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MATCH REPORT: Newport Co 1-0 Coventry City

29 July 2014

Sky Blues suffer narrow defeat to the Exiles in the first of four pre-season friendlies this week ahead of the start of the 2014/15 campaign

Coventry City suffered the first defeat of their domestic pre-season campaign after going down 1-0 to Newport County at Spyttle Park.

An Ismael Yakubu header after 19 minutes proved the difference between the two sides as Steven played two distinctly different sides in both halves which saw Marcus Tudgay make his debut on UK soil as City's new signing.

The Sky Blues started well and very nearly took the lead in the first minute when Jordan Willis, down the right, chopped inside his man and laid a ball into the path of Shaun Miller who snapped a shot just over the bar from the edge of the area.

The majority of the creative flair was coming from visitors although they were looking for a final ball that put them through on goal.

City very nearly got what would have been a deserved opener after 16 minutes when Danny Pugh flashed a corner delivery into the box, Reda Johnson inches away from making a connection with his head which would have hit the back of the net.

It was Newport who broke the deadlock though after 19 minutes when the Sky Blues failed to clear an effort from former player Shaun Jeffers and allowed the hosts to put the ball back in the box where Yakubu delicately nodded a header inside the far post from close range.

Yakubu very nearly added a second three minutes from the break when a corner delivery fell to the defender who fired a half-volley aiming for the top corner, only to be denied by a fingertip save from Allsop.

The Sky Blues then went a whisker away from a leveller two minutes later when Shaun Miller broke away and tapped the ball around County 'keeper Lenny Pidgeley but could not find a finish from a tight angle as the recovering Kevin Feely stuck out a boot to block at the near post.

Pressley's side maintained the momentum after the restart and despite making wholesale changes that saw eight first half players make way.

Substitute Ivor Lawton went close on 52 minutes with a low drive from 20 yards which went just wide.

Fellow sub George Thomas then went agonisingly close despite being forced out wide, slipping a finish past Pidgeley but watch as it rolled just outside the foot of the far post.

Swanson did the same just before the hour as the Sky Blues peppered the Newport goal with efforts in quick succession, the midfielder's effort going the same way as his team mates though after being set up by Billy Daniels.

The Newport 'keeper was required to keep out City's next effort though after 76 minutes when sub Adam Barton tried to curl an effort inside the far post from the edge of the area only for Pidgeley to tip the effort around the woodwork.

It was the woodwork that saved the Sky Blues with three minutes to go when Newport substitute Robbie Willmott drove an effort from 25 yards which took a deflection which beat Lee Burge but not the post in what was the last notable event of the tie.

Attendance: 828


Coventry City: Allsop (Burge 60), Willis (Phillips 46), Pugh (Haynes 46), Webster (Seaborne 46), Johnson (c) (Finch 46), C Thomas (Lawton 46), Clarke (Fleck 46), Daniels (Barton 60), Swanson (O'Brien 60), Tudgay (Maddison 46), Miller (G Thomas 46)

Newport Co: Pidgeley, Jackson (Willmott 66), Feely, Yakubu, Minshull, Zebroski (Parker 85), Sandell (c), Jeffers (O'Connor 70), Klukowski (Chapman 46), Jolley (Howe 46), Byrne
Subs: Thomas (GK), Hughes, Flynn, Patten, Anthony

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