Clinical Coton conquer Romans
Midland League, Division Two
Alcester Town 2 (Malley 50 pen, Nesbitt 65)
Coton Green 5 (Hayden 27, Wynne-Wilson 34, Smikle 38, Ellis 80, Barrow 87)
Report by Craig Gibbons
ALCESTER Town's return to Midland League Division Two action after a month's break ended in defeat, as Coton Green ran out comfortable winners at the Stratford Road Ground.
Having not played since the 2-1 defeat to Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons on 8th February, the Romans inevitably lacked that sharpness all over the pitch.
That being said, though, they started the brighter of the two sides, with Karl King seeing a sixth-minute header hitting the side-netting before the unmarked Made Walley could only head over from Dave Wilson's corner 13 minutes later.
After a shaky start, the Fazeley-based visitors eventually settled into their rhythm and only a goal-line clearance prevented Nathan Boyce from breaking the deadlock immediately up the other end.
Coton continued to pile forward in the blustery conditions and they came close once again to taking the lead in the 26th minute when Ryan Pace's volley was superbly tipped behind by Dan Handley.
But the visitors were not to be denied and when the Town defence failed to clear their lines from Pace's corner a minute later, Boyce crept in round the back before squaring to Kyle Hayden, who stabbed the ball into the far corner from close range.
Seven minutes later it was 2-0 when a raking pass from Demitrius Smikle landed at the feet of Eddie Wynne-Wilson on the far side, who then cut inside and curled a superb strike into the top right-hand corner from 25 yards out, leaving Handley completely rooted to his spot.
And before the Romans even had chance to settle down again, they found themselves 3-0 behind seven minutes before half-time when Smikle's audacious 35-yard volley flew into the back of the net with the help of the inside of the post.
Clearly frustrated in the manner of the first half display from his side, whatever boss Shaun Edwards had said at half-time worked a treat, as the Romans looked more in control after the interval.
And five minutes after the restart they were awarded a penalty after Malley was tripped over in the area by Boyce.
Malley dusted himself off to take the spot-kick and he duly obliged from 12 yards out, calmly sending Coton goalkeeper Liam Hodgen the wrong way and slotting the ball into the bottom corner with ease.
Coton did not look as assured on the ball as they did in the first half and with 25 minutes to go their lead was reduced to just one goal when Kieran Nesbitt poked home at the back post following Callum Powell's flick-on from Wilson's corner.
The Romans, sensing they could salvage something from the game after a disastrous first half, continued to pile forward and only the woodwork prevented them from getting back on level terms in the 78th minute, with King's header cannoning off the crossbar and away from danger.
But any hopes of Edwards's side claiming an unlikely point were dashed ten minutes from time when Hayden got in behind the Romans defence and crossed to Curvin Ellis, whose first-time shot looped over Handley and into the back of the net.
And seven minutes later the visitors sealed the three points and their ninth straight victory when substitute Sheikh Barrow slotted into an empty net after good work by Hayden to round Handley and square to his strike partner.
ALCESTER: Dan Handley, George Davis, Sam Hawker, Dave Wilson, Keown Elliott, Karl King, Wade Malley, Joseph Drake-Cervantes, Kieran Nesbitt (Max Coton 81), Kaine French (Jamie Smith 76), Callum Powell. Unused sub: James Keller.
COTON: Liam Hodgen, Matt Hill, Richard Hopkins, Ryan Pace, Leighton McMenemy, Nathan Boyce, Michael Wright (Paul Bonar 69), Eddie Wynne-Wilson, Curvin Ellis, Kyle Hayden, Demitrius Smikle (Sheikh Barrow 81).