Friday night games are a rarity, and tonight was set to be a special one under the lights. With the Sky Blues playing so well, a bigger crowd than usual was expected at the CBS and I was absolutely itching to get up there all day! I almost didn’t make it, having to negotiate a way out of work early in order to make kick off, but thankfully I managed it and was able to attend. I was also joined by my fiancé Hannah, who isn’t a football fan by any stretch of the imagination but who wanted to come tonight, and had a better night than she expected as well!
I thought we looked very sharp in the opening stages of the game. We worked the ball out to the flanks really well, with Ian Maatsen and Todd Kane getting plenty of space on their respective sides, although their crosses couldn’t pick out anyone in Sky Blue. This was a common theme throughout the first half, however we still looked dangerous and our opponents Peterborough didn’t threaten us at the other end. Gustavo Hamer seemed to be pulling the strings in the middle of the park, spraying passes left and right out to the wing backs and as usual, making it look effortless.
One thing I noticed in the first half that also really impressed me was Kyle McFadzean’s long passing. He was striding out of defence and pinging long balls up for Viktor Gyokeres to run on to, and these seemed very effective - it was reminiscent of Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk and the way he plays, and I absolutely loved it. He’s been outstanding so far this season! Gyokeres also looked very good, as he so often has this season. He was a constant thorn in Peterborough’s side and he always looks dangerous when he’s running at defenders - we just struggled to carve out a clear cut chance for ourselves in the first half!
Ian Maatsen got in behind their full back and looked as if he was fouled in the box at one stage, however the referee didn’t agree. It looked a penalty from my angle, but perhaps he was on his way down already at the point of contact - I haven’t seen it back yet at the time of writing this, but thankfully it didn’t prove to be a significant decision in the end.
Our best chance of the first half came from a quick break forward from the ‘Solihull Messi’ Callum O’Hare. O’Hare picked the ball up around the half way line and carried it up the middle of the pitch until he was fouled on the edge of the D. Gustavo Hamer then took the free kick, and put it over the bar but only by a matter of inches! I was convinced it was going in, and it would’ve been some goal if it had!
We went into half time goalless, but overall I was feeling very positive about our chances. We had been the better side comfortably, and whilst we hadn’t had many proper chances I could sense that a goal was coming. I was proved right in the second half!
We started the second half very brightly, with Gyokeres again looking to run at the defence and cause them problems. We also had a couple of half chances, with some scrappy defending from Peterborough keeping them level, but eventually we found a way through. We hit them on the break down the left hand side, and with one chance blocked on the line the rebound dropped to Gustavo Hamer who tucked it away neatly. A nice reward for him and a great way top off the brilliant performance he put in for us tonight!
The next 10 minutes was very special, and the ground was absolutely rocking! We went 2-0 up about 4 minutes after Hamer had opened the scoring - Todd Kane was played in on the right hand side and had plenty of space to zip the ball across the box, where Viktor Gyokeres was waiting at the back post for a tap in. Gyokeres then doubled his tally a further 4 minutes later, after a good run from Martyn Waghorn and some persistence - Gyokeres found bodies in his way after Waghorn slipped the ball through to him, but he managed to get a shot off and it was deflected off the defender and over the Posh keeper to make it 3-0 to the City. When your luck’s in, it’s in!
3 goals in 10 minutes and no way back for the visitors after they’d gone in. Simon Moore was forced into the odd save before the end of the game, but we didn’t have anything to worry about on the whole! Former Coventry City centre forward Jonson Clarke-Harris didn’t look dangerous at all, having been cleared to play after previously being banned. I thought ahead of the game that he was nailed on to score against us, but I’m very glad that I was wrong on that one!
It was a really special night for us Sky Blues fans. Captain Liam Kelly also got on for his first minutes of the season, having been out with a long term injury over the summer. It was pleasing to see him back - we’ve always been a better side with Kelly on the pitch and our central midfield options are now incredibly strong! Kelly may even struggle to get into the starting XI, with Hamer, Allen and Sheaf all playing so well!
Over 20000 fans were in attendance tonight as well, which is massive for us after years of low attendances while we were stuck down in League’s 1 and 2. Long may it continue - the bigger the crowd the better the atmosphere and with us playing such good football, you really get the feeling that it’s an amazing time to be a Cov fan! It was a brilliant feeling to be singing “We are top of the league” as well, and for me it was great to be joined by Hannah - hopefully after that she’ll want to go to more games!
Premier League, here we come!