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Southampton (0) 1
Coventry City (1) 2

After 509 days the Sky Blues finally win a league match away from home - with a little help from a doubtful penalty decision and a new coach driver.


4 min Jones saves well from Bellamy
20 min Bellamy is brought down by El Khalej and scores from the spot
42 min Rosler shoots wide from a good position
52 min Tessem is allowed to run through and finishes well
62 min Roussel heads home from Telfer’s right wing corner
91 min Hedman saves well from Rosler

FAN'S REPORT by Chris Sampson

A surprise three points and first away win for 18 months, and on the night City's gritty performance just about edged it.

The expected changes were made in defence with Shaw and Edworthy replacing Hendry and Breen. In midfield Telfer was in for Thompson (presumably injured). Bellamy continued upfront with Roussell.

After a cagey first five minutes, City began to get a grip on the game, with the defence looking more solid, Edworthy especially a vast improvement on Breen at right back.

Bellamy's pace was causing problems up front and this led to City's first chance. A corner was only half cleared and with the Saints defence charging out Eustace put Bellamy through and a fierce shot was beaten away by the keeper.

City were looking to break quickly and Bellamy had a couple of useful runs down the flanks. We were well on top in the first 15 minutes, and Southampton didn't really put together any decent chances other than one instance when Chippo won the ball in the left back position and sprayed a very loose pass across the edge of the box, but we managed to get men back and cleared the situation.

After 20 minutes City went one up. Bellamy isolated a defender on the right edge of the box and jinked past him. The defender put in a late challenge, missed the ball and brought down Bellamy. Penalty.

Bellamy got up to take it himself and banged it straight down the middle as the keeper went to his right.

[Editor's note: BBC commentators Rob Gurney and Adam Dent thought the penalty to be very generous!]

At this stage we were not completely on fire, but it was a vast improvement on Saturday. The defence was sufficiently solid for Hoddle to pull off Kevin Davies, bringing on Pahars.

Carlton Palmer was lucky to stay on the field after 30 minutes when an appalling late challenge only produced a yellow card, when a red looked inevitable. A very lucky escape.

Southampton came close to an equaliser when Hedman came out for a cross, missed it and Kachloul's overhead kick flew just wide.

Half time, 1-0, and with City clearly the better side hope was beginning to dawn that a win might be on the cards.

The Saints came out much improved in the second half and finally began to exert some pressure. There were shouts for a Southampton penalty for a Williams shoulder charge, but this was rightly waved away.

An equaliser came on 52 minutes. A Southampton player broke from right midfield, cut inside a Williams challenge and finished it off with a good shot into the top corner which gave Hedman no chance.

With 38 minutes left there were doubts about our ability to hold out. Instead we began to push forward.

Roussel was an increasing influence on the game, and Telfer and Edworthy were completely dominant down the right.

We began to create chances: Bellamy had a fierce shot blocked and Telfer's follow-up was also blocked.

City's second came after 65 minutes. A corner on the right, Telfer floated it over to the far post and Roussell outjumped the defender to nod the ball home.

The clock ticked down ... *slowly*, and City dug in at the back. The Saints' chances were restricted to set pieces.

One free kick almost caught Hedman out but he held on safely enough. A Pahars free kick flew past the far post with Hedman beaten.

On a City break, Bellamy was fouled right on the edge of the box. Marcus Hall's free kick was charged down for a corner.

Very late on Pahars got the better of the defence, but Hedman was on hand for an excellent save. Four minutes of injury time went past with no close shaves, much hoarse signing of the Sky Blue song and eventually the ref blew for full time.

We were the better team, and deserved the win for playing well as a team. There were few individuals that stood out, but when Thompson and Hadji come back we'll have more flair.

Southampton were pretty awful and look like relegation material. So there's still some way to go, but this was a vast improvement on last Saturday.

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MATCH FACTS by Jim Brown

Jones, Dodd, Bridge, Marsden (Tessem, 46), Lundekvam, El Khalej, Draper, Oakley, Rosler, Davies (Pahars, 24), Kachloul (Beattie, 83)
Moss, Monk

Hedman, Edworthy, Hall, Palmer, Williams, Shaw, Telfer, Eustace, Roussel, Bellamy (Zuniga, 85), Chippo
Kirkland, Hendry, Quinn, Normann

Southampton - Tessem (52)
Coventry -
Bellamy (20, pen), Roussel (62)

REFEREE: P Taylor (Cheshunt)

Southampton - Davies (11), El Khalej (20), Lundekvam (37), Kachloul (68), Rosler (71)
Coventry - Bellamy (23), Palmer (30), Williams (73)


City’s first away win in the league since April 1999 - after 22 games without a win.


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CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 23 Aug 00
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