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MATCH REPORT: Bristol Rovers 1-2 Coventry City

1 August 2014

Young Sky Blues side put in an impressive performance to overturn Rovers first half lead with goals from Swanson and Phillips

A young Coventry City side picked up a win in their penultimate friendly of pre-season with a 2-1 come-from-behind win against Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium.

Andy Monkhouse gave the home side the lead four minutes before half time but a superb equaliser from Danny Swanson and a powerful header from Aaron Phillips in three second half minutes were enough to turn the game on its head.

Sky Blues boss Steven Pressley's took a relatively young side to Bristol but what his starting line-up lacked in age they made up for in endeavour as they matched the Gas and created more of the chances in the first half.

The tie started in calm fashion and it was not until the 18th minute that a shot was registered on target when Adam Barton's free kick effort from 25 yards went straight into the hands of Steve Mildenhall.

The Rovers 'keeper was required again two minutes later when George Thomas intercepted a pass deep in the opposition half although his tame shot from the edge of the area went straight to the 'keeper.

City had a scare on 24 minutes though when a lofted cross from Ollie Clarke picked out Stuart Sinclair who generated some power with his head and fiorced Ryan Allsop to palm the ball onto his post.

It was the Sky Blues though who were enjoying the majority of the creative play, highlighted when a great piece of interplay between Danny Swanson and James Maddison allowed the former to fire just wide.

Billy Daniels went close after 30 minutes though when he bombed down the right to receive a ball on the overlap from Swanson, his shot saved by Mildenhall which nearly looped into the net only to be headed off the line by Mark McChrystal.

Rovers' Matt Taylor did look disappointed with himself three minutes after the half hour when he got down the left and drew Allsop off his line but could not steer home from a tight angle.

James Maddison responded at the the other end with an effort from the edge of the area which skimmed the foot of the post but it was Daniels again who went inches away from an opener when he burst through the midfield and fired from 20 yards, his effort rattling the crossbar.

It was the hosts that broke the deadlock though after 41 minutes through Monkhouse whose shot was parried by Allsop only for him to be quick on the follow up to stab home.

The second half began much in the same manner as the first as both sides restarted at a calm pace but Rovers nearly grabbed a second a minute before the hour when substitute Jamie White nearly finished off a fine flowing move by smacking the inside of the near post with Allsop beaten.

Almost immediately after though the Sky Blues had a great chance to level when George Thomas found himself through on goal although the 17-year-old lifted his attempted finish over the bar.

The Sky Blues got the leveller they deserved after 65 minutes though and in superb style when Danny Swanson picked up a ball 20 yards out and curled a finish around and over Mildenhall and into the top corner.

Just three minutes later City then found themselves ahead when a pinpoint corner delivery from Ryan Haynes picked out Aaron Phillips to power a header into the other top corner and give the visitors a lead that no one could begrudge them.

Rovers kept at it though and nearly grabbed an equaliser with five minutes to go when Sinclair burst through and was only denied by a world class tackle from Jack Finch.

Attendance: 1,821 (120 Sky Blue Army)

Teams

Coventry City: Allsop, Phillips, Haynes, Trialist, Finch, Lawton, Daniels, Barton, Swanson, G Thomas, Maddison
Subs: Richards (GK), De Kelly-Evans, Stevenson, Shipley

Bristol Rovers: Mildenhall, Leadbitter, Brown, Lockyer (Mitchell 72), McChrystal (Gosling 46), Parkes, Sinclair, Clarke (Mansell 46), Brunt (Harrison 65), Taylor, Monkhouse (White 58)
Subs: Preston (GK), Mansell, Gosling

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