WALSALL 0-2 COVENTRY CITY BY KEV MONKS
Date 24/07/10 At The Bescot Stadium
Westwood, Keogh, Hussey, McPake (Cameron 83), Turner, Clingan (C.Thomas 85), Gunnarsson, Baker (Clarke 78), McSheffrey (Jeffers 78), Eastwood (Doyle 83), O'Donovan (Cranie 65)
Bevan, Lescott (Westlake 87), Lancashire (Pattinson 84), Smith (McDonald 77), Richards (Jones 64), Byfield (Hickman 84), Deeley (Bowerman 84), Nicholls (Nicholls 64), Marshall, Taundry (Geddes 87), Stokes
HT WFC 0-0 CCFC FT WFC 0-2 CCFC ATT 1744
Goal Freddy Eastwood (60), Shaun Jeffers (93)
Coventry City are now five games without a conceding a goal after a 2-0 victory at Walsall.
Although new signing Lee Carsley got off the Harry Shaw team coach in the Black Country, he was not named in the team for the first game at Walsall since City won the Birmingham Senior Cup there in 2007.
Wearing their new home kit as the U18's had done against Walsall this morning, City, backed by a good support that again looked more than in the other three stands but was recorded as being 635, had something to cheer when Roy O'Donovan touched a third minute Eastwood cross into the net.
Assistant referee Sarah Garratt who had been attracting the interest of some of the more testosterone fuelled City supporters, had her flag up and the goal was ruled out.
Ben Turner was in fine form at the back, making a number of well timed tackles and blocks to deny Troy Deeley.
Yet again, City's problems were what to do once they had the ball over the halfway line. The midfeld with some hard work by Baker, McSheffrey, Clingan and Gunnarsson plus the over-lapping capabilities of Hussey and Keogh all gelled well but in front of goal the Sky Blues offered very little.
A 38th minute shot from Freddy Eastwood was fumbled by David Bevan in the Walsall goal and it was not until three minutes into the second half that City had another shot when Gary McSheffrey fired wide from twenty yards.
Carl Baker sent an O'Donovan cross over and a Clingan effort was deflected for a corner.
Now the Sky Blue support had been pretty noisy up to this point, enjoying some good banter with the Walsall keeper, whilst Aidy Boothroyd paced up and down his technical area and on the hour mark, they had plenty to cheer as Freddy Eastwood created space for himself before sending a low drive from the edge of the area into the bottom corner of the net at the end nearest the M6.
The goal prompted both Boothroyd and Chris Hutchings to make changes.
Cranie, Jeffers, Clarke, Doyle, Cameron and sixteen year old Conor Thomas all came on, whilst former Sky Blue Julian Gray came on and was roundly abused by some of the City support.
Youngster Thomas, who has been part of the City U18's for the last season and a half, gave away possession with his first touch allowing Gray another tame effort to keep Westwood's hands warm but he and the Sky Blues were not finished.
They won two corners and in the third minute of the three minutes of stoppage time, the ball came over to Jordan Clarke who directed a powerful header towards the far post. The ball was going into the net but touches from Nathan Cameron and Shaun Jeffers who had the last touch made sure that it was 2-0 to City and another pre-season victory.
Picture copyright of Covsupport News Service. Credit CNS/KM