Monday, 2 May 2016

My Forty-Fourth 15/16 Game - Coventry City vs Millwall

 Once more if we cast our minds back to the reverse fixture, potentially the best performance of the season at The Den, winning 4-0. Now however, we are in mid-table and Millwall are pushing for play offs and were backed by a big following, which would have been a lot more had they not got such a bad reputation in the world of football. But I suppose that is their own fault. So the match was heavily policed.

Phillips Martin Stephens Ricketts
              Fleck Vincelot
     Rose      Cole      Lameiras


Lorentszon (85)
Maddison (36)
Tudgay (55)

 An interesting selection, Jodi Jones being away due to an illness was met with the return of Andy Rose, very different players but both can play on the right effectively. Armstrong however was back to playing as a lone striker, I wasn't sure what to make of it, was this a step in the right or wrong direction. Only time would tell, Lameiras' reintroduction was something I was happy about as well.

  From the off, Millwall were attacking very strongly, from a Shane Ferguson corner Byron Webster's bullet header left Charles-Cook stranded as it almost tore apart the net. Unfortunately our recent performances couldn't carry forward to stop us going 1-0 down after just 20 minutes. The Sky Blues thought they had the equaliser in the form of Joe Cole with a flick onto the post, he poked home the rebound which sparked celebrations amongst the home fans, These were muted however with the sight of the offside flag on the far side. This was met with some amusement from the travelling Millwall fans.

  Then, Shaun Williams handed Coventry a chance to get back into the game on the half hour mark when he headbutted Ruben Lameiras and got an instant red card. With an hour still to play, the question on everyone's lips was, could the Sky Blues take advantage of the extra man to potentially come back and win the game? Only time would tell. We couldn't however get anything before half time.

 In the second half we came out fighting from the off, clearly trying to make the most of the extra man. We even brought off Ricketts for striker Marcus Tudgay in a bid to get the equaliser. The breakthrough was finally made in the 61st minute, Aaron Phillips laid off to John Fleck and with an effort from 35 yards it found the top corner. This not only was a stunner of a strike, but also won Sky Sports Goal of The Day to level the match.

  Fleck once again went on a good run just 9 minutes later, he played the ball into Armstrong whom with his first touch lobbed the defence perfectly into the path of Marcus Tudgay, he lunged forward to get a foot on it which took it past the keeper putting the Sky Blues a goal to the good. Fans got their own back on Millwall after the earlier incident by running over to the segregation point, police had to get involved to prevent fan disturbance.

 Thus began very nervous 20 minutes for the Sky Blues, we corrected the earlier attacking substitution, bringing on Lorentszon for Ruben Lameiras. Millwall had chances which Charles-Cook dealt with accordingly, and we managed to hold out for a very hard fought and much needed 3 points. This is our first win in 6 matches.

 A sort of win we had been needing for a while, now the aim has to be top 10 since play offs is pretty much down the drain. But on we go to our next match and the next 'A View From The Stands' which is a home tie against another side pushing for promotion, Bradford City. Hopefully we can get another 3 points to add to our final season tally.

 My Man Of The Match - John Fleck - That goal alone should be enough for him to receive the award, but he also had a great game with passing up, setting up the move for Tudgay's goal. This, remarkably, is only his second award of the season. Hopefully Tony Mowbray will work some magic to make the Scot stay.

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