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REPORT: Gillingham 0-0 Coventry City - Neither team could make the breakthrough in a frustrating 90 at Priestfield

2 April 2016

Stalemate for the Sky Blues, as Mowbray's men are forced to settle for a point...

It was honours even at the Priestfield Stadium as City were held to a goalless draw by promotion hopefuls Gillingham.

Marcus Tudgay had the chance to give the Sky Blues all three points as the clock struck 90 minutes, but his effort was saved by the underside of the crossbar as City settle for a share of the points. 

Tony Mowbray made three changes to his starting line-up, as Marcus Tudgay was given the nod up top. Jacob Murphy and Jodi Jones took up positions in the channels and Romain Vincelot was deployed in a more advanced midfield role.

Aaron Phillips came in at fullback and Gael Bigirimana partnered John Fleck in defensive midfield. Adam Armstrong arrived back at Sky Blue camp fresh from two goals during his spell on international duty. 

The Sky Blues spent the opening ten minutes soaking up pressure, as the home side were quicker out the traps. Ryan Jackson was gaining momentum down the right flank for Gillingham, as Edinburgh’s side settled in to their favoured attacking formation. 

Only 13-minutes had passed when Gillingham were forced in to an early sub as seven-goal striker Dominic Samuel went down with an injury. Few chances to speak of as the first quarter came to a close, although signs were showing that Jodi Jones would provide threat for City down the right.

It was the 18-year old winger who carved a half-chance in the 28th minute, linking well with Aaron Phillips as their partnership continued to flourish from a good spell at under-21s level. 

Jones was causing problems for Gills left-back Brennan Dickenson at every opportunity as he exercised his pace and quick feet to advance the Sky Blues up the pitch. Jones skipped passed his man on a number of occasions, just faltering at the final ball in a bright first-half performance from the youngster. 

Gillingham were committing a lot of men forward and it nearly paid dividend when Aaron Morris connected with a low Jackson cross, only for the midfielder to blast over the bar. That was to be the final action of a fairly uneventful first-half, as it remained goalless going in to the break.

The second-half began much as the first, with both teams limiting each other to half chances on the break. City’s leading scorer Adam Armstrong was introduced in to the action on the hour mark, looking to build on his two goals for the England national side last week. 

Murphy switched to the right side in a tactical change for Mowbray’s side, to accommodate substitute Armstrong. It wasn’t long before the change was supplying City with chances as Murphy made the by-line and drove a cross toward Vincelot. The French midfielder couldn’t connect but was looking increasingly dangerous in a more attacking role. 

He was in action again two minutes later as a cute back flick laid the ball in to the path of Murphy, who had drifted inside. The winger got the ball out of his feet and let rip from 20 yards, rattling the crossbar in the process. 

Tudgay had the chance to win it at the death, as the ball fell kindly to him in the box right on the stroke of 90-minutes. The striker put his laces through the shot which connected with the inside of the crossbar and away from danger.

Both teams were forced to settle for a share of the points, as the fixture that usually provides plenty by way of goals is held to deadlock. 


Coventry City: Charles-Cook (GK), Ricketts (C), Martin, Stephens, Phillips, Bigirimana, Fleck, Vincelot, Murphy, Jones (Armstrong 60'), Tudgay. 

Subs: Addai (GK), Hunt, Lorentzson, Cole, Armstrong, Fortune.

Gillingham: Nelson (GK), Jackson (Garmston 72'), Ehmer, El-Abd, Samuel (Donnelly 13'), A. Morris (Williams 45'), Crofts, Norris, Dickenson, Wright (C), Oshilaja.

Subs: G. Morris, Hessenthaler, Egan, Garmston, McDonald.

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