Match Report


Posted By  Nick Connoll ,  Sat 08 Dec 12

Coventry City picked up another three points in spectacular fashion at the Ricoh Arena with a 5-1 rout over Midlands rivals Walsall.

The win, the first time since January 2009 that the Sky Blues have come from behind to win in the league, saw both David McGoldrick and Carl Baker grab a brace each with Cyrus Christie also grabbing his first league goal for the club.

Walsall were reduced to ten men in the closing stages of the game after captain Andy Butler was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.

But it had little impact on a game City dominated but for a shaky few early moments which saw the Saddlers take the lead through a Blair Adams own goal.

City boss Mark Robins kept the faith in the line up that earned a Johnstone's Paint Trophy regional semi-final berth on Tuesday night following the penalty shoootout win over Sheffield United at the Ricoh.

It was the visitors who enjoyed the better of the opening spells of possession though with the majority of Walsall's play being run through an energetic Febian Brandy.

The Sky Blues registered the first effort of the afternoon after five minutes when McGoldrick twisted and turned Richard Taundry before firing a tame effort at goal which Saddlers 'keeper Aaron McCarey easily collected.

McCarey did better a minute later though when Franck Moussa powered through the Walsall back four and found himself one-on-one with the 'keeper, McCarey staying strong to deny Moussa's effort.

Gary McSheffrey was left none to pleased with his teammate who chose to shoot rather than square it to McSheffrey who was unmarked ten yards out.

McGoldrick went just as close on 13 minutes when he tricked his way through Taundry and Butler and poked a delicate effort aimed at the far bottom corner only to see the ball roll inches wide of the far post.

Walsall were in front just moments later though when a dangerous cross from Jamie Paterson was whipped into the box and landed in the six-yard area.

City full-back Adams, unsure how to deal with the delivery then inadvertently deflected the ball past a helpless Joe Murphy.

The Sky Blues very nearly got a leveller after 25 minutes when a great skillful flick from McGoldrick allowed McSheffrey to get to the byline and smash a low cross across the face of the goal.

Walsall's back four dealt with it almost by accident as the ball cannoned off legs and just happened to ricochet to safety.

McGoldrick provided for McSheffrey again a minute later, this time his low cross a foot infront of the goal line searched for McSheffrey at the back post only for him to slide and miss connecting by inches.

City went on the attack again straight after as McGoldrick set Moussa free with a great floated ball over the top, Moussa's attempted finish being headed clear by Dean Holden.

The deserved equaliser came from the resulting corner though in superb fashion from Baker.

McSheffrey took a short corner to the City skipper who dribbled his way through the Walsall defence and found the smallest of gaps between McCarey and his near post, finishing with pinpoint accuracy.

City then took the lead eight minutes before a half they began to dominate after a great direct move that allowed McGoldrick to net his 14th goal for the club.

Baker dispossessed Paterson on the right flank and cut into the heart of midfield before playing short pass to James Bailey who, in turn, played through McGoldrick who beat the offside trap and slotted past McCarey.

No sooner had he netted a second for City though he increased his personal tally furtherand made it 3-1 to City.

Baker floated a deep cross at the back post which beat the head of Holden and landed on McGoldrick's chest, the in-form striker then firing home from four yards out at the back post.

Baker then nearly grabbed a second of his own a minute before the break with a free-kick 14 yards out which he fired through the wall and just wide of the post.

He then went close again after catching Andy Taylor in possession in his own half, the captain charging towards goal and twisting and turning a back-pedalling Holden only for his effort to be denied by a solid save from McCarey. 

The Sky Blues continued in the same vein after the break and McGoldrick very nearly capped off a hat-trick in special fashion, trying to curl one over McCarey from 25 yards only to see his effort strike the outside of the post on 54 minutes.

A fourth did come from City though a minute after the hour through Christie who notched a fine individual strike and his first ever league goal for the club. 

Baker set him free down the right flank and he chased it, beating Featherstone for pace and then cutting inside him a with a piece of trickery and firing past McCarey from just inside the area.

A clever free kick from the Sky Blues then saw them nearly make it five with 20 minutes to go. Baker spread a delivery across trhe picth to an unmarked McSheffrey who half volleyed the ball back into the six-yard box for Richard Wood whose stabbed effort rolled just wide.

A relatively untroubled Murphy was briefly called into action at the other end on 77 minutes when Sam Mantom struck a 20-yard effort which required the City 'keeper to produce a diving save.

Walsall thought they had got one back with 11 minutes to go when Mantom's free kick effort from 19 yards found its way through the wall but not Murphy whose save spilled in front of him, allowing Holden to poke home the loose ball.

His celebrations were shortlived though as the assistant referee flagged for offside.

The Saddlers' fortunes worsened on 80 minutes when captain Andy Butler was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence, not for his foul on Baker but seemingly his protests to referee Nigel Miller who then produced a second yellow.

City then pressed home their advantage in clinical style with seven minutes go when Baker expertly guided his second of the night past McCarey from 20 yards out.

He picked up the ball midway inside the Saddlers' half and jinked his way into a shooting position where he curled his measured shot just beyond the reach of the Walsall 'keeper and inside the far post.

Attendance: 10,986 (1,072 away)


Coventry City: Murphy, Christie, Wood, Edjenguele, Adams, Bailey (Barton 85), Moussa (Fleck 73), Baker (c), Jennings, McGoldrick, McSheffrey (McDonald 73)
Subs: Dunn (GK), Clarke, Barton, O'Donovan, Willis

Walsall: McCarey, Taundry, Butler (c), Holden, Featherstone (Hemmings 85), Grigg, Paterson (A Chambers 67) , Brandy (Downing 83), Taylor, Montom, Westcarr
Subs: Grof (GK), A Chambers, Bowerman, Dowining, Baxendale, J Chambers

Bookings: Baker (COV), Featherstone (WAL), McGoldrick (COV), Butler (COV), Taylor (WAL)
Sent Off: Butler (WAL)

Referee: N Miller
Assistant Referees: R Hodges, E Smart
Fourth Official: S Garratt

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