City were victors over non-league neighbours Rugby Town last night, with the Sky Blues youngsters producing impressive performances...
First-half goals from the lively Kyle Spence and George Thomas reversed the deficit at Butlin Road as the Sky Blues came from behind to win 2-1 against Rugby Town.
First-team coach Jamie Clapham took charge of the Sky Blues squad and elected to field a young side, with Academy products Kyle Spence and Ben Stevenson both producing eye-catching performances. The Sky Blues lined up in a 3-4-3 formation, having trialed the use of wing-backs in the previous two pre-season friendly fixtures. Experienced striker Marcus Tudgay led the line for City and was key in linking the midfield with Thomas and Spence in the attacking third.
Despite a dominant overall performance, the Sky Blues were forced to concede an early goal when David Kolodynski pounced on a miscommunication between Reice Charles-Cook and Cian Harries. Rugby Town’s all-time leading goalscorer nipped in to the steal the ball off Harries and put the home side 1-0 within the opening minute.
It was Kyle Spence who was occupying the space on the left side of City’s forward three that drew his side level in the 20th minute, having played a delightful one/two with Jordan Shipley. He side-stepped a Town defender and tucked his shot neatly in the bottom left corner of the net.
After a spell of City pressure, in which Thomas had the chance to put City ahead on various occasions, the 19-year old Welshman was finally able to convert a perfectly weighted through ball from Spence and bypass the onrushing Town keeper to slot home. The Sky Blues went in to the interval 2-1 up after creating a host of chances in the latter stages of the first 45-minutes, with Tudgay at the heart of most of the action.
The second-half was peppered with changes, as Clapham looked to give all the travelling City squad some playing minutes. Corey Addai replaced Charles-Cook in goal, Vladimir Gadzhev came on for Stevenson, before Jordon Thompson, Jak Hickman Bilal Sayoud and Ruben Lameiras all entered the field.
Ryan Haynes, Devon Kelly-Evans and Tom Bayliss were also introduced late on, with Haynes in particular making an immediate impact. He picked the ball up around the half-way line on several occasions and drove towards the Town goal, providing chances for Bayliss and Sayoud.
City travel to Welsh outfit Newport County this Saturday, before a tough fixture against Championship side Norwich City the following Tuesday. You can follow live coverage of both games via the club's official Twitter account!
Coventry City XI: Charles-Cook (GK) (Addai 45’), Di. Kelly-Evans, Harries (Thompson 56’), Leahy, Whitmore (Sayoud 62’), Shipley (Hickman 62’), Stevenson (Gadzhev 45’), Maycock (Haynes 72’), G. Thomas (Bayliss 73’), Spence (Lameiras 62’), Tudgay (C) (Dev. Kelly-Evans 56’).
Rugby Town: Connor (GK), Print, Fox, Lavery, Appleton, Lee, Wint, Gooding, Kolodynski, Thorpe (C), Parsons.
Subs: Green, Belcher, Jepson, Westcarr, Ryan, Yusef.