MAR 01] COVENTRY CITY MATCH
REPORT - PREMIERSHIP
Coventry City (1) 2
Derby County (0) 0
take three very big points from their first league victory since
Boxing Day - a result only marred by the dismissal of captain
heads straight at Oakes from a superb Hall cross.
||Oakes carried off after a collision with Hadji.
||Hall forces Poom into a good save.
heads home after Poom blocks Eustace's shot.
||Hadji shoots narrowly wide from the edge of the
||Hartson heads home Telfer's
right wing corner.
||Hadji sent off for spitting at Higginbotham.
first real save from Carbonari's thirty yard shot falls
to Delap who skies his shot.
||Burton shoots over from a good position.
by David Beidas
I'd almost forgotten what it was
like to see City win. A massive victory, with other results
going our way as well. Even the sun came out towards the end of
Just under 20,000 at Highfield
Road. Usual 4-4-2: Kirkland in goal; back four of Quinn, Breen,
Shaw and Hall; midfield of Eustace, Telfer, Carsley and Bellamy;
and Hadji and Hartson up front. No Thompson: perhaps not a bad
According to Sky last night,
Derby have done much better when Taribo West has played and it
was a relief to not to see him in their side today.
The early pressure was Derby's as
it took us a couple of minutes to get out of our half, but we
settled and the game developed into a fairly nervy affair, City
not quite looking like they believed in themselves. Chances were
few and far between for both sides.
City looked threatening when
coming down the flanks, Bellamy had a few chances to run at the
defence and occasionally we got some good balls into the box but
our main problem was the lack of anyone to get on the end of
Derby looked slightly more
assured on the ball than we did, but for all their passing and
running, had fewer opportunities than City.
Derby had to change their
goalkeeper when a sloppy back pass left Hadji and Oakes both
chasing a ball about 25 yards out. They arrived simultaneously
and the Derby keeper came off worse.
At the back we were very solid,
Gary Breen in particular having a superb game. Higginbotham was
booked for Derby after a crude challenge on Eustace.
Hadji wasn't having much luck and
the crowd were getting on his back. That all disappeared shortly
before half time when Eustace suddenly found himself clear about
12 yards out, he thundered a shot which Poom blocked, the ball
rebounded high and from ten yards out Hadji headed the ball over
the heads of Derby defenders rushing back to cover.
One nil and for the first time
the City crowd were singing louder than the Derby fans.
A minute or two later a lovely
backheel from Hadji put Bellamy away down the left to fizz a
ball across the area.
We started the second half
strongly and won a couple of corners. From the second, about
five minutes in, Telfer floated a ball over and Hartson squeezed
a header between Poom's hand and the post to put us two up.
A certain sense of relief, though
our experiences this season made us wary of thinking the points
were in the bag.
Derby came back at us and Smith
sent on Kinkladze for Gudjohnson. We were looking stronger now
though and although we were under pressure, the defence still
looked in control and Derby still found chances hard to come by.
Telfer and Carsley in midfield
were working hard to break down attacks and feed the front men
again. Hartson had another chance when he got off a shot from an
angle which Poom managed to deflect out for a corner.
David Elleray decided to make it
hard for us with about twenty minutes to go when there was an
incident off the ball. He went over to consult his linesman and
then pulled out his red card for Hadji. I didn't see anything of
the incident; Hadji got a huge round of applause. He took his
time leaving the pitch and seemed distraught. I can hardly
remember Hadji ever getting a yellow card and the red was quite
out of character.
You knew it was going to be our
day when a few minutes later a Derby player got a shot off from
long range which swerved a bit and Kirkland was unable to hold
it. Delap was following in and from seven yards out, with the
keeper on the ground, he put the ball well over the bar.
Kirkland had to save another long
range shot when Johnson wasn't closed down, but apart from that
he wasn't tested.
We had to absorb a lot of
pressure in the last twenty minutes, but we also looked
dangerous when breaking.
Chippo replaced Bellamy with
about ten minutes to go. Hartson did a good job of holding the
ball up front on his own, although he looked finished after
Injury time seemed endless, but
by then Derby had accepted their defeat and the pressure eased.
Elleray finally decided it was time to blow his whistle and call
As Jim Brown remarked after the
game, that was our biggest win all season! The three points are
what matters though and it was a relief to celebrate a win at
There were a number of plus
points: the back four looked pretty solid, Carsley and Telfer
gave us some bite in midfield and without Thompson we looked
more organised and less wayward.
Onward and upward.
FACTS by Jim Brown
Chris Kirkland: Barry Quinn, Marcus Hall, Lee Carsley, Gary
Breen, Richard Shaw, John Eustace, Paul Telfer, John Hartson,
Moustapha Hadji, Craig Bellamy (Youssef Chippo 84)
Subs not used: Magnus Hedman,
John Aloisi, Paul Williams, David Thompson
Andy Oakes (Mart Poom 8): Rory Delap, Seth Johnson, Youl Mawane,
Horatio Carbonari, Danny Higginbotham, Craig Burley (Adam Murray
74), Darryl Powell, Deon Burton, Malcolm Christie, Thordur
Gudjonsson (Giorgi Kinkladze 58)
Subs not used: Paul Boertien,
Bjorn Otto Bragstad
GOALS: Hadji (44), Hartson (49)
CITY BOOKINGS FOR THE SEASON TO DATE]
Coventry - none
Derby - Higginbotham
(21, foul on Hartson)
Coventry - Hadji
(72, spitting at Higginbotham)
Derby - none
LEAGUE POSITIONS AFTER THIS
Coventry - 19th
Derby - 16th
City's first win since Boxing Day and their biggest win of the