The Sky Blues make it seven wins on the bounce with victory over Crystal Palace in south London...
Jason Farndon oversaw the Sky Blues’ Development side as they continued their remarkable winning run with victory against Crystal Palace.
First-half goals of the highest quality from Jack McBean and George Thomas set the visiting side on their way to victory, before a Devon Kelly-Evans strike completed the win to make it seven wins on the bounce.
City started the game brightly and went close to taking the lead in the opening minutes after a lovely passing move. Cian Harries drove a fantastic 50-yard diagonal pass into the path of George Thomas, the forward cut it back towards Jordan Shipley, who on the run hit the ball first time but could only find the outside of the post.
Palace responded well, with pressure on the Sky Blues’ backline forcing errors. Andre Coker pounced on a mistake to drive at the City defence, beating his man before dragging his shot wide of Reice Charles-Cook’s far post.
City came forward once more through Dion Kelly-Evans. The fullback knocked the ball around his man and stood up a cross for Jack McBean to attack. It seemed just out of reach of the American striker as he headed it over the bar, having been unable to make clean contact.
The Sky Blues’ main source of attacking threat seemed to come from their advancing fullbacks. This time it was Republic of Ireland international Darragh Leahy, who was picked out by a wonderful Jordan Shipley crossfield pass, that drove at the Palace backline before whipping a ball onto the head of Thomas, but the forward couldn’t divert it towards goal.
The visitors’ persistence soon paid off as McBean put City ahead. A short corner routine found its way to the striker following a lovely bit of build up play from Jodi Jones, Shipley and Leahy, and he rifled his effort into the top corner for his seventh goal of the season.
City soon doubled their advantage through via Welsh forward Thomas. Jones fired the ball into the path of the attacker, and a stunning first touch took him past his defender with ease, before he finished below Palace ‘keeper Perntreou and into the bottom corner.
A matter of minutes into the second half, City came close to adding a third. Thomas won the ball high up the pitch after poor Palace defending, but through on goal he couldn’t quite lift it over the ‘keeper to extend the lead.
The Sky Blues didn’t have to wait long to add their third, courtesy of a fantastic strike from captain Dev. Kelly-Evans. Played through by Leahy, he cut inside his man and fired the ball across the ‘keeper from a tight angle and into the top corner.
Palace gave themselves a lifeline with fifteen minutes left to play. Substitute Levi Lumeka took advantage of a stray back pass to round the City ‘keeper and eventually bundle it over the line, despite the best of efforts from Charles-Cook to claw it off the line.
Substitute Kyle Spence went close to adding a fourth late on, but a last-ditch Palace tackle denied him a shot at goal after good work from Dev. Kelly-Evans and City substitute Jordan Ponticelli in the build up.
Coventry City U23: Charles-Cook (GK), Di. Kelly-Evans, Harries, Finch, Leahy, Maycock, Shipley, G. Thomas (Spence 74'), Dev. Kelly-Evans (C), Jones (Sayoud 83'), McBean (Ponticelli 90').
Subs: Addai (GK), Whitmore.
Crystal Palace U23: Perntreou (GK), Wynter (C), Sturgess, McGregor, Woods, Akiotu, Coker (Williams 45'), Husin, Andrews, Berkeley-Agyepong (Lumeka 45'), Wan-Bissaka (Flanagan 85').
Subs: Granger (GK), King-Elliott.