Match Report

 

Posted By  Nick Connoll ,  Tue 04 Dec 12

Coventry City went through to the regional semi-final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at the Ricoh Arena after comfortably winning a penalty shoot-out.

The game finished 1-1 after 90 minutes when an own goal from Harry Maguire was cancelled out by a Blades leveller from David McAllister.

The Sky Blues sailed through the shootout though as Gary McSheffrey, David McGoldrick, Carl Baker and John Fleck all dispatched their penalties with Ryan Flynn and Maguire missing theirs to give the Sky Blues a 4-1 spot kick victory.

City boss Mark Robins reverted to the side that picked up a point at home to Portsmouth ten days earlier at the Ricoh, re-instating 'keeper Joe Murphy, midfielder James Bailey and striker David McGoldrick at the expense of Chris Dunn, Adam Barton and Roy O'Donovan who started Saturday's 2-1 home FA Cup win over Morecambe.

A tense first 25 minutes gave the impression that both sides were feeling each other out, with probing balls over the top and through balls down the flanks that only yielded a 20-yard effort high over the bar from Ryan Flynn after five minutes and a glanced header from Richard Wood at the opposite end ten minutes later.

It was 27 minutes before the first effort of the night on target was registered when former Sky Blue Michael Doyle pounced on a headed clearance from Bailey in the City area and volleyed at goal, Murphy then proving he was on his toes to provide a smart parried save to his left.

The Sky Blues were infact enjoying the lions share of possession, however, and looked the most likely of the two sides to get a goal but could only muster efforts off target as Gary McSheffrey, Carl Baker and Franck Moussa all blazed efforts high and wide.

The half was then capped off by another off target effort, this time from the visitors as Harry Maguire was handed a dead-ball opportunity in the minute of added time and shot marginally wide of Murphy's far post.

United pressed more straight after the break ans nearly carved out an opening on 52 minutes when Matt Hill caught David McGoldrick in possession in midfield and put through John Cofie whose resulting cross across the six-yard area narrowly evaded the head of Flynn arriving at the back post.

The Sky Blues found the opening they were looking for after 56 minutes though when a long ball found Steven Jennings on the right flank for the midfielder to cut a ball back across the six-yard box from the byline, the delivery cannoning off Maguire and into the net past a helpless George Long.

Moussa then got his eye in on the hour when he dispossessed Danny Westlake in his own half and ran at the full-back, turning him on his inside and cutting into the area before firing a low shot at Long which he saved at the foot of his near post.

It was all square with ten minutes to go though when Doyle's long-range effort was saved by Murphy only for the loose ball to be hammered home from close range by McAllister.

The equaliser then caused the game to spark into life as it entered its closing stages.

The Blades pinned the Sky Blues back in their own half with a series of free kicks but City came back and very nearly grabbed a late winner when McGoldrick dribbled his way across the byline and tried to squeeze a shot between Long and his near post only to be denied by the 'keeper.

He went close again moments later when Baker floated a cross towards the back post only for McGoldrick to stretch for the ball and miss connection by inches.

It was the last action of the game before the drama of penalties though as boty sides shaped up to take their spot kicks.

City opted to go first and Gary McSheffrey's coolly dispatched spot kick was followed up by Joe Ironside.

David McGoldrick and Carl Baker then slotted home from the spot but no such luck was had by Harry Maguire and Ryan Flynn who had their respective penalties saved and fly high high over the bar, leaving substitute John Fleck to send City through to the regional semi-final to the delight of 10,000 of the Sky Blue Army.

Attendance: 10,162 (636 away)

Teams

Coventry City: Murphy, Wood, Edjenguele, Christie, Adams, Bailey, Jennings, Moussa (Fleck 76), Baker (c), McSheffrey, McGoldrick
Subs: Dunn (GK), Clarke, Barton, O'Donovan

Sheffield United: Long, Westlake, Maguire, Hill, Flynn, Doyle (c), McAllister, Cresswell (Ironside 71) , Cofie (De Girolamo 71), McFadzean (Chappell 65), Williams
Subs: Coyne (GK), Philliskirk

Bookings: N/A

Referee: M Brown
Assistant Referee: I Dudley, P Graham
Fourth Official: W Barratt

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