Wednesday, 13 January 2016

My Twenty-Third 15/16 Game - Chesterfield vs Coventry City

 So I'm still behind by miles and for which I apologise to all none of you that actually read this, but just 2 days after our late winner at home to Port Vale, we carried on in the busy Christmas period to face Chesterfield in the first reverse fixture of the season, this meant it was the halfway point in the season, and whilst there is still a lot of football left to play, we are very much looking good for promotion.

 Now due to the 2nd fixture in 3 days, we understandably had to rotate the squad quite a lot, Charles-Cook still began in goal, Phillips, Ricketts, Stokes and Haynes were the unusual back four, Fleck returned to the starting eleven alongside his trusted partner Vincelot, thinking Joe Cole could play 2 games 2 days apart will make you a madman so we played the attacking front 3 of Kent, Maddison got his first start since the injury and O'Brien also started. Marc-Antoine Fortune was the loan striker while the higher scoring and lets face it better striker Adam Armstrong was on the bench.

 As we pretty much annihilated Chesterfield in the return fixture but only managing to win 1-0, I fully expected us to put in a repeat performance, on that occasion Ryan Kent picked up the MOTM award from me as he as put in a phenomenal performance. Early on into the game Ian Evatt picked up an injury and was subbed off for Lee Novak.

 A silly handball was given away in a dangerous area by Chris Stokes, Jay O'Shea whipped the ball in and it was the substitute Novak who got the faintest touch to take the ball past Charles-Cook and in to the top corner, no saving it, and we were 1-0 down to a team who hadn't scored in 8 hours of football. Late on in the half John Fleck tested the keeper twice, forcing 2 good saves. Which took the game into half time.

Not long in to the second period and James Maddison got brought down on the edge of the box and then was involved in a clash with defender Sam Morsy, he dealt with it calmly but both players still managed to pick up bookings. From the resulting free kick it was Maddison who struck into the wall, a wasted opportunity from such a distance.

 As time ticked down the 2,600 supporting city fans became increasingly frustrated when Tony Mowbray held off bringing on top goal scorer Adam Armstrong until the 65th minute when he replaced Fortune, Ryan Kent also made way for Jacob Murphy, he adds some flare to the game but can be accused of laziness at times.

 In one last attacking roll of the dice Marcus Tudgay came on for Aaron Phillips with 10 minutes remaining, we carried on pressing, in almost a repeat of the earlier incident James Maddison got brought down on the edge of the box, he had another chance at a free kick in the 89th minute. He struck the ball so sweetly, it flew in to the top corner, 1-1. Around 100 fans entered the pitch I  the excitement, one of them was involved in an altercation with the keeper.

 All fans were ushered off, one arrested, and we were pressing on trying to get the winner, Armstrong and Tudgay both had chances but the goals never game. A draw is a poor result against this type of team, realistically we have to win these games if we want automatic promotion, but this game takes us into the second half of the season, and wraps up 2015, the first 'A View From The Stands' of 2016 is our away trip to Crewe, a huge game in which we were in need of 3 points desperately.

My Man Of The Match - James Maddison - he may have scouts sniffing around him, but he certainly didn't buckle under pressure, the free kick capped of a great performance, he could have had many awards by now but his injury means that this is his first of hopefully many.

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