Thursday, 12 May 2016

My Forty-Seventh 15/16 Game - Coventry City vs Sheffield United

 I am proud to say I have been to the Ricoh for all 25 of the matches it's hosted this season, my highlight probably being the 3-2 comeback against Peterborough, or the 6-0 demolishing of Bury. What a way it would to end our topsy turvey season here by beating Sheffield United and crushing their promotion dreams in the process, but we would have to do that with a slightly different squad to usual.

Starting XI

             Charles-Cook
Vincelot Martin Stephens Hunt
                 Rose Fleck
                      Cole
    Fortuné G Thomas Armstrong

Substitutes: 

Addai
Phillips (69)
Harries
Gadzhev
Lameiras (78)
Jones (65)
Tudgay

 Many talking points from this squad selection, firstly, George Thomas starting in a front three formation is quite new. Another youth player made the bench in the form of Cian Harries, it's about time he got a chance. From what I've seen of him he is a very good centre back prospect for the future. Jodi Jones returned from illness to make it onto the bench. Finally, Stephen Hunt made a rare appearance at left-back due to Ricketts' injury which rules him out for the two remaining games.

  The Sky Blues started the match in the best possible way, Armstrong burst down the left to try and get his 20th goal, Armstrong struck from 25 yards out, the ball deflected off the backside of Marc-Antoine Fortuné. The keeper was left stranded as the ball found its way into the bottom left corner. The perfect start in the last home game, hopefully we could build on this.

  Build on this we did, from a failed corner attempt Joe Cole found himself with the ball on the right wing, he then proceeded to cut in, then with a killer pass which split open the Blades' defence which found Andy Rose who finished wonderfully in the top corner, astonishingly, it was 2-0 after just 8 minutes had been played, I was in shock.

 Now I don't really want to say we took our foot off the gas, but we did, so closed out the half two goals to the good. I was happy about this for more reason than one, one of those being that we really owed Sheffield United after their daylight robbery at Brammall Lane with Billy Sharp's shoulder getting their goal. This was why we needed to hold out for the 3 points in the remaining 45 minutes.

 Almost on the hour mark, the Blades got themselves a counter attack, after an alleged foul on Fortuné they all proceeded to dart into our half, then on the six yard box line Stephens put a foot in to prevent Sharp from scoring. In my opinion he got the ball, but the half-hearted appeal was enough for the referee to award the penalty. Who else but Billy Sharp stepped up, he rocketed it right down the middle, as Charles-Cook dived out of the way. 2-1.

 Then, after then introduction of Jodi Jones we tried pushing for the decisive goal. He was 2 on 1 with Ruben Lameiras with just minutes to go. He perhaps selfishly decided to shoot, this turned out to be the wrong choice as it was struck straight at the keeper. Jones learnt from this however, after winning the ball back deep in the Sheffield half he squared the ball to the edge of the box. A lovely flick on from Phillips put it into the path of Lameiras once again who fooled the keeper, sending him the wrong way by making it 3-1 with a left footed strike into the bottom left corner.

  This was how the game ended, a nice way to sign off our home season, all we needed now is 3 points to accumulate our highest EVER points tally since the 3 points for a win rule was introduced. We would be given a chance for those 3 points at Oldham away in the final day of the season, which will be the next 'A View From The Stands', the final one of the season.

 My Man Of The Match - John Fleck - How I hope this man stays at Coventry next season, one of the best players we've had for a good few years. This is his third award of the season, maybe an award at Oldham will put him in with a shout of player of the season award.

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