Red and Blacks fight back to sink well-drilled Coventrians

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FOOTBALL

Total Motion Midland League, Division Three
Alcester Town 2-1 Coventrians
Report by Craig Gibbons

ALCESTER Town battled back from a goal down to secure a hard-fought 2-1 victory over a resilient Coventrians outfit to further boost their Midland League Division Three promotion hopes.

The Red and Blacks were not at the races in the first half and fell behind in the 33rd minute when Josh Dixon’s deflected effort wrong-footed Luis Sone and nestled into his opposite corner.

However, the hosts managed to claw themselves level just before half-time when Matt Magee’s corner was glanced home by Lewis Cosgrove.

After the break Matt Seeley’s and Richard Briggs’ men missed a number of key chances to take the lead, but their persistence eventually told 20 minutes from time when Lewis Clarke was on hand to head in from another Magee corner to seal the three points.

The three points did not like they would be forthcoming for the Red and Blacks on their first-half showing as they struggled to compete with a well-worked Coventrians outfit.

Chances were few and far between, but the visitors had the better of the opportunities, with Ally Hassan a whisker away from finding the top corner in the 26th minute after Town’s defence failed to deal with a long throw.

Seven minutes later the visitors had their deserved goal when Dixon was allowed to dance his way into the box before unleashing a powerful right-footed effort which deflected off a Town defender, wrongfooting Sone, and settling into the net.

Despite not being at their best, the hosts managed to haul themselves level two minutes before the break when Cosgrove got ahead of his marker from Magee’s corner to deftly glance the ball beyond Coventrians goalkeeper James Connolly and into the far corner.

The goal proved to be the turning point at the Stratford Road Ground as the Red and Blacks came out for the second period with renewed confidence and pegged the visitors back for large parts of the half.

Unlike the opening 45 minutes, chances were in abundance for Town after the break and it seemed a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal would deny them any chance of coming away with the three points.

Lewis Marston and Ollie Gibson dragged respective efforts wide of the mark while Daniel Carter forced a smart save out of Connolly at his near post just past the hour mark.

Alcester’s luck seemed to have run out with 20 minutes to go when Cosgrove’s header from Magee’s corner was blocked on the line by Lee Wilkins.

However, from the resulting corner the hosts finally got the goal they craved.

Magee delivered the goods once more towards the near post where Lewis Clarke was primed and ready to guide the ball into the far corner, just beyond the outstretched leg of Wilkins on the post.

While Coventrians struggled to get into the second half, they were given a golden chance to get back on level terms going into the final 15 minutes when they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Town area, but Blake Arthur could only smash the effort high and wide of the mark.

Carter then came close to putting the Red and Blacks out of sight with 83 minutes on the clock, but his powerful effort was tipped onto the post by an inspired Connolly.

The missed chance did not matter, though, as Alcester held on to claim a huge three points ahead of a run of three games in seven days against Inkberrow, Coventry Plumbing and title rivals AFC Solihull, who surprisingly lost 7-2 away at Continental Star today, Saturday.