Match Report


Posted By  Nick Connoll ,  Wed 22 Aug 12

Coventry City sent the Sky Blue Army in to raptures after a thrilling extra-time Capital One Cup win over Midlands rivals Bimringham City at the Ricoh Arena.

Goals from Cody McDonald, Kevin Kilbane and Carl Baker handed the Sky Blues a third round berth as the recovered from going a goal down early on to produce a msterful display against their Championship opponents.

Birmingham City handed the Sky Blues a nightmare start when Peter Lovenkrands headed home a free kick after just five minutes but Cody McDonald levelled on 19 minuted with captain Kevin Kilbane putting City ahead three minutes later, Jonathan Spector smashing home a leveller a minute before the break.

The Sky Blue Army then had to wait until eight minutes into injury time to watch Baker cap off a memorable performance with a close range finish to knock out Blues.

Richard Shaw made two changes to Saturday's side as he named his first starting line up as caretaker manager following the departure of Andy Thorn, opting to bring youngster Jordan Willis and full home debutant into the side in place of Richard Wood and Kevin Malaga.

They were thrown into the fray almost straight away as the back four were asked to deal with a Darren Ambrose free kick from the left which was swung in for Peter Lovenkrands to glance a header past Joe Murphy after just five minutes.

The Sky Blues tried to respond in kind when Carl Baker swung in a delivery of his own on nine minutes, Stephen Elliott flinging out a boot which steered the ball just over the bar.

It could have been two for Blues though three minutes later when Marlon King got around Willis and cut a ball back to Chris Burke eight yards out, his first time effort striking the underside of the bar and bouncing clear.

The Sky Blues were level on 19 minutes though with a ovely flowing move that finished with Kilbane threading a ball through to McDonald who got behind Curtis Davis before sliding a cool finsih insode Colin Doyle's near post.

They then found themselves ahead on 22 minutes to the rapturou delight of the City fans when Carl Baker picked up a loose ball on the right flank and fired it low into the Blues area, a deflection bringing the ball into the path of Kilbane who smashed home from just inside the area.

It was nearly three two minutes after the half hour when a cross from Adam Barton was deflected just over the bar by Hayden Mullins.

Barton had a chance himself from the resulting corner when Baker's delivery was only cleared as far as the midfielder who tried his luck from long range as he did on Saturday, unlike his strike against Bury this effort going just wide.

Blues went straight up the other end on their next attack only for Marlon King to be limited to an effort from 20 yards, Murphy going to ground to make a comfortable save.

Coventry went even closer to a third on 34 minutes though when Baker did spendidly to beat Ben Gordon and Steven Caldwell on the goalline before knocking a ball across the face of goal, Davis just beating Elliott to the ball by the far post when the slightest of touches would have guided the ball home.

Birmingham crafted a neat equaliser just before the break though when a pacy flowing move saw Spector play a one-two with Morgaro Gomis before striking sweetly past Murphy from just inside the area.

After such an entertaining first half, the second 45 had alot to live up to and was by comparison a much quieter affair.

Substitute Nathan Redmond injected the most life into the game for Blues but it took until 71 minutes for a shot to be registered on target after the break.

Redmond took the ball from near halfway and shot from distance, Murphy making a comfortable low save.

The pint-sized midfielder had another go with nine minutes to go after a good turn on the edge of the area, his resulting effort thogh not testing the City 'keeper.

Carl Baker continued to tease the Birmingham back four and put in a great cross with three minutes to go which trickled across the six-yard box with no-one to turn it in.

And so the game went into extra time where the game hung in the balance and it was the Sky Blues who fashioned the first half chance of the extra half hour when Cyrus Christie's deep cross ran into the path of Kilbane who pulled his shot wide.

Coventry reinstated their deserved lead on 98 minutes though through Baker who was rewarded for his tireless work in midfield.

Chris Hussey's cross from the left forced a tussle in the Blues six yard area between Baker, Mullins and Caldwell, Baker getting the better of the two defenders to hammer home a half volley from four yards.

It was no more than he deserved after a relentless performance in the middle of the park.

Gomis then went close to getting another equaliser for Birmingham with his 20-yard effort which brushed the top of Joe Murphy's bar five minutes before the extra time interval.

Coventry nearly got the second half of extra time off to a flyer, again through Baker who linke dup with Elliott to surge through the Blues back line and fire a tight angled shot at goal whcih Doyle palmed away.

It was a fitting end to the game that Baker was to carve out the last effort of the match as the Sky Blues saw out the remainder of the game to book a place in the Capital One Cup third round on a memorable night at the Ricoh.

Attendance: 10,859 (3,859 away)

Coventry City: Murphy, Hussey, Edjenguele, Willis (Christie 64), Brown, Baker, Jennings, Kilbane (c), Barton (McSheffrey 80), Elliott, McDonald (Ball 90) 
Subs: Dunn (GK), Malaga, O'Donovan, Daniels
Birmingham City: Doyle, Caldwell (c), Davis (Ibanez 70), Burke, Mullins, King, Ambrose, Lovenkrands (Rooney 78), Gomis, Gordon (Redmond 65), Spector 
Subs: Lucas (GK), Morrison, Elliott, Zigic

Bookings: McDonald (COV), Mullins (BIR)

Referee: D Whitestone
Assistant Referees: M Jones, D Richardson
Fourth Official: A Tankard
    Data provided by Press Association

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