Coalville’s First Home Game Ends in Narrow Defeat
A first half Jordan Archer strike was enough to condemn the Ravens to a second successive defeat.
Coalville failed to bounce back from their opening day defeat away to Farsley as they were beaten by a strong Stourbridge side, who only just missed out on promotion last term, losing 1-0 to Spennymoor in the NPL Play-off final following a 3rd place finish.
Tommy Brookbanks made two changes from Saturday’s loss, with Jermain Hollis, Ruben Derosiers and Joe Pegg coming into the fray in place of Alex Dean, Lee Torr and Dean Freeman.
After a tepid opening exchange, it was the away side that produced the first effort, Connor Gater found space on the edge of the box before seeing his driven shot comfortably parried by Matt Coton.
As the minutes ticked by, Stourbridge slowly began to crank up the pressure on the Ravens and they were rewarded in the 13th minute as the referee pointed to the spot after home debutant Ruben Derosiers brought down Jordan Archer in the box.
It was Archer who took the spot-kick, dusting himself down before tamely side footing his effort towards goal, resulting in an easy save for Coton low to his right.
The penalty acted as a wakeup call for Coalville, who responded with a chance of their own in the 15th minute. Joe Pegg dribbled down the left wing before cutting inside and curling a shot towards the top corner which was pawed away by Matthew Gould.
However, just a minute later Archer redeemed himself for the Glassboys as he opened the scoring. Coton managed to save his initial effort after the striker beat the offside trap, but he emphatically buried the rebound into an unguarded net.
Archer continued to cause problems for the Raven’s defence as in the 18th minute he was allowed a free header in the area, but the ball drifted into the grateful hands of Coton.
Blair Anderson almost found a spectacular equaliser in the 22nd minute as his in swinging wide free-kick cracked the bar.
As the match approached the half hour point Coalville produced a flurry of chances, with the Glassboys looking fragile.
There were headed chances for Steve Towers and Nathan Watson in quick succession on 30 minutes. Aris Christophorou beat Towers to the ball after Tom McGlinchey’s whipped cross before Watson headed wide after finding himself unmarked in the area following a corner, with the Ravens’ winger seemingly surprised the opposing keeper was unable to clear the ball.
There was however no excuse for Watson’s miss five minutes later as Anderson found him in the centre with a pin-point cross following a jinking run before Watson dragged his left foot shot wide from eight yards.
Towers kept the hosts in it minutes before half time, clearing Danny O’Callaghan’s bouncing goal bound effort off the line in the 41st minute.
After another tame start to a half, McGlinchey looked to liven the game up, skipping past two defenders before fizzing a shot into Gould’s grateful gloves.
The visitors had an equally presentable chance four minutes later, but Gater blazed his 20-yard effort over after Coalville failed to clear.
Ollie Bassett and Alex Dean were introduced on the hour mark in an attempt to give the Ravens fresh impetus, and it worked to an extent, with both Bassett and Dean showing flashes of promise, but ultimately the final ball was lacking.
Stourbridge substitute Leon Broadhurst almost doubled the visitors’ lead after 74 minutes, but he was denied by a crucial block from Derosiers after rounding Coton.
The Glassboys again went close in the latter stages as O’Callaghan headed against the crossbar before Archer failed to connect with the rebound from 5 yards.
As the game entered its closing stages, Coalville were in desperate need of a goal, yet a lack of urgency and quality in the final third as well as being tentative on the ball meant the Ravens failed to find that elusive equaliser.