Kenilworth Wardens' title challenge brought to an end by Coventry Colliery
By James Smith
27th Feb 2023 | Football
Kenilworth Wardens' hopes of Coventry Alliance Premier glory this season were effectively ended as they slumped to defeat at Coventry Colliery.
Hit by a string of injuries and missing key players through unavailability, the Kenilworth outfit lined up with a bare 11 with new new signing Scott Pearson making his debut as well as Charlie Waters and Adam Hnat being promoted from the reserves.
Despite the makeshift line-up Wardens had the first opening of the game, with James Butler winning the ball up high, driving into the box, but his shot went inches par the post.
In an even first half with minimal chances Colliery got into good positions in the wide areas, which were either well defended by Wardens or shots were directly straight at Andy Whitehouse in the visitors' goal.
Jacob Ashpool came closest to opening the scoring for Colliery with a header from a corner which went narrowly wide.
Wardens came close also with a Patterson header narrowly wide from an Eamonn Richards corner - Richards also hitting the post directly from a corner and Waters having a goalbound shot blocked.
On the 44th minute Colliery took the lead. A corner broke down and was recycled to the right hand side. The initial cross was blocked by Matt Legg, however the second was drifted to the back post with an unmarked Ashpool scoring his first goal for Colliery from four yards out.
Colliery doubled their lead on 55 minutes. After a midfield battle, a stray elbow caught James Brewitt in the face. But the ball was played out wide and then pulled back to Tim Cooper, now unmarked due to Brewitts' head injury, to simply finish from 12 yards out.
Stan Moss went close for Kenilworth, with his left footed effort narrowly missing the post while Brewitt also saw a goal bound shot blocked.
And on 80 minutes Wardens pulled a goal back. After good work from Scott Patterson and Waters down the right, Patterson crossed to Hnat who passed into the corner of the net from 15 yards out.
While the visitors could not find a second to salvage the game, player-manager Richards said he could not criticise his side.
"I'm really proud of the lads who played today, everyone put in 100 per cent for 90 minutes and followed the tactically instructions to the best of their ability," he said.
"I think we were slightly unlucky not to get anything from the game.
"But honestly, having 16 players unavailable is unprecedented. Today we essentially just lacked quality.
"We're in a bad moment currently. Next week, better availability, will be better."