Southport Hesketh FC 1 - Coppull United FC 5 –Saturday 26 TH September 2020
Coppull United faced yet another way trip, this time to Southport Hesketh who have been notoriously tough opposition for Coppull United over the years. On the back of three consecutive draws, Coppull were looking to put their first win of the season on the board and they would have to do it without suspended Skipper Dave Parker.
Coppull started the game with stand in Captain Liam Higginbotham in net, a back four of Conor Whitaker, Jonny Hawman with Ben Morris moving across to centre half and young Nathan Bibby at left back. In front of that, it what the same as what started against Fulwood the week previous, with Jonty, Hamill and Aaron Evans centrally with Danny Marland and Jimmy McIver supporting Jordan Wilson in attack. An unbelievably strong substitute’s bench consisted of Mikey Hindle, Matty Bulcock, Jack Ramshaw, Jordan Parker and Martin Kershaw.
The game got under way it was Southport who started the brighter of the two. A couple of shaky moments in the Coppull defence resulted in Liam Higginbotham being called
upon to make two decent saves. Coppull slowly began to grow into the game and chances came and went for both Jordan Wilson and Danny Marland. Great work by McIver on the left resulted in the ball going behind for a corner which resulted in the first goal of the game. Scott Hamill’s delivery was poor by his own high standards however it was only half cleared to the edge of the area where Hamill redeemed himself with a wonder strike right into the far corner of the goal to make it 1 nil Coppull. The game was still very much in the balance with both teams attacking and looking to stamp their authority on the game. Just before half time chaos in the Southport box resulted in the ball being cleared to Hamill again who’s shot from distance was deflected goalwards by Marland to make it 2 nil and give Coppull a comfortable lead going into the half time break.
The Coppull management demanded better from the team who had yet to really get out of second gear and reminded them of previous weeks where they had thrown strong winning positions away against Thornton, Lytham and Fulwood.
The second half began much better from a Coppull point of view, the midfield was well on top of their Southport counterparts and any long balls being played forward were being dealt with by the Coppull backline. Good interplay in the middle between Hamill and Jonty released Marland on the right of the area who turned his man inside out before being upended by the Southport defender resulting in a penalty to Coppull. Scott Hamill stepped up and despatched the penalty with aplomb. 3 nil Coppull and this signalled the chance for fresh legs with Hindle, Bulcock and Kershaw coming on to replace Mciver, Jonty and Marland. The introduction of new blood into the team only helped to step up the level of Coppull’s performance. They were knocking the ball around with renewed impetus. Bibby and Kershaw looked to link up at every opportunity, Hindle was his usual box to box self and Bulcock added real pace and trickery on the right. The fourth goal came from sheer industry and persistence from Aaron Evans who bulldozed his way through the Southport defence before cooly side footing the ball under the Southport keeper with his left foot. More changes where then made for the last 25 minutes with Jordan Parker and Jack Ramshaw replacing Hamill and Evans and both were immediately involved in the action. JP was getting on the ball and dictating play, switching it from side to side and his this was complimented with the industry and simplicity of Ramshaw who covers every blade of grass.
Coppull had the ball in the net following a Jordan Parker free kick which was headed home by Hawman however the linesman gave a dubious off side decision. This was followed by the best football move of the game involving Matty Bulcock and Jordan Wilson. Bulcock worked hard to win the ball back on his own byline from a Southport forward before beating three men and finding Wilson who immediately returned the ball into Bulcock’s path. Unfortunately Bulcock’s final cross into the box was played just ahead of Wilson who would have deserved a goal following another great performance leading the line. The fifth goal did eventually come when those two combined once again. Hindle fed Wilson who was in a slightly deeper position, he in turn looked up and found Bulcock in acres of space on the right with a great ball into his path before taking the ball round the Southport keeper and sliding the ball home into the open net!
With four minutes left on the clock Coppull’s five star performance was slightly tarnished by a Southport consolation goal. The ball was fed down the Southport left and the forward hit the ball expertly just inside the far post first time from just inside the box. Alas no first clean sheet of the season for Higginbotham and his defence! Not to be too critical though the first victory of the season was well deserved and all the squad worked hard to get the result and the first win of the season. On to next week and a tough game away (yet again) to Tempest!
Man of the match (as chosen by Southport Hesketh): Scott Hamill
Goal scorers: Scott Hamill x2, Danny Marland, Aaron Evans and Matty Bulcock