Monday, 27 March 2017

March to the Arch - Day 2 - Northampton

The second game in our Checkatrade Trophy campaign and the second (and final) match in this tournament I didn't attend, this time because I literally couldn't get there. So my mystery destination this time is a house in Leicestershire, a little less glamorous than a hotel lobby in a sunny destination like for the West Ham match but I was equally glued to my phone looking for updates.

To add context, we had just won our first game of the season, Mark Venus' first in charge and were all treating him as if he were the messiah. We also thought that because we'd won one game against a bunch of kids that Wembley was sewn up already. A tad too early perhaps but we needed some form of optimism after the start we'd endured.

Starting XI:

Lee Burge

Jamie Sterry
Jordan Willis
Jordan Turnbull
Lewis Page

Gael Bigirimana
Vladimir Gadzhev

Jodi Jones
Chris McCann
Daniel Agyei

Marvin Sordell


Corey Addai
Sam Ricketts
Cian Harries
Ben Stevenson
Devon Kelly-Evans
Ruben Lameiras
Marcus Tudgay

In perhaps the most bizarre start to a football match ever, there was 3 goals in the first minute. I'm not sure if this shows that football is the best sport in the world or that the quality on display in the early stages of this tournament was similar to the San Marino under 11s third tier. That's an ever so slight exaggeration but the point still stands.

The first goal came for us just 21 seconds in, the fastest ever goal scored at the Ricoh, and it came via a Darren Huckerby vs Man United style run from the underwhelming loanee Daniel Agyei. It was a good goal don't get me wrong, but why on earth has he not been closed down there, especially as a light breeze could take the ball away from him.

What makes it even worse is Agyei has gone on to make his Premier League debut since returning to Burnley, he was extremely mediocre so how that happened is beyond me. In typical Coventry fashion the perfect start wasn't allowed to happen, which was made evident a whole 60 seconds later. Willis somehow missed a routine interception and allowed Marc Richards the easiest of tap ins. Scintillating football on display.

Before the tenth minute was even reached we managed to take the lead once again, Jodi picked up the ball in the final third and unnecessarily ended the defenders career by nutmegging him. I won't even name him because I assume he's still recovering but once he was left for dead Jones cooly slot in at the far post to end a heart in mouth first section of the match.

Not only did it put an end to the first section, but it seemed to put an end to the match. A whole 90 minutes worth of action looked to have been packed into the first 8 for the most part. Now big shout out to Mitch and Tom for live streaming the match on Facebook and helping myself and other City fans in our hour of need. If it weren't for them I wouldn't have seen the Mitre Goal of the Year contender from Ruben Lameiras.

Chris McCann, who I assume nowadays is sunning himself in Atlanta occasionally hoofing a ball about and picking up £30k at the end of the week, played a perfectly weighted 40 odd yard pass to Ruben. He controlled it well and lofted it over Cornell exquisitely, honestly, why doesn't he play more often.

That was pretty much it other than Burge fumbling an easy ball and nearly gifting the Cobblers a goal but what's new there? A 3-1 victory which took us only into second place in the group, behind Wycombe on goal difference, but crucially, we were through to the knockout stages. To get a home tie though we needed to go to Wycombe away and get three points.

So just 6 days are left until the M1 experiences horrendous traffic, and the longest week of my life is underway. Anyone excited yet? I certainly am. Make sure you tune in tomorrow to hear tales of a 4 goal comeback, a brace from left back and me getting elbowed in the eye, well that can only mean Wycombe away.

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