Tuesday, 26 July 2016

My Fourth 16/17 Game - Norwich City vs Coventry City

 Our penultimate friendly took us to East Anglia for our biggest game yet. For what I assume had something to do with the Maddison deal, we faced Norwich City at Carrow Road. Speaking of Maddison, his reception from the Coventry City faithful wasn't the best however new permanent team mate Jacob Murphy was well respected thanks to his spell in Sky Blue. Personally at this point I would take Murphy back with open arms. The pair of ex Sky Blue boys began on the bench.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Charles-Cook
Willis
Harries
Leahy
Gadzhev
Rose
Haynes
Dion Kelly-Evans
Sordell
Spence
Thomas

Coventry City Substitutes:

Skuza
Devon Kelly-Evans
Stevenson
Maycock
Shipley
Whitmore
Hickman
Trialist
Thompson

 It really scares me that when I first saw this side my initial reactions were "Oh, pretty much our strongest side then". That should not be our strongest side, it's full of youth players. There's just over a week until the first game of the season and we don't have a full squad yet. Right now I have barely any hope for the upcoming year. Let's just pray that I can be more positive when I do my season review next week.

 Early on and Charles-Cook had work to do when he was forced to make a diving save to his left in the third minute. Pre-match I thought we were going to get absolutely tanked by Norwich, so it was no surprise to me when Hoolahan put the Canaries a goal to the good after just 9 minutes of play. I did think we were not playing too badly however, Marvin Sordell had a shot blocked which then went out for a corner. Nothing came from this set piece though and it stayed 1-0.

  Charles-Cook was put to work once more after 25 minutes when he parried straight into the path of Hoolahan. He recovered extremely well to make sure that he kept it out. Only a few minutes later we had an attack of our own, direct from a free kick 25 yards out, Gadzhev cannoned the ball off of the crossbar. It remained 1-0.

 For the beginning of the second period we saw the familiar faces of Maddison and Murphy come on to the pitch. It took a whole 3 minutes for Maddison to fall over for the first time and the penalty appeal to be turned down. This was met by some Coventry fans slating James slightly to put it lightly. Trialist Fabien Robert replaced Kyle Spence as we neared the hour mark. Personally I felt this was a bit curious due to the fact Mowbray has already said that he wasn't too impressed by Robert at the Newport match. Perhaps he was giving him a last chance at Carrow Road.

Josh Murphy doubled Norwich's lead after 66 minutes when he curled past Charles-Cook into the top right corner. 10 minutes remaining and we took off our only remaining striker in Marvin Sordell for Defensive Midfielder Callum Maycock, I'm not really sure why but it was done. The other Murphy twin Jacob rounded off a great performance by combining with Maddison to make it 3-0. This was how the game finished.

 Apologies if I don't go into too much detail, due to this being a night fixture in Norwich I am very tired whilst writing this so you'll have to excuse me this one time. 3-0 is better than what I originally thought it would be so I suppose I'll take that. I also think the scoreline flatters Norwich slightly, we weren't better by a long stretch but certainly were no push overs. The final friendly and the fifth report of the season will be our fixture against Doncaster Rovers at Nuneaton Town.

My Man Of The Match - Vladmir Gadzhev - The Bulgarian midfielder finally looks as if he is adjusting to the English game. Hopefully by the time we get to Swindon he is a tank in the middle of the park and a force to be reckoned with. This is his first award of the season.

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