BARNSLEY 2-1 COVENTRY CITY BY KEV MONKS
Date 03/01/11 At OAKWELL
Aidy Boothroyd became the first Coventry City manager to lose at Barnsley for fourteen years when his side went down to a 2-1 defeat at Oakwell.
There was just under a thousand City supporters from Norway, Germany, Sweden as well as a good number of northern based fans plus some from Bedford, Kent, Surrey and the Midlands, in the away end to see a City side start without the suspended Marlon King but have the unsuspended Gary McSheffrey and Aron Gunnarsson back in the side.
City attacked the end where we were for the first half and found themselves a goal down after only 187 seconds. Lee Carsley, who again was guilty of conceding possession too often, let NATHAN DOYLE go and he was able to send a stunning but unchallenged shot from thirty yards high into the net.
Whether it was that City had won on their four previous visits to an Oakwell, which was bathed in sunshine but had temperatures dropping as the game progressed or Barnsley have vastly improved since we beat them 3-0 earlier in the season, but City seemed to be playing like all they had to do was turn up to win.
Having lost James McPake to a tenth minute injury and Martin Cranie taking over, the Sky Blues continued to fail to control a rejuvenated Barnsley's wing play.
The home side were allowed to play quite far up the pitch and pass the ball unchallenged by the likes of Doyle and Carsley, whilst the standard of some of City's crossing and Platt's jumping for the ball was not good enough for a side that had recently been in the play-off places.
In the 28th minute, when Diego Arismendi sent a back pass towards his own goal after former City loanee keeper Luke Steele had beaten Platt in the air. The ball bounced down towards the goal. Platt went to it, marked by Steele but did not get the touch he would have liked, hitting the ball straight at Steele and out it went for a corner.
Like Saturday, the City fans were not happy with some of the referee's decisions and let the official from East Yorkshire know it.
In the 34th minute, Aron Gunnarsson picked out FREDDY EASTWOOD inside the six-yard box after Platt had dummied. The striker stumbled as he took the ball past Steele using a number of parts of his body but the goal was given and City were level.
Eastwood had a shot on the turn saved and Steele caught a McSheffrey free kick on the line as it was all level at the break.
The City support were not impressed by the lack of urgency from the Sky Blues, the lack of fluidity in their play plus the banging of balls forward to the front two and ten minutes of the second half had gone as the City defence stood watching Doyle clear a free kick up to the halfway line.
The ball came straight back and there was GORAN LOVRE to bang home past Westwood, who again had the City supporters demanding he be signed up.
Whilst some of the support were singing our song about following City away, others were calling for the current City manager, who this time last year was taking Colchester out of the League One play-off places and reducing their gate in the process, to make a change.
Boothroyd, whose critics accuse him of no Plan B, stood rocking on his feet but did not make a change. To be honest, knowing who to take off first would have been a major problem as today, any number of players could have been taken off in what was turning in to a bad performance, not helped by having no-one to put their foot on the ball and take charge of the game. And when they did get the ball off the Barnsley players, passes or crosses, mainly by Gunnarsson and Keogh were over-hit, simply adding to the frustrations.
Those not frustrated kept singing and you can tell that things are bad on the pitch when choruses of "Mohammed" and "Andy Whing" and other former players start being sung.
In fact, a chant of "Andy Whing" had only just come from the back of the stand when Gary McSheffrey forced Steele into his only real save of the second half with eight minutes to go.
Then in the second minute of stoppage time, Aron Gunnarsson was picked out inside the area. He did well to control the ball and tee himself up. However, much to our annoyance, his shot was high and wide and City were beaten at a ground where we have won on the last four occasions.
One City fan was escorted out of the ground as the players, who were deservedly booed off, made their way to the tunnel.
City have now slumped into mid-table after taking only two points from a possible eighteen and the sooner this slump is sorted out the less times we will have to waste good money, time and effort, supporting some people who today did not deserve it.