Ravens Narrowly Defeated by Canaries
A late Brady Hickey header separated the evenly matched Coalville and Barwell in a game of missed chances for the Ravens.
Coalville were defeated for a third time this season by local rivals Barwell. Points and position wise, the game had little riding on it, and this was on display as neither side were at their best. The Ravens had a few good opportunities to get on the scoresheet but the lack of a cutting edge and decision making meant Coalville left Kirkby Road empty handed.
Coalville made two changes from Saturday’s 3-3 home draw against Skelmersdale, with Luke Foster and Alex Dean replacing Anton Brown and Malachi Lavelle-Moore.
The Ravens got off to a promising start with Massiah McDonald immediately testing the handling of Liam Castle as the Barwell stopper was on hand to catch McDonald’s goalward cross.
The first shot of the game came from the hosts as Callum Ball chested the ball down to Alex Tomkinson on the edge of the area, only for the midfielder to slice his effort over the bar.
Coalville continued their positive play as Nathan Watson’s high pressing allowed him to nick the ball from Dec Towers in the Barwell box, but his drilled cross was cleared by the hosts, with Rory Coleman and Steve Towers prowling.
The visitors had the first clear sight of goal in the 24th minute, Steve Towers hooked a pass through to Kyle Bryant in the area, who shot wide of the right post whilst under pressure.
Minutes later, Barwell responded with their own chance, but Lee Hildreth could only muster a weak effort from just outside the box, which was easily gathered by Coton at a second attempt.
As the first half wore on, chances became few and far between, both sides were equally wasteful in possession and resulted to efforts from outside the area in an attempt to break the deadlock. McDonald tried his luck from range in the 39th minute as he worked some space before arrowing a low shot into the gloves of Castle.
McDonald remained at the centre of the action just before the break as he sprayed a pass out to Watson on the left, who cut in on his right foot before dragging his shot wide.
The first half ended as a dull affair, however the beginning of the second period was anything but as chances arose for either sides immediately. In the 47th minute a quick throw from Nathan Watson sent Massiah McDonald through on goal, the striker did well to shrug off Craig Stanley but his side footed shot was blocked by the onrushing Castle.
3 minutes later, Luke Barlone picked up the ball inside the Coalville box, twisted and turned before curling his effort over. This was swiftly followed by another opportunity for Barlone as he gathered a loose ball on the edge of the area before darting into the box and rolling his shot onto the base of the right post.
It was then Coalville’s turn to hit the woodwork in the 56th minute as McDonald and Watson combined again. McDonald laid a pass off to Watson just outside the box and the Ravens’ winger struck a fierce first time shot against the crossbar, bouncing on the line and back into play.
Coalville again threatened the Barwell goal but again failed to convert as Alex Dean burst into the area and had his near post effort kept out.
Rory Coleman was on hand to prevent a certain goal in the 70th minute as he hacked away Brady Hickey’s goal bound effort on the line following a free kick.
It was the home side’s turn to push for a break through as Tomkinson had a header deflected narrowly wide of the post before Hickey spooned over from inside the 6-yard box after the resulting corner.
The Canaries then made their pressure pay in the 78th minute as Hickey rose to head Nigel Julien’s lofted cross into the bottom right corner, with Matt Coton able to get a touch, but not enough to prevent an opening goal.
There was one final big chance for the Ravens in the 86th minute as Nathan Watson broke into the box but could only fire straight at the keeper from a tight angle.
As Coalville pushed for an equaliser, Barwell threatened on the break and almost doubled their advantage, as Ryan Baldwin won the ball high up the field before passing to Barlone who couldn’t find the target with his rushed effort.
The result meant a third defeat to the same opposition this season, but there remains a chance for redemption for the Ravens as they face their local rivals on the 23rd of May at the King Power Stadium for the Leicestershire Challenge Cup final.