Church Fail to Put Title To Bed At Closest Rivals
Church failed in their bid to wrestle the title from Coleshill's grasp on their own patch, but with three games to go it's still in their own hands.
The champagne is still on ice as Church gain failed to get a result on the plastic, and so must now look to the Easter Monday clash with bogey side Boldmere as the step up to the title.
For the second year running, Church failed to show of their best on the Pack Meadow plastic, and two goals from Rathbone half way through the second half broke the deadlock and Church’s resolve, when a share of the points would effectively have signalled success all but for a calamitous collapse in the final three league games of the season.
First chance for the home side on 11 saw a dipping shot from Rathbone come back off Evans, and Weale’s follow up effort was blocked for a corner.
Church’s first opening came on 17 when a good trap, turn and shot from Deards from 20 yards forced keeper Hathaway into a save low to his right.
A big penalty shout for Church on 24 when Edmunds went down in the area under challenge from a defender who had been tugging away at him for yards. The unimpressed referee eventually cautioned the Church man for dissent, but there seemed to be more of a case for a spot kick than the officials gave any credit for.
Half chances followed for Church with Deards having a shot at the far post blocked by Hathaway, and on the half hour a good break from Church culminated in Dubidat making space for himself in the D before firing over with a good sight of goal.
A miss for the home side on 53 was the closet yet as a scramble in the Church box resulted in the loose ball falling to Beckley unmarked at the far post, but the Coleshill front man screwed his effort across the face of the goal and wide of the far post.
And then a good chance for Church when Deards threaded the ball through for Edmunds, but his first time shot flew just wide of the foot of the post and the stalemate was preserved.
But not for long, as the deadlock was broken with an opening goal for the home side. A far post header, tipped onto the bar by Evans, and Rathbone followed up to stab the ball in from close range.
And it got worse three minutes later as the ball was pinged to then edge of the Church box, and as it was laid off to Rathbone he had the simple task of stroking the ball through a crowd of players and low into the corner of Evans’ goal, with Winwood lying prostrate in the Church box.
Church huffed and puffed to get back into the game, but there was little sign that they would do so, and it was down to Evans to deny Rathbone his hat-trick on 85 with a smart one handed save after a quick break from the home side as Church pressed for a foothold in the game.
But another case of “not meant to be”, and at least it gives Church a chance to land the title on home soil (grass) in just two days’ time.