City End Pre-Season On A Positive Note

Last updated : 02 August 2009 By Kev Monks at the Ricoh Arena


Date 02/08/09 At The Ricoh Arena. Marcus Hall Testimonial


Westwood, Osbourne (Clarke 81), Wright, Hall (Gilbert 50), Turner, Clingan, Cain (Eastwood 68), Doyle, Gunnarsson, Best, Morrison (Jeffers 85) SNU Konstantopolous, Grandison, Walker.

Nash (Howard 46),Hibbett (Baxter 71),Barnes, Yobo, Jo (Jutkiewicz (88), Vaughan (Agard 77), Cahill (Wallace 71), Neville, Osman, Fellaini, Rodwell SNU Duffy, Forshaw

ATT 8,000ish
Referee Pete Walton
Goals Tim Cahill (15), Michael Doyle (34), Jose Baxter (84), Aron Gunnarsson (88)

Man Of The Match Keiren Westwood, Aron Gunnarsson, Ashley Cain and Stephen Wright were amongst the nominees

Coventry City ended their pre-season campaign on a positive note with a 2-2 draw against Everton in the Marcus Hall Testimonial.

Chris Coleman, who has a bid in for Bristol City winger Michael McIndoe, named trialist and ex Sheffield Wednesday defender Peter Gilbert on the bench.

Marcus Hall on his special day, in front of a Ricoh Arena crowd of around 8,000, was captain and led a Coventry side that included the one summer signing so far in Sammy Clingan.

A very strong Everton side featuring many of those who had played in the FA Cup Final against Chelsea, attacked City early on.

Keiren Westwood was forced into a great save, diving to his left, in the sixth minute to get to a Jo header and five minutes later, Westwood dived the other way to push a Jo shot out for a corner.

On a pitch that has been narrowed, Everton took the lead. Vaughan had a shot inside the area. Westwood did well to save with his feet. The ball rebounded to the edge of the area for Tim Cahill who fired home.

The former Millwall man, like the rest of his Everton team mates in their black and neon pink away kit, displayed some lovely passing and good movement in the first half and it was not hard to see why The Toffees, under David Moyes are expected to be a strong side again in the coming Premier League season.

City, who have also changed dug-outs at the Ricoh Arena, were nearly level two minutes after the goal.

Carlo Nash, he who kept us in the Championship and sent Leicester down during his final days at Stoke City, made a brave stop from a Clinton Morrison shot. The ball fell to Leon Best but Jack Rodwell was on the line to clear the danger.

The Sky Blues grew stronger as Gunnarsson and Clingan took a hold in midfield whilst right back Isaac Osbourne at the back tackled really well.

A couple of corners were won and in the 34th minute, City drew level when Michael Doyle got to the far post to finish off a cross from the right flank.

Maroune Fellaini, is my sort of player, highly talented and with his unique Afro hairstyle - easy to spot from a reporting point of view. In the 36th minute, he smacked a shot from the edge of the area. Keiren Westwood was on it and got down to his right to push it round the post for a corner.

American international Tim Howard replaced Nash at the interval on a warm lunchtime and City came out for the second half, looking positive.

Immediately, Howard came out of his goal as Best ran goalwards. Then a throw in from the Ice Man led to a corner.

Westwood got a touch to deny Jo at the other end before Marcus Hall left to a standing ovation from both sets of supporters and all the players on the pitch.

Peter Gilbert took over from Hall and did a solid job at left back. With Sammy Clingan, whipping in some good balls, City pressed forward but were caught in the 63rd minute.

Fellaini was the man for whom the ball fell some 25 yards out. He launched an exocet but Keiren Westwood dived high to his right to make a fantastic save.

The keeper, who had been watched by Everton last season, did require a bit of treatment when he went down three minutes later but there was relief all round as he got to his feet and carried on.

Freddie Eastwood was sent on for the lively Ashley Cain before Howard saved a powerfully struck Doyle volley in the 69th minute.

David Moyes shuffled his pack and with six minutes remaining, one of his substitutes Jose Baxter put the visitors back in front.

A good move had taken the ball into the penalty area and as the City defence were caught static, Jose Baxter blasted the ball high into the net.

Sean Jeffers was sent on for Clinton Morrison who worked hard and City went for broke.

Two 88th minute corners were won and seconds later, there was Aron Gunnarsson about ten yards out to get in a header. It was not a very forceful header but with Howard flat-footed, the pace on the ball was enough to see it trickle over the line and give Coventry City a share of the spoils and Cov kid Marcus Hall some reward for his ten years of service.