Tuesday, 3 April 2018

My Fifty-Seventh 17/18 Game - Coventry City vs Yeovil Town

I know I have trouble with describing games sometimes as City always conjure up new ways for me to be surprised roughly once a month, but this, let me tell you, was something else. Never in all my life have I seen something so spineless, diabolical, unexpected and downright disgusting. In honour of the shambles it's time for the return of "Rant not report" which got a few run outs last season, it only really appeared this season when Forest Green turned us over at the Ricoh but I'm sure most Cov fans will agree with me, this tops it.

Now obviously in this league there are no easy games as the cliche goes, but before the game given our recent form, personally I was there going "We have to win, SURELY", as I did with both Barnet and Grimsby. On Friday we did well to nab a point late doors in the pouring rain which gave me a fair amount of confidence, and there weren't even any new injury concerns, which was confirmed to us when the team news was released.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Burge

Grimmer
Hyam
McDonald
Haynes

Vincenti
Bayliss
Doyle
Reid

McNulty
Clarke-Harris

Coventry City Substitutes:

O'Brien
Stokes
Davies
Shipley
Barrett
Biamou
Ponticelli

Given he chipped a ball across a box to Biamou for the goal last week, Kyel Reid apparently warranted a return to the first team with Jordan Shipley making way. Maxime was unlucky not to get back in the side as well but JCH is still in relatively good form. To quickly put it out there, I wouldn't be surprised if Carl Baker's footballing career is over, he missed out yet again with an ongoing calf problem, with only 6 games left and his age, it's not exactly looking good for him. Hopefully for sentimental value he gets at least a few minutes before the season is out to help us get over the play off line. That's if we don't grossly bottle it by throwing points away like there's no tomorrow. (Spoiler Alert x)

First Half

Let's break this down a bit, to begin with I'll just analyse the first 15 minutes of the circus, then I'll get onto the rest of the match. First four minutes or so were ok, a bit slow mind but nothing in particular bad, then our metaphorical bubble was jabbed at by a 6 year old with a needle throwing a tantrum. Not sure why said 6 year old would be entrusted with a sharp object in the first place mind but a metaphor is a metaphor and I'm still very angry at what I was forced to witness. Now, quickly before all of that, go easy on Burgey eh?

A cross was put in, it should have been an easy routine catch for him, but he fumbled it, and before you know it Alex Fisher taps it in from a yard out. Yes, that was a howler, and it's not the first time it's happened this season, but people are very quick to forget how good he's been all of this season, and even on Friday when he single handedly kept us in it. Have a go all you want but to say how poor he's been always been for us is incredibly unfair. Anyway, as we learnt after half time, Liam O'Brien isn't the second coming either like people seem to think, but that's getting ahead of myself.

We were preparing for 90 minutes of hoofball and us struggling to break them down because that's the sort of team they are, then before you know it Doyler of all people gets pushed off the ball, both Hyam and Rod go to the same player, leaving Zoko in acres of space to stick past Burge and make it 2-0. A whole 11 minutes played, you start to think the game is out of our hands already, and that was confirmed a whole 3 minutes later when another defensive howler gave them another goal.

A big ball over the top was missed completely by Grimmer, so Burge was in a race to the ball, which he lost Fisher gets there ahead of him and dinks over to make it 3-0. We were losing 3-0 at home to Yeovil bloody Town after 15 minutes, I've seen us begin to bottle promotion a few times since I've been alive, but this, was special. In amongst all of that Marc McNulty stuck a ball in across the box where Vincenti could have just stuck his leg out and we'd have equalised. Sparky also met a Kyel Reid cross from about 2 yards out and somehow managed to miss an open goal. Those go in and it *may* have been a different story where we're not chasing the game from the literal off.

Anyway, as he's the official Coventry City scapegoat, Vincenti was subbed off after a whole half an hour, which leads me onto another point. Peter Vincenti is not the devil, and he is also a living, breathing human being who plays for the club we so dearly love. The whole witch hunt aimed at him is cruel now, yes he might not be the most technically gifted, but he still tries his best every time we pulls on the shirt, and it means a lot to him as we saw when he ran over to the fans when he scored versus Grimsby and/or Luton, I'm not sure which it was. What good is sarcastically cheering when he gets subbed off going to do to anyone. He wasn't even the worst out there. Either way Biamou got a much earlier berth into the game than anyone expected.

As we got ever closer to half time, that "Stop, stop, he's already dead" GIF taken from The Simpsons was being plastered across Twitter, especially when they would have had a fourth if it weren't for the flag going up. So we did go into the break 3 goals down, but the worst part of it was, we quite easily could have had three of our own. However the referee put us out of our misery and ensued a 15 minute period of sulking and checking the odds on 3-3 and a Maxime Biamou hat trick.

Half Time - Coventry City 0-3 Yeovil Town

Second Half

Unless he was injured, which it didn't look like he was, then what in gods name was the point of wasting a sub on taking Burge off for O'Brien. The games already gone, changing the goalkeeper isn't going to do anything. However I did find it a tad funny that they both ended up conceding the exact same amount of goals, deeming this even more pointless than anyone originally thought, but again, that's getting ahead of myself.

We were all sat there just thinking, if we get an early goal, then MAYBE. We only went and did it, Tom Bayliss was on the floor and just hacked at the ball and somehow it played McNulty straight through, he cuts back to Biamou. 3-1. Everyone's steaming back to the half way line with the ball so quickly, with the chants of 'Sky Blue Army' so loud, the players so pumped, and 43 minutes of the match left to play, we couldn't, could we? Absolutely not you fool, it was 4-1 within mere minutes. Hyam was so easily muscled off the ball he might as well have not even been there. Zoko tapped it past O'Brien and we all got back to seat sulking.

Now most had left by this stage, but the rest of us were just lying down in our seat wondering why we actually did this to ourselves, plus the game had died down a bit. It got to a point where Biamou just shot a volley out of frustration from 30 yards, and what do you know, top corner. 4-2 and Sky Sports Goal of the Day, mental scenes. Josh Barrett came on for Haynes with about 15 minutes to play, leaving Kyel Reid at left back, which no man should ever have to witness.

We were continuing to go for it and on another day it could have quite easily been 4-3 or 4-4, but to remove all hope from anyone's mind, Sam Surridge got a free header in the box and weakly headed in at O'Brien's near post. He quite easily should have saved that but people won't mention that bit. Biamou still wasn't finished and hit the bar a few minutes later, the carnage if he'd scored a hat trick off the bench to triple his league goals tally. As a right kick in the teeth though, deep into injury time Surridge got another, rounding off the worst day of the season and one of the worst losses in recent history.

Full Time - Coventry City 2-6 Yeovil Town


Can we brush this off as an anomaly? God I hope so but that was absolutely diabolical. It feels like every time they give us a small glimmer of something good it's snatched away. Automatics are gone now, there's no point in hoping for them, the gap is too big, play offs can be our only aim for the remainder of the season. Notts County away on Saturday was always going to be big, now it is earth-shatteringly massive. We have to go there and get a result, even a draw wouldn't really be good enough, so a win is the option. A sold out 4,100 allocation are turning up, so hopefully the team do too.

My Man of the Match - Maxime Biamou - I mean no one was particularly good, but Biamou, Bayliss,  maybe Reid and at a push McNulty could walk away with at least some credit. To score a brace coming off the bench is good at the best of times, to do it in this case was especially great. Everyone will forget the goal because of the result but it was outstanding and won Sky Sports Goal of the Day.  I'm glad he's finally found his shooting boots at such a crucial stage of the season. Any other day he scores a brace and it actually means something and we don't concede 6 at the same time.


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