Match Report


Thu 21 Jun 12

Coventry City fell to a 2-0 defeat to Crawley Town at a rain-sodden Broadfield Stadium after strikes from Billy Clarke and Connor Essam.

Clarke gave the Reds the lead after 15 minutes when his free kick took a big deflection to give City 'keeper Joe Murphy no chance and Essam poked home Clarke's corner delivery on the hour to seal the points for the Reds. 

City boss Steven Pressley delivered on his stated intention to assess his squad in more depth as he named four changes to his starting line-up bringing back Jordan Clarke, Conor Thomas and Jordan Stewart while handing Billy Daniels his first start for the first team since September. 

The Sky Blues made their intentions clear from the outset with a now familiar attempt to pass the ball through the thirds, an approach which was hindered slightly by the wet conditions and equally wet pitch. 

It was the hosts who nearly took the lead after eight minutes though when a scuffed backpass was intercepted by Mike Jones who cut a ball back for Clarke who was denied from eight yards by a fantastic double save from Murphy. 

City registered their first shot of the day on target though just a minute later when Carl Baker was brought down 20 yards out before dusting himself off to fire a free kick which was put behind by Crawley 'keeper Paul Jones. 

The Reds were then a goal up after 14 minutes after Conor Thomas brought down Nicky Adams just shy of 20 yards out. 

A clever set piece saw Clarke take the shot at goal which took a big deflection off John Fleck, wrong-footing Joe Murphy as it rolled into the net. 

The remainder of the half though saw short bursts of good link up play from both sides although neither really threatened as they battled a pitch that was getting increasingly cut up by the heavy rain. 

Slips became common place as the game struggled to get into any rhythm although City capped off the half with a flurry of efforts. 

First a long range effort from Fleck two minutes before the break with Jones making an assured save. 

Jordan Clarke then whipped in a cross that saw Connor Essam head against his own post with Baker forcing a superb save from Jones with his 20-yard effort just before referee Rob Lewis blew the whistle for half time. 

The conditions only seemed to worsen during the interval as the rain continued, with areas of standing water building on the pitch. 

Crawley still managed to get a second though on the hour when Clarke's inswinging corner into the six-yard box bobbles its way to Essam who managed to poke a finish through a sea of bodies to double the home side's advantage. 

Attendance: 3,900 (687 Sky Blue Army) 


Coventry City: Murphy, Wood, Martin, J Clarke, Stewart, Moussa, Baker (c), Thomas, Fleck, Daniels (Ball 68), Wilson 
Subs: Dunn (GK), McDonald, Philliskirk, Christie, Edjenguele, Bailey 

Crawley Town: Jones, Sadler, Essam (Connolly 74), Clarke (Simpson 78), Torres, Walsh, Hunt, Bulman, Adams (Dumbaya 84), Jones, Hayes 
Subs: Maddison (GK), Sparrow, Proctor, O'Brien 

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