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West Ham United (0) 1
Coventry City (0) 1

Blood, sweat, thunder and not a little style poured forth from Coventry City, but it still took a ninetieth minute own goal to give the Sky Blues a point.


2 min Hedman saves well from Kanoute with his legs.
3 min Forrest tips Hadji's goalbound shot around the post.
10 min Hartson scores with a fierce volley but the goal is ruled out for offside.
12 min Breen almost heads into his own net.
20 min Hartson almost turns Bellamy's cross in after a flowing City move.
30 min Hartson sets up Eustace but his header is weak.
39 min Cole's shot has Hedman stretching.
42 min Lampard shoots inches wide from the game's best chance so far.
48 min Di Canio hits the bar after a scintillating run leaves Quinn standing.
64 min Carsley clears off the line when Hedman misses a corner.
81 min Winterburn's overlapping run and cross finds Cole unmarked for the Hammers' goal.
89 min Thompson's cross goes in off Dailly.
90 min Hartson is brought down in the box but the referee waves play on.

In terms of performance it was a creditable one. Dogged at the back, smooth in midfield, and finally with some beef to aim for up front, Coventry were West Ham's equal for much of the game.

But in relegation matters, one point against a team just a few places above the drop zone is not enough at this desperate stage of the season.

The assembled mass of Kanoute, Di Canio, Cole, Carrick and Lampard are enough to make any defence wilt, but the Sky Blues continued to throw body after body in front of the ball.

In attack Hartson nearly marked a dream debut with a goal, but it was ruled out for offside.

The game looked like it was heading for a draw, Carsley proving effective in snuffing out Cole's challenge until he was substituted as Gordon Strachan looked for all three points.

The traditional Sky Blue hard-luck story seemed on the verge of writing itself once more, when Cole scored in front of Sven Goran Eriksson following a pass from Kanoute with eight minutes to go.

Late goals have been a feature of Coventry's season - perhaps they need an injection of ideas of foreign fitness methods.

But the Sky Blues didn't give up, and as a ranging Thompson free kick swung into the box with seconds remaining there was a stampede of Sky Blues shirts.

It seemed to connect with Eustace and go in. The goal was later given to Christian Dailly as an own goal, but it was a goal, and a point.

Into injury time, Hartson was brought down. The Sky Blues bench was incensed that a penalty wasn't given and coach Gary Pendrey had to be restrained from confronting Dermot Gallagher.

Given that April's games are against Manchester United, Liverpool, Ipswich, Leeds and Leicester, Coventry have six weeks to start scoring and winning.

MATCH FACTS by Jim Brown

Magnus Hedman: Barry Quinn (Jay Bothroyd 87), Marcus Hall, Lee Carsley (Youssef Chippo 76), Gary Breen, Richard Shaw, David Thompson, John Eustace, John Hartson, Craig Bellamy (Marc Edworthy 90), Moustapha Hadji
Subs not used:
Chris Kirkland, Paul Telfer

Craig Forrest: Sebastien Schemmel, Nigel Winterburn, Christian Dailly, Hannu Tihinen, Stuart Pearce, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, Frederic Kanoute, Paulo Di Canio, Frank Lampard
Subs not used: Stephen Bywater, Titi Camara, Ian Pearce, Rigobert Song, Ragnvald Soma

Coventry - Dailly (89 og)
West Ham -
Cole (81)

REFEREE: D Gallagher (Banbury)

Coventry - Breen (9, foul on Kanoute), Quinn (17, dissent), Hartson (53, foul on Schemmel), Thompson (57, foul on Cole), Eustace (83, foul on Cole)
West Ham - Cole (70, foul on Hall), Di Canio (78, dissent)


Coventry - 19th
West Ham - 14th

- Hartson's debut and he has a goal contentiously disallowed for offside and a good penalty appeal turned down.
- First goal and first point for City at Upton Park for four years.
- City's goal drought ends after 360 minutes.


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CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 12 Feb 01
1995-2001 Coventry Internet Developments Ltd This page updated 27 May 2010