Sunday, 23 August 2015

My Fourth 15/16 Game - Walsall vs Coventry City

  Looking at our first four games, who would have thought that Walsall would be the biggest test of the lot. We came into the game top of the league, and the Saddlers were third, it was a match that could go either way with both teams having great starts from what was predicted before the season began. I was fairly optimistic but knew that we couldn't underestimate them as they are this high for a reason.

 We began with some bad news, James Maddison went off injured after about 3 minutes and on came Jacob Murphy, he obviously came on a lot earlier than he originally anticipated so it took him a while to get into the game, I don't know if this sub shook us up at all but we just looked scared to even touch them. Roughly 10 minutes in, Murphy had a golden opportunity to put the Sky Blues 1-0 up which he squandered and the Keeper saved with ease.

  Sitting on the front row at a smaller ground means that you have a closer view of the players and their actions in the game, meaning I got a closer look at the right side in the first half, especially the right side of then defence, Sam Ricketts and Jordan Willis. Ricketts is a big guy, so being beaten in the air by the Walsall attack isn't something you want to see. Willis also didn't look comfortable heading it away or attacking for that matter. Lameires looked bright and had the ball in the opposition half on a couple of occasions but wasn't able to do anything with it.

 Credit where credits due, Walsall were good defensively and looked bright in the midfield, but with respect, we should have done a lot better. We just looked off and uninterested for the entire game, around 35-40 minutes in, I was hoping that we could just hold out until half time so Tony Mowbray could give them some words of encouragement and inspire the team to victory, but that wasn't to be. Andrew Forde I believe was played through on goal and slotted past Burge into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Walsall going into half time.

 We came back out for the second half looking the same as we did going in, nothing seemed to be happening for the sky blues. a long shot from god knows who was parried straight to someone in the box by Lee Burge who smashed into an open net to put the Sky Blues 2-0 down. Just a few minutes later we had a corner which was played short and a 1-2 back to Jacob Murphy left him 25 yard out, just outside the box, he bolted it past the flying hand of the Walsall goalkeeper to give the Sky Blues a glimmer of hope in the game.

 The next 5 minutes belonged to the Sky Blues, however from here on in there were some controversial refereeing moments, in the Walsall box we had a stone-wall penalty decision for hand ball turned down, the referee got in the way of a slow moving pass which he could easily move back from to dodge when we were on the attack. Finally when Murphy was pulled down halfway in the opposition half and a free kick was awarded to Walsall, not even for diving! Now blaming the referee gets you labelled as bitter so I won't do that but I think that penalty decision might have changed the game.

 This was how the game ended, it was a poor performance all around, we didn't look the same side that defeated Wigan, Millwall and Crewe. The boys have a lot of work to do for the next game. Obviously it is disappointing to no longer have neither an unbeaten record or be top of the league. Third place isn't bad and I would have definitely taken 9 points from 12 in the first 4 games, hopefully we can beat Southend next Monday to stay up there with the big boys and hopefully stay there for the rest of the season.The Fifth 'A View From The Stands' will be that game against Southend United on Monday the 31st of August.

My Man Of The Match: Ruben Lameires - Despite the loss, Lameires looked good down both wings all game, it's just a shame that it didn't get us a win. This levels him with John Fleck on 1 man of the match title, Adam Armstrong still leads with 2.

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