The Nightmare After Christmas


By BoroGuide

Christmas HangoverRecords, they say, are made to be broken. It is a concept that spawned a TV show that kept Roy Castle and Kriss Akabusi in work for a number of years. But it’s one thing to set a record; it is another to have one ended. In the past fortnight, Boro’ have seen not just one long-standing record fall, but two. True London bus style. It would always happen – it’s just not nice when it does.

Crawley Town became the first team in more than 70 matches to win against us after going behind in our last outing. And now Coventry City have become the first team to come away with a win from the Lamex on Boxing Day since Kingsbury Town in 1987 – just a quarter of a century ago. That season, we went down… but that shouldn’t be seen as an omen. Unless you’re really of a nervous disposition.

The way in which the defeat came about was quite disappointing. Having led right up until the 79th minute, Boro’ capitulated under some heavy pressure. Coventry’s first goal had an air of inevitability about it – especially considering that David McGoldrick was gifted a free run in on goal as early as the first minute by a woeful deployment of the offside trap by one defender in particular.

Boro’ could have found themselves back in front late on, but momentum had shifted and it wasn’t much of a surprise to see the guests take advantage again after Luke Freeman lost it in the centre of the park. The third? Well, it seems that anything Bondz learned at Defence 101 had been forgotten (i.e. put your foot through it); mind you, it was a cracking finish by McGoldrick to chip Steve Arnold.

It was an off day. The holding midfield pairing weren’t at their best, but then few were. The whole team barring Robin Shroot and Marcus Haber were, at times during the second half, playing deeper than the Mariana Trench. Frustrating? You bet! But we don’t have long for a chance to redeem ourselves comes our way. Notts County at home on Saturday. Come on Boro’, let’s get back on track! We all know it’s not beyond us.

Ratings To Eat Leftover Turkey By…:
ARNOLD – 6 – Made a couple of cracking saves. Couldn’t do much about the three goals.
GRAY – 6 – Had moments where he was very good. Had moments where he was very average.
N’GALA – 5 – Made a complete hash of things in the build-up to the third Coventry goal.
ROBERTS – 6 – A typical Robbo performance. Heart, desire, guts… others, take note!
CHARLES – 5 – Aside from one marauding run down the left, a forgettable performance.
GRANT – 6 – Not as assured on the ball as expected, especially once the rain came.
DUNNE – 6 – Usually one of Boro’s most consistent performers, but this was below par.
AKINS – 6 – A determined performance, but given little room by defenders throughout.
SHROOT – 7 – Lively and bright. Wanted the ball and was clever in using it.
MORAIS – 7 – A welcome return to the team. Strong and resilient. Maybe not fully fit.
HABER – 7 – Ran hard but was called on run more and more as the midfield sunk deeper.

FREEMAN – 5 – Tried to make things happen, but maybe tried too hard. Well-marshalled.
TANSEY – 5 – Can create something from nothing, but not when we’re on the back foot.
AGYEMANG – 7 – Asked some pressing questions of the Coventry City defence late on.

SMITH – 5 – Changed the shape in pursuit of victory, but Boro’ sat back too much.