Match Report

 

Posted By  Tom Bloomfield ,  Fri 20 Jun 14

Coventry City let a two goal lead slip as they drew 2-2 with Crawley Town at the Ricoh Arena to end a previous run of three successive defeats in League One.

Manager Steven Pressley made four changes to the team that lost to Preston North End last weekend. Josh McQuoid, Aaron Philips, Danny Pugh and Conor Thomas came into the side to replace Ryan Haynes, Jordan Clarke, Marcus Tudgay and Danny Swanson respectively. 

City nearly made the breakthrough after just a minute. John Fleck received the ball 40 yards from goal, and went on a mazy run through the heart of the Crawley defence. He struck a shot from the edge of the area that crashed against Jamie Ashdown's right hand post. 

The Sky Blues continued their excellent start and went close again a minute later. A fantastic header from Aaron Phillips found its way to McQuoid. He twisted and turned before firing just over. 

The game started to settle down after that, with City maintaining large amounts of possession, in an attempt to break through the Red Devils' defence. 

The deadlock was finally broken by City on 15 minutes. A free kick by Jim O'Brien was spilled by Ashdown, and McQuoid was on hand to tuck home the loose ball from a couple of yards out for his fourth goal of the season. 

The goal lifted the Sky Blue Army, and their lead was nearly doubled in the 20th minute in bizarre fashion. Ashdown delayed his clearance for too long, and Simeon Jackson closed down his kick, the ball ricocheting wide of the goal. 

City were well on top now, and midway through the first half McQuoid had another effort that curled past the post. 

The chances kept coming, and McQuoid had his second attempt at goal in as many minutes when his header from an O'Brien cross looped over the bar. 

The Sky Blues' lead was eventually doubled on 27 minutes. A beautifully disguised reverse by McQuoid gave Jackson acres of space in the box. He still had a lot to do, but his first time shot found the far corner, giving Ashdown no chance. 

City looked to be in total control, however the Red Devils gave themselves a lifeline just after half an hour. Gwion Edwards cut inside from the left wing and curled a superb shot from 25 yards past Allsop and into the top corner. 

All of a sudden it was the visitors who were doing all of the attacking, and seven minutes before the break they found an equaliser. A mix up in the City defence allowed Izale McLeod to nip in, and he poked the ball past Allsop to level the scores. 

The goal stunned the Ricoh Arena, however City looked to regain the lead almost immediately. Another O'Brien cross and a slip from the defender gave Jackson another opportunity, but his scuffed effort deflected agonisingly wide. 

Nobody could capitalise on the four minutes of additional time and the teams went into the break level, in a half that the Sky Blues dominated. 

The second half started in a calmer fashion compared to the frantic first 45. Substitute Jordan Clarke had the first chance but he skied his shot over the top. 

Both sides were taking fewer risks than before, mindful that the next goal would be crucial. On 55 minutes McQuoid made himself some space on the edge of the box, but pushed his effort frustratingly wide. 

Crawley made their first change on the hour when Lewis Young replaced Bobson Bawling, and it was his loose pass that gave City their next chance, Jackson intercepting the ball and flashing the shot past the post. 

Chances were suddenly at a premium, as the tempo of the game dropped significantly. Thomas received the first booking of the match on 69 minutes, as he brought down Jimmy Smith to stop a Red Devils breakaway. 

As the minutes ticked by both teams remained cagey. Mohamed Coulibaly replaced Thomas for City in a move that looked to freshen up the midfield. 

Coulibaly made an instant impact, his skills taking him past two Crawley players before squaring to McQuoid. His cross-cum-shot was almost met by the lunging Danny Pugh, but he failed to make a telling connection. 

With five minutes to go City made their final change, Shaun Miller replacing McQuoid as the Sky Blues looked for the winner. 

Three minutes of additional time was signalled by the fourth official, and City continued to press for a last gasp winner. Miller nearly created an effort, but he could not bring down the ball after a cross field pass from O'Brien. 

There was one last corner for the Sky Blues, but it was not to be, and the referee blew full time on what was a frustrating day at the office for City. 

Attendance: 7708 (240 Away) 

Coventry City: Allsop, Willis, Pugh, Webster ©, Thomas (Coulibaly 76'), Fleck, McQuoid (Miller 85'), O'Brien, Jackson, Philips (Clarke 37'), Hines 
Subs: Burge (GK), Barton, Tudgay, Finch 

Crawley Town: Ashdown, Oyebanjo, Leacock, Edwards, Smith, McLeod (Harrold 85'), Walsh, Keane, Bawling (Young 60'), Sadler, Elliott 
Subs: Jensen (GK), Bradley, Wright, Banya, Tomlin 

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