Sobs on Coventry (H)

April 13, 2019

What can I say? 0-1, 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 2-3, 3-3 (breathe) 3-4, 4-4, 4-5. Grumble

 

After a week of wondering who'd come back from injury, none got closer than the bench (which looked strong) as we scanned the team sheet from the comfort of the Isis.

McLaughlin

O'Nien Baldwin Flanagan Oviedo

Leadbitter Power

Honeyman Morgan

Wyke Grigg

 

...no changes from Tuesday, bar McGeough, as they kicked off towards the north end and their large following, who quickly decided that lobbing bottles down onto our fans was the way forward. They had a couple of breaks before we had to defend well at the expense of a corner, which our keeper took. As is our style, the fullbacks pushed up, but O'Nien was caught out on 11 and in it came for 0-1, with the first effort of the game.

 

Morgan scampered into the box from the left, worked it into the middle, and Honeyman popped it away via a deflection. We'd hardly had time to celebrate properly before we gave it away again and they came through the middle for their second, which was the easiest we'd conceded all season, for a brief while. We messed up a quick free to let them in for that, but it got worse. With 24 gone, they were away again, and passed it across the box for their third, and they passed up a good chance for a fourth five minutes later.

 

With Power and Leadbitter being bypassed regularly, the pressure was constantly on Baldwin and Flanagan, and while they stopped most things, their "out ball" was awful. At least when their keeper failed to hold a cross, Wyke was on hand to hook home. Game on?

 

After their defender was booked in our left, Leadbitter followed him into the book after a warning, then set up Wyke, whose header looked to hit a hand in the box.

 

No penalty, and five added minutes were announced, during which Grigg picked up the pieces in the box to draw us level.

 

Breathless at the break, and time for a lie down. Maguire, in the "injured players' box" behind me was asked if he could play centre half. He laughed.

 

No changes for the second half, and we went on the attack, with Grigg looking to be pushed in the box and Wyke regularly having his shirt pulled up his back...all unseen by the officials. We needed a frat tack by Oviedo to clear a corner on 49, then Wyke was nearly through before they broke and scored with our assistance for the first time, shooting low to McLaughlin's left from the edge of the box.

 

Wyke flicked it on to Morgan, whose low cross was cleared before Leadbitter tried his luck with a free from distance… no problems for the keeper.

 

On 63 McGeady replaced Grigg, and immediately linked with Oviedo on the left, who got it to Wyke, and the layoff was perfect for Power to pass into the corner. Madness, and a cue for more bottles to rain down from the Cov seats. It wasn't the end of the nonsense, though, as Baldwin's leg warmers only long enough to tickle the ball to their man to make it 4-5.

 

Kimpioka replaced Morgan for the last few minutes and loads of lying down by Cov meant an added eight minutes, in which McLaughlin saved well and McGeady fired a free over the top.

 

A crazy match that did our prospects no good at all.

 

Man of the Match? Definitely not Power or Leadbitter, who had stinkers. Probably Wyke ahead of Oviedo, our only defender not to gift them a goal.

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At the back end of the 1980s, football fanzines began to sweep the country and in 1989 we were presented with a new vehicle on which to enjoy some of this ride – A Love Supreme. ALS was a place we could all go to celebrate and commiserate being a Sunderland fan. Win, lose or draw, the pages of the fanzine became solace for many of us as we stumbled our way through our day to day lives, punctuated by the ups and downs of more match days than any of us care to remember.

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