Match Report

 

Posted By  Nick Connoll ,  Thu 21 Jun 12

Coventry City brought themselves to within touching distance of the play-offs after a dramatic finale in their 2-1 win over Oldham Athletic at the Ricoh Arena.

City looked to be heading for a point after Matt Smith's 89th minute goal cancelled out substitute Stephen Elliott's 60th minute opener.

James Bailey, returning from injury, had the last say though as he blasted a half volley into the top corner from 15 yards with the last kick of the game to lift City up to seventh in the League One table.

City boss Mark Robins rang just one change to the side that beat table-topping Tranmere Rovers in midweek, bringing in Bailey to replace Franck Moussa who took Adam Barton's place on the substitute's bench.

Oldham suffered an early scare in the first minute when John Fleck's corner delivery was fumbled by Latics 'keeper Bouzanis, Richard Wood hooking the looseball goalwards but Bouzanis recovering quickly enough to collect.

The visitors returned the favour just moments later when Lee Croft whipped in a corner of his own that Joe Murphy had to punch away from under his bar.

Bouzanis made another comfortable save after 20 minutes when Fleck tried his luck from distance only for his shot to deflect off the outsretched leg of Jonathan Grounds, taking the sting out of the shot and falling safely into the hands of the Oldham shotstopper.

He had to work harder after 25 minutes though when a through ball from James Bailey set Christie running, the right back cutting inside the area and firing at goal only for Bouzanis to save down low.

Bouzanis produced his best save of the day so far though just before the half hour when Fleck received a ball just inside the area and floated a shot bound for the top corner only for Bouzanis to tip the ball over the bar with an outstretched fingertip.

McSheffrey never made him work nearly hard enough on the stroke of half time though when the ball fell to him just inside the area and he lashed his half volley over the bar.

City started of the second half in the same vein as they had finished the first and they went close two minutes after restart when James Bailey dragged a shot just wide of the far post from just inside the area.

They still had to be on their toes though and Murphy was just that on 51 minutes when a quick break from the visitors saw Robbie Simpson played through with only the 'keeper to beat but Murphy doing well to make himself big and save with his legs.

Simpson threatened again three minutes later when he had a dig from 25 yards but sliced his effort just wide. 

McSheffrey went close again for City three minutes before the hour when he bent a low 20-yard free kick effort just wide of the foot of the far post.

They got the opener they deserved though on the hour when McSheffrey whipped in a mid-height cross into the area from the left side that skipped past two defenders before finding it's way to the head of Elliott who guided home from just four yards out.

McSheffrey had another chance of his own three minutes later when he was picked out with a through ball by Christie but shot straight at Bouzanis who was covering his near post.

Oldham continued to remind City of the danger they possessed on the counter though when, after 67 minutes, substitute Daniel Taylor found the ball at his feet from a fortunate glanced header and he headed goalwards but could not beat Murphy and his low, one-handed save to deflect the ball behind.

City then thought they had a second with 15 minutes to go when a deep corner delivery from Baker found Clarke at the back post to nod back into the path of Elliott who directed his header inside the near post although the assistant referee adjudged that not all the ball had crossed the line as  Oldham cleared the danger.

They kept pushing in search of a second and went close again with seven minutes to go when a cross from Christie found Richard Wood whose looping header was tipped over the bar.

It was Oldham who grabbed an equaliser against the run of play though when a deep corner towards the back post forced Murphy to be crowded out and allowed Smith to nod home with a minute of normal time to go.

The four minutes of added time were to be City's saving grace though when Franck Moussa picked up a lofted ball down the left flank and layed a ball to Bailey just inside the area for the midfielder to place a half volley into the top corner and hand the Sky Blues their highest leeague position of the season so far.

Attendance: 10,108 (away 380)

Teams

Coventry City: Murphy, Christie, Wood, Edjenguele, Adams, Bailey, Jennings (Elliott 54), Fleck (Moussa 57), Baker (c), McSheffrey (Thomas 83), L Clarke
Subs: Dunn (GK), Clarke, Cameron, Bell

Oldham Athletic: Bouzanis, Grounds, M'Voto, Croft (Sutherland 76), Simpson (Taylor 64), Smith, Byrne (c), Baxter, M'Changama, Wabara, Mellor (Brown 76)
Subs: Cisak (GK), Tarkowski, Millar, Winchester

Referee: L Collins
Assistant Referees: P Dermott, J Law
Fourth Official: N Hobbis

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