Saturday, 31 December 2016

My Thirty-Ninth 16/17 Game - Peterborough United vs Coventry City

 Ok, yet another game where when writing the I have to try and not cry on to my keyboard, but for completely different reasons to usual. I wasn't at Bristol Rovers (The first match I've missed in months) so can't comment on the performance but from what I hear it was exactly like it usually is. Dire. It's unfair to blame Russell Slade, he should be judged on whether he's a successful manager or not after January.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Burge

Sterry
Willis
Turnbull
Page

McCann
Stevenson
Rose

Thomas
Tudgay
Reid

Coventry City Substitutes

Charles-Cook
Kelly-Evans
Bigirmana
Jones
Lameiras
Sordell
Agyei

I heard a rumour pre-match that Sordell would be off to Burton Albion, the team selection almost confirmed it. Every single game he's available for selection he starts, yet this time he was on the bench. Plus Stevenson is rumoured to be on his way out to either Brentford or Wolves depending on whoever puts in the better offer. I'm not sure how I'll cope with the loss of my personal favourite "Sordellinho". I suppose I'll have to take it as a surprise but I can't say it's going to be pretty.

 First Half

In the first half something very strange was going on, Coventry City were performing quite well in a game of football. That paid off when the ball fell pleasantly to Jordan Willis in the 6 yard box after a corner and he poked it past McGee to give the Sky Blue faithful a feeling that had not been experienced in so long. Joy.

 It was a mix of jubilation and pure shock, everyone expected us to go in to the match and get battered, instead we found ourselves 1-0 up. Either way we all very much enjoyed it to say the least. Still looking to get his first career league goal, George Thomas set himself up well and bent an effort towards the far corner which forced a good stop out of McGee.

 Going into the break, it was obvious we were the better team, although there were few clear cut chances we were dictating the pace of the game by controlling possession and forcing Posh to work for the ball rather than vise-versa. For the first time in almost 3 months I went in at the half time break feeling happy.

Second Half

Due to a knock he picked up in the first period, Lewis Page had to be taken off before the second half could commence and was replaced by Dion Kelly-Evans who took up the unnatural position of left-back. Both sides had half chances here and there in the early stages of the second half but nothing was worth shouting about.

 In a bid to give the game a bit more attacking flair, we brought on Jodi Jones for George Thomas on the right. This was a clever change because we had noticed how Kyel Reid's pace had been troubling the Peterborough right back so we thought that we duplicate this by adding Jones in to the equation on the other flank.

 It seemed to work almost instantly, Jones was twisting and turning, running their left back ragged. But unfortunately their quick fix to being destroyed down the wings was very effective, they fouled them. Taking it in turns, the hosts were fouling the pair to stop them proceeding any further. A bit of shirt pulling here, a body check there. I even saw a flying elbow hit Reidy in the face and go unpunished.

 The referees lenience seemed to work in their favour, we couldn't really catch a break, so we ditched the "control the game" policy and reverted back to backs against wall, pray that we don't concede. Peterborough are obviously a good side so they spotted this tactic being used and saw their opportunity. To put it lightly, they started to throw the kitchen sink at us.

I'll credit our defence, for once, and will say that they were doing a good job of keeping them at bay. Although I had a feeling deep down that it wouldn't be enough, we really needed to try and get a second goal. Which I thought we were trying to do when Sordell replaced Tudgay in what could be his last game for the club, that wasn't to be though, he ended up playing a kind of centre midfield role.

 Marcus Maddison was proving a real problem for us, Coulthirst was on the end of one of his crosses but flicked the ball into the arms of Burge. Then Maddison himself stabbed wide, our defensive grip seemed to be slipping away from us, especially when Burge's one hand low down save kept Bostwick out in injury time.

 We had gotten through the worst of it, we were sealing out the game. Or so we thought... We were playing it safe and punted it forward to Sordell. Bostwick was all over his back, plain free kick clear as day. For some reason he didn't give it, then the inevitable happened. Marcus Maddison received the ball on the right wing, sprinted forward, lumped a cross into who else but Bostwick. Unmarked, he got his head round it and equalised.

 It gave us all heartbreak, we all thought that we weren't going to get anything out of the match. But we were devastated to get only one. It's weird how things work out isn't it? Either way, if we're looking at it from a "What would you have wanted pre-match?" perspective then I'm happy with a 1-1 draw.

Still, on to the next fixture we go, against 2nd placed Bolton. Apparently we'll have 3 players in the team by then, one of which has been confirmed to be Nathan Clarke from Bradford. He seems like exactly what we need at this current moment in time. Stuart Beavon is apparently another joining as part of a swap deal with Sordell. We'll have to see what occurs in the next few days, all before game 40 of my football season.

My Man of the Match - Kyel Reid - Aside from being completely taken out on a few occasions and taking an elbow to the nose, Reidy had an excellent game on the left. Hopefully he can turn his inconsistency into some more good performances like today. This is his second award of the season.


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