Heanor Town FC v Coventry United FC
Midland Football League Premier Division
Date: Tuesday 14th November 2017
Venue: Town Ground
Hello one and all. After the fantastic performance in the FA Vase Cup on Saturday, United tonight return to league action with a tough looking trip to Heanor Town. They have had a great start to their campaign and will surely prove another stern test for the resurgent Red and Green’s.
The referee gets the game under way and HTFC are playing down the slope in the first half. It’s quite clear of their intentions to use the slope with a direct style with long balls being pumped for the pacey forwards to chase. They force a couple of early set pieces that are easily mopped up by the United defence in the 4th & 7th minutes.
The first real chance of the game falls to United when Mitchell Piggon is put through and he races towards goal. The HTFC keeper Wayne White races out to meet him and does well to gather the ball from Piggon’s early shot in the 11th minute. It’s not too long before Mitchell Piggon is on the charge again and forces another good save out of the HTFC keeper Wayne White in the 15th minute.
HTFC respond with an attack of their own when the No9 Elliot Reeves races clear to latch onto another long punt down field and United’s keeper Richard Morris is forced into a good save with his legs in the 22nd minute.
The game is being played with a good tempo and both teams are having a go in this good even battle. United though seem to be carving out the more of the decent chances though and it’s not long before the next one comes along. United’s Craig Reid is put through beautifully by the hard working Gift Mussa and the HTFC keeper Wayne White is once again called upon to make another good save. The loose ball though is pounced on by United’s Jack Jeys but his shot goes wide of the target in the 32nd minute.
With the first half now into the last 5 minutes, United have to make an early change for the injured Bobby Moseley when they send on U21 debutant Nathan Cadby in the 42nd minute. There is just enough time for another chance that this time goes to HTFC in the 44th minute. Their trusty long ball sees the No9 Elliot Reeves bears down on goal but his shot is well saved by keeper Richard Morris. Soon after the referee blows up for half time.
HTFC 0 UNITED 0
The second half gets under way with neither side making any changes during the break. United are soon pressing and from a long throw in, Mitchell Piggon flicks the ball on and Lewis Rankin is in the right place at the right time to steer his header into the back of the net for the opening goal of the game in the 46th minute.
HTFC 0 UNITED 1
What a good start to the half that is for United. The fantastic travelling support of the Red & Green army are making themselves heard with their celebrations. I would say that United just about deserve to be in the lead and will have to stay focussed to hold on to it.
HTFC are not giving up and soon mount an attack of their own when their No9 Elliot Reeves pounces on a loose ball before sending his shot just wide of the post in the 51st minute. They then go close with a free kick when the No8 Alex Brown crosses well for the No11 Sam Vickers but fortunately for United his effort goes over the bar in the 52nd minute.
United straight away turn defence into attack when United’s Nathan Cadby sends a delightful long through ball for Jack Jeys to run onto. Jeys proceeds to run into the area as the keeper Wayne White comes out to meet him and does well to get the ball from Jeys feet, but he spills the ball and Jack Jeys composes himself before side footing the ball into the net for the all important second goal in the 53rd minute.
HTFC 0 UNITED 2
Well that was a goal that mirrored HTFC’s first half tactics and now surely puts United firmly in the driving seat. The game resumes and Jack Jeys is soon in the thick of it again when he pinches the ball off a defender and sees his crisp reverse snapshot whistle just wide of the post in the 55th minute.
HTFC decide to make a change in the 58th minute when they take off the No8 Alex Brown and send on the No 12 Oliver Naylor.
United have upped the tempo and are getting in the HTFC’s faces and not letting them settle at all. This forces HTFC into errors and United are quick to pounce on any loose balls. Mitchell Piggon headed just over the bar from a Craig Reid corner in the 60th minute and then Jeff Woodward headed just wide of the post from a Lewis Rankin cross in the 62nd minute. HTFC are now really under the cosh and are finding it hard to get out of their own half. United’s Lewis Rankin picked the ball up out wide on the right before cutting in and letting fly with a peach of a shot that smashed off the cross bar in the 68th minute. Then two minutes later in the 70th, Mitchell Piggon’s shot brings out another fine save from the HTFC keeper Wayne White after another good Lewis Rankin cross.
With the game entering the last 15 minutes both teams decide to make another change. HTFC take off the No7 Laurence Constable and send on the No14 Jordan Lee and United take off the injured Robert Prinzel and send on Aaron Opoku.
The game resumes and United press forward again when Craig Reid play in Jack Jeys who then sees his shot go straight into the keepers arms for an easy take in the 76th minute.
The remaining minutes sees United run the clock down comfortably and make their final change in the 90+3 minutes when they take off Lewis Rankin and send on Keaton Francis-Balou. That turned out to be the final act of the evening as soon after the referee blew up for full time and United claim a very important 3pts.
HTFC 0 UNITED 2
In summing up this game I would have to say that PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE. United defended the slope in the first half and weathered the long ball storm well to limit HTFC’s chances. The second half saw United step up the tempo and pressed HTFC hard giving them no time to settle on the ball. This inevitably forced errors and United capitalised on them and got their just rewards. They thoroughly deserved this victory with a dominant second half performance and are starting to string a few wins and good performances together.
Players worthy of a mention tonight would have to be the HTFC keeper Wayne White who was called on to make a number of good saves to keep his side in the game.
For United this was another great team performance and there are a few candidates for tonight’s man of the match. Mitchell Piggon worked tirelessly up front and won plenty of his aerial duels with HTFC’s Shaun Roulston. Richard Morris continued in his recent great form pulling off a few great saves to give him and his team another clean sheet. Lewis Rankin is another player who is currently in a rich vein of form and tonight was no exception. He looked dangerous all night and was unlucky with one spectacular effort after scoring one with a simple header. (Lewis doesn’t normally score simple goals!!!!) For me tonight though Lewis is just shaded out of tonight award by the immense exertions of Gift Mussa. Gift was a tower of strength throughout tonight’s game and covered every blade of grass. He was strong in the tackle, broke up lots of HTFC’s play and was instrumental in his team’s pressing game when not in possession of the ball. Gift Mussa does a lot of the so called donkey work that sometimes can go unnoticed but tonight for me Gift stood out so very well played Gift Mussa.
Just a quick mention for the Red & Greens who travelled to tonight’s game. That was a great effort made by all and we justifiably came away with the 3pts for our spoils.
Match stats (United) (HTFC)
On target (9) (2)
Off target (9) (4)
Corners (3) (6)
Free kicks (15) (14)
Yellow cards (0) (0)
Red cards (0) (0)
Offside (4) (4)