At a hostile Ricoh Arena, Coventry City were dealt a hammer blow as Sheffield United snatched a late winner to seal three points. Following a well contested first period that saw the Blades go into the break with a 1-0 lead courtesty of Billy Sharp, Mark Venus’ men regrouped during the interval and Daniel Agyei’s dipping deflected effort that beat Simon Moore on 52 minutes had seemingly earned the Sky Blues a crucial point.
Following a brief pitch invasion late on from the home supporters, proceedings got back underway and it was United who came out on top during some frantic exchanges. Sharp registered his second of the night after profiting on a loose ball three minutes from time to ensure the hosts’ winless run continued. Chris Wilder’s men now rise to 2nd in the SkyBet League One table whilst City have now suffered six consecutive defeats – their worst run since 1973.
With protests planned for a few weeks now by the majority of Coventry City supporters, it was no surprise to see the atmosphere so toxic at times towards our owners – we just want our club back. There has been a lot of anger building up for many people and it was always going to be vented eventually, but it was unfortunate to see the two sets of fans clash in the way they did at times throughout the game. It’s just a crying shame that mismanagement from the top down has led to this feeling of discontent at our once proud club. The result was immaterial to a certain extent tonight.
There are questions as to whether the pitch invasion cost the Sky Blues a point, but that will always be down to a matter of opinion. It was harsh on us to concede in the dying embers, but it just about sums up our season thus far. Having produced a much more positive showing in the second period, we probably deserved a draw. Credit has to go to Sheffield United’s players though – they dealt with the delay better than us and they will be celebrating a vital set of three points.
It was always going to be a very tough test against one of the divisions leading sides and I am just disappointed that the players didn’t gain anything to show for their efforts. Granted, it didn’t seem like United got out of second gear for most of the night, but City showed great character down on the pitch – we are just lacking quality as we all know. One thing I can’t fault is the application of the team. They have come under a lot of criticism by some for not showing enough passion, but I have no complaints on that front – they are working tirelessly to get us out of this mess but it just isn’t happening for them.
I can only imagine how low the confidence is amongst the squad currently, but a new managerial appointment could lift a few heads and that would be very welcome. As I have said previously, it’s going to be a tough ask to secure our status in this division, but it isn’t impossible by any means. We do have a number of personnel who could perhaps form a basis of a strong side, but we need reinforcements. Experience is a necessity and we don’t have a lot of it, meaning we are not ‘street wise’ enough to deal with the physicality and mental toughness of our opponents.
We now have 24 games to play and it’s already evident that we are going to have to scrap for every single point. Whilst the result may have been irrelevant tonight as we all look at the bigger picture, I am praying we don’t drop to the fourth tier. Rumours of some positive news has been murmured on a few occasions via Twitter, and we can only hope it proves true. Under the current ownership we simply can’t move forward – too many bridges have been burned beyond repair and we are in disarray. It is crucial that we stick together as supporters.
Our next fixture sees us travel to newly promoted Bristol Rovers on Boxing Day and given our away form, it won’t be easy to get something out of the game. All we can do is keep backing the lads whilst showing our displeasure towards the regime and the way the club is being run. We are all wise enough now to know that supporting the Sky Blues is a rollercoaster that many wouldn’t even attempt to ride, but this is our football club.
Keep fighting – have a merry Christmas!
Reice Charles-Cook – 6
Dion Kelly-Evans – 6
Jordan Willis – 6
Jordan Turnbull – 6
Lewis Page – 6
Andy Rose – 7
Chris McCann – 6
Gael Bigirimana- 7
Marvin Sordell – 7
Andre Wright – 5
Daniel Agyei – 7
Coventry City: Charles-Cook, Di. Kelly-Evans, Willis (C), Turnbull, Page, Rose, McCann, Bigirimana, Sordell, Wright (Lameiras 74), Agyei (G. Thomas 68).
Unused Substitutes: Addai, Gadzhev, Jones, Reid, Tudgay.
Sheffield United: Moore, Fleck, O’Connell, Basham, Sharp (C), Done (Lavery 63), Coutts (Clarke 75), Freeman, Ebanks-Landell, Duffy (Whiteman 90), Lafferty.
Unused Substitutes: Ramsdale, Hussey, Wright, Brown.
Attendance: 8,801 (1,193 away)