CWN - News & Information for Coventry & Warwickshire 20x21spacer.gif (59 bytes)What's New?Search CWN
Norwich City (0) 1
Coventry City (0) 3

Tactical genius or just plain lucky – take your choice but there is no doubting that Gordon Strachan got it just right at Carrow Road.

The Sky Blues manager made the controversial – but not altogether unexpected – decision to axe Cedric Roussel and restore Noel Whelan. Whelan, while still short of fitness, scored the first before making way for the young Belgian who promptly added the second.

The tie was made safe by youngster John Eustace who scored his first senior goal after coming on for the injured Paul Williams.

But while City can celebrate, Norwich keeper Andy Marshall will have not enjoyed his Saturday night. The former England under-21 keeper was responsible for two of City’s three goals.

There was little to choose between the two sides in a disappointingly scrappy first half. Both teams were battling against less than perfect conditions. Rain had fallen in Norwich for more than 12 hours and, while the pitch played well, there was lying water on the surface.

Robbie Keane did manage to put the ball in the net just after the half hour but Youssef Chippo had been flagged off side as he put the young Irishman through.

Neither side had really gone close to breaking the deadlock until first half injury time when Norwich came within inches of taking the lead. Iwan Roberts swung a cross from the left flank and Darel Russell, a rumoured City target, looped a header up over Magnus Hedman and against the bar.

The ball bounced down but with Hedman out of position, Cedric Anselin struck the post with his angled shot.

By that stage, City had been forced into a change after Paul Williams picked up a painful knee injury. That forced a reshuffle with Carlton Palmer moving back into defence and Eustace making his FA Cup debut.

The former Birmingham City trainee was nothing short of a revelation. He has had a good first half to the season in the reserves, scoring eight goals in 10 games and that form was continued on the higher stage.

But it needed a real shock to jolt City into action. Roberts set up partner Adrian Forbes, in the 57th minute, only for the sub to fire embarrassingly wide of goal.

Noel Whelan, Coventry City FCAlmost from the re-start City put the pressure on. Steve Froggatt cut in from the left flank and crossed in for Noel Whelan who glanced a header goalwards. There was little pace on the effort and it was at the perfect height for Marshall but he let it slip through his grasp and it bounced almost apologetically into the net.

Norwich, however, refused to crumble and within eight minutes they were level. The goal was hard on City. Russell’s shot from the corner of the area was well blocked and when Chris Llewellyn fired in the loose ball it struck the outstretched knee of Carlton Palmer and flew in past Hedman.

Then came a Strachan masterstroke. He decided that Whelan’s lack of fitness was starting to tell, so replaced him with Roussel. If the young Belgian had thought himself unlucky to be dropped then he issued the perfect response.

He had been on the pitch for just seven minutes when he tried his luck from another Froggatt cross. Once againt there was little power in the effort but Marshall let the ball slip under his body and into the net.

That was the game over, but Eustace still had his moment of glory. Six minutes from the final whistle, Keane slipped the ball to him on the edge of the area, he brought it under control with his right foot and fired it in with his right. It was a richly deserved goal.

bar-blue-400x3.gif (874 bytes)

NORWICH (4-4-2):
Marshall; Sutch, Fleming, Jackson, Fugelstad; Anselin, De Blasiis, Russell, Llewellyn; Roberts, Daglish (Forbes, 32 mins)
Subs not used:

COVENTRY (4-4-2):
Hedman; Telfer, Breen, Williams (38 mins), Breen, Froggatt; Hadji, McAllister, Palmer, Chippo; Whelan (Roussel, 70 mins), Keane
Subs: Normann, Strachan, Ogrizovic (gk)

GOALS: Whelan (58 mins, header), Llewellyn (66 mins, deflected shot), Rousssel (77 mins, low shot), Eustace (84 mins, left foot shot)

REFEREE: Paul Alcock (Kent)

Norwich - Jackson (46 mins, foul), Roberts (52 mins, foul); De Blasiis (90 mins, foul)
Coventry – Chippo (8 mins, foul), Breen (20 mins, foul), McAllister (90 mins, foul)


COVENTRY MAN OF THE MATCH: Gary Breen – defensive rock

1x22rule.gif (89 bytes)
The Hare and Hounds, Coventry

150x15more.gif (274 bytes)


[click on the advert below]

Buy all your books online with Amazon

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry - book online!

Alexander Wines, Earlsdon, Coventry

Warwickshire County Council - Our County 1998-2001

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 11 Dec 99

1995-2000 Coventry Internet Developments Ltd

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