December 09, 2013

Coventry City - As I Seen It

COVENTRY IN 
TOTAL PANIC 

Pools 1, Coventry City 1   FA Cup  Saturday December 7th 2013

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at the Vic

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No Christmas spirit from the Ditchburn Poolie today as he was whining about the entrance fee of £20.00, with the gate being short of 3000 it was a disgrace. Too early to blame Christmas shopping. 

For the people who know me I must say the Ditchburn looks a good ten years older than I, so I see no problem - him getting in for a growler (£5.00), foolish boy. 

The “A” list ref will be all for the visitors, according to his research. A complaint was forthcoming as the official, according to the Ditchburn, cut short the minute's applause for President Mandela, but my guess was that it allowed his pun of a half Nelson. 

The visitors were ready from the off and a long-range effort had to be tipped over the bar by Ned, after a very slick move by the visitors, but we made a good job of clearing the corner. Shortly after, Ned went off his line chasing a ball and he was lucky that the attacker wasted the chance, hitting his ball just wide of the goal. Aussie, turning on a ball in midfield, gave the visitors a free run on goal; Jack managed to get a great block on the close-range shot but the ball was launched in again and a nice overhead shot inside the box gave Ned no chance, as the visitors took the lead. 

No complaints as it was a well worked move, once they won the ball in the middle, and the execution of the kick brought some applause from the Pools fans. Shortly after, they could have been two up but the low diving header at the near post just skimmed the outside of the post. 

A corner from Pools was blocked on the line and cleared. Poole picked up the ball and tried to play Luke in but the ball was just a touch short for Luke and was cleared. Poole himself had a chance from a corner, heading close, only for the keeper to smother the ball. Luke had a thankless task running the front line on his own and got sandwiched or battered every time he received a ball. 
"There was total panic in the Coventry defence as Pools pushed forward, with Duckworth giving a magnificent display of attacking play."
The visitors were strong in defence and did not take any prisoners. Pools were coming into the game more but were getting caught on the break and making hard work for themselves as we either made an awful pass or slipped in the tackle, and a few of the team were guilty. Walker was being made ready to come on with five minutes of the half left and it was difficult to see who was injured. Burgess went close with a header just as the whistle blew for half time.

Second half Poole failed to appear but it was Sweeney that came on. It was a much more threatening Pools team and they went for the visitors in numbers which was good to see. There was total panic in the Coventry defence as Pools pushed forward, with Duckworth giving a magnificent display of attacking play. No one could touch him as time after time he raced down the line and through the middle giving a Man-of-the-Match performance. 

Walton could not clear the first man from a corner but tested the keeper with a low shot from outside the box. Compton took a free kick out wide and Burgess rose well for the header that went over. Compton made a hash of a chip-in and was withdrawn shortly after; apparently the lad is homesick. Franks replaced him and he was brilliant, obviously staking a claim for a place in the next game, and it was his perfect cross that allowed Monky to head in the equalizer as Pools literally hammered the visitors in the second half. 

It was a great cup-tie for the neutral but on balance we gifted them an early start and gave them too much respect in the first half. Second half, the mistakes were gone, the quality of football was great and we thoroughly deserved to be in the bag for the draw tomorrow, and with a little more luck on the day we could have sailed through. 

We have to try and play Monky up with Luke and push Poole out wide as on his own Luke gets battered out of the game as he did in his early games. The lad has talent but we do not seem to be helping him and he can’t do it all on his own. The replay will be tough, as from some reports they were four men down today. Not sure if that includes loan players but if we play like we did the second half we will win at their lodgings.

As I said earlier Man-of-the-Match was Duckworth, and most fans agree this lad is the find of the season; let's hope we can hold onto him. Ned was in fine form again but had little to do second half, and had no chance with the goal. Franks needs to be back in as he deserves a chance on today’s performance. Both Jack and Burgess had a bit of a torrid time early on but got it together second half. Sweeney is looking better, and some on the terrace think that we have a problem playing both Walton and Dolan, so much so that when Dolan lost a ball the bloke behind bawled out “get a grip Walton” I would have lent him my glasses but without them I have the same problem.

The Borer at home in the next round for me, which will play away because of the demand for tickets.