Wednesday, 25 January 2017

My Forty-Fifth 16/17 Game - Swansea City u21s vs Coventry City

Bottom of the league, no hope, a whole world of pain, just your average week as a Coventry City fan. But for tonight we looked in the other direction, and if you squint hard enough, you can see the Wembley arch on the horizon. That can only mean one thing, it's Checkatrade Trophy Quarter Final time, where we travelled all the way to Swansea to see whether Me could move within one game of Wembley.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Charles-Cook

Dion Kelly-Evans
Willis
Turnbull
Haynes

Rose
Stevenson
Reilly

Lameiras
Thomas
Reid

Coventry City Substitutes:

Burge
Harries
Finch
Gadzhev
Devon Kelly-Evans
Bigirimana
Jones

That team doesn't contain a striker, George Thomas has scored 2 professional goals. Saying that both of them came in this competition. I said pre-match that we might as well admit that we're going to the dogs if we lost tonight to an under 21 side who's goalkeeper is 38, double the age of our midfielder Ben Stevenson. I was however quietly confident that we would get a win.

First Half

They may have been young but Swansea kept possession incredibly well, we couldn't keep up with them pinging it around the midfield, and when we did it was being passed back to either Turnbull or Willis. They then punted it to the attackers who were about a foot shorter than their marker, to be outmuscled. This whole cycle repeated for most of the match.

 One time this system kind of worked was when a loose defensive header came to George Thonas who sprinted forward only to misplace the final pass to Kyel Reid. It's the same story as with recent weeks, he lacks that end product. Tonight was no different, he was scared to shoot incase the world imploded or something. 

He could've been a real danger to the Swans defence had he just got the little bit more flair. The first real chance of the match came through Callum Reilly, his 18 yard attempt forced a fantastic save out of 17 years too old keeper Tremmel as he got his fingertips around it to push past the post. Before half time could come Ryan Haynes was booked for a very high tackle on the edge of the box. It was a miracle he wasn't sent off today.

Second Half

Adnan Maric came on at half time for Coventry Swansea in the place of Jay Fulton. The game hotted up slightly as the game went on, but it all came tumbling down when Haynes fouled McBurnie in the area with 20 minutes left and the same man converted. Everyone was deflated, the way we were playing I just couldn't see a way back. 

We needed one of two things, a piece of individual brilliance or a horrendous slice of luck to go in out favour, and that came in the perfect fashion on 85 minutes. Jodi Jones, after being subbed on, fell over the ball whilst going down the wing. Whilst trying to get back up he fell over again but won a foul from it somehow.

George Thomas delivered the free kick and despite what some places might say, it certainly didn't meet the head of Jordan Willis, Adnan Maric had tried to nod it away but instead put it straight into the top corner. That was our huge slice of luck, but we took it with 2 hands and went for the game to try and get a winner. 

Unfortunately we didn't manage to get it in normal time, leaving something which would make anyone, especially Coventry City fans, gulp. Reice Charles-Cook isn't known for his penalties, in fact he is actually laughed at slightly for it.

The hosts went first, and scored. George Thomas levelled the scores immediately with a great penalty. Then Cookie guessed prove the critics wrong and keep it out. Substitute Gael Bigirimana took the adavantage to make it 2-1. Byers equalised, but Kyel Reid kept the advantage with the Sky Blues. Charles-Cook pulled out a fantastic save to give Rubén Lameiras the chance to take the us into the semis.

The walk seemed endless, he put it on the spot, sent Tremmel the wrong way and take us within one match of Wembley. I'm still in shock now as to how me managed it, I'm not going to lie, we were dreadful and are lucky to be where we are, but who cares. As they say, Que Sera Sera, whatever will be will be, we're going to Wembley. 

Looking ahead, the march to the arch is in full swing but the main focus still has to be the league campaign, and potentially the biggest game of the season is coming up on Saturday when we travel to Sixfields for the first time since that was our "home". Not only that, 1,500 City fans at the very least will be roaring the team on, some may be in the home end, some on the Jimmy's hill...

My Man of the Match - Reice Charles-Cook - The hero of the hour, saving 2 penalties which takes us into the semis. I can't thank the man enough. 


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