Wednesday, 10 August 2016

My Seventh 16/17 Game - Coventry City vs Portsmouth

 After the disappointment of Swindon Town away on the first day of the season we turned our attention to the EFL Cup as we faced Portsmouth in the first round. If City were to go on to win tonight it would be the first time we made the second round of the League Cup for 4 years. It would be no easy task however as in my opinion Portsmouth have easily the strongest team in League 2 with the likes of Noel Hunt, Carl Baker whom I was gutted we didn't re-sign, and Adam Barton.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Charles-Cook

Willis
Harries
Ricketts

Rose
Stevenson
Gadzhev
Haynes

Lameiras
Tudgay
G Thomas

Coventry City Substitutes:

Burge
Finch
Page
Kelly-Evans
Jones
Reid
K Thomas

The team we started was a lot stronger than I originally thought it would be, there were obviously going to be some rotation due to it only being 3 days since the previous match. But to see the likes of Harries, Willis, Ricketts, Charles-Cook, Rose and Gadzhev starting encouraged me. Lewis Page, the signing me made just hours before the game only managed to make the bench for today. He will need a settling in period but hopefully might make his debut against Shrewsbury on Saturday. Interestingly Marvin Sordell was nowhere to be seen in the match squad, I'm not sure what the reasoning for this was but he didn't feature at all.

 On this day a year ago Jayden Parsons was unfortunately taken from us at the age of just 15 so to commemorate him there was a minutes applause on the 15th minute which was beautifully served by both sets of fans. During this applause there was a chance for City to score but unfortunately the shot didn't materialise. 3 minutes later and in a very silly fashion Cian Harries gave away a penalty by pretty much just going through the back of the player. Curtis Main stepped up to send Charles-Cook the wrong way and put Pompey a goal to the good.

 We were as close as possible to equalising after 25 minutes when Tudgay found the keeper with a header from point-blank range and somehow jumped over the ball on the rebound. Ryan Haynes certainly wasn't having the best game of his career in the first half to say the least. Something at half time needed to change, in my opinion Jones for George Thomas and Page for Haynes. The first was made but Haynes stayed out for the second half.

 Jones really was beginning to tear the game up after being subbed on. It was Andy Rose however that made the attack which lead to the goal. The Portsmouth defence failed to deal with the high cross and was only able to tee up Haynes at the back post. He volleyed it on his weaker foot into the far corner to equalise.

 As it stood we would be going into extra time and potentially penalties if it came to it with half an hour remaining. Kyel Reid came on in place of Tudgay shortly after the goal so we had 3 wingers up top with Reid in the unnatural striker position. Willis was the next man to leave the field, Finch came on for the last 15 minutes and potentially beyond, I wasn't too sure on this as he's been out of the competitive game for a long time but if we were to lose in the cup it's not the end of the world.

10 minutes left on the clock, both sides were looking for a winner, it was Gadzhev whom got the late goal in favour of the Sky Blues as he slotted past the keeper after a great ball through from Lameiras. Some fans thought this was it, but then from a free kick abut 25 yards out with just 3 minutes left on the clock Naismith smashed one in the top corner for Pompey. Meaning the game had to go to extra time after all.

 I'm going to keep extra time short and sweet because it feels like I have now been writing for about 3 weeks. There was one talking point and one talking point only. Ryan Haynes burst down the wing in the second 15 minute period. Had a shot on his right after cutting in, the keeper was only able to parry as far as Andy Rose. Rose stuck it past the keeper to put us into the lead for the second time today. This was the last moment of the match, city had to do it the hard way, but rewarded Jayden with a 3-2 victory on the 1 year anniversary.

  Looking forward the draw will be placed tomorrow night which means we could potentially be headed to any Premier League team not in Europe, leaving us with possible ties against Eveton, Chelsea or Liverpool. One match City fans will be hoping for however is Aston Villa. (Should they beat Luton Town tomorrow.) As for the next match, we face Shrewsbury Town in the first home league game of the season. The Eighth instalment of 'A View From The Stands'.

 My Man Of The Match - Ryan Haynes - I was very close to giving this award to Jones. Haynes' first half was shocking but to take the small amount of abuse he was getting on the chin and hit back for the remainder I think is definitely worthy of an award. This adds to his first one against Nuneaton leaving him one ahead of 5 others.

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