Saturday, 20 August 2016

My Tenth 16/17 Game - Bradford City vs Coventry City

 Remarkably we are already 10 games into my football season as today we travelled for our second league away day, this time against Bradford. We have had a very frustrating start, with 2 draws and a loss. Still however pre-match we had not scored a goal, this worried everyone. With Turnbull and Agyei ready to make their debuts we had some hope for the game but personally I had a hunch that we would get absolutely tanked.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Charles-Cook

Willis
Ricketts
Turnbull

Dion Kelly-Evans
Stevenson
Gadzhev
McCann
Haynes

Agyei
Reid

Coventry City Substitutes

Burge
Finch
Harries
Haynes
Lameiras
Tudgay
G Thomas

 Kyel Reid came to Valley Parade for the first time since leaving Bradford whilst Mark Marshall and Romain Vincelot were the 2 ex-Sky Blues lining up on the side of the Bantams. I was really excited to see how our new look 3-5-2 formation with Agyei and Reid as strikers would do. Ruben Lameiras on the bench is always a good option should it be needed.

  Contrary to my predictions, we started well and looked promising throughout all of the first half, just 5 minutes in Agyei burst down the right-wing, he should have scored when he had the opportunity from 6 yards but decided to take his time and attempted to square the ball. Before he could do this though a Bradford defender steamed in with a tackle to take the ball as well as the chance away from us.

 We continued pressing however, Kyel Reid managed to steal the ball from the unsuspecting Bradford full-back. He was through on goal one on on but seemed to bottle it under the pressure of the Bradford Kop unable to stick one over his old club. 13 minutes had been played when we finally managed he break the deadlock, Agyei went down the wing for a second time, turned the last defender and stuck it past the keeper for our first goal of the season.

 For the rest of the first half we didn't seem to have many notable attacks but we kept the ball exceptionally to nullify Bradford's attempts as well as have chances of our own but like I say, not many were worth speaking about. Taking us into half time, I was very happy with our performance and was fairly confident we could secure the 3 points, this was a very weird feeling given our previous results.

 Even for the first 15-20 minutes of the second half, we were still dominant in the way we played Reid got played through but similarly to Agyei in the first 45 took too long to take a shot so the chance disappeared after some brilliant Bradford defending. There was one slight scare, from a corner Romain Vincelot had a free header which he butted into the ground and from the ground the ball nearly looped Charles-Cook but instead hit the top of the bar leaving it at 1-0.

 From here onwards it all began to go wrong, Tudgay replaced potentially our best player in Agyei, perhaps this was to add more experience to keep the lead. It seemed to be working until Jordan Turnbull gave away a last man penalty after Bradford had a striker go through. Turnbull was sent off for the tackle and the penalty was converted by McMahon. 1-1, down to 10 men, Reid off for Harries,  suddenly everything had changed.

 Former Sky Blue Mark Marshall completed the comeback 2 minutes after with to be fair a wonderful strike, we were well and truly crumbling. This was proved even more so when substitute Cian Harries  gave away a soft penalty once again to give McMahon another goal from 12 yards. From here on in Bradford had chance after chance, I'm shocked it was only 3-1 as the ball was cleared off the line twice. Either way, 3-1 was how it finished. What this result proves is that is really is a game of two halves, one mistake and we went from comfortable to being absolutely battered, I don't blame Turnbull, he's a young centre back who made an error. What he needs to do is pick himself up and go again (After his 3-match ban).

 For our next match we head to Norwich for our EFL Cup 2nd round tie. This will be the first competitive meeting of the teams since James Maddison left so it may be a heated occasion, I look forward to it on the next 'A View From The Stands'.

My Man Of The Match - Kyel Reid - Against his former club he absolutely tore their defence to pieces, Agyei is an honourable mention as he did very similar things from the other side along with the goal but Reid just edged it for me. This is his first award of the season, putting him in the chasing pack behind Ryan Haynes.

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