Sunday, 9 April 2017

My Sixty-Second 16/17 Game - Coventry City vs Peterborough United

Our Wembley jubilation was brought crashing back down to earth on Wednesday with our 2-0 defeat away at Sheffield United. This killed off any small glimmer of hope that some people may have had, as everything is now all but mathematically confirmed. In fact going into the match there was a very real chance we could be relegated, a loss confirmed it, a draw would keep our heads barely above water unless Port Vale, Gillingham and Oldham all drew. Even a win and we could have been down, but that relied on the 3 teams aforementioned all picking up 3 points.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Burge

Foley
Clarke
Turnbull
Haynes

G Thomas
Stevenson
Bigirimana
Reid

Lameiras
Beavon

Coventry City Substitutes:

Charles-Cook
Stokes
Kelly-Evans
Reilly
Jones
Folivi
Tudgay

The hero of the hour returned to the first team after recovering from his Wembley hangover which carried over on Wednesday whilst Stevenson also made it back into the starting eleven. Willis' ongoing thigh problem meant that Kevin Foley had to play right back, personally I would have gone with Dion Kelly-Evans but who am I to question our lord and master Mark Robins.

First Half

After the match I described our performance as 'annoyingly good' on Twitter, and I branded it so because you can clearly see this side is way too good to be relegated. If we hadn't have messed around for so long by sticking with Venus for so long and then wrongly appointing Russell Slade then god knows where we'd be. Tony Mowbray resigned in September, we would be at least upper mid table had Robins come in then.

For a team in the top half, Posh were below par by a long stretch, we ran rings round them from kick off. The first real chance came from a corner however, George Thomas whipped it in and it met the head of the very much improved Jordan Turnbull but was agonisingly cleared off the line. Originally it looked like it might have crept over but I seriously doubt it did in hindsight.

Nearly half an hour in and we very nearly saw something earth shattering, Stuart Beavon hit the post with an overhead kick close to the penalty spot. Had that attempt gone in I would have most likely stopped watching football, because you wouldn't be able to top that, I could die happy knowing I'd seen it.

We carried on pressing but the attacks were matched quite well, Lameiras alone had two or three attempts nullified. Seven minutes before the break and Martin Samuelsen went down in the area after being body checked by Turnbull. Although he did appear to go down slightly easily, the fact of the matter is, a spot kick was awarded.

Craig Mackail-Smith was the one to step up, he tried to blast it down the middle but Burge managed to get a vital leg on to it, sending it over the bar. The miss has actually given me an idea for a post which may or may not be out in the week. Knowing my consistency most likely not but it'll be a light-hearted theory as to how we still have our collective heads, barely, above water.

Half Time - Coventry City 0-0 Peterborough United

Second Half

At the break Kyel Reid went off and was replaced by Jones, and he had an instant impact, albeit psychological. Beavon got to the edge of the box and tapped to Lameiras, he switched it on to his left foot and with the perfect grass cutter into the far corner he made it 1-0 to the Sky Blues. The nearly 11,000 that attended were creating a great atmosphere.



In fact I think there was a rendition of 'Twist and Shout' which lasted at least 10 minutes going on 15, it's incredible that even in the situation we're in. What a perfect advert for potential new owners looking at the club, it proves to them that Sunday was a one off. Perhaps ones from the far east, China maybe, whom have ties with the likes of Joe Elliot and Gary Hoffman. Of course I'm speaking totally hypothetical here...

Back to the football and Peterborough had their only other serious attempt on goal along with the penalty, it was at no fault of our defence, Junior Morias decided to let one fly from 25 yards and it smacked the post. Marcus Maddison's rebound was smothered by Burge. With 20 minutes remaining Stevenson went down injured, it was probably slight relief to the players to have a water break from the 20 degree heats.

Stevo was eventually taken off and not risked for the final 20 minutes and on came Callum Reilly. The Sky Blues were happy to see the game out from here, Thomas had an attempt saved well by McGee but as Posh were offering little to nothing, we happily took our foot off the gas to play it safe and come away with the 1-0 victory.

Full Time - Coventry City 1-0 Peterborough United 

I'm currently in four minds about the remainder of the season, it's as if I've got multi personality disorder I keep changing my mind. Number one is, yes we're all but down, but keep fighting for as long as possible and see how long we can last, all while building for League Two next season. The second is more morbid, I want us to be down so we're put out of our misery and are able to focus on League Two.

The third is, when we are relegated, I'd like it to be versus Charlton this Friday, because then the experience would be a lot more bearable as their fans would console us rather than take the mickey. The final one is, win all four games, hope one of Gillingham, Bury and Shrewsbury don't gain any more points, and if they do, no more than one. All of this happening whilst we manage to make up 10 goals on goal difference, Swindon, Port Vale and Chesterfield go down nicely without a fight. Leaving us to finish on 47 points just outside the relegation zones. Easy.

Next up we have Charlton on Good Friday, where there will be a protest march, fans united together, and maybe a few things lobbed on the pitch. Whether it be pigs, elephants, or even people, I'm sure something will happen. But will these potential new owners see this in a good or bad light, only time will tell.

My Man of the Match - Gael Bigirimana - I don't care how much he has to give him, but for the love of god Robins needs to keep hold of Biggie in League Two. Promise him the captaincy or something, he's the perfect material and would potentially drag us kicking and screaming to promotion. Imagine keeping him and Stevenson in the fourth tier with a clinical goal scorer up front. We'd rip the league to pieces.

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