Match Report


Posted By  Nick Connoll ,  Thu 21 Jun 12

Coventry City grabbed a record-equalling tenth away win of the season at the Goldsands Stadium after strikes from Leon Clarke and Carl Baker brought them within five points of the top six.

It was a night for stats as Leon Clarke grabbed his 20th League One goal of the season and his ninth for the Sky Blues just before half time and David Bell made his first appearance of the season to provide the assist for the penalty which Baker converted to seal the points and subject Bournemouth to their third consecutive league defeat.

Sky Blues caretaker boss Lee Carsley made two changes to the side that suffered defeat to Crewe at the weekend, handing a full debut to loan defender Aaron Martin and bringing Franck Moussa to replace injured Stephen Elliott with Cody McDonald returning from his loan at Gillingham to feature on the bench.

Although the game kicked off on time, there was six minutes on the clock before the game got off to a real start after a stray elbow to Carl Dickinson's face left blood on the pitch which needed to be cleared up by groundstaff.

With the game then in full swing it was not long before City registered their first effort on target when a Carl Baker corner came straight back to the skipper who beat three players down the byline before shooting at Cherries' 'keeper Shwan Jalal's near post, Jalal making a smart low save.

City shotstopper had to make a save of his own after 13 minutes and his was far more spectacular when a ball was cut back to Matt Tubbs whose first time effort was denied by a tunning one-handed reaction save.

Cherries top scorer Lewis Grabban then went close just a minute later when a deep cross picked out Tubbs to head back across the box for his strike partner who stabbed his effort well over from eight yards.

Grabban went close again after 16 minutes when he latched onto a through ball and beat a tackle from Aaron Martin but not from Nathan Cameron and Cyrus Christie as the duo's combined efforts deflected Grabban's effort over the bar.

Tubbs was then holding his head in disbelief on 20 minutes when he read and intercepted a headed backpass from Dickinson to go one-on-one with Murphy, only to tap his finish an inch wide of the post.

The Sky Blues carved out their best chance of the game up to taht point after 28 minutes when a swift counter attack down the left allowed Christie to cut a ball back for Moussa who was odds on to finish from 15 yards out only to be denied by a superb one-handed save by Jalal.

The Cherries 'keeper was very nearly embarrassed by City striker Leon Clarke though just after the half hour when he took to long to play a ball upfield and was just inches away from being caught in possession.

He did the same to defender Simon Francis as the first half entered injury time, this time getting his reward as he hustled the defender off the ball and turned Dan Seaborne before cracking a finish into the roof of the net that left Jalal with no chance.

Bournemouth came straight of the blocks after the restart and it required a clearance from Cameron four yards infront of his own goal after Matt Ritchie fired a dangerous ball across the box.

Clarke had a chance two make it two for City on 53 minutes though when he controlled a deep cross from Carl Baker at the back post and touch a touch before firing a half volley at goal, this time Jalal being equal to it.

Jalal made another good stop on 68 minutes whena flicked header from Clarke fell to the feet of Moussa who tried his luck with a half volley from 20 yards, the Bournemouth 'keeper getting his body behind the ball to make the stop.

Bournemouth kept pressing though and in the 76th minute had two chances in quick succession when first substitute Brett Pitman's shot was blocked and then when Josh McQuoid's follow up volley sliced wide of the far post.

Second Cherries sub Ryan Fraser then tried his luck from just inside the area on 79 minutes although Murphy made a comfortable save.

The Sky Blues grabbed a second at a crucial time though after sub David Bell, making his first appearance of the season, swung in a deep cross aimed for the back post that caught Grabban on the hand, forcing the referee to point to the spot.

Baker then calmly stepped up to sweep the ball into the bottom left hand corner with six minutes of normal time to go.

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