Well that was very odd. Like a match that had been cut into pieces and put together in a random order to inappropriate bits of soundtrack. Danny Drinkwater being effortlessly put through on goal in the opening seconds surprised everyone, not least him… like a cliffhanger in the opening minutes of a TV episode. He did a reasonable job with it, steering the ball wide of Grant, a significant obstacle all afternoon, if narrowly past the post. Then the frankly ridiculous own goal, which looped back into the net over Loach’s head painfully slowly as if time was bending to allow it to drop in whilst presenting the illusion, observed by my neighbour, that any of us had time to trot down to the front of the Rookery, step over the barrier, and amble around to block it on the line. Dale Bennett’s nerve seemed to rather decimate at this turn of events, perhaps contributing to a an extremely nervous first half which saw our defence creak and rattle and yet somehow not concede any more goals despite Burnley flinging bodies at any number of crosses… we got away with 1-1 at half time. The second half… from my vantage point we tightened up an awful lot. And yet lost two goals. One of these, just as the home crowd was up and riled and behind the team in voice for the first time following Danny Fox’s crude hack on Buckley. Fox’s last game for Coventry saw him dismissed at the Ricoh against us for a similarly violent challenge, from memory. Justice would have him red carded and Burnley caving in under our indignation. Instead, Burnley took the lead and cantered off. If there’s any consolation, it’s that Danny Fox presumably lives near Burnley.
This one stank to high heaven… and there exists no more reliable an indicator of an awful performance than the home crowd, at 2-0 down, booing the display of four added minutes at the end of the game as being too long.
Before Swansea shut us down completely in the latter stages of the second half, this was very far from hopeless. The reality was that a great deal of blood, sweat and tears went into the creation of any chances, whereas our opponents appeared able to glide effortlessly over the halfway line whenever they could be bothered and absent-mindedly missed a whole bunch of absolute sitters (apart from one, sadly) in the early minutes. Nevertheless, the response to going behind was terrific, a clear sign for those of an optimistic leaning that we’re not just going to slump into abject self-pity.