After last week's demolition of Wavertree West Derby, Coeur were looking to make it 6 wins on the bounce. Collegiate were the opposition this week and their record thus far indicated that they were a midtable side, with 4 victories and 4 defeats. Once more a plethora of players meant that Si had selection headaches. Josh Corkin had been in touch to declare himself available as he was home from uni, but regretably Si told Josh that he was unable to fit him in as it would be unfair to drop any of the other lads who are there week in week out. Lynchy was also unable to play as his work commitments were once again restrictive. This week saw a few changes to the starting eleven, as Si rotated his squad. Mully was in goal again, with Mike Robertson, Matty, Rob and Ste Allison making up the back four. Ahead of them were Jack Riley, Jack Kelly and Degsi, with Andy and Aidy getting the nod to flank Ste Alty up top. Both Darren and Ian were consigned to the bench along with Mick Taylor, Peter and 'El Capitano' Rob Philliskirk.
Despite having made five changes to last week's starting line up, Si was confident that the side was strong in all areas. A fast start was asked for and the side responded in spectacular style. With no more than 2 minutes on the clock, Ste Alty slid a perfectly weighted ball into the path of Andy. Andy's pace and power saw him shrug off the defender, before he thumped it into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
The perfect start for Coeur was enhanced 2 minutes later. Alty chased a through ball and beat the onrushing keeper to the ball, knocking it past him, only to be cleaned out by the keeper on the edge of the box. The ref rightly awarded a free kick and then produced a yellow card for the keeper, who was still trying to claim that Ste had dived. A desparate line of defence that the ref wasn't buying. Whether or not the keeper was distracted, he failed to line his wall up properly and Degsi took full advantage, by drilling it home from 20 yards.
Coeur almost made it 3 on five minutes as Degsi met a cross with a header, only for the ball to miss the target by a few inches. Coeur were rampant at this stage and looked like scoring with every attack. With 9 minutes on the clock Degsi evaded a challenge on the edge of the box, turned onto his left peg and whistled a shot just over the bar. It was only a matter of time before Coeur increased their lead, and it was no suprise to see Degsi make it three on 17 minutes as he rose in a packed box to head home a Rob Hatton throw in.
With Coeur fully in charge and Collegiate offering little or no threat going forward, even the subs on the touchline, forgot about not making the starting line up and just lapped up the quality on display.
25 minutes gone Degsi completed his hat-trick and put Coeur 4 up. A perfectly judged 1-2 with Aidy on the edge of the box saw Degsi glide past the defence and slide the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Everybody was looking to get in on the goalscoring and Jack Kelly was next to submit his effort. Just 2 minutes after Degsi made it 4, Jack latched onto a through ball from Ste Alty and lofted it over the onrushing keeper. The lads on the touchline started aplauding the brilliant finish, only for the ball to take a wicked bounce and skew inches wide, when it had looked destined for the middle of the net. Terrible misfortune for Jack again after a similar effort last week came back off the crossbar.
10 minutes later, Jack tried his luck once again, with a fierce drive whistling just past the post. Just 60 seconds later Ste Alty decided to show Jack how it was done, turning sharply and lashing a dipping drive at the goal from 35 yards. The ball crashed into the underneath of the bar and bounced down by the goaline. Coeur appealed to the ref for the goal, but Aidy didnt hang around to wait for the ref's decision and smashed the ball home, thus taking the decision out of the ref's hands. Darren who was behind the goal at the time said at half time that the ball was over the line, but Aidy wasn't having any of it and claimed the goal as his own.
The game reached half time, but not before Peter Riley piped up on the line that this was like a reverse of last season, when he was on the end of some painful thrashings (on the pitch, not off it).
Sacre Coeur 5 Collegiate 0
The second half began as the first had ended with Coeur slotting home another goal. Just five minutes into the half a Ste Allison thrown in was flicked on by Aidy and Ste Alty finally got on the scoresheet as he turned the ball home from 12 yards out.
Coeur continued to press, but despite some excellent play down the right from Aidy, Coeur were unable to extend their lead. Collegiate then snatched a goal back out of the blue when a long punt was misjudged by the Coeur backline and the forward fired home past a helpless Mully. No ranting and raving from Si this week after the concession, just a cutting statement, "That's very disappointing", that hit hard with those who had erred. Changes were made from the bench as Rob Phil replaced Ste Alty, with Rob Hatton moving up front. Andy was withdrawn to allow Peter a run on the left wing. Mick Taylor was also introduced, replacing Jack Riley in the middle of the park.
On 75 minutes Collegiate grabbed a second when a mismatch at a corner saw Peter unable to rise to the required height of his lofty opponent, who nodded home. Coeur again continued to press, including Mick Taylor, despite having the brief of just sitting in the middle of the park. Rob Hatton twice tried to escape the Collegiate defence, but it looked like he was playing football in his socks on laminate flooring, as his slipped and lost his footing, when the chances came his way.
An excellent first half by Coeur, finishing the game off as a contest by the break. It was slightly disappointing to not press on and take full advantage of the superiority in the second half, but an excellent win nonetheless. The win makes it 25 out of 27 points this season, yet Old Xavs still lead the table by two points.
Sacre Coeur 6 Collegiate 2