Saturday, 7 April 2012

Coventry City - The Ricoh Arena

Coventry City FC
Ricoh Arena
Phoenix Way

0844 873 1883
Official Website

Matchday Number: 198
Saturday 7th April 2012
Coventry City 2-2 Peterborough United
nPower Championship

I first planned to do this game way back last year. I have a good Facebook friend, Jordan, who is a big Peterborough fan, and this was a free Saturday for me, as Wycombe had played on the Friday, getting a decent point in a 1-1 draw at home to Carlisle. Unusually for a game in the top 2 divisions, I hadn't bought a ticket beforehand, as I was unsure if I would be going with anyone. As it turned out, I was on my own again, but at least it was only a short journey.

On the day I was expecting to finish work at 12 and have a bit of a tight journey time, to get up there and get a decent parking space. As it was I finished just after 10 due to wages at work being tight and so I had plenty of time to get ready and take a leisurely drive up the M40, taking care of my fuel economy to help keep my costs down. Though anything I did save was blown in the pub when I got there! 

After a stop at services, I was still up there just after 12 and so had a few hours to kill. First off I went down to the ground and got some pictures of the outside, before finding out about tickets. I needn't have bothered as it was pay on the turnstile, so I made my way up to the pub and Indian restaurant that I had parked at. First though I went to a pub for a pint and some of the Sunderland v Spurs game that my friend Corey was at, but it was so boring I left midway though the first half. As it turned out it finished 0-0 and must have been a long journey home for the poor lad, By that time I was feeling hungry and so made my way back to the Indian Resturant for a £6 buffet. After a couple of plates of curry and rice, a plate full of Samosas and Naan Bread and a pint of Strongbow , it was getting on for 2 o clock and so I started to walk back towards the ground. After popping into the local Tescos to get some mini donuts and cartons of juice, it was off to the ground for the game. 

After paying £22 to get in (which is one of the cheaper in the Championship) I took my seat right up the back of the stand, from where the view was impressive. After killing the time until kick off by reading the paper and checking my Facebook, it was time for the teams to come out. The game was a really entertaining one, which was what I was expecting with Peterborough always playing attacking football under Darren Ferguson. And they took the lead after just 3 minutes. Emile Sinclair, the ex Macclesfield player with an outstanding strike. Peterborough continued to push forward and should have had more as they dominated the opening period. But against the run of play Coventry equalised with their first real chance of the game, Cody McDonald heading in from a corner. Coventry then started to get some chances in, but it was about equal coming into half time when Posh's Lee Tomlin tripped a Coventry player in the box and Gary McSheffrey put away the resulting penalty to give the home side the lead at the interval.

Coventry taking the lead seemed to knock the stuffing out of Peterborough and the Sky Blues started the second half looking to extend their lead. Eventually the game fell a bit flat and it wasn't until the final 20 minutes until the chances started to come again. And it was Emile Sinclair who scored again and got a deserved equaliser for Boro. In the end after an entertaining game, the draw was the right result. After the game it was a short walk back to the car and an easy getaway. After a trouble free journey, stopping off to get petrol on the way, I was back home well before 7PM

The RICOH ARENA is like many modern stadiums, based around a bowl design. The capacity is 32,500 and that proves more than enough, the stadium rarely being more than half full. The view is decent and legroom OK. At the ground there is a bar at the casino, which admits both home and away fans. But your best bet is to park up the road from the ground where there is more choice of what to eat and drink. And you don't get caught in traffic at the end of the game either. I parked at the JK English Pub and Indian Restaurant, which offered parking for £3 as well as a good Indian Buffet for £6, alongside a bog standard bar. If it did real ales and ciders and had Sky, it would be pretty much perfect, but you can always watch the TV game at the pub across the road. 

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