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Report: Oxford Utd 1-0 Coventry City

27 July 2013

Sky Blues cap off pre-season friendly schedule with narrow defeat at the Kassam Stadium

Coventry City rounded off a busy pre-season friendly schedule with a 1-0 defeat to Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.

The Sky Blues dominated large parts of the tie but it was a strike from second half substitute James Constable that seperated the two sides a minute after the interval.

It was the end to a busy week for Steven Pressley's who had squeezed four friendlies into five days ahead of the start of the League One season on August 3rd but City were out of the blocks quickly when after just two minutes Aron Phillips and Leon Lobjoit linked up down the right.

Lobjoit switched the play to trialist Zavon Hines on the left, the trialist cutting inside and pulling a ball back from the byline aimed for Leon Clarke who just missed a connection which would have steered the ball into the back of the net.

Oxford did produce an opportunity against the run of play after 15 minutes though when a swung in cross found the head of Deane Smalley whose looped header had to be tipped over the bar by Joe Murphy.

The Sky Blues took control of the game though as the first half progressed and stretched the hosts with some neat passages of play through the midfield.

It was Oxford who drew the next stonewall opportunity though eight minutes before the break when a cross from the right picked out Callum O'Dowda whose touch brought the ball down into the path of Smalley whose shot was superbly tipped over the bar again by Murphy.

Oxford United 'keeper Ryan Clarke was required at the other end on 42 minutes though after Franck Moussa, driving towards the area was cynically obstructed by United skipper Jake Wright.

Leon Clarke then stepped up to take the set piece and bent an effort round the wall that was destined for the top corner only for the Oxford shotstopper to be equal to it with a great save.

City went close again two minutes later when Oxford failed to deal with a lofted ball into the area which Leon Clarke headed back across the box for Moussa who pulled a volley just wide from 15 yards.

Despite City's first half dominance though it was Oxford who took the lead with the second half a minute old.

Half time substitute James Constable battled Conor Thomas for the ball in the air and came down with it before firing low past Murphy from 18 yards.

Murphy was then required to make a great reaction stop on 50 minutes when O'Dowda was played through and tried to tap a finish home only for Murphy to get down low and palm the ball away.

City responded at the other end two minutes later when Moussa tried his luck from the edge of the area, Ryan Clarke getting down low to make the save.

The Sky Blues gradually got a grip on the second half and continued to dominate proceedings and nearly found an equaliser after 65 minutes when Blair Adams ventured high up the pitch and received the ball to cut inside the Oxford area, firing from an acute angle with Clarke tipping the ball over the bar.

They went close again from the resulting corner as Fleck's floated in delivery found Jordan Clarke whose downward header was cleared off the line.

City's best chance to level though came seven minutes from time when Hines did well to get in behind the Oxford back line, draw the 'keeper off his line and cut back for Moussa whose first-time effort rose over the bar from 12 yards.

Attendance: 1,557 (301 Sky Blue Army)




Teams

Coventry City: Murphy, J Clarke, Willis, Adams, Phillips, Thomas, Fleck, Hines, Lobjoit, L Clarke, Moussa
Subs: Burge (GK), Maund, Garner, Azille-Moore

Oxford United: Clarke, Meades (Newey 73), Wright (Raynes 45), Smalley (Constable 45), Hunt, Hall, Williams (Bevans 67), Whing (Ruffels 63), Davies (Marsh 45), Mullins, O'Dowda
Subs: Crocombe (GK), Potter, Rose

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