Wednesday, 30 December 2015

My Twenty-First 15/16 Game - Coventry City vs Oldham Athletic

Before the game had even begun the game was overshadowed by the death of Coventry City legend Jimmy Hill who sadly passed away today at the age of 87. A minutes applause was well observed pre-match in honour of such a great of the game. One thing I have to apologise for is the lateness of this game entry, you think you're on top of thing and then boom, the Christmas period comes and goes and you're 3 game behind.

 Anyway, our 6 day break after the horror of the defeat to Sheffield and we were praying we could pick ourselves up again with 3 points. One major talking point in the Sky Blue squad you could see was the reintroduction of James Maddison onto the bench, he hadn't played since Walsall but was back in the team ahead of schedule; a nice Christmas present for the team.

 Charles-Cook started in goal with Phillips, Martin, Turner and Stokes in front of him. Bigirimana and Vincelot played as the holding midfielders, John Fleck was a surprise miss and it was later revealed he had hamstring troubles. Once more Adam Armstrong started ahead of the 3 attacking midfielders of Jim O'Brien, Joe Cole and Ryan Kent. I like Ryan but at times he can be quite greedy, but is a key figure running down the wings and can't see Jurgen Klopp wanting him back at Liverpool so he should see out the season at the Sky Blues.

  The first major talking point of the game was 25 minutes in when Ben Turner fell awkwardly and injured his ankle, he was substituted off for Ryan Haynes and Chris Stokes moved to centre back, in the days after the game it showed that we would have to send Turner back to his parent club as he was in need of an operation. Rotten luck for Turner, who has suffered Ankle problems in the past but the injury in question happened on his other leg! Get well soon Ben.

 Ryan Kent shot wide after steaming in to the box just 5 minutes later but couldn't put the Sky Blues a goal ahead and this took us into half time. We seemed to have slightly lost a grip of the game when Ben Turner went off and we didn't seem comfortable in the way we played. Not long in to the second half and we nearly managed the breakthrough, Joe Cole put in a beautiful cross which found the head of Romain Vincelot who headed across goal but was cleared off the line and eventually cleared out for another corner.

 From the resulting set piece, Cole repeated his delivery to the back post which Aaron Martin bundled in to the back of the net putting the Sky Blues 1-0 up. 10 minutes later Cole was taken off for Fortune which surprises me, on that bench we had 2 perfectly good attacking midfielder options in Lameiras and Maddison, but brought on in my opinion our worst player. Despite struggling for fitness I think Cole did put in a good shift for the team, assisting the goal for Martin.

 Even now we still didn't look comfortable, we're meant to be one of the best teams in the league and are struggling to beat 2nd bottom Oldham at home. With 20 minutes to go James Maddison finally got his chance but couldn't make the impact in the time given. One thing you don't do when you're 1-0 up is to stop pushing, you invite pressure in and sometimes you get away with it but other times you pay the price and for the remainder of the game we looked to be tempting fete.

 It did look as if we were going to hold on for victory but remember, this is Coventry City we're talking about, from a corner in the 93rd minute, Danny Philliskirk got a scrappy header which Charles-Cook should have easily dealt with but missed the punch and we found ourselves at 1-1, Oldham had stolen a point right at the death of the game.

 Stupidly dropping 2 points put us down to third with Walsall still to play who ended up beating Port Vale, taking us down to fourth place. This leaves us desperate for a win, and the next ' A View From The Stands' will be the Boxing Day game against Port Vale at the Ricoh Arena.

 My Man Of The Match - Joe Cole - Call me biased but the couple of crosses Joe Cole put in leading to the goal really helped the team and we did start to fade away when he went off. He still has a long way to go but I do think he was the best player on the pitch today. This adds to the one award he already has and puts him one behind the leaders of Armstrong and Lameiras.

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