City v Sutton C'field

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Saturday 23rd September 2000: Meadow Park

  CITY vs. Sutton Coldfield  

Dr Martens League Western Division


City's Team

City were on a real high coming into this match having dumped league leaders Evesham out of the FA Cup. Unsurprisingly Cally only tinkered with his side, with the only significant change seeing Jimmy Cox come in up front with Rawlins dropped to the bench. 

City came charging out of the blocks from the start, with Sutton Coldfield grateful to survive the opening few minutes. A blistering shot from Tucks went narrowly wide, then the searing pace of Jimmy Cox undid the Brummie defence, only for him to leave the ball behind him at the crucial point and his shot was scuffed into the keeper.

The opening goal was only slightly delayed though. A Sutton attack floundered in midfield as Chennas broke up the play and came away with the ball. He sent Cox free down the right, and Cox for once got his head up to spot Johnstone belting through in side him. Having received the ball at pace Kacey then set himself and fired the ball high to the keeper's left from 25 yards. Three in four games not a bad goal haul from right-back.

City continued to look in control without perhaps creating the clear chances they would have liked. Tucker had a good shout for a penalty turned down having been seemingly pushed while challenging for a Chennas corner. Chennas was also at the heart of a move which saw Bayliss nudge the ball just wide after a good run and cross from the left. Just when City looked to be coasting to the break Sutton Coldfield nipped an equaliser against the run of play. City's defence were guilty of napping to allow a run straight through them, and although Hines blocked the first shot he could not get to Mitchell's follow-up.

City then seemingly were caught unawares by a Sutton side that had found a new spirit by that pre-break tonic. The Gloucester defence were slow to respond to the threat, with Dicks' frantic gestures meeting with blank looks. Hunt was booked for a full blooded challenge that felled a Sutton player somewhat needlessly in midfield. We had one let off as a good chance was skied, but the visitors nabbed the lead on 67 minutes when Ferguson volleyed in a deep cross.

City hadn't been totally dormant through this phase of the game, but Cox was once again doing damage with his charging runs but frustratingly not delivering end product in terms of crosses or shots. Tucks had also seen a long drive whistle into the T-End. However it was only the appearance of Matt Rawlins off the subs bench that really fired the City rockets.

City began to play some excellent football with Tucker and Rawlins interlinking well down the right. It was one such moment which sent Rawlins on a run into the box. He'd seemed to run into a dead end, but Bayliss took on the loose ball and showed great determination to make the by-line and send over a tempting cross. Rawlins had recovered to meet the ball at the near post and nod in a glancing header from close range.

Brummie tempers were beginning to fray and an off the ball incident led to a full melee just outside the City penalty box. It was difficult to see who had started the incident, but by the end several players on both sides could be considered lucky not to have found themselves in deep trouble. as it was the referee made a gesture of booking one Sutton player and City keeper Ally Hines who'd come further than most to throw his punch and join in the fun. 

The T-End as always enjoyed the extra bit of entertainment and were in vocal form as City were pushing forward and playing some really good football. The third came again from good play from all three forwards, and again Rawlins was able to skip past one tackle and hold off another challenge to put over a low cross met with a neat volley by Cox

City's joy was short lived though as once again our rocky defence proved our Achilles heel. A hopeful high ball was allowed to split the defence, and the hapless Moore made a clumsy challenge and tug in the box to leave the ref with little option but to give a penalty converted by Degan. The closing minutes saw more agony as City could still have grabbed the winner. First sub Meadows wasted a free header from six yards after good work from Tucks and Cox, and then Wayne Thorne saw his driven shot smack off the post and roll across the goal line tantalisingly beyond the lunges of both Baylo and Rawlins.

Ultimately this was a match in which City managed to snatch despair from the open arms of victory. To be anywhere near the top we have to begin winning at home, and to do that we either need to bag even more goals or find a plug for the goal drain of our back line.

Hines D3-3
Johnstone Half-time
Dicks 1-1
Hunt Att.
Moore 323
Thorne (c)  City Scorers
Johnstone(12) Rawlins(70)
Cox (77)
Chenoweth Bookings
Cox Hunt
Bayliss Position
Marshall 8th

Rawlins (for Johnstone, 65)  DDWWWD
Meadows (for Chenoweth, 80) Report
Steadman (for Moore, 87) t-towel

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