AFC Wulfrunians (H) 18/19
Coventry United FC v AFC Wulfrunians
Midland Football League Premier Division
Date: Saturday 27thApril 2019
Venue: Butts Park Arena
Well hello one and all. After another hard earned midweek victory over Loughborough Uni on Tuesday evening, today brings United to their final game of the season as we welcome AFC Wulfrunians to the Butts Park Arena. United’s season has proven to be a bit of a tough campaign to be fair with a lot of IF’s, BUT’s and MAYBES. That said though, United’s commitment, work ethic and togetherness has shone through and they have finished the season in pretty good form winning 5 out of the last 7 games.
Today’s game will no doubt be another tough encounter as the Wulfs have proven to be a bit of a bogey side for United so they will have to continue in their recent good form if they are going to get anything from this game.
The referee gets the game under way and United make a fantastic start to the game when they press forward in the 2ndminute with some great build up play when Ben Vallance and Tyler Haddow link up well with some good on touch passing. Haddow then slides a ball into the path of Luke Jones and he makes no mistake as he drills home his shot for an early opening goal.
UNITED 1 AFC WULFRUNIANS 0
That’s a great start for United and that will hopefully settle them down nicely as the Wulf’s try to recover. They try to respond with a free kick in the 5thminute but thankfully the No6 Angelo Franco sees his attempt cleared to safety.
Both sides are struggling to keep hold of the ball for any length of time and to be fair to both teams the pitch is not being very kind to them at all. United win a free kick in a good position just outside the area by Jake Holt but his effort is gathered easily by the Wulf’s keeper Jake James in the 13thminute.
The Wulf’s have a good spell of possession and win a succession of corners that after the third one in the 27thminute, the No6 Angelo Franco fires his shot high over the bar. With the game being a little scrappy for long spells United muster a couple of corners of their own in the 36thminute but are both sadly easily dealt with by the Wulf’s defence.
The first half is drawing to an end and the Wulf’s are forced into making a change when their No2 Liam Riley-Stewart has to go off injured and is replaced by the No12 Conor Hughes in the 44thminute. Soon after the referee blows up for half time.
UNITED 1 AFC WULFRUNIANS 0
The second half get inder way with neither side making any changes during the break. The Wulf’s come out with a bit of a spring in their step as they try to find a way back into the game. They win a throw in that goes long into the United penalty area as the No11 Ben Jevons pounces and heads the ball just over the bar in the 47thminute.
The wulfs continue to press and United are looking a little rattled as they try and hold off the Wulf’s attentions. They move the ball forward well again in the 54thminute and the No9 Chris Sterling connects with a neat cross from the left but his header drops wide of the target. Two minutes later in the 56thminute, the first booking of the game is awarded to the Wulf’s No12 Conor Hughes after upending United’s Joe Cairns. The Wulf’s soon after make another change when they take off the No10 Arnold Chaponda and send on the No14 Charles Wilson in the 57thminute.
United relieve the Wulf’s pressure when they win a corner in the 61stminute. It’s taken by Luke Jones and his cross is met by Tyler Haddow and his goal bound effort is cleared off the line and a shout for a hand ball by United is waved away.
United decide to make a change of their own in the 63rdminute when they take off Gift Mussa and send on Luke Downes.
The game is still a bit scrappy if I’m honest and keeping the ball under control is proving rather difficult at times and this is a major factor in how the game is panning out. The Wulf’s win a free kick just outside the area in the 70thminute and it’s taken by the No8 Craig Gregg. He sends in a teasing near post shot and the keeper Bradley Casswell saves really well to keep United’s slender lead intact.
United decide to make another change in the 75thminute when they take off Luke Jones and send on Dominik Alleyne. It’s United’s turn now to see more of the ball and they force a couple of successive corners that see’s Joe Cairns fire one shot high over the bar in the 78thminute and then another shot goes just wide of the target in the 80thminute.
The game is now into the last 10 minutes and the Wulf’s decide to make their final change when they take off the No8 Craig Gregg and send on the No15 Matt Johnson in the 81stminute. United respond in the 85thminute when they make their final change taking off Joe Cairns and sending on Kyle Carey.
The Wulf’s are not giving up and in the 89thminute they win a corner that sees the No5 George Taylor bring out a great save from the keeper Bradley Casswell from his downward header. That was a great save at a crucial time of the match to keep his team in front. With the game now well into added time, United pile forward for a last Downes free kick that see’s Lewis Ison loop his header just over the bar in the 90+3 minutes. Soon after the referee blows up for full time and United claim another welcome 3pts to move further up the table for what’s ended up in being a respectable 8thplace finish.
UNITED 1 AFC WULFRUNIANS 0
In summing up this game I would have to say THIS WAS BY NO MEANS A CLASSIC. Both sides worked hard today in terrible windy conditions and on a pitch that made controlling the ball very difficult throughout. United make a great early breakthrough with Luke Jones scoring what turned out to be the winning goal in only the 2ndminute.
From there on both teams struggled to keep the ball for long periods and proceeded to cancel each other out for most parts of the game. That said though both teams did have their moments and chances to add to the single goal scored tally. United have proved of late that they are a very hard side to break down and that will hopefully bode them well for next season as Terry Anderson looks to build a title challenging side.
Players worthy of a mention would have to be the Wulf’s No6 Angelo Franco. He stood up well against a tough United midfield and also delivered a mean set piece when required too.
For United they all once again battled hard for each other despite the weather and pitch. They showed a dogged determination to fight for one another and that should not go unnoticed. Tyler Haddow showed plenty of endeavour and he will only get better going into next season so exciting things from him will be good to see. Young Luke Jones also put himself about well and was on hand to score the only goal of the game. Harrison Sawyer had a great game especially in the first half where he showed plenty of attacking flare as he looked to support the attack when allowed but for me today the man of the match goes to Bradley Casswell. Today Bradley had to be on top of his game and he certainly was as he pulled off three top class saves to retain his sides slender early lead. Bradley’s kicking of the ball is also to be commended too especially with the very windy conditions out there today so very well played Bradley Casswell.
Match Stats United AFC Wulfrunians
On target (4) (2)
Off target (3) (6)
Corners (10) (8)
Free kicks (17) (10)
Yellow cards (0) (1)
Red cards (0) (0)
Offside (1) (2)
On a personal note I would just like to say for those that don’t already know, this will be my last match report. After six years of reporting on United’s matches I’ve decided to hang up my pen. It’s been a fantastic journey for me and I’ve enjoyed some great experiences along the way. I would just like to thank everybody for your support over the years and I’ll hand my pen over to the one and only MR LIAM COOK.