Members News: ‘Elvis’ Sees Sky Blues Succumb To PNE Smash & Grab

As our Friday night matchday “special guest,” it was wonderful to see our member and former Sky Blue, Steven back in Coventry at the CBS Arena last evening. As our former player and often referred to as “Elvis,” he was always fervent about his football, so he must have been taken aback by how quickly the Sky Blues gave in to a Preston North End assault in the first half and fell behind three goals by halftime. Another participant, CCFC goalkeeping great Steve Ogrizovic, was honest as always when he acknowledged in his live matchday commentary (for BBC CWR) that the Lilywhites, who have always been a bit of a bogey team for CCFC, had outplayed and outfought Mark Robins’ club.

In order to conduct his pre-game Q&A sessions with fellow CCFPA member and former Sky Blue defender Brian “Harry” Roberts around the supporters lounges in the CBS Arena mainstand, Steven arrived punctually. Throughout his lengthy and varied career, he had a lot to say. He was very passionate about his time with the Sky Blues, when the team was dealing with a lot of difficulties. Little could have predicted how quickly the strong visitors, dressed in all red, intimidated the home squad into losing possession and making mistakes with their passes. The home team appeared to be more uneasy after PNE’s Emil Riis scored a close-range goal in the first minute, which was a surprise to many Sky Blue supporters.

After twenty minutes, Will Keane scored again, this time using greater defensive ambiguity to double the lead. The game quickly became worse when Tatsuhiro Sakamoto, the Japanese winger for the Sky Blues, was carted off, requiring a formation change. With less than ten minutes remaining, following a breakaway by the visitors, Bobby Thomas’ own goal added insult to injury, giving the Sky Blues a mountain to climb in the second half.

Steven saw City try harder in the second 45 minutes, but PNE was always able to stifle the Sky Blues’ efforts and regular flow. Even though the home team’s midfield and forwards continued to create a few chances for CCFC, the visitors consistently seemed more inclined to take advantage of their opportunities. Following the match, Steven graciously consented to accompany CCFPA vice chairman Billy Bell and a large contingent of disgruntled Sky Blue supporters as they lounged in the G-Casino beneath the Arena. Billy and “Elvis” tried their hardest to uplift the crowd from the stage, and enough good vibes remained for everyone to pull off a largely satisfying ending in which they sang the Sky Blue song together.

Despite a poor workday, everyone is looking forward to Monday night’s FA Cup matchup between the Sky Blues and non-league Maidstone United at the CBS to see whether they can bounce back. A Monday night victory in front of the ITV cameras would go a long way toward pushing last night’s outcome to the back of the minds of the incredible 24,000 fans who attended the game, even though it was undoubtedly a “banana-skin” to be avoided.


We appreciate Steven’s return visit despite the unsatisfactory outcome, and we hope to see you soon!

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