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Match Reports

Match Report : 01/01/2014

1 January 2014

Coventry City produced a remarkable second half turnaround at New York Stadium to kick off 2014 with a win away at ten-man Rotherham United

Joe Skarz put the home side ahead after 34 minutes with a deflected effort after City 'keeper Joe Murphy pulled out a string of superb saves to deny the Millers up to that point.

City boss Steven Pressley had to watch the second half from the stands though after he was sent from the touchline by referee Graham Sutton after Rotherhams' opener.

The Sky Blues turned it around after the break though when Carl Baker slotted a penalty after Millers skipper Craig Morgan was shown a straight red card for a foul on Callum Wilson, Franck Moussa then glanced a header towards goal to put City infront and then Baker nabbed a third deep into stoppage time with a finish from the halfway line.

Pressley rang three changes to his starting line up from the one that drew 1-1 with Oldham Athletic just before the New Year, bringing in Franck Moussa, Billy Daniels and Jordan Willis for Chris Dagnall, the injured John Fleck and the suspended Dan Seaborne.

Injuries and unavailability seemed to do little to dampen City's spirits though and they were only denied an early opener by the woodwork of Rotherham 'keeper Adam Collin's post.

Moussa played Blair Adams down the left on the overlap and the full back cut inside two players before firing just inside the area and beating Collin only to see his shot smack the full face of the far post after three minutes.

Rotherham went close themselves though three minutes later when a glanced header into the box almost found Kari Arnason six yards out only for the centre half to be denied by a last ditch poke behind from Willis.

The early efforts certainly went the Millers' way when they had three good chances which were all denied by great goalkeeping from Joe Murphy.

First Robert Milsom tried his luck from 20 yards after seven minutes but Murphy parried the effort away.

James Tavernier pulled the trigger from a similar distance on 11 minutes only for the City 'keeper to tip the ball over the bar.

Tavernier then looked certain to open the scoring on 12 minutes when he beat the offside trap to meet a deep outswinging cross and get a first time poke at goal at the backpost only to hold his head in disbelief that Murphy again got in the way, this time with his feet from just four yards.

Murphy was on hand yet again to deny the home side after 20 minutes when a left sided cross was cleared only as far as Lee Frecklington whose half-volley from 20 yards was parried away.

It took a deflected effort to beat Murphy after 34 mins though when Skarz picked up a ball on the corner of the area and fired a half volley goalwards, an effort that was helped by a deflection which steered the ball past Murphy and into the net.

The early stages of the second half did not quite live up to the latter stages of the first for chances but they did show signs of improvement for City as they won four corners within the first five minutes of the restart to help them gather some momentum.

The game was devoid of second half chances though despite the same level or intensity being apparent.

City did get managed to grab an all important equaliser with 20 minutes to go though courtesy of a spot kick from Baker.

The skipper played a through ball to Callum Wilson who was about to go one-on-one with Collins until he was brought down from behind in the area by Morgan who was then shown a straight red card.

Baker then made no mistake in dispatching the penalty which found the net with the help of the inside of the post to put City back on level terms.

The Sky Blues then really drove home their man advantage and grabbed a second with seven minutes of the game to go. Substituute Chris Dagnall, who replaced the injured Callum Wilson, did well down the left to win a corner.

Baker's inswinging delivery then picked out Franck Moussa who headed towards goal although there was a great deal of uncertainty as to whether the head of Pablo Mills infact delivered the touch that steered the ball home.

There was plenty more drama to come though, some of which was quite astonishing for both sets of fans.

A lengthy injury to Conor Thomas meant a substantial amount of time added to the game and what was fit into the game was scarcely believable.

First Rotherham were awarded a penalty for a shirt tug on Arnason. Michael O'Connor stepped up to take the spot kick only to be denied by Murphy who guessed the right way.

A resulting corner delivery then floated right over the top of the City area and found Baker and, with Collin up for the corner and out of his goal, the midfielder raced to the halfway line and fired a finish from just inside his own area which rolled over the line to seal a win for 2014.

Attendance: 9,154 (1,198 Sky Blue Army)


Coventry City: Murphy, Christie, Adams, Webster, Willis, Moussa (Phillips 88), Baker (c), Thomas (Barton 90), Daniels, L Clarke, Wilson (Dagnall 77)
Subs: Burge (GK), Haynes, Urquhart, Garner

Rotherham Utd: Collin, Bradley, Arnason, Morgan (c), Skarz, Agard, Frecklington, Milsom (O'Connor 62), Tavernier, Revell, Vuckic (Mills 71)
Subs: Shearer (GK), Brindley, Worrall, Tubbs, Tidser

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