We knew this was a crunch match against top of the table Coventry and the conditions (weather and pitch) would make this a very difficult game. We’d have to be at our best and work and battle for every inch as Coventry were tough and physical in the game against them before Christmas.
The first quarter started with Coventry in charge pushing us back and playing long diagonals to turn us round. They scored in the first minute but it was offside. An early let off but still they kept us under pressure for the first ten minutes but we weathered the storm. Then we got the breakthrough against the run of play. A corner from Cam and Matt rose unchallenged in the area to head into the corner of the net-1:0. We’d have to work hard to defend the lead but it didn’t last long. On 14 minutes, Connor for Coventry was not closed down on the edge of the area and smashed a shot over our keepers head into the roof of the net-1:1. The rest of the quarter was a tough physical battle but no more goals and ended at 1:1.
Coventry started Q2 strongly again and had an early chance with a header from a corner just over the bar after two minutes. After six minutes we had a chance of our own when Cam battled on the left and shot just over. The two teams were very even now and the game was very tight. Near the end of the quarter on 18 minutes we managed to edge ahead. Morgan battled on the left of Coventry’s area to win the ball back and played it inside to Harrison who took a touch and rifled in a shot across the keeper into the far side of the net-2:1. And that was halftime-still very close with very little between the teams.
This time we started quarter three strongly as the heavy pitch took its toll on both sets of players. We attacked well and put pressure on with creativity through the thirds and Coventry kept playing the longer passes to pin us back. That was the story of the quarter with only a free kick from Cam floated in but no one could get a touch. Chances were very rare as both teams worked hard but we were starting to get on top and play the better football but Coventry still made things hard for us. Three quarters through and still close with us just ahead 2:1.
The final quarter and this would be a key test for both teams. We were playing well and Coventry were fighting a rearguard action with their Captain Patrick immense at the back. Space was now appearing in midfield and we were finding chances. On three minutes Alex was played through on the right hand side of the area but couldn’t dink the ball over the onrushing keeper from the muddy pitch. Abdul for Coventry was playing on the shoulder of our superb defence but kept getting caught offside which were questioned but proved correct afterwards. On 11 minutes Coventry had the ball in the net but offside again then shortly after they broke again down the right but our keeper Conor made a great save rushing out and diving at the feet of the striker to block. On 15 minutes we attacked really well and had sustained pressure in the Coventry box with a goal mouth scramble then corner but couldn’t find the third goal to kill off Coventry. They kept battling until the end and we had to fight in every minute but finally managed to hold on for the crucial win 2:1 to keep us in touch at the top of the league.
Overall this was a great performance from us against a very good Coventry team played in the right spirit, hard fought with plenty of skill and a great contest to watch for the parents. Not a lot of goals but they were well earned. Both teams deserve a lot of credit for their endeavours in atrocious conditions but we now move on to the next game away at West Mids Fire next week.
|21||Ryan Williams (GK)|
|70||Lewis Richard Coward (GK)|