OCT 99] COVENTRY CITY FC MATCH REPORT - PREMIERSHIP
Everton (1) 1
Coventry City (1) 1
fifth goal of a so far impressive season for the Scottish veteran earned Coventry their
third away draw of the campaign and rounded off an improved week.
Spirits were understandably low after the Tranmere debacle,
a defeat at White Hart Lane and that high scoring reverse against Leeds.
But Gordon Strachan had demanded a response after losing at
Tottenham, and on the evidence of the last 10 days he has got just that.
A 5-1 deficit proved too much for too much for them to pull
around against Tranmere but the win over West Ham staved off a crisis and this, some may
say, unlikely point will continue to foster confidence.
A win would have given Everton their finest start to a
season for over 25 years and taken then up among the big players.
But they met a City side in stubborn form and a keeper who
was inspired. Magnus Hedman, so poor against Leeds, against showed fine form with a series
of stunning stops.
And the victory had to be achieved the hard way. Unchanged
City were rocked back on their heels inside two minutes.
Everton seemed to sense the thick air of expectation inside
Goodison. After beating Liverpool at Anfield on Monday, the Everton fans, battle-scarred
after seasons of struggle, had come only to see a win.
They must have thought it was on its way when Francis
Jeffers, sent off in that Merseyside derby game, put them in front after less than two
The teenager looked offside when he raced on to a chip from
Nick Barmby but as the City defence looked for a flag, he fired past Magnus Hedman and
into the net.
That could have been the cue for City to fold but they
managed to survive thanks to Hedmans acrobatic save from a free kick by John
The Sky Blues got the break with their very first attack.
Robbie Keane ran onto a through pass from Youssef Chippo and challenged Paul Gerrard
inside the area. He actually failed to make contact but did enough to force the keeper to
The ball fell to McAllister who had the presence of mind to
lob straight back into the empty net from 25 yards.
City were buoyed by the goal and started to play with far
more conviction. Moustapha Hadji displayed his array of tricks and went close with one
But the Moroccan is not an out and out striker and was
often leaving Keane to play alone up front against Richard Gough a man old enough
to be his father.
Everton had other first half chances and Kevin Campbell
could easily have restored the lead had he not fallen over in the area having done the
The second half never reached the same level of excitement.
Neither side managed to keep the ball and it spent too long in the air rather than on the
Mo Konjic was forced off after a nasty challenge from Kevin
Campbell, and Marcus Hall was booked after a foul on Richard Dunne which forced the
Everton player off.
The Merseysiders confidence at their fine start to
the season may not be all it seems however - Gough and Don Hutchison had to be separated
after a long-running argument.
Gerrard; Dunne (Gemmill, 85 mins), Weir, Gough, Ball; Xavier, Hutchison, Collins, Barmby
(Cadermateri, 45 mins), Campbell, Jeffers
Subs: Simonsen, Ward, Johnson
Hedman; Edworthy, Shaw, Konjic (Williams, 58 mins), Hall; Telfer, Palmer, Chippo,
McAllister; Hadji, Keane
Subs: Nuzzo, Quinn, Strachan, Eustace
GOALS: Jeffers (2 mins), McAllister (12 mins)
REFEREE: N Barry (Scunthorpe)
Everton Dunne (foul)
Coventry Hall (foul), Edworthy (foul)
COVENTRY MAN OF THE MATCH: Hedman good saves again