Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Ipswich 2 Coventry 1 - 03/05/2009

Ipswich 2 Coventry 1 - 03/05/2009

Ipswich Town: Richard Wright, Tommy Smith, Pim Balkestein, Alex Bruce, David Norris, Owen Garvan, Jaime Peters, Giovani Dos Santos (Danny Haynes 64), Jon Stead, Pablo Gonzalez Counago (Alan Quinn 75), Kevin Lisbie (Velice Sumulikoski 84)
Subs not used: Bartosz Bialkowski, Matthew Richards
Goals: Giovani Dos Santos 24, Pablo Gonzalez Counago 26

Coventry City: Keiren Westwood, Ben Turner, Elliott Ward, James McPake (Jermaine Grandison 34), Isaac Osbourne (Guillaume Beuzelin 59), Aron Gunnarsson, Michael Doyle, Robbie Simpson, Freddy Eastwood, Clinton Morrison, Leon Best (Ashley Cain 65)
Subs not used: Danny Ireland, Kevin Thornton
Booked: Clinton Morrison 29
Goals: Clinton Morrison 79

Attendance: 27225
Referee: G Laws

Giovani dos Santos and Pablo Counago were on target for Ipswich as Roy Keane's first game at Portman Road ended in a 2-1 win over Coventry.

Dos Santos broke the deadlock on 24 minutes and Counago doubled the advantage two minutes later to ensure Town finished on a high in the Championship - and with two straight victories for Keane.

Coventry netted a late consolation through Clinton Morrison but could not prevent Keane making it two wins out of two since his since his appointment.

Keane, who emerged to a rapturous reception, brought in Jonathan Stead and Tommy Smith for Matt Richards and Ivan Campo.

For Coventry, Chris Coleman called up Leon Best and James McPake for Marcus Hall and the suspended Daniel Fox.

City winger Robbie Simpson had the first effort on goal but dragged his left-footed shot wide.

But Ipswich dominated the early stages in blustery conditions and Counago came agonisingly close with a 25-yard curling effort.

His strike partner Stead, who latched on to a Counago pass, had the ball in the net in the 22nd minute but was flagged offside.

Dos Santos found the net soon after when he cut inside from the right flank and curled home from 20 yards out. The ball took a slight deflection off visitors' full-back Ben Turner.

The home side doubled their advantage in the 26th minute, with Counago calmly slotting home after a Stead shot had been blocked.

Despite conceding twice in quick succession, Coventry remained dangerous on the break.

Best shot wide after a jinking run down the left and it needed a last-ditch challenge from Ipswich full-back Jaime Peters to deny Freddy Eastwood.

Coventry had an extraordinary escape in the 52nd minute when Counago managed to divert a Norris shot on to the crossbar, with City goalkeeper Keiren Westwood beaten.

The Spaniard had crouched down on the goal-line in an attempt to avoid his team-mate's effort on an open goal but inadvertently guided it to safety.

With Ipswich holding on to a comfortable lead, Mexican waves started to go round the stands as the game developed an end of season feel.

Ipswich substitute Danny Haynes, on for Giovani, shot just wide with an attempted lob after running on to a Stead diagonal pass but there was little goalmouth action.

Coventry had created little in the second half until captain Morrison pulled a goal back in the 79th minute with a poacher's effort, turning in a knock-down from central defender Elliott Ward after an Eastwood corner.

The goal gave the visitors renewed vigour and Eastwood had a hooked effort deflected over by Ipswich substitute Veliche Shumulikoski.

Simpson hit the bar with a 25-yard free-kick with virtually the last kick of the game as an equaliser evaded the Sky Blues.

Coventry City signed off their 2008/09 Championship campaign with a 2-1 defeat to Ipswich Town at Portman Road.

A quick first-half double salvo from Giovani Dos Santos and Pablo Counago gave the hosts a 2-0 half-time lead but Clinton Morrison popped up with his 12th goal of the season with 12 minutes to go to make the remaining moments of the second half a little more interesting.

It was Robbie Simpson who had the first real effort on goal after five minutes though, Leon Best holding the ball up for him and playing Simpson in to dribble past Alex Bruce and flash a shot across the goalmouth and just wide of Richard Wright's far post.

Jon Stead gave the Sky Blues a fright seven minutes later, charging down a clearance from Keiren Westwood which ended up dribbling harmlessly behind for a goal kick.

But Counago produced the hosts' first real effort on target shortly after, shooting just wide of Westwood's near post from 25 yards out.

Dos Santos then went one better on 23 minutes after firing Ipswich ahead with the help of a fortunate deflection.

The Mexican attacker started on the touchline and worked his way to the edge of the Coventry D before firing and watching his strike steer its way past Westwood with the help of a deflection.

Counago then double the hosts' lead two minutes later after another fortunate rebound, James McPake taking the full force of Jon Stead's initial effort in the face and Counago sliding the loose ball past Westwood from the corner of the six-yard area.

Freddy Eastwood had a chance to get one back three minutes later and was only denied by a last-ditch tackle by Bruce on the corner of Richard Wright's six-yard area.

Best also steered a header on target from Isaac Osbourne's cross ten minutes before the break, although Wright saved comfortably.

And Robbie Simpson was also teed up for a shot on goal after Clinton Morrison latched onto Aron Gunnarsson's long throw two minutes before the break, but could only guide it just wide of the far post.

David Norris nearly made it 3-0 six minutes after the restart, Dos Santos cutting a ball back from the by-line but Norris' shot hitting the underside of the crossbar before being collected by Westwood.

Ashley Cain injected a bit of pace in the second after replacing injured Isaac Osbourne, making it two good performances from two academy players following the first-half introduction of Jermaine Grandison for injured James McPake.

The Sky Blues finally got on the scoresheet 12 minutes from time, Eastwood's corner being met by the head of Elliott Ward who headed down at Morrison's feet allowing the strike to turn and sweep home a shot past Wright.

Coleman's side were unlucky not come away with a draw from Portman Road when Robbie Simpson's last-gasp free-kick struck the underside of the crossbar with Wright well beaten.

But it was not to be for the Sky Blues as Peters launched the loose ball clear from the set-piece allowing the referee to blow time on the Sky Blues' 2008/09 campaign.

Two goals in two minutes sealed a third league win in a row for Ipswich - their best run of the season - to give new boss Roy Keane a winning start at Portman Road.

On-loan Tottenham winger Giovani Dos Santos and Spanish striker Pablo Counago netted for Town, while Clinton Morrison got a second-half consolation for the visitors, who battled away throughout.

Coventry made the brighter start with Robbie Simpson and Leon Best both shooting wide, either side of a Counago 20-yard curler which went just past the post.

Jon Stead converted a Counago pass but he was offside and Jaime Peters' cross was just too high for David Norris as Town upped the tempo.

They duly got the breakthrough on 24 minutes when Counago fed Dos Santos who cut in from the right wing and fired an angled drive beyond Keiren Westwood with the aid of a deflection.

On 26 minutes it was 2-0 when Kevin Lisbie crossed, Stead's shot on the turn struck Coventry defender James McPake in the face, but rebounded kindly to Counago, who cleverly clipped over Westwood.

Westwood denied Lisbie and Stead, while at the other end Peters and Alex Bruce made fine blocks to deny Eastwood and Doyle respectively, while Richard Wright saved a Best header.

Town should have scored a third on 52 minutes when Stead's cross found Norris six yards out, but his goalbound shot hit team-mate Counago, deflected onto the bar and was scrambled clear.

The game went into a flat period before livening up late on as first Stead found sub Danny Haynes but his chip over Westwood went wide.

Morrison then gave Coventry hope when he prodded home from close range on 79 minutes after Elliot Ward headed down an Eastwood corner.

Wright denied Morrison by racing out of his area and then he tipped over a deflected Eastwood shot, before the final kick of the match saw Simpson curl his free kick from 20 yards against the angle of post and bar with Wright well beaten.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Coventry 2 Watford 3 - 25/04/2009

Coventry 2 Watford 3 - 25/04/2009

Coventry City: Keiren Westwood, Elliott Ward (James McPake 45), Ben Turner, Daniel Fox, Marcus Hall, Aron Gunnarsson, Isaac Osbourne (Jermaine Grandison 90), Michael Doyle, Robbie Simpson (Ashley Cain 77), Freddy Eastwood, Clinton Morrison
Subs not used: Kevin Thornton, Danny Ireland
Booked: Ben Turner 73, Marcus Hall 43
Sent off: Daniel Fox 82
Goals: Freddy Eastwood 10, Robbie Simpson 54

Watford: Scott Loach, Michael Williamson, Lloyd Doyley, Adrian Mariappa, Jay Demerit, Ross Jenkins (Danny Rosewe 65), Jack Cork, Jobi McAnuff, Tommy Smith, Tamas Priskin (Aleksandrs Cauna 90), Grzegorz Rasiak
Subs not used: Richard Lee, Andrei Stepanov, Jon Harley
Goals: Tommy Smith 58, Grzegorz Rasiak 6, Tamas Priskin 74

Attendance: 17195
Referee: R Booth

Tamas Priskin capped a superb fightback as Watford recovered from two goals down to claim a 3-2 victory over Coventry at the Ricoh Arena.

Freddy Eastwood put the Sky Blues ahead early on and Robbie Simpson put them firmly on course for a first win in seven shortly after the break.

But Tommy Smith reacted first to his saved penalty to reduce the deficit and Grzegorz Rasiak headed the Hornets level before Tamas Priskin slotted home the winner.

Daniel Fox added to Coventry's misery when he saw red late on.

Sky Blues boss Chris Coleman's selection choices were limited by a host of injuries but he was able to welcome back striker Clinton Morrison following illness.

The Hornets also recieved a boost to their frontline with Priskin back after a fortnight out due to a knee problem, while strike partner Rasiak made his first start since his groin trouble.

The Sky Blues broke the deadlock in the 10th minute when Morrison set up Eastwood to slot home from 12 yards.

The effort was the Wales striker's fourth goal in 51 appearances in all competitions since arriving from Wolves in the summer.

Goalkeeper Scott Loach was then called upon to keep the Sky Blues' advantage down to a single goal, making a brilliant save to deny Simpson.

Keiren Westwood was in action at the other end parrying away Priskin's strike, before defender Lloyd Doyley struck a poor effort wide from close range.

Simpson doubled the Sky Blues' advantage nine minutes after the break, firing home a free-kick from 25 yards after he was fouled by Ross Jenkins.

Smith then went close to pulling one back when he fired the ball against the bar.

He had another chance to reduce the deadlock shortly after when Ben Turner fouled Rasiak in the box.

Smith saw his spot-kick saved by Westwood but made amends by slotting home the rebound in the 58th minute.

And the visitors were level three minutes later when Rasiak headed home Jobi McAnuff's cross.

The comeback was complete in the 74th minute when Rasiak headed the ball on for Priskin to find the net with a close-range strike.

Coventry's woes continued as Fox was sent off for violent conduct in the 82nd minute after a clash with Priskin.

Coventry City saw a two-goal lead slip through their fingers as visitors Watford netted three second-half goals to close out the Sky Blues' home campaign with a defeat.

Freddy Eastwood scored his fourth goal of the season to give the Sky Blues a ninth minute lead and Robie Simpson made it 2-0 eight minutes into the second half with a superb set piece.

But Tommy Smith had two bites of the cherry with a 56th minute penalty, poking home a rebound after City 'keeper Keiren Westwood saved his initial spot kick.

And Greg Rasiak and Tamos Priskin completed the comeback with strikes in the 61st and 73rd minutes.

Watford's Lloyd Doyley registered the games first effort at goal albeit well off target, bringing the ball across the pitch to the D on the edge of Keiren Westwood's penalty area only to drag the shot well wide of goal.

Eastwood opened the scoring for the Sky Blues after nine minutes though, involved in a great bit of interplay with Clinton Morrison before sweeping home past Hornets 'keeper Scott Loach for his fourth strike of the season, much to the delight of the Sky Blue Army.

Robbie Simpson then did well to fashion a chance on 17 minutes, latching onto a great through ball from Morrison before firing at goal from an acute angle, forcing Loach to palm the ball around his post for a corner.

Doyley could have got the Hornets on level terms four minutes later, pouncing on Tamos Priskin's shot which was parried by Westwood but launching his follow-up effort well high and well wide.

Priskin was then unfortunate ten minutes before the break with a well-struck half-volley on the edge of the area which only got as far as careering off Ben Turner.

And Jobi McAnuff gave the City back four a minor scare on 39 minjutes, getting in between Isaac Osbourne and Eastwood to get into the area and curl an acute shot just around the outside of Westwood's far post.

Coventry got their second half off to a great start though when Simpson hammered home his fifth goal of the season with a superb set piece from almost halfway inside the Watford half.

Regular set piece taker Fox lined up the free kick but Simpson stepped up to fire from 30 yards and curl a shot over the wall and inside Loach's post.

Tommy Smith almost got a goal back two minutes later , crashing a header off Westwood's crossbar.

But he had a chance to make amends on 56 minutes, Turner giving away a penalty and Smith stepping up to take the spot kick although he needed to convert the rebound after Westwood saved his initially penalty.

Westwood was also called upon to make a great save two minutes later from Rasiak who clipped a header at goal from McAnuff's cross the City 'keeper showing great reflexes to tip the header over the bar.

He could do nothing about Rasiak's next effort just after the hour mark though, the Hornet's going level when McAnuff provided a deep cross from the resulting corner for the striker who rose to head back across the goalmouth and into the top corner.

It got worse on 73 minutes when Tamos Priskin prodded home a third for Watford, Rasiak heading down McAnuff's cross, leaving the striker to prod home through Westwood and Turner.

Fox was then handed a straight red card by referee Russell Booth following an altercation with Watford winger Smith with ten minutes to go after he had been awarded a free-kick, leaving the Sky Blues to see out the remaining minutes of their home campaign a man short.

Watford staged a tremendous fightback to come back from a two-goal deficit to defeat ten-man Coventry City .

Coventry wore a brown strip instead of their usual Sky Blue to mark the club's 125th anniversary and the change appeared to suit them when they grabbed the lead in the tenth minute.

Freddy Eastwood exchanged passes with Clinton Morrison before striking a firm shot into the corner of the net for his first goal for four months.

Watford should have equalised in the 21st minute. Tamas Priskin's stinging 20-yard shot was too hot for Keiren Westwood to handle and when the re-bound fell to Lloyd Doyley, the defender blazed his close-range shot high over the bar.

Chris Coleman's men doubled their lead in the 53rd minute after referee Russell Booth awarded the hosts a free-kick for Ross Jenkins' foul on Robbie Simpson.

The striker stepped up to fire a 25-yard shot beyond Scott Loach and into the net.

But Watford responded by reducing the arrears just four minutes later.

Tommy Smith, making his 300th appearance, rattled the bar with a fine strike and when Priskin collected the ball, he was brought down inside the box by Ben Turner.

Smith's penalty was saved by Westwood when he dived to his left but the leading scorer tucked in the rebound for his 17th goal of the season.

Brendan Rodgers' men were on level terms in the 61st minute when Jobi McAnuff's corner was headed in by Grzegorz Rasiak.

The visitors went in front in the 73rd minute when skipper Jay Demerit headed the ball into the path of Priskin and he back-heeled the ball beyond Westwood.

Coventry were reduced to ten men when Danny Fox was shown a red card for pushing Priskin eight minutes from full-time.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Nottingham Forest 1 Coventry 0 - 18/04/2009

Nottingham Forest 1 Coventry 0 - 18/04/2009

Nottingham Forest: Paul Smith, Chris Gunter, Luke Chambers, Wes Morgan, James Perch, Isaiah Osbourne, Lewis McGugan (Ian Breckin 85), Paul Anderson (Garath McCleary 45), Chris Cohen, Joe Garner, Dexter Blackstock
Subs not used: Shane Redmond, Arron Davies, Robert Earnshaw
Booked: Lewis McGugan 13
Goals: James Perch 46

Coventry City: Keiren Westwood, Elliott Ward, Daniel Fox, Scott Dann (Ben Turner 69), Isaac Osbourne, Guillaume Beuzelin, Aron Gunnarsson, Michael Doyle, Freddy Eastwood, Robbie Simpson (Ashley Cain 75), Clinton Morrison
Subs not used: Andy Marshall, Adam Walker, Marcus Hall
Booked: Isaac Osbourne 90, Michael Doyle 64

Attendance: 27856
Referee: S Tanner

Nottingham Forest climbed out of the Championship drop zone with a 1-0 home win over Coventry as City's dismal away form continued.

James Perch steered the ball into the bottom corner from 12 yards in the opening minute of the second half.

With Barnsley drawing at Reading and Norwich not in action until Sunday in the East Anglia derby against Ipswich, the goal lifted Forest above both of their relegation rivals and up to 20th in the table.

Both managers made two changes from the sides they fielded in their respective Bank Holiday Monday fixtures.

One was forced upon Billy Davies after Kelvin Wilson was sent off in Forest's battling goalless draw at Sheffield United.

Another defender Ian Breckin also dropped out of the starting line-up as midfielders Paul Anderson and Lewis McGugan were recalled.

Aron Gunnarsson and Robbie Simpson returned from injury to boost Chris Coleman's options for Coventry. They came into the side at the expense of Marcus Hall and Kevin Thornton.

Gunnarsson's long throws caused Forest problems early on and it was from one of his long launches into the box that the first chance arrived.

McGugan's headed clearance only went as far as Guillaume Beuzelin on the edge of the area and the Frenchman's first-time shot flew just over the crossbar.

Beuzelin flashed another effort wide after 11 minutes before Clinton Morrision warmed Paul Smith's palms from 12 yards out.

Despite Coventry's dominance it was Forest who came closest to scoring after 20 minutes when Luke Chambers headed McGugan's inswinging corner against the crossbar.

The half-time introduction of Garath McCleary for the injured Anderson breathed new life into Forest, who went ahead immediately after the restart.

Following good build-up play down the right, Dexter Blackstock held the ball up and laid it into the path of Perch and he guided his shot past Keiren Westwood.

It took two Coventry defenders to halt a marauding run from McCleary and the 21-year-old threatened again with a 15-yard shot just before the hour mark.

Westwood kept the Sky Blues in the game midway through the second half with a parrying save to deny Chris Cohen.

The Sky Blues were unlucky to come away from Nottingham Forest with nothing after a tight game at the City Ground.

City were the stronger side in the opening period, but James Perch struck 45 seconds after the restart to give the Reds a valuable win in their fight against relegation.

Chris Coleman brought Robbie Simpson and Aron Gunnarsson back into the team, favouring the 4-5-1 system.

City went on the attack early and had a great opportunity to score in the second minute. Clinton Morrison received the ball in the area with his back to goal and passed back to Guillaume Beuzelin in space - but the Frenchman blasted his shot high over the bar.

Both sides tried to push forward, but neither had a real chance until the 21st minute. Lewis McGugan swung in a free-kick and Luke Chambers sent a powerful header towards goal, which rebounded off the crossbar.

The chance sparked City into life. Morrison won a free-kick 22-yards from goal minutes later, but Fox could not add to his goal tally.

In the 29th minute, after excellent controlled play, Scott Dann fed Morrison, who turned and sent a ball to Freddy Eastwood at the back post - but his outstretched boot could not turn the ball in from four-yards.

Forest were looking nervous all over the park, and City started to push. However, despite a number of corners and half-chances, no chance was good enough to provide a goal.

City thought they had a penalty in the 43rd minute when Gunnarsson broke into the area, but referee Steve Tanner judged the foul to be just outside the penalty area.

The second-half brought about a change of fortunes and Forest were soon ahead.

McGugan received the ball out wide and played in Dexter Blackstock, who held the ball well before laying it off for Perch to fire home.

Forest could have extended their lead in the 56th minute. Dan Fox was dispossessed 30-yards from goal allowing Blackstock a potential one-on-one. Scott Dann made a last ditch tackle to block the shot - and then McGugan failed to fire the loose ball near the goal.

The Sky Blues were struggling to reproduce the edge they had in the first half. Forest began to dominate - but they didn't come close again until the 74th minute.

A testing corner dropped in the middle of the penalty area and eventually bobbled towards Keiren Westwood. He dived to collect but Isaac Osbourne tried to boot it clear - only for the ball to rebound off the crowd of players and back towards goal, going narrowly wide.

Coleman introduced academy star Ashley Cain in the 74th minute in an attempt to inject pace, but Forest were defending well and prevented the Sky Blues from mounting a comeback.

Nottingham Forest gave their Championship survival hopes a massive boost with a battling 1-0 win over Coventry City.

Skipper James Perch drove home just 45 seconds into the second half to lift the Reds out of the relegation zone and take them a step closer to avoiding the drop into League One.

The Sky Blues could have put themselves in the driving seat in the first half but for an astonishing miss from Freddy Eastwood.

But by the end, Forest were unlucky not to have increased their advantage after dominating a second half that saw Chris Cohen come close to adding a second.

Chances were sparse in a cagey opening to the contest but it was Coventry who missed the best of them as good work from Eastwood saw him square a clever ball towards the near post where Clinton Morrison turned smartly but fired straight at Paul Smith.

Forest were not without menace themselves, however, as defender Luke Chambers rose on the edge of the six-yard box to head a Lewis McGugan corner powerfully against the bar.

A remarkably poor piece of finishing from Eastwood denied Coventry the lead in the 29th minute with the forward side-footing wide from barely two yards after being picked out by Morrison at the far post.

McGugan then launched himself into an impressive run that carried him through three challenges, before finally being denied by a desperate challenge from Elliott Ward as he threatened to burst into the box.

Referee Steve Tanner was having a poor match, making several questionable decisions, but none was more mystifying than his decision not to award a penalty to Coventry after Joe Garner had brought down Aron Gunnarsson inside the area, with the Somerset official instead awarding a free-kick on the edge of the box.

Forest did not feel sorry for themselves for long in the second half after powering their way into the lead after only 45 seconds of the restart.

Dexter Blackstock collected a low, lashed cross from McGugan on the edge of the six-yard box before rolling an intelligent ball into the path of Perch, who lashed a confident left-footed finish low into the bottom corner.

Forest should have had a second when Garath McCleary, a half-time substitute, fired over from good position after a Blackstock effort had been charged down.

Cohen was only denied by a strong save from Keiran Westwood after robbing Danny Fox of possession and surging into the box, while Blackstock came close with a lofted, flicked header that dropped just over.

A clever back-heel from Garner almost carved out a second for Forest with Elliott Ward's driven goal-line clearance bouncing back of Blackstock and narrowly wide of the post.

Despite having to hold on under some pressure in injury time, Forest secured a win that took them out of the bottom three.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Coventry 0 Charlton 0 - 13/04/2009

Coventry 0 Charlton 0 - 13/04/2009

Coventry City: Keiren Westwood, Elliott Ward, Marcus Hall, Scott Dann, Daniel Fox, Kevin Thornton (Ashley Cain 65), Michael Doyle, Isaac Osbourne, Guillaume Beuzelin (Adam Walker 75), Clinton Morrison, Freddy Eastwood
Subs not used: Ben Turner, Andy Marshall, Jermaine Grandison

Charlton Athletic: Rob Elliot, Kelly Youga, Darren Ward, Mark Hudson, Danny Butterfield, Nick Bailey, Zheng Zhi, Therry Racon, Lloyd Sam (Chris Dickson 76), Jonjo Shelvey (Darren Ambrose 68), Tresor Kandol (Deon Burton 85)
Subs not used: Matthew Holland, Darren Randolph
Booked: Lloyd Sam 52

Attendance: 16121
Referee: C Boyeson

Charlton Athletic will fight another day in their battle for Championship survival after a 0-0 draw at Coventry City on Easter Monday.

Under threat of dropping to English football's third tier for the first time in 29 years, Charlton began tentatively before Jonjo Shelvey had an effort chalked off for offside as the visitors had the better of the first half at the Ricoh Arena.

Michael Doyle saw his left-foot shot turned round the post by Robert Elliot in the second half as Coventry went close to ending their three match winless run.

Nick Bailey, Charlton's top scorer with 11 goals this season, hit the post after 88 minutes but the match ended in a stalemate.

It was Phil Parkinson's side's 13th point away from The Valley this season, delaying the almost inevitable drop to League One until at least Saturday's fixture at home to Blackpool.

The point was enough for the Addicks, who remain 12 points adrift at the foot of the standings, to have a chance of staying in the division as Nottingham Forest - fourth from bottom at the start of the day - drew 0-0 with Sheffield United despite being reduced to 10 men after 16 minutes at Bramall Lane.

Charlton were unchanged following last Saturday's 2-2 draw with title-chasing Birmingham.

Coventry manager Chris Coleman, meanwhile, made three changes after the 4-0 capitulation at Plymouth, with Marcus Hall, Elliott Ward and Kevin Thornton all coming in.

City's Doyle headed wide from Isaac Osbourne's cross after six minutes and Thornton missed a gilt-edged chance four minutes later, shooting straight at Addicks stopper Elliot from six yards following Daniel Fox's cross.

Zheng Zhi had a shot blocked before Bailey fired over from the edge of the area and Therry Racon shot wide from long range.

Shelvey, seeking his second goal in three games, put the ball in the net only to see the offside flag raised and Zheng fired over from 20 yards.

Zheng crossed for Shelvey early in the second half, but the 17-year-old had his effort deflected wide.

Darren Ward headed wide from Shelvey's corner before the teenager again threatened, shooting off target from long range.

Freddy Eastwood shot wide from the edge of the box and the striker missed the target from 12 yards.

Shelvey had a shot blocked by Scott Dann before Elliot denied Coventry with a fantastic save from Doyle's 20-yard shot.

Eastwood again failed to test the Charlton stopper with a weak shot from close range following Fox's cross as City again failed to puncture the Charlton defence.

Substitute Darren Ambrose and Lloyd Sam went close before Coventry replacement Ashley Cain had his effort blocked by a last-ditch Mark Hudson challenge.

Hudson headed straight at Kieren Westwood from Bailey's corner and Cain shot wide after running at the visiting defence from his own half.

Bailey almost won it for Charlton, but the midfielder saw his left-foot shot from 12 yards hit the upright.

Coventry City recorded their second consecutive goalless draw at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday afternoon to keep them 14th in the Championship table.

Academy debutant Ashley Cain had arguably the best chance to snatch the match with four minutes to go, his galloping run ending with a composed shot going just wide of goal.

But it was a tale of two halves at the Ricoh Arena as a first 45 minutes of relative inaction was followed up by a much more exciting second period.

Michael Doyle came closest to opening the scoring six minutes into the opening period.

But it was the only real effort on goal for the opening 45 minutes which was not ruled out by the linesman or the referee.

Osbourne produced a cross in the sixth minute following some good work from Kevin Thornton in the corner to get it to him, the delivery from Osbourne reminiscent of the delivery Aron Gunnarsson scored off last Tuesday night against Crystal Palace.

Doyle rose to meet the cross and directed his header just over Charlton 'keeper Rob Elliott's bar.

Elliott Ward then had his own aerial effort at goal two minutes later, meeting a deep corner from Danny Fox with his header cleared out of the goalmouth although the referee penalized him for a push.

Fox caused more problems for the Charlton back four a minute later, his left-sided cross just evading Clinton Morrison, Freddy Eastwood and Thornton, allowing Elliott to scramble the ball clear.

Addicks' Nicky Bailey tried his luck with a half-volley on 19 minutes, the effort flying a few feet over Keiren Westwood's bar.

Team mate Tresor Kandol also nearly put the visitors ahead two minutes later, Kelly Youga providing the cross for him to steer a low header past Westwood only for the linesman to disallow it for offside.

The second half started with a bit more passion, albeit misdirected, as Fox fought hard to win the ball off Lloyd Sam only for Sam to launch himself into the back of Fox's legs and spark a fracas before earning himself a booking.

Charlton came close to breaking the deadlock three minutes before the hour mark though, Zheng Zhi on the right cutting back a low cross for Shelvey who poked an effort goalward but had it deflected by Dann for a corner.

Eastwood found his shooting boots four minutes later, lashing a 30-yard effort just wide of Elliott's far post before slicing a half-volley wide from just inside the Charlton area while under the attention of two defenders.

Sky Blues Academy product Cain made his first senior appearance after 64 minutes and immediately brightened up the right flank, showing a clear desire to run at Addicks left back Youga.

And Doyle also saw his long-range effort almost take a fortunate deflection inside Elliott's near post on 68 minutes only for Elliott to push it wide.

Eastwood then came within a boot lace of grabbing the game's only goal with 20 minutes to go, Fox whipping in the resulting corner from Doyle's effort and Eastwood sticking a leg out only to steer the ball just wide of the post.

Cain had his first career effort on goal three minutes later, released by Osbourne and beating Darren Ward for pace although his shot was stopped by the legs of Elliott.

Mark Hudson headed a Nicky Bailey corner straight at Westwood with ten minutes to go, proving no trouble for the Coventry 'keeper.

But it was four minutes from time the Sky Blues had their best chance to snatch all the points and send Charlton into League One, Eastwood releasing Cain who sprinted towards goal and beat Youga but slid his composed finish past Elliott and inches wide of his far post.

Bailey struck the woodwork at the opposite end a minute later for Charlton, causing a moment of slight panic for the Sky Blues' rearguard.

But Cain's toil on the right wing ensured the Sky Blues kept much of the ball in Charlton's half in the closing moments as he beat Youga to the goal line with a late cross, Fox's resulting corner seeing out the game.

Charlton Athletic's survival in the Championship hangs by the finest of threads after they failed to beat Coventry City.

Charlton must win every remaining game and hope that Nottingham Forest, Barnsley and Norwich do not exceed 46 points to stay afloat.

The Addicks went into game with hopes of a win, after Coventry crumbled to a 4-0 defeat against Plymouth Argyle at the weekend.

But they failed to assert themselves and could only muster a single shot on target in a dreary game at the Ricoh Arena.

The first half was a particularly drab affair and both sides struggled to produce quality in the final thirds.

Coventry had the early half-chances with Michael Doyle heading an Isaac Osbourne cross over in the seventh minute. Minutes later, Kevin Thornton had a glorious opportunity to give the home side an early lead, but Charlton keeper Rob Elliot denied him.

Charlton, backed by just 387 fans, had their first opportunity through Zhi Zheng, but he could not properly test Keiren Westwood.

The visitors did have the ball in the net in the 22nd minute - but Tresor Kandol's header was ruled offside.

The second half saw an injection from pace from the Sky Blues. But despite several dangerous corners from Dan Fox, Elliot's goal remained untested.

Wales international Freddy Eastwood looked most likely to score for Coventry and, after hitting a 62nd-minute drive just wide, he nearly turned a Fox cross into the net with an outstretched boot.

Coventry introduced academy player Ashley Cain in the 69th minute for his debut - and he had two chances to make a dream start to his professional career.

First, he left the Charlton defence for dead - but saw his shot from eight yards blocked and then, with two minutes remaining, he raced through into a one-on-one only to put his shot inches wide.

Charlton's Nicky Bailey could have won it at the death - but his shot from inside the box rebounded off the post and away.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Plymouth 4 Coventry 0 - 11/04/2009

Plymouth 4 Coventry 0 - 11/04/2009

Plymouth Argyle: Romain Larrieu, Marcel Seip, David Gray, Chris Barker, Gary Sawyer, Karl Duguid, Jamie Mackie (Rudolphe Mbela Doualla 74), Alan Judge (Chris Clark 74), Carl Fletcher, Ashley Barnes (Rory Fallon 74), Paul Gallagher
Subs not used: Krisztian Timar, Lloyd Saxton
Goals: Ashley Barnes 15, Jamie Mackie 26, Alan Judge 27, Marcel Seip 37

Coventry City: Keiren Westwood (Andy Marshall 50), Ben Turner, Scott Dann, Daniel Fox, Aron Gunnarsson (Kevin Thornton 29), Michael Doyle, Isaac Osbourne, Guillaume Beuzelin, Robbie Simpson, Freddy Eastwood, Clinton Morrison
Subs not used: Elliott Ward, Marcus Hall, Ashley Cain
Booked: Michael Doyle 45, Scott Dann 13, Daniel Fox 77, Clinton Morrison 65
Goals: Freddy Eastwood 12, Julian Gray 68

Attendance: 12568
Referee: C Oliver

Plymouth Argyle scored a hatful of goals in an explosive first half to down visitors Coventry 4-0 and ease their Championship relegation fears.

The hosts snatched the lead after 15 minutes at Home Park on Saturday through young striker Ashley Barnes.

Boss Paul Sturrock kept faith with the 19-year-old following an energetic performance in the 1-0 win at Blackpool last weekend, and he rewarded his manager by reacting first to a deflection off a visiting defender to head home from six yards.

Jamie Mackie, Alan Judge and Marcel Seip then all scored within 11 first-half minutes to have the game wrapped up by half-time in front of a crowd of 12,568.

Chris Coleman's side were guilty of sluggish defending for the opener and it was a similar story 11 minutes later as the Pilgrims doubled their lead.

Goalkeeper Keiren Westwood misjudged a flighted ball into his area and his fumbled take fell straight to striker Mackie who swept the ball home.

Argyle smelt blood and on-loan Blackburn midfielder Judge slammed home a ferocious 27th-minute volley from the edge of the area.

More poor defending led to the third goal as centre-back Seip ghosted in behind the Coventry defence to head home Chris Barker's clipped cross to make it 4-0.

Despite the humiliating scoreline, the visitors had goalscoring chances of their own.

But they failed to capitalise as Kevin Thornton's drive forced a brilliant reaction save from Romain Larrieu, while Scott Dann's header clipped the top of the bar.

Coleman must have had stern words for his side during the interval as the visitors were much improved in the second half.

Twelve minutes after the break, they should have grabbed a consolation when full-back Daniel Fox's corner picked out Ben Turner but his close-range header failed to trouble Larrieu.

Larrieu was called into action in the 70th minute when he flung himself to his left to tip Fox's dipping free-kick round the post and out for a corner.

The home side were clearly prepared to settle for four goals and a clean sheet and rarely reached the high-octane level on display in the opening half.

But they came close to extending their lead in the 72nd minute when Carl Fletcher's point-blank header was superbly kept out by substitute keeper Andy Marshall.

There were further late chances for the Sky Blues but Clinton Morrison, Thornton and Fox all failed to reduce the deficit.

The result moves 19th-placed Argyle six points clear of the relegation zone with four games left to play. They are three points behind Coventry, who lie 15th.

Plymouth condemned the Sky Blues to their worst defeat of the season on a miserable day at Home Park.

Four first-half goals from Ashley Barnes, Jamie Mackie, Alan Judge and Marcel Seip did the damage, while Keiren Westwood and Aron Gunnarsson were both taken off with injuries.

Chris Coleman stuck with the team who drew at Crystal Palace on Tuesday night.

City's passing was superior in the opening ten minutes but they failed to force a real attack.

Plymouth then took control of the game and scored with their first attempt. Scott Dann fouled the advancing Mackie on the wing, which resulted a yellow card. The free-kick was turned towards goal by Gary Sawyer - only for Westwood to save - but the follow-up cross was headed in by Barnes.

City could have been level a minute later when Clinton Morrison was fed through, but he couldn't connect with the ball properly and Romain Larrieu saved well.

Plymouth came close to extending their lead when a through-ball towards Mackie almost gave him a clear shot at goal, but pressure from Ben Turner was enough to remove the danger.

However, the home side could not been contained for long. A high-ball into the box was challenged for by Mackie and, when Westwood couldn't collect, Mackie tapped the ball into the net.

City protested the decision - but two minutes later the match was beyond doubt when Guillaume Beuzelin lost the ball to Judge, who hit an excellent shot into the top corner.

After the goal, Gunnarsson was replaced by Kevin Thornton due to an injury.

Plymouth maintained their pressure and, after Barnes came close again, they notched a fourth. Paul Gallacher swung in a corner and Seip tapped the ball home from three-yards.

In the 42nd minute, Dan Fox hit a free-kick from 30-yards - but Larrieu turned the ball over the bar.

Beuzelin picked up a yellow card for a foul in the last meaningful incident of the half.

The opening 15 minutes of the second period were stop-start after three injuries.

First, Westwood was replaced by Andy Marshall with a facial injury. Then, referee Clive Oliver suffered a hamstring injury and was replaced by Paul Graham. Finally, play was stopped for several minutes when Judge received a blow to the head.

Play after the stoppages was disjointed and the pace of the game dropped.

City did have two half-chances but could not find the net.

First, a scramble in the Plymouth box eventually rolled in front of Morrison, but he could not hit the target from close range.

Fox then tested Larrieu with another free-kick from range. His strike curled towards the bottom corner but the French shot-stopper palmed the effort wide.

The Sky Blues nearly got a goal back with their last attack of the game - but Morrison's flicked header from a Fox free-kick went just wide.

After three minutes of added time, referee Graham finally called an end to City's worst defeat of the season.

Coventry (4-3-3) : Westwood (Marshall 50); Osbourne, Dann, Turner, Fox; Beuzelin, Doyle, Gunnarsson (Thornton 29); Eastwood, Simpson, Morrison. Subs: Ward, Hall, Cain

Plymouth (4-4-2): Larrieu; Gray, Barker, Seip, Sawyer; Judge (Clark 74), Duguid, Fletcher, Gallagher; Mackie (Douala 74), Barnes (Fallon 74). Subs: Saxton (GK), Timar

Ref: Clive Oliver (Northumberland) - replaced by Paul Graham, 52

Plymouth Argyle are on the brink of maintaining their Championship status following a dazzling 4-0 blitz of Coventry City.

First-half goals from Ashley Barnes, Jamie Mackie, Alan Judge and Marcel Seip were more than enough to see off any threat the Sky Blues may have posed to the Greens' relegation survival.

The Pilgrims opened their account on the quarter-hour mark courtesy of Barnes, who claimed the final touch at close range to Gary Sawyer's cut-back, although it may have been that goalkeeper Keiren Westwood got the fatal final touch.

Westwood had done well to keep out a header from his own defender Scott Dann, following a pinpoint free-kick from Paul Gallagher, but merely succeeded in parrying the ball on to Sawyer.

The Greens continued pressing forward and were rewarded for their efforts ten minutes later.

Man-of-the-match Judge delivered a long cross into the box intended for the head of Barnes but, despite Westwood's attempts, his subsequent failure to clear was punished by Mackie, who slotted the loose ball home from the edge of the box.

The cheers of the Home Park faithful were in full force again just a minute later courtesy of some gallant individual work from Judge.

The Irish midfielder, like Gallagher, on loan from Blackburn Rovers, took full advantage of being left unmarked outside the box and blasted into the roof of Coventry's net from 25 yards to further Westwood's woes.

The first half was rounded out close to the interval by Seip after the Dutchman leapt over his marker to latch on to Gallagher's corner and notch Argyle's fourth.

The second half was quieter, but the Pilgrims were denied extending their lead to close to the end of the match.

Substitute goalkeeper Andy Marshall, who came on for the injured Westwood just after the interval, reacted quickest to Carl Fletcher's headed corner and parried the midfielder's effort off the line.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Crystal Palace 1 Coventry 1 - 07/04/2009

Crystal Palace 1 Coventry 1 - 07/04/2009

Crystal Palace: Julian Speroni, Matthew Lawrence, Lee Hills, Jose Miguel Fonte, Claude Davis, Victor Moses, Paul Ifill (Cadogan 60), Neil Danns, Shaun Derry, Anthony Stokes (Rui Fonte 69), Shefki Kuqi
Subs not used: Nick Carle, Nathaniel Clyne, James Comley
Booked: Shaun Derry 19, Claude Davis 73
Goals: Kieron Cadogan 72

Coventry City: Keiren Westwood, Ben Turner, Daniel Fox, Scott Dann, Isaac Osbourne, Guillaume Beuzelin, Aron Gunnarsson, Michael Doyle, Clinton Morrison, Freddy Eastwood (Leon Best 86), Robbie Simpson
Subs not used: Elliott Ward, Kevin Thornton, Andy Marshall, Marcus Hall
Booked: Isaac Osbourne 79
Goals: Aron Gunnarsson 31

Attendance: 12898
Referee: F Graham

Teenage winger Kieron Cadogan scored on his debut to earn Crystal Palace a 1-1 draw at home to Coventry in Tuesday's Championship clash.

The latest graduate from Palace's prolific Academy had only been on the pitch for 12 minutes when he pounced on a defensive mistake, rounded City goalkeeper Keiren Westwood and tucked the ball into the net.

Aron Gunnarsson had given Coventry a first-half lead, but the Icelandic midfielder missed two clear-cut opportunities after the break and was made to pay by the rookie substitute.

With both teams lagging behind the play-off pace and well out of harm's way at the other end, there was little riding on the match.

The battle to finish 12th had certainly not caught the imagination of the south London public with a crowd of just 12,898 turning out.

Sky Blues frontman Clinton Morrison, who made 300 appearances and scored 113 goals for Palace, was at least eager to make an impression against his old club and was afforded a warm welcome by the supporters.

Any goodwill was soon forgotten, though, when he was clattered into the advertising hoardings by former team-mate Jose Fonte.

Coventry created the better early chances, with Freddy Eastwood's lofted pass sending Gunnarsson scampering through in the second minute, only for Julian Speroni to block his near-post effort.

Morrison should have done better when he met Daniel Fox's chip into the area but he scuffed his volley, and Eastwood forced Speroni into a diving save with a shot from the edge of the area.

The breakthrough came in the 31st minute when Isaac Osbourne crossed from the right and Gunnarsson rose to plant a powerful header past Speroni for his second goal of the season.

The goal woke Palace up, though, and Morrison blocked Neil Danns' effort on the goal-line before Anthony Stokes rifled in a fierce 25-yard shot which forced a superb fingertip save from Westwood.

After the break Gunnarsson fluffed two great chances to put the game to bed.

First he skied his shot from eight yards, and then he touched the ball past the grounded Speroni but too close to Lee Hills, who cleared from under the crossbar for Palace.

Eagles boss Neil Warnock turned to Cadogan on the hour and was rewarded when City defender Ben Turner let Moses' pass run past him, not realising the 18-year-old was waiting to pounce.

Cadogan skipped past Westwood and rolled the ball into the net for a debut to remember.

Palace skipper Shaun Derry was inches from winning the game with a rasping drive which flew just wide.

Coventry City were denied their first win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park for nearly seven years as substitute Kieron Cadogan cancelled out Aron Gunnarsson's first-half opener to salvage a point for the Eagles.

Gunnarsson netted the second goal of his Sky Blues career on the half hour mark to give City a one-goal lead at half time.

The Icelandic international flicked home a header from right-back Isaac Osbourne's cross to give the Sky Blues the advantage heading into the interval but Cadogan came off Neil Warnock's bench to take advantage of a defensive slip-up and apply a cool finish with 20 minutes to go.

Gunnarsson could have given the Sky Blues a dream start in the first minute, picking up a sprayed through ball from Freddy Eastwood and getting around Lee Hills before firing a shot at Julian Speroni's near post which the 'keeper kept out.

Danny Fox then worried Speroni again with a set-piece a minute later, curling a 25-yard free-kick just wide of the Palace 'keeper's near post.

The hosts enjoyed their first real attack on nine minutes, Victor Moses getting around Osbourne on the right and winning a free-kick on the side of the Coventry penalty area after being obstructed by Ben Turner.

And the whipped in free-kick caused a moment of excitement for Eagles fans as the saw the delivery skim off the head of a City defender for a corner.

Clinton Morrison was given a harsh welcome back to his old stomping ground on 16 minutes, Matt Lawrence clattering him into the advertising hoardings with a Palace goal kick to show for it.

But Morrison was almost on the end of a Simpson cross five minutes later although the final delivery was played just behind him and the recovering Palace defenders, Morrison slipping as he tried to adjust.

Eastwood then had a good effort well saved by Speroni after 25 minutes, the Welsh international cutting inside Lee Hills and firing at goal from just inside the area, the Palace 'keeper parrying the shot away.

But the Sky Blues were ahead on the half-hour mark, Gunnarsson doubling his City goal tally to flick Osbourne's whipped in cross across the goal and inside Speroni's far post.

Palace forced the issue in the closing stages of the first half, Anthony Stokes delivering one of his many corners of the first half with seven minutes to go, this one though causing a goalmouth tussle which saw Morrison stick a foot out to clear and Westwood collecting the ball after it popped into the air.

Stokes also had a chance to level for the home side four minutes from half time, picking up the ball 25 yards out and firing at goal, forcing Westwood to palm the shot around his post.

But while Palace enjoyed the majority of the late first half possession, the Sky Blues managed to see out the remainder of the opening 45 minutes without incident.

City started the second half strongly, Morrison directing a header from Fox's cross just over the bar three minutes after the restart.

But Palace had another effort that could quite have easily found its way into the net a minute before the hour mark, Stokes' corner taking another flicked head but eventually being shepherded from danger by Simpson and Gunnarsson.

Gunnarsson could have infact doubled his tally for the night two minutes later, Beuzelin floating a ball over the top for the youngster whose first touch was great but his second disappointing as he skied his shot high and wide from close range.

He had another opportunity four minutes later, Fox releasing Simpson who made a great run and again crossed behind the scrambling defenders and finding Gunnarsson who tapped past Speroni but did not connect properly with his second touch allowing Claude Davis to make a comfortable goal line clearance.

And the Sky Blues were to rue the missed opportunities two minutes later when substitute Kieron Cadogan took advantage of a defensive slip from Ben Turner who allowed the ball to roll past him unaware Cadogan was lurking, the youngster then rounding Westwood and slipping the equalizer into an empty net.

Eastwood had a chance to restore City's lead three minutes later, Fox's free-kick headed into Eastwood's path by Dann but the Welshman swinging at the ball and missing.

Eagles skipper Derry came close to grabbing a second for Palace ten minutes from time, flashing a half-volley just wide of the post from 25 yards out.

And the home side again finished the half strong although Beuzelin had the last say for the Sky Blues with a 25-yard volley which just skimmed Speroni's crossbar.

But honours ended even between the two sides who stay a point and a place apart in the Championship.

Teenager Kieron Cadogan scored a debut Crystal Palace goal as the south Londoners notched their third successive draw against Coventry City at Selhurst Park.

The Eagles academy graduate equalised Aron Gunnarsson's opener just ten minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute to deny the Sky Blues what would have been a richly-deserved three points.

Coventry totally dominated the opening period - first Clint Morrison - on his first return to Selhurst Park since his summer departure - prodded just wide after Gunnarsson's cross-cum-shot in the second minute.

The former Palace striker again went close in the 20th minute before Julian Speroni brilliantly tipped Freddy Eastwood's fierce strike from the edge of the box round the post.

And the away side were rewarded for their bright opening in the 31st minute when Gunnarsson rose above Matt Lawrence to head Issac Osbourne's cross past Speroni.

Eagles dangerman Victor Moses registered the home side's first real effort in the 37th minute with a scuffed shot that rolled harmlessly wide before Neil Danns watched his goalbound effort cleared by Morrison.

Palace went agonisingly close to snatching an undeserved leveller four minutes before the break but City keeper Keiren Westwood somehow clawed out Anthony Stokes' stinging long-range effort.

Coventry continued to apply the pressure after the break. Firstly, Gunnarsson missed a golden chance in the 62nd minute after latching onto Guillaume Beuzelin's raking pass before having another effort cleared off the line by Lee Hills moments later.

And City were made to pay for their wastefulness after debutant Cadogan capitalised on Ben Turner's mistake, rounding Westwood before slotting into an empty net in the 71st minute.

The goal ignited Palace with Shaun Derry and Cadogan both missing chances in the closing stages as it ended all-square.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Coventry 0 Reading 0 - 04/04/2009

Coventry 0 Reading 0 - 04/04/2009

Coventry City: Keiren Westwood, Stephen Wright, Ben Turner, Daniel Fox, Scott Dann, Guillaume Beuzelin, Aron Gunnarsson, Jordan Henderson (Isaac Osbourne 60), Freddy Eastwood (Marcus Hall 85), Clinton Morrison, Leon Best (Robbie Simpson 45)
Subs not used: Andy Marshall, Elliott Ward
Booked: Stephen Wright 49, Ben Turner 38, Daniel Fox 51, Clinton Morrison 54
Goals: -

Reading: Marcus Hahnemann, Julian Kelly, Michael Duberry, Andre Bikey, Chris Armstrong, Jay Tabb (Noel Hunt 82), Kalifa Cisse, James Harper (Stephen Hunt 68), Glen Little (Marek Matejovsky 68), Shane Long, David Kitson
Subs not used: Alex Pearce, Adam Federici
Booked: Jay Tabb 67, James Harper 48, Andre Bikey 55
Goals: -

Attendance: 17218
Referee: T Kettle

Reading's hopes of automatic promotion from the Championship suffered another setback with a 0-0 draw against Coventry at the Ricoh Arena.

With leaders Wolves and second-placed Birmingham set to clash at St Andrew's on Monday evening, the Royals had the chance to move to within one point of Alex McLeish's side.

It was never going to be an easy assignment against a team that had beaten the top two at the Ricoh Arena this season in a run that had seen Coventry win seven of their previous 10 home games in all competitions.

But Reading, now with just four wins from their last 16 league games, never hit their stride and could consider themselves fortunate not to be returning to Berkshire on the back of a defeat after Coventry dominated and created the better chances.

Sky Blues boss Chris Coleman opted for an attacking line-up with three strikers and all of them had a sight of goal within the opening quarter of an hour.

Leon Best shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area and top scorer Clinton Morrison did likewise from 12 yards before Freddy Eastwood had a goalbound effort blocked.

Shane Long tried his luck from long range as Reading threatened for the first time after 20 minutes but City goalkeeper Keiren Westwood was not troubled.

Coventry continued to probe and captain Scott Dann should have done better than direct his header straight at Marcus Hahnemann when he got on the end of Dan Fox's free-kick midway through the half.

The Sky Blues wasted an even better chance just after the half-hour mark when Reading failed to clear a corner.

The ball broke to Guillaume Beuzelin 12 yards out in the centre of the area but the unmarked Frenchman sent his shot wide.

Coventry were forced to make a change at half-time with Robbie Simpson replacing the injured Best, but it looked like they would resume where they had left off in the first half when Aron Gunnarsson threatened immediately after the restart.

But their momentum was disrupted by a testy passage of play that saw five players booked in the opening nine minutes of the second half.

City trio Stephen Wright, Fox and Morrison had their names taken by referee Trevor Kettle, while James Harper and Andre Bikey were the Reading players cautioned.

They followed Ben Turner into Kettle's notebook after the Coventry defender received a yellow card just before the break.

Morrison tested Hahnemann with a 20-yard shot just after the hour mark before Jay Tabb, making his first return to the Ricoh Arena since leaving Coventry in January, became the seventh player to be booked after fouling Wright.

The diminutive midfielder then almost broke the heart of his former club with a 30-yard shot that whistled narrowly past the top corner after 77 minutes.

At the other end, Beuzelin spurned another glorious chance by again shooting wide from inside the box after Morrison had set him up.

Substitute Simpson could have earned all three points for Coventry deep into injury-time but his header from Fox's corner went past the far post.

Coventry City made it two games unbeaten at the Ricoh Arena after a goalless draw with promotion-chasing Reading.

In what turned out to be a game largely lacking in clear cut opportunities, a few nailbiting situations in the final ten minutes added a bit of excitement to the clash but ultimately it was a game which had draw written all over it.

The opening 45 minutes was littered by half-chances but nothing clear cut as Kalifa Cisse unleashed the first effort of the match after two minutes, a half-volley slashed well wide.

Leon Best had an almost identical effort for the Sky Blues after nine minutes, wildly swinging at a bouncing ball but dragging it across Marcus Hahnemann's goalmouth from the corner of the penalty area.

Best also played a part in City's next effort four minutes later, providing a delicate cross into the box for Aron Gunnarsson who was just beaten to the ball by the head of Andre Bikey.

Jordan Henderson had the best chance of the first half to open the scoring on 23 minutes, coming within a bootlace of dispossessing Hahnemann infront of his goal although the 'keeper was able to just steer the ball away from danger.

Henderson had another chance to get his second goal for the Sky Blues three minutes after the half-hour mark, Danny Fox's corner sparking a mini goalmouth scramble which ended with the Tyneside winger steering a shot just wide of the post.

And Best also caused some minor excitement a miute before the end of the first half, running onto Henderson's through ball but being marginally beaten to it by Hahnemann who came off his line to get down low and wrap the ball up.

The second half started a bit more wildly as referee Terry Kettle handed out five bookings in the first ten minutes of the second period.

James Harper was first into the book for a foul on Guillaume Beuzelin quickly followed by Stephen Wright, Fox and Clinton Morrison before Bikey finished off the spate of yellows.

Bar the early hot-blooded nature of the opening second-half exchangees though, play soon reverted to the more composed fashion shown in the opening 45 minutes.

Infact it took a 76th minute effort from Jay Tabb to liven up proceedings, his effort flying just wide of Westwood's post.

And just three minutes later the Sky Blues almost benefitted from their own great piece of counter-attacking play.

Osbourne did well to hold up two players before releasing substitute Robbie Simpson down the right flank, Simpson cutting inside and playing the ball to Morrison with his back to goal who teed up Beuzelin to shoot just wide.

Royals substitute Noel Hunt had City fans' hearts in their mouths with two minutes to go, the Republic of Ireland international getting to the byline and firing at Westwood's near post only for his international teammate to palm the ball behind for a corner.

And the Sky Blues also had a chance to snatch a result deep into injury time, Isaac Osbourne's highly ambitious effort taking a deflection for a corner with just seconds to go.

Fox fired in a deep delivery near the back post which reached Simpson, but the striker could only manage a brushed header which whistled out for a goal kick.

Reading threw away the chance to close the gap on the Championship frontrunners after a goalless draw with mid-table Coventry City.

Both teams failed to shine during a dismal first half which saw few clear-cut chances.

Coventry's first real chance fell to Clinton Morrison when he latched onto Jordan Henderson's pass just inside the box but the shot sailed wide of the right-hand post.

The Reading strikeforce of Shane Long and Dave Kitson were given little in the way of service and the strong presence of City skipper Scott Dann at the back ensured that any threat of an attack was quickly snuffed out.

Then came Dann's chance to inject some excitement into the game but he could only head Dan Fox's 23rd minute free-kick into the hands of Reading keeper Marcus Hahnemann.

The best chance of the half fell to Leon Best in stoppage time.

He found himself one-on-one with Hahnemann after some clever footwork from Henderson, but the big American keeper made the most of his considerable frame to gather the ball from Best's feet.

The second half got off to a fiery start with five bookings in the first nine minutes as the referee threatened to lose control of the match.

Again there was little in the way of chances but Freddy Eastwood could have given the home side the lead on 65 minutes.

However, after latching onto Aron Gunnarsson's cross inside the box, he sent his right-footed volley high and wide of the target.

Former Sky Blues star Jay Tabb had Reading's best effort after unleashing a powerful 25-yard drive just wide of the top left-hand corner from the corner of the area.

Frenchman Guillaume Beuzelin should have scored for Coventry on 80 minutes after Morrison pulled the ball back to him on the penalty spot, but the midfielder dragged his effort horribly wide.

A late flurry of Reading pressure yielded nothing in the way of goals and both teams were forced to be satisfied with a point a piece.