|[16 OCT 99] COVENTRY CITY FC MATCH
REPORT - PREMIERSHIP
Coventry City (3) 4
Newcastle United (0) 1
BY ADAM DENT
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 Coventrys improving form and
Warren Bartons 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 Newcastles 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.
It 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 Frenchmans 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 Coventrys 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 Bartons 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
After all that excitement the second half was always going to be a case of after the
Lord Mayors 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
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
City now face three games against teams down near the bottom of the table this
was the perfect start.
Hedman; Edworthy (Froggatt, 73 mins), Shaw, Williams, Hall; Telfer, Palmer, McAllister
(Roussel, 85 mins), Chippo; Hadji, Keane
Subs: Nuzzo, Strachan, Eustace
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)
COVENTRY MAN OF THE MATCH:
Williams effective in defence and attack!