Euxton Villa F.C 3 - Coppull United F.C 0 –Saturday 10th October 2020
A local derby, 1st vs 2nd and two teams who had started the season really well – all the ingredients for a great game of football. These games are normally feisty, closely contested affairs with neither side giving an inch however today was not going to be one of those days. Euxton were first to the ball, won every second ball, were more ruthless in front of goal and ultimately were well deserving of the three points and the local bragging rights.
Coppull started the game with the same back 5 as the previous week against Tempest with Liam Higginbotham in net and a back four of Conor Whitaker, Jonny Hawman and Dave Parker at centre half and Ben Morris at left. In front of that Mikey Hindle and Scott Hamill where in the midfield engine room alongside Aaron Evans with Jimmy McIver and Martin Kershaw out wide supporting Jordan Wilson up front. The substitute’s bench consisted of Jonty Mattock, Jack Ramshaw, Nathan Bibby and Matty Bulcock. Danny Marland was missing from the matchday squad as he was away.
The Euxton pitch was in immaculate condition (especially considering the deluge of rain we have had this week) and the game began with both sides looking to impose their dominance on the game. Chances were at a premium as both defences managed to deal with what was being thrown at them. Coppull had a couple of early sighters with Aaron Evans breaking through the defence however the covering Darr managed to get back to provide a last ditch block on the shot. Euxton began to grow into the game and Galliers had a shot that was just over the bar following good work from Bibby on the byline and this would serve as a warning shot for what was to come. Five minutes before half time, a long ball from Euxton was mis-judged at the back by Hawman allowing Billington to run through and lob the ball over the stranded Higginbotham. A Coppull corner shortly after went all the way through and seemed to strike Dave Parker in the face right in front of goal before Euxton managed to scramble the ball away. 1-0 to Euxton and the question at half time would be how would Coppull react to going behind in a game for the first time this season?
Coppull began the second half with renewed vigour and started to push forward especially with the pace and trickery of Bulcock who had replaced the injured Kershaw. Just as it looked like Coppull were pushing for an equaliser they were sucker punched into a well taken Euxton second goal. Another long ball from Euxton found the Coppull defence wanting however not taking anything away from the goal, Ian Billington got his and Euxton’s second of the game with an extremely well taken half-volley which beat Higginbotham. In all truth Coppull never really recovered from this set back and it really took the wind out of their sails. Coppull reacted with making changes to try and inject some new impetus in the game Jonty Mattock came on for Aaron Evans, Nathan Bibby came on for Whittaker who was on a yellow card and was carrying an injury and then finally Ramshaw replaced Ben Morris, who also pulled up with an injury.
A chance to half the deficit came and went as Bulcock broke through however his left footed shot was just wide of the post. The same player did well on the left hand side and beat his man however his shot was straight at the Euxton keeper. Euxton managed to put the final nail in the Coppull coffin with a measured pass that found Billington in the area before he was upended in the area by Hamill and the referee correctly awarding a penalty. Galliers stepped up and despatched the penalty with Higginbotham getting a hand to it but not enough to keep it out.
The referee brought an end to proceedings shortly after this and Coppull could have no complaints about bring beaten by the local rivals. Hopefully this will be a wakeup call and everyone will bounce back stronger next week.
Man of the match: Aaron Evans