I’ll try and keep this one short as I’m sure nobody connected with Coventry City really wants to relive tonights’ woeful performance at Kenilworth Road. I watched this one via iFollow, and I feel a bit sorry for anyone who made the journey down tonight and had to suffer that game first hand!
Going into this one I felt confident that we could come away with all 3 points tonight - I was brought back down to earth rather abruptly when we conceded a penalty in the 2nd minute. Luton centre forward Elijah Adebayo got in behind Jake Clarke-Salter and on to the end of a long ball forward, Clarke-Salter chasing back then nudged Adebayo over ‘inside’ our penalty area. Having seen the replays on iFollow I have two main issues with the decision - firstly the contact appears to be outside the box, so it should really have been a free kick rather than a penalty, and secondly that the contact looked to only be the smallest of nudges in the back. It was incredibly soft, but it needs to be said that Clarke-Salter should know better than to make any contact in those areas!
Adebayo duly dispatched the penalty and to be honest, even without the early penalty I think Luton would have beaten us tonight anyway. They started the game really well, pressing high and stopping us from being able to play our football out from the back. The option to kick the ball long was also not really there, with Luton’s tall defenders seemingly winning everything that came up their way. We went 2-0 down to a free header, Luton’s Harry Cornick being given all the space in the world to put the ball past Simon Moore. The chance actually came about from a Luton free kick from their left hand side, the foul it was awarded for being committed by Gustavo Hamer which has earned him his fifth booking of the season, and a one match ban now! Not what we need, given that our next game is against a strong side in Fulham.
Following the second goal there was then a stoppage to the game, as one of our fans in the away end received some medical treatment - it isn’t clear as to why at the time of writing this, but whatever the reason the important thing is that the supporter was able to be treated. It was nice to see the whole ground applaud them (players included) as they were carried out of the ground - I wish them all the best and a speedy recovery.
The rest of the first half continued in the same vein as the opening 15/20 minutes. Our defence seemed all over the place and consequentially Luton were able to add their third and fourth goals with no real issues. They continued to play long balls through between Maatsen and Clarke-Salter on our left side which we really struggled to deal with and this cost us very dearly. Jake Clarke-Salter was having a torrid time trying to deal with Adebayo and in general our performance was quite painful to watch!
4-0 down at half time, and I think we can all agree that this is one of the worst games we’ve witnessed as Cov fans in recent memory. It seemed to me like everything we tried just didn’t come off - wayward passes, knockdowns bouncing to Luton players, anything you like. The game was an absolute write off from a Sky Blue perspective, I can’t really find any positives from it at all.
I thought the second half was largely uneventful, barring the awful goal we conceded to make it 5-0. A free kick on the edge of our own box, we tried to play out and lost the ball which cost us the goal. It summed up a horrendous night for us!
I don’t recall anything else really happening for the rest of the game after the goal, however I will admit I lost interest in iFollow at this point. One thing I did pick out though was that Luton’s tactics seemed to be different to most teams’ this season - they played football instead of trying to kick Callum O’Hare and it really worked for them! Quite refreshing despite the pain it resulted in for us - I have to give Luton massive amounts of credit though for that performance. They looked genuinely excellent and if they play like that every week they’ll do very well this season - they were relentless in their pressing and they dominated us in the air, they deserved the victory tonight without a doubt. You wouldn’t have believed where each side was in the table ahead of the game if you were basing it on those performances alone!
We need to forget tonight and just move on now. We know what we’re capable of and we have a big test ahead of us with Fulham at home at the weekend, so we must improve ahead of this. Gustavo Hamer will miss out due to suspension but we should have Fankaty Dabo back from his ban now, which will be a big boost for us. Whatever happens I’m sure we’re in for a great game on Saturday!
I’ll leave you with this - a news story broke this week saying that the government are considering banning gambling companies from sponsoring the front of football shirts. In light of this, @covcept on Twitter speculated as to who should replace Boylesports as our sponsor if this goes ahead, personally I think the below image they knocked up for me really works. Thank you guys!
Maybe one day.