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Heracles 1-1 Coventry City

20 July 2013

Sky Blues cap off pre-season tour of Holland with stalemate against Dutch top flight side Heracles Almelo

Coventry City capped off their pre-season tour of Holland with a 1-1 draw against Dutch top flight side Heracles Almelo.

Carl Baker gave the Sky Blues an early lead but Jaroslav Navratil levelled for the Dutch outfit before half time.

Baker gave the Sky Blues the perfect start after three minutes when a foul on Franck Moussa presented him with a set piece opportunity and he duly obliged by smashing a finish around the wall and into the bottom corner.

Baker went close again two minutes later when Moussa, with his back to goal, turned his man brilliantly and played in the skipper who tried to plant a finish into the top corner but lifted the ball a fraction over the bar.

The Sky Blues were enjoying plenty of good play down the right flank early on with Baker linking up right back Aaron Phillips.

One such link-up after eight minutes presented the 19-year-old full-back with an opportunity when Baker turned his man in midfield and set Phillips free down the flank with a through ball, Phillips cutting inside and running at two defenders before curling his shot just wide of the foot of the far post.

Heracles fashioned their first opportunity of the afternoon after ten minutes when Dario Vujicevic picked up a loose ball in midfield and fired from the edge of the area although Joe Murphy was equal to the effort with a solid low save to his right.

Baker went close again for City on 19 minutes after more slick passing which saw Moussa drop into midfield and battle for a ball before poking it to Leon Clarke who, in turn played through Baker who again lifted his finish just over the bar.

Heracles were level three minutes after the half hour though with an equaliser out of the blue when Dutch Under-23 international Lerin Duarte fired from just inside the City area, his shot smashing against the far post but bouncing into the path of Navratil who was left with the easiest of finishes.

Clarke then almost reinstated City's lead two minutes before the break when he got on the end of a cross from Baker and forced a good save out of Heracles 'keeper Dennis Telgenkamp. 

Pressley made four changes at half time, replacing Jordan Clarke, Moussa, the Spanish trialist and Baker for Louis Garner, Ryan Haynes, Leon Lobjoit and the club's French trialist and although the opening 15 minutes of the half saw Heracles enjoy the lion's share opf the opportunities, City settled down and again began to contain the opposition.

Navratil came close to a second two minutes after the restart, his shot being tipped over the bar by Murphy.

Murphy was then required twice in two minutes to make great saves to deny Thomas Bruns, both times Bruns dispossessing Barton in the final third and driving at goal, Murphy's first save coming from point blank range and his second a save with his legs when he was one-on-one with Bruns.

Muprhy's last action of the game was then to frustrate Heracles substitute Aleksei Kangaskolkka who latched onto a through ball with only the City 'keeper to beat, Murphy again coming out on top.

The hour mark signalled four more changes for City as John Fleck, Conor Thomas, Callum Wilson and Lee Burge were brought on at the expense of Murphy, Leon Clarke, Barton and Billy Daniels.

The four substitutes were still settling into the game when Heracles had three chances in eight minutes, the first four minutes after the hour Duarte dispossessed Thomas and flashed a shot just wide of the far post.

Kangaskolkka then burst through three minutes later but Burge got enough on the ball to slow the striker's progress, allowing Blair Adams to get back and scoop a clearance off the line.

Heracles' last chance of note then came on the 68th minute when Bryan Linssen whipped a cross across the face of goal only for nobody to get the definitive final touch.

That was Heracles' last flurry of note though as the younger Sky Blues second half setup saw out the remaining 20 minutes of the game with little worry and threatened at the opposite end with the pace of Callum Wilson.

There was no winner to be had though as both sides saw out the game with a fair 1-1 stalemate.

Teams

Coventry City: Murphy (Burge 60), Willis, Phillips, J Clarke (Haynes 45), Adams, Baker (c) (Lobjoit 45), Barton (Fleck 60), Daniels (Thomas 60), Trialist (Garner 45), L Clarke (Wilson 60), Moussa (Trialist 45)

Heracles Almelo: Telgenkamp, Koenders, Schenkelveld, Dorda (Paljic 68), Vujicevic (Quansah 45), Duarte (Belterman 68), Bruns, Linssen, Rienstra (Schamp 60), Navratil (ter Wierik 60), Tannane (Kangaskolkka 45)
Subs: Veldmate, Pasveer, Davidson, van Dijk

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