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Match Report


Posted Sat 18 Apr 15 at 16:45 PM

Report: City 0-0 Coventry City


Mark Perrow reports from Ashton Gate

City secured the point they needed to be crowned Sky Bet League One champions courtesy of a goalless draw with Coventry City at Ashton Gate.

Unsurprisingly, Steve Cotterill saw no need to make any changes to his team who were promoted in such style at Bradford City in midweek.

It was the visitors who were first to threaten an opener as Frank Nouble collected the ball on the left touchline, before space opened up for the striker to drive forward and take aim with a 30-yard shot just over Frank Fielding’s crossbar.

But it would not take long for City’s set-piece prowess to cause problems for the Sky Blues.

First, Marlon Pack sent a deep delivery in towards Aden Flint, who had peeled away around the back of his marker and tried to hook the ball back across goal only to see it blocked behind for another corner.

This time from the right, Luke Freeman trotted across and should have had another assist to his name as Derrick Williams sent a free header over the crossbar from six yards.

There was not quite the same zip about City in comparison to ruthless manner in which Bradford were dispatched four days ago – perhaps understandably so.

The hosts were still determined to press high up the pitch with plenty of energy in and out of possession, typified by Kieran Agard closing down Reda Johnson, whose blocked clearance might have caught out keeper Lee Burge on another day.

But there were also examples of those in red being fractionally slow to reach their targets, as Pack and Joe Bryan both joined Nouble in the book inside the opening 25 minutes.

Coventry were presented with a decent chance to break the deadlock when Nick Proschwitz picked out Jim O’Brien with time and space on the edge of the box, but the skipper skied his shot from 18 yards.

Fielding would be tested ten minutes before the interval when John Fleck pulled the trigger with a sweetly struck volley from 25 yards, forcing the City number one into a diving save away to his left before Adam Barton’s follow-up was blocked by Williams.

The visitors were visibly growing in belief on a ground where City have only been beaten twice in league action all season.

Grant Ward embarked on a driving run from midfield culminating in a left-footed shot from distance which just did not curl enough to beat Fielding down to his right.

City had not been themselves but might easily have gone in at the break in front courtesy of a goal in first-half stoppage time, as Johnson flew into a risky tackle from behind on Agard in the box but was adjudged to have won the ball by referee David Coote, who signalled only a corner, much to Cotterill’s bemusement. 

Aaron Wilbraham looked set to score from Freeman’s ensuing delivery regardless, but steered his header wide from no more than six yards with the sort of chance he has gobbled up all season.

City would enjoy more of the play deeper into Coventry territory in the second half, but creating chances remained difficult.

James Tavernier saw a tame effort blocked before Agard spun and shot wide from eight yards.

The Sky Blues were sensing an opportunity to spoil the party. Proschwitz did not miss the top corner by much from a 30-yard free kick before a similar chance arose ten yards closer – this time driven into the wall by the German striker.

City were not exactly piling on the pressure, but a tremendous run from Agard starting deep inside his own half carried him all the way to the byeline at the other end, where he turned to pick out Freeman, who rather snatched at the chance on his right foot and pulled it wide.

Proschwitz briefly had City hearts in mouths five minutes from time in trying to catch out Fielding with an ambitious lob, but the keeper backpedalled to make a fairly routine save, while substitute Sanmi Odelusi raced away from Flint before the defender recovered to take the sting out of the shot.

Proschwitz came close again in stoppage time, but City had the point they needed.

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