Match Report

 

Tue 23 Oct 12

Coventry City comfortably sailed into the FA Cup second round after a by-the-numbers win over Evo-Stik Southern Premier outfit Arlesey Town.

Callum Ball handed City a first-half lead with the opener just before the half hour, Cyrus Christie added a second with his first competitive goal for the club midway through the second half and Steven Jennings grabbed the third with a simple finish with two minutes to go. 

City boss Mark Robins made three changes to the side that beat Leyton Orient at the Matchroom Stadium the previous weekend, replacing the ineligible David McGoldrick and James Bailey with Callum Ball and Franck Moussa and the rested Richard Wood in favour of Jordan Clarke.

The Sky Blues took control of the early stages of the game but it was Arlesey who first registered a shot at goal after ten minutes when Chris Marsh's effort from 20 yards floated just over Joe Murphy's bar.

It was City that first tested the goalkeeper though after 17 minutes when McSheffrey won a free kick on the edge of the area and Baker fired the dead ball effort at goal which Town shotstopper Abbey had to parry away.

The Sky Blues did manage to make the most of their dominant possession stats after 27 minutes though when a neat piece of interplay between Franck Moussa and Ball freed the latter to exploit a small bit oif space in the area to fire past Abbey into the top corner.

They almost made it two five minutes later when a floated cross from the right from Cyrus Christie almost picked out William Edjenguele in the six-yard box, only for Ryan Frater to nip in and poke the ball behind.

It was Baker's turn to test the 'keeper again after the resulting corner kick, the loose ball falling to the midfielder to fire at the inside of the near post but Abbey tipping the ball behind.

Abbey was required again eight minutes before the break when a sweeping pinpoint cross from Ball on the left flank picked out McSheffrey whose diving header at the backpost was beaten away when a second for City looked certain.

The home side's dominance of play continued after the break but just lacked the final pass in the final third.

In the meantime though it was Arlesey who went close to grabbing an equaliser five minutes after the restart when Chris Marsh received a square ball across the tip of City's area after a swift counter-attack but could only lash a half volley just wide.

Joe Murphy was then required to make a save two minutes after the hour when Ben Farrell was tee'd up by Luke Thurlbourne, Farrell shooting from the edge of the area but Murphy making a solid low save.

City got a second though on their very next attack courtesy of a fine individual effort from Christie.

The full-back picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and burst into the area, twisting around Shane Blackett before slipping a shot under Abbey from by the penalty spot.

Ball tried to make it three after 65 minutes when he latched onto a through ball from John Fleck only to be forced out wide by Frater, his shot from an acute angle being parried and then collected by Abbey.

The Town 'keeper was left rooted to his spot though with 20 minutes to go when Reckord tried his luck from ranging, striking the ball sweetly only to see it rattle off the crossbar.

Moussa then did exactly the same on 79 minutes, striking the face of the crossbar with Abbey beaten, the ball then bouncing down and coing off the 'keeper's back to roll out for a corner.

It was Fleck's turn next with ten minutes to go when he turned Thurlbourne just inside the area before flashing a shot across the face of goal and just wide of the far post.

There was a third to come though and it came two minutes from time courtesy of Jennings who tapped home a simple finish after a low cross from substitute Roy O'Donovan to wrap the game up and secure City's passage into the second round draw.

Attendance: 6,594 (577 away)

Teams

Coventry City: Murphy, Clarke, Christie, Edjenguele, Reckord (Willis 71), Baker (c), Jennings, Fleck, Moussa, McSheffrey (McDonald 54), Ball (O'Donovan 76)
Subs: Dunn (GK), Cameron, Barton, Jeffers

Arlesey Town: N Abbey, Thurlbourne, Davis (Patrick 84), Blackett, Frater, Farrell (Z Abbey 76), Goss, Hatch, Dillon, Roberts, Marsh (Prosper 54)
Subs: Bussey (GK), Bibbert, Cook, Brown

Bookings: N/A

Referee: K Wright
Assistant Referees: P Graham, P Thompson
Fourth Official: M Howes

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