Coventry City 0 Colchester United 0: Carl Marston’s 5 Talking Points
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Here are Carl Marston’s five talking points from yesterday’s 0-0 draw at Coventry City.
It will not live long in the memory, but there were several talking points from this stalemate at the Ricoh Stadium
LAPSLIE RED CARD
Tom Lapslie can count himself very unlucky to be red-carded.
He was booked for a foul in the 75th minute, and just 60 seconds later was shown a second yellow and ensuing red card for deliberate handball.
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Lapslie was adamant that he had been fouled, near the touch-line and far corner flag, and seemed to fall on the ball while handling it.
But instead of earning a free-kick, the U’s midfielder was dismissed by referee Michael Salisbury, with Sky Blues fans having already chanted “off, off,” from the stand closest to the incident.
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Lapslie was understandably angry and frustrated, during his post-match interviews, while boss John McGreal admitted that he thought it was “very harsh.”
There was only one real candidate for man-of-the-match – the U’s man mountain, Ryan Inniss.
Sweeper Inniss was excellent all afternoon, even though at times he appeared to be limping in the first-half, sparking off fears of him having aggravated his recent hamstring injury.
But the Crystal Palace loanee showed no signs of wear-and-tear in the second period, obliging with countless clearing headers, a number of timely interceptions and one crunching tackle to deny Marc McNulty when the striker was homing in on goal.
Inniss seemed to step up a gear, when Lapslie was sent off, and so fully deserved to be crowned U’s MOM while playing his part in a clean-sheet.
The glory days at Coventry City are long gone.
The Sky Blues, FA Cup winners in 1987, were finally relegated from the Premier League in 2001, and they have largely struggled ever since.
Relegated to the fourth tier for the first time in 58 years at the end of last season, City were obviously considered among the hot favourites to go straight back up.
But Mark Robins’ men have rather lost their way of late, especially in front of goal.
They have now failed to score in their last four matches, and you could see why from Saturday’s tepid performance.
The Sky Blues lacked confidence in front of goal, rarely looked like even troubling U’s keeper Sam Walker, and very rarely got beyond the visitors’ three-man defence.
Their cause was also not helped by leading scorer Jodi Jones limping off after just 24 minutes.
It might be an uphill battle for them even to make the play-offs.
HAPPY AWAY DAYS
The U’s were awful on the road, during the opening weeks of this season, losing their first four away games on the bounce at Accrington, Luton, Cambridge and Cheltenham.
But how things have changed!
The following four away matches have yielded a bumper eight points, with two wins (1-0 at Yeovil and 2-1 at Newport), plus draws at Grimsby and now Coventry.
The side looks more settled, the three centre-halves are playing well together, and keeper Walker is bang in form. In fact, the whole team has a more solid look to it.
The left wing-back role has been a problem position all season.
Long-term injury victim Brennan Dickenson’s shoes are obviously big ones to fill, but natural winger Drey Wright did a good job in this position at the Ricoh.
Cole Kpewaka, Kane Vincent-Young, Lewis Kinsella and Wright have all had spells at left wing-back.
Vincent-Young aggravated his hamstring in the previous game at Newport, with substitute Kinsella replacing him that evening.
But Kinsella again started from the bench on Saturday, with Wright given the nod, and the versatile 22-year-old coped well with all that was thrown at him.
He gave the ball away once or twice, and conceded a needless corner late-on, but generally Wright had a good day.
The defensive side of his game has certainly come on leap and bounds this season, ever since that opening day shocker at Accrington.