Coppull United FC 2 - Poulton FC 1 –Saturday 17th October 2020
Looking to bounce back from a poor performance the week before, Coppull United went into Saturday’s home fixture with almost full squad to choose from against a Poulton side who had scored for 15 goals in their last two games and have a history of being a very free scoring side. Martin Kershaw was on the injury list with a hamstring strain and Jonty Mattock had gone with the reserves to get some minutes under his belt. Poulton had started the season well and began the week just above Coppull in the league.
Following on from last week’s performance a couple of changes were made to the starting eleven for Coppull. In came young Jack Ramshaw in central midfield for his full debut with Mikey Hindle playing in a more advanced position on the right and on the other side, Matty Bulcock came in. The rest of the team remained the same. The Coppull management had an embarrassment of riches to choose from the substitutes bench with Nathan Bibby, Jordan Parker, Jimmy Mciver, Cam Murphy and Daniel Marland all available to be called upon.
The game started in a frantic fashion with both teams trying to impose themselves on the game. In the early stages the Poulton number 8 was really catching the eye with some nice touches and really dictating the Poulton attacks. It was a Coppull mistake however that led to them going behind shortly after kick off. A long ball was won well in the air and the flick on was anticipated better by Landless in the Poulton attack and he dribbled towards goal before beating Higginbotham at his near post. Coppull tried to reply straight away however they were harshly denied an equaliser when a direct free kick from out wide on the left from Hamill evaded everyone and went straight in however the referee blew for offside (even though the Poulton linesman never flagged and the ball never touched anyone before going straight in). Great play by the newcomer Ramshaw saw him skilfully get between two players before unleashing a rocket from the edge of the box that rattled the crossbar. A Hamill corner was flicked on at the near post before Hawman hit a looping header that was destined for the net before a Poulton defender headed it clear off the line! Coppull were thankful at the other end of the pitch however as Higginbotham made a great save from close range from the Poulton forward.
The equaliser did eventually come just before half time – and what a goal it was! Bulcock picked the ball up centrally about 25 yards out, beat one man before flicking the ball over another, moving the ball from his right to his left foot before hitting an absolute screamer of a volley into the corner of the goal giving the keeper no chance! You would do well to see a better goal anywhere else in any league this week! Half time and the score was 1-1.
Coppull came out for the second half and took the game to their opponents. Poulton were getting less time on the ball and Coppull’s midfield were getting higher up the pitch to support Wilson who had largely been left isolated in the first half. Ten minutes into the half McIver and Marland were introduced for Evans and Hindle in the hope that the changes would result in Coppull getting a second goal. Marland looked lively, beating the left back on numerous occasions however his centres either evaded the other Coppull forwards or were cut out by last ditch tackles from the Poulton backline. Ramshaw was then replaced by Jordan Parker and he could be happy with his first start in the blue and white. JP slotted in well straight away, winning his fair share of headers and tackles and switching the ball every chance he could.
Coppull’s second and winning goal came from great work by Bulcock who could have had two good shouts for a penalty before shooting against a Poulton defender. The ball rebounded to McIver who hit a left footed shot in off the post to send the Coppull support into raptures. 2-1 to the home side.
Coppull were to have their mettle tested as captain and centre half Dave Parker had to come off injured with 12 minutes left on the clock. Bibby came on at left back with Ben Morris going to centre half and Cam Murphy replacing Conor Whittaker at right back to sure up the defence. Both players came on and were defensively sound helping to see the game out with minimal fuss. The referee’s final whistle saw Coppull triumph 2-1 and it was a real squad effort, with all the players showing great effort, work rate and discipline to come away with three points against a very talented Poulton side.
Man of the match: Matty Bulcock