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Adam Dent[20 OCT 01] COVENTRY CITY MATCH REPORT - DIVISION ONE
Crewe Alexander (0) 0
Coventry City (1) 1
BY ADAM DENT

Lee Hughes fired Coventry to victory against Crewe at Highfield Road this evening to push Roland Nilssonís men up to fourth in the Division One table.

The £5,000,001 man lashed home a 29th minute penalty after Youssef Safri was brought down in the box by Efe Sodje to secure all three points for the Sky Blues.

City started very brightly and could have taken the lead inside the first minute when Jay Bothroyd cut in from the right hand side but fired over the top.

Moments later Hughes lost his marker to receive a pass from Youssef Chippo but the former Baggies striker shot straight at Crewe keeper Ademola Bankole.

Andy Goram was a late inclusion in the Coventry starting line-up as Magnus Hedman reported to Highfield Road complaining of a chest infection. But the Scot was given nothing to do during the opening exchanges and watched the visitorsí first effort sail over the bar after Dean Ashtonís shot on the turn.

Rob Hulse finally forced Goram into action on 25 minutes when he broke into the Coventry box, but the former Scotland international saved well down to his right from the Crewe strikerís drilled effort.

The Sky Blues took the lead just before the half-hour mark when Bankole fluffed a clearance into the path of Safri. The Moroccan midfielder, who was once again in fine form for City, drove into the box and was brought down by Sodje.

Hughes stepped up to take the spot-kick and drilled the ball past Bankole to end his own goals famine and give Coventry a deserved lead.

Coventry had more than enough chances to seal the win as Bothroyd and Chippo went close before half-time and Hughes was twice denied by Bankole early in the second half.

Mo Konjic then rose to meet David Thompsonís corner but his header crashed against the bar and went over.

But those missed chances meant what should have been a cruise to victory ended up as a nervy climax as Crewe pushed forward in search of an equaliser.

Kenny Lunt forced Goram into good stop after cutting in from the right and moments later Rodney Jack tried an audacious back heel on the volley but his effort cleared the bar.

Right at the death, Crewe full-back Steve Foster climbed at the far post and headed down towards the City goal, but Goram did well to get across his line and scramble the ball clear.

The Sky Blues hung on to claim all three points and maintain Nilssonís unbeaten league record in the Coventry hot seat.

COVENTRY CITY:
Andy Goram; Richard Shaw, Muhamed Konjic, Gary Breen, Marcus Hall, David Thompson, Lee Carsley, Youssef Safri, Youssef Chippo, Lee Hughes, Jay Bothroyd (Laurent Delorge, 65)
Subs not used: Gary Montgomery, Barry Quinn, Marc Edworthy, Jairo Martinez

CREWE ALEXANDER:
Ademola Bankole, Steve Foster, Smith, Efe Sodje, Walton, Kenny Lunt, Brammer, Neil Sorvel, Dean Ashton, Rodney Jack, Rob Hulse
Subs not used: Wright, Tait, Ince, Thomas, Rix

GOALS:
Coventry - Hughes (29, pen)

REFEREE: Tony Leake (Darwen)

BOOKINGS:
Coventry - Shaw (20), Safri (64)
Crewe - none

ATTENDANCE:

COVENTRY LEAGUE POSITION: 4th with 24 points
  

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CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 21 Oct 01
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