Sunday, 30 July 2017

My Eighth 17/18 Game - Nuneaton Town vs Coventry City

For our last match of pre-season we headed to Nuneaton Town for the second and of our tournament, the first of which resulted in the worst match of football I have possibly ever seen. Even that is sugarcoating it. I was praying with every fibre of my body that it was even slightly better than that, and thankfully, it was.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Charles-Cook

Di. Kelly-Evans
Hyam
Trialist
Leahy

Jones
Stevenson
Shipley
K Thomas

Beavoon
Ponticelli

Coventry City Substitutes:

Addai
Hickman
Thompson
Ford
Camwell
Maycock
Bayliss
Finn
Sayoud

This is most likely our second team but filled with players who will make sporadic appearances throughout the campaign as well as those fighting for spots in the starting eleven against Notts County on Saturday. Once again our bench was filled with our u23 squad to rest those who played yesterday.

First Half

Frighteningly Nuneaton had the first chance of the match after a mistake in the midfield but Charles-Cook charged down well to force Chambers to stab past the post. However not long later Beavon went through and forced a good save out of Tyrell Belford. Only 10 minutes had passed in the match yet still there was more action than the whole of yesterday's fixture.

Then at the 20 minute mark we were treated with a goal, Jodi Jones whipped in a pin point cross which Beavon headed in almost perfectly to the bottom corner. Ponticelli could have doubled the lead almost immediately after but couldn't find the net to the standard that he has done in pre-season against Valenciennes and Mickleover.

We had a couple more chances just before the break, both created by Dion Kelly-Evans, the first lead to Jodi Jones rattling the post while Beavon headed wide of the mark only a minute later. All in all we dominated the first half, displaying positive signs of scoring from open play, contradicting the general thoughts from yesterday.

Half Time - Nuneaton Town 0-1 Coventry City

A few minutes into the second half Kwame Thomas could only strike into the side netting from a tight angle, perhaps he should have done better. Darragh Leahy tried an ambitious volley from distance which sailed miles over the crossbar. Not long after he had to leave the field and was replaced by Chris Camwell. Kyle Finn also came on in place of Kwame Thomas.



Jordan Shipley also got subbed off for Tom Bayliss. Ponticelli nearly doubled the lead with 15 minutes remaining but his header crept just past the post. However the hosts went straight up the other end and scored when Callum Ball's delivery was headed in by Ryan Beswick, very much against the run of play.

With 8 minutes left on the clock Jodi did his trademark cutting onto his favoured left foot and letting fly. I don't know what he's been doing over summer but his precision has come on leaps and bounds, it flew into the top corner. He is looking raring to go and if we has the season we expected of him last year then we could be up there towards the end of the campaign.

Full Time - Nuneaton Town 1-2 Coventry City

So that is it for pre-season 17/18, now we should be ready to go. I'll have a season preview up in the week but despite going to all seven Coventry matches this summer, I'll be missing the first game in the league as well as the Carabao Cup. You couldn't write it, metaphorically as well as literally in this sense.

My Man of the Match - Jodi Jones - We lacked creativity without Jodi, then he came back into the side and played brilliantly. He's done enough to make it into the first team in my opinion, but the only one that counts is the one of Mark Robins.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

My Seventh 17/18 Game - Coventry City vs Liverpool XI

With just a week left until the full season starts we began our final test with the first day of the Nuneaton Tournament. Along with the aforementioned hosts and of course Coventry City, sides were sent by Liverpool, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Glasgow Rangers and PSV Eindhoven. A 2 day contest where each team plays twice. Our matches would be against Liverpool first, and then the following day Nuneaton Town.

Coventry City Starting XI:

O'Brien

Grimmer
Willis
McDonald
Stokes

Vincenti
Kelly
Doyle
Dev. Kelly-Evans

Biamou
McNulty

Coventry City Substitutes:

Addai
Hickman
Trialist (Your guess is as good as mine)
Thompson
Ford
Camwell
Maycock
Bayliss
Finn
Sayoud
Ponticelli

What you can see happening is we're playing one eleven against Liverpool today and another tomorrow against Nuneaton. This is the stronger of the two, I'd say 9 out of the 11 that started today will be on the pitch against Notts County on Saturday. The bench was purely made up of u23s to potentially give some game time to a few off the bench and to basically make up the numbers.

First Half 

Before I begin, I'd like to apologise in advance for how short this report is going to be, it was a very much dull affair. I would even go as far as to say it was one of the most boring matches I have ever seen, there wasn't a single clear cut chance all match. So the plan is, I'll do a brief overview and then just thoughts on the current situation.

Early on Kelly tried an acrobatic volley which sailed miles over the crossbar. Stokesy of all people had a go from 25 yards out of frustration more than anything and his effort surprisingly was on target, but George still comfortably saved. McNulty and Vincenti both had half chances before the first period was out.



Half Time - Coventry City 0 - 0 Liverpool XI

Second Half

If anything the second half was even duller, it was sideways passes galore. The best chance of the match came when Peter Vincenti's header forced a fairly good save and made actual noise come out of the Sky Blues' fans collective mouths regarding the game. Well, non sarcastic noise I should add onto that.

But honestly other than Vincenti getting involved in an almost scrap with a Liverpool winger  that was pretty much it. We barely created anything. But onto my thoughts as our 'first team' played their last friendly before the season begins.

Full Time - Coventry City 0 - 0 Liverpool XI

My Thoughts

We aren't scoring from open play, but it's not a goal scorer we lack, we are pretty much set for strikers with McNulty, Biamou, K Thomas, Beavon and Ponticelli. What we missed today and have done the last couple of matches is some creativity. Jodi Jones was our best player against Barnsley but has missed out on the last two through injury.

We have lacked the spark he brings on the wing but that can't all be put on his shoulders, which is why Ben Stevenson should be brought back into the side. That's not to say Doyle or Kelly are bad footballers, more that they are too similar to be playing alongside one another. Perhaps if we moved Kelly into the number 10 role where we can utilise his goal scoring talents better, with Stevenson dropping into the centre of midfield.

We also need one more winger who is a playmaker, Reid is obviously wanting out and at this point I couldn't care less, but he needs to be replaced. Devon is doing a good job but he has 20 minutes of competitive football to his name. With Ryan Haynes injured for at least another month the left wing needs more depth. As does the right wing to be honest because Vincenti isn't a "winger", more a "right midfielder".

I enjoyed dictating my feelings, I should do it more often, and I'll be back tomorrow for the final pre-season match now that Leamington has been cancelled. Hopefully the Nuneaton match has more action because I don't think I could physically put myself through what we had to today,

My Man of the Match - Devon Kelly-Evans - It's quite hypocritical to say he's not ready and then give him man of the match award but Devon did the job pretty well today. However I just don't think he's experienced enough to maintain it across a season. However I very much hope I'm wrong.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

My Sixth 17/18 Game - Mickleover Sports vs Coventry City

You can imagine the disappointment when it was announced we would be sending our u23 side to Mickleover instead of our first team. However it was still classed as a Coventry City match rather than a 'Coventry City XI', therefore I still went as not only do I want to keep up my 100% record, but also I don't have much of a life outside of football.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Charles-Cook

Hickman
Ford
Thompson
Leahy

Bayliss
Maycock

Stedman
Finn
Sayoud

Ponticelli

Coventry City Substitutes: 

Addai
Green
Eccles
McMahon

The only one in that side who's going to have a sniff of first team football is Jordan Ponticelli. Sadly Charles-Cook has been demoted to third choice keeper when he hasn't really done too much wrong. I'd be surprised if he was still here come the end of the transfer window, he's too old and frankly too good to be sitting in the reserves of a League Two side.



First Half

Possibly the best part about the whole match was getting to see Clinton Morrison again, after about 7 years since he left us in the Championship. He's still knocking about as a 38 year old who's clearly just playing out of love of the game as opposed to money. That's something which you just can't help but respect.

The match got off to a fairly lively start, Kyle Finn's attempt was parried by Draper into the path of Ponticelli, who cannoned it straight off the crossbar. He really should have given The Sky Blues an early lead. We continued to press throughout the first half but couldn't make the breakthrough, but equally we were solid defensively.

Half Time - Mickleover Sports 0-0 Coventry City

Second Half

You know it's non-league football when you can pretty much have a conversation with the opposition keeper, we found out he's a Chelsea fan. He also found the whole situation hilarious when their captain was giving the linesman abuse for not awarding a foul in the hosts favour.  Look out for Nick Draper if you ever head to Mickleover.

The pressing continued throughout the second period and the lower tier defence were barely keeping us at bay. It looked as if it would only be a matter of time and on the hour mark our hard work paid off when Ponticelli scored from the edge of the box out of almost nothing, finding the opposite corner to Draper. 

For the remainder of the match we continued to attack but other than a free kick which cleared the wall and nearly knocked me clean out, there was nothing to note. A routine win against very poor opposition with players I doubt we will see at all over the course of the next season. Pretty pointless going when you think about it...

Full Time - Mickleover Sports 0-1 Coventry City

I say I'm not sure whether I'll be going to the Nuneaton tournament at the weekend but it's likely I'll end up watching us play Liverpool youth on the Saturday and Nuneaton on the Sunday. We edge ever closer to the start of the season where we can all regain sanity and not have to go to far away lands which house teams you've never heard of before.

My Man of the Match - Billy Stedman - Apparently he was the youngest player in the whole side but Stedman very much impressed on the right wing. I wouldn't go as far as to say throw him in the first team but he's certainly one to look out for in the future.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

My Fourth 17/18 Game - Coventry City vs Milton Keynes Dons

Arguably this fixture is the most accurate representation of what we'll be coming up against, so whilst pre-season results don't really matter too much, I was going to be keeping the corner of one eye on the end score. Saying that, had we been battered 4-0 I'd be dismissing it as pointless and that the only results that matter are the ones from August onward.

MK Dons is always a fixture that provides me with memories, whether it be Chris Maguire's two free kicks or Ben Stevenson's screamer. This one however at Nuneaton Town didn't promise to be as glamorous, just another test as we edge closer to Notts County on the fifth of next month. Just a couple of non league fixtures to go.

Coventry City Starting XI:

O'Brien

Grimmer
Willis
McDonald
Stokes

Vincenti
Kelly
Doyle
Dev. Kelly-Evans

McNulty
Biamou


Coventry City Substitutes:

Burge
Trialist (Pearson)
Hyam
Leahy
Di. Kelly-Evans
Stevenson
Shipley
Finn
K Thomas
Beavon
Ponticelli

From what I've seen that looks like our first team side which started the match, aside from perhaps Devon Kelly-Evans. When he's back from injury I'd slot Ryan Haynes straight in at the left midfield position. Instead though we'll have to be dealing with the more attacking of the DKE twins, whom looked very good at Barnsley on Tuesday night.

First Half

The first action of the game came early on through some good work from Marc McNulty, he chased down Lee Nicholls but his block from the keeper's clearance looped over the bar. 6 minutes later though he got a real chance after Liam Kelly was brought down in the area by Cisse. The resulting spot kick was put into the top right corner by the makeshift number ten.



It was quite astonishing how dominant we were over a MK side which seemed to be close to full strength. Later on in the half Vincenti found his way behind the back line but the subsequent cross was stopped well by Nicholls.

Not long later and arguably we produced our best move of the half, Grimmer made his way down the right wing before playing a peach of a cross into the box. Maxime Biamou attempted a Keith Houchen-esque diving header, the result however this time was more central in the goal. He probably should have netted but we'll put it down to a great save from Nicholls.

Half Time - Coventry City 1-0 MK Dons

Second Half

Two changes at the break saw Chris Stokes and Peter Vincenti make way for the villain of Tuesday night Darragh Leahy and Kwame Thomas. The last we saw of Kwame was his injury towards the end of last season but Robins has made it clear he wants to include the former Derby County forward in his plans for the following season.

On the hour mark, McNulty was this time himself brought down in the area but the result was the same, he himself stepped up and buried the spot kick. This was his third penalty conversion from three attempts through this pre season since joining. So you'd assume we've found our first choice taker for he foreseeable future.

After he completed his brace he left the field, with Stuart Beavon coming on in his place. Throughout the second half, the rest of the squad was switched up, from Biamou all the way to O'Brien. The new team were happy to see out the 2-0 win, defending well and attacking tentatively, just passing around the back. Not taking risks.

Full Time - Coventry City 2-0 MK Dons

A good win against a side you would expect to dispose of us with relative ease, but whilst it's hard not to get carried away, it's only pre-sea- you know what I'm sick of saying that. Lets face up to the facts, we're going to win the league and there's nothing any of the teams in this league can do to stop us.

In all seriousness, we're back at it again on Tuesday night as we travel to Mickleover Sports with our pre-season drawing to a close. Before that though I''ll be heading to Griffin Park to see Brentford play Southampton, mainly to tick off another ground and see some decent quality football.

My Man of the Match - Jack Grimmer - In his first full outing in what you would expect to be our first choice back four he was nothing short of exceptional. Darting runs, pin point crosses, clearances, slide tackles, you name it, he did it. I look forward to seeing more of what Shrewsbury fans were raving about when he signed.


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

My Third 17/18 Game - Barnsley vs Coventry City

Back from the tortures of sunny Spain where we only ended up playing the one match, the next friendly was a polar opposite, Yorkshire on a Tuesday night. More specifically, Mark Robins' former club Barnsley. It's not exactly as glamorous when you put the two together. However it's not about what you're looking for outside, it's the football that counts.

This was our biggest test of pre-season so far, that's assuming that the English second tier is better quality than the French second tier. It does also hold a slightly sentimental value as Barnsley was my first ever away game following the City, a 4-1 win with goals from Leon McKenzie, Michael Mifsud, Julian Gray and Kevin Kyle of all people. That was 10 years ago next month, which makes me feel quite uneasy. 

Coventry City Starting XI:

Burge

Grimmer
Willis
McDonald
Leahy

Jones
Kelly
Doyle
Vincenti

McNulty
Beavon

Coventry City Substitutes:

O'Brien
Trialist (James Pearson)
Shipley
Hyam
Maycock
Di. Kelly-Evans
Dev. Kelly-Evans
Biamou
Trialist (Greg Moorhouse)
Stevenson

The squad has changed vast amounts since that sunny day in 2007, although funnily enough, Michael Doyle makes an appearance in both sides, ten years apart. Albeit there was a six year gap between his spells with The Sky Blues. We also managed to acquire the instigator of Leicester's title winning season, not Jamie Vardy or Riyad Mahrez. Jamie Pearson. I won't go into it as I don't want to get in trouble in the legal world but Google is there for a reason.

First Half

Someone literally counted the away following as 58 people, a mixture of loyal fans and Yorkshire Sky Blues but either way. It's only really a friendly, probably more than what Forest Green will bring to us at the end of the year. The home side on the other hand had a couple thousand fans in their stand.

Now we weren't horrendous, defensively you could see where the weak spots were. Without being harsh to the lad Darragh Leahy was poor. You just have to pray Stokes and Haynes will be back soon so we can have some more strength because everything Barnsley did was going down the young Irish lads side. We got away with it on a couple of occasions.

The hosts should have been ahead after 20 minutes but Payne got greedy by shooting instead of laying off to Mallan who was in a one on one situation with the keeper. However just a minute later Leahy failed to close down Stevie Mallan, who struck in at the near post. A cheap goal to concede but Barnsley were ahead nonetheless.

We nearly equalised immediately through an own goal but Townsend recovered well to push away. Jodi Jones brought the ball down well not long later and cut it, letting fly and forcing a good save from the keeper. His decision making looks to have gotten a lot better since last season. Something which you have to be pleased about.

We really weren't given a reward for our couple of chances as Leahy was caught out yet again, with McCarthy breaking free on the right wing. His shot was parried to the side by Burge, right into the path of Payne who tapped the loose ball into the bottom corner. We went in at the break 2 goals down, it could be argued as harsh. But there was also a strong case for it being very much justified.

Half Time - Barnsley 2 - 0 Coventry

Second Half

The only change we made ahead of the second 45 minute period was Ben Stevenson who replaced Liam Kelly. However we changed the whole team throughout the course of the half. Beavon managed to push his way through the Barnsley defence, somehow coming away with the ball, forcing it into the net. Townsend certainly should have done better.

Any hope we may have had of equalising was dashed just 10 minutes later when Bradshaw latched onto some shocking defending by Grimmer to put in an easy finish. O'Brien made his feelings to the right back well known by screaming at him for near enough stopping and letting the ball pass him. It was the easiest finish in the world and Bradshaw made no mistake.

Other than a few half chances and shots we had, not much else happened. Barnsley were happy to see out the win, even though it was a friendly and nothing we created was going for us. Devon Kelly-Evans did look very bright, having the 'Ryan Haynes' ability to weave in and out of defenders. He also nearly scored a good volley late on but it snuck just past the post.

Full Time - Barnsley 3-1 Coventry

I feel like a broken record saying this but whilst we didn't play to well, it's only pre-season so there's no need to panic. The only result that matters is Notts County, then Blackburn, then Grimsby and so on. Take this season one game at a time and don't look at results until they're competitive and actually matter.

Next up is MK Dons at Nuneaton on Friday night, another good test against a side in a higher division. To be honest it's going to be nice to play the likes of Mickleover and Leamington. Just to get some confidence in the players heads, even if they would be against lesser opposition. But as I've said, it doesn't really matter.

My Man of the Match - Jodi Jones - He looks like a different player to the one that came out last season. His awareness on the ball tonight was brilliant. I hope with every fibre that he becomes the world beater that we expected when he signed last May which we've yet to see.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

My Second 17/18 Game - Valenciennes vs Coventry City

It's crazy in itself to be able to follow The Sky Blues on tour, albeit a pre-season tour as opposed to a continental competition. For the first of 2 games in the Alicante region of Spain we faced French Ligue 2 side Valenciennes at the Pinatar Arena.

Before I get onto the match, I thought it was a really nice touch for every single one of the players to come over and meet the travelling fans, say hello, shake their hands and basically thank them for their support. Mark Robins had a chat with a group of us which he explained it's unlikely we'll have a game against other opposition and if we do it'll be Bournemouth's youth side. If not it'll be intersquad.

He also explained he's sill on the hunt for a 'number 9' as one more striker signing, which is good to see although it could be argued we have enough options already. It was nice to talk with the gaffer and look at his thinking from inside the club, it took your mind off the sweltering heat which nearly warranted collapsing.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Burge

Grimmer
Willis
McDonald
Leahy

Jones
Doyle
Stevenson
Vincenti

McNulty
Beavon

Coventry City Substitutes:

O'Brien
Dev. Kelly-Evans
Hyam
Camwell
Kelly
Shipley
Trialist (Moorhouse)
Finn
Biamou
Ponticelli

Once again we had two teams, and we swapped nearly every single player at half time, only Leahy and Doyle kept their spots. Leahy lasting the full 90 minutes whilst Liam Kelly replaced the 35 year old Irishman with 20 minutes remaining. But once again, whilst it would be nice to win, we shouldn't be expecting it or be worried if we didn't. It's about looking which members of the squad deserve a spot in the first team ahead of the start of the season.



First Half

We got off to a pretty shocking start, the French side were making us chase for the ball and forcing us to play their game rather than our own. They went ahead in the fourth minute, Cherif Quenum whipped a cross in to Steve Ambri inside the six yard box, he tapped into the roof of the net to give Valenciennes the lead.

For most of the first half we couldn't muster up a single effort on goal, however we weren't letting our opponents in either. Aside from one offside scare where Burge was left one on one with Foulon, it was a tactical battle of retaining possession and trying to work an opening. Which we did eventually manage to do.

Stuart Beavon showed some great skill on the left and got his reward when he was tackled to the ground in the box. A penalty was awarded, Marc McNulty stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way and score his first goal for the club.

Second Half

Scoring just before the whistle gave us a new found confidence ahead of the second half, the new eleven were no longer going to be chasing the game, but instead playing with freedom as if it had started again. Valenciennes also changed their entire eleven so we weren't at an advantage in terms of how fresh we were.

One thing which really impressed me was how good our passing was, it was all pinpoint and the strikers, Biamou and Ponticelli were bringing every one down perfectly. You could see there was a partnership there given how well they connect, which is astonishing considering Biamou has just signed.

The u18 star nearly put us ahead on a couple of occasions after the restart, hitting the post in one instance. However when a corner was headed back to him he made no mistake, the volley found the top corner with such precision. With Moorhouse's own volley going agonisingly wide, the game could have been at least 4-1 in favour of the Sky Blues but we only had the narrowest of leads.

Disappointingly, we were outdone by some poor luck, a cross was turned in by Domininc Hyam, who was just looking to clear. O'Brien nearly got to it but the change of direction was too much for him to be able to keep it out.

We picked ourselves up again and played some decent football, but the opponents had just one more chance for the rest of the game. Look Nestor found the top corner from the corner of the box with a superb curling effort. This was the last action of the game and we came out as 3-2 losers. Something we shouldn't be downhearted by, it was a valiant performance which deserved more but it wasn't to be.

Next up we've got the second game of the tour (If there is one) on Friday night. I'll still report on it even if it's intersquads playing because it gives more of a chance to analyse individuals rather than be biased and look at the result. If there is no match I'll just have to sit by the pool in 30 degree heat in Alicante, it's a very hard life...

My Man of the Match - Jordan Shipley - It was like his left foot was a wand, but the spell he could perform was putting every single cross and pass on point. We totalled about 5 corners in the second half, one of which leading to the goal, which were taken by Shipley, every single one caused danger in some way. I really hope he manages to assert himself in the first team, we could do with the qualities he offers.


Sunday, 9 July 2017

My First 17/18 Game - Sutton United vs Coventry City

It's been a tough couple of months, a summer with no football, not even internationally, this is something no man should have to put himself through. But fortunately we've gotten through it together, mainly because Mark Robins has become a god in the transfer market, bringing in no less than 9 new faces ahead of the league two campaign. The bottom line of what I'm saying is, FOOTBALL IS BACK.

The first of many trips across the country in the next 12 months took us to Sutton United, a club which gave us wonders last season. Including a noble cup run and piegate. The opposition however was irrelevant, the key part is this was our first glimpse of the new look squad. The first opportunity to see how we're going to set out over the upcoming season.

Coventry City First Half Starting XI:

O'Brien

Di. Kelly-Evans
Hyam
Turnbull
Leahy

Finn
Trialist (Jordan Lussey)
Doyle (C)
Reid

McNulty
Beavon

By no stretch could this be described as our best eleven, we adopted a mix of youth, experience and new signings just to see how they would work. Four debutantes began the first half, Liam O'Brien, Dominic Hyam, Michael Doyle and Marc McNulty. Another three would start the second period, only two new additions didn't make the trip to south west London, Liam Kelly and Jack Grimmer.

It was also a window to look at trialist Jordan Lussey, and a couple of the youth players such as Finn and Leahy. Ultimately though, it's our first game of pre-season, so we shouldn't read much into the result whatever it would turn out to be as this is just a friendly and a chance to get the squad to gel.

First Half

Funnily enough, we started out the fixture on the back foot, O'Brien was called into action on one occasion where he parried well to the right. Overall he commanded his area very well, never flapping at a cross and always getting both hands wrapped around corner balls. Considering he was Portsmouth's second choice I was pleasantly surprised to see how well he performed.



Looking at the other end we were solid on the break, Beavon pressured a defender well to steal the ball in a very dangerous position but opted to pass instead of shoot. This ended up as the wrong decision a Kyel Reid couldn't get his effort on target. Considering they are apparently inches from the exit door, I can't understand why Reid and Turnbull were involved in the squad. I'm sure Robins has his reasoning but to me it doesn't make much sense.

Given the hype he brought when he was invited on trial, Jordan Lussey slightly disappointed with his wayward passes on more than occasion. Close to half time, Moses Emmanuel had a big chance to put Sutton in the lead but squandered the header from roughly 6 yards out.

Half Time - Sutton United 0 - 0 Coventry City

Coventry City Second Half Starting XI:

Charles-Cook

Dev. Kelly-Evans
Willis
McDonald
Haynes

Jones
Shipley
Stevenson
Vincenti

Trialist (Greg Moorhouse)
Biamou

I would say out of the two squads this was the strongest, only three players made their first appearances, McDonald, Vincenti and Biamou, all of which come with promise. Maxime Biamou returned to Sutton with a solid reputation and was welcomed by fans, omething you rarely see in football these days. A touch of class from the National League club.

Second Half

We seemed more attacking and a whole heap more confident with this squad out, which showed as Shipley had a shot saved from 20 yards. New signing Peter Vincenti however had the best opportunity of the game so far early on in the second half, heading agonisingly wide from close range.

Biamou had a couple of chances to take the lead at his old stomping ground but it wasn't to be, both of which were nullified. It was beginning to look like the game would fizzle out in a dull 0-0er until late on in the match when Greg Moorhouse of Glenavon FC, currently on trial with the Sky Blues, slotted home to give the Sky Blues a 1-0 victory.

Full Time - Sutton United 0 - 1 Coventry City

As I have iterated more than once, although it's nice we came away with a victory, we shouldn't look at the result this early on. It's just to build so we're raring to go come Notts County at home on August 5th.

As for the next match, I'll be heading off to Alicante for both matches in the tour against Valenciennes and an unnamed side which is rumoured to be Northampton Town. It's incredibly exciting to have the opportunity to combine two things I love, reporting and following City, in Spain.

My Man of the Match - Michael Doyle - It was a toss up between Doyle and Hyam, both showed brilliant signs, especially as they are new signings. But Doyle was an exceptional captain and almost every pass he played was on point. Not to mention he has managed this at the age of 35, I look forward to seeing what he can do next season.