Sunday, 8 October 2017

My Twenty-Second 17/18 Game - Barnet vs Coventry City

With 3 wins on the bounce under our belt and a win/draw in the Checkatrade Trophy, overconfidence was very much a danger. Barnet being in poor form just added to the unnecessary pressure, as on paper, we should be winning with relative ease. To make things even better, their star man last season John Akinde was out injured.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Burge

Grimmer
Willis
McDonald
Stokes

Doyle
Kelly

Jones
McNulty
Dev. Kelly-Evans

Biamou

Coventry City Substitutes:

O'Brien
Davies
Shipley
Stevenson
Vincenti
Biamou
Ponticelli

If I had the choice, that is likely the exact side I would've played, it brings Marc McNulty back into the fold after an impressive performance on Tuesday night in the cup. Biamou remained after a couple of slightly above average performances in recent games, but mainly because our beloved pond  bird is away sampling the delights of international football.

First Half

This is going to be a slight struggle to write, as *spoiler alert* it was a fairly horrendously boring 0-0 draw. Although if you were interested enough to click on this post then you probably already knew the score anyway. ANYWAY, once this competitive season have we drawn 0-0 and that was at Chesterfield, but even that had some chunky talking points such as Vincenti's disallowed goal or McNulty's inability to remember how to score.

Because of this I'm going to be bringing back everyone's beloved feature at the end, 'My Thoughts', but this time, a tad less ranty. Before that though, match events. Out of the two halves, the first was more tedious than the second. We were playing long ball against a side who specialise in long ball, and a side who were happy to play for a draw at that.

Concrete Rod seemed to launch one at the especially short Devon Kelly-Evans almost every time he received the ball, the poor lad never had a chance. It became incredibly boring because of this, I'm not sure if I've mentioned. There were only 2 mild have chances of note, Biamou's looping header and Akpa-Akpro's (Best Football name since Eric Djemba-Djemba) shot from a tight angle which he leathered into the stands.

Half Time - Barnet 0-0 Coventry City

Upon watching the match highlights on YouTube I realise that the second half was more eventful than originally thought. The 15 minute period after kick off really should have been when we scored and took control, we did get so very close. Marc McNulty was played in down the right and cut back to Devon Kelly-Evans, he sliced it into the path of Doyler who could only stretch enough to tap it. Had the skipper left in then Jodi Jones was free waiting to have a go at goal.

Jack Grimmer's run and cross down the right was met by Max Biamou, but unfortunately he could only direct it at the keeper for him to make an easy save. I then saw something which made me want to tear my own eyes out, it's a 3 on 3, Liam Kelly has tremendous amounts of space 40 yards out, McNulty is free on the right or equally he could run into the gap. Instead however, he tries his lucky and it goes high and wide. That was the one that shot me, not literally, although even though I was at the back of the stand it was blooming close.



A Jodi Jones weak foot scuff later and the pressure began to ease off, Barnet were sitting back trying for the draw and we seemed to be obeying that. In the last couple of minutes we had one last flurry and got incredibly unlucky, after two more Jordans entered the fray in Shipley and Ponticelli for Devon and McNulty. Just outside the area, the ball was presented to Kelly who this time was in an actual acceptable shooting position, he forced a great save from Ross.

The resulting corner was met by Biamou and it was cleared off the line, the rebound came to him but the shot resulted in exactly the same and was cleared. Agonisingly close, and that was our last action of the game, just the one point, but it could have and should have been all three which made it even more frustrating.

Full Time - Barnet 0-0 Coventry City

My Thoughts

We weren't at our best today, yet managed another clean sheet and took a point from a well set up side, it's not the absolute end of the world. It was just the fact that it should have been more that is frustrating. We really missed The Duck today, that was evident, I'm confident had he started we'd have taken the chances.

We'll welcome him back with open arms, especially with the tough run we've got coming up. Accrington and Luton away stick out as huge games, the first of which is next Saturday. This emphasises that we need to take maximum points from our two home games this month and nothing else. Forest Green and Colchester (minus Kyel Reid) aren't the best of sides but there both capable of pulling surprises out of the back, meaning we can't be complacent. On a side note, I've now got a laptop. Meaning more posts than just match reports will be going up from now on, so look out for that.

My Man of the Match - Jodi Jones - He makes a mediocre team look good, Barnet dealt with him well by putting 2 or 3 men on him at once but when he was given half a chance to flourish he took it with two hands. He tore their left back to shreds on occasion, had Biamou knocked in one of his crosses it'd be a different story. God help us if he goes in January.

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