AUG 01] COVENTRY CITY MATCH
REPORT - DIVISION ONE
Bradford City (0) 2
Coventry City (0) 1
Gordon Strachan got the
performance but not result he wanted as Coventry lost the battle
of the relegated sides.
Strachan had demanded more from
his side after their poor performance against Wolves and he got
it. What he also got was fatally poor defending and Lee Hughes
being sent off 12 minutes from time.
The manager had resisted the
temptation to make wholesale changes after Sunday’s reverse,
merely bringing in Barry Quinn for Youssef Chippo. He instead
demanded more from the other 10 and was, to a large extent,
Coventry matched Bradford every
step of the way in the first half but were forced to produce two
goal line clearances. David Thompson fired just wide in the
third minute and Lee Hughes gave Bradford defender Robert
Molennar a rough wide throughout.
Jay Bothroyd, who had by far his
best game since joining the club, set up Thompson in the 20th
minute with a driven cross but the winger’s effort was
Hedman made up for an earlier
rush of blood which saw him come tearing dangerously off his
line, when he saved well from Ashley Ward. The ball fell
invitingly for former Sky Blues’ midfielder Eoin Jess whose
effort was cleared by Lee Carlsey on the goal line.
Bradford, with over half their
side in their 30s, began the second half in superb style, doing
the damage in six second half minutes. They started the half far
stronger than Coventry and took the lead in the 49th minute when
Andy Myers headed home from close range after Ward flicked on a
Benito Carbone corner.
Hedman then kept out a low shot
from Gareth Whalley but stood no chance in the 55th minute when
Gary Locke rammed home the lose ball from 18 yards out.
It took Coventry time to regain
their composure and slowly they started to force the home side
back, especially after Strachan had brought on Ysrael Zuniga and
Youssef Chippo for Thompson and Quinn.
That pressure yielded a result in
the 76th minute when Jay Bothroyd, their best player of the
night, ended a forceful 40 yard run with an unstoppable low
shot. It was a goal that underlined the teenager’s undoubted
Suddenly Coventry were the side
with the momentum and Bradford’s confidence appeared brittle.
But then, just two minutes after the goal Hughes, who had been
harshly booked in the first half for not retreating, snapped at
the heels of Gunnar Halle and was red carded.
To their credit, Coventry still
poured forward looking for that breakthrough. It should have
come right at the death when Bothroyd headed a Marcus Hall cross
over the bar.
There is no doubt that Coventry
played with far more poise and purpose than they did against
Wolves, but that was to be expected. Two back to back defeats
will do little to help the players believe they can bounce back
to the Premiership and they need to win on Monday against
Nottingham Forest to prevent the rumblings of dissatisfaction
BRADFORD CITY (4-4-2):
Walsh; Halle, Molenaar, Myers, Jacobs; Locke, McCall, Whalley;
Carbone, Ward, Jess (Tod, 90)
Subs not used: Lawrence, Blake, Davison, Grant
COVENTRY CITY (4-4-2)
Hedman; Nilsson, Shaw, Williams, Hall, Thompson (Zuniga, 68)
Quinn (Chippo, 68), Carsley, O’Neill; Hughes, Bothroyd
Subs not used: Goram, Gavin Strachan, Davenport
Bradford - Myers (49, close range header), Locke (55, low drive)
Coventry - Bothroyd (78, fine goal)
REFEREE: Chris Foy (St Helens)
Bradford - Jess (56, foul), McCall (70, foul)
Coventry - Hughes (44, dissent), Thompson (48, foul)
SENDING OFF: Hughes (78, foul –
second bookable offence)
COVENTRY MAN OF THE MATCH: Jay
Bothroyd – best game to date