Coppull United FC 1 vs Euxton Villa FC 1 – Saturday April 24th
West Lancashire Supplementary Cup
Coppull United FC had their third consecutive draw in the West Lancashire Supplementary Cup with local rivals Euxton Villa. A depleted Coppull side showed grit, good attitude and determination to take a share of the spoils in this derby game!
With seven first team players missing from the match day squad it was a case of seeing who was available to play rather than having a selection headache for the management team. Coppull started with Joe Leather in goal, a back 4 of Lewis Foster, Jonny Hawman, Dave Parker and Conor Whitaker. In midfield was Nat Lindley and Jack Ramshaw with Aaron Evans and Ben Morris out wide. Scott Hendy played as the lone front man with Nathan Bibby just behind. On the bench were Jamie George and Alessio Degrassi both of whom had impressed over the past few weeks with the reserves.
The game began at a very slow tempo with neither side making any real threatening attacks in the opening twenty minutes. Euxton looked good on the ball but never really opened the Coppull defence up. The opening goal when it did come, on 25 minutes, was a bit bizarre to say the least. An Euxton cross was contested by Darr who jumped with keeper Leather, with the referee favouring the attacking player and awarding the goal. Many referees would have given a foul on the keeper but on reflection it seemed like the correct decision (even though the Coppull keeper thought differently!)
The Euxton goal seemed to spring Coppull into action with Aaron Evans having a great run down the right-hand side and hitting a fierce shot that stung the palms of the Euxton Villa number 1. Ben Morris got clear down the left-hand side and his cross narrowly missed by a couple of players in the box before Bibby and Hendy both had shots blocked by Euxton defenders. Scott Hendy raced clear after an Euxton defensive mishap however his left foot shot was dragged wide of the far post. At the other end of the pitch Joe Leather responded by making two great saves from a Parish header and a diving one hand save to push a long-range effort over the bar. Half time and Euxton led 1-nil.
Coppull began the second half with much more purpose and posed much more of a threat going forward. Euxton couldn’t really get their passing rhythm going and the Coppull work rate was putting them under pressure to force a pass rather than pick a pass like they had done in the first half. A great pass from Lindley found Bibby in the inside left position and he took an amazing first touch on his chest allowing him to shoot on goal, however his shot lacked power. Bibby was not be denied though and again a Coppull counter attack resulted in Bibby being released following good work from Evans and Hendy he was played clean through and slotted the ball into the keepers bottom right corner. Coppull should have pushed on and tried to get a winner however Euxton came back into the game once more. Some excellent defensive work from Morris, Hawman and Whitaker helped to protect the Coppull goal and captain Dave Parker marshalled the defence throughout and was a man mountain at the back, leading by example and throwing his body in front of a couple of Euxton strikes that were destined to test the keeper. Joe Leather was called on once again with minutes left on the clock to block an Euxton striker’s effort, flinging himself across the goal to dive at the attacker’s feet.
Full time and a score draw and Coppull could be proud of a performance that didn’t have much in the way of quality but sheer dogged effort and determination ensuring them the local bragging rights were shared on this occasion!
Man of the match: Hard to call between Dave Parker and Nathan Bibby – Parker didn’t put a foot wrong all game and led from the back (a real captains performance, whilst Bibby is someone who is starting to look the real deal).