NOV 01] COVENTRY CITY MATCH
REPORT - DIVISION ONE
Millwall (0) 3
Coventry City (0) 2
Roland Nilsson must be wishing he
had never won the Manager Of The Month Award after suffering his
first league reverse as Sky Blues boss.
The accolade is renowned for
bringing a dose of bad luck in its wake – but this reverse had
more to do City’s frailties than any poor fortune.
The Sky Blues came storming back
into this game after being behind only to throw away the chance
of points with two late slips. To top that misery, David
Thompson was sent off in the final two minutes.
Nilsson had made two changes
after the draw against Preston in midweek but they did not have
the desired effect in a poor first half. City went closest to
scoring with Jairo Martinez, in for the axed Jay Bothroyd,
testing Tony Warner close to the break.
Millwall changed formation at
half time and for a while City, with Bothroyd on for the poorly
Lee Hughes, opened with a flourish. The former Arsenal youngster
put Jairo Martinez through in the opening moments but his chest
control let him down, Stuart Nethercott had to make a timely
invention to prevent the Honduran scoring and David Thompson
also went close.
But slowly the home side,
themselves on an impressive run, started to press and 10 minutes
after the restart they were ahead. Richard Sadlier saw his
effort blocked from a corner but the ball fell nicely for
veteran Steve Claridge who rifled it home.
The Sky Blues could easily have
folded but within six minutes they were level. Thompson’s near
post corner caused problems and Martinez was able to scramble
the ball over the line.
Suddenly it was City in the
ascendancy and it was no great surprise that they took the lead
with the best goal of the game. Bothroyd, whose vision had
pepped up the forward line, spotted a chance and from 20 yards
powered in a low shot.
City should have been able to at
least maintain the scoreline or, at best, increase their
advantage but they came unstuck 11 minutes from time when Gary
Breen was caught out by Claridge and then fouled the former
Wolves and Portsmouth striker. Sub Christophe Kinet curled the
free kick around the ball and inside a post.
Millwall were being urged on by
their supporters and Thompson, who had been booked in the first
half, allowed himself to get carried away with the atmosphere
and, with two minutes left, went piling in to Tim Cahill after
the whistle had gone and was, inevitably, red carded.
There was more to come. With the
game in injury time, Claridge made a break down the left and
delivered a dangerous cross. Nethercott managed to get his head
to the ball and Sadlier, who had impressed throughout, was able
to prod it into the net.
Tony Warner, Tim Cahill, Stuart Nethercott, Paul Ifill, David
Livermore, Richard Sadlier, Darren Ward (Christophe Kinet, 46 (Robbie
Ryan, 86)), Ryan Green, Sean Dyche, Ronnie Bull, Steve Claridge
Subs not used : Willy Gueret, David Tuttle, Giovanni Savarese
COVENTRY CITY :
Magnus Hedman; Richard Shaw, Muhamed Konjic, Gary Breen, Marc
Edworthy, David Thompson, Lee Carsley, Youssef Safri
Laurent Delorge, Lee Hughes (Jay Bothroyd, 38), Jairo Martinez
Subs not used : Andy Goram, Barry Quinn, Runar Normann, Tomas
Millwall - Claridge (55), Kinet (81), Sadlier (90)
Coventry - Martinez (60), Bothroyd (67)
REFEREE : K Hill (Royston)
Millwall - none
Coventry - Thompson (26, unsporting behaviour), Breen (86, foul)
SENDING OFF :
Coventry - Thompson (88, second bookable offence)
ATTENDANCE : 15,748
COVENTRY LEAGUE POSITION : 4th
with 31 points