City Start Pre-Season With Nuneaton Draw

Last updated : 15 July 2010 By Kev Monks at Liberty Way


Date 14/07/10 At The Triton Shower Community Arena,

Ellegaard, Keogh (Clarke 61), O'Holloran (Hussey 61), Wood (Turner 61), Grandison (Cameron 61), McIndoe (Cranie 61), Baker (Wilson 61), Doyle (Wilson 61), Clingan (Jeffers 61), Mcindoe (Gunnarsson 61), Smeekes, McSheffrey (O'Donovan 61)


Acton, Oddy, Forsdick (off 68), Walker (off 68), Dean, Pierpoint, Armson (off 68), Storer, Spencer, Berwick, Hadland. Subs Collins, Nisevic, Daniel, A.Moore, L.Moore

ATT 1,955

Referee S. Rushton

Nuneaton Town boss Kevin Wilkin was worried about how many goals a strong Coventry City side would score against his side but he need not have fretted as a powder-puff Sky Blues side failed to find the net in their first UK public pre-season match.

City, arrived back from Austria and Aidy Boothroyd, resplendent in his new club tracksuit, named a side that saw Danish trialist Kevin Ellegaard in goal, whilst Keiren Westwood watched from the dug out, and another outing for trialist Orlando Smeekes.

New boys Richard Keogh and Stephen O'Holloran got starts in the back four whilst Michael Doyle returned to midfield and Gary McSheffrey was back up front for City playing in their green/black away kit.

A bigger than expected crowd at the Triton Shower Community Arena meant that kick off was delayed and many of the City supporters, which looked around the 500-600 mark struggled to get a programme.

Those queuing outside to get were stuck in a thunder-storm that produced some lightening and had supporters and media dashing over the little cover that Nuneaton's stadium has.

The City support were in good humour early on, telling a couple of kids exactly where they could stick their vuvuzelas as they watched Orlando Smeekes, who probably City's best player on the night and certainly worthy of the trial he has at the club, fired across the goal, forcing home keeper Darren Acton into a save.

The trialist from Carl Zeiss Jena fired wide from six yards in the 13th minute and watched on as Acton spilled a cross three minutes later that McSheffrey could not follow up.

Whether it was the pouring rain or the pitch I don't know, but City's midfield struggled to find their man with some of their passing. Doyle and Clingan were guilty on numerous occasions of giving the ball away only for the defence which saw that both full backs in Keogh and O'Holleran were always looking to go forward.

Ellegaard, who was attracting the interest of some of City's female support, capably dealt with a free kick from former Sky Blue Adam Walker, who worked hard in the Conference North side's midfield.

Kevin Ellegaard

This was all the Dane had to deal with in the opening forty five minutes whilst at the other end, Smeekes forced Acton to palm down and Gary McSheffrey fired over in the 31st minute.

There were no changes at the half-time interval and the City fans indulged in some banter with Acton for wearing a pink shirt.

Attacking the end where the majority of the City fans were housed, Gary McSheffrey had a 53rd minute shot from eight yards, squirm under Acton but just miss the far post before it was cleared for a corner.

Carl Baker who looked lively despite wearing a bandage around his head had a shot inside the area blocked three minutes later for another corner which saw Smeekes, who looks to be a work the channels sort of player, rise but head across the goal.

In the 61st minute, City boss Aidy Boothroyd and his assistant Steve Harrison made nine changes. Bringing on those who will start against Hinckley on Saturday, only Smeekes and Ellegaard were left on.

A bad foul on Smeekes by Gareth Dean in the 74th minute, had the City support howling for a card to be shown but the Netherland Antillies international got up and carried on.

Many of the City support had had enough and were heading for the exits when the lively Shaun Jeffers hit an 83rd minute volley which was saved by Acton.

"We've had a shot on goal" sang some of the City support before one individual wearing a white baseball cap and boxer shorts entered the field of play and danced round the goal before giving himself up. This earned huge cheers from the City supporters, clearly frustrated at the lack of goals against a team four divisions below them.

Nathan Cameron fired over two minutes from time as the City supporters headed for home unhappy that a win was not achieved.