Monday, 18 January 2016

My Twenty-Fourth 15/16 Game - Crewe Alexandra vs Coventry City

 I wasn't meant to be at this game, I was meant to be at Upton Park to see West Ham play Liverpool, only because I haven't been to Upton Park so this season is the last chance to go, but tickets weren't available, and where else to go than support the Sky Blues away at Crewe, we were in desperate need of a win and Crewe were perfect opposition to try and get ourselves back on track for a chance at automatic promotion.

 Charles-Cook started in goal, with Phillips, Ricketts, Stokes and Haynes in defence, the normal holding midfielder partnership of Fleck and Vincelot began the match. In what could have been his last game, Joe Cole started as one of the CAMs alongside Murphy and Maddison with Adam Armstrong as the lone striker. It could also have been Gael Bigirimana's last game as his loan ran out on January 3rd as well as Cole's.

 Less than a minute into the match and Cole had a chance through on goal which he spooned over the bar. The deadlock however was broken on 10 minutes when Jacob Murphy thread through Adam Armstrong who smashed home to put the Sky Blues 1-0 up, a great goal early on, the perfect start to the game. 15 minutes later Jacob Murphy found himself on the right wing with Fleck screaming for the ball, Murphy ignored him, cut in and side footed in to the top corner to make it 2-0.

 Romain Vincelot of all people was running down the right side just 2 minutes later only to be 'brought down' by Marcus Haber in the area, and I say brought down in that way because to me it looked like  tiny little bit of a dive, but hey, it worked, Armstrong and Maddison almost fought for the spot kick but ultimately it was Arma who smashed past the keeper to make it 3-0 after just 30 minutes.

 We weren't even done here, Armstrong chased down and managed to steal the ball off of the Crewe right back, he ran down the line and slotted home to not only make it 4-0, but complete his hat trick. This wasn't even the first time we were 4 goals up at half time this season, Gillingham at home being the other occasion. The perfect first half performance from the Sky Blues.

 Armstrong could have got his fourth early on in the second half but missed a sitter from 5 yards. Let's ignore that and focus on the hat-trick he's been promising all season and has finally delivered. Interesting fact - before Murphy's hat-trick against Gillingham, the last 3 goals that were scored by one player for the Sky Blues was Freddy Eastwood in 2009, and now we have 2 in 45 days.

 Ryan Kent came on as a substitute for what would be his last appearance before being recalled by Liverpool. Hat-trick hero Armstrong's future still hung in the balance, no one knew what his fete would be but this sort of performance as well as Newcastle's poor form can't help our chances. With 5 minutes remaining Jacob Murphy made it five with a brilliant strike to the far post to round off an amazing performance, possibly my favourite of the season.

 Everyone played incredibly, what a game. The 25th 'A View From The Stands' is something sifferent to usual, you may already be able to guess what it is that's coming, but afterwards I will resume schedule with the Walsall home game, a huge one to say the least.

My Man Of The Match - Adam Armstrong - Let's hope and pray we keep this man until the end of the season, he is vital. He's the top scorer and this is his fourth award, putting him in the lead by one, ahead of Ruben Lameires.

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