Match Report


Posted By  Nick Connoll ,  Thu 21 Jun 12

Coventry City capped off a turbulent week for the club by recording their ninth away league win of the season at Gigg Lane courtesy of strikes from Leon Clarke and Carl Baker.

Clarke handed City a dream start against the Shakers with his third minute opener and Baker sealed the game with his second half strike to put the Sky Blues just five points outside the play-offs and eight points behind league leaders Bournemouth.

Interim first team boss Lee Carsley made three changes to his first line-up in charge following the midweek departure of Mark Robins, handing a full debut to left back Carl Dickinson in place of the injured Blair Adams and replacing William Edjenguele and Franck Moussa with Nathan Cameron and Stephen Elliott.

Carsley's spell in charge could not infact have got off to a better start after City went a goal in front after just three minutes courtesy of Clarke.

Dickinson played a first time ball down the left flank which was not dealt with by Shakers defender Carl Regan, allowing Clartke to muscle him off the ball and slip a finish through the legs of Bury 'keeper Trevor Carson.

It was nearly 2-0 just a minute later when Elliott picked up a loose ball from 20 yards and tried his luck only for Carson to get his body behind it and make a comfortable save.

Elliott went even closer after six minutes when he got in between two defenders just inside the Bury area and fired a shot aimed at the bottom far corner only to see his effort smack the foot of the post.

James Bailey was on hand to pick up the loose ball on the follow up and he tried to steer a finish into the top corner only to be denied by an off-the-line header from Joe Skarz.

Bury gave the Sky Blues a sharp reminder of their own strengths after 11 minutes though when a bit of trickery from David Worrall took him around Richard Wood in the City area only for him to fire straight at Joe Murphy from ten yards, the City shot stopper parrying away.

Carl Baker had already tried to get his eye in with a long range effort after the eighth minute but he was presented with a real opportunity after 21 minutes when a great flowing move ended with Skarz getting a yellow card for handball on the edge of the Bury area.

Baker stepped up to take the set piece and his initial shot was on target and made Carson spill the ball although the Shakers 'keeper was quick to recover and collect with Elliott looking to hammer home a follow up.

Elliott also continued to look lively and gave Stephen Schumacher a torrid time on 26 minutes when he turned him inside out only to disappoint with his final effort which went straight at Carson.

Gary McSheffrey also forced a great save out of Carson from the most unlikely of angles just before the hour, a quick free-kick being taken near the corner flag and McSheffrey lashing at goal from the tightest of angles with Carson tipping the shot over his crossbar when it looked to be creeping inside the back post.

Andy Bishop was then handed Bury's best opportunity of the half with two minutes to go before the break when Worrall beat both Wiood and Dickinson on the left and looped a ball to Bishop who was unmarked in the heart of the City area, the striker pulling the trigger only to see his shot take a deflection and go behind after glancing the outside of the post.

The Sky Blues came out for the second half with a continued spring in their step and Bailey very nearly doubled City's advantage three minutes after the restart with a low 30-yard drive which Carson got down well to block.

McSheffrey then looked odds on to get the second after 53 minutes when he picked up a deep cross from the right from Elliott, took a touch that brought him around his marker and fired a half volley at goal only to be denied by a point blank save from Carson.

The Bury 'keeper played the hero again just moments later when Clarke chased down a long ball and tried to lift it over Carson who made himself big to bat the ball away from danger.

It was some last gasp defending that denied Clarke again three minutes before the hour when McSheffrey worked hard to get to the byline and cut a ball back for the striker whose effort was blocked by the sacrificial body of Regan.

Bury's first real opportunity of the second half came after 65 minutes when a deep cross from Tom Soares found Bishop whose looping header bounced off the top of the crossbar and behind for a goal kick.

City eventually got the second goal their play deserved after 73 minutes though with another swettly struck left-foot strike from Baker.

Elliott cut inside down the left flank and whipped a ball into the box which was only cleared as far as the City skipper who took one touch before firing from just outside the area and into the bottom corner just beyond the reach of Carson.

McSheffrey too went close with 15 minutes to go when he worked his way towards the Bury area before pulling an effort just wide of the far post.

Bury fans thought they were going to make the last seven minutes of the game a tense affair when Nicky Ajose got around Cameron and dinked a finish past Murphy.

Wood had other ideas though as he tracked back and hooked the ball off the line to protect City's two-goal cushion as the game moved into the final stages.

The Sky Blues came straight back two minutes later when a floated free kick from Christie found Clarke to lay off a ball for Bailey who hammered at goal only for Carson to deny him.

Attendance: 3,745 (1,241 Sky Blue Army)


Coventry City: Murphy, Dickinson, Cameron, Wood, Christie, Bailey, Baker (c), Jennings (Thomas 90), McSheffrey (Fleck 86), Elliott (Moussa 74), J Clarke
Subs: Dunn (GK), J Clarke, Barton, Edjenguele

Bury: Carson, Skarz, Eastham, Worrall, Schumacher (c), Bishop, Ajose (Fagan 86), Regan (Jones 60), Zubar, Thompson, Soares (Carole 77)
Subs: Belford (GK), Carrington, Healy, Ebanks-Landell

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