Match Report

 

Posted By  Tom Bloomfield ,  Wed 07 Aug 13

Coventry City had to settle for a point at Sixfields after they let a two-goal lead slip late on against visiting Crawley Town.

Mat Sadler inadvertently opened the scoring for the Sky Blues with an own goal header at the back post from a City corner after 40 minutes to give the home side a well-earned advantage in a first 45 minutes that they dominated.

Franck Moussa got the last touch to an Andy Webster header to make it 2-0 with ten minutes to go but two quickfire replies from Red Devils substitute Jamie Proctor rescued a point for John Gregory's side.

The Sky Blues started almost as well as they finished the first half, with Jordan Clarke, coming back into the side along with Conor Thomas, having a shot blocked in the first minute.

Cyrus Christie then produced a wonderful jinking run, before firing the ball across the face of goal, with Billy Daniels just missing out on the elusive final touch.

The hosts were starting to maintain possession well, restricting the Red Devils to limited opportunities, with Christie being used a number of times to provide chances on the right wing.

On 16 minutes Christie was then fouled, with the free kick by Carl Baker deflected away, with faint appeals for handball turned down.

City continued to break down Crawley's attacks in midfield, before launching a counter of their own on 22 minutes, with the ball being fed to Baker who fired a shot just over the bar from 20 yards.

The attacks kept coming from Coventry, with Clarke making things happen in the final third. On 26 minutes he struck from distance, the ball whistling just past the post. 

On the half hour Franck Moussa was through on goal after a fantastic through ball from Baker, but Mat Sadler tracked back well to dispossess the striker.

City rarely looked threatened in the half, playing some neat football in the center of the field, with just the final killer pass lacking.

However five minutes before the break, City deservedly took the lead. A corner swung to the back post by Baker was met by the head of Andy Webster, who climbed highest of all to nod the ball past Paul Jones.

The second half started the same as the first, with the Sky Blues playing neat passing football. 

However it was the Red Devils who had the first chance, with Matt Tubbs, on his first start back at Crawley following his loan move, firing just over after some sloppy play.

This seemed to lift the visitors, who went close again minutes later with Nicky Adams whipping a free kick low and hard into the Sky Blues' box, which caused panic before the ball was hacked clear.

The game was turning into a much more even contest, with both sides showing urgency. Moussa almost doubled Coventry's lead on 59 minutes, but slipped as he shot, the ball rolling harmlessly towards the goalkeeper.

The game was turning into a scrappy affair, with both sides struggling to maintain control of the ball. Sky Blues boss Stephen Pressley introduced Dutchman Denzel Slager to make his home debut on 70 minutes to freshen up the squad, replacing Billy Daniels.

On 78 minutes Crawley easily had their best chance of the game so far. Nicky Adams swept a free kick in, and Kyle McFadzean powered a header towards goal, but Joe Murphy got down low to his right brilliantly to turn the ball away.

With ten minutes to go, City doubled their lead through another set piece. Another outswinging corner by Carl Baker was met by Andy Webster, who looped the ball towards the goal and over Paul Jones, with Franck Moussa guiding the ball home on the line.

But Crawley hit straight back on 83 minutes when substitute Proctor headed into the far corner, giving Joe Murphy no chance and setting up a grandstand finish.

It proved to be just that, and five minutes from time Crawley equalized. A corner was half cleared, before Sergio Torres showed good footwork to get to the byline and cross back in towards Proctor, who wriggled free and fired in his and Crawley's second.

Four minutes were added on for injury time but the Sky Blues held on to secure a point.

Attendance: 2,128 (192 away)

Teams

Coventry City: Murphy, Adams (Haynes 86), Christie, Webster, Willis, Baker (c), Daniels (Slager 72), Fleck, Thomas, J Clarke, Moussa (Barton 86)
Subs: Burge (GK), Phillips, Garner, Maund

Crawley Town: P Jones, Connolly, Sadler, McFadzean, Alexander (Proctor 79), Drury, Simpson (Torres 79), Walsh, Adams, Tubbs, M Jones
Subs: Maddison (GK), Hurst, Essam, Sinclair, Smith

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