1 v 1
A third successive home draw in testing conditions left the Bucks disappointed and their followers discouraged, with visitors Coalville Town claiming a point that should have been well out of their reach.
The Bucks also lost Matty Stenson to injury after just 18 minutes of the contest, although he had already made a positive impact by heading Kevin Wilkin’s side in front after just 10 minutes.
Stenson for Reece Styche was the only change to Wilkin’s starting XI from the side that were held goalless by Leiston 10 days earlier, as the Bucks sought more scoring power. Kyle Storer, like Stenson another new signing from Nuneaton Borough, had to watch from the stands, his registration tied up in red tape around the status of his former club.
The Bucks hit their stride sooner than the visiting Ravens, and Stenson opened the scoring with a guileful header to keeper Paul White’s right-hand side from a ball into the 18-yard box from the right.
Only a minute later, Stenson was injured in a tackle with defender Ash Carter, with Stenson kicking the underside of his boot and being wounded by his studs. After five minutes or so on the touchline with physio Beth Lewis, it was clear Stenson couldn’t continue, and Styche took his place alongside Montel Gibson.
The two forwards, who have been a little diffident in front of goal, appeared to have received the signal that Stenson posed not only a threat to the visitors’ goal but also to their place in the side. Their link-up play was slicker than of late, and both had chances to extend the lead.
Styche’s initially couldn’t fully control an Ellis Myles cross, but it worked to his advantage and he worked a close-range shooting chance that White blocked with his body. A minute later White was to deny Gibson, who turned away from a defender to his left and bore down on goal, only for White to block again as Gibson tried to slip the ball underneath him.
Ellis Brown also tested White from distance after good work from Sam Whittall, but the door remained shut and in the second half the Bucks were made to rue those misses.
Both sides appeared to find it easier to play into the wind, rather than with it at their backs, and as Storm Jocelyn strengthened, so did Coalville.
Ashley Chambers didn’t make the most of a couple of well-worked opportunities, and Brandon Hall, who had largely been a spectator, saved well to deny Tim Berridge when he was slipped into space on the right of the box.
Leroy Lita, recently a teammate of Stenson and Storer at Nuneaton, was introduced from the bench but it was another substitute, Terrell Pennant, who levelled the scores in the 76th minute. The skilful left-winger had shown his threat and when the Bucks stood off him in the penalty area, he found a precise, low finish across Hall, netting off the inside of the far post.
Match Date: January 23rd, 2024 7:45 pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Central
Kick Off: 19:45
Venue: New Bucks Head
Referee: Keiran Forrest
Assistant 1: Jonathan Price
Assistant 2: Aaron Ford
Official 4: n/a