Wednesday, 28 October 2015

My Twelfth 15/16 Game - Swindon Town vs Coventry City

 As promised, here is the Swindon Town game review, and the Peterborough game has not yet happened. However something not mentioned in the Blackpool review was that I was unable to go to the Rochdale away game in the midweek where Joe Cole made his debut and apparently showed good promise but after playing an hour of football, was subbed off and I'm not surprised, his match fitness is poor and needs to be built back up, however his debut was not enough to spark a goal and we drew 0-0. This took us up to 4th, level on points with Sheffield United and Bury, however we had superior goal difference. And 4 points off Walsall in 2nd, 6 off Gillingham in first, and 2 off  Burton in 3rd, however still having that game in hand.

 So ending that mini review and catching up on what was missed, we travelled down to Wiltshire to watch the Sky Blues face struggling Swindon whom stood second bottom above only Crewe, quite a transformation from a team that were at Wembley last season for the Play Off Final having beaten Sheffield United 7-6 on aggregate in the semi final. Our second game without Reda Johnson, Captain Sam Ricketts and Aaron Martin started as centre backs with Phillips and Stokes in the full back positions. Jim O'Brien and Ryan Kent started on either wing with the one and only Joe Cole in the middle. League top scorer Adam Armstrong started up front.

 Reice Charles-Cook today had a chance to beat Sky Blue legend Steve Ogrizovic's impressive amount of minutes without conceding a goal however it was raining which is a Goalkeepers nightmare as there is a much larger chance of fumbling the ball so beating the record would be a tough task for Cookie Monster but I had faith he could do it. The game started off as the previous couple of games did. Dull. I don't know what has happened to the exciting football we have been playing in he early games such as our dismantling of Millwall, but we seem to be playing for 0-0 draws all the time. At one point we passed the ball around the defence and goalie for a good 5-10 minutes, and this took us into half time. Man of the moment Joe Cole was substituted off for Ruben Lameires as he did appear to be struggling.

 I would never stop going to City games don't get me wrong, but the first half was boring and if it weren't for our impressive league form, I think attendances would begin to start dropping. However, completely invalidating my point, we ditched the sitting back tactic and went for it, we began attacking more and appeared to be controlling the game much more, Ryan Kent on the other hand was definitely not having the best game of his career so I was glad to see Jacob Murphy replace him, and you'll not catch me saying that too often.

 We finally made our breakthrough when Chris Stokes did some brilliant play on the wing and played a cross into the box which the Swindon keeper managed to get a hand to and push it out, but only as far as Romain Vincelot who tapped home from close range to put the Sky Blues 1-0 up with 25 minutes left on the clock. We showed no signs of letting this lead slip and when Jacob Murphy got brought down in the box and a penalty was given, we had a chance to seal the game. Marcus Tudgay, on for Adam Armstrong, stepped up and with a poor penalty, missed, but the keeper could only parry the ball to 2 yards out and Tudgay was quickest to the ball so managed to make it 2-0 with only 10 minutes left.

 When you are 2 goals ahead with 10 minutes to play you need to be winning the game, no excuses. But after Tudgay's goal we, for some reason, reverted back to the defensive football that we played in the first half, which may seem well and good, but it just invited pressure in, and we paid the ultimate price. 85 minutes played and Swindon somehow walked through our defence for Ben Gladwin to smash into the roof of the net. Not only did this leave my 2-0 prediction in tatters, but put an end to Cookie Monsters record, however he did beat Oggy by 4 minutes I believe.

 Now, with 4 minutes to play and you're vulnerable from just conceding, the last thing you want to be doing is giving away an injury time penalty. At the time I thought this was a bad decision, but replays, and Dave Bennett when I rang up BBC C&W to complain, have told me that it wasn't a bad decision, whether or not it was for the Aaron Martin foul or the Aaron Phillips handball, it was a penalty. Nicky Ajose slotted home to score the equaliser and just over a minute later, the full time whistle went. It was a draw which felt like a loss, and if we'd have held on we would be above Burton in third. The game in hand against Barnsley is beginning to look increasingly more important.

 We stayed fourth, 1 point ahead of Wigan, Sheffeld United and Bury but the gap between us and first is loking bigger each game. As I said, winning our game in and against Barnsley is crucial, but before that we have a game against Peterborough United which is just as important to our season and will also be the 13th instalment to 'A View From The Stands'.

My Man Of The Match - Chris Stokes - Assisting Vincelot's goal and good play at both ends of the pitch gave Stokes his first award of the season, putting him in joint third place on 1 award. 2nd is Ricketts on 2, and first is Armstrong on 3.

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