SOUTHAMPTON 4-0 COVENTRY CITY SAT APR 28 At St Mary's Stadium
City: Murphy, Clarke, Willis (Henderson 71), Hussey, Thomas, Bigirimana (Jeffers 46), Norwood, Baker, McSheffrey, McDonald (Roberts 33). SNU Dunn, Platt
Southampton: Davis, Butterfield, Fonte, Fox, De Praedo, Hooiveld, Schneiderlin, Hammond (Cork 36), Lallana (Puncheon 82), Sharp (De Ridder 75). SNU Bialkowski, Harding
HT SFC 2-0 CCFC FT SFC 4-0 CCFC ATT 32,363
Referee A.Taylor Assts C.Richards & W.Smallwood
Goals: Adam Lallana (15 & 62), Fonte (18), Jos Hooiveld (58)
Man Of The Match - .The City support again deserved a lot better although Martin Cranie, Jordan Clarke, Jordan Willis and debut boys Will Roberts and Joe Henderson did well.
1800 City supporters made the trip to St Marys -some for the day, some for the weekend and one mate celebrating his 40th birthday. The City support some of whom were in fancy dress and were a credit to the club for their support.
CITY TEAM NEWS:
Andy Thorn was without the suspended Richard Keogh.and ended up fielding what normally passes for a reserve team with Jordan Willis getting his first start. Carl Baker also came in to midfield whilst former Sky Blue Danny Fox was in the Saints side.
John Clarke was there but left at half-time.
Coventry City ended the 2011/2012 season relegated and on the end of a 4-0 drubbing at Southampton who clinched their place in the Premier League.
Following the total embarrassment that was the defeat to Doncaster which had sealed City's relegation to League One, the Sky Blues support, had endured the views of many and were left with more questions than answers as to the future of our club.
The one constant this season has been the excellent City support at matches and today was no different. A wonderful turn out enjoyed some good bonhomie with the home fans who packed St Marys and they saw a reasonable first fifteen minutes for the Sky Blues with McSheffrey having a shot saved from a corner and Carl Baker firing over
In the fifteenth minute, those supporting the home side were breathing a bit easier when Adam Lallana who has come through the Saints youth system, hit a deflected shot from the edge of the area that put Southampton ahead.
If letting in that goal was bad enough, Southampton doubled their tally three minutes later when a tame header by Jose Fonte from a Danny Fox corner bounced in.
Some City fans headed for the bar whilst the rest of us, who may well be suffering from post trumatic stress disorder, launched into a chorus of "Stand Up If You're Going Down"
The game was now a case of how many Southampton would get and to add insult to injury, City were forced into a 33rd minute change when Gary McSheffrey limped off and City's Wales U17 international Will Roberts came on for his debut.
Roberts successfully made his first pass and can be proud of his efforts today along with fellow U18'S player Jordan Willis who got in a great block to stop Lallana from gettng a third for the Saints in the 40th minute.
At half time, Andy Thorn or "the clown who sent us down" as I heard him described by one disgruntled supporter this week, made a change with City Reserves top goalscorer Shaun Jeffers coming on for Gael Bigirimana.
Jos Hooiveld missed with a free header two minutes into the second half but in the 58th minute, a corner was not probably scored and Hoovield banged in.
Three became four, four minutes later when Adam Lallana was left totally unmarked to score and sent some more of the City support heading for the pubs.
Martin Cranie had done a good job talking Jordan Willis through the game but in the 71st minute, Cranie who is expected to at pastures new next season, had a new defensive partner when Willis went off injured and Joe Henderson came on for his debut.
Two ex-City managers were in the crowd today. Gordon Strachan who got City relegated in 2000 was working for the BBC whilst John Sillett who played for Southampton, was in the corporate area, applauding the City fans who continued to sing despite being 4-0 down, something appreciated by the home support, who also joined in the SISU Out chants.
Carl Baker did try with a couple of shots late on but as per usual, he never threatened the keeper.
As a rumour about City putting all their players up for sale did the rounds and informing other clubs was doing the round, "On The Pitch" was now the chant from the home fans and some of the City support. Two individuals got past the lines of stewards and police before the final whistle went and a full pitch invasion started.
We took our leave, allowing the home fans to enjoy their moment in the spotlight and made our way back from a ground that will be a lot better than many we are forced to visit in League One next season.
Pictures copyright of Covsupport News Service. Credit CNS/KM