This Saturday saw part two of the Sacre Coeur / Civserv matches with the thirds facing Civserv's third team. With just a week to go until the season kicks off it was important that Coeur continued to show improvements from their previous match. Civserv's third team would also be lining up in the Old Boys fifth division so this would provide some sort of indication as to the level of the opposition this season.
Once again Coeur had plenty to choose from, with six lads preferring to play in or around the front line. Kev started in goal, with Lynchy, Jacko and Rob and Rob lined up in front of him. The midfield consisted of Jack Riley, Darren and Ian, whilst Degs and Mick Taylor flanked Josh. D'Cruze, Pflancer and Jonno made up the bench.
Having talked about the importance of putting on a decent performance this week Coeur proceded to ignore the instructions and gifted Civserv a goal inside 5 minutes. A defensive error meant that the young gingersnapper up front was able to guide the ball over Kev in goal.
Coeur's response was excellent though twice creating one on one chance and forcing their keeper into two excellent stops. Not to be downheartened by this Coeur continued to press and and were passing their way past Civserv at will. It was only a matter of time before Coeur tucked one away. A slick move involving the majority of the side saw Degsi slid in down the left, he rolled the ball across the keeper where Josh Corkin tucked it in from 2 yards out.
The game continued to be one way traffic with Mick Taylor, Degsi and Josh all being denied by the keeper. With 15 minutes gone Coeur eventually got in front when Ian Jones popped up at the edge of the box, turned a player, then fired intothe far corner of the net. Despite it being just 2-1 at this stage there was a distinct feeling that Coeur could win handsomely. Degsi was next to get on the scoresheet after their keeper had made another good save from Mick Taylor, as he was there to pick up the pieces and roll in the rebound.
The dominance continued as Coeur's midfield won most of the 50-50s and continued to distribute the ball intelligently. A delightful move of over 20 passes was rounded off by Mick Taylor, before he turned provider, flicking the ball sumptuously into the path of the onrushing Darren Woodcock who nutmegged the keeper to put Coeur 5 - 1 up at the break
Sacre Coeur 5 Civserv 1
Both side made a few changes at the break, with Si replacing the entire forward line that had caused so much havoc in the Civserv backline. Civserv also introduced a couple of players that seemed to have a bit more about their game.
As the half wore on Coeur changed their shape a couple of times as Civserv came more into the game, despite not really testing Kev in goal. Civserv's centre half then found him a beneficiary of friendly match refereeing (which was perfectly correct in the context of the game). Darren Woodcock made a surging break from the centre of the park and was cleaned out just outside the box by the defender who couldnt make the ground up. In a normal game the defender would have walked, but happily the ref awarded the free kick and didn't produce a card.
The subsequent free kick was fired in by Ian, but deflected away for a corner. The corner was whipped in with pace to the front post where substitute Jonno Caddick popped up to bullet a header into the net to make it six.
With the game entering it's last 10 minutes Civserv broke forward and earned a penalty when Kev brought him down. Kev's protests where brought to an abrupt halt as Rob told Kev to wind his neck in as it was a stonewall penalty. Civserv's man of the match (their keeper) came forward to take the pen. He struck it low to Kev's left, where it snook under Kev's diving body and made the back of the net.
Disappointing for Coeur, but their response was brilliant. Mick Taylor, broke from right back and fed the ball into the path of Josh down the right. Josh whipped the ball, first time, across the box where D'Cruze was coming in. Forced slightly wide and with the keeper closing him down, Rich brilliantly dropped the ball back on the six yard box where Mick rolled the ball into the net to round off a brilliant flowing move.
A great performance from the lads, especially the manner of the football. Some delicious passing and moving saw Civserv carved open almost at will. Had it not been for the form of the Civserv keeper the score could have easily exceeded a dozen. Nice to see the steady improvement over the past few weeks and we can now hope to continue this kind of football into the season opener next Saturday.
Sacre Coeur 7 Civserv 2