These last three weeks have been grim to say the least with exits from two cups and lousy performances. Still, we're in a decent position in the league, just outside the play-offs and with two games in hand on four sides above us. Of course, if we fail to get a single shot on target like we did the other day, that all means nothing. It seems ages since we had a league match and maybe the players will up their game. I can't say I'm optimistic that we'll do so especially as Coventry are on an unbeaten run and I can't forget the same fixture last season when they ran us ragged. Will Parky have motivated them enough? I'd love to think he will have but there's been no evidence of his motivational skills so far. Several players are back from injury, I hear, and some competition for places can't do any harm. Taylor had a good match on Tuesday, so he deserves a start and I was reminded of our fightback in the 1976-1977 season when we brought in several youngsters in the shape of Rowell, Elliott et al and they almost pulled off a dramatic escape. A win would probably put us in the play-offs and help us to forget some of the recent misery but I can't really see that happening. Match prediction: 1-1.
I got the team-news just after 2.00 and Taylor was nowhere to be seen. We had Maguire, McGeady and Grigg all starting with Watmore and Kimpioka on the bench so perhaps one of those could manage a goal... Given the crowd trouble that marred both games last season, I hoped that we wouldn't have any repeat. I tuned into SAFSEE and awaited developments.
The first real action came in the third minute when we won a free-kick just outside their D but Maguire's kick went over the bar. Five minutes later Burge had to be on his toes to tip over a good Walsh shot and it sounded like Coventry had started the brighter. Commentator Gary Bennett said we weren't pushing up high enough and were allowing Coventry to come forward too much. McGeady tripped over in the box when he'd received a good pass from O'Nien and a great opportunity was lost. Our fans were urging us on and we were coming back into it but then we escaped when we allowed Coventry too much space and a Bakayoko effort was saved. We were making too many basic errors such as two attackers going for the same ball and of course misplacing passes and it was from one such bad pass that Coventry won a corner from which McFadzean headed in from close range to put them ahead in the twenty-sixth minute. I couldn't see us getting two goals back as Coventry were sounding confident and we were usually playing just one attacker in their box, that attacker being Grigg too. Benno said we were rushing our attacks instead of building them more slowly and as a result kept giving the ball away. Coventry were definitely sounding the likelier to get the next goal and Bakayoko was getting too many mentions for my liking. We were still putting in attacks and McGeady got a shot on target but it was straight at Marosi in goal. In the final minute we escaped when Bakayoko headed wide after we'd given the ball away again. There were boos as the whistle went and with us losing on a cold dark wet day, that wasn't unexpected.
As we kicked off again I heard that their goal had in fact been scored by Hyam but it was all academic. I could see us going further behind and it was hard to see much light at the end of the tunnel. In the first eight minutes of the half we struggled to get hold of the ball and Coventry were on top. Then Willis went down injured but he recovered and stayed on. Benno reckoned we had no pattern of play and McGeady shouldn't be having to repeatedly come back into his own half to get the ball. He even shouted, “Yer gotta push yup, man!” We certainly needed something as we were getting nowhere and the clock was ticking down rapidly while our fans were sounding restless. As the hour-mark passed, Watmore was warming up and that brought a little glow. He finally replaced Power twenty minutes in and there was just a minor ripple as the announcement was made. There was an almost immediate change in our fortunes as McGeady forced Marosi into an excellent save and then we won our first two corners. Meanwhile Flanagan had replaced Willis. With around twenty minutes to go Coventry made two changes and I was glad to hear that Bakayoko was going off. Shortly afterwards, the SAFSEE signal went off for a few minutes and it felt quite nice to be honest. Anyway, it returned just as Dobson had been yellow-carded so that meant he'd be suspended. At least Kimpioka was on and that's always welcome news. It was even better news when Kimpioka slid in our equalizer in the eighty-ninth minute. There was a roar as four minutes of stoppage-time were announced but I suppose three points was a bit too much to hope for and it ended 1-1.
It's a shame that I'm feeling glad to get a home draw but such are the times we're living in.