Friday, 29 April 2016

My Forty-Second 15/16 Game - Gillingham vs Coventry City

 Hopes of play offs were now almost completely gone. Not as many fans turning up to games, only a few hundred were making the trip down to Kent to see the Sky Blues face promotion hopefuls Gillingham. Hopefully now that we had nothing left to play for competitively we would come out raring to go. Players maybe trying to get themselves a new contract for next season, with nearly everyone's running out at the end of June.

Phillips Martin Stephens Ricketts
           Bigirimana Fleck
     Jones                    Murphy


 I was encouraged by this team selection, trying something different to usual now that our promotion hopes are over. Vincelot playing just in front of Bigirimana and Fleck was new, as was playing Tudgay as a loan striker. However my only criticism would be, why aren't we putting youngsters such as Sambou or Thomas in there? Even to keep contract rebel Sambou happy. If he leaves that could be a huge miss for the club when he could be an extremely good prospect for the future. Armstrong on the bench was most likely down to him being tired after just returning from international duty with the England u19s.

  For the first 10 minutes the Gills dominated, we didn't really get a look in. But after we were getting into the game. What I thought was very good, we were utilising our strengths. Jodi Jones was tearing apart the opposition left back. But Gillingham's defence managed to cope with it. Fouling him whenever they needed to. As he isn't the strongest players, it takes a lot less for him to go down, this gave him a bad reputation amongst the Gillingham fans. This can be a big thing for such young shoulders to handle.

 Jones was just about coping with being hacked down at every opportunity, he seemed to be in the centre of everything that went on throughout the game. The ball he put into to Romain Vincelot was headed agonisingly wide, then he appeared to be elbowed in the head as he knocked the ball past the opposition right back. I'm not sure exactly what happened but it was met by another chorus of boos from the home supporters. This moment took the game into half time.

 The second half began lively, Bigirimana had an attempt from 25 yards which nearly crept into the top corner, and we genuinely were looking like the better side. This was encouraging but as it was the Sky Blues you could sense it would all come tumbling down at some point. We then had an even better chance via Jacob Murphy, from some good build up play the on loan Norwich midfielder struck on his left, the effort struck the bar. Not long to go, but it could still go either way as Gillingham were still a very good side.

  In the dying seconds, substitute Armstrong chased down a clearance well enough to block it right into the path of Marcus Tudgay. All the veteran could do was send it on to the underside of the bar and out, a golden opportunity to steal 3 points at Priestfield but ultimately, it wasn't to be. At the start of the game if I was offered a point I probably would have taken it. The next 'A View From The Stands' is our second away trip in a row, this time to now top of the league and unbeaten since January Wigan.

 My Man Of The Match - Aaron Martin - I have been very close to giving the centre back an award all season ans am shocked he has not received one yet. He has improved a lot since joining and is now a very solid defender for the division we are in and perhaps beyond. As I said, this is his first and most likely only award of the season but he had to make it on at some point.

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