Sunday, 10 December 2017

My Thirty-Fourth 17/18 Game - Morecambe vs Coventry City

Last week we did well by battering a team significantly inferior to ourselves, but now we had more important things to focus on with a crucial away game at struggling Morecambe. North west Lancashire in December for a League Two match, it's what you dream about as a child. Foolishly, I went out of the house wearing just a t-shirt, a thin coat and jeans, by the time I had realised it was way too late. A bad start to a horrendous day all round.

Coventry City Starting XI: 






Coventry City Substitutes:

Dev. Kelly-Evans

One change from the side that got through in the FA Cup, and that was the reintroduction of Rod McDonald to the side in place of Tom Davies. With Liam Kelly still injured, that was the exact side a lot of us expected, I'm still yet to decipher whether or not Nazon is playing as a striker or just behind and got no closer in the disappointing half on this occasion. Michael Doyle started in the heart of midfield for his 700th career appearance.

First Half

The early stages set the tone for the entire match, and it wasn't us who came out the stronger by a long stretch. Morecambe were organised, and from the word go, played us off the park, to even say that sentence depresses me in ways you couldn't imagine. Just five minutes in Burge was left having to come to the ball but was beaten to it by Oliver whom struck straight at him. It fell right back to him however and with Burge on the ground it was a significantly easier chance, fortunately for us Rod McDonald was on the line and headed the ball to safety.

Just a minute later Burge was called into action with a point blank save, Gary Thompson rose highest but was denied. Not long had passed before we got our first chance of the game, from a set piece the ball fell beautifully to Ben Stevenson about 12 yards out. There were bodies in the box which he managed to snake the ball past but Loach pulled out a tremendous save to keep the scores level.

This chance turned out to be really rare as just about 5 minutes later Adam McGurk nearly scored a beauty of a goal but it cannoned off the woodwork and we got yet another let off. This continued as The Shrimps practically walked through our defence to put Oliver through on goal, but Burge saved our skins once more by making himself big to push the ball aside. How we'd made it to this point in the game without conceding was pretty much all down to the man between the sticks.

The back four weren't doing their job and really needed to step up if we were to get into half time still at 0-0. It wasn't to be though, and we only had ourselves to blame. The hosts won a free kick on the right side which was played in to Valdaine Oliver, he beat the poor offside trap set by the static defence and got a flick on, taking it past Burge and into the back of the net. It was nothing more than we deserved and to concede like that on the stroke of half time hurt us dearly.

Half Time - Morecambe 1-0 Coventry City

Second Half 

Mark Robins came in for some heavy criticism with his half time double change, taking off Duckens Nazon and Jordan Shipley for Peter Vincenti and Devon Kelly-Evans. I still can't quite make out why he chose to take off our top goalscorer for someone who fans have referred to as our worst summer signing as well as Bambi on Ice. I certainly get too emotionally invested in players, I see the personality rather than the footballing ability, which is someone Pete looks as if he has bags of from the outside.

It was a brave call which if it paid off people would be putting all 3 on a plinth but the more realistic opinion was the one that came true. McNulty came out fiery and did well to beat a couple of men but the shot was less impressive, flying over the bar. We picked up performances slightly but still nothing major was going on in our attacking department despite us committing men forward, which we were eventually punished for.

Devon Kelly-Evans quite poorly gave the ball away in a compromising position so we were left open, Callum Lang received the ball and breezed past both McDonald and Stevenson, sticking it in the bottom corner. It angers me how easy they made it look, we didn't turn up. With 10 minutes left Marc McNulty brought us as close to a goal as we could get, hitting the inside of the post with a strike from the edge of the box. Had that gone in we may have found a slither of quality to snatch a point. This wasn't the case though, as the match finished as a comfortable Morecambe win

Full Time - Morecambe 2-0 Coventry City

I'm not going to sugarcoat it, that was possibly the worst away day I've ever been on, a freezing cold 2-0 defeat to a side supposedly far worse than us in a game we really needed to win. Not to mention that it was an hour north of Blackpool, in December. To top it all off, all trains home were cancelled so I had to go all the way to Milton Keynes to then go back on myself. A horrendous day, a horrendous performance, things need to change. Fast.

My Man of the Match - Lee Burge - If it wasn't for Lee Burge then it would have been embarrassing, two or three fantastic saves early on gave us a chance to get a grip of the game but the rest of the team literally weren't playing ball. He's stood out as one of the best performers this season, and now Jodi Jones is injured he could be a contender for player of the season.

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