Report: Hartlepool 1-1 Coventry City

Sat 07 Dec 2013
Author: Nick Connoll

Sky Blues face an FA Cup second round replay after entertaining stalemate at Victoria Park

Coventry City face a home FA Cup second round replay against Hartlepool United at Sixfields following an entertaining stalemate at Victoria Park.

Carl Baker applied a spectacular finish to Franck Moussa's cross after 11 minutes to give City a deserved half time advantage but Andy Monkhouse powered home a headed equaliser 12 minutes from time to secure a replay.

City boss Steven Pressley found himself in the unusual position of having no experienced strikers at his disposal with the suspension of Callum Wilson, injured Leon Clarke and ineligible loanee Chris Dagnall.

Pressley responded to what he called a 'challenge not a crisis' by naming five across the back with Cyrus Christie and Blair Adams playing higher up the pitch at full-back and Franck Moussa further upfront to give the Sky Blues their attacking presence.

All attentions turned to the centre circle pre kick off as Victoria Park joined in one minute's applause in celebration of the life of the late Nelson Mandela.

Once the game was underway though it was the Sky Blues in control for the first five minutes as they made the most of the extra man in midfield as they kept possession with ease, culminating ina near 30-yard effort from Carl Baker which Scott Flinders had to tip over his bar.

City nearly found a way through again four minutes later when a great lofted ball from Baker picked out Billy Daniels who managed to skip around Flinders but had to drag the ball back which gave the Hartlepool back four time yo recover, meaning Daniels' attempt to squeeze a finish into the net saw him steer the ball wide.

The Sky Blues were ahead just two minutes later though and it was Baker who provided a stunning finish to give the visitors a deserved advantage.

Franck Moussa's delicate half volley delivered the ball into the box and Baker provided the finish with an almost overhead kick which gave Flinders no chance.

It was nearly two for City after 22 minutes of near dominance when Christie got down the right flank and whipped in a troublesome cross which flashed across the six-yard box and came to Blair Adams whose attempted delicate header went inches wide of the far post.

Joe Murphy was called into action at the other end just a minute later though when a whipped in corner delivery found the glancing head of James Poole which required a quick-reflex low stop from the City 'keeper to keep the Sky Blues in front.

Murphy then did exactly the same as the half drew to a close, this time denying what looked to be a certain equaliser for the home side when Christian Burgess floated forward and powered a header at goal from six yards only to  be denied by another great save by the City 'keeper to see out the half.

The home side started the second half firing on all cylinders and the Sky Blues had to weather the storm.

Sustained pressure in the opening stages after the restart saw Hartlepool eventually win a free kick on the edge of the area on 54 minutes that saw Jack Compton fire through the wall but straight at Murphy.

Compton was then on the wrong end of a physical challenge from Dan Seaborne on the right flank two minutes later and curled in a delivery that found Burgess who headed over from just eight yards.

The equaliser cam 12 minutes from time though and it came via a close range header from Andy Monkhouse.

Substitute Jonathan Franks was set free down the right to swing in a delivery for Monkhouse who was unmarked to power a header past Murphy and secure a replay trip to Sixfields


Attendance: 2,898 (541 Sky Blue Army)

Teams

Coventry City: Murphy, Christie, Adams, Webster, J Clarke, Seaborne, Baker (c), Thomas, Fleck, Daniels, Moussa (Baker-Richardson 70)
Subs: Burge (GK), Phillips, Haynes, Barton, Garner, Maund

Hartlepool Utd: Flinders, Duckworth, Baldwin, Burgess, Austin (c), Compton (Franks 62), Walton, Dolan, Monkhouse, Poole (Sweeney 45), James
Subs: Rafferty (GK), Collins, Holden, Rodney, Walker

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