|[06 NOV 99] COVENTRY CITY FC MATCH REPORT - PREMIERSHIP
Bradford (1) 1
Coventry City (1) 1
BY ADAM DENT
It could not be more perfectly set up. Aston Villa,
losers to Southampton this weekend, come to Coventry in a fortnights time knowing
that Gordon Strachans side will leapfrog them with a victory.
City should have managed that feat two weeks ahead of the televised clash but their
finishing let them down in an otherwise impressive performance at Valley Parade.
The result does, however, stretch their unbeaten run to seven games and maintain a
pattern of winning their home fixtures and picking up points on their travels.
Strachan, as expected, made just one change to the side which hammered Watford,
restoring Youssef Chippo, who missed that game through suspension, and dropping Cedric
The manager had promised to address his sides sluggish starts to game, and
whatever he said, it certainly worked well.
had not passed when Carlton Palmer, again outstanding, won the ball on the edge of the
City area and fed the ball to Gary McAllister. The balding City skipper carried it forward
fully 40 yards, exchanged an elongated one-two with Robbie Keane and volleyed into the
Not surprisingly the early set back rocked the home side and for most of the half City
were in control.
Had they allied their good build up work with a fitting finish, the game would have
been over at half time.
Keane, Hall and Moustapha Hadji all had chances to add to the score but Bradford keeper
Matt Clarke stood firm.
Steve Froggatt, watched by England manager Kevin Keegan, had a quiet half and was
fortunate to stay on the field after a nasty challenge on Robbie Blake.
The longer City went without adding to the lead, the more confident the home side
became. Dean Saunders buzzed around effectively before a hamstring injury ended his
afternoon prematurely while Robbie Blake caused problems.
Lee Mills was, however, their most dangerous front man. He hit the bar in the 41st
minute when he rounded Paul Telfer too easily and chipped Magnus Hedman with great skill.
It was a warning which City failed to heed and a few minutes later the former Wolves
and Port Vale man went one better when he volleyed in a Peter Beagrie cross.
Paul Jewells side started the second half the stronger but City slowly began to
regain their dominance.
With McAllister prompting from midfield, Carlton Palmer policing effectively while
Keane caused chaos, City forced Bradford back and all but extinguished their threat.
The front two were undoubtedly wasteful but luck was not with City either. With just 16
minutes left, Keane made some space in the area and cracked in a low shot. It looked to be
heading for the bottom corner but struck a post and rolled right along the goal line and
out for a corner.
Two minutes later Marcus Hall whipped in a low cross and Youssef Chippo turned the ball
home from just two yards. The midfielder was mobbed by team mates but the celebrations
were cut short by a linesmans flag.
Coventry could, and should, have won this game but they now enter the international
break in good heart, with injuries on the mend and Villa on the horizon.
Clarke; Halle (Lawrence, 57 mins), OBrien, Wetherall, Sharpe; Redfearn, McCall,
Windass; Saunders (Beagrie, 41 mins), Mills (Rankin, 83 mins), Blake
Subs not used: Dreyer, Walsh
Hedman; Telfer, Shaw, Williams, Hall; Chippo, McAllister, Palmer, Froggatt; Hadji, Keane
Subs: Burrows, Breen, Eustace, Roussel, Ogrizovic (gk)
McAllister (1 mins, close-range finish), Mills (43 mins, volley)
REFEREE: Barry Knight (Orpington)
Bradford Redfearn (6 mins, foul), Lawrence (82 mins, foul)
Coventry Froggatt (45 mins, foul)
COVENTRY MAN OF THE MATCH: Gary McAllister at his