London Saints

Coventry City Home Won 2 – 1

Now that clubs have a rotatable squad within a squad, team announcement time always brings the possibility of a surprise but few expected to find Bedarek left out of the starting XI against Coventry; maybe he isn’t really fit after that injury at Ipswich, while Bree’s return might have pushed the manager in that direction. Saints could have been behind after ten minutes when Downes’s challenge on Latibeaudiere was deemed to be worthy of a penalty by Mr. Linington; possibly it was when Downes raised his arm to claim that he’d made no connection that convinced the ref that he had. Wright took a long time over his preparations before embarking on a mazy approach that saw him slip at the vital moment causing his effort to strike the bar, but it would have been disallowed for a ‘double-hit’ anyway. Not long after, Saints had a penalty shout of their own when Adam Armstrong went down after minimal contact but by now Linington was getting fed up with the tactic. We did go ahead soon enough, and this was fortuitous, firstly that Walker-Peters’ shot found a big deflection off Adams, and secondly that it had hit the forward’s elbow. Brooks saw a shot well saved by Collins, then from the resulting corner the ball was in the net again. The only thing that was clear was that Harwood-Bellis won a header at the far post but whether (or even just how many times) Adams may have handled when getting the ball over the line is open to doubt; perhaps wise for the club not to have shown any replays. So a nice two goal cushion at the break, which may have been as well as the visitors began to show a more positive approach that asked questions of the home back line. There was always a strong possibility of Saints scoring again on the break but it wasn’t a huge surprise when the deficit was reduced on 69 minutes when Adam Armstrong seemed to notice, but fail to track, Bidwell’s run that let the full back sidefoot the ball past Bazunu. The Sky Blues had already made one change before the last twenty-odd minutes were disrupted by the sides making a further nine substitutions between them, including Mara for Adam Armstrong, which did nothing for anxious fans’ blood pressure, but Saints held on for a welcome return to winning ways.

Three LSSC Man of the Match candidates to choose from:

2. Kyle Walker-Peters. At the moment he seems to have been credited (somewhat doubtfully) with the first goal, which his performance deserved.

4. Flynn Downes. If (unlike the referee) we give him the benefit of the doubt over the penalty, he was excellent.

9. Joe Aribo. Once he started running at defenders, Cov. Found him quite a handful, until they nullified the threat a bit in the second half.

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