Tuesday, 28 March 2017

March to the Arch - Day 3 - Wycombe (Away)

5 days remain, 5 whole days. It feels so close yet so far at the exact same time. But our third Checkatrade Trophy match takes us back to early November where we took on Wycombe Wanderers for the first of two encounters in the competition this season at Adams Park. Drumroll please, I was actually able to get to this one. Once again my shoutouts will come into play here, thanks to Tom for the lift to Wycombe. Norwich on top of that back in August for the 6-1 thrashing.

We needed to beat Wycombe if we wanted a home draw in the next round, and I'm glad we did, because Wycombe ended up drawing Millwall away. That wouldn't have been particularly pretty, not only is Millwall as a place not the nicest, but also we wouldn't have got through to where we are now. 

At this point in the season I was having continuous fits looking at every team sheet wondering why Ryan Haynes wasn't picked over Lewis Page, it still shocks me now. Cup games were his time to shine, so when I saw he made the bench here I was elated that Mark Venus still knew he existed. However that satanic job thief loanee from West Ham also made it on. Here's the full team:

Starting XI:

Reice Charles-Cook

Callum Maycock
Cian Harries
Jordan Turnbull

Dion Kelly-Evans
Jack Finch
Andy Rose 
Jamie Sterry

Ruben Lameiras
George Thomas
Jack McBean

Substitutes: 

Corey Addai
Lewis Page
Ryan Haynes
Gael Bigirimana
Kyle Spence
Jodi Jones
Daniel Agyei

Looking back, I can see why we got trashed in the first half, what on earth is that side? We've got an out and out right back on the left wing, an 18 year old midfielder in defence. I think at the time I was on the verge of some form of mental breakdown but in hindsight it's hilarious that we managed to win.

Night away games are my favourite kind of matches, because it's only the proper hardcore that go so it's just singing non stop for ninety minutes. I've gotten back at gone 1am with an early start the next day on more occasions than I would care to admit. I think there was about 250 of us there, which isn't bad for a near dead rubber match in a "tinpot" (until we became good) trophy.

Whilst games like this can produce magical moments and scenes to be remembered, they can also be extremely foul affairs if it doesn't go well. Take Wimbledon away in February for example, it was great, I did a Steve Evans run down the touchline and was ready to take 3 points back on the train with me. That was until we conceded in the 94th minute and I started kicking advertising boards in anger. Oh well, the Sainsbury's muffins cheered me up ever so slightly.

The point I'm trying to make is, when we went 1-0 down thanks to a poor strike from Stephen McGinn which took a deflection making it out of Cookie's reach I wasn't too happy. That was pretty much all that happened in the first half, it really kicked off in the second, 6 times to be exact. But before we saw any of that, Haynes got his reintroduction at half time. In fact we made a triple sub for a laugh. Jones and Bigirimana also came on in place of Rose and Lameiras.

After just 8 minutes of running around on a pitch finding his feet Haynes made a massive howler to gift it to Scott Kashket, who made it 2-0. An extremely undercooked pass back to Cookie meant Kashket was able to dance round him and have an easy tap in to double the lead. I was in a stage of grief that the moment I'd waited for so long turned out to be a funeral to his chances of staying in the squad.

The ginger Ronaldo had other ideas, a blistering run down the left and a Ronaldo chop later he had the opportunity to shoot. On his right foot he found the far corner to spark a revolution amongst the away team as well as saving me from a heavy twitter blasting regarding all of my "#FreeRyanHaynes" comments.

What made it even better, he did it again, Jodi did extremely well to keep it in on the far side and he played it across the box where Haynes shot back across goal and it trickled in the net. It was definitely Haynes' goal, that's what we tell people. It wasn't an own goal at all... If we keep quiet then maybe they won't take the goal off him.



Jodi then did some more magic on the right to feed the ball into a lurking George Thomas who this time didn't have to rely on the defenders putting it in for him and poked it into the back of the net for, funnily enough, his first ever goal for the Sky Blues. He's developed into a decent little player this season.

To put the cherry on the icing on the cake Haynes got his second assist of the game (technically) by unselfishly pulling the ball back to Biggie who after 6 years (ish) got his first goal for the club. This is when the magical eye elbowing incident happened. It confirmed we'd won the group so there was a big celebration and I nearly hit the ground after taking a large blow.

It was possibly the best away day of the season, saying that, there hasn't been many, but it meant we went into the knockout stages of the Checkatrade Trophy where we drew Crawley Town at home in the round of 32 stage. Which will be day 4 tomorrow, not long left until my voice completely goes after the biggest culmination of City fans ever recorded. Unless you count 60s stories where people jumped the walls at Highfield Road and there was 60k packed in. But I'm going off topic...

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