Vase trail: Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head
By Gary Broughton
Updated Monday, 7th March 2011
Match 8: Saturday 5th March 2011. Coalville Town v Leiston. Owen Street Sports Ground, Coalville.
A cold and slightly damp day for my second trip to Coalville, and one which potentially promised a decent game with the home side and Leiston both pressing hard at the top end of their respective divisions.
And so the rains came, during a largely forgettable first half. The stand was now full, and my mate had positioned himself rather uncomfortably alongside its edge, preoccupied with protecting himself from the elements and showing precious little interest in the game.
Being a hardy soul, I was getting more and more drenched, and I wasn't rewarded with any decent action on the pitch. Both sides were cancelling each other out, and the home side were unable to fly out of the traps as they did against Holbrook.
In fact it was Leiston that fashioned the first chance, and a through ball to Gareth Heath saw the striker fire firmly but straight at keeper Sean Bowles, who managed to divert the ball away to safety.
Midway through the first half Matt Moore, extra time hero in the last round, had two headed chances to give the home side the lead. His first, was a looping header back across goal from a Cameron Stuart free-kick on the left, which was then cleared. But he really should have scored with a second effort, but he could only rattle the crossbar from close range from a delicious Anthony Carney cross.
It was a short period of respite in a poor first half, and the only other effort worthy of note was a low free-kick from the left from Stuart Broadley for the visitors, though Bowles dived well to palm it away to safety.
Luckily the weather brightened up for the second half, but the same sadly couldn't be said of the game, and the scrappiness of the winning goal ten minutes in summed it up.
A cross in from the right caused panic in the Leiston area, and after what seemed an eternity of miscued control, shots and clearances, the ball fell to Carney, who to be fair showed a bit of composure to sidefoot home across goal into the bottom right hand corner from close range.
Leiston were struggling, and when Neil Calver received a second yellow after a silly kick out with less than 20 minutes left, you felt that was that.
In fact, only the full back Peter Brothers seemed up to the task, and he marauded down the left hand side brilliantly on three occasions. In the only real chance of note Leiston created, from one his crosses, his brother Michael could only glance a header wide from close range.
All in all it was a disappointing game, a surprise given the league positions of the teams, and while they probably nullified one another to a degree, you couldn't help feeling the occasion had seen both put in below par performances.
But as B. J. Thomas told us back in the 60s, 'Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head', and that was probably the abiding memory of the day as I squelched off to the car. However, you have to take the rough with the smooth, and I'm still looking forward to a semi-final double header at Coalville, and wherever else it may take me,
FA VASE TRAIL SO FAR (team followed in capitals)
1st Qualifying Round
Sat 04 Sep 3pm NELSON v Abbey Hey (walkover for Abbey Hey)
2nd Qualifying Round
Sat 18 Sep 3pm ABBEY HEY 0 Oldham Boro 0 (after extra time)
2nd Qualifying Round Replay
Tue 21 Sep 7.45pm Oldham Boro 3 ABBEY HEY 2 (after extra time, played at Abbey Hey)
Sat 02 Oct 3.00pm St. Helens Town 2 OLDHAM BORO 1 (played at Ashton Town)
Sat 13 Nov 3.00pm Winterton Rangers 0 ST. HELENS TOWN 2
Wed 15 Dec 7.45pm Holbrook Sports 4 ST. HELENS TOWN 0
Sat 29 Jan 3.00pm HOLBROOK SPORTS 2 Lancing 1
Sat 12 Feb 3.00pm Coalville Town 3 HOLBROOK SPORTS 1 (after extra time)
Sat 05 Mar 3.00pm COALVILLE TOWN 1 Leiston 0