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Coventry City (3) 4
Newcastle United (0) 1

Coventry City turned the tables on Newcastle United as they took advantage of a slice of good fortune at Highfield Road.

Newcastle knocked no fewer than nine goals past the Sky Blues last season and, with Bobby Robson turning things around at St James’ Park, many neutral observers may have been expecting another black and white day.

If that was the case they had reckoned against Coventry’s improving form and Warren Barton’s act of madness.

The former England full back was sent off when his side were 2-0 down for lashing out at Youssef Chippo in the 29th minute making Newcastle’s already hard task nigh on impossible.

This was, in the first half at least, a one-sided game. Newcastle had most of the possession, enjoyed territorial advantage and created the majority of chances, yet found themselves three down at the break and reduced to 10 men.

Magnus Hedman, Coventry City FCIt could have been so different. Magnus Hedman produced a world class double save in the ninth minute to keep his side level. England skipper Alan Shearer looked certain to score when Robert Lee picked him out with a far post cross, but the Swedish keeper, who was married just a fortnight ago, somehow managed to push the ball onto his bar.

Unluckily for him, the ball came down to Didier Domi but he still managed to make up his ground and keep the Frenchman’s header out.

City had not really mounted an attack worthy of the name, but the first time they delivered the ball into the Newcastle area with any authority, they scored. Once again it was a Gary McAllister free kick which did the damage, allowing Carlton Palmer to nod home his first goal for the club.

Vitally they managed to add a second in the 21st minute – and what a goal it was. Paul Williams, who had not scored since Coventry’s last day escape three years ago, hammered a left foot volley in past Shay Given from fully 25 yards.

Newcastle manager Bobby Robson claimed the defender had sliced his shot – Williams begged to differ.

That made things very hard for the visitors, and Barton’s moment of madness lessened the chances of a comeback still further.

It took a while for the difference in numbers to really tell, but Robbie Keane put the outcome of the game beyond doubt seven minutes from the interval, with a little bit of help from fellow countryman Given.

The keeper looked favourite to reach the ball first but took his eye off it and when it rolled under his body, Keane was able to roll his fifth goal for City into the inviting net.

After all that excitement the second half was always going to be a case of after the Lord Mayor’s show.

Marc Edworthy, who has begun to look more assured in the right back berth, was stretchered off in the 69th minute after a challenge from Didier Domi and even got a yellow card for his pains.

He was taken straight to hospital for tests with Strachan fearing both an ankle and knee injury.

Domi cut the deficit with 15 minutes remaining before Moustapha Hadji scored his second goal in two home games in injury time after debutant Cedric Roussel, on as a sub, had been brought down.

City now face three games against teams down near the bottom of the table – this was the perfect start.

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COVENTRY (4-4-2):
Hedman; Edworthy (Froggatt, 73 mins), Shaw, Williams, Hall; Telfer, Palmer, McAllister (Roussel, 85 mins), Chippo; Hadji, Keane
Subs: Nuzzo, Strachan, Eustace

NEWCASTLE (4-4-2):
Given; Barton, Dabizas, Hughes, Domi; Dyer, Speed, Lee, Solano; Shearer, Gallacher
Subs: Maric, Harper, Glass, McClen, Pistone

Palmer (13 mins), Williams (21 mins), Keane (38 mins), Domi (75 mins), Hadji (90 mins)

REFEREE: Alan Wiley (Walsall)

Coventry – Chippo (foul, 42 mins), Palmer (foul, 54 mins), Edworthy (foul, 70 mins)
Newcastle – Solano (dissent, 73 mins), Dabizas (foul, 90 mins)

SENDING-OFF: Barton (violent conduct, 29 mins)


Williams – effective in defence and attack!

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CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 16 Oct 99

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM