Poor City Draw With Oxford In Final Pre-Season Game

OXFORD UNITED 0-0 COVENTRY CITY

City: Burge, Willis (Dion Kelly-Evans 83_ Ricketts, Johnson, Stokes (Haynes 52), Vincelot (Phillips 77), Fleck (Finch 81), Swanson (Devon Kelly-Evans 42), Maddison (Lawton 82), Lameiras (Tudgay 64), Armstrong (Stevenson 81).Subs: Martin, Charles-Cook. 

Oxford: Slocombe, Baldock (Long 80) Mullins, Wright, Skarz, Roofe (Ashby 80), Sercombe (Ruffels 51), Rose (Roberts 80), McDonald, Hylton (O'Dowda 64), Taylor (Hoban 18) Subs: Collins, Duckley, Long, Ashby, Roberts. Crocombe.  

HT OUFC 0-0 CCFC    FT OUFC 0-0 CCFC  ATT 878  

Goals None 

Admission £10 adults. 

Programme - Nothing was printed 

Weather - Cloudy thankfully it stayed dry . 

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A number of Coventry City supporters who watched the draw at Nuneaton Town said they were not coming back a second time for a game at Nuneaton and the 878 who were there to see City draw 0-0 with Oxford United in their last pre-season game, left feeling that they would have been better spending their afternoon doing something else. 

The final pre-season game which means that the new Football League season is only a week away and the Sky Blues faced Oxford United for their final game. 

With Oxford's pitch at the Kassam Stadium not being ready, something they should have thought about before agreeing it with the opposition and saving the efforts of those who had booked train trips from either Coventry or London, this fixture was switched to Nuneaton Town. 

The Sky Blues went into this game with a wall of silence over the departure of assistant manager Neil MacFarlane, no Pete Tierney putting out cones, and new loanee Adam Armstrong starting up front for a team which will not be far off the one that starts against Wigan on August 8th. 

Armstrong looked lively in the opening exchanges with a couple of good runs and played in a good ball which was cleared away. 

Oxford in their new red and black away kit, also had an early shot which Burge saved with ease against a City side which had some good shape but did struggled to find the right player with some of its passing, 

The quality in this game was summed up in the 23rd minute, Oxford had a shot which was so wide, it earned City a throw in. 

Seven minutes later and Oxford had the ball in the net when a Danny Rose shot which hit the bar and fell for Hylton to head in. The flag from the assistant on the main stand side was up and City went up the other end and won a corner thanks to a Baldock tackle. A Maddison flag kick came to nothing, in a game played at a slow pace with periods of not a lot happening. 

Three minutes before the break, Danny Swanson went off, feeling his groin and was replaced for a Coventry side that lacked any penetration and probably would have been better playing Reda Johnson up front as they lacked any height. 

There were no changes at the break for a City side that were close to being a goal down a minute after the restart when Patrick Hoban struck the post with a right footed shot from outside the area which Lee Burge got nowhere near. 

A clash saw Chris Stokes, who had put in some good tackles, limp off and Ryan Haynes come on in the 51st minute and Sercombe who was also involved, limped off to be replaced by former City youngster Josh Ruffels. 

In his first tackle, just over a minute after coming on, Haynes gave away a penalty. Up stepped Danny Hylton in front of the City fans and he blasted the kick high into the stand before the City support taunted him with chants that he was useless.  

Hylton tried to gain another penalty with a blatant dive but the referee simply waved play on and the City support had another excuse to dish out some more abuse. 

To hoots of derision from some of the City support behind the goal, Maddison fired at the Oxford keeper following a cross from Devon Kelly-Evans on the hour mark, which was City’s first real shot on goal in the opening hour of play.  

The Sky Blues won a 61st minute corner when an Armstrong shot from a Vincelot through ball was pushed round by Slocombe. 

City brought on Marcus Tudgay but it was Oxford who were going close when Burge parried a shot away and then watched as Ruffels struck the post in the 66th minute. 

Hoban fired wide and Tudgay, who held the ball well, fired a deflected shot in the 70th minute which Slocombe got down to.

Burge saved with his feet from Roofe, before both sides rang the changes with Armstrong who had little to no service amongst those who were substituted. 

There was ten minutes left when the gates opened and many City supporters took that as their cue to leave, clearly disgruntled at another poor performance and concerns about how the Sky Blues will fare unless Tony Mowbray gets some money to bring in some quality players which the club clearly lacks.