Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
We Were Robbed!
By: Richard Lord
WHILST it would be easy to come away from Coventry saying "Oh well, another defeat and we're still bottom," I have left encouraged by our performance. To tell the truth, we were robbed.
It's difficult to describe what it felt like, departing Highfield Road with absolutely nothing to show for, what was undoubtedly, one of Town's best performances of the season.
One goal in six games has now become three in seven, and whilst that new statistic may not yet be satisfactory, more importantly the goal drought has ended. And we scored two goals away from home.
There was also a real belief that even at 3-2 down, we could have made it 3-3. For the first time this season, we looked like crafting opportunities from a decent build-up, and we really were testing the opposing defence.
Town showed guile and directness in their play, and with better control and awareness from the front players; we could have had more goals.
Steve Kabba's superb opening strike was just what Groves must have been praying for. It gave the whole team a lift, despite conceding almost immediately through a Lee Mills header.
Great, we finally score at long last, and we managed to throw it all away within 30 seconds. That's Town for you. This goal was probably a rarity and the best we can hope for is a 1-1 draw.
Had it been offered, I might have accepted at the time.
But wait, Town look different, they appear full of purpose and driving intent. Several half chances were coming along, and although we weren't exactly tight at the other end, we looked good.
Pouton and Coldicott were industrious in midfield, recapturing the kind of form that helped lift Town to safety last season. They won so many 50/50 tackles I stopped counting.
Then disaster struck. A penalty was awarded by the referee for an apparent 'foul' on Mills by Groves. From where we were, from anywhere, it wasn't a penalty. Even the local radio host had serious doubts over the decision.
So when McAllister tucked the penalty away you thought it was game, set and match to Coventry. Then, unbelievably, another chance comes Town's way and Pouton heads us level.
Two goals, we can get something from this game. Suddenly thought of holding out for a 1-1 draw five minutes ago seemed distant, and feelings that the game was there to be won entered the mind.
But let's not get too greedy. 2-2 would have been just fine - another point to add to the tally, and goals in our favour. However, Coventry scored three minutes from the end to dash any hopes of going home with any points.
But what stands out above anything else was the fact that Groves was prepared to revert back to the 4-4-2 formation. What has been disappointing this season is his tendency to adapt our play to halt the opposition.
Last season showed that when Town played to their own game, we didn't care who provided the opposition. Whether it is at Wolves or home to the League's form team Wimbledon, we played to the system the team knew and it paid dividends.
Trying to accommodate the opposition's system and working around them simply doesn't work. Groves can, and has done before; got Town to out-play decent teams with a system he is comfortable with.
There were no signs of the hesitant and frail 4-5-1 Town team today. They played 4-4-2, they played it the way Groves likes it to be played and we should have been rewarded.
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