If you remember back to the reverse fixture where a great Sky Blues side picked apart relegation threatened Shrewsbury 3-0 with goals from Armstrong and Fortune in just another instalment to their title change. Fast Forward 6 months and we had slipped out of the play offs all season thanks to frankly shocking form since December began. One silver lining is that this Shrewsbury match was our game in hand and a win would take us back above Barnsley into sixth place and more importantly the illustrious play off places.
Much like the reverse fixture, Fortune started, this time alongside Armstrong as two strikers. Behind them were a midfield four of Murphy, Fleck, Vincelot and Cole. Looking at our back four there was one thing my eyes were drawn to, Aaron Martin starts. Given our defensive crisis he would be welcomed back with open arms into a struggling Sky Blues team.
The match started extremely well, John Fleck stung the palms of Halstead from 30 yards however he could only parry straight into the path of the defensive messiah Aaron Martin who stabbed home, suspicions of offside were put to rest by replays. The feeling was a sense of elation that hadn't properly been felt since Tudgay's equaliser against Fleetwood. We were leading a game just four minutes in, what were we going to do with such power?
Unfortunately this power only lasted a total of 5 minutes when some quick fire passing led to Kaikai rounding Charles-Cook and our defenders left wondering what on earth. Sure we'd conceded but the game was still ours, we were controlling tempo and had possession most of the time. We were even mounting attacks through the unlikely play maker of Marc-Antoine Fortune who was playing some great passes.
John Fleck had the opportunity to re-take the lead through a free kick. It struggled under the wall and found it's way to Stokes who somehow wasn't able to stick it either side of the keeper but wasn't able to. Still 1-1. 5 minutes before the break, Stokesy gave away a free kick himself on the Right wing. Poor defending meant that Shaun Walley had a free header to flick on into the far corner. Out of nowhere we were losing this game.
The showing after the break was very depressing, all of the main chances went to Shrewsbury. Reice Charles-Cook put in an absolute shift to keep it at 2. Darius Henderson was brought on as a big target man to snatch an equaliser and in the 92nd minute he got his moment, he leapt like a salmon and forced it towards goal, it looked destined to smash the top corner. By that, I mean he got the faintest of touches and fouled there defender in the process, cheers Darius.
Three losses on the bounce, and a missed opportunity to get back into the play offs, I don't know how to describe what is going with us. The next 'A View From The Stands' will be our big away day trip to Blackpool, we're in desperate need of a win to even attempt to salvage anything for our season. Hopefully the backing of over 3,000 Coventry fans will be enough to get us through. I mean, I already now what's happening as I'm that far behind, but either way...
My Man Of The Match - Marc-Antoine Fortune - He's done it, you may doubt him but he was our best player. Hopefully he can carry that through to Blackpool. This is 'surprisingly' his first award of the season but maybe he can pose a late charge to nick the title from the main contenders of Lameiras, Stokes, Armstrong, Charles-Cook and Cole.