Saturday, 21 April 2018

My Sixtieth 17/18 Game - Coventry City vs Stevenage

Once you get past the fact it put a massive spanner in my Friday night plans, playing our game the day before everyone else takes a lot of pressure away from ourselves, win and it's heaped onto everyone surrounding us. If we picked the win here then Mansfield would absolutely have to get maximum points at home to Port Vale otherwise we've got one foot in the play offs. Anyway, that's me doing what I've been guilty of a hell of a lot recently, getting ahead of myself. Ahead of this massive Stevenage game we should have been looking at how we should have beaten Yeovil and what happened there. No excuses.

Coventry City Starting XI:

Burge

Grimmer
Willis
McDonald
Haynes

Kelly
Doyle

Ponticelli
McNulty
Shipley

Clarke-Harris

Coventry City Substitutes:

O'Brien
Davies
Hyam
Bayliss
Barrett
Reid
Biamou

Just the one change from the side who somehow managed to nick a win at Crawley last week, Tom Bayliss out for Jordan Shipley, on the face of it, this seems like Robins forgetting to take his pills again but apparently Bayliss is practically dead inside and I'd rather have him raring to go against Lincoln wouldn't you? Still however he persists on starting Jonson Clarke-Harris even though Max's introduction last week was what gave us the ability to actually do it. On the other hand though it's always good to have a secret weapon off the bench if things aren't working out. I'd hate to be in Robins' shoes currently.

First Half

Quicker than you can say "Ei ai ei ai ei ai oh, up the Football League we go" Marc McNulty showed why we love him endless amounts. If we ignore the fact that the goalkeeper should have caught the ball, let alone palm it into the top corner, he's still done incredibly well to send two defenders to the cleaners before leathering it 30 yards. We were all in shock that we'd managed to do it so quickly, one of the 14 year old members of the yoof legion was so excited his bottle of coke went right over my head, cheers for that mate.

I'm glad we got the early goal, and Sparky wasn't finished here, the keeper redeemed himself a little bit by pushing his half volley round the post for a corner. Now we've struggled to make a real difference from corners, and this was hardly champagne football but it's a start. Shippers floated the ball in and met the header of Jordan Willis who nodded it down in the direction of McNulty who in the words of Cov's official Twitter "slots it past King". That's not quite what happened, it basically hit his thigh and bounced in. Either way he's claiming it and is steaming off celebrating his 20th league goal of the season.

We were looking comfortable and in control, Stevenage were nothing special to say the least, all you needed to do Rod was absolutely hammer the ball into next week like you do with every single clearance you've ever taken. He took his time and messed about with it a bit and Danny Newton managed to get a nick on it, giving it right to Alex Revell, 2-1. Everything was going so well until they pulled that out of absolutely nowhere. Thankfully though we didn't exactly collapse like you would expect us to, but instead took it as a wake up call.

Doyler received his usual booking when he nearly killed someone in frustration at actually conceding, but then after a bit of pinballing in Stevenage's box Shipley laid it off to Liam Kelly about 30 yards out, and my words from here were more or less "Kelly for gods sake why are you shooting from theeeee-OH MY SWEET JESUS WE'RE GOING UP." The strike was a thing of beauty, like he went, you know what, I don't care, and decided to Roberto Carlos it from one side of the box to the far corner, made all the more astounding being right behind it. Sorry for everything I've said Liam mate, you're a god. He even volleyed one onto the bar in a moment forgotten given how mental the first half was.

We were handed the game on a plate when Luke Wilkinson followed through onto Sparky's knee studs up, not much he could have done but he shouldn't have been so rash in the first place. This was right on the stroke of half time, and we went in at 3-1, had we not gone on and won I would have been so fuming that I'd have ditched the rest of the season. We wouldn't even deserve to be in with a chance of promotion if we bottled it that bad.

Half Time - Coventry City 3-1 Stevenage

Second Half

In terms of an actual quality second half, terrible, honestly can't remember anything worth talking about. In terms of entertainment, right up there, god knows why we chose this point in the season to burst into a 20 minute long rendition of Twist and Shout but I couldn't have possibly enjoyed it more. Just carrying it on, verse after verse was brilliant, even the Stevenage fans joined in at one stage. Take that other clubs, it's our chant (other than The Beatles) and always will beat your pitiful attempts, I'm looking at you West Ham and now Portsmouth apparently.


When we eventually finished the whole ground broke into a massive round of applause and came back even louder instantly with The Sky Blue Song. We may have lost a lot of fans over the past few years and dropped a few leagues, but the passion is still there, I just hope for everyone's sake we go up because I really think this could be promotion or bust you know. Let's not think about that though because I can think of no thought worse than getting stuck in this league.

Full Time - Coventry City 3-1 Stevenage

One. Step. Closer. We found out today that Mansfield drew at home to Port Vale thanks to a last minute equaliser (Luv u Tom Pope x), so we now have a three point cushion over Mansfield in eighth. Beat Lincoln on Tuesday and we are one whole point away from absolutely guaranteeing play offs. The aim should be higher though, we should go for fifth and somehow try and rig it to get Notts County. That's the dream, then like Wycombe at Wembley, we can all hope. All eyes are at Lincoln on Tuesday night, in my opinion the biggest league game since our relegation from the Premier League.

My Man of the Match - Liam Kelly - I apologise for ever being mean to you Liam, even ignoring the goal he was brilliant, a very adequate Tom Bayliss replacement. Obviously bring him back in on Tuesday in a heart beat but this 3 in the middle thing has serious potential, I'm already worried ahead of Tuesday. For gods sake just don't lose.






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