Match Report

 

Posted By  Nick Connoll ,  Wed 31 Jul 13

Coventry City fell to their second defeat of the season after twice leading against Port Vale at Vale Park.

Callum Wilson's ninth goal of the season was cancelled out by Tom Pope for the hosts but Moussa reinstated City's lead in spectacular fashion three minutes before the break.

Doug Loft then levelled for a second time after the break before Chris Birchall stabbed home a winner for the hosts with eight minutes to go. 

City boss Steven Pressley stuck with the an unchanged line-up that picked up consecutive wins in the league, the most recent being last Sunday's 2-0 win over Gillingham.

It was a lively start by the Sky Blues who in the first minute won a free kick 20 yards out, Carl Baker taking the dead ball but his effort being deflected inches wide.

The Sky Blues dominated the early possession and very nearly carved out an opener after 11 minutes when a shot from Baker from the edge of the area trickled through to Callum Wilson who tried to poke a finish past Vale 'keeper Chris Neal.

The ball rolled fractionally wide of the far post but was followed up by a vain penaltyappeal from Wilson who protested at being held back by Liam Chilvers.

The manner of City's control of the game continued throughout the first half hour of the first half where they remained camped in Vale's half and always posed a threat but still looked for the final ball.

The next effort at goal came after 26 minutes when Wilson's speed down the right caused Carl Dickinson problems and resulted in a corner for City which Blair Adams delivered and Jordan Clarke headed over the bar.

City could not be contained for much after the half hour when, after 33 minutes, a looped ball from the bake from Christie found Wilson who beat Chilvers for pace but stopped in the area to twist the defemder, draw out the 'keeper amd poke a finish into the net.

The lead lasted just six minutes though as Vale equalised courtesy of Tom Pope.

Blair Adams' foul on Anthony Griffiths on the left flank allowed the home side to float a delivery into the box which found Pope to glance a header just beyond the reach of Joe Murphy and just inside the far bottom corner.

The away end at Vale Park erupted with three minutes of the half to go though as City reinstated their lead in spectacular finish.

Franck Moussa picked up the ball at half way and drove through the centre of the pitch before unleashing a drive from 20 yards which found the top corner and gave Neal no chance.

The Sky Blues came out for the second half with a clear intention to control the game in the way they had done in the first half but despite their efforts it was the home side that registered the first effort of the second period when Griffiths' shot from the edge of the area was turned around the post by Murphy on 51 minutes.

Two minutes later Vale went close again when half-time sub Ben Williamson found himself free and unmarked on the left to cut inside but send his finish into the side netting.

With the momentum going the way of the home side it was not long before they had another opportunity when, on 57 minutes, a low ball flashed across goal and marginally wide of the far post with Pope unable to get a telling touch.

A second equaliser did come for Vale though just before the hour when a long throw saw the ball bobble in the box, allowing Doug Loft to swoop in and fire past Murphy with a first time effort from 10 yards.

The strike gave Port Vale the boost they were looking for as they were the more dangerous of the two sides for the next ten minutes which nearly saw Williamson grab a third for the hosts on 69 minutes, the wideman again being set free on the left flank and taking the ball around Murphy, trying to slide a finish home only to be foiled by the backtracking Jordan Clarke who stopped the effort three yards from the goal line.

A third for the home side did come with eight minutes to go though when Pope's effort from eight yards was palmed away by Muprhy but into the path of substitute Birchall who squeezed a finish just inside the post as Murphy scrambled to make a second save.

With Vales third, the tide of the game changed as City saw more possession in the closing stages in the search for an equaliser.

The Sky Blues could not turn their late charge into goals though as a nail-biting finish saw the home side ride out the late storm to subject City to just their second defeat of the season.

Attendance: 9,218 (3,148 Sky Blue Army)



Teams

Coventry City: Murphy, Adams, Webster, J Clarke, Christie, Baker (c), Moussa, Fleck, Thomas (Manset 82), L Clarke, Wilson
Subs: Burge (GK), Barton, Willis, Garner, Haynes, Maund

Port Vale: Neal, Yates, Robertson, Dickinson, Chilvers, Loft, Dodds (Williamson 45), Myrie-Williams (Birchall 45), Pope, Lines, Griffith
Subs: Johnson (GK), Shuker, Davis, Mohamed, Duffy

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