be another one of them afternoons for Coeur with plenty of possession and chances without scoring. Fifteen minutes into the half though a chance arrived. Kenni told Jay to get back on the half-way line, to which he laughed and mischievously went up along with Chuk. Clarkey swung a corner from the right which Chuk screamed for, ignoring his shout tho McParland met the ball and powered a header which the keeper stopped on the line, but Meadows was on hand to control the rebound and slot in to give Coeur the lead.
Coeur had been in the precarious position of a one-goal lead which had been squandered twice in two weeks, Steele being keen to make sure this didn't happen again gave instruction to maintain the pressure on Richmond and not sit back. Ten minutes later a short throw-in was made to Meadow's chest, which annoyed him and meant he had to play it straight back to McParland. Jay swung a cross with the outside of his boot 35 yards onto the penalty spot, which John Hughes controlled sublimely with one touch before converting past the Richmond keeper to make it 2-0.
Coeur continued to press, with Peter Morgan coming on for the injured Nick Gardiner. Richmond earned a debatable corner following a rare chance, which Coeur broke with quickly. The ball was played through to Steele with Richmond's defence shouting for offside, despite the fact that Phil was in his own half at the time interestingly the referee didn't listen to the shout this time and made his own call that was correct! Unfortunately as Steele broke through his attempted lob from the edge of the area didn't quite come off, with Richmond's grateful keeper collecting.
Lawson came on for the impressive Clarky as Coeur continued to push on and soon made it 3-0 to finish the game off. The ball was worked to John Hughes on the left side of the pitch, who brought the ball forward and unleashed a shot from 25 yards which the keeper had no chance with.
There was time for Richmond to make their first real effort of note, which Joe 'The Cat' Capstick was equal to and caught comfortably from distance. It was an impressive afternoon for Sacre Coeur, with plenty of good passages of play and a comfortable win collected along with a clean sheet.