I'm feeling happier now after the disappointment of only drawing on Tuesday night and am looking forward to a win this afternoon. Our rivals have very winnable games today with Barnsley and Portsmouth being at home to Fleetwood and Rochdale respectively so any points dropped there would be most welcome. On a more positive note Charlton could do us a big favour by beating Luton. McGeouch won't be featuring today and it's likely we'll see a few other changes due to knocks from our recent taxing program but it's possible that Catts, McGeady and even Maguire will return and that would be a tremendous boost. Coventry are lying ninth at the moment but haven't won in their last three matches and I think we'll beat them if we can make one or two chances count early on. I'm back in London now after a week or so in the homelands so it'll have to be SAFSEE for me. Match prediction: 2-1 to us.
I got the team news around 2.15 and Power was in for McGeouch while both Catts and McGeady were on the bench but no sign of Maguire, yet. There was a great buzz coming down the line when I tuned into the commentary and we started with gusto. Morgan had our first effort in the sixth minute but it was blocked and he was penalized for his follow-up overhead kick. Coventry soon won the first corner of the game but it was comfortably held by McLaughlin. Coventry were back to take the lead in the twelfth minute when O'Nien gave the ball away and Enobakhare latched onto it and put the ball away into the bottom right corner. So, we were in the familiar position of having to come from behind but our fans were in good voice and I felt we could do it. We didn't waste any time getting level as three minutes later Morgan went on a great run and fed Honeyman whose shot from twenty yards took a slight deflection and went into the corner. This was clearly going to be a battle as Coventry were pacey and were straight back into our box with Enobakhare sounding a real danger-man and not one to be given the space we were giving him. Next thing they took the lead again as we failed to track Bakayoko and he slid the ball home under McLaughlin. It felt like this was going to finish 5-4, to us hopefully.
In the twenty-fifth minute we were 3-1 down when our defence were outpaced and Hiwula's shot was deflected over McLaughlin. We had a mountain to climb and the way it was going Coventry sounded more likely to score. Still, there was an hour to go... Elsewhere both Luton and Barnsley were 1-0 up so it hadn't been a great half-hour all round. We sounded all over the place and commentator Gary Bennett said we were clutching at straws as Coventry were having a field day against our defence. If we could get one back before half-time, we'd have a fighting chance. With about ten minutes to go we began to fight back and with four minutes to the break Burge in goal dropped the ball under pressure and Wyke was there to dive it home from an angle. Sterling for them and Leadbitter for us were yellow-carded as both sides battled away and then five minutes of stoppage-time were announced. Near the end of that Wyke headed down a Morgan pass and Grigg was there to smash us level. We'd shown tremendous character in fighting back from what had seemed like the brink of disaster and could start the second period with the psychological advantage. Coventry had impressed with their pace but we couldn't be as sloppy as we'd been in the first-half, could we? Anyway, as the whistle went our fans were going wild and I needed a good cup of something strong.
I imagined that'd we see Catts on sooner rather than later to add some stability but as long as we kept attacking like we'd done in the previous fifteen minutes we wouldn't have to worry about defending so much. There were no changes to either side as we kicked off again. We won our first corner of the game about five minutes in but it went for a goal-kick. Both sides continued to go at it hammer and tongs and another goal or two seemed more than likely. Portsmouth went 2-1 up against Rochdale and in the fifty-fifth minute Shipley put Coventry ahead from some distance after we'd given the ball away again. Just after the hour-mark McGeady and Sterling came on for Grigg and Leadbitter. Elsewhere Fleetwood pulled a goal back against Barnsley but Portsmouth had scored a third. In the sixty-ninth minute we equalized again and this time it was a shot by Power. The atmosphere sounded like a cauldron and I hoped that would knock the stuffing out of Coventry. 5-4, anybody? Definitely! There'd been a few injuries and no doubt we were in for four minutes of stoppage-time or more. Luton were 3-1 down to Charlton so we were gaining on them, for a while at any rate. Enobakhare was subbed as Coventry made a double switch and I was happy to hear him go. Barnsley 3 Fleetwood 2. With twelve minutes to go Coventry went 5-4 up and Chaplin, who'd just come on, capitalized on a Flanagan mistake to thump the ball home. Could we get a fifth? I certainly wouldn't have betted against it. Barnsley and Portsmouth both scored a fourth and with ten minutes to go things were looking bleak again. Kimpioka replaced Morgan as we made our last change and the stage was set for him to weave some of his magic. McLaughlin made a good save to prevent Bakayoko getting their sixth. Eight minutes of stoppage-time were announced to much joy from our fans and Coventry deserved it for their time-wasting. We battled on as the time slipped away all too quickly and it ended 4-5.
In the words of commentator Nick Barnes this was 'a bonkers match' and our defending was certainly crazy a lot of the time. When the adrenaline wears off, I'm going to feel very disappointed about this game.