|[29 JAN 00] COVENTRY CITY MATCH REPORT - FA CUP 5TH ROUND
Coventry City (2) 2
Wimbledon (2) 3
BY ADAM DENT
Crestfallen Coventry City gifted away their chances
of another quarter final appearance with a amazing capitulation.
Gordon Strachans side looked to be heading for the final stages as Belgian
striker Cedric Roussel put them firmly in charge with two well taken goals inside the
first 22 minutes.
But if Coventry, in the fifth round for the fourth year in succession, were beginning
to think of a second trip to Wembley, then they were rudely roused from their day dreaming
and made to pay in scintillating style.
John Robinson and Shaun Newton managed to pull goals back in the final five minutes of
the first period before Andy Hunt pounced to compound Citys misery.
The former West Bromwich Albion striker produced the perfect finish as he controlled a
long pass from Chris Powell before slotting a shot between keeper Magnus Hedman and the
The goal sparked jubilant scenes on the pitch, in the stands and on the touchline and
knocked Coventry so hard they failed to make any real impression in the final five
How different it had all looked in the first half. Coventry had been forced to bring in
young Norwegian Runar Normann for his debut when Noel Whelan pulled out with a thigh
strain but the summer signing helped set up their opening goal in the 16th
He managed to win a bouncing ball on the left and head through to Roussel who stabbed
the ball home past the advancing Dean Kiely, once of Coventry himself.
Charlton, with the exception of two efforts from Martin Pringle, had offered little and
must have thought they would be left to concentrate on their promotion push when Roussel
netted again just six minutes later.
It was a well constructed, well finished goal. Robbie Keane flicked the ball on for
Gary McAllister who picked out Roussel with a cross which the under-21 international
powered past Kiely.
Game over or so everyone thought. Robinson did have two opportunities to pull a
goal back but when he spurned the openings, even the most confident Charlton follower must
have thought their chances had gone.
Robinson, however, just needed another chance and he got it when Newton acrobatically
crossed to the near post allowing the midfielder to get there ahead of Hedman and finish
from close range.
Suddenly it was City rocking and their defence was at fault again when Hunts low
shot was palmed out by Kiely leaving Newton with a right-angle finish.
Unsurprisingly the second half was an anti-climax and both sides realised how finely
balanced the game had become.
Graham Stuart thundered a free-kick just wide of goal and Hunt powered a shot over when
he should have done better, while, at the other end, Paul Telfer sent a left foot volley
embarrassingly wide of goal.
City, knowing how testing a trip to the Valley would be, pressed forward in increasing
numbers but, with Keane well marshalled, failed to really punish the visitors.
That push also left gaps at the back and they proved fatal when, with just four minutes
remaining, Hunt finally got it right with his low shot.
Coventry players, heads bowed, had left the field in minutes while Charlton lapped up
the acclaim and considered a cup and promotion double.
Hedman; Telfer, Breen, Williams (Shaw, 47 mins), Froggatt; Eustace (Gustafsson, 70 mins),
Palmer, McAllister, Normann (Delorge, 77 mins), Keane, Roussel
Subs: Ogrizovic, Gavin Strachan
Kiely, Shields, Rufus, Brown, Powell, Newton, Kinsella (Todd, 41 mins), Stuart (Salako, 89
mins), Robinson (Konchesky, 90 mins), Pringle, Hunt
Subs: Ilic, MacDonald
Coventry City - Roussel (15, 21 mins)
Charlton - Robinson (40 mins), Newton (45 mins), Hunt (86 mins)
REFEREE: D Gallagher (Banbury)
COVENTRY MAN OF THE MATCH: Roussel two good goals