Saturday, 20 February 2016

My Twenty-Ninth 15/16 Game - Coventry City vs Scunthorpe United

 How to describe what's been going on for the last 2 games, I have no words, but it's not the Coventry City that has been playing for 4 months coming out, it's a different team, a very winnable game against Southend United had come and for the second time in 2 games I could say we deserved to lose, another case in which we arguably deserved to lose was the away fixture to Scunthorpe early on in the season, so here we are, a big chance for revenge and a big chance to get an absolutely crucial 3 points on the board.

  One Scunthorpe man that was no stranger to the Ricoh Arena is Gary McSheffrey who began the game on the bench, as for the Sky Blues, Charles-Cook started between the sticks, Stokes, Ramage, Ricketts and debut-making Martin Lorentzson made up the back four. Vincelot and Bigirimana played as holding midfielders due to John Fleck still being suspended. Jacob Murphy, James Maddison and Stephen Hunt were the attacking midfielders, with Adam Armstrong returning at striker.

 As I've said, we really needed to win this, and we came out looking like we wanted to. Just a few minutes in and Jacob Murphy stole the ball off the last defender in the box made it past him, and looked ready to get into a scoring position but was brought down, arm across his body, leg blocking his run, you name it, it was a stone wall penalty. Everyone could see it, but the one man who mattered waved it away, along with the huge protests that followed.

 5 minutes later, Scunthorpe had a corner, it was headed down and an un marked Tom Hopper latched on to the loose ball and smashed past Charles-Cook. We were 1-0 down, again. The final talking point of the first half was after Chris Stokes' good pass into Armstrong who forced a good save, but once again, we found ourselves losing at the break, this time perhaps not deservingly so. But either way, we were.

 We came out in the second half fighting, with Adam Armstrong having a good shot on goal, but as was shown in the first half, we need to take our chances, and we had another example of this shown to us. Much like the first goal, from a corner the ball was whipped in, and very easily Murray Wallace managed to nod the ball in at the near post. We were 2-0 down, but with half an hour remaining, there was still time to get back in the game.

 A recurring theme of the game was the unwillingness of the referee to get his cards out, especially Luke Williams, the amount of bookable fouls he gave away was ridiculous. This was made even worse so when he walked out of the game without any card to his name. Incredibly, Romain Vincelot was the first player to pick up a booking. It was Vincelot that nearly scored when he headed just wide of the goal. We were running out of time and lives.

 5 minutes remained and we were throwing everyone forward, a beautiful 1-2 between Maddison and Stokes led to Maddison being brought down in the area, this time the referee gave the penalty which Armstrong coolly converted. Had we left it to late? Only the very short amount of time would tell. 2 minutes later in frustration, Vincelot gave away a stupid foul. Whilst I agree he should have been sent off, the referee seemed all too happy to send him off. This put a spanner in the works and as much as we tried, we couldn't get the equaliser, we had lost our third game in a row.

 Another defeat, our only saving grace was that both Burton and Gillingham had been defeated. On the other hand you could see this as an opportunity missed. Either way, that's that. The Thirtieth 'A View From the Stands' is the first premier league instalment, so look out for that.

 My Man Of The Match - Chris Stokes - He made runs down the left side and even managed a back heel at one point, is there anything he can't do? This takes him to three awards, up there with the big boys now is our Stokes.

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