Football: No Excuses as Sky Blues Are Left Red-Faced by Blunders; +++ BIG MATCH ANALYSIS +++

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), September 17, 2007 | Go to article overview

Football: No Excuses as Sky Blues Are Left Red-Faced by Blunders; +++ BIG MATCH ANALYSIS +++


Byline: By Andy Turner

Sky Blues 0

Bristol City 3

THE BBC Bristol radio reporter claimed the visitors "bossed the game from start to finish" when summing up his commentary at the Ricoh Arena where the Sky Blues slipped to their first defeat of the season.

Winking at amazed fellow members of the Press Box as he said it, he then explained off air, "Well, you have to show a bit of local bias don't you!"

The fact was, however, his misguided proclamation couldn't have been further from the truth. Yes, Bristol did an excellent job - tactically it was an almost perfect away performance as they weathered the early Coventry storm with some solid defending, most notably from the two centrebacks, Louis Carey and Liam Fontaine, passed the ball well and worked hard all over the pitch.

Carey, the former Coventry right-back who failed to settle and impress during his short spell with the Sky Blues, looked a different player at centre-half and he and Fontaine proved extremely effective in helping to snuff out the threat of City's heavyweight front man Dele Adebola, who found himself surrounded by several players every time he got anywhere near the ball.

However, just as they had done against Preston a fortnight before, Iain Dowie's men were the architects of their own downfall, conceding an extremely poor goal with just 15 minutes on the clock.

But outside that chance, when winger Michael McIndoe robbed Elliott Ward inside the box to slot home, City dominated possession in an exciting and entertaining first half when it seemed it would only be a matter of time before they equalised.

Ellery Cairo was taking on players and beating them down the right flank, and then whipping in decent crosses which, with perhaps better movement and anticipation in the box, may have produced an end product rather than evading decent contact.

But other chances came and went as Adebola headed narrowly over and Cairo had a decent shot blocked by the keeper Adriano Basso who got down low to deny long-range efforts from Michael Doyle and the excellent Stephen Hughes as City mounted their assault, seemingly confident that they could come back.

Disappointingly though, unlike the Preston performance when they produced a breathtaking second half display to blow their opponents away, they failed to really get going after the break when the Robins grabbed a second killer goal from another Coventry mistake.

This time it was Dimi Konstantopoulos who was at fault, failing to take the ball from a corner that curled into the six-yard box The ball took a touch off the big Greek keeper and Leon McKenzie, and resulted in fullback Bradley Orr wheeling away in celebration as the nearest one to it as it bounced over the line. The defender claimed it, but most felt that it had come off a Coventry player. …

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