Coventry United FC 2-0 Wednesfield FC

FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round – 24/09/2016

Coventry United faced Wednesfield FC with expectations high against a team below them in the regional leagues that make up the Midland Football League pyramid. Taking nothing for granted, manager Terry Anderson fielded a strong side, and one which would ultimately take them onto the First Round proper in the tournament.

A young Wednesfield team never lacked determination or energy on the day, but for all their gusto could not find a way past United. Instead the home team fought hard to carve out decent opportunities throughout the match, with opposing goalkeeper Ben Holden keeping his team in the tie on at least two occasions.

Kai Williams shot wide early on for United, before Holden saved bravely at the feet of oncoming home striker Ben Mackey. Further pressure from the hosts finally paid dividends half way to the interval with some great link up play between Kevin Thornton and Mykel Beckley on the right wing presenting an opportunity for Mackey. The forward received the the ball at his feet in the 18 yard box with his back to goal and his marker tight to him, before using his strength to turn and finish powerfully with his left foot.

United could not really translate their possession into many chances with Wednesfield working tirelessly to close them down at every opportunity. Their hard work almost reaping the ultimate reward just before half time with a shot just wide of the target.

The start of the second half saw a player cautioned from either side before United’s resulting free kick saw a Thornton cross headed over the bar by Mackey from close range when it looked easier to score. More pressure came from the hosts and eventually saw what proved to be the winner after Mackey missed another close range effort and keeper Holden tipped a long range effort wide. Josh O’Grady, who was introduced as sub in the 69th minute wasted no time imposing himself on the tie. His corner picked out Chris Cox for a trademark header powered home from about 14 yards out.

As the match drew towards a close Beckley drilled a Thornton through ball onto the far post. Anderson brought Gift Mussa on with 10 minutes to go to protect the lead and see United safely through to an away tie at division rivals Long Eaton United on Saturday 22nd October.

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