Coventry City collected
their first and probably only trophy of the season last night when the reserves won the
Pontins League First Division Championship.
They won by the narrowest of margins through beating Tranmere Rovers 2-1 at Highfield
Road in the final fixture of the season.
The victory leapfrogged them above Middlesbrough and Oldham Athletic to take the title
on goals difference. It was all so tight that a draw would have left them in third place.
Middlesbrough finished on 41 points and Coventry and Oldham ended on 42.
Coventrys goals difference was +15 while Oldhams was +8.
Yet it was not a particularly auspicious end to the campaign for the Sky Blues.
They turned in a scrappy performance against what was virtually a youth team. John
Aloisi fired them ahead in the 12th minute but Tranmere drew level when Peter
Rogers scored in the 37th minute.
On loan Italian striker Stefano Gioacchini, who is wanted on a permanent basis by
Coventry, scored what proved to be the winner in the 54th minute when he
wriggled past two defenders to shoot into the far corner.
But the Sky Blues did not push home their advantage and the points and the title nearly
slipped away from them five minutes from the end.
The referee awarded a penalty when Philippe Clement tripped a Tranmere player but
changed his decision to a free-kick on the advice of his assistant referee.
Gioacchini limped out of the match with a hamstring strain and appeared to have no
chance of starting his first senior match against Leeds United on Sunday.