AUG 00] COVENTRY CITY MATCH
REPORT - PREMIERSHIP
Coventry City (1) 1
Middlesbrough (1) 3
The Sky Blues got off to the worst possible start to the
season going down by a two goal margin and having new boy David
Thompson sent off.
||Deane hits the
||Job heads home
Boksic's left wing cross
headed goal disallowed
equalises with a near post header
asleep at a free-kick and Boksic scores at the second
through ball is chipped over Hedman by Boksic
shown a second yellow card and is ordered off. Unclear
whether it is for a foul on Ince or kicking the ball
FAN'S REPORT by David Beidas
Well, it doesn't take long for the pre-season optimisim to
fade. About 90 minutes, to be precise.
Apart from a good spell in the last 20 minutes of the first
half, City were second best and the result was a fair
reflection of the game.
Another warm and sunny afternoon at Highfield Road. We
lined up our usual 4-4-2: Hedman in goal, back four of Hall,
Williams, Hendry and Breen; midfield of Thompson, Palmer,
Eustace and Chippo; and Roussel and Bellamy up front.
The early minutes were a bit frantic, but then Middlesboro
began to get a grip on the game and to push forward. For us Thompson
was looking quite sharp on the right, prepared to run at
people and wanting the ball.
We had our first lucky escape when Eustace managed to pass
to a Boro player on the edge of our area - he passed to the
unmarked Deane who tried to chip the ball over the advancing
Hedman but only managed to clip the bar.
Not long after they won a freekick just outside the area,
we lined up a wall but the ball was slipped down the left
channel to Boksic, who ran to the byline and crossed for Job
to nod the ball in from about eight yards out.
City then went completely to pieces for a few minutes,
looking very rattled. Boro won another freekick in a similar
area, this one was floated over and nodded in. For some reason
it was disallowed.
The ref, Barry Knight, was a bit fussy and started to give
some yellows, first to Williams, then to Thompson after a
tackle on Ince. Karembeu got one after a spell in the middle
where the tackles were flying in left, right and centre.
Gradually however City began to put a bit of a game
together, using the width of the pitch more, with Hall getting
down the left and Thompson down the right.
We won a few corners, but could not make anything of them.
Bellamy chased one lost cause to the byline and pulled it back
across the face of the goal, but Boro managed to clear it.
felt the pressure was going to lead somewhere and we duly
equalised just before half time. Thompson had beaten his
player down the right, saw Eustace making a run from the edge
of the area and sent a perfect cross through the six yard box
which Eustace duly headed in.
There were no team changes at half-time and the second half
saw Boro really begin to assert their superiority.
Our passing was poor, players were drifting out of
position, we had no width and inevitably began to be reduced
to the old long ball hoofed up by Williams.
The defence was struggling, with Hendry looking lost. At
one point under no pressure he played a terribly sloppy pass
to Breen on the right which just went straight out. There were
calls for Shaw to replace him.
Bellamy showed some pace and a good first touch - he's not
Robbie Keane, but there is some promise there.
Thomson was committed, energetic and our best player,
driving us forward. Chippo looked slightly lost and Eustace
was not having one of his better days.
We conceded two goals in the space of a couple of minutes
around the hour mark.
First, we were all lined up on the eighteen yard line, a
ball was played over the top and Boro got to it first. Hedman
blocked the first shot, but Boksic slotted home the second.
There were appeals for offside, but the linesman kept his flag
Then Pallister broke from defence and, just outside our
area, slipped a perfect pass for Boksic to run on to and fire
a shot to which Hedman got his hand, but not enough to stop it
going into the net.
How on earth a central defender was allowed to get to the
edge of our area, heaven only knows.
Telfer came on for Eustace after he'd given the ball away
once too often.
the afternoon went completely pear-shaped a few minutes later
when Thompson received his second yellow card and was sent
I couldn't really see what for; from the East Stand it
looked like he'd won the ball in a fair tackle. The fact that
the Boro players were all commiserating with him on his slow
march off suggested that they thought he'd been unfairly dealt
with as well. Certainly the crowd were baying for the ref's
The rest of the game was academic. Boro played keepball for
much of it, every pass cheered by their supporters.
Palmer was booked, Whelan replaced Boksic.
The former City player had two great chances, one when he
turned and shot from a central position twelve yards out, the
other when he ran into the area from a wide position and was
through on Hedman. He put both wide.
Aloisi came on for Breen, Telfer dropping to right back. We
didn't create any more chances and the final whistle was a
Best forgotten, but the signs are not good.
by Jim Brown
Hedman: Breen (Aloisi, 80), Hall, Palmer, Hendry,
Williams, Thompson, Eustace (Telfer, 70), Roussel, Bellamy,
Subs: Kirkland, Shaw, Zuniga
Schwarzer: Fleming, O’Neill, Vickers, Pallister
(Gavin, 80), Cooper, Karembeu, Ince, Boksic (Whelan, 76), Deane,
Job (Okon, 83)
Subs: Crossley, Ricard
Coventry - Eustace (41)
Charlton - Job (19), Boksic (59, 62)
REFEREE: B Knight (Orpington)
Coventry - Williams (21), Eustace (39), Palmer (46), Breen (58),
Middlesbrough - Boksic (44), Cooper (55), Ince (69)
SENDING OFF: Thompson (71) - two
Thompson is the first ever Coventry player to be sent off on his