SEP 00] COVENTRY CITY MATCH
REPORT - PREMIERSHIP
Coventry City (0) 0
Leeds United (0) 0
Coventry managed their first home point of
the season with a scruffy draw against Leeds.
overhead kick is just wide
tips over Bridges
25-yarder is inches wide
near post header is inches wide
lobs into the side netting
shot is just over the bar
narrowly wide from a corner
blasts City's best chance over the bar from a few yards
by David Beidas
Games with Leeds invariably end
up with either a hatful of goals or none at all - this was one
of the latter.
The result was a fair one after a
game played at a fairly frantic pace with neither side creating
very much in the way of chances. Still, it was a good solid
performance from City, who were looking to pick up their first
points at home.
Just over 20,000 at Highfield
Road on a warm September afternoon. One change from the side
that started against Newcastle, with Hadji on from the start in
place of Eustace: Hedman in goal; back four of Edworthy,
Shaw, Williams and Hall (rumours of an appearance by the Wraith
of Norway - Runaar Normann proved unfounded); midfield of Telfer,
Chippo, Palmer and Hadji; Roussel and Bellamy up front. The ref
was Paul Durkin, immortalised earlier on Soccer AM as Mr
Leeds charged on the attack from
kick off, but we were pretty soon charging down their end too.
And so it followed for pretty
much 90 minutes, with the defenders on the whole enjoying the
better of the play.
Williams and Shaw had the measure
of Huckerby and Bridges, while Roussel and Bellamy came off
second best against Radebe and Duberry. Roussel wasn't winning
as many headers as he normally does.
It was good to have Hadji back,
although he tired towards the end of the game and tried to be
just a bit too clever on one or two occasions.
Marcus Hall hardly dared set foot
over the halfway line, but had a much better game than on
Wednesday night. Telfer was playing on the left midfield and
both he and Hadji were using the flanks well and getting the
There were not many incidents to
describe. Chippo was booked towards the end of the half for
deliberate handball as he tried to catch a ball which was flying
over his head.
City were playing well, keeping
their shape, tackling hard and playing a passing game. We had
one superb move about half an hour in with about fifteen passes,
working the ball from the back down the left and then crossing
over to the right and working the ball back towards the centre,
where space opened up in front of Telfer for a shot from just
outside the area. Unfortuantely he pulled it wide - the move
deserved a better finish.
Hedman had little to do. Leeds
won a couple of freekicks in dangerous positions just outside
the area, but they were either off-target or straight at Hedman.
Most of their shots were from outside the area and rarely on
Hadji had an overhead kick which
dropped just wide of their goal and there was a shout for a
handball by a Leeds defender after another attack.
Half time and all square.
The second half was pretty much
in the same vein as the first, both sides pushing forward but
failing to create any clear cut chances.
We were a bit prone to giving the
ball away, especially in our own half, and players sometimes
just weren't quick enough.
The game got a bit niggly as time
went on, although there was only one more yellow card. That was
for Alan Smith after a series of spats with City players,
including Palmer who got very heated after one tackle.
City players were linking well,
Edworthy and Hadji often making space down the right, aided by
Roussel. City hardly ever played the long ball, relying instead
on short passing movements to open up Leeds a bit.
Bellamy came off to be replaced
by Zuniga. The Peruvian's first touch was a great tackle on
Huckerby right by our byline in the area to put the ball out for
Shortly after Zuniga had a great
run from the left wing into the centre past two or three Leeds
defenders, but couldn't quite slip the ball past the last man to
Lee Bowyer came in for a variety
of songs from the City crowd, from 'Going Down' to 'Bowyer for
Dartmoor' and even 'It's For Life, Son', signs that City's new
theme song is making its mark.
Huckerby was replaced by Wilcox
and Eustace came on for Telfer, Chippo moving out to wide left.
Roussel went down injured, but Hadji continued playing and
actually ran the ball into him while he was still lying on the
City looked threatening when they
broke, but couldn't get the telling pass or cross in to the
Our best chance came with about
ten minutes to go, when we won a corner. Hadji floated the ball
over, it was cleared to the edge of the area where Williams
headed it back into the danger area, Eustace connected with a
volley on the turn about six yards out but the ball flew over
the bar - Martyn would not have seen it if it had been on
Three minutes of injury time and
it was all over. City couldn't be faulted for effort and
commitment; both sides just lacked that little bit of magic to
break the deadlock.
Still, a point's a point.
by Jim Brown
Hedman, Marc Edworthy, Marcus Hall, Carlton Palmer, Paul
Williams, Richard Shaw, Moustapha Hadji, Youssef Chippo, Cedric
Roussel, Craig Bellamy (Ysrael Zuniga, 65), Paul Telfer (John
Subs not used: Chris
Kirkland, Runar Normann , Gary Breen
Martyn, Gary Kelly, Ian Harte, Olivier Dacourt, Lucas Radebe,
Michael Duberry, Lee Bowyer, Stephen McPhail, Michael Bridges,
Alan Smith, Darren Huckerby (Jason Wilcox, 72)
Subs not used: Paul Robinson,
Danny Mills, Danny Hay, Matthew Jones
CITY BOOKINGS FOR THE SEASON TO DATE]
Coventry - Shaw (19, foul on Huckerby), Chippo (45, deliberate
Leeds - Bowyer (54, late
tackle on Chippo), Smith (90, off the ball incident)
LEAGUE POSITIONS AFTER THIS
Coventry - 9th
Leeds - 6th
avoid three straight home defeats at the start of the season -
the last time they did lose the first three games at home was
1919. Hadji captains the Sky Blues for the first time.