Some of you will know but most wont, that I work as a part time warden for Lincs. Wildlife Trust at the Donna Nook seal sanctuary. This is probably the best wildlife viewing area anywhere around but it is situated on the wild Lincolnshire coast, remote and open to the elements and reached by a single track "road". There are no facilities apart from a very small shop... and the seals. Why therefore did we attract over 6,500 visitor last Saturday and even more Sunday when the U's were able to attract only 3,200 for what was conceivably a local derby? I can remember when (here he goes I can hear you say, the good old days) I first started to support the U's, average gates were 9,000 and that was comfortable in Layer Road and often was a full family outing. With recent comments on this board it appears that the WHCS does not have the WOW factor to even attract the majority of the male of the species let alone families. Whenever I have been to WHCS, albeit very infrequently due to distance, I have found the ground funereal and without the character of Layer Road. Most of my supporting of the U's is now north of Watford but even this is likely to be less and less if during every away match we are subjected to foul mouthed youths who purport to be U's "supporters". I certainly would not take my wife to be subjected to the foul torrent of abuse that is interminable. Noah and I have discussed this at length on other threads and not always in agreement. Maybe the point I am trying to make is that very few, if any families attend together nowadays because of the atmosphere...or lack of it in the ground. I hope Saturday we can do away with abusive and foul mouthed chants at opposition and our own team members and get back to the basic meaning of "supporters". What am I trying to say? Difficult question really. We, being the U's must provide entertainment both on and off the pitch and to be able to attract bigger gates, from which comes bigger receipts, from which comes bigger resources to attract better players to help our cause. How else can we achieve a better atmosphere in and around the ground which will hopefully rub off on the team's performance now and in coming seasons. Ideas on a postcard to Mr Cowling c/o WHCS and no, I don't expect to see seals on the pitch next week. And to our younger supporters....keep it clean Saturday please. Rant over.
A belated report as I thought I would give myself time to remember the highlights of the game. Frankly there were none. This was the archetypal boring no score draw. I would imagine if they were still playing now the score would be the same. Without Garvan and Smodicz we are virtually toothless. Mandron is not the answer to our prayers. And Coventry…they have now not scored in four games, look unlikely to score in the next four and are a shadow of the club of ten years ago. I understand from a steward that they do not even have a contract to play at the Ricoh next year. Is playing football ruining the pitch for rugby? The match itself was dire. How they determine what are shots on goal amazes me. Neither goalie dirtied their monster gloves and knees stayed sparklingly clean. The U’s showed a bit of attacking spirit during the first half without ever threatening the Sky Blues goal. After the break we again decided that an away point would be good and withdrew deeper and deeper and gave the opposition some confidence to go forward. However, as I said on Durham’s match preview I like the pairing of Innis and Eastman but I wish Innis would not play out from the back when he is last man. He got caught a few times, one instance resulting in him and Nazon being booked for a tussle. Eastman looked solid and even featured in an attack where it could be conceived he dived in the box but it was such a poor dive he got straight up without any appeal. Ref was noted to have a quiet word. All the action, such that it was happened in the last 15 minutes. Lapslie got himself booked belatedly for a poor tackle and then for a deliberate handball within touching distance of the corner flag less than a minute later. Up to that point I had been reasonably happy with his contribution and that of Kent. However sheer stupidity could have cost us the game as we were under pressure for the remainder of the game but without, in all honesty, Coventry never looking likely to score. To the other point raised on the board, another instance of stupidity on behalf of a very small bunch of U’s supporters which left myself and many around be both distracted and embarrassed. The fact that it left an injured steward needing medical attention should be concern for the club. If as Noah stated it was “youngsters” fuelled with alcohol surely it is in the remit of the club to refuse to allow these guys from travelling on the supporter’s buses. They are obviously not old enough to drive! It’s not the first time and probably won’t be the last but it cannot always be the result of overzealous stewarding. Four points in a week from two difficult away fixtures should be seen as very acceptable result but in truth Coventry were there for the taking and we either didn’t recognise the signs or have the ability to achieve a result that was in our grasp.