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Worcester City (A) 18/19

Teams

Worcester City v Coventry United FC

Midland Football League Premier Division

 

Date:                      Saturday 18th August 2018

KO:                         3.00pm

Venue:                   The Victoria Ground

Attendance:          346

 

Well hello one and all. After United’s FA Cup 2-1 defeat to Rugby Town last Sunday, United today return to league action with an away trip to the Victoria Ground to take on Worcester City.

This I’m sure will be United’s toughest challenge so far as Worcester are tipped as one of the favourites for the title. They have had a bit of a stuttering start to the season with two league defeats so let’s hope that run of results continue till at least after today’s game.

United will be looking to bounce back to winning ways after their cup exit and will be buoyed by the fact that new signing Jake Holt will be available for selection leaving the manager Terry Anderson with a bit of an headache ahead of his team selection in what looks like a very strong pool of midfield players to choose from. United have been creating plenty of chances so far this season so hopefully these chance’s will be converted into more goals as the front two of McDonald and Ellis have looked very sharp and are sure to bag a few throughout the season.

The referee gets the game under way and United start brightly with new signing Jake Holt making his United debut and tries his luck from range in the 1st minute but his shot goes tamely straight to the WCFC keeper Matt Gwynne. WCFC reply with a long range effort of their own with the No10 David Reynolds shooting at the keeper from a tight angle in the 3rd minute.

The game has started very open with both sides looking to force an early breakthrough. With WCFC playing down the slope in the first half, they are employing a direct style of play to good effect to try and get in behind the United defence. The first booking of the game comes in the 14th minute when United’s Daniel Cassidy receives a yellow card for a foul on the tricky No11 James Baldwin. The resulting free kick sees the United keeper smothering well at the feet of the No10 David Reynolds.

United soon after collect their second booking of the game in the 17th minute when Shaquille McDonald is booked for a tackle from behind. WCFC seem to be looking dangerous down the left with that man James Baldwin so with Daniel Cassidy already on a yellow card, manager Terry Anderson makes a change by taking off Daniel Cassidy and sending on Kyle Barnett before re-jigging his defence to combat the threat in the 21st minute.

The changes seem to work well with United’s Ben Vallance moving over to take on the threat of the busy No11 James Baldwin. United soon start to create a few chances of their own and after some good build up play by Jake Holt, he proceeds to stab the ball out wide to Kyle Carey. Carey then fires in a cross/shot that loops over the keepers head and drops gloriously into the back of the net for the opening goal in the 27th minute.

WCFC 0 UNITED 1

Whether it was a cross or a shot, it doesn’t matter, a goal is a goal and that was a great one and a good start for United. Soon after United are forced into another change when Jake Holt has to go off injured and is replaced by club captain Kevin Thornton in the 28th minute.

The game is wide open and being played at a high tempo. WCFC press forward in the 35th minute with some good build up play by the No11 James Baldwin. He lays the ball off to the No7 Matt Birley who turns really well to open up some space before he sends a powerful low drive past the United keeper Bradley Caswell and into the corner of the net for the equaliser.

WCFC 1 UNITED 1

As to be said that WCFC deserved that for their endeavour in what is turning out to be an intriguing game of football. WCFC continue to force the issue with United coping pretty well defending against the slope. United’s keeper Bradley Caswell is soon brought into action again though in the 37th minute when he makes a great double save from the No10 David Reynolds and then the No7 Matt Birley to keep his side on level terms.

United pick up their 3rd booking of the game in the 38th minute when Yoann Tsamas is booked for a clumsy tackle wide on the left. The resulting free kick by the No3 Jamie Smith is taken short to the No10 David Reynolds who makes no mistake when his powerful angled drive flies straight into the top corner of the net in the 40th minute to put WCFC into the lead just before the break.

WCFC 2 UNITED 1

What a strike that was and a cruel blow to United’s resistance to the aerial bombardment they had so manfully dealt with so far. Soon after the referee blows up for half time and a well earned rest for all concerned after a pulsating first half.

Half Time

WCFC 2 UNITED 1

Second Half

The second half gets under way with neither side making any further changes. The tempo set in the first half carries on into the second as both teams waste no time in looking for more goals. United threaten first but are stopped unfairly in the 48th minute when WCFC’s No3 Jamie Smith is booked for a tackle on the hard working Gift Mussa.

United are soon back on the attack and more good approach play between Ben Vallance and Curvin Ellis sees Ben Vallance proceed into the area after running nearly 40yrds before firing a fierce shot into the roof of the net for a fantastic equaliser for United in the 51st minute.

WCFC 2 UNITED 2

What a finish that was for Vallance and we definitely have a game on our hands now if we didn’t already have one.

The game resumes and United are more than holding their own. WCFC receive their first yellow card of the game when the No7 Matt Birley gets booked for hauling down United’s Gift Mussa in the 55th minute. Soon after WCFC make a change when they take off the No8 Liam Lockett and send on the No12 Kyonn Evans in the 56th minute.

With the game delicately poised disaster strikes when United’s Shaquille McDonald is booked for a second time and his subsequently shown the red card leaving United down to ten men in the 62nd minute with nearly 30 minutes still to play.

WCFC decide to make another change in the 67th minute when they take off the No9 Joe Bates and send on the No15 Chris Withington. Another booking for United was soon to follow when Gift Mussa was booked for trying to block the taking of a WCFC free kick in the 69th minute.

With United down to 10 men, their chances were obviously going to be fewer but in the 75th minute they carved out a great chance after some great build up play by Kyle Carey. Carey laid a defence splitting pass for Luke Downes to run onto but sadly his effort from just inside the area went wide of the target.

WCFC make another change  in the 76th minute when they take off the No11 James Baldwin and send on the No16 Jordan Harrison. With the game now approaching the last 10 minutes, WCFC go looking for the winner as they press in the 79th minute as the No15 Chris Withington brought out a great save from the United keeper Bradley Caswell. United respond with a glorious chance to steal the points when Luke Downes played a lovely through ball for Kyle Carey to latch onto. Carey races into the area with only the keeper to beat but the keeper Matt Gwynne did brilliantly to make himself big and make the save in the 85th minute. That was a great chance and hope United do not live to regret that miss.

The game is now into the last 5 minutes and WCFC are putting United under some serious pressure as the 10 men of United are visibly starting to tire. WCFC press forward at will and the keeper Bradley Caswell has to save bravely at the feet of the WCFC No12 Kyonn Evans to keep the scores level in the 89th minute. With the game now into added time, United decide to make their final change by taking off Curvin Ellis and sending on Warren Dakouri in the 91st minute. Soon after the referee blows up for full time and the points are shared.

Full Time

WCFC 2 UNITED 2

In summing up this game I would have to say, WHAT AN ABSOLUTE CRACKER. This game had everything, great goals, great saves, bookings (mainly United players), a sending off and plenty of endeavour. This was a fantastic advert for the MFLP and I’m sure all that were there today would have appreciated the efforts of both teams who never gave up any ground fleetingly. This was a tough high tempo game that showed quality right through both teams and in the end I don’t think anybody could disagree with the points being shared as I think either team would have been hard done by if they had lost this game.

The game was a very open affair from start to finish and I spent most of the game on the edge of my seat as this end to end game ensued. The game was pretty even throughout though WCFC created a few more chances than United.

Players worthy of a mention would have to be all of them, though for WCFC the No11 James Baldwin looked dangerous until Ben Vallance was assigned to him, the No10 David Reynolds was a constant thorn in United’s side but for me their best player on the day was the No7 Matt Birley. He scored a great goal and was always in the thick of it all in a very competitive midfield area.

For United this was a great battling team performance especially after going down to 10 men. They defended the slope well in the first half and used it to their advantage in the second half when they got the chance. Curvin Ellis worked really hard up front all day and showed he is prepared to roll up his sleeves and get stuck in for the cause, Gift Mussa was again immense as he always is covering every blade of grass show casing his very high levels of energy. Bradley Caswell also had a great game making a handful of good saves to keep his team in the game and just misses out on my man of the match award that has to go to the silent assassin Ben Vallance. Ben Vallance is a fantastic player who just goes on about his job quietly but firmly. Today he’s played in a variety of positions and has the ability to read the game so well but also has the pace to get himself out of trouble if needs be. Ben also showed again today that he’s not frightened to venture forward now and again when he went on a mazy run before scoring a great equalising goal so well played Ben Vallance.

Match Stats                 United      WCFC

On target                         (6)            (10)

Off target                        (4)             (5)

Corners                           (6)             (8)

Free kicks                       (9)             (16)

Yellow cards                  (6)             (2)

Red cards                       (1)             (0)

Offside                           (5)             (1)