Sunday, 26 March 2017

March to the Arch - Day 1 - West Ham u23s

A week. 7 days. 168 hours. 10,080 minutes. 604,800 seconds. That is all that separates Coventry City and the home of English football, and to celebrate I shall be counting down the 7 games that have brought us to this point. Going all the way back to August, in our first match of the Checkatrade Trophy we all thought this format was diabolical and most of us stood by the B team boycott, but the less said about that the better.

As I say, the whole u23 teams being in the tournament was new and because we're human, we don't like change. It may seem a bit hypocritical that I am doing this on a match I wasn't even at, it was late August and I was on holiday so missed this along with the Northampton home match, sue me. But for the 2,096 people that did attend, they witnessed a 6 goal thriller.

It was such a long time ago that Tony Mowbray was manager, since then three other men have managed the club, just to put that into perspective. Even the team seems weirdly different compared to what it is now, I forgot a few of them even played for us and how Mowbray tried forcing them into playing a 3-4-3. Here was the team we played:

Starting XI:

Lee Burge

Jordan Willis
Cian Harries
Jordan Turnbull

Dion Kelly-Evans
Gael Bigirimana
Chris McCann
Ryan Haynes

Ruben Lameiras
Marvin Sordell
Daniel Agyei


Reice Charles-Cook
Sam Ricketts
Jack Finch
Ben Stevenson
George Thomas
Jodi Jones
Marcus Tudgay

So I was sitting in a hotel lobby getting Twitter updates on my phone for our match against some kids questioning what the point in life was, and what made it worse was the fact we went 1-0 down half an hour in at the hands of Antonio Martinez. It was shambolic defending and communicating from Burge and Willis which allowed him to just steal the ball and tap it in.

Thankfully however before I could jump in the pool clutching a toaster I saw that we equalised via at the time new signing Jordan Turnbull. A decent half volley after Harries pulled it back to him, a very scrappy goal but they all count. At this point I thought our experience should carry us to a comfortable victory, and in fairness, I was right.

Half time came and went and 3 minutes into the second period we took the lead when Daniel Agyei's Strictly Come Dancing style dribbling fooled the defenders meaning he was free to lay off to Lameiras. The winger who definitely doesn't get played enough now side footed in off the post. Things were looking up.

Captain I believe Willis got in on the action with less then 20 minutes left on the clock. Two substitutes combined in Jones and Tudgay from a free kick near the corner leaving Jordan to tap in. The rout was completed another couple of minutes later from Turnbull once again, in almost identical fashion to Willis' goal, a Jones free kick led to a fairly straight forward goal.

4-1 up with 2 minutes left, surely nothing could change this? It's not like Coventry City to tarnish a good performance, Kelly-Evans tripped their left winger up for no reason and got himself a second booking. It's a pity because he has turned into a great full back this season, maybe he's learnt from it well.

We weren't done there, but we conceded what can only be described as a screamer from Martinez as he volleyed, sliced, whatever you want to call it, it left Burge scrambling across the line unable to do anything. So it was a slightly less glamorous but still impressive 4-2 victory, 3 of the 4 goals came from defenders called Jordan. I found that mildly amusing from unnamed abroad country.

So that was day one, tune in tomorrow where I'll be reminiscing moments such as the fastest goal in Ricoh Arena history, and a goal similar to THAT Huckerby run verses Man United. Also, the second and only other game I didn't attend, so another mystery destination to be found out, what more could you want?

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