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.

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