Whitehaven FC 2 vs Coppull United FC 2 - Saturday 2ND October 2021
West Lancashire Premier Division
Coppull United FC travelled to their furthest away game of the season looking to build on their recent good run of form and bring three points back with them on the bus journey home.
Coppull started with Joe Leather in goal, a back 4 of Cam Culshaw, Dave Parker, Jack Wright and Conor Whitaker. It was Jonty Mattock, Jordan Bentham and Nathan Bibby in central midfield and they were flanked by Jimmy McIver on the right and Ben Morris on the left. Up top was Nat Lindley. The substitutes bench contained Alessio Degrassi, Jimmy Hamer and Callum Sheehan.
Coppull began adapting well to the artificial pitch and knocked the ball around really well and looked very threatening with Nat Lindley leading the line very well. Whitehaven came into the game more as the half wore on hitting the post with a header and forcing Joe Leather into a good save on a couple of occasions. It was to be Coppull who broke the deadlock however. Whitehaven were warned when Lindley struck the post from 25 yards with a left footed effort before a great team move resulted in right back Cam Culshaw lofting a great pass into Jonty Mattock’s path before he took one touch and calmly slotted the ball past the on-rushing keeper. Half time and Coppull led 1-0.
The second half started with Coppull close to doubling their lead. Morris got down the left-hand side and squared a great ball across the face of goal to McIver who failed to hit the target, blazing the ball over the bar. Ultimately this came back to haunt Coppull as Whitehaven equalised off a right-wing corner and a header evaded everyone before Bibby attempted to clear it off the line, with the referee saying all the ball had crossed over the goal line and awarding the goal. Coppull responded by introducing Degrassi for Morris and the change had an immediate impact. Bibby found Bentham with a pass in field and he in turn slotted a delicious through ball to the on-rushing Degrassi who found the corner of the net with his first touch.
Coppull could have, and should have increased their lead when Lindley took three men on and forced a save out of the Whitehaven number 1, only to palm the ball up in the air for a seemingly straight forward tap in for the on-coming Mattock and his second of the game however he inexplicably missed the ball and the Whitehaven defenders managed to clear the danger. Lindley then went on another mazy run and was upended on the edge of the penalty area and what looked increasingly like a penalty only for the referee to award a free kick on the edge of the area, which Bibby hit over the bar. Coppull paid the ultimate price for not converting their chances and it was not without some controversy. The ball was played out to the Whitehaven left and the full back mis-controlled the ball and allowed it to run out of play, only for the Whitehaven linesman to not agree and allow play on even though everyone else thought differently. The full back crossed the ball and it was met first time by the Whitehaven striker to make it 2-2 and give both teams a share of the spoils.
The game ended on a bit of a sour note due to the controversial equaliser with manager Mark Hine receiving a yellow card and Ben Morris being sent off for words said to the official.