Wednesday, 27 September 2017

My Nineteenth 17/18 Game - Swindon Town vs Coventry City

Swindon Town away. Guaranteed loss. It's been impossible to break this habit for generations, my father is 51 years of age and not once in his life time have we achieved a league win. When the fixture list came out and I saw this was a night match the though "Not a chance are we winning there" immediately sprung to mind. But still, records are there to be broken, especially having just come off the back of a brilliant 2-0 win over then unbeaten Exeter City.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Burge

Grimmer
Willis
McDonald
Stokes

Doyle
Kelly

Dev. Kelly-Evans
Nazon
Jones

Biamou

Coventry City Substitutes:

O'Brien
Di. Kelly-Evans
Davies
Shipley
Maycock
McNulty
Ponticelli

With both Biamou and Vincenti getting injured on Saturday it was time for Biamou and Devon Kelly-Evans getting their big breaks. Both looked solid in their time in the Exeter win, especially Devon, who netted the winner late on. Other than that there's no need to twiddle with a broken side, so we remained unchanged. A positive side I very much liked, but could they be miracle workers and break the voodoo?

First Half

There's only one place to start, and it's with Maxime Biamou's eventful first five minutes. Firstly, barely 2 minutes had been played before he found himself in behind the defence after Doyler's through ball. Vigouroux was out quickly to narrowen the angles of which he could score and made himself big, forcing Max to shoot out the keeper.

The second, and bigger talking point was when he was through once more just 2 minutes later, but was brought down on the edge of the box. No other defender in sight, clear free kick and red card, but the referee wasn't having any of it. This caused uproar from the fans, it was an obvious decision from where we were standing, and I've heard numerous better placed Swindon fans say the same thing. The way he was through on goal he had no reason to go down, and if he did, why was a dive and free kick not awarded the other way?

Whilst the former Sutton striker nearly scored once more, the inevitable happened at the other end. Rod McDonald could only hoof Keshi Anderson's cross directly in the air, Luke Norris pounced on the rebound and volleted it straight into the top corner. It was a fantastic strike, Lee Burge had no chance whatsoever.

This knocked our confidence for a fair while, we needed something to reignite the spark, and that came via Jodi Jones. His run down the right wing put him in a good position to square the ball into the area. With the help of a deflection, it found Michael Doyle who bundled it into the net, coming off Vigouroux's leg in the process. But suddenly, it was 1-1 and we were very much back in the game.

On the stroke of half time The Duck had the ball in the net but it was pulled back for an alleged foul by Biamou. I'm not going to go into another refereeing rant because if I did that every time there was a controversial decision made then this would go on forever. In fairness, it probably was a foul, I can't say I saw it too vividly.

Half Time - Swindon Town 1-1 Coventry City

Second Half

Much like the first half, almost inmediately after kick off there was a huge penalty appeal. This one I saw clearly, he was yards away from connecting with the ball. As clear a penalty as you will ever see. Instead though the ref had the cheek to give a corner. At this point we were all livid, thinking up conspiracies regarding his accumulator or where his football allegiance lied.

Personally I was beginning to think it was going to be another one of 'those' days and that the Swindon curse would continue. Still however despite these setbacks, we carried on dominating and dictating the pace of the game. Jodi worked some more magic but was unlucky nobody gambled on his cross to the edge of the six yard box.

Once more, the referee had an issue to deal with. Michael Doyle held onto James Dunne's leg as he was trying to walk away, something which he was later booked for, but Dunne kicked out in the direction of Doyler's face. Usually he would stay down, clutching his face like it has taken a bullet. Instead however he was up straight away ready for a scrap, once the situation was calmed down Dunne was shown a straight red card.

We couldn't have been given a better opportunity to go on and win the game after the home side went down to ten men. I'd have taken a point and ran at kick off, but we were in with a serious shout of coming away with all 3. The team also knew this so were continuing with the constant pressure, and that was when the moment of magic came.

On the edge of the area with 15 minutes to play, The Duck turned his man and struck into the top corner, with Vigouroux rooted to the spot. It was a brilliant goal, it's up there with his volley against Cambridge last week. I'm confident that if he stays he will go on to be the clubs top goalscorer, that's assuming McNulty doesn't start being a bagsman when he returns properly from injury.

The Duck was also booked for jumping into the fans when celebrating, just adding to the list of many reasons why I'm going to miss him endless amounts when he returns to Wolves. With 10 minutes remaining Jordan Shipley came on for Jodi Jones in our first substitution of the evening. Robins might as well have just announced on the tannoy system that we were holding out for a one goal lead.



I still have nightmares of all the times we've sat back against Swindon, the Leon Clarke bottle job. The 2-0 up with 5 minutes left bottle job. The list very much goes on. Whilst fighting extremely hard for the victory late on, Chris Stokes appeared to dislocate his shoulder so went off with Tom Davies taking his place. Fingers crossed they can just pop it back in and he'll be good to go.

I almost cried when 7 additional minutes were put up on the board, it felt like the longest of my life, excluding the Checkatrade Semi Final and Final it was the most nervous I've ever felt at football clinging onto a win. To waste a bit of time Biamou was replaced by Marc McNulty. This was the best Biamou has played since joining. Had it not been for the missed chances at the beginning I would've gone as far as giving him Man of the Match.

Swindon had their own penalty appeal turned down in the most heart beat moment of my life, Davies appeared to push their forward in the air. On another day it probably should have been a penalty, but you can't not give all of the ones we had turned down and then make that call in the fifth minute of injury time. There'd have been riots everywhere had he blown the whistle for it.

Once what felt like an hour had been played we were all very much relieved when the referee blew the full time whistle. This was 3 points that I didn't envisage us getting in a million years, and was so proud that we managed it. 6 points from Exeter and Swindon really isn't something I thought I'd be saying pre-match on Saturday.

Full Time - Swindon Town 1-2 Coventry City

We now have two crucial games in Crewe and Barnet that as we've won against these very hard opposition you would expect us to deal with with relative ease. However this is Coventry City Football Clubs after all, and it would be foolish to say otherwise. We're going to need to be at our very best, starting with Crewe at the Ricoh on Saturday.

My Man of the Match - Duckens Nazon - His strike would be worthy of winning this award alone. However he had another great game, with the goal topping it all off. His drawing of fouls (albeit some not given) was second to none. I'm going to try and forget that eventually we will have to give him back and just believe that the good times will carry on forever.


2 comments:

  1. Like you I thought we would lose this game, but gladly we were proved wrong, its nice lady luck is helping us out a bit with deflections etc. January will be make or break (will sisu sell or buy players)
    pusb

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    Replies
    1. It's tough to tell, it's equally down to how loyal some players will be. For example I can't see us keeping hold of Jodi.

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