FEB 01] COVENTRY CITY MATCH
REPORT - PREMIERSHIP
Coventry City (1) 2
Charlton Athletic (1) 2
A home-debut equaliser from John Hartson rescued a point for
the Sky Blues - but will it be enough?
tips over Kinsella's shot.
||Ilic fails to hold Quinn's
shot and Bellamy is first there to squeeze the ball home.
||Hedman is flapping at
Jensen's corner and after Fish hits the bar Rufus scores
from close range.
||Jensen's dipping and
bending free kick is inches over the bar.
seconds into the second half and Kishishev sets up
Johansson who volleys in off the far post.
||Stuart's lob is inches wide.
||Stuart's 20-yard shot is
tipped round the post by Hedman.
||Aloisi miskicks Hall's
cross and Hartson just manages to score from six yards.
has two shots blocked in a melee in the Charlton area.
shoots over from a good position.
by David Beidas
One point rescued from the jaws
of defeat rather than two thrown away. City continue to look
fragile but escaped with a draw from a scrappy game with scrappy
A reasonable crowd of 19,500 on a
cold but sunny afternoon at Highfield Road. City lined up in
their usual 4-4-2: Hedman in goal; back four of Edworthy, Breen,
Shaw and Hall; midfield of Chippo, Carsley, Quinn and Thompson;
Hartson (making his home debut) and Bellamy up front. Ref was
It was Charlton who started the
stronger and won three corners in the opening two minutes. City
defended them well, although one was cleared to the edge of the
area from where a Charlton player struck a fierce shot which
Hedman saw late and did well to tip over.
We settled and worked the ball
down the right with several throw-ins. The ball eventually found
its way over to the left and went to Quinn on the corner of the
area. From twenty yards out he struck a good low drive, which
the keeper dived for but could not hold. Bellamy was following
in with a defender and got the first touch, although it wasn't a
clean one, and the ball took an age to trickle past the keeper
and over the line for a goal. A good start and the City fans
Charlton looked shaky for a spell
- especially the keeper, who had a whole series of fumbles and
mis-kicks; once he came too far out of his area and was robbed
by Hartson, leaving him stranded near the halfway line. It was
Hall who had the lob, unfortunately a yard wide, though there
were defenders covering by then.
It was a scrappy game, both teams
making mistakes and gradually Charlton came back into it. After
twenty minutes they equalised from another corner, an
extraordinary affair where the ball seemed to hit Hedman, come
out, another shot, off the bar, cleared off the line and
eventually after a bit more pinball was put in by Rufus. Now the
Charlton fans were singing.
For the rest of the first half
they looked the stronger side (which wasn't saying much), more
composed on the ball and we found it hard to create
opportunities. Hartson won some nice flick-ons in the air, with
Bellamy running off him.
Chippo got a talking to from the
ref after a couple of tough challenges (although I don't
remember the ref actually booking anyone today).
Our crossing in particular was
woeful today, and everyone was guilty of this - Thompson, Hall
and Edworthy. Often our passes either went astray or played
teammates into trouble.
The crowd started to get
frustrated. Neither side seemed capable of creating a real
goal-scoring opportunity and the half petered out.
Whatever Strachan said to the
team during the break was a complete waste of time. Within
seconds of kicking off we were behind; in fact the ball never
left our half.
We played it back to Edworthy, he
lost the ball, it was played across the edge of the area without
any of our players seeming to move for it, a Charlton player
flicked it over the top and Johansson nipped behind our back
line to volley a shot which hit the foot of the right post and
into the net. City players looked bewildered, vaguely looking
for an offside flag which never came.
Charlton were now on top, and
there was some tough defending to do. We held out and although
for a spell it looked like we wouldn't get back into the game,
we did eventually recover.
We had our own version of pinball
in another goalmouth scramble, but the ball ended up going over
the bar. Marcus Hall was set up well but put his shot well wide.
Strachan pulled off Chippo, who
hadn't had the best of games and sent on Aloisi, Bellamy moving
to wide left.
We equalised with 25 minutes to
go. A good move down the left saw the ball flicked on across the
area and Hartson was sliding in at the far post to knock it in.
This set up a good last spell,
with City pushing forward for the winner, cheered on by the Sky
Blue Army who were the more vocal set of fans again.
Charlton used three of their
subs. The game could have gone either way: Hemdan got down well
to push a shot round for a corner, which had taken a wicked
deflection off Edworthy and at the other end Thompson sent a
good chance just over the bar (he also sent one well wide and
quite a few of his passes and crosses were very wayward today).
In the end we had to settle for a
point: better than nothing, but not really enough. We still
don't have a settled, confident side and safety is a long, long
FACTS by Jim Brown
Magnus Hedman: Marc Edworthy, Marcus Hall, Lee Carsley, Gary
Breen, Richard Shaw, David Thompson, Barry Quinn, John Hartson,
Craig Bellamy, Youssef Chippo (John Aloisi 57)
Subs not used: Chris
Kirkland, Paul Telfer, Paul Williams, Jay Bothroyd
Sasa Ilic: Mark Fish, Chris Powell, Mark Kinsella (Shaun Newton
79), Richard Rufus, Andy Todd, Radostin Kishishev, Claus Jensen
(Paul Konchesky 88), Jonatan Johansson (Kevin Lisbie 89),
Mathias Svensson, Graham Stuart
Subs not used: Tony Caig,
Coventry - Bellamy (9), Hartson (68)
Charlton - Rufus (22),
Halsey (Welwyn Garden City)
CITY BOOKINGS FOR THE SEASON TO DATE]
Coventry - none
Charlton - none
LEAGUE POSITIONS AFTER THIS
Coventry - 19th
Charlton - 8th
Hartson scores on his home debut.
Hedman's 100th Premier League game.