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Adam Dent, CWN [06 JAN 99] COVENTRY CITY FC MATCH REPORT - PREMIERSHIP
Tottenham Hotspur (0) 0
Coventry City (0) 0

BY ADAM DENT

Never mind the quality, feel the point.

That might have been the message from Gordon Strachan but it was perhaps a touch harsh as the Sky Blues maintained their recent renaissance with a point.

They may have been under pressure for much of the game but showed steel and enjoyed a share of good fortune that eluded them when times were not so bright.

City could even have managed a goal had Darren Huckerby been in sharper form. The City striker was through on goal three times but failed to make the most of his breaks.

Strachan was forced to make changes with George Boateng and David Burrows out suspended. He decided against parting Paul Williams and Richard Shaw – although injury did that later – and instead brought Gary Breen in at left back and restored Paul Telfer on the right of midfield.

City were having to repel Spurs attacks from the opening minutes when Andy Sinton burst down the left before being blotted out by the hard-working McAllister.

Alan Nielsen had a shot saved and, in the 12th minute, Darren Anderton struck the outside of a post after stealing a loose ball from Shaw.

Spurs may have been without David Ginola – the mercurial Frenchman had pulled a hamstring – but still Spurs exploited the left hand side of the City defence. Stephen Carr twice made progress down the flank and once set up Ferdinand who failed to make the most of the opportunity.

The former England man also met an Anderton free kick but headed wide.

At the other end Huckerby was having a mixed day. McAllister twice put him through – the first time his touch let him down after he had forced his way past Luke Young and then, just before the interval, Walker made a fine double save with his legs.

But it was Spurs who should have gone in ahead at half time. Sinton, who was a constant irritant, cut in past Shaw and curled the ball towards the top corner. It looked to be heading for the top corner but hit the cross bar and bounced out. The City defence were rooted to the spot but Ferdinand reacted only to send his bicycle kick over the bar.

The pattern continued after break and City began to shrink further back in an attempt to soak up the pressure. Ferdinand could have made the breakthrough inside the first minute when he pounced on a gift from Trond Soltvedt but having rounded Williams he fired wide.

Iversen went one better a few moments later when he managed to spoon the ball over the bar from six yards out when Steffen Freund pin pointed him with a cross.

Williams, who has performed consistently well alongside Shaw, pulled a hamstring in the 52nd minute but his withdrawal meant the introduction of Mo Konjic less than 24 hours after getting his work permit.

And what an introduction. His first two challenges left Iversen rolling on floor and he won every single header against Ferdinand. A cult could well have been born.

Iversen was replaced by Chris Armstrong but he wasn’t able to make a telling difference.

Coventry sides of the past would have folded under pressure but Strachan has certainly instilled grit into his line-up and who knows how important this point may be come May?

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TOTTENHAM:
Walker, Carr, Young, Campbell, Taricco (Sherwood, 86 mins), Anderton, Nielsen, Freund, Sinton, Iversen (Armstrong, 70 mins), Ferdinand
Subs not used: Fox, Vega, Baardsen

COVENTRY:
Hedman, Nilsson, Shaw, Williams (Konjic, 52 mins), Breen (Aloisi, 90 mins), Telfer, Soltvedt (Clement, 70 mins), McAllister, Froggatt, Huckerby, Whelan
Subs not used: Ogrizovic, Edworthy

GOALS: none

BOOKINGS:
Tottenham - Young (27 mins, foul on Huckerby)
Coventry - Telfer (17 mins, foul on Sinton), McAllister (67 mins, handball), Breen (71 mins, foul on Anderton), Whelan (82 mins, foul on Taricco)

REFEREE: Stephen Lodge (Yorkshire)

ATTENDANCE: 34,476

COVENTRY MAN OF THE MATCH: McAllister
  

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CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 6 Feb 99

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM