Sunday, 9 April 2017

Coventry 1 Bristol Rovers 0

Now you might expect any Coventry fan, however disillusioned, would turn up at Wembley for our Checkatrade Trophy final. Well, not this one. Firstly, it assumes I could overlook what a ridiculous mickey mouse competition the League has turned this into. With its invitations for random development teams from higher leagues to supplement the League One and Two sides, who in turn try to turn out weakened sides and indeed get fined for putting out too many players who are the same age as the ones the bigger clubs enter. Frankly, they could have saved a whole lot of bother if all the clubs in leagues one and two were put in a hat and two were drawn at random to play at Wembley.

Besides which, I had a prior arrangement to see friends.

On the on the hand I did journey up to Coventry the weekend before to watch the team doomed to relegation take on Bristol Rovers. The reason for this requires a rather deeper understanding of football and its purpose in society. Its a focal point for mates to get together. And so it was. I went up with my Bristol Rovers supporting mate and we had a day of sightseeing, lunch and then the journey out to the Ricoh.

And I think it is fair to say we had a lovely day, not least because it was a lovely day. Being hardened football fans we know how cold it can be watching a match in March. As it happened out we could have done without a couple of layers as we positively basked in the sun.

I spent the morning showing Kieron around the mix of medieval and post war architecture that characterises the City, plus a quick trip around the transport museum. The old cathedral looks especially good in the sun, given it has no roof anymore.

And the transport museum is just very fine for its type. I think Kieron might take his young son sometime. It has lots to offer for a little boys who likes cars.

Then we had lunch at what for years was Browns but is now evidently under new ownership. Its old broad menu has now turned into standard pub fare and it's a resounding success, if the aim was to have a totally deserted place on a Saturday afternoon.

Up at the Ricoh, we witnessed a first half of pretty weak football, characterised by great timidity on both sides. Definitely wanted to play it safe, and the awfulness of some of the passing explained why. The second half was somewhat better and included a very fine goal from young Thomas. There are some promising players at Coventry, but as we all know, the club will soon cash them in for worse ones, which just might account for City's continuous decline. Less descent, more death spiral.

But ultimately, I just had  great day with a mate. The football was secondary. Luckily.

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