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REPORT: Coventry City 3-0 Brighton & Hove Albion Under-21s - The Sky Blues advance to the last eight of the Checkatrade Trophy

10 January 2017

Ruben Lameiras, George Thomas and Ryan Haynes on the scoresheet as Russell Slade claims his first win...

The Sky Blues advanced to the last eight of the Checkatrade Trophy after victory against Brighton & Hove Albion Under-21s at the Ricoh.

Ruben Lameiras opened the scoring in a game the home side controlled throughout, before George Thomas added a second at the start of the second half. Ryan Haynes completed the scoring in the final minutes after a wonderful solo effort.

The Sky Blues had the first chance of the evening, courtesy of captain for the day Stuart Beavon. Gael Bigirimana found George Thomas over the top, and his cross fell to the striker, but Beavon could only fire over with a first-time effort.

Despite Brighton possession, City were creating the better of the chances. Jodi Jones took up a position from the right before cutting inside and slipping it towards Beavon, but his cross was blocked for a corner. 

From the resulting corner, Vladimir Gadzhev’s ball found its way towards Ruben Lameiras on the edge of the box. He shown wonderful technique to get over the ball and hit a volleyed effort goalwards, but Sanchez saved well.  

The City pressure was mounting as Cian Harries was denied by a wonderful one-handed save from Sanchez, as the ‘keeper got down low to his left and pushed the effort around the post.

Thomas became the latest to have an opportunity to give City the lead. Jones’ cross from the left fell to the midfielder’s feet, he turned his man well but blazed it over from six-yards.  

Sanchez in the Brighton goal was seemingly having the game of his life as he once again came to his side’s rescue. The shot stopper got down low to save Jones’ effort, before tipping a long-range Bigirimana effort acrobatically around the post.

City finally made the breakthrough in the 41st minute through Lameiras. The midfielder got in front of his man at the back post to flick the ball into the corner and past Sanchez in the Brighton goal.

The Sky Blues began the second half on the front foot once again, and deservedly doubled their advantage. Jones raced onto a wonderful Beavon flick-on, and the winger delivered for Thomas to head into the roof of the net.

Brighton nearly had a route back into the game through a mistake in the City defence. Reice Charles-Cook came outside his area but was beaten to the ball by Henrik Bjordal. The midfielder looked to have an open net, but Cian Harries denied him with a good block.

The away side began to grow into the contest a little and had another chance to reduce the deficit. An inswining corner look to have found an unmarked Brighton body, but Dion Kelly-Evans did superbly to make the interception.

City wrapped up the game in the final moments as Haynes got on the score sheet. The defender cut onto his right foot and bent an effort past Sanchez and in off the post to secure the win.

Attendance: 2,085 (60)

Teams:

Coventry City: Charles-Cook (GK), Di. Kelly-Evans, Stokes (Finch 45'), Harries, Haynes, Thomas, Gadzhev (Stevenson 76'), Bigirimana, Lameiras, Jones, Beavon (C) (Tudgay 58'). 

Subs: Burge (GK), Maycock, Rose, Reilly. 

Brighton U21: Sanchez (GK), Rosenior (White 45'), Ince, Molumby, Hutchinson (C) (Ward 58'), Barclay, Cox, Tighe (Mandroiu 67'), Tilley, Hall, Bjordal.

Subs: McGill (GK), Cadman, Barnett, Davies. 

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