The ravens are in town

Coalville is an industrial town in the district of North West Leicestershire with a population of about 35,000.

Coal-mining came to an end in Coalville during the 1980s. Six collieries closed in and around the town in an eight-year period from 1983 to 1991, resulting in about five thousand being made redundant. In October 2016, Amazon opened its biggest fulfilment Centre in the UK in Coalville. Reportedly occupying an area equivalent to 19 football pitches, the centre employs hundreds of citizens in the Leicestershire region and is operational twenty four hours a day.

The town's football team plays in the seventh tier of English football - in the Southern Premier League Central, which is one of the four leagues which make up tier seven.  Clubs from the four leagues are competing to gain promotion to the National League North or South.  The Ravens are thus one level below Dartford, Welling and Ebbsfleet and are playing against clubs equivalent to Enfield, Cray Wanderers and Herne Bay. They are currently in fifth place with a game in hand but are ten points behind league leaders Tamworth. Last season they came close to promotion - losing in the play-offs to Peterborough Sports. Former Accrington striker Billy Kee was playing for the Ravens that day but he missed two penalties. 

Saturday's fixture will be Coalville's fifth FA cup tie already this season. They started slowly and needed a replay back in early September to see off Shepshed Dynamo. They advanced through the next two rounds with home wins against Macclesfield and AFC Sudbury and were subsequently drawn away to National League leaders, Notts County in the fourth qualifying round. In front of a crowd of over 5,000 at Meadow Lane, they took the lead on two occasions but were twice pegged back before finally prevailing 2-3 courtesy of Tom McGlinchey's second goal of the game in the eighty-sixth minute. In terms of league positions this was equivalent to Portsmouth winning at Arsenal.

The tie at The Valley has aroused considerable interest in the town and, despite the train strike, the club have already sold 1600 tickets which is more than their average home gate.

We are likely to see some of our bigger names held back with players like Connor McGrandles, Jack Payne, Richard Chin and Aaron Henry making the starting line-up as they did on Tuesday evening. Jake Forster-Caskey will probably have another rare outing. Despite not fielding our strongest side we would expect to advance as we did in previous years against Truro and Havant & Waterlooville and to be comfortably in the hat for the second round draw. Our pursuit of the quadruple will continue....................


Charlton fans might be interested in this Guardian article about life-long Charlton fan Jake Eggleton who will be playing in central defence for Coalville on Saturday: