Last night’s 1-1 draw at Coventry was one of those occasional games where other commitments meant that I didn’t even get the chance to listen to it on the radio – indeed, I didn’t even find out what had happened until a couple of hours after the match had finished. Therefore, this will only be a short reaction piece in which I focus on a couple of aspects of the game.
Firstly, after the game at Leeds at the end of last month, I bemoaned the fact that we were drawing too many away matches and, frustratingly, we had got into the habit of going 1-0 up on our travels before having to settle for a point at 1-1. So, you would have thought that I’d be saying much the same about last night’s game which had followed the exact same pattern. However, that game at Elland Road was the first in a spell which saw us play four away league games out of five with all but one of them taking place in a month in which, traditionally, we have a very poor time of it. I also said after the Leeds draw that we had to learn how to win away matches again and it is in that context which last night’s point has to be viewed in – overall, I’d say it was a satisfactory outcome.
Successive away wins at Derby and Reading helped us pick up a total of eleven points from that five game spell I mentioned and that is top two or even Championship winning form if spread over the course of a season – yes, there is disappointment because we failed to beat a struggling side who we had done the double over for the past three seasons, but a great deal of that comes about because the team have raised expectations with their performances and results recently. We may now have played more games than the teams around us, but with ten of our eighteen matches being played on opponent’s grounds, we have home games in hand on some of our rivals and in the next eleven days, the opportunity is there for us to build on our impressive record at Cardiff City Stadium and consolidate our position near the top of the league.
The other thing I’d mention about last night is that, having seen both of the goals, it was good to see Peter Whittingham continue his scoring run with his usual goal at the Ricoh Arena – it may not have been one of his best, but it was still a well hit, nicely controlled effort that showed off his fine technique. As for Coventry’s goal, I see that Malky Mackay was satisfied that the ball had crosses the line, but I must say that the television pictures are inconclusive to me – having been on the right end of a similar decision around this time last year at Reading, I suppose it’s not right to make much of a fuss about the awarding of the home side’s goal last night, but, if it was over the line, there can only have been fractions of an inch in it.