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Adam Dent[06 MAY 00] COVENTRY CITY MATCH REPORT - PREMIERSHIP
Coventry City (1) 4
Sheffield Wednesday (0) 1
BY ADAM DENT

The Sky Blues gave veteran keeper Steve Ogrizovic the perfect send off as they ended their home campaign in considerable style.

Steve Ogrizovic, Coventry City FC

STEVE OGRIZOVIC

The 42-year-old keeper was making his final appearance after 16 years at the club but was given little to occupy his time save taking the supporters’ applause.

And how they gave it. Oggy, who was given a standing ovation before, during and after the game, embarked on an emotional lap of honour before being applauded from the field by his team mates.

For Coventry the day was all about the loyal keeper, but the visitors had more serious things to occupy them. Their lack-lustre performance left them hanging on to their Premiership status by the thinnest of threads – one which looks certain to be severed at Highbury on Tuesday.

For a side still with a chance of escaping the relegation mire, they showed little appetite for the fight and got what they deserved.

From the first minute, Coventry put them under pressure when Robbie Keane was put through but fired into the side netting when squaring the ball would have been a better option.

Moustapha Hadji enjoyed a highly influential first half. He managed five shots at goal and but for Kevin Pressman in the Wednesday goal would undoubtedly have finished on the score sheet before the interval.

Ysrael Zuniga, given a rare start by Gordon Strachan, also played a considerable part, setting up several good chances and almost forcing Pressman into an embarrassing slip when he charged down the keeper’s clearance.

Gary McAllister, Coventry City FC

GARY McALLISTER

A goal simply had to come, and it was man of the match McAllister who eventually broke the deadlock when he side-footed home after Zuniga teed him up.

Wednesday had got off lightly considering the balance of play and that should have given them inspiration for the second half. Instead they merely folded.

Hadji went close almost straight from the re-start when he curled a free kick just wide, and then McAllister hit the bar with a fiercely struck free kick after 54 minutes. The ball bounced down on to the line and was cleared.

He struck woodwork again 14 minutes later but on that occasion, Zuniga was there for follow in and ram home his second goal in English football.

That killed off any Wednesday resistance and City were able to play at will. They commanded the midfield, used their wide players well and created several clear-cut chances.

McAllister notched his 13th goal of the season after 70 minutes when Hadji unselfishly squared the ball to him 18 yards from goal before the pony-tailed Moroccan finally got on the scoresheet, ramming home a firm shot after Pressman had again denied Zuniga.

Wednesday did manage to pull back a consolation goal a minute later when Gilles de Bilde beat the offside trap to score but it was too little, too late.

City’s home form has been outstanding through the season but they still have to break that away bogie. If they manage to do that at Watford it would complete a very satisfactory final week to a mixed season.

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COVENTRY CITY:
Ogrizovic, Breen, Shaw, Williams, Telfer, Hadji, Chippo (Eustace, 87 mins), McAllister, Whelan, Zuniga, Keane
Subs not used: Hedman, Normann, McPhee, Pead

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY:
Pressman, Nolan, Atherton, Walker (Haslam, 53 mins), Hinchcliffe, Alexandersson (Sibon, 61 mins), Horne (Sonner, 67 mins), Jonk, Quinn, Booth, De Bilde
Subs not used: Cresswell, Srnicek

GOALS:
Coventry - McAllister (39, 70 mins), Zuniga (68 mins), Hadji (80 mins)
Sheffield - De Bilde (81 mins)

REFEREE: Steve Bennett (Orpington)

BOOKINGS:
Coventry - Chippo (foul, 17 mins)
Sheffield - Jonk (foul, 65 mins), Atherton (foul, 71 mins)

ATTENDANCE: 19,921

COVENTRY MAN OF THE MATCH: Gary McAllister – highly influential
    

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CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 6 May 00

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