3 days after our outrageous comeback against Peterborough, whom were the most in form team in the league, we faced the worst in form team in the league, losing their last 6 games in a row. This was our long awaited game in hand, a win here could see us moving to 1 point off league leaders Walsall, and due to Barnsley's poor form, it was definitely a game we should be winning. With a very good team out, we were in a good position to do so.
Speaking of the team, Joe Cole made his home debut for the Sky Blues and certainly got a warm welcome. Kent and O'Brien started either side of Cole with League top scorer Adam Armstrong ahead of them. The usual 2 centre midfielders of Fleck and Vincelot started once more along with the usual back 4 of Stokes, Martin, Ricketts and Phillips respectively. Reice Charles-Cook or "Cookie Monster" as he is beginning to be known as, started in net.
For once, we didn't get off to a "slow start" or have a bad first half and need Mowbray to knock us into shape during the break, as only 2 minutes in, Ryan Kent decided to shoot from 20 yards which flew into the far bottom corner to put us 1-0 up. We had a great first period, and just before the 20 minute mark, Aaron Phillips bolted down the right side and drilled the ball into the box for Adam Armstrong to smash home, putting us 2-0 up and looking great.
We had a penalty appeal turned down toward the end of the first half when Ryan Kent did one of the best skill moves I've ever seen, a rabona flip-flap through the legs of the defender, and as he darted past him, got an arm to the face and went down, it would have been a soft penalty but I have seen them given before. But this took us into half time, comfortably winning and looking very much the better team. What we needed to do for the second half was consolidate the lead and see the game out, maybe get another goal or two, just don't do anything silly and let a goal in early on.
But we did exactly that and in the 47th minute, Alfie Mawson scored a header as the Sky Blue defenders decided to switch off. 2-1. A couple of seasons ago, I would not have been surprised if we had gone on and lost the game from this point, but it goes to show how far we have come since then and we hit them straight back. Jim O'Brien played a beautiful through ball over the defence for Armstrong to latch on to and slot home to put us 2 goals ahead for the second time in the game.
However we made the same mistake again! However this time the goal should not have counted as Josh Scowen handballed it blatantly before smashing in to the far corner past Charles-Cook. Aaron Martin stopped as if he was expecting a free kick to go our way but it never came, we lost our 2 goal advantage again and the moral here is, always play to the whistle. In a very pinball machine game, just 6 minutes after conceding we won ourselves a free kick from about 25 yards, the man we put on it had his chance to show what he was made of, show his first piece of brilliance since signing and he took his chance. Joe Cole, with an incredible strike in to the top corner to put us 4-2 up, with half an hour to play.
Cole came off shortly after and we had a quiet last half an hour. In the sixth minute of injury time, Aaron Phillips handballed in the box and gave away a very silly penalty which was converted so the game finished 4-3, a good 3 points but we conceded a couple of silly goals which could have, if not been conceded, put us above Gillingham into third on goal difference. However, we had still won our game in hand, we are now level on points with Gills and 1 point off Burton and Walsall in 2nd and 1st.
The Next 'A View From The Stands' and the 15th one at that will be our home tie against the financially struggling Northampton Town in the first round of the FA cup, a nice change of pace from the normal league fixtures and a good chance to progress through the tournament.
My Man Of The Match - Joe Cole - A brilliant free kick on the Sky Blues' most high profile players home debut is enough to give him his first award of many hopefully, that is if he stays with us after his loan deal runs out, he says e is happy to, it is all up to Tony Mowbray and Remi Garde for whether that is to happen.