Thursday, 31 March 2016

ALVIS SPORTING 4-0 EARLSWOOD TOWN: some general images from the evening...


THE BODGING RETURNS TO ALVIS & IS TAKEN ABACK BY THE NEW FLOODLIGHTS...

BUT WHAT AN EVENING...

EX-CAGEMEN TOMMY MAGUIRE (NO RELATION TO ME) & CHARLIE COOK PROTECT A COLLEAGUE DURING THE WARM-UP...

SPRING SUNSHINE PICKS OUT THE NET'S STRIPES...

TWO BUS-STOPS ONSITE TO COPE WITH BIGGER CROWDS...


THIS SCENE IN THE CARIBBEAN WOULD BRING "WOW..." FROM PEOPLE...
SO: "WOW..."

SUNSET BEHIND THE SHELTER...

COOK & MAGUIRE FEEL AT HOME BEHIND A CAGE...

ONE SUBSTITUTE NEEDS A PEE, WHILST CHARLIE COOK ASKS WHAT TIME THE NUMBER 6 BUS IS DUE...

THE ZOO VISITORS HAVE ARRIVED...

ALVIS MANAGER DAMIAN CASSIDY HOPS ALONG DOING THE LAMBETH WALK...

A COVENTRY SUNSET INFUSED WITH YELLOW & SKY BLUE...
COULD WIN THE TURNER PRIZE.

NOW I LIKES THIS ONE...

EVER CAREFUL ABOUT HIS WARDROBE, CHARLIE COOK HAS CHOSEN ORANGE BOOTS TO CLASH WITH PALE BLUE SHORTS & GREEN HI-VIS BIB...

NEVER ONE TO REVEAL FLESH, BAR HANDS & FACE, TOMMY MAGUIRE REALISES THAT THERE IS INDEED SKIN BENEATH HIS GALLIGASKINS...


"CAN WE HAVE THE LIGHTS ON, PLEASE?"

"THANKS FOR THAT..."

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

THE MESSIAH, BRIAN OF COVENTRY, PREACHES TO HIS FOLLOWERS IN HEATH HAYES...

"THERE WILL BE NO RAIN HERE..."
FORECASTS THE MESSIAH...

BRIAN BEGINS TO REALISE THAT JOSH BLAKE IS REALLY A VERY NAUGHTY BOY...

KEEPER OF THE GAULS, RICHARD DE MAURICE, HAS THE BALLS TO FOLLOW BRIAN...



GIFT 'SNAKE-EYES' MUSSA ANSWERS THE CALL TO ALL YEAR 10 STUDENTS:
"GET UP & FOLLOW BRIAN OF COVENTRY..."

MARINO PEIXOTO IS HORRIFIED THAT AS A FOLLOWER OF BRIAN, HE TOO, WILL NEED TO HAVE HIS HEAD SHAVED...

JOSH 'THE BAPTIST' BLAKE PRAYS, IN AN ATTEMPT TO MAKE THE LOST FEEL FOUND & AT HOME...

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

BROMSGROVE SPORTING'S CRAIG JONES REVIEWS HIS TEAM'S 1-0 WIN AT PERSHORE TOWN...

CRAIG IN HIS EVENING-WEAR...




"Monday was a vital game for us, we needed to get back to winning ways and the gaffer stressed the importance of that, as well as returning to being solid defensively. Thankfully we managed to tick both boxes and left Pershore with a hard fought 1-0 win. 

The 1st half we played some great stuff, our midfield 3 were getting on the ball and consistently causing problems, with our front 2 looking lively and Brainy took his early goal really well. We had plenty of the ball and were pretty much camped in their half for the remainder of the first 45, but we couldn't get a 2nd goal. 

We knew they would come out after the break looking to put us under more pressure and fair play to them, that's what they did. I think we defended really well as a team and for all of the pressure, especially late on, they didn't really have any clear cut chances. Chris Jay (the 'keeper) was big and strong for us at the end when he was called upon. 


Maybe because of the results recently and the stage of the season we are at we weren't at our fluid best in the 2nd half and you could sense a bit of nervous energy out there. But we showed great character and togetherness to hold firm and battle it out. 

Again, it's all about results now and it felt good to get back to winning ways and even better to do so with a clean sheet. 


We were backed by our fantastic support in numbers once more, so a massive thanks to all who came to spur us on. This late in the season it really gives the boys an added incentive and an extra 10%..."

CRAIG JONES, SKIPPER & DEFENDER, BROMSGROVE SPORTING FC...

MISSING EDWIN GREAVES...

Missing Edwin Greaves

The presence: 
Ever watchful on the touchline.
Spoke, more than bellowed the word;
The quiet appreciation, the steely gaze,
Often mentally shaken, seldom visibly stirred… 

The essence:
Ever thoughtful in his assessment.
Evoked more than an excitable coach;
The curbed animation, the fiery glare,
Revealed deep perception, a pensive approach…

The insistence:
Ever tactful after the event.
Respectful, never one to grouse;
The silent toleration, the wily smile,
Deceiving the gullible, recriminations kept in-house…

The patience:
Ever truthful about any match.
Disrespectful never, always diplomatic;
The studied deliberation, the selfless style,
Never accusatory, unkind, or erratic…   

The consequence:
Ever mindful of ambition’s curse;
Doleful, resentful, his tenure’s final whistle,
Despite his previous built-upon success,
Arrived in the form of an unexpected dismissal…    

Pete Ray
March 2016

Edwin Greaves. Ex-Coventry United manager...

Calm on the touchline.
Encouraged, didn’t berate.
Feelings kept sheathed.
Honest in his appreciation of events.
Dismissed...


NUNEATON GRIFF 2-2 LEICESTER ROAD: full report by THE MOWDOG...

Griff Grind Out A Result Against Unyielding Leicester Road

Nuneaton Griff 2-2 Leicester Road

The Pingles hosted an intriguing encounter on a pitch which only just passed muster, following Storm Katie. The visitors squandered two acceptable chances early in the game, much to the anger of their manager but deservedly led at the break. More creativity followed half-time by the hosts, often from the boots of Josh Ruff and he netted twice deep into the second period to ensure another victory, surely… However, the guests totally wrecked the party when a late free-kick fell to the left boot of Amarvir Sandhu and his swivel, then half-volleyed rising shot scorched past home goalie George Woodward to give Leicester a deserved point and deny Griff, who must have groaned like curry eaters on lavatories when they learned that Bromsgrove Sporting had held onto a 1-0 lead at Pershore for 77 minutes and had thus split the title race open again. It was pertinent to see sacked Coventry United manager Edwin Greaves in the audience, along with other representatives from the recently rocked United set up…
JOSH RUFF, CONTEMPLATING THE PREVIOUS NIGHT'S SINGING EVENT & A TWO-GOAL BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY...

Griff were infiltrated early on when Leicester striker Matt Stenson ghosted into the penalty-box almost unheeded and lobbed the ball beyond Woodward, but also, to the annoyance of his coaching staff, the right upright too. A foul on Alex Naughton, so close to the edge of the 18 yard box, offered the hosts a chance to shoot but Kyle Baxter’s drive deflected slightly off visiting skipper Greg Downes, which forced goalie Will Highland to go lowland and push the ball away for a corner on the Griff left. Two flag-kicks ensued but the only danger was a shot to Highland by home defender Ash Wilks, which lacked power. Incredibly, the home defence looked porous again as Stenson moved at will into the right side of the penalty-area, only to lob gently and weakly straight into the surprised and relieved Woodward’s midriff. The visiting coaches were even madder…
ASTLEY RUNS AT MUNTON & GAMBLE...

Luke Shorthouse did well to engineer a chance on the break but with Naughton lurking in a central position, the free-scoring striker turned inside and saw his shot deflected for another corner. The flag-kick was cleared but only to home defender Ryan Millerchip, whose shot from 20 yards bounced past the left upright. Downes was at the heart of much of Leicester’s decent play and Leicester’s industry was preventing Griff from forcing the pace, despite the marauding efforts of Baxter. Sandhu was then upended by Danny Harris and the home right-back, who had limped off the pitch during the win against Bromsgrove, was cautioned. Sandhu’s ball-skills are good and he is always likely to draw a foul but soon the wholehearted Leicester right-back Lloyd Gamble, he whose beard has grown a different colour to his tousled hair, committed a foul, but Ruff’s free-kick was headed upwards and over the goal-frame by Naughton.

THE MAN IN THE SHADES DISPLAYS A YELLOW CARD TO HARRIS...
THE FLU FELLS ANTON ASTLEY...

RUFF DOING WHAT HE DOES, MINUS A GUITAR AND A MICROPHONE...

Stenson had shaken off his two early misses and had begun to forage well, so that after Woodward had punched clear a cross, Stenson fed Sandhu on the left and the winger moved forward menacingly, only to slip as he attempted to shoot and the effort was blocked. Gamble was always an outlet for The Road and he put in a terrific shift for his team. He soon headed Downes’ excellent pass across goal from the byeline but into Woodward’s gloves, before suddenly a fortunate bounce set Ruff running towards the left flank for the hosts and from the byeline, his delivery eventually reached Dave Barnett but he skied his shot at goal. The visitors though, plugging away against the wind, finally received their reward and it was Downes, fittingly, who fastened onto the ball and rapped an unerring drive from 20 yards past Woodward and into the bottom right corner of the net. 
DOWNES HAS HIS UP...

0-1...

WOODWARD: NO-ONE TO SYMPATHISE WITH HIM...

Griff, not used to conceding, I believe, looked stunned and a wild and loose boot by Ruff, in a rough challenge, earned him a caution. The Road’s Gamble worked a smart one-two on the right side but his byeline delivery was deflected at Woodward at the near post by a defender and a corner was conceded. This was taken short but Sandhu’s eventual shot was collected by Woodward. Visiting defender Josh Smith and Stenson defended a right-side free-kick by Ruff superbly for The Road and all that remained in a tentative first period, was a long throw from the left by Ruff, which was back-headed at the near upright by Millerchip, only for the ball to drift across the face of goal and drop just beyond the far stick.

The half had been disappointing really, for little creativity, or even excitement had been achieved by either team, with too many long kicks and a number of poor passes littering the match. The early misses seemed certain to haunt The Road but although Griff improved after the break, the stubborn Leicester players remained in the game and even when trailing, they refused to throw in the towel.
OMG! HOW TERRIBLY RARE,
THE BALL IS ONCE MORE IN THE AIR...

SANDHU ON THE RUN...

A Barnett delivery flew across the face of Highland’s goal after the restart but it was Stenson who really threatened for The Road, for neat approach work by Tom McGlinchey and a pass to Gamble, who gambled on a one-two and failed, saw Millerchip slice his clearance upwards. Gamble resumed possession and reached the right byeline between Anton Astley and Mark Williams, squared to where Stenson slid in with Harris but the Griff-man’s challenge was enough to make sure that the ball rolled on for a goal-kick. Highland went low to gather a cross from Barnett, Naughton was cautioned, possibly for complaining, then James Hicks replaced Stenson, whose enthusiasm in attack had been commendable for The Road. And then the referee, in his shades, with hair as silver as mine, looking for all the world like a Mafia enforcer, angered the Nuneaton contingent by not awarding a penalty to the hosts. This would have pleased the official, for his berating of players, like a 1960s sports teacher bellowing at unwilling cross-country runners, appeared to enjoy being unpopular with players and coaches alike.  
DOWNES: EFFECTIVE...

The error by Leicester could have been costly, as Shorthouse clipped a ball through for Naughton to chase but after appearing to push Luke Kingsley-Smith in the back, the ball bounced away from Naughton’s thigh but this only placed him one-on-one, going right, with Highland, who had hesitated. The ‘keeper dived to get a hand on the ball, Naughton fell slightly late, after contact, if any, had been made but the referee waved for play to continue, as Naughton and Highland squared up to each other in a jumble of mean faces, mean words and mean gestures. Kingsley-Smith showed commendable common sense to diffuse the situation, to be fair. If that was a ‘dive’ by Naughton, then he was fortunate to remain on the pitch, due to his earlier caution… The linesman failed to signal a penalty either and he was in a fine position to see. Interesting. I will not comment, for I am still not certain either way… 
KINGSLEY-SMITH BECALMS NAUGHTON...

NO PENALTY, THEN...

Hicks took a long pass, turned at inside-right on the 18 yard line and drove a low shot only just wide of the left upright, as The Road rallied, before brilliant control by Hicks led to support by Gamble but the move was snuffed out by the home defence. Anton Astley, suffering from ‘flu’ was replaced by Ryan Slinn for the hosts and suddenly, from no real danger, Ruff interceded, as The Road’s defence dallied, moved a few steps left and tucked a low 19 yard shot into the bottom right corner of the net and just like that, Griff had regained parity.
SANDHU & BAXTER BATTLE...

RUFF IS CONGRATULATED...

1-1 NOW...

Sam Munton, busy on the Leicester right all afternoon, ballooned a shot, as The Road rallied again, Highland then caught a Barnett cross, following a Baxter pass, with Shorthouse awaiting a goalie’s error which didn’t materialise, then following a corner, Baxter couldn’t quite connect properly as the ball flew towards him just 6 yards out. A fine pass towards the right by Naughton to Barnett ended with a volleyed cross too hard, before a Ruff free-kick was blocked but his second delivery, a right-booted cross was punched upwards by Highland and then caught by the worried ‘keeper as it dropped. Sam Belcher replaced steady home skipper Mark Williams, then the hosts scored what might well have been a deciding goal.

Slinn made the telling assist, slipping a smart pass inside an opponent to Ruff on the left, who simply drove a low, angled, hard drive at goal, which appeared to fly through the evasive actions of Highland at his near post and suddenly the hosts were ahead and rejoicing.
2-1: RUFF FOR NUNEATON...

LOSING NOW: ROUGH FOR LEICESTER...

HIGHLAND: NOT IMPRESSED...

It really seemed that it would be too late for the guests to manage a reply but after a curling McGlinchey corner was tipped over his own crossbar by Woodward, in the dying moments a free-kick was hauled forward by The Road. Millerchip won the ball in the air, it dropped and was challenged for again but it fell to Sandhu, right of centre with his back to goal, 8 yards out and his swift turn and excellent left-booted half-volley soared over Woodward and bulged the roof of the net. 

This was the final meaningful action, bar a Nuneaton corner and two points had been squandered by Griff at the death, although in truth, it would have been cruel on The Road to have lost the game. The Leicester manager’s nerves and temper were close to boiling near the end, as he was embroiled in disputes with Griff players but it all ended calmly.
PARITY: NO REAL CELEBRATIONS AT THE END...

Griff did seem a little off key at times and maybe with a change in defence, didn’t settle quickly enough but with Stenson and McGlinchey eager runners in attack, Leicester were always a danger. Urged on by Downes, the most efficient midfielder on view and supported by Jake Holt, although Baxter was effective for Griff, The Road showed little respect for their hosts, the way it should always be, which meant that the second period was always engaging. Holt, surely inspired by my badger, The Bodging, picked up huge chunks of possession from deep positions for his team, enabling Downes to concentrate more on distribution. Ruff did very well for Nuneaton, although it was sad that Astley had been unwell but the home offense really didn’t click too well for much of the game. Visiting defenders Smith and Callum Riley managed some critical clearances with both heads and feet, with left-back Kingsley-Smith always in a meaty battle with Barnett.

The memory card in my camera malfunctioned near the end of the game, I couldn't find a replacement in my bag and in exasperation, I had to utilise my mobile phone and Amar Sandhu is probably glad that I did, for otherwise, his dramatic equaliser would have been unrecorded on film… I will accept his humble thanks and a strong mug of tea the next time I visit Hinckley to watch The Road play… 
AMARVIR SANDHU: NO DOUBT PLEASED I CAPTURED HIS GOAL ON VIDEO...

Me? Drove back to Solihull glad that I’d seen the match, stayed dry and had been really kindly welcomed by the Nuneaton staff, for which I thank them all heartily… Fish pie in the evening. Nice too…

TEAMS:

NUNEATON GRIFF:
George Woodward, Danny Harris, Anton Astley, Ash Wilks, Ryan Millerchip, Mark Williams (Capt), Dave Barnett, Kyle Baxter, Luke Shorthouse, Alex Naughton, Josh Ruff.
SUBS:
Ryan Slinn, Nic Gilks, Mitch Piggon, Sam Belcher, Charlie Reardon.

LEICESTER ROAD:
Will Highland, Lloyd Gamble, Luke Kingsley-Smith, Jake Holt, Josh Smith, Callum Riley, Sam Munton, Greg Downes (Capt), Matt Stenson, Tom McGlinchey, Amarvir Sandhu.
SUBS:
Jack Harrison, Alex Kent, James Hicks, Ken Hughes. 


   

COVENTRY UNITED'S JOSH O'GRADY COMMENTS ON HIS TEAM'S 2-1 LOSS @ HEATH HAYES...

JOSH, EDWIN & PHYSIO' SARAH @ HEATH HAYES...


"Travelling away to Heath Hayes, we knew it was going to a tight game, as they have a strong defensive record and are in good form of late. 

First-half, I felt we controlled the game and from a Ben Vallance 20 yard drive, we took a deserved early lead. Heath Hayes never really looked like scoring for the remainder of the half and with Cov creating a couple more good chances, United looked like the only winner. 

Second-half however, that changed with Heath Hayes posing much more of an attacking threat We were always going to need a second goal and unfortunately it didn't come. From a dubious free kick decision, Heath Hayes drew level. 

Shortly afterwards the sucker punch of a second goal arrived and gave the home side the 3 points, leaving us very disappointed. 

Obviously in light of this result, manager Edwin Greaves has since departed from the football club and I'd just like to wish him all the best for the future. 

With Terry Anderson taking control, hopefully our results will now pick up in our remaining fixtures, as we look too seal promotion..."

Josh O'Grady, injured Coventry United winger...

Monday, 28 March 2016

COVENTRY UNITED COACH HARRY BARNES REVIEWS THE 2-2 DRAW BETWEEN NUNEATON GRIFF & LEICESTER ROAD...

HARRY BARNES...


"Before my comments about today's game between Nuneaton Griff and Leicester Road, I'd just like to publicly thank Edwin Greaves, the outgoing Coventry United manager for everything he's done for me and wish him the best of luck for the future.

I came to Pingles today after our game was called off with the pitch looking more like Coventry Swimming Baths than a football pitch. It was obvious what I, as well as the others representing Coventry United wanted from today's game: Nuneaton to drop points.

Leicester Road started surprisingly fast, and within 3 or 4 minutes had forged two unbelievable chances to take a 1-0 lead, but the first was sliced a mile wide and the second was a tap into the 'keeper's hands. Nuneaton were lucky not to be behind very early on, chasing the game, as a lot of teams would have buried those two chances.

Nuneaton had the majority of the possession in the first-half but didn't create any genuine chances to score, and this was later punished by Leicester Road's number 8 whose goal was thumped into the 'keeper's left hand corner. 

Players that stood out in the first-half for good reasons were Amarvir Sandhu and Will Highland for Leicester Road. 

Amarvir was giving the Bromsgrove right-back a horrible time, and caused him to pick up an early yellow card, making him play cautiously for the remainder of the game. His first touch was a bit dodgy for a lot of today but I'll let him off...

Will Highland is a goalkeeper that I've been a fan of since we first began to play Leicester Road last season. He's passionate, he's confident and he never stops communicating with his defence. 

Second-half, Leicester Road again started the better but didn't take their chances, and after a denied penalty shout (which from where I was looked a dive) they finally found a goal from a defensive error by the Leicester Road left-back.

Nuneaton took the lead with another Leicester Road error from number 7 on the half-way line and it looked like game over... Until Amarvir Sandhu rocketed a left-footer into the roof of the net just before injury-time.

To sum it up from my point of view, this was a very different Nuneaton Griff to the one I saw demolish Bromsgrove last week, and also a different one that made it difficult for us in a 1-0 win there earlier in the season. 

Leicester Road definitely deserved something out of the game and I imagine they'll feel hard done by without 3 points, but the fact that Nuneaton forced a point and almost 3 out of the game despite under-performing is the stuff title winners are made of, and that's why they're one of 3 teams in this very interesting title race.

Look forward to seeing Nuneaton again soon!"


Harry Barnes, Coventry United first team coach, inspiration, role model & uncle to the young Coventry United midfielder, Gift Mussa... 



LEICESTER ROAD'S AMARVIR SANDHU & GREG DOWNES COMMENT ON THE 2-2 DRAW @ NUNEATON GRIFF...

AMARVIR SANDHU TODAY...


"My thoughts on the game are that I'm disappointed with the result and performance of our team because we have a lot more in our lockers. 

However, to come away to play on a poor pitch against a top of the league side and earn a point, I guess I cant really argue. 

I don't think either team created many chances, both defended well during the 90 minutes and it really come down to whoever wanted it more..."


Amarvir Sandhu, winger, Leicester Road...  




GREG DOWNES, TODAY...




"My view on today's game is that it was a good contest between two good sides. It wasn't the best of games between the two teams, as the conditions affected that. 


I'm disappointed with the end result, considering we went ahead but we showed good determination to get the equaliser. If you gift good teams half a chance then they punish you and unfortunately for us that was the case today. 

It was great to see a good attendance at today's game, a good fixture for the Easter period. 

Good luck to Griff for their title push..."



Greg Downes, skipper & midfielder, Leicester Road...