Friday, 31 July 2015
Wednesday, 29 July 2015
|Bromsgrove striker Joe Jakab wonders whether manager Smudger Smith is trying to tell him something...|
|The famous old Bromsgrove grandstand...|
|On a night like this...|
Resolute Rouslers Penalise Industrious Coleshill…
Bromsgrove Sporting 2-1 Coleshill Town
|There has to be a church image, just to please the Bromsgrove officials...|
|Great view for The Bodging...|
Quite obviously with players missing from both teams on the night and Bromsgrove having no goalkeeper at all and being forced to use striker Joe Jakab between the sticks, little can be taken as a measure of how things are going in pre-season for both teams. Last season I noticed Jakab leaping about between the sticks during half-time warm-ups, so I wasn’t surprised to see him inside a green jersey and wearing gloves on the night. I was surprised at how little he was forced to do however, as Town’s forwards, even when menacing, failed to look anything like lethal. Striker Danico Johnson was more dangerous after the interval but resolute defending by Craig Jones and the mean, motivated, mauling Rousler, Aaron Roberts, whose forehead-to-forehead disagreement with Town’s Luke Barlone was one of the highlights of the game, kept Sporting in the match. A late and rather debatable penalty decision decided the outcome of the game but in truth, few goalscoring opportunities were created, with both number 11s, Reece Hewitt for Bromsgrove and Dean Rathbone for Coleshill, usually at the heart of their teams’ better offensive moves. Persistence by Luke Dugmore opened the scoring for the hosts, a fine shot by Johnson regained parity for Coleshill and then Hewitt’s low penalty settled the affair late on.
|Let's hope the Coleshill skipper doesn't shake the hand of the Sporting skipper...|
|Someone forgot to have a pee...|
Smudger will not be happy...
|Coleshill are playing on, er, GRASS...|
After recent rain and unseasonal winds, the evening was actually quite pleasant with some attractive skies but after an opening few moments of possession by Coleshill, Bromsgrove nearly scored, when a clipped, angled effort from the right by John Pykett was clawed to safety by Town ‘keeper Billy Spink. Sean Brain slammed another effort too high for Sporting and the only offering by Town was a header by Barlone from a right-side corner, which drifted over the left angle of bar and post. Then Roberts tackled Barlone with all the venom of a lynx preying on a wildebeest; Barlone retaliated and lots of words could be heard, like “Frock…” and “Busted…” and both men rubbed foreheads like they were engaging in some sort of ritualistic ceremony. The referee kept a distance at first but Pykett separated the pair. English football at its best… Spink was in real trouble from a Rousler free-kick and John Myrie’s aerial challenge led to Luke Corbett swivelling for a shot but Gio Dainty hacked the ball clear, only for Brain to fire the rebound into side-netting from an angle. A poor Dugmore corner was cleared quickly by the guests and Barlone moved forward but with Johnson looking the likely recipient of a pass, the ball was squared to Rathbone instead and his drive was way too high. Another break by the visitors was spoilt too, after Johnson’s rush forward led to a weak Barlone shot but Bromsgrove went closer when Aaron Williams fed Brain well, but the speedy striker drove the ball from inside-right across the goalmouth and wide.
|The bored Joe Jakab...|
|This human art form could well win the Turner Prize this year...|
Hewitt though was the architect of the first goal, by intercepting and making an incisive run to the right byeline, from whence his low cross almost knocked Corbett over, like Sooty had put a spell on him but Dugmore fastened onto the ball, saw his first shot blocked by Dainty, his second by Spink, then with Dainty falling not very daintily onto the goal-line like an outfielder attempting to prevent a cover-drive crossing the boundary for a 4, Dugmore buried his third effort.
|...& it's 1-0 to Bromsgrove...|
After a loose and wayward Dugmore volley and a closer effort by Myrie had both risen too high, Coleshill appeared to shake themselves from their predicament and first, following a foul by Jones on Johnson, Rathbone struck a fine free-kick just past the left angle of bar and upright, then another attack failed at the death, when Johnson got clear on the right but struck his low centre too hard and finally, after calls from the home bench to keep the ball for the final minute of the half, they, er, didn’t and Jones’ pass was intercepted, although Coleshill demonstrated how not to take advantage with an almighty cock-up in the Bromsgrove defensive zone, involving Rathbone, Johnson, Barlone and Akieil Grier. Half-time was whistled and Roberts’ dad chatted to me, explaining that his son had been a little irritated on occasions during his career so far…
|Johnson, background, wonders why goalie Jakab has fallen down like a straw house...|
|The Man in the Moon was in the cloud, er, crowd...|
|The track-suit is the wrong size and the player's name is, er, Fitter...|
Substitutes would make the second period typically confusing and patternless, but certainly, Coleshill began the half strongly and most of that was due to Rathbone’s ability on the ball, Grier’s busy play and of course, Johnson’s dangerous runs. Bromsgrove, now playing up the slope, were pressed back and looked to break with Brain’s pace and after Williams hacked a scary cross from the lively right-back Leon Weller from his goal-line, Brain soon sprinted clear when his defence cleared a corner but smart defending by the chasing Weller, led to a poke to his goalie. Jakab fielded a shot from Dainty, Johnson’s angled feed was deflected for another corner and soon, Johnson fastened onto the ball at inside-left and drove in a 20 yard effort which actually looked like it had bounced wide but in fact, it had beaten Jakab’s dive and entered the net at the left upright. 1-1 and Coleshill were ascendant.
|1-1 & Johnson has equalised...|
Oddly, though, both sides traded efforts at goal, as replacements halted the flow even more, which was no doubt very acceptable to the hosts, for the tall Town midfielder Thom Weale dipped a decent free-kick just too high, then Corbett’s fine volley from skipper Brendan Kelly’s deep left-side delivery flew not too far off target, before a fine left-wing run by Town replacement 12 ended with a good block in front of goal by Jones. And then the hosts were gifted their winner. Substitute Chris Conway, who I last saw play for Southam on a wet Sunday morning recently against Droitwich, made ground on the right, pushed a pass inside for fellow replacement Ollie Gibson and it really did seem like Town skipper Danny Douglas had tackled the winger but Gibson fell like he was dropping onto a trampoline for the first time and the official awarded a dubious penalty. Hewitt struck a firm spot-kick into the bottom left corner of the net and it was 2-1.
|Hewitt has netted a penalty...|
With Myrie having driven his team on, Bromsgrove continued to hold firm and Hewitt made one clever run to the left byeline, only to be denied by a good block at his near post by competitive defender Evans. Jakab fielded another easy shot, from 14 this time and it only remained for Sporting to please their manager by creating two late chances, although Town’s 14 was a slight thorn for Williams, Kelly, Jones and Roberts to contend with near the end. First, Roberts headed a right-side corner downwards but with no real pace and Spink fell left to gather, then Dugmore, always a busy bee, struck a good free-kick from 28 yards, inside-left, and the ball curled close round the far stick.
The game over, dusk had settled coolly over the stadium, the car-park attendant, who always chats to me, waved as he readied his motor-cycle and I drove home for a jam sandwich. And a bowl of Weetabix. No change there, then…
Joe Jakab, Aaron Roberts, Brendan Kelly, Simon Fitter, Craig Jones, Luke Corbett, Ollie Gibson, Aaron Williams, Sean Brain, James McConnell, Reece Hewitt, John Pykett, John Myrie, ? Fleming, Joe Adams, Luke Dugmore, Chris Conway. (ALSO PRESENT but recovering from sleepless holidays: Sam Wills, James McKeon…)
Billy Spink, Leon Weller, Tom Gidding, Rob Evans, Danny Douglas, Akieil Grier, Thom Weale, Gio Dainty, Luke Barlone, Danico Johnson, Dean Rathbone.
(ALSO unnamed substitutes…)