Saturday, 29 October 2016

My Twenty-Second 16/17 Game - Walsall vs Coventry City

 If we dismiss the Charlton defeat as a one off, our form has been great recently. We have turned the Ricoh Arena into a fortress as we are unbeaten there in 14 matches in all competitions, our best home run since 1977. Despite this though, we are still in the relegation zones. However a win against Walsall and then another in our game in hand against Chesterfield on Tuesday could put us in the top half of the table.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Burge

Sterry
Willis
Turnbull
Page

Stevenson
Bigirimana
Rose

Lameiras
Sordell
Agyei

Coventry City Substitutes:

Charles-Cook
Ricketts
Maycock
Reid
Jones
Wright
Tudgay

Interestingly Gadzhev was nowhere to be seen in the squad, instead youngster Callum Maycock filled in on the bench. Unless he's injured I can only imagine something has gone on behind closed doors between him and Venus meaning he has been dropped. Either way, I'm glad that our midfield 3 is what it is. Andy Rose returning has come at the perfect time now that McCann is injured for the next 3-4 weeks.

First Half

  The first half an hour was a fairly dull affair, we had a couple of half chances however. Lameiras cut in from the right wing and from just outside the box he curled one just round the post in the first 10 minutes. Gael Bigirimana also had an attempt on the volley from distance but spooned it wide instead.

 Even though it wasn't the most spectacular half of football I've ever seen, it would be a fair assessment to say that we were the better side. It looked however as if the match would be going into the break goalless, that was until Sordell went on a run down the right wing and played it into Andy Rose whom on the volley struck it beyond Etheridge.

 On the stroke of half time we had a big shout for a penalty turned down, Bigirimana ran through and had to take it to the byline. He was in a race with Etheridge to the ball and won, Etheridge, (Controversial opinion coming up) went in with his feet and brought Bigi to the ground. Now I don't want to be biased and if when the highlights come out I am proved wrong then I will happily eat humble pie, but to me it looked like a stone wall penalty. Not only was it not given however, but the Burundi international was booked for simulation also.

Second Half

 We carried on our pressure in the second half, Agyei megged the last defender with a 20 yard shot, Etheridge didn't see it until late so did well to push it past the post. We had a reality check with 35 minutes to go. Lee Burge made a great save to deny Morris, and the rebound was spooned wide. We should have used this as a wake up call to be more careful defensively, unfortunately for us though, we did not.

  I'm being harsh with how I'm talking about the defensive regarding their goal, to be fair to them, it was a great goal. It reminded me of Jack Wilshire's against Norwich a couple of years ago. Quick passes and flicks so before anyone could do anything Oztumer had stuck it past Burge to get the Saddlers an equaliser.

 Not taking anything from the goal, it's quite upsetting that it sprang from Ben Stevenson being brought down the edge of the box in a blatant foul which wasn't given. What's more annoying is, the goal could be put down to Venus for taking Andy Rose off for Jodi Jones and moving to a 4-2-4 when we were 1-0. I understand we don't want to rush him back after a couple of months out but it seemed as soon as that decision was made our control of the game was taken away.

 Walsall could have stolen it late on when Kinsella spooned it wide in the dying seconds, luckily he didn't. It should have been 3 points, could have been 0 points, but it turned out to be a share of the spoils. I'd have taken a point pre-match so I'm not too disappointed with the result. Next up we have our crucial game in hand against Chesterfield where 3 points could put us right in the middle of the chasing pack, I look forwards to it.

My Man of The Match - Jordan Willis - On his 100th appearance for the club, the skipper had another great performance for the second week in a row. Although saying that, had Andy Rose played the full 90 minutes then he probably would have got it. Either way, the captain leader legend has his second award of the season.

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