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U21: Birmingham City 2-2 Coventry City

7 April 2014

Louis Garner notches a brace for the Sky Blues against Birmingham City at St Andrews

Coventry City Under-21s were left to rue missed chances after an enthralling game at St. Andrews against Birmingham City.

Demarai Gray put the home side ahead but Louis Garner's free-kick leveled the tie at the break.

The Sky Blues went ahead when Garner slotted home but the lead only lasted 10 minutes as Reece Brown equalised. 

Garner had the chance to get his hat-trick and the three points for City in the last 10 minutes, but his penalty was saved by Callum Preston.

It was the Sky Blues who could have took the lead after 15 minutes when Dylan McGeouch found Lewis Rankin on the left, turned his defender, but his close range effort was well saved.

Akwasi Asante forced a smart save out of Lee Burge in the 28th minute before Rankin put a left-sided effort wide two minutes later after he worked his way past two defenders. 

The home side went ahead in the 31st minute when Scott Allan found space on the left and crossed for the impressive Demarai Gray to slot home. 

Garner fired a fantastic volley narrowly wide from a corner in the 39th minute before he equalised for City on the stroke of half-time.

The Academy graduate found the top corner with a brilliant curling effort from 25-yards out which left Blues keeper Callum Preston with no chance in the Birmingham goal.

It was City who started the second half on the front foot and were rewarded in the 52nd minute. 

Rankin's through ball put George Thomas in behind, who turned Dominic Bernard on the edge of the area before setting up Garner to get his second of the game with an emphatic finish.

The home side equalised 10 minutes later when a right-sided free-kick was cleared to the edge of the area and Reece Brown smashed the ball past Lee Burge. 

With both sides pressing forward for the winner, it was City who should have claimed all three points in the final 10 minutes. 

McGeouch lofted ball found Garner in the area and he was brought down to give City a penalty in the 84th minute. Garner stepped up but was denied his hat-trick by the Blues keeper who saved his low right-sided effort.

City had one final chance to win the game with just three minutes remaining when McGeouch dug out a low cross from the left but Jack Finch's powerful effort hit the bar from seven yards out.

City keeper Burge had to be alert in the final minute when he tipped a Gray long-range effort around the post to ensure both sides claimed a point in an entertaining encounter. 


Teams

Coventry City U21: Burge (GK), R. Smith, Trialist, Urquhart, Haynes (C), McGeouch, Lawton, Finch, Rankin, Garner, Thomas.

Subs not used: Richards (GK), Di. Kelly-Evans, Dev. Kelly-Evans, Bromley, Forrester.

Birmingham City U21: Preston (GK), Cogley, Fry (C), Webb, Bernard, Brown, Truslove (Cooper), Arthur (Hales), Allan, Gray, Asante.

Subs not used: Trueman (GK), Sutherland, Moseley.

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