Rovers return from the Ricoh without a point despite a spirited second half performance against the Sky Blues
Good Friday, 29 March 2013 at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry
Npower League 1
Coventry City 1 DONCASTER ROVERS 0
Referee – Mr Mark Halsey
A cold but fine afternoon had the Rovers playing on a Good Friday for the first time in many a year. They were looking to repeat their result of last season and enhance their position at the top of the table. The Rovers made one change from last Saturday, Andy Griffin replacing the injured Paul Quinn. The home team made three changes following their defeat at Portsmouth last weekend. Steve Jennings was injured at Portsmouth but the captain, Carl Baker, returns after a hernia operation. Gary McSheffrey and Cody McDonald drop to the bench and are replaced by Callum Ball and Adam Barton. The Rovers defended the end where their fans were housed in the first half.
Coventry got the game underway, with both teams sounding each other out in the first five minutes. Then Moussa went on a good run and forced a corner for the home team. Nothing came from it and both sides kept up the midfield battle without troubling the keepers. Then, in the 13th minute, completely out of the blue came a goal. A long cross from the Coventry left to the right touchline found CHRISTIE on his own. He took the ball on, got past Husband and rifled a low shot from the angle of the penalty area just inside the near post for the opening goal. A couple of minutes later and Moussa had a crack at goal from 20yards but Woods saved comfortably. The Rovers were well in the game and in the 22nd minute looked as though they would equalise when Husband’s shot looped off a defender and was going into the top corner of the net but Murphy managed to get across and tip it over for a corner. At the other end Ball spun and hit a shot from ten yards that went out for a throw in. On the half hour, Stewart got forward on the home left and from the edge of the area hit a stinging shot that Woods saved well. Baker then fired wide from 25 yards before the Rovers, with a good link up on the left between Brown and Hume forced a corner. In the 34th minute, a good low shot by Cotterill caused problems for Murphy, who could only parry it away and then collect it. As the last five minutes came up it was mainly Coventry. A corner came to nothing but then a loose pass out of defence by jones went straight to Barton, who hit a cracker over the bar from around 30yards. In the final minute Hume received just outside the Coventry penalty area but his shot was deflected for a corner but no sooner had it been taken than the referee blew for half time.
Half Time – Coventry City 1 Doncaster Rovers 0
The Rovers kicked off and went on the attack. Two minutes in and they were awarded a free kick on their left. Cotterill put it to the near post where Brown headed wide. Then Cotterill, on the left, about thirty yards out, hit a fierce drive that Murphy could only parry away and his defenders cleared. In the 50th minute the Rovers had the ball in the net but the assistant had his flag up for offside. Two minutes later and a long throw by Spurr from the right into the area was headed on by Jones and Furman, coming in at the far post, volleyed it on the run but put it wide. Then, in the 56th minute, Coventry got into the game when Christie received on the right, took it to within ten yards of the byline and from the touchline he hit a good cross that hit the face of the bar and was cleared. Successive corners to the home team came to nothing. In the 63rd minute, Cotterill, on the Rovers left, put the ball into space at the left corner where Coppinger got to it and crossed to the middle where McCombe sidefooted it first time over the bar from close range. Straight to the other end where Coventry won a corner, which came out to Moussa but his effort from outside the penalty area was high and wide. Following a free kick to the Rovers in the 68th minute, the ball came out of the home defence to Furman but his twenty-five yard effort hit a post and went out. Wilson, for Coventry, then put well wide of the far post from distance. In the 79th minute a shot from Cotterill was saved by Murphy. The Rovers were pressing hard for an equaliser but offside or a leg stuck out prevented a goal coming. In the 85th minute, good play on the Rovers right led to Brown giving to Coppinger, who put a good cross to the middle where the onrushing Furman headed over the bar. Then a Rovers corner from Cotterill was played short to Bennett and back to Cotterill, who cut in and from the edge of the penalty area hit a left shot just over the bar. Coventry lifted the siege to win a corner but the Rovers were soon back on the hunt for a goal with some good possession but offside eventually put paid to that. Three minutes of added time ran out and Coventry had taken the three points.
Result – Coventry City 1 (Christie 13) Doncaster Rovers 0
Teams – Coventry City – Joe Murphy; Cyrus Christie, Aaron Martin, William Edjenguele, Jordan Stewart; James Bailey, Carl Baker ©, Franck Moussa, John Fleck; Callum Ball, Adam Barton
Subs used – Callum Wilson for Ball 74 mins; David Bell for Baker 84 mins; Conor Thomas for Fleck 90 mins;
Subs not used – Jordan Clarke, Cody McDonald, Gary McSheffrey, Chris Dunn gk
ROVERS – Gary Woods; Andy Griffin, Jamie McCombe, Rob Jones ©, Tommy Spurr; David Cotterill, James Coppinger, John Lundstram, James Husband; Chris Brown, Iain Hume
Subs used – Dean Furman for Husband 46 mins; Kyle Bennett for Hume 67 mins;
Subs not used –Billy Paynter, Liam Wakefield, Emile Sinclair, James Harper, Neil Sullivan gk