Saturday, 23 July 2016

My Third 16/17 Game - Newport County vs Coventry City

 Now in the full swing of pre-season, Coventry City travelled to Newport for our fourth friendly. Winning 2 and losing 1 so far, we would be looking to keep our good form against English clubs by defeating a Welsh side! It's very hard to find motivation for going to a friendly which is a 2 hour drive away, in a different country, and not even at Newport's actual ground so isn't another one to tick off my list of the full 92. Also, supporting a team which is in an absolute state at the moment. But then I thought of the enjoyment I get out of following the Sky Blues so put my name down for the coach there. So after a 6:15 start and a fry-up, I made the journey to Newport.

 We arrived, having some good banter at the nearby cricket club but then as I looked on Twitter to look for team news I was greeted by Bradford's account informing we that we had sold Romain Vincelot to The Bantams. It's fair to say we were all fuming, we all assumed SISU had done it through the back door and wouldn't be surprised if Tony Mowbray walked. But when we spoke to him at the ground he informed us it was his decision and he had plans to reinvest. I'm not convinced because I assume the sum is low but I have trust that Mowbray will do as promised.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Dion Kelly-Evans
G Thomas

Coventry City Substitutes:

Devon Kelly-Evans

 We stuck with the 3-4-3, having a back three of Harries, Willis and Leahy isn't something I thought I would like to have at the start of the season but it'll do for now. Now both Fleck and Vincelot are gone it will be hard to adapt to seeing Rose and Gadzhev but it'll have to do once again. I like our wing backs currently as well as our very attacking forwards of Thomas, Sordell and Tudgay. Hopefully those guys will bring us in barrels of goals next season, at least we can dream.

  This will be a hard report to write due to the lack of action. But the first piece came just under 20 minutes into the match. I'm not sure who but a Newport striker went through on goal and let fly, it hit the post from 18 yards and then rocketed into the back of the net only for him to be pulled back for offside. Being honest I'm not sure whether it was or not as I couldn't see, the outlay of Newport's old stadium is a very weird one.

 The first goal however came on the stroke of half time. George Thomas slotted home similarly to his goal against Rugby but either way it was 1-0 to the Sky Blues. Half time the blew up on a very dull first half of football despite the goal. We made our first substitution when the goalscorer George Thomas was replaced by "Trialist". Throughout the second half there was speculation as to who this guy was, but post match Tony Mowbray confirmed that it was Fabien Robert formerly of Swindon as well as that Kyle Reid is training with the Sky Blues.

  On 57 minutes we managed to double our lead when a Trialist corner was headed on to the bar by Andy Rose, the rebound was scrambled in by Jordan Willis. Just 2 minutes later and Willis was replaced by youngster Jacob Whitmore. The rest of the match carried on quite poorly, nothing was happening. We made a triple change with 15 minutes to go. Sordell, Rose and Tudgay came off for Spence, Devon Kelly-Evans and Stevenson respectively.

 5 minutes later another triple change came in, Thompson, Maycock and Shipley replaced Harries, Gadzhev and Haynes. We played the final 10 minutes with a very young side with a lot to prove, the youngsters managed to hold out the final 10 minute however, Kelly-Evans nearly made it 3-0 when he hit the post in injury time. The game finished 2-0, but once again I will say that it doesn't mean anything as it's only pre-season.

 What I will say however is Tony Mowbray told me to not expect much from this side today and they won 2-0. I'll let you ponder on that. There was under 100 fans there in Wales today but I expect there to be even less as we travel to Carrow Road on Tuesday night for our penultimate friendly. This will be the fourth 'A View From The Stands' of the season as we edge ever closer to August 6th and the start of the season.

My Man Of The Match - Jordan Willis - A good centre back performance from the makeshift captain was capped off by a goal in the second half. If he can get through a full season unlike last year then I can see him really picking up form in the next 12 months. Let's hope this really materialises into something good for Willis.

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