Well, in all honesty, I’m glad we’ve got that one out of the way. The first day of the season is meant to be one of excitement and expectation, but with what we have all been through, there was more than a little trepidation about the move to St. Andrews. No one wants to see the lads play away from Coventry, but we are where we are and we have to make the most of it…hopefully for a short period of time.
It was important to get a win on the board as quickly as possible for several reasons. Not only will this give the players confidence, but it will also encourage the supporters. An attendance of just over 6,000 was what we expected, and it’s crucial that 5,000 or so SBA who made the journey are encouraged to do so again on a regular basis, and as we know if you win football matches, the fans will turn up.
As we get used to the road network/parking/pubs/seating arrangements etc, things will settle down and perhaps we can focus on what the lads do on the pitch, and yesterday was most certainly an encouraging start.
We started off on the front foot and should have been 3-0 up inside half an hour.
Shippers, Jordy Hiwula and Wesley Jobello all fired narrowly wide/over within the first 15 minutes, and when Hiwula rounded the goalkeeper on 28 minutes, only to see his shot cleared off the line, there was a feeling that we may come to rue the catalogue of missed chances.
At this stage, Southend had posed no threat, and therefore we were still confident that once we made the breakthrough, we would go on to collect the three points.
Half Time – CCFC 0-0 Southend United
After a slow start to the second half, the game suddenly burst into life and with it came the breakthrough the lads deserved after their first half display. Zain Westbrooke, lurking on the edge of the box, smashed a twenty yard effort into the bottom corner to cue wild scenes amongst the SBA. It was a clean strike and full credit to Zain for taking the chance so well.
The Sky Blues remained on top for the next 25 minutes but the failure to put the game to bed almost cost us victory.
In the 78th minute, Joe O’Shaughnessy headed wide when presented with an almost open goal, and with just three minutes remaining, Marko Marosi pulled off an excellent save to keep our lead intact.
A minute later, Humphrys hit the bar for Southend, and after a nervy additional four minutes, we were glad to hear the final whistle.
So, one down, forty-five games to go, and the play-off journey has started. Next stop, Bolton…
Full Time – CCFC 1-0 Southend United