Tuesday, 22 November 2016

My Thirtieth 16/17 Game - Bolton Wanderers vs Coventry City

 The real question about tonight is, was I mad or loyal for going? I'm going to go for mad personally based on Oxford at the weekend, I still believe that was the worst I have ever seen us play. I also thought pre-match that it could get a whole lot worse as Bolton are second in the league, even more reason why we it could have been really embarrassing for us. In fact I was so confident that we wouldn't win tonight I tweeted:

"If we beat Bolton then I will buy everyone who RT's this a Twix and I'll shave my head."

 I was being deadly serious when I said this, but would it come true? You'll have to read on and see, but I for one was so sure it wouldn't happen.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Burge

Sterry
Willis
Turnbull
Harries
Page

Stevenson
Bigirmana

Agyei
Sordell
Reid

Coventry City Substitutes:

Charles-Cook
Maycock
Gadzhev
Lameiras
Jones
Wright
McBean

I didn't blame Venus for reverting back to the 5 at the back. I'm glad to see McBean getting a chance in the league, albeit from the bench. I would have taken a point at kick off, but I've already made my feelings known what I thought would happen. I wanted us to go down with dignity, to play better than Saturday. But anything would be an improvement on what occurred at the weekend...

First Half

 It would be a test to see how long we would be able to keep them out for, Burge made an outstanding save in the early minutes. Vela cut it back to Madine who from about 2 yards looked destined to score but the City keeper came across brilliantly to push it around the post. He wasn't there 4 minutes later though to pick up the pieces from Jordan Willis' mistake. He failed to win a header so Clough was through and dinked Burge. With a helpful flick off the post it was 1-0 to the hosts.

 I got the feeling that it could be a rough night for us at this point but in typical Phil Parkinson fashion they started to sit back a bit from this point onwards. Agyei, Reid and Sordell all had half chances, but none of them were really clear cut. Bolton's defence was exceptional, they were blocking everything, should we even get in a position to shoot in the first place.

 All things aside, Bolton were the side that got closest to scoring this side of half time. Poor defending meant that the ball trickled through to Clough on his own. I was certain he'd bury it but instead he bottled it and shot right into Burge's arms. We got let off, but we were certainly getting back into the game.

Second Half

 It's depressing to say but I wasn't too disenheartened to be a goal down at half time, we had actually played some decent football. It was even possible that if we kept pressing that we could nick a point, or maybe even all 3. Wishful thinking but football is a funny old game. Immediately in the second period we looked the better side, a thorn in our side though was Bolton's defending. That accompanied with the fact Sordell was forced to play on the right wing for a large portion of the game.

 We had a brief scare on the hour mark where Burge was called into action on 2 more occasions, once from Sammy Ameobi to his left. Then once more from Zach Clough's free kick on to the post, he was seriously having an exceptional game between the sticks. We made a positive double change as this happened, we ditched the 5 back by taking Harried off for Lameiras, as well as Agyei coming off for Jones.

These two genuinely looked like the game changers as soon as the came on, Jodi had an attempt with 20 minutes remaining as he set it up on his left to have a dig. Alnwick did well considering he saw it late to scramble across and tip it round the post. The other sub Rubén Lamieras had an attempt
cleared off the line by Wilson.

 Jordan Turnbull of all people had one of the best chances yet, completely unmarked from a corner he  had a free header to try and get the equaliser but instead he headed it right onto Beevers' head, either way it was going about a yard wide. He's a big lad so you'd expect him to get that on target. As a last ditch attempt to get a goal, Jack McBean replaced Kyel Reid, who was an unsung hero for the night. I was surprised to see someone make their league debut instead of him getting the last 10 minutes.

 However much we tried, we just couldn't get the ball in the net. Then... deep in injury time the ball came to Gael Bigirmana 25 yards out. He had a free run to take it to the edge of the box, he coiled his right peg back ready to blast it in the top corner. But then you remember it's Gael Bigirmana who can do it all, except shoot, so it went about 2 yards wide.

 Our last chance of the game, we came away from the Macron with no points on a day we probably should have shared the spoils. I'm not angry compared to the Scunthorpe match though as Bolton looked like a very good side capable of promotion. Hopefully we channel this to MK Dons at home on Saturday to get back on track. Which as always I'll be attending and reporting on.

My Man of the Match - Lee Burge - Yet again Burge gets the award, it's getting ridiculous how good he's been recently, him and Bigirmana look to be in a two horse race for the player of the season award at this point in time, but there's still a long way to go. We're not even halfway yet, still enough time for a complete collapse, or a promotion push... Thanks for reading 👍🏻

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