Leaders make the most of Cole red to ease past Town

Ciaran Houston evades a challenge. Pictures: Morris Troughton
Ciaran Houston evades a challenge. Pictures: Morris Troughton
  • Coventry Alliance Premier
  • AEI Rugby 5 Whitnash Town 1

Ten-man Whitnash lost ground on the Coventry Alliance Premier Division leaders after an afternoon to forget at Rugby Road.

Whitnash bossed the opening stages and were denied in the eighth minute when a trademark Craig Watkin free-kick was pushed around a post by Sabour in the Rugby goal. The resulting corner found Josh Cole who was unable to direct his towering header on target.

Danny Nelson celebrates breaking the deadlock.

Danny Nelson celebrates breaking the deadlock.

Constant Whitnash pressure resulted in another corner on the left from Watkin which found Danny Nelson at the back post. He neatly controlled the ball with his left foot and smashed it home with his right to put the visitors into a deserved lead.

Nelson could only fire straight at Sabour after again being picked out by Watkin and Town were delivered a sucker punch in the 25th minute when Josh Goodwin’s cross from the left-hand flank evaded everyone and nestled in the far corner of the net. There was worse to follow five minutes later when a miskick from Whitnash keeper Harry Dipper went straight to home number nine Lee Vince who made no mistake to give his side an undeserved lead.

Whitnash responded well and Callum Bell and Josh Cole combined well down the right to carve out another opportunity that was smartly saved.

Town forced three corners in quick succession and from the third Richard Powell thought he had pulled his side level when rifling into the top corner from ten yards but his effort was ruled out for offside.

Harry Dipper made a smart double save immediately after the restart before Whitnash created another gilt-edged opportunity which James Footman fired wastefully over.

Sabour then produced a fine parry to deny Ciaran Houson and Powell lost control with the goal at his mercy.

A frenzied five minutes then swung the match decisively the hosts’ way.

A long punt upfield was not dealt with by Whitnash and Vince capitalised to put AEI Rugby 3-1 up.

Straight from the restart, Tom Shanley produced some clever footwork and found Cole ten yards out whose snapshot hit the post.

In the 72nd minute another Shanley cross found Powell but he powered a header over from 12 yards out.

A foul on Callum Bell 30 yards out from goal then resulted in a melee which saw Cole dismissed despite the Town player appearing to have been the victim of a headbutt rather than the perpetrator.

With Whitnash down to ten men, the reigning champions scored twice in the final ten minutes to give the scoreline a flattering look.

Town travel to Coventry Copsewood on Saturday (2.15pm).

Whitnash Reserves got back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory at Kenilworth SSC and remain second in Division Four.