Coalville Sweep Aside Leicester Road To Reach Semis
The Ravens booked a semi-final place in the Leicestershire Challenge Cup with a convincing four-goal performance against Leicester Road.
There was only one winner from the off in take two of Coalville’s meeting with Leicester Road in the quarter finals, with the game this time being completed following the abandonment of the fixture due to fog in December – when the Ravens were 2-0 up at the break.
Two changes were made from the side that triumphed 4-2 over Sutton Coldfield at the weekend, with James Carvell and Alex Dean replacing Lee Torr and Alex Howes, prompting a re-shuffle at the back which saw Kyle Bryant play at centre back and Jermain Hollis at right back.
Coalville, who defeated Leicester Nirvana 6-1 in the previous round – also at the Mander Cruickshank Stadium – began proceedings on top, with numerous chances carved out in the first few minutes.
Daniel Creaney had a snapshot blocked on the edge of the area before he collected the ball and fed Carvell, whose dangerous cut back was patted away by the keeper. Moments later, Steve Towers had a crack from 20 yards, with his strike skimming narrowly wide of the left post.
The hosts put themselves in control just two minutes later as they broke at pace following a Leicester corner. Tom McGlinchey received a pass from Carvell before sliding through Nathan Watson, who calmly rounded the keeper and slotted home with his left foot.
The sixth minute opener didn’t quite open the floodgates, but prised them open just enough to allow a steady trickle of chances. Dean caused problems for Jack Harrison on the right wing, terrorising the full back with tricks and bursts of pace, however lacking an end product.
In the 17th minute the Coalville wide man attacked the space on the right before firing a low cross into Watson, narrowly evading his teammate and eventually hacked clear by Jarred Acton.
Dean then found himself in the opposite situation after Matthew Coton’s long clearance found Watson, who picked out Carvell, with the tricky winger’s cross finding Dean in space, however he completely misjudged the shot, blazing his effort high and wide from a good position.
After 25 minutes, Cleveland Taylor thought he’d try his luck from distance after he was allowed space. The left back worked the ball onto his right foot before forcing a good save from Will Highland with a stinging strike.
Coalville found a slightly fortuitous second just two minutes later, but a second that the Ravens deserved. McGlinchey showed some quick feet to tiptoe his way through a congested penalty area before the ball fell to Creaney, who scuffed his shot. His effort was hooked away by Highland, but the ball struck the back of Harrison and trickled into his own net.
The visitors, who currently sit second in the Midland League Division One, were unlucky not to pull at least one back after embarking on their best spell of the game at the half hour mark. Coton was first called into action when he had to get down smartly to stop Jetmir Esso’s low deflected strike.
The Coalville keeper was then left helpless when Nuno Gomes burst through the Ravens rear guard, fortunately the Knitters forward lashed his effort wide.
Jake Holt had a 25 yard free kick deflect inches wide and Acton was denied by a point blank block following the resulting corner as pressure on Coalville’s goal continued to mount.
Then, somewhat against the run of play, Coalville put the contest firmly out of sight. A desertion of his centre back position from Kyle Bryant payed off as he roamed forward and punished the visitors’ lack of closing down, unleashing an optimistic effort from 30 yards which took a deflection off Greg Downes before looping over the keeper, with Highland belittled by the cruel deflection.
Leicester were out of the traps quickly in the second period, pulling a goal back and restoring a slither of hope in the 47th minute. Acton whipped in an inch perfect cross, which Downes managed to get on the end of, tapping the ball home from five yards.
It then seemed to be a tale of blocks for much of the second half. First, McGlinchey’s effort from just inside the area was blocked after a Dean cutback before Towers had a stooping header hacked off the line just a minute later.
The trend then continued as Dean found Carvell in space 10 yards out, with his shot blocked from point blank range.
Creaney was then extremely unlucky not to add to the score line on 81 minutes as he was first denied by an Acton intervention before his follow up was smothered by the keeper.
However, despite these missed chances, Creaney made no mistake in the 86th minute as he rounded off the scoring in style. Creaney cut in from the left wing before finding the overlapping Taylor with a backheel, the full back then retained the ball for a few seconds before playing the return pass to Creaney, who cut in on his right and rifled the ball into the top right corner.
The goal was just the icing on what was a very professional and quality filled cake, ensuring the Ravens’ name is in the hat for Thursday’s semi-final draw.
Coalville’s next task sees them visit Hednesford on Saturday, where they will look to replicate a similar performance to the one that saw them defeat the Pitmen 5-2 in September.