It is the 2018-19 season, Coventry City are playing at home, they’ve had most of the chances, they didn’t win, rinse and repeat. We’re in a cycle of dropping points, this time we threw away a lead via a late penalty against a combative and organised Gillingham side.
It has to be said that we played some pleasing football in this game. The movement and interchange in midfield in the first-half was particularly pleasant to watch with David Meyler, Zain Westbrooke and Jordan Shipley zipping the ball around well, particularly in front of the opposing penalty area.
Part of the reason we couldn’t find a breakthrough was the sheer determination of the Gillingham defence to throw bodies on the line for their cause. Almost every shot we had was blocked before it could test Tomas Holy in the Gillingham goal, even Bright Enobakhare’s opening goal was blocked on the line before it hit the back of the net.
The other reason why we didn’t score enough to get the win was a lack of someone willing to take on the responsibility to shoot and attack balls in the final third. With a front three comprised of two players better at creating chances than taking them, it left Jordy Hiwula the sole target for our attacks and was largely marked out of the game by Gillingham’s two centre-backs.
The front three weren’t helped by the slow build-up play from the back, which often caused ourselves more danger than it did the opposition. With a pacey front three, our best chances were clearly going to come on the counter-attack – as evidenced via the opening goal from Bright Enobakhare and then Amadou Bakayoko’s big late miss – however, we adopted an overly deliberate and slow-paced approach to putting the defence under pressure.
For all the possession and chances, Gillingham must have found it relatively easy to deal with our attacking threat. This team needs to find its teeth, otherwise we’ll continue to go unrewarded for positive, dominant football.