Doveridge 1 Coach Rangers 7

Thursday 11th August 2011
Doveridge 1 Coach Rangers 7
Summer League
At: Doveridge Village Club Ground
Kick-off: 7-00 pm
Admission: none; Programme: none
Attendance: 50 (headcount)
Weather: cloudy
Duration (40): first-half: 40:03; second-half: 40:29

Coach Rangers are the 2011 Summer League Champions!

John Scott’s side recorded an emphatic 7-1 victory at Doveridge to retain the crown, two points clear of Bradley, after the two top Summer League sides took the title race to the final evening.

Going into the 26th and last programme of fixtures, Coach Rangers (67 points from 25 games) were in the driving seat and knew that a win would see them win the league and a draw would be good enough provided Bradley (65 points from 25 games) didn’t beat Holly Bush by nine clear goals.

As it turned out Bradley defeated Holly Bush 9-0 at Mappleton but that impressive performance was all in vein because of Coach’s win.

The village of Doveridge is most southerly Summer League club, being just off the A50 a few miles east of Uttoxeter. The ground on Sand Lane was next to the Village Hall.

Just like my previous visit to the Recreation Ground in 2008, Doveridge again provided potential reporting nightmare by wearing sky blue shirts without numbers. This time round I was indebted to a club official who provided the line-up in formation order and helped me with identify the substitutes.

Doveridge (wearing sky blue shirts, navy blue shorts and navy blue socks) got the game underway defending the village hall end and attacking up the slope.

Coach (in yellow shirts, black shorts and socks) almost took a second minute lead. Richard Smith hit the bar and saw his follow-up effort cleared off the line.

Soon John Scott’s nerves were eased a touch when the league leader went ahead in the 8th minute. Sam Howard hit a rising left-foot shot over the outstretched arm of Doveridge keeper Shane Hodgkinson into the roof of the net.

A perfect start got even better four minutes later with a second Coach goal. Howard turned provided with a perfect left-wing cross which Richard Smith headed into the bottom left corner (pictured right).

Not satisfied, Scott urged his side to “step it up a bit” and soon Dec Bacon flicked the ball over the advancing Hodgkinson only to see the ball rebound off the left-hand post. Sean Millward then saw another effort acrobatically cleared off the line.

Half-time became a lot more relaxed after Coach added a vital third goal just before the break. Kevin Millward, on the right, sent a cross-sum-shot looping over the bespectacled Hodgkinson and dropped into the far side of the net.

At 3-0 up, surely the title was Coach’s but, over at Mappleton, Bradley were well on the way to scoring the nine they needed with six first-half goals without reply against Holly Bush.

Now attacking up the slope, Coach wasted no time at all in putting the outcome well and truly beyond doubt with two quick goals.

Hodgkinson, who impressed me with an efficient performance in goal, left his line but failed to deal with a long ball down the middle. James Carter nipped in to send the ball into an unguarded net.

In the next attack, the keeper produced a fine save to keep out Martyn Taylor’s header but his heroics couldn’t prevent a fifth goal scored in the 46th minute. Richard Smith got in a close range header which Hodgkinson couldn’t prevent crossing the line. At 5-0, it really didn’t matter anymore what was happening at Mappleton.

But Doveridge got themselves on the scoresheet with a 51st minute consolation goal. Sean Oldham sent a back header over Sean Jones who had strayed a few yards too many off his line.

Coach quickly restored their five goal advantage. Sean Millward got on the end of Josh Sears’ diagonal forward ball to fire home at close range.

Hodgkinson again excelled with a couple of further decent saves, particularly to keep out a near post flick from Mark Maznenko.

Howard wrapped up the scoring with ten minutes remaining with a delightful curling shot into the far right corner of the net.

Doveridge (sky blue / navy blue / navy blue): Shane Hodgkinson, Andy Coultas, Clem Mellor, Jim Rowbotham, Stuart Hall, Sam Chadfield, Mick Skellern, Dan Chadfield, Stuart Hoptroft, Kev Gadsby, Sean Oldham. Subs: Tom Sherratt (for Hall, 54), Ben Reay (for Coultas, 67).

Coach Rangers (yellow/black/black): 13. Sean Jones, 4. Martyn Taylor, 6. Paul Godfrey, 5. Richard Smith, 16. Craig Richardson, 8. Ian Godfrey, 9. Dec Bacon (capt), 7. Kevin Millward, 11. Sam Howard, 15. James Carter, 10. Sean Millward. Subs: 3. Dan Frith (for Dec Bacon, 54), 14. Josh Sears (for Carter, 51), 17. Mark Maznenko (for Kevin Millward, 54), x. Darren Handley (not used).

Referee: Jason Glanville.

0-1 Sam Howard (8)
0-2 Richard Smith (12)
0-3 Levin Millward (39)
0-4 James Carter (43)
0-5 Richard Smith (46)
1-5 Sean Oldham (51)
1-6 Sean Millward (53)
1-7 Sam Howard (70)