Sunday, 1 October 2017

My Twentieth 17/18 Game - Coventry City vs Crewe Alexandra

Tuesday night left me in disbelief, we had taken 3 points at the County Ground. Something we hadn't done since 1960. That made it 6 from 6 against two big promotion candidates. In theory, having toppled Exeter and Swindon, Crewe at home should have been a light stroll in the park given our form compared to theirs. However it would be foolish to even think in such a way, and anyway, prior to the 15/16 season, Crewe were very much our bogey team.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Burge

Grimmer
Willis
McDonald
Stokes

Doyle
Kelly

Jones
Nazon
Dev. Kelly-Evans

Biamou

Coventry City Substitutes:

O'Brien
Davies
Di. Kelly-Evans
Shipley
Stevenson
McNulty
Beavon

Completely unchanged from Tuesday night, and rightly so. The only thing to note would be Ben Stevenson's inclusion onto the bench, signalling his return from injury. He's been somewhat unfairly shunted out of the first team but you can't really drop either of Doyle or Kelly as they've done nothing wrong. Maybe his only chance is when Doyler starts to break down given his age, but that doesn't look to be any time soon.

First Half

The first few minutes were a bit dodgy, Crewe very nearly went ahead after some poor defending. Chris Porter struck just wide of the mark. Then we encountered a huge slice of luck courtesy of the corner flag. Jodi chased down a defender and blocked his clearance, it struck the flag and came right back into his path. He darted down the byline and squared to Duckens Nazon, who side footed into the top corner. Up there with the luckiest goals I've ever seen but they all count.

Soon after Jodi Jones managed to hit the bar with a toe poke from the edge of the area, from the goal we had a period of sheer dominance for about 20 to 30 minutes. We really should have scored in this time to make the game feel more comfortable. No real chances of note appeared however, as we went into half time 1-0 up.

Half Time - Coventry City 1-0 Crewe Alexandra

Second Half

A few minutes into the second half and The Duck nearly did something which would have had him a statue built in Coventry City Centre. A cross came in with his back to goal and he flung his legs at it, attempting the overhead kick. Crewe's understudy keeper Dave Richards (who might I say had an incredible game given it was his professional debut) tipped round the post.

The game went a bit stale from here, we were allowing pressure and weren't really producing anything ourselves. Last seasons side would have folded completely, but this bunch aren't mugs. This was to be our seventh clean sheet out of 11 games. We have the best defensive record in the league by far. This meant we swallowed up everything that was thrown at us with relative ease.



The visitors' only real chance came with 20 minutes left on the clock when Walker leathered a free kick from the corner of the box, it clipped the crossbar. Although at this stage we did look slightly shaky, like the pressure may prove a bit too much soon. We needed a second goal, the substitution was made. Off went Maxime Biamou, and on came Marc McNulty Stuart Beavon.

I joke around but to be fair to Beavon he came on and did what Stuart Beavon does well. He played through Nazon who really should have put the game to bed but was denied by Richards. Then a few minutes later again, with the second of a double save. Who'd have thought it, but the 34 year old provided the attacking prowess for us to see out the game.

Full Time - Coventry City 1-0 Crewe Alexandra

Being completely honest, we were nowhere near our best, but even that's a positive. It shows that even though we were pretty poor we can still keep a clean sheet and win. I may even be being a tad harsh, but it doesn't matter how the wins come, as long as they do. I couldn't care less how we got on on Tuesday. We had our dream day in that trophy last season, and now I'd rather focus on the league. Saying that, I'll still go.

My Man of the Match - Duckens Nazon - I'm sorry to go all "Just give it to the goalscorer" on you, but hear me out. He was the constant attacking threat all match and the only one who shot as much as possible. Ben Mayhew (who does football graphs on Twitter and I would very much recommend) crunched the numbers and we had an expected goals number of 2.87 yesterday. Most of that was down to The Duck. We'll really miss him when he goes on international duty for the next couple of league games.







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