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Match Reports

Coventry v Scunthorpe

10 November 2012

Coventry City's recent winning form was brought to an unfortunate end by Scunthorpe United as Leon Clarke's double for the Iron overturned City's opener courtesy of Carl Baker.

Baker smashed City in front with a free kick after 15 minutes but Clarke levelled with a much-debated spot kick before grabbing a well-taken winner on 75 minutes in a game where the Sky Blues were aggrieved to have appeals for a penalty of their own turned down by referee Jeremy Simpson as well as watch Iron 'keeper Steve Mildenhall protect the visitor's lead with a some superb late saves.

City boss Mark Robins kept his faith in the starting line-up that beat Crawley Town 3-1 at home in midweek, opting for an unchaged team for the clash with the Iron.

A minute's silence was immpeccably observed prior to kick off to mark the approaching Remembrance Sunday but it was the visitors who almost had something to shout about after kick off when after three minutes Karl Hawley snapped a shot from the edge of the area which Joe Murphy got down to save comfortably.

Murphy had to be on his toes again after seven minutes when a speculative half volley from a similar spot from Leon Clarke threatened to dip under the bar, the City 'keeper backpedalling to pick the ball out of the air.

City came to life in the 15th minute though when a floated cross from Carl Baker narrowly avoided the head of Cody McDonald in the box, James Bailey blasted the rebound goalwards only for the ball to deflect into the path of Baker whose half volley struck the foot of the near post.

Hawley forced a great save out of Murphy two minutes later, the strike running at William Edjenguele before turning inside the defender and trying to curl a low shot into the bottom corner only for the City shotstopper to get his fingertips to the ball to steer it from danger.

The fast-paced opening stages made way for a scrappier affair over the next 15 minutes as both sides worked the flanks and tried to pump the ball into the box, an approach the Sky Blues had more success with as Baker and Cyrsu Christie continued their battle down the right with Tom Newey and Andy Barcham.

It was City who registered the next effort on target on the half hour though when in-form striker David McGoldrick tried his luck from 20 yards with a dipping shot that Iron 'keeper Steve Mildenhall collected without any real drama.

He could do nothing about City's next effort though on 35 minutes when Baker smashed a set piece into the net.

McGoldrick and McDonald did well to try and keep the ball on the edge of the area before both being bundled over to win a freekick.

Baker then stepped up and fired low through the wall and into the bottom, beyond Mildenhall's reach.

The lead lasted just six minutes though and City could count themselves unfortunate as referee Jeremy Simpson pointed to the spot for Scunthorpe after a tussle between Richard Wood and Leon Clarke.

Wood got infront of Clarke as they both chased a ball down the left channel and lost his balance under contact from the striker. Clarke then got infront and was felled by contact from Wood which led to the official to point to the spot with Clarke duly converting.

City then nearly got back infront just two minutes later after another stinging dead ball strike from Baker, Mildenhall this time getting behind the ball to palm it away.

Scunthorpe started the stronger of the two sides after the break though and had two good opportunities to get in front, firstly three minutes after the restart when Jimmy Ryan dragged a half volley wide from 12 yards out and then when Clarke was unmarked in the box but directed a header straight at Murphy.

McGoldrick nearly restored City's lead on the hour when Baker intercepted a pass in midfield before playing him through, his shot from an acute angle not quite good enough to beat Midlenhall at his near post.

It was the visitors who netted next though, again through Clarke, with 15 minutes to go when he chased down a through ball from Josh Walker which split the back line and slotted neatly past Murphy just inside his near post.

The Sky Blues thought they had a clear shout for a penalty just three minutes later when Christie burst down the right wing and appeared to be brought down by Tom Newey just inside the area only for the referee and assistant to wave away his appeals with Christie earning a yellow card voicing his frustration.

City threw bodies up front in the closing stages and switched to three up front with the introduction of Roy O'Donovan in the search for an equaliser and they very nearly got it with five minutes to go when Murphy pumped a long delivery into the box, the loose ball falling at the feet of sub Callum Ball whose effort was saved by Mildenhall.

The Iron 'keeper had to be at his best in the second of six minutes added time though when Baker's low half volley was heading for the near bottom corner, Mildenhall producing a smart one-handed save low to his left to keep the shot out.

He did the same again as he became Scunthorpe's late savior, this time keeping out a O'Donovan's effort from just inside the area before collecting the loose ball with McGoldrick and Ball ready to pounce.

It was the last effort of the game though for a City side that could be classed as unfortunate to not leave the game with at least a point.

Attendance: 9,892 (381 away)


CoventryCity: Murphy, Clarke, Wood, Edjenguele, Christie, Baker (c), Jennings, Fleck (Moussa 58), Bailey (O'Donovan 85), McDonald (Ball 55), McGoldrick
Subs: Dunn (GK), Cameron, Barton, Reckord

ScunthorpeUtd: Mildenhall, Ribeiro (Kennedy 45), Walker (Mozika 90), Reid (c), Ryan, Clarke, Barcham, Canavan, Duffy, Newey, Hawley
Subs: Slocombe (GK), Grella, Jennings, Gibbons, Howe

Bookings: Wood (COV), Christie (COV) Walker (SCU), Duffy (SCU)

Referee: J Simpson
AssistantReferees: A Hendley, G Taylor
FourthOfficial: D Plowright

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