You know when a result has been particularly naff when you’re still feeling miffed three days after the full time whistle was blown. We’ve had more than our fair share of losses this term, but few – if any – felt quite as gut-wrenching as MK Dons. Maybe it’s losing a two-goal lead that looked so secure; maybe it’s giving Karl Robinson reason to smile; or it could be the fact we’ve plunged us right back into the brown stuff.
It’s right up there with that Macclesfield Town game back in 1996/7.
It seems the half time interval always comes at the wrong time for Boro’. And that’s any time. From dominance in first halves to near submission in the second, it’s a concerning habit. But in our position down in 23rd, we’ve got no option but to keep going and that’s what we’ll have to do up at Coventry. Or Northampton. That’s because a win and results going our way could see us climb to 19th. It’s a funny old game.
If 50 points is the benchmark, we have nine games to find 13 points. It could’ve been 10 from nine, but that’s now behind us. In another world, we could have 70 points by now. But we don’t. And you know what, Coventry City are not clear of this little battle and a Boro’ victory will give them the heebie-jeebies as we could go to within just two points off the Sky Blues. The question is… can we pull it off at Sixfields?
Of course, the answer is “yes”. Just like it’s possible, technically, for Darius to book his place in England’s World Cup squad. At home to sides from the bottom half of the table, Coventry have an adequate record with five wins in 10 matches and they average nearly two goals a game. Don’t be under any illusions that this will be an easy night out. But in the last month, our hosts this week have had a rough ride.
Notts County, Carlisle United, Tranmere Rovers, Colchester United and Gillingham all bagged three points against them since 8 February. Although all but one of the defeats were on the road, it gives us some cause for optimism.
How significant is this game, then? With MK Dons torpedoing our unbeaten run, we’ll want to be getting back on that horse again. We’ve fallen back to the foot of the league after last night’s results, but the half full among you know that a win at Coventry takes Boro’ up to 19th. It’s getting tight down at the bottom so, yeah, this game is just a little bit significant. But with less than 10 games to go, you could say that for all of them.
Here’s What You Need To Know:
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|05 Oct 2013||H||Sky Bet League One||0-1|
|26 Dec 2012||H||npower League One||1-3|
|09 Sep 2012||A||npower League One||2-1|
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And here’s to you, Tim Robinson – will Boro’ come to love you more than you know? If we bag a win at Sixfields against Coventry City, then he may be able to expect a card next Valentine’s Day. Based on what’s gone before when he’s been involved, there is no way of knowing. This term, he took charge of our 4-0 FA Cup win against Stourbridge. But that’s one win in three previous encounters to report…
Look below and you’ll see we have also drawn and lost when Mr Robinson has refereed – at Bournemouth in November 2012 and Dagenham and Redbridge in last season’s Paint Pot. The only conclusion we can really draw is that we score goals when he takes charge. And what of his overall record this season? Nothing out of the ordinary for this stage of the season, to be honest. A modest yellow card count and a pretty fair red card one…
• This season for Tim Robinson:
Games: 25 — Yellow: 77 (3.08pg), Red: 3
• Our record under Tim Robinson:
P3 W1 D1 L1 F7 A4 — Yellow: 4, Red: 0
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Day; Obeng, Ashton, Dembele; Akins, Mousinho, Smith, Doughty, Freeman; Charles, Zoko
We’re fortunate that, in FIFA 14 mode, we’re still using Friday’s update and tomorrow is Saturday. Extra weekend! No, but seriously, we went with a fluid 3-5-2 formation like for the previous game and it all went according to the script. Boro’ shaded the first half, with a couple of decent opportunities going to waste. But the half time whistle screeched out around the ground and things took a turn for the worse.
The hosts were visibly encouraged by the fact that Boro’ had failed to make their chances count during the first half. And the curse of the second half struck once again as Coventry got closer and closer. Eventually, the defence was split and Nathan Delfouneso was given the freedom of the box to put them ahead. Just minutes later, Chris Day had to be a hero as he saved Lee Miller’s penalty. Was that the catalyst for a Boro’ revival? No.
The ball went out wide, came back in, and was headed home by Delfouneso to seal the win. Mr Toad!
FT: Coventry City 2-0 Stevenage
(Delfouneso 68′, 74′)
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In this two-horse race, the odds are split – a home win is 6/5 and an away win is 21/10, while the draw is 12/5. Goals do flow at Sixfields and a massive 78 per cent of Coventry City’s home games have seen more than 2.5 goals (4/6); half of them have seen over 3.5 goals (33/20) if you’re feeling adventurous. For the half empties among us, for Boro’ to lead at half time and end up drawing at the full time whistle is 12/1.
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