Tuesday, 1 November 2016

My Twenty-Third 16/17 Game - Coventry City vs Chesterfield

 I remember at the start of November in 2015 we had a crucial game in hand, much like we did tonight against Chesterfield. There were 2 differences between the fixture today and the one against Barnsley. A certain man named Joe Cole scored a free kick that night to take us up into third spot. That seems a distant memory now as we sit in 19th position.

 I'm being harsh saying that though as our performances have picked up recently, a big point at Walsall where we probably should have won being our last match. Looking at Chesterfield though, pre-match they had lost 6 on the bounce in all competitions. This meant that we went in as favourites but had to guard against complacency, because it was massive that we were able to get 3 points.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Burge

Sterry
Willis
Turnbull
Page

Jones
Stevenson
Bigirimana
Reid

Agyei
Tudgay

Coventry City Substitutes:

Charles-Cook
Ricketts
Maycock
Rose
Lameiras
Wright
Sordell

 When I first saw the team news I thought Venus was having a laugh, he ditched the working 4-3-3 in favour of the 4-4-2 formation. Also, why had Sordell been dropped for Tudgay? I haven't seen him perform since we played Rugby Town of all teams in pre-season. They were hardly league one standard. I was just hoping that it would all work out in the end because as I've said before, it's very important that we won.

First Half

 Before the match there was a minutes applause for the late Brian Hill who died recently, to this day he still remains the youngest ever CCFC goalscorer. RIP. The first chance of the game came for Gael Bigirimana 6 minutes in, Jones laid it to him, he flicked it up and on the half-volley shinned about a yard past the post. Every great player has a weakness, Bigi's happens to be shooting.

 The ninth minute marked a protest aimed at Joy Seppala of SISU. This minute was chosen due to it being 9 years of "hell" since SISU took over. Being completely honest it didn't work in any way shape or form, not many people got involved so it didn't have even half the effect that people wanted. But then again it was barely advertised at all.

 Back to the football with the only clear cut chance of the half, Chesterfield broke and Burge pulled out a great save to stop Ched Evans from scoring, Jordan Willis perhaps went one up on the City keeper by blocking the rebound to keep it at level scores. We really needed to wake up because it just wasn't happening for us, we would have been losing at this point had the opposition been better than what Chesterfield are. The rest of the half was just both teams hoofing it back and forth to one
another not really creating anything.

Second Half

 The dire play carried on for the first section of the second half, so Mark Venus did what he needed to do. On 66 minutes we made a double substitution, Tudgay and Jones came off after pretty poor
matches, on came Rose and Lameiras. My wishes came true as we went back to the 4-3-3, and like magic, it had an instant impact. From a corner there was a pinball situation in the box, it was bouncing back and forth across the box.

 Eventaully, Turnbull at the corner of the 6 yard box couldn't get a shot away so squared it to none other than the captain, leader, legend Jordan Willis who stabbed it home. I was very happy we were able to make the substitutions count by going 1-0 up. With 15 minutes left to play Sordell entered the field when replacing Agyei.

 We sealed the win with 9 minutes remaining, Page went on a decent run down the left wing and cut back to Andy Rose, the midfielder smashed it in from 12 yards. Game, set and match Coventry City you would think. As this Chesterfield side offered nothing whatsoever you couldn't see them clawing 2 back in 9 minutes.

 Saying that they did nearly head one top bins with a couple of minutes remaining but it skimmed the post on its way wide. Not that it mattered to the result, but Lewis Page picked up a second yellow card in injury time to be sent off. A bit of a silly thing to do when the game is all but won. This does open the door for Ryan Haynes to step up though in the game against Morecambe on Sunday. Bigirimana will also miss out because he has accumulated 5 yellow cards so far this season.

  Not the best performance for the first hour but from then on in the quality really showed to ensure we came away with another 3 points. It may only take us up to 18th position, but this league is so tight that we are only 2 points away from 12th and only 5 off play offs. Anything can happen, but for now we turn our attentions to Morecambe in the FA Cup. I may potentially do a neutral game on Saturday as we have a rare day off. We shall have to see.

My Man of the Match - Lee Burge - I was shocked that we started playing him over Charles-Cook again, but so far I have been proven wrong as he has bagged a couple of clean sheets in good performances. Tonight was no different, he controlled his box perfectly and pulled out a couple of word class saves, all which count towards him winning his first award of the season.

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