Doveridge 2 Coach Rangers 4

Wednesday 18th July 2012
Doveridge 2 Coach Rangers 4
Summer League Cup Semi Final
At: Rose & Crown Ground, Boylestone
Kick-off: 7-30 pm
Admission: £2; Programme: none
Weather: heavy rain during first-half, then dry second-half
Attendance: 40 (headcount)
Duration (45): first-half: 45:03; second-half: 46:40

Coach Rangers will face old rivals Bradley in the Summer League Cup Final a week on Saturday after surviving a stiff test from a battling Doveridge side. Goals from Callum Woolley and Jimmy Carter gave John Scott’s side a seemingly comfortable lead in the heavy rain but Doveridge responded through Kev Gadsby and Pat Taylor either side of the interval. Extra time looked a distinct possibility until Mark Maznenko and Dave Shipley scored late winning goals for Coach.

There was a complete contrast in weather during the afternoon between Stafford (blue sky and sunshine) and Uttoxeter (rain during the 16:20 race seen on Attheraces). Indeed, I left sunshine behind me, swapping it for rain, thunder and lightning over south-west Derbyshire. On Facebook, there was no news about postponements of tonight’s two League Cup semi finals though doubts about this one at Boylestone.

Arriving at the pub car park around the same time as the match officials, I was cheered by a positive 7 pm inspection though not by the rain!

The Rose & Crown ground is the second-most southerly Summer League venue (Doveridge being the most southerly). A gate opposite the pub led up to the pitch which slopes from side to side. My only previous visit to the ground was in June 2009 when Doveridge defeated Alton 6-3 to reach the Bill Redfern Final. An omen for tonight perhaps especially as it rained that evening as well?

In terms of the league table, this tie was third (Doveridge; 30 points from 17 games) versus fifth (Coach; 27 points from 10 games).

Coach (in pink shirts, black shorts and black socks) got them game underway in the rain attacking the pub end in the first half but soon lost possession. Doveridge got forward and, with just 24 seconds played, Pat Taylor fired wide of the near-left post.

Callum Woolley has been in fine scoring form this season and he gave Coach a 5th minute lead in controversial circumstances. Matt Hackett, on the left, supplied that pass that Woolley fired past Doveridge goalkeeper Shane Hodgkinson, amid shouts for offside. The goal stood following a chat between the referee and his assistant Chris Cope.

Doveridge responded and Mike Jones fired a 20-yard free-kick into the arms of Simon Wint. Coach received another let off in the 8th minute. Ben Atherton broke down the right and crossed low into the area where unmarked Taylor couldn’t keep his shot down.

Arguably against the run of play, Coach doubled their lead on the quarter hour. Mark Maznenko crossed from the left and captain Jimmy Carter headed home.

Hodgkinson produced a diving save to turn round a low shot from Ian Godfrey which prevented Coach from further extending their advantage.

Midway through the half, the diving Wint parried a shot from Ed White but couldn’t stop Doveridge halving the deficit in the 33rd minute. Stuart Hall delivered a perfect free-kick into the area where unchallenged Kev Gadsby headed home.

Thanks are due to the Doveridge bench for putting numbers and providing missing first names to the line-up I’d taken from the team card. Also, thanks as always to Coach manager John Scott for filling in the odd gap I had in the Coach line-up.

I think I got all the main first-half scoring opportunities recorded – the seemingly continuous heavy rain didn’t make note-taking easy and my aging so-called waterproof coat didn’t turn out to be that waterproof! My woes were nothing to those encountered by those on the field playing on a very wet pitch in the heavy rain.

Thankfully, the rain had eased by the start of the second half and Hodgkinson tipped over a rising shot from Carter hit from the left side of the area.

The Doveridge goalkeeper pulled off a remarkable reaction save in the 50th minute to keep out Woolley’s first-time shot from Matt Hackett’s left-wing cross.

“Doveridge, we need to up it,” was the call and they certainly did that. Gadsby saw a shot rebound off the knees of Wint before the equaliser came in the 56th minute. Taylor got on the end of a deep left-wing cross and fired past Wint from a narrow angle.

Game on! The holders were in trouble though they almost regained the lead just after the hour mark. From Ian Godfrey’s corner, Ross Armstrong saw a volley cleared off the line and Dave Shipley fired the resulting loose ball over the bar.

Midway through the half, the battling Taylor fired wide of the right-hand post though assistant Chris Cope spotted a bit of shirt-pulling by a Coach defender. However, Taylor hit the resulting free-kick against the wall.

The pitch denied Woolley a second goal. His low shot beat Hodgekinson but fortunately for Doveridge the ball stopped just short of the line in the waterlogged goalmouth.

With the scores still level, extra-time looked a distinct possibility until Coach regained the lead in the 79th minute. Ian Godfrey saw his initial drive hit the far left-hand post and Mazkenko slotted home the rebound.

Doveridge weren’t finished and won a couple of corners in quick succession. At the other end, Hodgkinson tipped over a rising shot from Carter.

However, a late fourth Coach goal settled the tie when defender Dave Shipley, up for a corner, fired home.

There was still time for Hodgkinson to impress again, this time he stuck out a hand to keep out a shot from Carter.

Doveridge (yellow/blue/blue): 1. Shane Hodgkinson, 16. Mike Jones, 37. Sam Chadfield, 12. Lee Bloor, 7. Stuart Hall, 14. Ben Atherton, 8. Ed White, 4. Danny Chadfield (capt), 18. Charlie Hannibal, 5. Pat Taylor, 10. Kev Gadsby. Subs: 17. James Roobotham (for Hannibal), x. Stuart Hoptroff (not used), 15. Dom Slim (for Thomas, 78), 6. Ian Thomas (for Jones, 49).

Coach Rangers (pink/black/black): 1. Simon Wint, 16. Craig Richardson, 5. Dave Shipley, 6. Paul Godfrey, 9. Ian Godfrey, 15. Jimmy Carter (capt), 14. Mark Maznenko, 12. Ross Armstrong, 8. Tom Donnelly, 2. Callum Woolley, 11. Matt Hackett. Subs: 10. Sean Millward (for Hackett, 74), x. Phil Dawson (not used), x. Sam Howard (not used).

Referee: Jason Glanville.

0-1 Callum Woolley (5)
0-2 Jimmy Carter (15)
1-2 Kev Gadsby (33)
2-2 Pat Taylor (56)
2-3 Mark Maznenko (79)
2-4 Dave Shipley (89)

Doveridge: Ed White (YC, 35)
Coach: none