Thursday, 29 September 2016

My Sixteenth 16/17 Game - Coventry City vs AFC Wimbledon

 Currently, Coventry City are in the deepest of trouble. We are bottom of the league by four points, our owners are selling the training ground, and out manager is rumoured to be walking. If things weren't bad enough the rumours of new American owner have been dismissed. But as I'm a complete idiot, I'm still going every game. On this occasion it was against newly promoted Wimbledon at the Ricoh Arena.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Charles-Cook
Sterry
Turnbull
Willis
Page
McCann
Bigirimana
Stevenson
Reid
Sordell
Tudgay

Coventry City Substitutes:

Burge
Ricketts
Gadzhev
Lameiras
Jones
Wright
Agyei

 A new look team but one inclusion I wasn't happy about was Lewis Page, to me he doesn't care and I think that giving Haynes a few games will be beneficial whilst we wait for Stokes to recover. Tudgay has seemed very iffy recently so why he managed to play 85 minutes of the match is beyond me. I would say Mowbray made the right decision to drop Gadzhev however, he hasn't shown the quality promised when he joined.

First Half

 For the first time in months, we got off to the perfect start. Reid burst down the right-wing, he cut in and had a weak shot. Shea fumbled it right into the path of Sordell who made no mistake by stabbing right past the keeper to give us the lead in the second minute. We were actually playing well, I   couldn't believe what I was seeing but we were dominating them overground. My only womble reference, I promise.

  The game quietened down but it was obvious who the better team were, but we needed to make it count. We didn't however, the Dons had a five minute spell on the half hour mark in which they had a couple of crosses put into the box that we dealt with very uncomfortably. Then 7 minutes before the break they got an equaliser, a lumped ball over the top which Charles-Cook was beaten to by Meades. He dinked his header over the City keeper to bring us back to square 1. Again. On the stroke of half time we had a huge chance to get back in the lead, Tudgay from 2 yards out chested down and blasted over.

Second Half

  It's hard to support a football club when you know the inevitable is coming, we knew the second goal would arrive sooner or later. It's just a shame we had to witness the best part of a dull second half before seeing a goalmouth scramble involving a great save from Cook, but the follow up from Lyle Taylor was deemed over the line. I assume it was over but I can't argue as I was all the way on the other side of the pitch when it went in.

 Wimbledon began to run the clock down, but due to a couple of injuries there were 9 additional minutes held up. We were all in despair but little did we know that Andre Wright was about to pounce on a defensive ricochet to equalise in the 94th minute. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad he scored, but a draw simply isn't good enough.

I'm sorry to end this report on such a sour note, but we are still 3 points adrift at the bottom, our manager is resigning judging by his post match interview. The future looks bleak. Sorry the report isn't its usual length, it does get depressing to write about endless rubbish week after week. Which is why I'm confused that I'll still be going to Port Vale on Saturday. Anyway, I'm off to play FIFA 17, thanks for reading.

 My Man of the Match - Marvin Sordell - So, the Bigirimana streak is over, but tonight Sordell did have a decent match. Making some decent runs all over the pitch and capping his performance off with a goal. Scrappy albeit, but a goal nonetheless. This is his first award of the season leaving him in the chasing pack behind Bigi.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

My Fifteenth 16/17 Game - Gillingham vs Coventry City

  The last week has been marred by off field events regarding SISU, with Coventry Telegraph starting a petition to tell owners SISU to sell up which ended up resulting in the CT being banned from talking to Tony Mowbray and the players ahead of today's clash. It's a complete outrage but it tells us that SISU now about it s the more attention it gets the more likely it is they will up sticks and leave. If you want to sign the petition (please do) then you can do so here:

https://www.change.org/p/sisu-put-coventry-city-football-club-up-for-sale

Coventry City Starting XI:

Charles-Cook

Willis
Ricketts
Turnbull

Dion Kelly-Evans
Gadzhev
Bigirimana
Page

Wright
Sordell
Reid

Coventry City Substitutes:

Addai
Harries
Stevenson
Lameiras
Jones
Agyei
Tudgay

First Half

 The first 20 minutes were fairly even, neither side really had a clear cut chance. Sordell blasted one straight at Nelson from 20 yards. But on the 20 minute mark, a lot of 20's right, the ball fell to Reid on the edge of the box and he volleyed straight into the bottom corner to put us 1-0 up which sent us Coventry fans into absolute raptures.

  Gills hit back though almost immediately via Max Ehmer, it was a scrappy goal which Cookie should have almost definitely done better with. Either way though, a goal is a goal. 1-1. We almost went straight back in to the lead though, Sordell blasted one across goal from the byline. The ball was begging for a touch but no one had gambled on it so we saw it agonisingly roll out for a throw.

 Turnbull nearly "turned" the ball into his own net when Jackson's cross deflected off his left boot. Charles-Cook recovered from going to where he thought the ball was going to save it well. Out of frustration of no one shooting, Sordell blasted one from 30 odd yards. Remarkably, Nelson had to pull out an acrobatic stop to deny it dipping in.

Second Half

 Out for the second half, we showed we obviously mean business, Jodi Jones replaced Kelly-Evans meaning we would revert to our 4-2-4 system with Reid on the left, Jodi on the right, then Wright and Sordell up top. Gills should 100% have been 2-1 up on the hour mark when ex Sky Blue Codi McDonald was played through 1 on 1 with RCC. He lost his nerve and stabbed into the side netting, we got very lucky.

 Gadzhev had a decent attempt saved, but it was obvious we were lacking that spark to get us a goal. Which is why I was surprised to see Andre Wright be replaced by Ben Stevenson. Almost immediately, as if it was scripted, McDonald played through Billy Knott in a similar situation to before. This time, Gillingham made no mistake, Knott blasted past Cook. I vented my frustration at going 2-1 down by hitting one of Gillingham's "temporary" scaffolding away stand seats repeatedly and almost breaking my finger.

  Agyei came on for Gadzhev as we went back to the 4-2-4 once more. We had 2 late chances, the first was Ben Stevenson with 2 minutes remaining. He was allowed to advance as far as the Gillingham box through the middle, chances like that are never gifted to you on a plate, that's why you need to take them when they are. Or at least get them on target, Stevenson blasted over the bar. I was once again furious.

 The second chance was through Sordell, his volley had to be turned round the post by Nelson who might I say had an astonishing match. But this marked the end of the match, we are now 3 points adrift at the bottom of the league. I certainly wouldn't say we deserved to win the match, but a draw probably would have been a fair result.

 It doesn't matter what we deserve, the fact of the matter is we are in deep trouble. Now there is a slight rumour that an American company are looking at buying us and that something BIG will happen in the next 2 weeks. I'm praying with every fibre of my body that this is true but we will just have to wait and see. The first step will have to be on Wednesday against AFC Wimbledon, a must win game. I shall also be reporting it on 'A View From The Stands'.

  My Man of the Match - Gael Bigirimana - You knew it was coming, the Bigirimana streak continues. Today he once again the best player on the team, the way he moved on the ball and the way he intercepted, he reminds me of N'Golo Kante. The one thing that is gutting me currently is that he is only here on a 1 year deal and I can't see that being extended in the way we currently are. This is his FOURTH award in a row, already equalling last years winner Chris Stokes. Who knows what he could end on come April.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

My Fourteenth 16/17 Game - Coventry City vs Oldham Athletic

 We may be 7 games into the season but Coventry City were still without a win going into the match against Oldham. Our impressive performance at Millwall last week have given me some hope that a big run is on its way and that we had a chance of it all kicking off as we faced Oldham at the Ricoh Arena.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Charles-Cook

Sterry
Willis
Turnbull
Page

Jones
Gadzhev
Bigirimana
Reid

Tudgay

Sordell

Coventry City Substitutes:

Burge
Ricketts
Dion Kelly-Evans
Stevenson
Lameiras
Wright

First Half

 For the third time this season, writing this report is going to be a very hard task as barely anything happened for the entire 90 minutes. I'll do my best but it's going to be tough. Both sides had early penalty appeals turned down, there wasn't really much in either. Oldham's Green was going to ground before he was even touched and Jodi Jones hasn't got much strength so goes down easier than your average player.

 Charles-Cook was at full stretch to deny Ladapo in his attempt to put the Latics a goal to the good by diving to his right. We should have been in the lead on the stroke of half time when a perfect cross came into Marcus Tudgay from 5 yards, his header should have definitely hit the back of the net but went agonisingly wide. This miss meant the game went in to the break goalless.

Second Half

 Having been booked as we went in, it wasn't much of a surprise that Gadzhev came off at the break but it was a bit of a shock that it was Lameiras that replaced him. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Ruben, but he's not a centre midfielder. This showed when for the first 15-20 minutes of the second half Oldham could walk through our team. I think we would have made the Stevenson on for Reid change a lot earlier if it weren't for the injury to Jamie Sterry.

 It looked very bad, he was on the pitch laying down for a solid few minutes whilst physios tended to him. Eventually he was stretchered off but all this commotion meant that later on 8 minutes of added time were signalled. Dion Kelly-Evans replaced Sterry. Given the fact we were still being ruined in the midfield region, we weren't surprised that we very nearly conceded. Lee Erwin had the ball cut back to him from the edge of the box and his thunderbolt rattled the crossbar.

  With half an hour remaining we did fix the overly attacking team by making the aforementioned substitute leaving Stevenson and Bigirimana holding the midfield. I feel they did an exceptional job in steadying the team that was going down a very steep slope which was inevitably going to end in a loss.

 We started to turn on the style now that everything was sorted, Sordell made a great run down the left-wing to deliver into Tudgay but the ball skimmed as he couldn't get anything more on it. A similar situation occurred with 3 minutes left on the clock, this time Tudgay managed to get something on it but put it round the post. On another day that man would have had a hat-trick but not today.

 One last chance came for the Sky Blues a couple of minutes into injury time, an Oldham defender handballed on the edge of the box to leave Jodi Jones 20 yards and a 5 man wall away from stealing 3 points at the death. Judging by his Instagram free kicks I really thought he could do it but it wasn't to be. He poked it just over the bar, the game ended 0-0 for the third time at the Ricoh this season.

 It's quite depressing now that we are actually rock bottom of the league, I may do a post in the week of my thoughts on the matter. As for the next match report, Gillingham away next Saturday will be number 15. I'm not really sure what grounds I'll be doing to help with 'Review of the 92' in the next couple of weeks but I suppose you'll see.

 My Man of the Match - Gael Bigirimana - Remarkably, for the third week in a row, he was the best player on the pitch. Last season I tried to limit the number of awards that I gave to Armstrong as he was running away with it. I can promise that won't be the case this year, if you are the best player on the pitch then you'll get the award. I don't care if he ends with 30! For now though he stays on just the 3.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

My Thirteenth 16/17 Game - Millwall vs Coventry City

 It's fair to say if we compare our start this season to where we were last time we came to The Den then it would be fair to call it abysmal. We battered them 4-0 to go top of the league, how times change eh? Pre-match we were in 23rd place, only Rochdale separating us from the base of the table. I also couldn't say I was positive ahead of the match considering Millwall sat in a play off position.

 Coventry City Starting XI:

Charles-Cook

Willis
Ricketts
Turnbull

Sterry
Gadzhev
Bigirimana
Page

Lameiras
Sordell
Reid

Coventry City Substitutes:

Burge
Harries
Kelly-Evans
Stevenson
Jones
Agyei
Wright

First Half:

 Millwall were definitely the better team for the first 10-15 minutes of the match, we got away with not conceding when they had early headed chances from Worrall and Webster respectively. We got our first shot on the board through Gadzhev on 20 minutes, he had a low drive which Archer kept held of very well.

  We weren't creating too many chances, but on the 23rd minute Marvin Sordell or "Sordellinho" as my top says, struck one from 25-yards out so beautifully it beat Archer at his near post. People may have laughed at me saying he will come good, now who's laughing. Back to the football and Millwall nearly levelled when a wayward RCC clearance went straight to O'Brien. Bigirimana came in with an exceptional tackle.

 Sordellinho had an ambitious 45 yard attempt go wide and I couldn't help but remember Armstrong's goal from last years match. Whilst the score line was different, the result was the same as we went into half time a goal to the good.

Second Half:

 What I really didn't want to happen was another episode of the Bradford match last month where we went in at the break leading and ended up losing 3-1. When we did come out we didn't look like we were going to let this happen however, as we pressed on in the first minute in search of another. We were careless however when 5 minutes in to the second period Morrison had a free header from the penalty spot. He aimed it straight at Charles-Cook however so we were let off.

  Sordellinho glanced a header just past the post from a corner, we were getting a lot closer to a second. Our closest chance since the goal once again came through Marvin, Reid burst down the left flank and cut in to the man himself who's attempt was deflected by a Lions defender and kissed the post on its way through.

  A Millwall supporter was ejected after attempting to attack 800 City fans (on the second tier may I add) but was arrested by police before he could even reach the first. In amongst all of this however, Millwall managed to get an equaliser somewhat against the run of play, O'Brien coolly picked out the far corner from a Morrison cross.

 This was gutting but furled us to bring on our secret weapon in Jodi Jones. Don't get me wrong I love the guy, but how teams deal with him is by fouling him. When he has a groin pretty much made out of glass then it makes your heart drop to your stomach seeing him go to ground in case our hope for the next 4 years has injured himself.

 If Millwall weren't playing the physical game then I think we would have easily made it 2-1, especially with the introduction of Agyei. With both teams going for the win the last 10 minutes had the potential to be insane but it wasn't to be, as the game fizzled out and finished as a 1-1 draw. I would have easily taken that before the match, but the fact that we were leading for a lot of the game leaves a bit of sting. On the plus side though I have hope ahead of our home tie versus Oldham next weekend, before that though, I will be reporting on my first neutral game of the season so look out for that as well as my ground reviews for Millwall and the mystery team at:

ReviewOfThe92.blogspot.co.uk

My Man Of The Match - Gael Bigirimana - For the second week running, Bigirimana was the best player in the team. He bossed the midfield, I'll say the same now as I did last week. I hope his third spell is the one that sticks and he is in our team for years to come. This is his second award of the season putting him level in first with Ryan Haynes.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

My Twelfth 16/17 Game - Fleetwood Town vs Coventry City

After a nice week abroad I'm back in the country raring to go with my reports, since we last met at our 6-1 loss away at Norwich in the cup we have played 2 games. The first was in the league at the Ricoh against Northampton Town, we drew 1-1 but were apparently dominant. The next was the the Checkatrade EFL Trophy where we defeated West Ham United u23s 4-2, I probably wouldn't have gone to that game even if I was able to because in my opinion the fact that Premier League B teams are allowed in our competition is disgusting.

 Coventry City Starting XI:

Charles-Cook

Willis
Harries
Turnbull

Sterry
Gadzhev
McCann
Bigirimana
Page

Agyei
Sordell

Coventry City Substitutes:

Burge
Ricketts
Stevenson
Tudgay
Wright
Lameiras
Reid

  The first 10 minutes of the game were quite dull and even, Fleetwood were
probably edging it slightly but the first chance of the game came to the Sky Blues. A defensive ricochet left McCann 20 yards out with the opportunity to strike, he side footed it with his left past the post on the right. From that distance you have to st the very least get it on target.

  We were nearly caught out on 18 minutes when Charles-Cook came out to deal with a ball forward but possibly misjudged how close the striker was to the ball so had to dive in with his head. It was wasn't deal with properly however, the ball came out to David Ball who lobbed RCC so new signing Sterry had to deal with it via a goal line clearance.

 A boring patch of the game ensued which was ended by McCann being substituted off due to injury and was replaced by Tudgay. I assume this was an attempt to try and get some more attacks flowing because nothing was going on up front at all.  On the stroke of half time Sordell went on a blistering run down the middle, he slotted it past the final defender through to Agyei. He should have scored by Neal managed to get a hand to it to keep it away and the ball was cleared taking the game into half time.

 At half time we were still in with a shot of getting 3 points but we needed Lameiras on the pitch, personally I think he has the ability to change that game. He was not brought on however and we came on for the second half with the same side. It's like we didn't turn up, we were going forward quite well but we couldn't get that final ball in from Sterry or Page on either wing. Both centre midfielders were switching the play well.

 We had a corner which we piled men forward for with only Sterry back, the corner went wrong, Fleetwood broke. Harries tried tracking back but it was no use, Chris Long was played through on goal. He cut back on to his left and hit it past Charles-Cook into the far post. 1-0 Fleetwood. We looked broken from the point onwards, Mowbray made the bizarre decision to take off Gadzhev for Ben Stevenson. It confuses me why he did this unless it was an injury.

  With 20 minutes to go Sordell gave the ball away to Dempsey whom played it through to Woolford. He should score from there, and did. But from what I saw it looks like Charles-Cook parried it into the net and should have done a lot better. We tried our hardest to scrape back what we could by giving Andre Wright his debut from the bench. He had no impact though, our only half chance was Sordell who forced a good save out of Neal but the offside flag was already raised.

 This chance marked the end of an abysmal performance, I have always been a fans of Mowbrays but I'm beginning to turn on him. This wing back system isn't working in the slightest, something needs to be changed otherwise it may have to be goodbye. I'd love to be proved wrong though, the table means nothing at this stage. Give it a month at least.

 I'm not exactly sure if I can make Millwall next weekend, I would love to but it may not be possible at this moment in time. We shall see though because it's always a good away day. I'll try and get another post up in the week. If you're interested then I have started another blog called 'Review of the 92' where I review all aspects of the 92 football league clubs when I attend them. It's a challenge for me, I have until the end of 2017 to make it all 92. The preview is already up and depending on when you're reading this the first post - Fleetwood Town, will be up. A read would be appreciated.

Review of the 92 - reviewofthe92.blogspot.com

My Man of the Match - Gael Bigirimana- BigiBack seems to be the right decision currently because he played very well today. The midfielders third spell at the club seems to be starting well so hopefully he can cement his place once more and be at the club for years to come. Preferably not in League 2.