Match Report


Posted By  Nick Connoll ,  Wed 31 Jul 13

Coventry City stormed into the top half of the League One table for the first time this season after a dominant win over ten-man Notts County at Sixfields.

Leon Clarke took his goal tally into double figures with his tenth and 11th goals of the season early in the second half before Callum Wilson also grabbed his 11th of the campaign to put the game well beyond the Magpies.

The visitors had to play the entire second half with ten men after Danny Haynes was shown a straight red for a tackle on Jordan Clarke just before the break.

City boss Steven Pressley opted not to make any changes to the side that brought all three points back from the Bescot the previous weekend following a 1-0 win at Walsall.

The continuity seemed to have the desired effect as the Sky Blues largely dominated possession and territory throughout the first 45 minutes.

While the first half was devoid of many clear cut chances, the early indications were that if there was to be an opening goal then it would be the home side that would claim it.

Notts County very nearly steered the ball into the own net after 15 minutes when a Carl Baker corner was diverted behind and just wide of the post by Alan Sheehan.

Five minutes later in-form striker Wilson had a chance to run at the back four and did so, squeezing a half-hit shot through bodies which rolled comfortably to Magpies 'keeper Bartosz Bialkowski.

Leon Clarke had a chance of his own just before the half hour when he picked up a ball from Franck Moussa and tried to run around right back Gary Liddle, eventually pulling the trigger on a stinging shot just inside the area that Bialkowski had trouble keeping hold of.

County had a handful of skirmishes into City's half in the first 45 minutes but most were the result of long balls which drew free kicks, all of which were taken by Jack Grealish and none of which gave the City back four or goalkeeper Joe Murphy any real cause for concern.

Clarke had another opportunity ten minutes before the break when a deep corner from Baker picked him out at the back post to head just over.

The biggest talking point of the first half though came as it drew to a close when Haynes was shown a straight red card by referee Lee Collins for a studs-up challenge straight into Jordan Clarke's ribs.

The midfielder did not even wait for the card to be shown as he jogged off the pitch. 

The dismissal sparked a short resurgence for City as they tried to push for the opener as the half drew to a close.

The goal did not come before the break but it did just two minutes after the restart.

Blair Adams burst down the left side and produced some great work to beat Liddle all ends up, then getting to the byline before cutting one back for Leon Clarke who rifled a finish home off the underside of the bar from 12 yards.

Just two minutes later it was nearly two for City when Baker's free kick delivery was only cleared as far as John Fleck whose volley from 20 yards just flew past the foot of the post.

Eight minutes into the half and it was Adams' turn to register an effort on goal. Again he got the better of Liddle to get around him and fire a shot from an acute angle only for Bialkowski to get down and save well.

Bialkowski could do nothing about City's second three minutes before the hour though. High pressure from the Sky Blues forced Mark Fotheringham into a short backpass that Leon Clarke latched onto before lifting a cool chip over the advancing County 'keeper to double City's advantage.

The goals clearly rocked the visitors as the Sky Blues started to rack up the shots on target, Franck Moussa first forcing a great save out of Bialkowski after rounding Liddle and shooting at an angle from eight yards, the 'keeper batting it away.

Jordan Clarke then drew gasps from the crowd with his effort from near the halfway line which, with the aid of the wind, floated just wide.

A third goal was in the air though and it came from Callum Wilson to grab his 11th of the season after 63 minutes. The striker marked his first game since committing his future to City with a blistering turn of pace to chase a long ball over the top from John Fleck, round Bialkowski and slot game to put the game well beyond County's reach.

Attendance: 2,693 (543 away)


Coventry City: Murphy, Phillips, Webster, J Clarke, Adams, Baker (c) (Garner 88), Moussa, Fleck, Thomas (Barton 87), Wilson (Loza 80), L Clarke
Subs: Burge (GK), Christie, Haynes, Maund

Notts Co: Bialkowski, Sheehan (Thompson 66), Liddle, Leacock (c), Grealish (Arquin 45), McGregor, Haynes, Labadie (Boucard 79), Fotheringham, Tempest, Holt
Subs: Spiess (GK), Smith, Haber, Campbell-Ryce

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