ALVECHURCH exited the Midland Football League Premier Division League Cup at the first competitive stage as hosts Coleshill Town prevailed 3-1 on Tuesday to move into the last eight.
A disappointing night for the visitors was capped in stoppage time when man of the match Michael McGrath was sent off and Alvechurch will now look to make a quick response on Saturday when they return to Midland Football League Premier Division action at Rocester.
A couple of defensive lapses gave the home side a 2-0 lead, albeit helped by a baffling refereeing penalty decision that took ages to be made, after consultation with an assistant who had signalled for a corner.
Simon Cobourne squandered a fine chance to put the hosts ahead midway through the first half when he fired wide from close range and Coleshill could have been made to pay soon afterwards when Aaron Roberts’ cross was put into the net by Dale Evans, but the referee correctly ruled the latter had used his hand to do so.
The visitors were left to rue missing a golden chance in the 33rd minute when McGrath’s deflected shot ballooned into the path of Daniel Williams at the far post, but the Church winger made a poor connection that failed to divert the ball on target.
There was controversy towards the end of the first half when the referee, after lengthy discussion with an assistant, decided to award a penalty rather than a corner and Shane Benjamin converted the spot kick to put the hosts ahead.
Coleshill extended their lead on the hour mark, somewhat against the run of play, and as in the previous game against Coventry Sphinx it was the Church defence once again being more charitable than they should.
Jesse Race’s failure to clear his lines on the edge of the area allowed Danny Tymon to capitalise and latch on to the blocked clearance before making no mistake from 12 yards.
Alvechurch boss Lee Adams brought on substitute striker Andy Nicol and he proved an unsettling presence for the home defence, whilst Dimitri Dunkley’s replacement of the lively Edwards on 68 minutes again injected life into a Church side still in the game.
This was certainly the case on 71 minutes when Dunkley drew a foul as he tracked into and across the box and the referee blew for the second penalty of the game. Joe Adams stepped up and confidently converted to bring the deficit back to one.
The final quarter of the match produced some end to end football but it was the hosts who secured victory in stoppage time when the impressive Benjamin set up Conal Powell and, although visiting keeper Dan Platt made a smart initial save, the Coleshill substitute was first to the loose ball to lash it into the unguarded net from 18 yards.
McGrath then saw red, literally, when disputing the award of a corner and the referee showed him the red card.
Mid-table Alvechurch, who saw Saturday’s home game against Westfields postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, are also in action on Tuesday when they travel to Stourport Swifts.
Report compiled courtesy of www.pitchero.com/clubs/alvechurch.