Erhun Oztumer cancels out an Andy Rose opener in the Midlands derby against Walsall...
Andy Rose scored on his first start since August as the Sky Blues were forced to share the spoils against Walsall at the Banks’s Stadium.
The midfielder injured his knee during the Sky Blues’ League One game against Bury and got on the end of a Marvin Sordell cross to put City ahead, before Oztumer equalised in the second half with his eighth goal of the season.
In a feisty opening to the game, Joe Edwards set the tone as the defender received the first caution of the game after a wild challenge on Jamie Sterry.
In a game of few chances early on, the home side were the first to test the opposition ‘keeper. Kieron Morris’ wonderful first touch allowed him to drive at the City defence, but his shot was well held by Lee Burge.
City went close to opening the scoring shortly after through Ruben Lameiras. Daniel Agyei burst through the Walsall defence, committing two men before laying it back to the forward, but his curling effort went inches past the far post.
Despite the Sky Blues seemingly in control and having the better of the first-half, Walsall went close in the 25th minute. Jason McCarthy surged forward, beating his man before pulling it back towards Andreas Makris, but the striker fired it wide.
The visitors continued to come forward, this time through Lewis Page. The fullback carried the ball up the field and found Agyei, and the on-loan Burnley man held up the ball before laying it back to Page, but he was unable to make clean contact as Etheridge in the Walsall goal saved comfortably.
City would not have to wait long as they broke the deadlock ten minutes before the interval. Sordell picked up the ball on the right-hand side and dinked a cross into the middle, where Rose was on hand to slot past Etheridge - the midfielder's second of the season.
The Sky Blues began the second-half well on top, and a spell of sustained pressure very nearly reaped its rewards just before the hour mark.
Bigirimana regained possession just outside the Walsall box and gave it to Lameiras, the attacker drove at the defence before laying it off to Agyei, but his effort down low was saved excellently by Etheridge to deny the visitors a second.
As the City pressure began to increase, it was Walsall who nearly grabbed an equaliser against the run of play. Lee Burge saved fantastically down low to deny Morris, before an effort on the rebound was dragged wide of the City goal.
Oztumer seemed to be the main attacking threat for Walsall, and the tricky no.10 had a good chance to level the game, but Burge saved his free kick from 25-yards comfortably.
However, Oztumer was on the scoresheet shortly after. A lovely bit of build up play between Morris and ex-Sky Blue Simeon Jackson found the attacker, who hit a shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box to level the scores.
Both sides went close to a winner late on. Sterry drove to the byline and pulled it back towards Sordell, but the striker fired over the bar, before substitute Kinsella found space in the City box but hit it off target.
Attendance: 6,719 (1,981)
Yellow: Edwards, Oztumer, Bigirimana, Turnbull, Page.
Coventry City: Burge (GK), Sterry, Willis (C), Turnbull, Page, Rose (Jones 70'), Stevenson, Bigirimana, Lameiras (Reid 80'), Sordell, Agyei (Wright 70').
Subs: Charles-Cook (GK), Ricketts, Maycock, Tudgay.
Walsall: Etheridge (GK), Edwards, Laird, O'Connor, McCarthy, Chambers (C), Oztumer, Morris (Kinsella 88'), Toner, Makris (Jackson 62'), Moussa (Ginnelly 78').
Subs: Macgillivray (GK), Dobson, Osbourne, Preston.