"simon, since when have sacre coeur been playing football?" Eddie McGrath - October 2013
Sixteen lads were available this week, meaning Si's trackie-based Rogey impersonation could last the entirety of the match. The most noticable addition to the squad was Kev Taylor, who returned to the side after 2 years on the footballing naughty step for previous misdemeanours. Kev was selected in goal, with the usual pairing of Jacko and Matty marshalling the centre of defence. Mick Robbo was still injured, though he brought his unique brand of humour to the sidelines to support the lads. With Mick out of the side, Rob Phil switched to right back and Peter slotted in on the left. The midfield saw Degsi convince Si enough of his fitness to earn him a starting berth, he was joined by Darren and Jack Kelly, with Pflancer and Lynchy supporting Alty up top. On the bench were the Jacks, Riley and Hodson along with Ady, Mick Taylor and Ste Allison, who was back after three social engagements and then helping out the thirds last week.
The pre match debate centred around where Old English's massive unit was going to play, there was a split in opinions, some thinking centre half and some thinking centre forward, in the end the lofty chap turned out at centre mid.
Coeur started well instantly causing problems down the Old English left. It took two players to try and disposses Lynchy and in doing so the midfielder managed to clatter his own full back. The day never got any better for the full back as Lynchy terrorised him at every opportunity, out pacing him and forcing two smart saves from the keeper. Unlike last week, Coeur's midfield looked as though it had a better balance and Degsi had brought his footy boots, rather than the lead diver's boots he appeared to be wearing against Waterloo. Degsi, Darren and Jack Kelly were sharp in the middle of the park and were feeding Lynchy and Pflancer at every opportunity.
Fifteen minutes into the game Coeur took the lead as Peter and Pflancer produced a neat series of passes to beat the full back. Pflancer whipped it in from the left whereSte Altymanaged to bonce it straight up in the air, before being afforded plenty of time to scramble it home with his left peg after it had dropped. Coeur continued the attacking and were soon two up. Once again it was the combination of Pflancer and Peter down the left causing problems, this time Peter bending a beautiful cross in, whereSte Altythrew himself at it, heading home, then clattering the keeper as part of the brave effort.
At 2-0 Coeur were cruising and the poor left back was still chasing after Lynchy like a young child whos dog had slipped it's lead. Two more escapedes down the right sawLynchytesting firstly the keeper with a smart drive and then the net with a second shot which nestled into the far corner. Rob Phil had managed to sneak forward, but somehow missed stealing the goal from Lynchy despite being just a yard away.
Sacre Coeur 3 Old English 0
There was plenty of encouragement from the squad at half time, though it was stressed that the next goal was crucial. Coeur wanted to start well and get the fourth which would end the game as a contest.
The flowing football continued and the keeper made a couple of decent stops to deny Pflancer and Alty. Coeur kept the pressure up and scored a fourth, asDarrenintercepted a ball in midfield and burst away past three Old English players, skipped round a fourth and slammed the ball home to the delight of all those watching.
It appeared that is was one of those games where everything was going right for Coeur. The passing was slick and clever and an incisive through ball sawPflancerthrash the ball home, with his LEFT foot. All those shooting drills on Thursday had paid off. Five soon became six asSte Altyreceived the ball 25 yards from goal, looked up and smashed a right footed shot, that flew over the keeper and dipped in just under the bar, thus completing his "perfect hat-trick".
The changes were then rung from the bench. Lynchy was withdrawn and replaced by Jack Hodson on the right wing. Jack Riley replaced Jack Kelly in midfield and Pflancer made way for Ste Allison. Ste Allison went to right back, Rob Phil moved across to the left and Peter was pushed up to the left wing.
Old English then came close as a cross was swung over and Kev declared it gone, only for it to clip the top of the bar and post. More delightful play in the middle of the park saw Coeur string 20 passes together before winning a thrown in deep in the Old English half. At this point the experienced referee, Eddie McGrath piped up "Simon, since when have Sacre Coeur been playing football?" A backhanded compliment if you will, but it was nice for the quality of the football to be recognised.
The game entered the last fifteen minutes and Coeur made it seven. Degsiwas found in acres of space on the left of the box, looked up and curled it right into the top corner, exactly where those on the line were hoping he would. Old English then hit the woodwork for a second time, when a cracking strike hit the underside of the bar, only to see it bounce out away from the goal for Coeur to clear.
The game was wrapped up in fine fashion, when yet another Coeur attack, saw the ball squared to Peter inside the box, he could have shot but laid it further square (like Sheringham to Shearer vs Holland in Euro96) toJack Hodson(born 6 months after that Shearer goal), who clipped it into a similar spot of the net to Degsi.
A truly brilliant performance against a side that folded after the fourth goal went in. Coeur will face tougher tests this season, but the manner in which they punished the opposition was impressive.